Emine Fetvaci ’96

Emine Fetvac? was an international student from Turkey and graduated in 1996. She is an assistant professor at Boston University’s Department of Art History, where she teaches courses on Islamic art.

Her own research focuses on illustrated books from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In her teaching she tries to emulate the generosity and openness of her Williams professors, and hopes to inspire her students to think and question the way she was taught. Her journey as an art historian started as a sophomore art history major at Williams, where she had to take a “non-western” art class, and decided on Holly Edwards’ course “The Golden Road to Samarqand,” because she assumed, given that she was from Turkey, a course on Islamic art might be a little easier than a tradition that would be entirely foreign to her. The course proved to be far from familiar or easy, but she fell in love with the types of questions one could ask of the art of such a rich and diverse culture. At Williams she volunteered as a Museum Associate at WCMA, giving tours to school groups, meeting regularly with visiting artists, and learning about the inner workings of the museum. After graduating with a double major in art history and economics, Emine worked at the Islamic Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for two years. She assisted the chief curator of the department on an exhibition of classical Indian carpets, and served as an editorial assistant for the accompanying catalogue.

After the Metropolitan, Emine pursued a Ph.D. at Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, which she completed in 2005. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Rice University and at Stanford University, where she held a post-doc during the academic year 2006-07. Since September 2007 she has been at Boston University. Emine grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and is a graduate of Robert College, the high school where she took her first art history class.