Prolific research, publishing and fellowships mark invaluable service and leadership
Cleveland State University has conferred the honor of Distinguished Professor on Samantha Baskind, Ph.D., for her contributions to the CSU Department of Art and Design, its College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and to the university.
This is the first such honor given by the university to any member of faculty in its history. She has attained this rank for her invaluable service, leadership and limitless investigation.
Dr. Baskind joined CSU’s faculty in August 2004, having previously taught at the University of Miami, where she held a joint appointment in art history and Judaic studies, and James Madison University. Her prolific research focuses on modern American art and Jewish American art and culture.
“Dr. Baskind’s contributions to Jewish studies and art history are second to none,” said CSU president Laura Bloomberg.
“Her incredible talent and passion for research has enriched the education of our students in many ways—not even to mention her chairing and serving on committees and advising student clubs and organizations. Dr. Baskind is truly one-of-a-kind and we are grateful to have her.”
Dr. Baskind earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her B.A. in Art History and English from the University of Pennsylvania. Her courses and seminars cover both 19th- and 20th century art, American visual culture and Jewish art across borders.
“I am pleased to represent Cleveland State University as the inaugural distinguished professor,” said Dr. Baskind. “My research comes home to CSU’s campus and reinforces my thoughts about teaching certain courses.”
Since joining CSU, Dr. Baskind has published six books on Jewish art history. Her seventh book – a study of 19th-century sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel – is scheduled for publication in 2023. In addition to her books, Dr. Baskind has more than 100 published articles and reviews in the mainstream press, academic journals and encyclopedias.
She served as editor for U.S. art for the 22-volume revised edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica and is currently series editor of “Dimyonot: Jews and the Cultural Imagination,” published by Penn State University Press. She is also the only CSU faculty member to receive two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, most recently in 2020.
“I am gratified that CSU is recognizing art history and the humanities for their role in the liberal arts education of our students, who will go on to travel and see great works of art and architecture, and also be enriched by the values inculcated by human creativity in arts and letters,” said Dr. Baskind.
“I believe that the college experience can transform lives. At CSU, I try to teach not only the meaning of art in its own time and how it’s perceived in the current moment,” she added.
“I also teach students how to learn how to learn, and to love to learn. My work as a professor provides me with the great gift of living a life of the mind and I hope my students walk away with that joy after taking my classes.”