Janet Purdy

Janet Purdy is from Bay Village, OH. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Art History. Dr. William J. Dewey, Janet’s doctoral adviser and an associate professor of Art History, describes Janet as a non-traditional student. “She came late (25 years after completing her undergraduate degree) to her intended field of study, African Art History. For some this would be seen as a lack of maturity and indecisiveness, but for Janet it is just the opposite. After a career in graphic design, and being the creative director for a variety of corporations and non-profits, she has focused on a topic she is passionate about, the study of African art history.”

Janet’s dissertation topic is motivated in large part by earning a Critical Language Scholarship to Tanzania. “It was a tremendous experience, both personally and educationally, and one that has led me down a path that I never could have planned for. Through cultural immersion and intensive language study, I was introduced in the best imaginable way to the fascinating history and people of the Swahili Coast. My dissertation research is now focused on Swahili art forms, their relationship to Islam in East Africa, and the trade networks of the Indian Ocean rim. I am so appreciative of the University’s investment in me as a student, and the belief in my potential as a scholar.” 

Ph.D. in Art History
Year of Graduation: 
2016-2017 Critical Language Scholarship to Tanzania