Christina Penn-Goetsch is a professor of art history at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. After earning her B.A. from the University of Virginia, she pursued a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her doctoral work on the Italian Baroque and convent patronage led her to live in Rome and complete research at the city’s State Archives and the Vatican Secret Archives. Christina teaches courses on the arts of ancient Rome, Africa, and the Italian Renaissance and Baroque, as well as more thematic courses such as “Saints and She-devils: The Image of Woman in the Christian West.” As the director of a pre-architecture curriculum and a faculty member in Cornell’s archaeology program, Christina also focuses many of her courses on urban planning. She comes to Smithsonian Journeys with the experience of regularly introducing students to “The Eternal City” with a study-abroad course examining the city of Rome from Julius Caesar to Mussolini.
With over 20 years of teaching college students and providing lectures at museums and conferences, Penn-Goetsch brings a reputation for organization, a passion for students, and an enthusiasm for the subject matter with her. In a recent review, one of her colleagues describes her as one who “enters the classroom as a swimmer dives into a pool.”