UC Berkeley History of Art Department

People / Graduate Students

Current Students

    • Jess Bailey

    • Bio

      Jess Genevieve Bailey (2015) studies Northern Medieval and early Flemish art with a focus on critical theory and sacred images. Interested in the interplay between the devotional contexts of artworks and their use of temporal rhetoric, she is excited to deepen her knowledge of pilgrimage, pictorial structures of narrative, and works on paper. Jess holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was awarded a senior year fellowship to work on Medieval Japanese buddhist sculpture in Kyoto. Her research addressed visual embodiments of spoken prayer within the 13th century Pure Land practice of Nembutsu or intoning the Buddha’s name. Most recently she has presented at the New York MoMA on the development of digital tools for visual culture research. 

    • Alexandra Courtois de Vicose

    • Bio

      Alexandra Courtois (2009) studies 19th century French art. Her interests encompass a variety of media, (including painting, drawing, printing processes and photography, all relevant to her dissertation research on Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec), as well as Disability Studies, proving to be a productive framework to analyze Lautrec's oeuvre and life in a new light.

    • Sarah Cowan

    • Bio

      Sarah Cowan (2012) studies modern and contemporary art of the Americas. Her research concerns race, gender, the politics of urban space, artist communities, and photography. She earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2011.

    • Matthew Culler

    • Bio

      Matthew Culler (2009) studies early modern art with a particular interest in Italian art and art theory.  He received a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina in 2007.

    • Karine Douplitzky

    • Bio

      Karine Douplitzky (2011) was born and raised in France and recently moved to the Bay Area. She has a non-typical profile: a Master's degree in Engineering and an M.A. in Film Studies, followed by many years as a documentary film director. One of her favorite subjects is the History of Paper: she wrote a book on the topic, as well as several articles on related themes such as the power of media. She then spent a year in Japan teaching French literature and cinema. Karine studies under Professor Elizabeth Honig. She is particularly interested in Dutch and Flemish art and hopes to continue research on the question of the Smile. She has eclectic interests, including photography, elaborating themed exhibits and restoring a 12th-century prieuré in France.

    • Thadeus Dowad

    • Bio

      Thadeus Dowad (2014) studies the role of images within systems of knowledge production, particularly among scientific fields that have informed modern understandings of race, culture, sexuality, and gender. His current research explores technologies of archaeological documentation in various nineteenth-century French imperial contexts - Mexico, Cambodia, and the Ottoman Near East - as well as local responses to these practices. Particularly important are issues of reproduction and circulation, material epistemologies, acculturated looking (visuality), and critical historiography. Thadeus received his BA in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania and his MA from the Graduate Program in the History of Art at Williams College.


    • Susan Eberhard

    • Bio

      Susan Eberhard is a first-year PhD student in the history of American art. Her interests include geological landscapes in the Pacific and 19th century maritime trade with China. She worked in the American Art department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art before spending the past year in Honolulu. She is thrilled to start her studies of representations of land and sea in the beautiful Bay Area. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in art history in 2009.

    • Ellen C. Feiss

    • Bio

      E. C. Feiss (2015) is a critic and PhD candidate studying the history and theory of Modern and Contemporary art, specifically western socially and politically engaged art practices that articulate programs for justice and social utility. She also writes broadly about art after 1960, in relation to questions from queer and Marxist feminisms, critical race and postcolonial theory and 20th century critical and political theory. Her work has appeared in Afterall, Frieze, Open! Radical Philosophy and Texte zur Kunst amongst others. In 2014–15, she was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht and an instructor at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. She holds an MA from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a BA from Smith College. She also works here.  

    • Jessica Flores García

    • Bio

      Jessica "Jez" Flores García (2012) is a PhD candidate studying contemporary art with a particular interest in Chicano art. She is writing her dissertation on the role of various types of camp, via queer culture, rasquache, and glam rock, in the eclectic artistic production of the East Los Angeles art collective Asco. After completing her MA at the University of Cincinnati, she served as curator for contemporary art at the Cincinnati Art Museum and acted as assistant to the creative director for the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture. Jez earned her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.

    • Carl Gellert

    • Bio

      Carl is spending 2013-14 on a Japan Foundation Fellowship in Nara, Japan. While there he will be conducting research for his dissertation at the Nara National Institute for Cultural Properties and Archaeological Institute of Kashihara. His dissertation examines the Fujinoki tomb, focusing on an examination of grave-goods and other artifacts from the site as a means of better understanding 5th-8th century mortuary traditions, and Japan’s early relationship with China and Korea.

