Mary K. Coffey, Associate Professor of Art History

In Colossal, Grigsby provides a surprisingly convincing and, at times, highly personal account of the connection between the Napoleonic Empire and the development of “colossal” engineering projects inspired by the scale of Egyptian monuments. She intertwines historically situated discussions of each engineering project with meditations on artistic media as well as the racial politics of empire and the expansion of Western capitalism. The book is beautifully illustrated, accessible to non-specialists, and dotted with poignant memories of the author’s childhood in Panama.