Select CV

full Curriculum Vitae at Donna Bilak Academia.edu

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

Employment

2017 – 2018     
The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies – Columbia University

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

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) – Freelance designer; 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 provided jewelry designs, wax jewelry models, and retail services at Secrett Jewel Salon; 1996-1997 created and produced jewelry designs and wax jewelry models for Dianna Rhodes Accessories (firm specializing in electroformed jewelry).

Fellowships

2017 – 2019    
Visiting Scholar, History Department – Brown University. Forthcoming: 2 year appointment (renewed annually) in support for “Project Atalanta,” the digital edition of Atalanta fugiens funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Digital Scholarship Initiative.

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

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

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

Grants and Awards (select)

2016-19   
Andrew W. Mellon Digital Scholarship Initiative – Brown University. Awarded for “Project Atalanta,” the publication of a multimedia digital edition of an alchemical emblem book set to music, Atalanta fugiens (1618) at Brown University. Co-edited with Tara Nummedal (Brown, History Department) and in collaboration with musicologist Dr. Robin Bier (Director, solo-voice ensemble “Les Canards Chantants”). The Library at Brown University has committed grant funds to support the development of Dr. Bilak’s “Project Atalanta.” These funds may be used for support of project development, such as transcription, translation, and customized programming or other relevant scholarly activities, as needed.

2015    
Betty Irene Moore Library Fund – Chemical Heritage Foundation. Awarded to fund 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).”

2011 – 2012 
Bard Graduate Center Dissertation Writing Up Award

2010 – 2011  
Bard Graduate Center 4th Year Dissertation Writing Award

2003 – 2008 
Bard Graduate Center Fellowship

Teaching: Academic, Museum Public Education and Outreach, Jewellery Industry Educator

Academic

2014-17
Lecturer in History: “Craft and Science in the Early Modern World” (HIST G8906)
Graduate seminar, Department of History
Columbia University, New York USA

2016 (Summer)
Lecturer in History: “Material World of Jewelry” (HIST S3535)
Undergraduate Core Curriculum
Columbia University, New York USA

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

January 2016
Workshop Director: “The Frozen Museum: A Metal Arts Jewellery History Workshop.”
course: two-week hands-on jewellery history workshop and knowledge exchange integrating Western jewellery technologies with a survey of jewellery genres 1500-2015, and Inuit craft traditions.
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

2006 – 2008
Teaching Assistant
Medieval and Early Modern Europe (HIST 2220 6.0)
York University, Toronto Canada

Fall 1999     
Course Director, Continuing Education
History of Jewellery and Design (JEWL 9035)
George Brown College, Toronto Canada
.

Museum Public Education and Outreach:

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.
(First Fridays are a monthly city-wide public open house with over 40 Philadelphia museum and gallery participants.)
Philadelphia, USA
chemheritage.org/visit/events/public-events/2015-04-03-ff.aspx

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
chemheritage.org/visit/events/public-events/2014-04-04-ff.aspx

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

October 2006
Course Director: “The Art of Dress: 1850 – 1950” (four week lecture series)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada

February 2006
Course Director: “Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees: European Gardens, 1400 – 1800” (four week lecture series)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada

October 2005
Course Director: “Western European and American Jewellery, 1800 – 1959” (four week lecture series)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada

January 2003
Course Director: “Fabulous 50s Couture and Jewellery” (four week lecture series; held in conjunction with ROM feature exhibit, Elite Elegance: Couture Fashion from the 1950s)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada

April 2002
Course Director: “History of Jewellery and Design” (six week lecture series)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada

April 2001
Course Director: “Scythian Culture and Ornamentation” (four week lecture series; held in conjunction with ROM feature exhibit, Legacy in Gold: Scythian Treasure from Ancient Ukraine)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada
.

Jewellery Industry Educator:

August 2017
Instructor: “Out of the Ivy and Into the Arctic: Teaching Jewelry History and Craft Technology at Columbia University and Nunavut Arctic College.”
40th Annual Antique Jewelry and Art Conference
Hofstra University, NY

July 2014
Keynote Speaker: “Diamonds, Death, and Flowers: Jewelry Genres in Renaissance Portraits”
Instructor: “Victorian Jewelry: A Cultural History of the Rational and the Romantic”
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

July 2012
Instructor: “Three Centuries of Style: Jewelry from Baroque to Art Deco”
35th Annual Antique Jewelry and Art Conference
Westchester, 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

July 2002-6
Fundamentals Instructor: “Victorian Gothic, Renaissance, and Archaeological Revival-style Jewelry”, “Late Georgian and Early Victorian Jewelry” and “Victorian Jewelry Styles”
23rd – 27th Annual Antique and Period Jewelry and Gemstone Conference
New York

July 2001
Keynote Speaker: “Influence of Ancient Cultures on Jewelry” and “Jewelry and its Relationship to the Decorative Arts”
22nd Annual Antique and Period Jewelry and Gemstone Conference
Long Island, New York

.

Conference Papers & Invited Lectures

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.
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

July 2013
Presenter: “The Allegorical Laboratory: Process and Technology in Michael Maier’s Alchemical Emblem Book, Atalanta fugiens (1617)”
24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Manchester, UK

July 2012
Panelist: “Colonial Chymistry: The Case of John Allin, Minister-Physician in Woodbridge, New Jersey, 1680-1683”
2012 Three Societies Meeting: 7th Joint Meeting of the British Society for the History of Science, Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, and the History of Science Society.
Philadelphia, USA

April 2012
Presenter: “The Sight and Sound of Alchemy: Michael Maier’s Emblem Book Atalanta fugiens (1617)”
symposium: IFA-Frick Symposium on the History of Art
New York, USA

November 2011
*Panelist (*and session organizer): “The Chymical Cleric: Science, Theology, and the Professional Life of John Allin in England and America (1623-1683)”
History of Science Society 2011 Annual Meeting
Cleveland, USA

September 2011
Presenter: “The Laboratory Construct of John Allin, Puritan Alchemist in Restoration London”
University of Cambridge, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) International Conference Alchemy and Medicine from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.
Cambridge, UK

January 2011
Invited Lecturer: “Treasure in the Archives: Researching the Life and Times of John Allin, Puritan Alchemist in England and America (1623-1683)”
Queen’s University (Canada) Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle
East Sussex, UK

April 2010
Panelist: “Emblematic Impressions: The Use of Wax Seals in the John Allin Correspondence, 1663 -1674”
Renaissance Society of America 56th Annual Meeting
Venice, Italy

Invited Lecturer: “A Circle of Friends: The Story of John Allin, Samuel Jeake and Philip Frith in Restoration 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

April 2008
Panelist: “Visual Narration in Bronzino’s Portraiture”
Renaissance Society of America 54th Annual Meeting
Chicago, USA

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)

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

May 2006
Panelist: “Pomanders, Plague, and the Essence of Smell”
41st International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, 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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