    • Diana Greenwold

    • Bio

      Diana is completing work on her dissertation, Crafting New Citizens: Art and Handicraft in American Settlement Houses, 1900-1945. She is currently the curatorial fellow at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine where she oversees the decorative arts collection. Diana spent last year as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    • Andrew Griebeler

    • Bio

      Andrew Griebeler (2010) studies medieval and Byzantine art with Diliana Angelova and Beate Fricke. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in art history and biology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Andrew’s research interests include manuscripts, spolia, and medieval science and image theory.

    • Grace Harpster

    • Bio

      Grace Harpster (2011) is a PhD candidate studying early modern Italian art, with a particular interest in the religious art of Counter-Reformation Italy and its wider missionary network. Grace is currently researching for her dissertation on San Carlo Borromeo and his interactions with sacred images.

       



       

    • Stephanie Hohlios

    • Bio

      Stephanie Hohlios (2015) specializes in twentieth-century Japanese visual art and performance and has an interest in historical modes of picture-storytelling in Japan. She holds both an Art History M.A. and an Asian Studies M.A. from the University of Utah. Her recent Asian Studies M.A. Thesis, Gaitō Kamishibai in Postwar Japan: Picture-storytelling Performance in the Democratic Public Sphere (2015), examines extant painted picture panels from the 1950s that were used in popular picture-storytelling street theater (gaitō kamishibai) to unpack the social significance of pictorial drama and performer presence in the historical moment. 

    • Aaron Hyman

    • Bio

      Aaron Hyman is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2015-16, he will be based in Mexico, with a few of those months spent in Peru, at work on a dissertation entitled "Rubens in a New World: Prints, Authorship, and Transatlantic Intertextuality," which explores the transmission of printed compositions after the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens to Latin America. This year of research is supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and the Social Science Research Council. He will spend the 2016-17 year in residence at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Aaron is also part of the 2015-17 cohort of Mellon Fellows in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. In the coming year, he will present papers at Books and Print between Cultures, 1500-1900 at Amherst College (Sept. 18-9) and in Lima, Peru at the symposium Art Before History (June 22-4), and he will chair a panel (w/ Dana Leibsohn) at the annual meeting of the College Art Association. He is the co-author with Barbara Mundy of “Painting in New Spain, 1521-1820” (Oxford Bibliographies, 2013) and “Out of the Shadow of Vasari: Towards a New Model of the ‘Artist’ in Colonial Latin America” (forthcoming, Colonial Latin American Review).

    • Kristen Kido

    • Bio

      Kristen Kido (2014) first became interested in Art History and in the ancient world at UCLA, and wrote her undergraduate dissertation on Egyptianising art in early imperial Rome. After graduating, she began teaching in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Villa in Malibu, where she shared her love of art and antiquity with museum-goers for four years. In that time, she became immersed in the field of Museum Education, and presented a lecture on teaching with antiquities at the National Arts Educators Association Convention in New York in 2012. Kristen continued her studies in London, and received her M.A. in Comparative Art and Archaeology from University College London in 2013. She was awarded the Institute of Archaeology's Master's Prize for her dissertation, "Founders' Tombs and Imperial Cosmologies: The Tomb of The First Emperor and The Mausoleum of Augustus in their Real Spaces." At Berkeley, she plans to continue researching the art of the ancient world from a comparative perspective, and is primarily interested the ways in which art has served as a vehicle of social and political change, and in how the visual packages associated with a mythologized past impact cultural identity and social memory. Her advisors are Whitney Davis and Christopher Hallett.

    • Rosaline Kyo

    • Bio

      Rosaline is a PhD candidate specializing in 20th century Chinese and Tibetan art. Her dissertation focuses on visual cultures and the codification of body standards and behavior as it pertains to the process of nation building in 20th century China. She examines specific visual propaganda projects and their intersection with contemporaneous political campaigns and practices of image production. She has conducted research for extended periods of time in Nepal, China and the Tibetan Autonomous Region with support from the History of Art Department and the Institution of East Asian Studies.

    • Rebecca Levitan

    • Bio

      Rebecca Levitan studies the art and architecture of the ancient Mediterranean world. She received her B.A. in Art History from Emory University and her M.Litt in Ancient History from the University of St Andrews. She has excavated in Belgium, Greece, and Italy. Her research interests include polychromy, numismatics, and the reception of antiquity in Europe and the United States.  

