Dr. Hickson's work explores courtly culture, secular imagery, patronage studies, the history of collections and constructions of gender and identity in early modern visual culture.
In addition to working as a researcher in the field of architectural theory and Renaissance treatises from manuscript to printed book at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and teaching Liberal Arts at Brock University, she has taught courses on Italian art, architecture and cultural history in Venice, Florence and Rome, and has given conference papers in Florence, Faenza, Ferrara, New York, Toronto, the University of Cambridge and many other cities.
She has been the recipient of the H.P. Krauss Fellowship in early books and manuscripts at the Beinecke Library at Yale University (2009), and the Natalie Zemon Davis Award from the Journal Renaissance and Reformation (2010).
She is the author of "Women, Art and Architectural Patronage in Renaissance Mantua: Matrons, Mystics and Monasteries" (Ashgate 2012), and the co-editor, with Dr. Sharon Gregory, of "Inganno -- The Art of Deception" (Ashgate, 2012). She has also contributed essays to the anthologies "Marriage in Premodern Europe : Italy and Beyond" (University of Toronto: 2012) and "Isabella d’Este, la Prima Donna del RInascimento" (Mantua: 2001). She is currently working on serialized portrait images of women in the social, domestic and architectural contexts of Renaissance Italy, and on Duke Federico II Gonzaga as prince and patron of Mantua. She has contributed articles to the journals "Arte Lombarda", "Civiltà Mantovana", "Art History", and "Renaissance & Reformation".
Hickson was President of the Universities Art Association of Canada/L'Association des Arts des Universites du Canada (UAAC/AAUC).