Iara A. Dundas is a Ph.D. candidate studying the art and architecture of France and Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries under the supervision of Sara Galletti. Her dissertation, "The Society of Jesus in France: Architecture and Spectacles, 1560-1660" examines the production and patronage of spectacles and ephemeral apparatuses by the Jesuit Order in France. Centering on the period between the Jesuit Order's official establishment in the French kingdom and the start of Louis XIV's personal reign, the ephemeral apparatuses discussed revolve around a variety of events: some exclusively religious - such as the Canonization of the first Jesuit saints in 1622 - and some in the service of the royal family - such as the funeral procession of Henri IV and the baptism of Louis XIV. Her research considers the place of ephemera as part of the artist-architect's profession, the role of these projects in fostering the Jesuit Order's relationship with the monarchy to spread power and influence, and the way these works, and the events for which they were constructed, were used by both the Church and the State in a particularly turbulent time in the history of France.
Iara received a B.A. in Art History from the University of Central Florida in 2007, and an M.A., with distinction, in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2010. Her research interests include ephemeral apparatuses and the relationship between temporary structures and permanent spaces, especially within the context of court and religious festivals and spectacles; the history and architecture of theater and performance; the Early Modern Jesuits; and the intersections of art and science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She is especially interested in using digital technologies to reconstruct and recontextualize objects and structures which are no longer extant. She is a member of the Wired! group and has been working with Visualizing Venice since 2012.
In Spring 2017 she is teaching ARTHIST 390s: Designing the Ideal City.