Joanne Elaine Sowell

professor, art and art history

(402) 554-3762 • Office: 215 WFAB
jsowell@unomaha.eduExamples of Studio Projects for art history courses


Joanne Sowell was born in Lorain, Ohio, and raised in Michigan and Louisiana. She received her B.A. in studio art and mathematics from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), her M.A. in art history from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D. in art history from Florida State University, specializing in medieval art and architecture. She joined the Art and Art History faculty in Fall 1986 and teaches ancient, medieval, and cross-cultural courses in art history. She is also a member of both the Medieval/Renaissance Studies faculty and the Women's Studies faculty.

Research Statement

I have published on the architecture of the medieval Cistercian monastery of Sacramenia, Spain, but have focused most of my research on pedagogical issues. I have published on using active, collaborative learning in the art history classroom and on a cross-cultural survey of art history course that I developed. Most recently I have done collaborative research in the area of art education, contributing to the work of the UNO Center for Innovation in Arts Education in developing curriculum materials associated with public art in Omaha and Council Bluffs. I am also active in planning and presenting the Prairie Visions Institute for teachers in Nebraska and Iowa.

Examples of Studio Projects for art history courses




Art and Art History


Ph.D. Florida State University, 1985

Activity Interests:

Art History Pedagogy
Art Education

Courses Taught:

ART 2040

Cross Cultural Survey of Art

ART 2050

Survey of Western Art I

ART 3760

Art History Seminar: History of Prints

ART 4700 / 8706

Cross-cultural Art History for Teachers

ART 4710 / 8716

Ancient Art

ART 4720 / 8726

Women in Ancient and Medieval Art

ART 4730 / 8736

Classical Art

ART 4750 / 8756

Late Roman and Byzantine Art

ART 4770 / 8776

Early Medieval Art

ART 4780 / 8786

Later Medieval Art

At UNO Since:



Nebraska Masterpieces Poster and Website project.  Education content for 5 posters of art by contemporary Nebraska artists and 6 thematic curriculum units posted on a website for teachers.  Prepared with Dr. Frances Thurber and Shari Hofschire. Project commissioned by the Nebraska Arts Council. Published January and March 2007.

"A View from the Field: Discipline-based Art Education for In-service Teachers," with Gary Day, Michael Gillespie, Martin Rosenberg and Frances Thurber. Visual Arts Research  23, #2 (Fall, 1997), pp. 52-62.

"A Cross-Cultural Survey of Art History: Challenging Assumptions About Art," Multicultural Prism: Voices from the Field. Volume 2.  Ed. J. Q. Adams and Janice R. Welsch (Western Illinois University, 1996), pp. 137-150.

Department of Art and Art History
College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
University Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182-0011
(402) 554-2420 Fax: (402) 554-3436