    • Mary Lewine

    • Bio

      Mary Lewine joins the department having completed her M.A. with the Group in Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. After receiving a B.A. from Vassar College, she taught in Taiwan for two years as a Princeton in Asia fellow, worked in her hometown of New York City, and studied at IUP in Beijing. Mary is interested in processes of establishing sacred authority and maintaining if not conjuring the presence of the Buddha in medieval East Asian contexts. Her M.A. thesis addressed the status of relics and sacred images for the Buddhist pilgrim monks Faxian and Xuanzang through an exploration of their travel records. Professors Berger and Levine, now her advisors, generously guided her through this project.

    • Josephine Lopez

    • Bio

      Josie Lopez (2009) is currently conducting research and writing her dissertation in New Mexico with the support of the SMU Eleanor Tufts Fellowship. Her dissertation examines nineteenth-century political satire and caricature in the prints of Mexican lithographer Constantino Escalante.

    • William Ma

    • Bio

      William H. Ma (2008) is writing a dissertation on the art and craft workshops at the French Jesuit Orphanage Tushanwan in Shanghai in the early twentieth century. His main areas of interest include the artistic exchange between China and the West (Europe and America) during the late-imperial period, regionalism in Chinese art, and Chinese export art in Guangzhou (Canton).

    • Daniel Marcus

    • Bio

      Daniel Marcus is currenlty working at Oberlin College and previously was a visiting scholar in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania at the invitation of Professor Kaja Silverman. He is working on a dissertation titled The Banality of Speed: Automotive Modernity in Interwar France, which investigates artistic responses to the vulgarization of the automobile. Alongside his dissertation work, he has written regularly on contemporary art and politics, contributing a catalogue essay to the Boston ICA’s upcoming survey of artist Amy Sillman, a reply to October’s questionnaire on Occupy Wall Street (with Jaleh Mansoor and Daniel Spaulding), and numerous exhibition reviews to Artforum and Art in America. For the coming year, he has accepted a position as Teaching Fellow in the Histories of Art, Media, and Design at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

    • Laure Marest-Caffey

    • Bio

      Laure Marest-Caffey (2010) specializes in ancient Greek art with a particular interest in engraved gems. Her dissertation "What's in a Face? Rethinking the Greek Portrait through Hellenistic Glyptic" is directed by Andrew Stewart. She studied History and Art History at the Sorbonne, Paris (B.A.), and at California State University, Northridge (M.A.), and served as Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

       

       

    • Micki McCoy

    • Bio

      Micki McCoy is writing a dissertation on astrology and astronomy in Chinese and Inner Asian art during the Liao-Yuan period. Her interests include the relationship between premodern art and science, trans-regional cultural transfer, Buddhist and Daoist art, and the Tangut Xixia empire.

    • Elizabeth McFadden

    • Bio

      Elizabeth McFadden is a Ph.D. candidate studying the history of fashion and dress. She was awarded the Mellon Curatorial Internship for this academic year and looks forward to working closely with a strong museum collection of dress. Her dissertation, titled "Merchant in Furs: Art, Commerce, and Animal Skins in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England and Holland", explores the iconographic tradition and cultural history of fur in early modern Europe. She has presented papers on the materiality of fur at the Rubenianum and in the UK, and has published articles on Jan Brueghel's The Allegory of Taste and Sofia Coppola's film "Marie Antoinette". She earned her BA at Hood College and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

    • Kappy Mintie

    • Bio

      Katherine "Kappy" Mintie is a doctoral candidate in the History of Art Department at UC Berkeley advised by Margaretta Lovell. She earned her B.A in Art History from Vassar College in 2009 and began her graduate work at Berkeley in 2011. She is currently working on a dissertation titled Legal Lenses: Intellectual Property Law and American Photography, 1839-1890 that examines debates among nineteenth-century American photographers over patent and copyright practices.

    • Veronica Munoz-Najar

    • Bio

       Verónica Muñoz-Nájar (2015) studies colonial Latin American art with a focus on the visual and material culture of the Viceroyalty of Peru in the eighteenth century. She holds a B.A. in History of Art from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and an M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Verónica is interested in the relationship between art, empire, and transculturation. Her work explores the establishment of regional art schools in Peru’s central highlands, a transitional area between the major schools of Lima and Cusco. Under the guidance of professors Lisa Trever and Todd Olson, Verónica's research addresses the art that resulted from the collision of Lima’s European Enlightenment ideals and Cusco’s nostalgia for the Inca period, during the decades of social rebellion that set the stage for independence.

