Jeff O’Brien obtained a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of British Columbia in 2020. His dissertation, “The Right to Be Seen: Archiving Absence in Post-Civil War Lebanon,” examined the work of contemporary Lebanese artists who attempted to make visible the 17,000 people deemed disappeared during the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990 through photography, video, and the construction of archives.
Jeff is an experienced researcher, having worked with numerous archives and collections in the Middle East (Arab Image Foundation, Institute for Palestine Studies, and Sursock Museum, Beirut, The Palestinian Museum, Ramallah, and Darat al Funun, Amman). For 2021-22, Jeff is the interim Technical Services Library Assistant in the Visual Resources Centre to support the renewal of the VRC and the resumption of in-person teaching and learning. In addition to providing general technical support in the classroom, Jeff oversees the Arts Digital Collections database of approximately 52,000 digital assets. He is also available to consult on and facilitate digital humanities/digital scholarship projects.