Select CV

full curriculum vitae at Donna Bilak Academia.edu

Donna Bilak

Education

2003 – 2013   
PhD, Cultural History
Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture – New York, USA
Dissertation: “The Chymical Cleric: John Allin, Puritan Alchemist in England and America (1623-1683).”
Supervisor: Peter N. Miller
External Examiner: Mordechai Feingold
Degree Conferred: May 2014

2008           
MPhil, Cultural History
Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture – New York, USA
Degree Conferred: May 2008

2002 – 2003     
MA, History
York University – Toronto, Canada
Major Research Paper: “The Emergence of Botany and the Knowledge of Plants: Nature and Creation in the Sixteenth Century.”
Supervisor: Richard C. Hoffmann
Second Reader: Thomas V. Cohen
Degree Conferred: May 2004

2001 – 2002  
Special Student, Masters Programme History
York University – Toronto, Canada

1991 – 1994 
Jewellery Arts Diploma
George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology – Toronto, Canada
Gold- and Metalsmithing, Gemmology, Metallurgy, Enamelling, Jewellery Design
Degree Conferred: May 1994

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Employment

2017 – 2018     
The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Fellow – Columbia University

2014 – 2017 
History of Science and Technology Postdoctoral Scholar,  Department of History, “The Making and Knowing Project” – Columbia University

2013 – 2014
Edelstein Postdoctoral Fellow – Chemical Heritage Foundation

2001 – 2014   
Antique Jewelry and Art Conference (New York) – Jewelry industry educator for history of jewelry design and technology

2001 – 2008
Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) – ROMLife Public Lecture Series Course Director and ROMLife Program Co-ordinator

1994 – 2000
Jewelry Industry Production (Toronto) – 1994-2000 freelance designer and wax model-maker, private commissions; 1998-1999 jewelry designer for Design Model Services/DMS Group (firm specializing in wax jewelry models and designs for international gold, platinum, and gemstone jewelry manufacturers); 1997-1998 jewelry designer and wax model-maker, and retail services at Secrett Jewel Salon; 1996-1997 jewelry designer and wax model-maker for Dianna Rhodes Accessories (firm specializing in electroformed jewelry).

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Fellowships

2017 – 2019    
Visiting Scholar, History Department – Brown University. Two-year appointment in support for Project Atalanta

2017 – 2018     
The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, “‘Catch Me If You Can’: Ludic Humanism and Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618)” – Columbia University

2014 – 2017 
History of Science and Technology Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of History, “The Making and Knowing Project” – Columbia University

2013 – 2014
Edelstein Postdoctoral Fellow, “The Allegorical Laboratory: Michael Maier’s Alchemical Emblem Book Atalanta fugiens (1618)” – Chemical Heritage Foundation

2013 
Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science and Technology, “The Sight and Sound of Early Modern Alchemy: Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618)” – The Huntington Library

2012
Visiting Scholar, Department of Cultural Studies – National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

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Grants and Awards

2016 – 2019   
Andrew W. Mellon Digital Scholarship Initiative – Brown University. Awarded for “Project Atalanta,” the publication of a digital edition of the musical alchemical emblem book, Atalanta fugiens (1618) at Brown University. Co-edited with Tara Nummedal (Brown, History Department) and in collaboration with musicologists Dr. Robin Bier (Director, Les Canards Chantants) and Dr. Loren Ludwig (Director, LeStrange Viols).

2015    
Betty Irene Moore Library Fund – Chemical Heritage Foundation. Awarded for the workshop, “Interplay: Rethinking Music, Mathematics, and Alchemical Praxis in the Atalanta fugiens (1618).”

2014 
American Members of CINOA Award for Outstanding Dissertation – Bard Graduate Center. Awarded for “The Chymical Cleric: John Allin, Puritan Alchemist in England and America (1623-1683).”

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Publications

detailed here

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Teaching
Academic – Museum
Outreach & Public Education – Jewellery Industry Educator

Academic

2014 – 2017
Lecturer in History: “Craft and Science in the Early Modern World” (HIST G8906)
Graduate seminar, Department of History
Columbia University

Summer 2016
Lecturer in History: “Material World of Jewelry” (HIST S3535)
Undergraduate lecture, Department of History
Columbia University

2014-15 & 2016-17
Lecturer in History: “Contemporary Civilization” (CC 1101-2)
Undergraduate seminar, Core Curriculum
Columbia University

May 2015
Workshop Director: “Imitation Coral”
Two-day hands-on history of science and craft technology workshop based on examination of a 16th-century imitation coral recipe (folio 3r, Ms. Fr. 640), integrating lectures and hands-on practical historical reconstruction.
Nunavut Arctic College, Iqaluit Canada

January 2016
Workshop Director: The Frozen Museum: A Metal Arts Jewellery History Workshop
Two-week hands-on jewellery history workshop and knowledge exchange between Inuit craft traditions and Western jewellery technologies.
Nunavut Arctic College, Iqaluit Canada

Fall 2012
Course Director: “Cultural History of Computers and Information Technology”
Masters seminar, Department of Cultural Studies (4.5 ECTS)
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv Ukraine

Workshop Director: “Doing History in the Digital Age: Research, Methodology, Interpretation”
Doctoral Workshop, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Doctoral School
(2.5 ECTS)
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv Ukraine

Fall 1999   
Course Director: “History of Jewellery and Design” (JEWL 9035)
Continuing Education
George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology
Toronto Canada
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Museum Outreach and Public Education

April 2015
event: “The Alchemist’s Cookbook”
Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) *First Friday Event Co-ordinator, co-presented with Ryan Whibbs, Professor, Culinary Arts School at George Brown College. Presented in conjunction with the CHF feature exhibit Books of Secrets: Writing and Reading Alchemy and hosted by the Museum at CHF.
Philadelphia, USA

April 2014
event: “Night at the Alchemical Laboratory”
Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) *First Friday Event Co-ordinator, co-presented with Elisabeth Berry Drago, CHF Fellow, hosted by the Museum at CHF.
Philadelphia, USA

(*First Fridays are a monthly city-wide public open house with over 40 Philadelphia museum and gallery participants)

January 2008
Course Director: “Stink, Stank, Stunk: A Cultural History of Smell in Early Modern Europe” (three week lecture series)
Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto, Canada

November 2008
event: “The Oyster Considered”
ROMLife Event Program Co-ordinator
A trans-disciplinary event at Starfish Oyster Bed and Grill about oysters in Western culture featuring talks on oysters in 17th-century Dutch still life paintings (Donna Bilak); aqua culture and environmental issues impacting today’s North American oyster industry (Patrick McMurray, proprietor and 2002 World Champion Oyster Opener); socio-economic history of Toronto’s 19th-century oyster industry (Lawrence David, professional shucker and oyster historian); historic culinary recreations from 19th-century British and Canadian oyster recipes (Kyle Deming, Starfish Chef de cuisine).
Toronto, Canada
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Jewellery Industry Educator

July 2014
Keynote Speaker: “Diamonds, Death, and Flowers: Jewelry Genres in Renaissance Portraits”
37th Annual Antique Jewelry and Art Conference
West Harrison, New York

April 2014
Invited Lecturer: “Blast from the Past: 1950s Atomic Age Jewelry”
Christie’s Education
New York, New York

April 2012
Invited Lecturer: “No.115 Piccadilly, London: The Revivalist Jewelry of Carlo Giuliano and the Victorian Culture of Curiosity”
Christie’s Education
New York, New York

July 2011
Keynote Speaker: “Flora Bejewelled: Horticulture, Jewelry, and the Victorian Language of Flowers”
34th Annual Antique Jewelry and Art Conference
Tarrytown, New York

January 2011
Invited Lecturer: “The Rise and Fall of the French Crown Jewels: A Biography of an Auction”
The Antique Jewelry and Art Conference
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York, New York