    • Oliver O'Donnell

    • Bio

      Oliver O'Donnell studies modern art and intellectual history with a special emphasis on the historiography and philosophy of art history. His dissertation, titled "Art Histories of Consequence: Pragmatism and Art Historical Method from Formalism to Semiotics", investigates intersections between paradigms of art historical research and Pragmatist philosophy from the 1890s to the 1970s.

       

    • Stephanie Pearson

    • Bio

      Stephanie Pearson (2007) studies ancient Roman art, with a focus on wall painting. Her research concerns cross-cultural interactions, concepts of luxury and exoticism, and artistic technique. Museums are another key theme in her work. Stephanie has excavated with the Via Consolare Project in Pompeii and worked in the Berlin Antikensammlung.

    • Kailani Polzak

    • Bio

      Kailani Polzak (2008) is a Ph.D. candidate working on British, French, and Russian voyages to the Pacific and the picturing of human difference in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She spent the past year in New Zealand, France, and Germany with the support of the History of Art Department as well as fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the Georges Lurcy foundation.  Kailani will finish her tenure as an International Dissertation Research Fellow with the SSRC this fall, dividing the semester between research sites in the United Kingdom and Australia. She is very excited to return to Berkeley in the spring to begin writing and resume teaching.

    • Yessica Liliana Porras

    • Bio

      Yessica Porras (2015) is a first-year PhD student focusing on Colonial Latin American art. After years away from her native country of Colombia, she developed an interest in art history as a way of learning more about her culture and expanding the knowledge of this understudied area. She is looking forward to beginning her work under the guidance of Todd Olson and Lisa Trever. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014. Here she developed an interest in the intersection between colonial and indigenous cultures,
      represented in in her Honors Thesis Church of St. John the Baptist at Sutatausa: Indoctrination and Resistance.
       

    • Laura Richard

    • Bio

      Laura's (2008) field is Modern and Contemporary Art with a Designated Emphasis in Film. This past spring she taught a course on installation art, and last summer her article, "Anthony McCall: The Long Shadow of Ambient Light" appeared in the Oxford Art Journal. She was the volume editor of State of Mind: New California circa 1970 (UC Press, 2011) and, since 2009, has been the co-coordinator of the Townsend Working Group in Contemporary Art at UC Berkeley, whose mission is to foster interdisciplinary and inter-institutional conversations. She is currently writing her dissertation on the early film and room works of Maria Nordman, a portion of which she presented at the UCSD Visual Arts Graduate Student Conference in March. When she is not in the library or with her three daughters, Laura enjoys trail running, cooking, and playing co-ed soccer.

    • Sasha Rossman

    • Bio

      Sasha grew up in Berkeley and Switzerland. He left the Bay Area in the late 90s to study art history and art practice on the East Coast and in Germany, where he worked in contemporary art for many years and also studied at Berlin's Freie and Humboldt Universities. He then returned to Berkeley to study art, architecture, film, philosophy, critical theory and literary theory across numerous departments- focusing on constructions of space, temporality and history across media.

    • Miriam Said

    • Bio

      Miriam Said (2011) earned her B.A. in art history from Syracuse University in 2009, and focuses on art of the ancient near east and the early Greek period. Her research interests include art of the first millennium with a focus on near eastern cultural cross-roads and interaction with the Eastern Mediterranean world; ritual and religion, and the representation and function of hybrid beings in art. She is also particularly interested in issues of cultural heritage and repatriation, which she hopes to explore in more depth in the coming years. Miriam most recently hails from New York where she spent the last two years working at both The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art.

    • Sandra Sarjono

    • Bio

      Sandra Sardjono (2009) studies the art and visual culture of Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Indonesia. She is currently writing a dissertation on the depictions of textiles in Java from the Hindu-Buddhist period, 8th-15th century. She spent the last couple of years conducting research in the Netherlands as Visiting Scholar in the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University. She earned her B.A. from Bowdoin College in Maine and an M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She served as Textile Conservator at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York and as Assistant Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

      Co-advisors: Joanna Williams and Marijke Klokke (Leiden University)

       

    • Andrew Sears

    • Bio

      Andrew Sears (2012) studies medieval art and architecture with Beate Fricke. He received his B.A. in Art History from Emory University. His research focuses on relics, reliquaries, and saints' cults, with a particular emphasis on Northern Europe and the Hanseatic League.

