Kaira Cabañas was humbled and delighted when she found out she won the college-level International Educator Award for Junior Faculty at the College of the Arts.
The International Educators of the Year Awards, hosted by Leonardo A. Villalón, director of the University of Florida’s International Center, highlight the contributions of faculty and staff to the internationalization of the university. Attendees were able to see the diverse international work done by other faculty members in the different UF colleges.
As an undergraduate student at Duke University, Cabañas majored in comparative area studies with a focus in Latin American and Western European cultures. She later pursued a Ph.D. in art history, encompassing her passions for the arts and interdisciplinary research.
“What I find absolutely necessary is to probe how looking at artistic production born of other cultural contexts might make strange our dominant understanding of modern and contemporary art history in the United States,” Cabañas said.
She will soon begin research for her fourth book-length study, Flávio de Carvalho: The Art of an Infamous Life, which will be the first monographic study of Brazilian architect and artist, Flávio de Carvalho, in English.
This award was important for Cabañas because she always strives to incorporate international perspectives and diverse voices into the classroom at the undergraduate and graduate level, but also through public programs to the community beyond.
“To have my work and its educational impact institutionally recognized was very important for me,” Cabañas said. “But I could not have done it without the support of my colleagues and various UF departments and centers.”