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Conference Papers & Invited Lectures

see abstracts under Presentations

March 2018
Panelist and Session Co-Organizer (with Tara Nummedal), sponsored by the New England Renaissance                          Conference
Panel: “‘Tear the Books Apart’ — Digitizing Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618).”
Chair: Allison Levy (Brown University, Digital Scholarship Editor). Panelists: Tara Nummedal (Brown                                   University) “Training the Mind and Body: Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens”; Loren Ludwig (Director, LeStrange                   Viols) “Digitizing Maier’s ‘Triple–Voiced Musical Echo’”; Donna Bilak (Italian Academy, Columbia University)                      “‘Publish or Perish’: The Digital Edition in Academia.”
Renaissance Society of America 64th Annual Meeting
Toronto, Canada

April 2017    
Co-Presenter (with Jennifer D. Miglus): “Chymistry in the Archives: The Gershom Bulkeley Alchemical Notebook Collection at the Hartford Medical Society Historical Library (1635-1713)”
Cain Conference, “Chemistry in the Early Americas.” Organized by John R. R. Christie (Oxford University) and Carin Berkowitz (Chemical Heritage Foundation)
Chemical Heritage Foundation
Philadelphia, USA

March 2016    
Co-Presenter (with Ann-Sophie Barwich): “Vials and Vinaigrettes: The Manipulation of Odour in 18th-Century French Science and Society”
Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (DBSECS)
Brussels, Belgium

May 2015
Invited Lecturer: “Possum Tales: Inside the Story of a Painted Puzzle by Australian Artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (1932-2002)”
Nunavut Arctic College
Iqaluit, Canada

December 2014 & April 2015
Lecture-Performance: “The Art of Encryption: Music-Image-Text in Michael Maier’s Alchemical Emblem Book, Atalanta fugiens (1618)”
Presented by Donna Bilak (Columbia University, History) with musical examples performed by solo-voice ensemble Les Canards Chantants, directed by Robin and Graham Bier, with special guest Loren Ludwig (Director, LeStrange Viols).
Columbia University (December 2014) and Bard Graduate Center (April 2015)
New York, USA

March 2014
Panelist: “The Art of Encryption: Music-Image-Text in the Atalanta fugiens (1617)”
Renaissance Society of America 60th Annual Meeting
New York, USA

November 2013
Invited Lecturer: “Plague, Death, and the Transit of Mars: An Astrological Analysis of John Allin’s November 1665 Letters from London to Rye”
Rye Castle Museum
East Sussex, UK

January 2010
Presenter, Toronto Botanical Garden “History of the Garden” lecture series
“Petals and Metals: Floral Jewellery in France, England and America, 1600 – 1960”
“Reconfiguring Eden: European Garden Design, 1500 – 1800”
“Plant vs. Plant: John Evelyn, Joseph Paxton and Urban Planning in the (Pre)Industrial Age”
Toronto, Canada

February 2008
Presenter: “Effect of Plague in 17th-century Dutch Culture”
Royal Ontario Museum event in co-operation with Penguin Group (Canada), “Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World.” Trans-disciplinary panel including: Timothy Brook, “Vermeer’s Hat” (author, Oxford University); Ross Fox, “Canadian Beavers, Traders and Hatters” (ROM curator Canadian Decorative Arts); Brian Musselwhite, “The Influence of Chinese Porcelain on Delftware” (ROM assistant curator European Decorative Arts)
Toronto, Canada

May 2007
Presenter: “Stewards of Nature: An Analysis of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Seasons
10th Annual Mediterranean Studies Association International Congress
Évora, Portugal

March 2007
Panelist: “Bronzino’s Portrait of Lodovico Capponi, and the Case of the Missing Codpiece”
Renaissance Society of America 53rd Annual Meeting
Miami, USA

April 2005
Panelist: “Emblematic Jewellery in Bronzino’s Portrait of Eleonora di Toledo”
Renaissance Society of America 51st Annual Meeting
Cambridge, UK

March 2005
Panelist: “Analysis of Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man
Exploring the Renaissance 2005 International Conference, The Huntington Library
San Marino, USA

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