    • Emma Silverman

    • Bio

      Emma Silverman is a PhD candidate specializing in Modern and Contemporary American art, with a designated emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality. Emma is writing her dissertation on the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. More broadly, her research is concerned with collaborative art practices, queer aesthetics, and the politics of folk and outsider art. Emma earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2006 and graduated with an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012.

    • Jon Soriano

    • Bio

      Jon Soriano (2012) studies the arts of East and Central Asia, with a particular interest in Buddhist concepts of space and script during the Qing Dynasty. Jon has an MA in Asian studies from CSULB and an MA in ethnology from Cheng-Chi University, and has worked as a researcher at the National Palace Museum in Taipei and as a Chinese-to-English translator. Jon is currently the recipient of a Eugene Cota-Robles fellowship. A recent work appears in the journal Room 1000.

    • Jessica Stair

    • Bio

      Jessica is a PhD candidate focusing on the art of Colonial Latin America with a designated emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. She is co-advised by Todd Olson and Lisa Trever. Jessica is currently conducting research on her dissertation, Textual-Pictorial Literacies in the Techialoyan Manuscripts of New Spain, which examines the relationship between text and image in a corpus of seventeenth-century indigenous manuscripts from Central Mexico. She is particularly interested in the ways in which images played a crucial role in the formation of autochthonous history and identity at a time when alphabetic script had almost completely supplanted the picture in indigenous records. Jessica also serves as a co-organizer for the Townsend Center for the Humanities Working Group: Latin American Art and Literature Working Group. 

       

       

    • Jessica Stevenson-Stewart

    • Bio

      Jessica is a PhD candidate specializing in early sixteenth-century Netherlandish art and cultural exchange. Supervised by Professors Elizabeth Honig, Todd Olson, and Darcy Grigsby, her dissertation, Rules of Engagement: Art, Commerce, and Diplomacy in Golden-Age Antwerp, studies the art collections of three foreign merchants in Antwerp and their proximity to specific knowledge communities. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Belgian American Educational Foundation, and the Kress Foundation to support her research abroad. Having flirted in her youth with the idea of going to film school, Jessica also considers herself to be a bit of a film buff. She has a penchant for post-Neo-realist Italian cinema, the French New Wave, New German Cinema, and just about anything directed by Bergman, Fellini, Resnais, and Fassbinder. Prospective students and other friends of the department should feel free to contact Jessica by e-mail.

    • Shivani Sud

    • Bio

      Shivani Sud (2013) studies the art and visual cultures of South Asia, with a particular focus on the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She received a B.A. in Art History from UCLA in 2012. Broadly, her areas of interest include colonial studies and postcolonial criticism, object and collecting histories, and Indian cinema. Shivani is currently working on her qualifying paper on colonial epidemiological photography.

    • Elaine Yau

    • Bio

      Elaine Y. Yau (2007) is currently completing her dissertation entitled, "Acts of Conversion: Sister Gertrude Morgan and the Sensation of Black Folk Art, 1960-1983." Additional research interests include African American art criticism, sensory cultures of religion, and theories of the vernacular. She also serves as an editor for Cultural Analysis, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to investigating popular and expressive culture.

    • Antonia Young

    • Bio

      Antonia Young (2009) specializes in ancient Roman art, with an emphasis on Roman painting. She received her B.A. in Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College and her M.A. in Classics from U.C. Berkeley. As an art historian originally trained as a Classical philologist, her work explores the intersection of ancient Roman art, architecture, and literature. For example, her dissertation, “‘Green Architecture’: The Interplay of Art and Nature in Roman Houses and Villas” (supervised by Professor Christopher Hallett), examines the convergence of art and nature in Roman wall painting and garden design in five domestic—and historically significant—sites in Italy. Her analysis tacks between close readings of these sites and contemporary Latin literature in order to situate what is at work and at stake in Roman gardens—artistically, culturally, and historically—at the level of both “text” and “context”. Her other research interests include Etruscan art and archaeology and the reception of Classical culture (especially the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum).

    • Patricia Yu

    • Bio

      Patricia (2011) is gearing up for her third year by studying intensive French this summer in order to read the writings of French Jesuits serving in the court of the Qianlong Emperor. This past year she served as a GSI for the first time, teaching the Art and Architecture of Japan. She spent the first two weeks of 2013 in Taiwan attending Academia Sinica’s Winter Institute, where she observed folk religion practices. She also experienced her first snowfall in England while on the Tudor/Neo-Tudor Country Houses travel seminar. She is excited to lead tours of BAM’s fall exhibition, Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting.