Dr. Diana Reynolds-Cordileone

Dr. Diana Reynolds-Cordileone

  • Professor of History
  • Phone: 619-849-2319


  • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • M.A., University of California San Diego
  • Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany
  • B.A., San Diego State University


My graduate training began with four years in the Art History Department of Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany). When I returned to the United States, I became more curious about the cultural and political meanings of art institutions and the creation of academic art history in the nineteenth century.  I switched to the study of European Intellectual History, with an emphasis on the German Intellectual Tradition.  My dissertation on Alois Riegl and the Vienna School of Art History was supervised by Professor David Luft at UCSD. The dissertation was later published as Alois Riegl in Vienna (1875-1905): An Institutional Biography (London: Ashgate, 2014.)

What I find most intriguing is the nexus of politics, consumerism, globalization and the art institutions of the “exhibitionary complex” in the late nineteenth century. How did European nations construct their “identities” through art institutions, exhibitions, and the emerging discourses of arts and crafts reform? How did they engage with the exotic peoples and arts they were beginning to encounter through global imperialism and the development of disciplines such as anthropology and European ethnography?  In addition, in what ways did European manufacturing  and print technology shape the production of arts and crafts in global peripheries and how did these peripheries  affect the European metropoles in return?

To answer these questions I study exhibitions, world’s fairs, and the print media of art journals and craft textbooks in German-speaking central Europe. My work is transnational because it involves not only Germany and the Habsburg monarchy but also the successor states of southeastern Europe.  It is also shaped by  theories of nationalism, gender and post-colonial studies.  I have published several articles on the relationship between Vienna and the “folk arts” in the Habsburg Monarchy as well as in the occupied territories of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

These projects are usually cross-disciplinary, combining approaches gleaned from history, art history, and cultural studies. Likewise, I have presented my work at conferences on museum studies, ethnography, anthropology, and history. In spring 2016 I will be a Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia to continue a research project on a female ethnographer and craft instructor in Sarajevo before 1914.  Another long-range project, “Manufacturing Mother Austria” considers the gendering of an Austrian identity through industrial design in the late Habsburg Monarchy. 

At PLNU I have taught courses in the History of Design, World Civilizations Since 1500, World’s Fairs, European Imperialism, Modern European Political and Cultural History. I also serve as the Campus Fulbright Adviser.