Photo of Sarafina Pagnotta

Sarafina Pagnotta

Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees:B.A. Hons., (University of Ottawa), M.A. (Carleton University)

Current Program (including year of entry): Ph.D. History (Specialization in Public History) (2020)


Dr. Paul Litt

Academic Interests:

Canadian war art history, visual and material culture, memory, the world wars, trench art, 20th century Canadian history, public history, museums, collections management and best practices, archival theory and practice.

Select Publications and Current Projects:

Pagnotta, Sarafina. Forthcoming. “Book Review: Canada 1919: Nation Shaped by War. Edited by Tim Cook and J.L. Granatstein, 2020.” In Journal of the International Society for World War Studies. 2022.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. Forthcoming. “Book Review: Trauma, Primitivism and the Great War: The Making of Frank Prewett. By Joy Porter, 2021.” In Journal of Military History, 2022.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. Forthcoming. “Canada’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” In Monumental Memories: A Critical Reading of Memorials and Statues in Canada’s Capital Region. Edited by Tonya Davidson and David Dean. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. “War Stories: The Art and Memorials Collection at the Canadian War Museum.” In Museums, Modernity and Conflict: Museums and Collections in and of War Since the Nineteenth Century. Edited by Kate Hill. Abingdon: Routledge, 2021.

Select Conference Contributions:

Pagnotta, Sarafina. (9 November 2021). “Memorializing the Great War Through Art.” Guest lecture presented to 2021 winners of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award. Vimy Foundation. Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. (14-15 May 2021). “Hidden in Plain Sight: Unofficial Canadian Artworks of the First and Second World Wars.” Virtual conference paper presented at the 31st Annual Military History Colloquium. Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Waterloo, ON, Canada.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. (3-4 May 2019). “Material Memory: Trench Art from the Western Front.” Conference paper presented at the 30th Military History Colloquium. Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Waterloo, ON, Canada.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. (22-24 November 2018). “War Stories: Trench Art from the Western Front.” Conference paper presented at Canterbury 100: Reflections on the Commemoration of World War One. Christchurch, New Zealand.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. (13-14 July 2018). “War Stories: Trench Art at the Canadian War Museum.” Conference Poster presented at the Museums and Galleries History Group Biennale Conference: Museums, Collections & Conflict, 1500-2010. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England.

Pagnotta, Sarafina. (24-25 March 2017). “Beauty from the Wreckage: Trench Art, Trauma and National Canadian Identity.” Conference paper presented at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture and the Art History Graduate Students’ Society Conference: Off the Record. Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Teaching Experience:

The Historian’s Craft (M. Hogue), Winter 2022.
History of the Body (D. Kinsey), Winter 2021 & Fall 2021.
Historical Theory (N. Leddy), Fall 2020.
History and Theory of Architecture: 1500 to Present (M. Windover), Winter 2018.
Art and Society: Prehistory to the Renaissance (P. Coffman), Fall 2017.
Art and Society: Renaissance to the Present (B. Foss), Winter 2017.
Art and Society: Prehistory to the Renaissance (S. Roy), Fall 2016.

Description of Research:

Sarafina’s dissertation titled From ‘Somewhere in France’ to Somewhere in the Collection: Recovering Soldier Art at the Canadian War Museum focuses on the ‘unofficial’ war art that was created by individual soldiers, civilians, and prisoners of war during the First and Second World Wars. Specifically, she looks at the artworks that have been ‘hidden’ in the textual archives such as illustrated letters and artworks or ‘doodles’ accompanying signatures in autograph books, among other things. Her goal is to come up with a term or a tag to assign to these items that would identify artworks in the textual collection and allow for cross referencing with the Art and Memorials Collection.