UC Berkeley History of Art Department

People / Graduate Students

Current Students

    • Mont Allen

    • Bio

      Mont Allen studies the art of ancient Greece and Rome, with the latter exerting the stronger pull on his heartstrings. Particular passions include mythological imagery in funerary art (especially Greek myths as they were carved on Roman sarcophagi) and ancient attitudes towards artistic facture and technique (notably as they bear on questions of iconography).  He is often spotted bicycling up and down the Berkeley Hills, his preferred local habitat. He is also something of a Teutonophile and confesses, rather sheepishly, to having occasionally taught the stylistic dating of Greek monuments through analogy with German synthesizer music.  2012-2013 will see him in Berlin for the year, pursuing dissertation research at the German Archaeological Institute, thanks to generous fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service and the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation.

    • William Coleman

    • Bio

      Will Coleman (2009) is a Smithsonian Fellow for 2013-14 working on a dissertation on Thomas Cole's architectural thought. His research interests include landscape, country houses, Sibelius, Rubens, heraldry, and Quakerism. He earned a BA from Haverford College in 2007, an MA from the Courtauld Institute in 2008, both in History of Art, and an MSt in Musicology from New College, Oxford in 2009. He spends his free time telemark skiing and eagerly anticipating the day when some deep-buried shred of musical ability finally reveals itself.

    • Alexandra Courtois de Vicose

    • Bio

      Alexandra Courtois (2009), a fourth-year Jacob K. Javits Fellow, is looking forward to the upcoming academic year after becoming ABD this past June. Heading up to teaching as a GSI for Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby in the Spring of 2014, she will be starting her dissertation research on Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec this fall, paying a preliminary visit to the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, France where an invaluable collection of 2600 publications
(books, exhibition catalogues, sales catalogues and art reviews) on the artist are housed.      

    • Sarah Cowan

    • Bio

      Sarah Cowan studies modern and contemporary art with a focus on conceptual spatializations of political relationships. She entered the PhD program in the fall of 2012, and has focused seminar papers on diverse topics like work by Argentinian artist Amalia Pica, the YouTube series Art Thoughtz, and the Topography of Terror exhibition in Berlin. She enjoyed visiting Spiral Jetty with the graduate seminar Art & Labor, serving as a member of the Townsend Working Group in Contemporary Art and leading tours of the exhibition Silence, at the Berkeley Art Museum this year. This summer she learned Spanish at the Middlebury Language School in Vermont, as preparation for further engaging Latin American art. She is thrilled to be GSIing this year.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Jessica Flores

    • Bio

      Jessica “Jez” Flores will study contemporary art, specifically as it relates to third-wave feminism and gender studies. She earned her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia and her MA in Art History from the University of Cincinnati. Immediately following her MA she began working in the curatorial department at the Cincinnati Art Museum and was appointed Associate Curator of Contemporary Art in 2008. In her free-time she practices yoga and plays bass guitar.

    • 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.

    • Aglaya Glebova

    • Bio

      Aglaya K. Glebova (2007) is writing her dissertation on propaganda photographs and films of Soviet forced labor camps from the late 1920s and early 1930s.  Along with Michelle Wang, Aglaya was a Townsend Dissertation Fellow in 2012-2013. This summer, thanks to generous funding from the History of Art Department, she visited the sites of the earliest Gulags, including the Solovki islands and the White Sea-Baltic Canal, and conducted archival research in the Republic of Karelia. As a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow, Aglaya plans to file her dissertation in May 2014.

    • Diana Greenwold

    • Bio

      Diana is spending the summer in New York and Boston conducting research for her dissertation through grants from the history of art department and Harvard's Schlesinger Library. In July, she will be participating in the National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute in American material culture at the Bard Graduate Center. In the fall, Diana will begin a year-long pre-doctoral fellowship 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 joined the History of Art program at Berkeley in Fall 2011. She works on early modern Italian art with a specific focus on religious objects in Counter-Reformation Rome. Grace's interests in late sixteenth-century sacred art also extend beyond the Italian peninsula, which most recently led to a project looking at the role of blackness--in all senses of the word--in the early Spanish missions. She is currently developing a dissertation topic with her advisor, Todd Olson.
       

    • Samantha Henneberry

    • Bio

      This past fall, Samantha Henneberry (2008) began work on her dissertation, which examines the iconography and place of the warrior-hoplite in Lakonian cult contexts and the role of diverse material and technological craft traditions in shaping warrior identity and social memory. In March, she received the American School of Classical Studies at Athens’ Jacob Hirsch Fellowship, which will fund nine months of museum and on-site research in Greece during the upcoming academic year. During her very busy summer, Sam will teach an R1B course on Battle Imagery and the Body in Ancient Art; get married!, pursue dissertation research at Berkeley with support from a Graduate Division Summer Grant, and hopefully find some time to bake and get outdoors.

    • Aaron Hyman

    • Bio

      Aaron Hyman is at work on a dissertation entitled Rubens in a New World: Prints, Authorship and the Slavish Copy, which explores the transmission of printed compositions after the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens to Latin America in order to reassess modalities of authorship and notions of intertextuality in the early modern world. He will spend the 2014-15 academic year and summer in residence at the Rubenianum in Antwerp, Belgium with the support of a Belgian American Educational Foundation fellowship (Fulbright awarded, declined). In 2014 he will give papers at the College Art Association annual conference and at the conference “Fürst und Fürstin als Künstler” in Wolfenbüttel, an invited lecture at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and will chair a panel at the meeting of the Latin American Studies Association. He is the co-author (with Barbara Mundy) of “Painting in New Spain, 1521-1820” (Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2013) and has a forthcoming article "Brushes, Burins and Flesh: The Graphic Art of Karel van Mander’s Haarlem Academy" (Corpus Fictum, Christiane Hille ed., Diogenes Verlag).

    • 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 finishing up his fifth year in the Ph.D. program.  His area of interest mainly focuses on the artistic exchange between China and the West (Europe and America) during the late-imperial period. This semester he is conducting dissertation research on the art and craft workshops at the Tushanwan Catholic Orphanage in Shanghai.  Currently he is a Visiting Scholar at Fudan University in the same city, and he will be speaking at the National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies there.  In June, he will be sharing his preliminary findings at the International Symposium of Culture, History, and Future Development at Tushanwan.  He is the winner of the first Mellon Curatorial Internship, and will be conducting research and working at the Peabody Essex Museum at Salem, MA, when he returns to the United States. 

    • Daniel Marcus

    • Bio

      This past year, Daniel Marcus has been 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) is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in ancient Greek art with a particular interest in engraved gems. She is currently researching her dissertation "What's in a Face? Rethinking the Greek Portrait through Hellenistic Glyptic" with a Mellon Curatorial Internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
      Before being dazzled by these works of art in miniature, she studied History and Art History at the Sorbonne, Paris (B.A.), and at California State University, Northridge (M.A.), and worked as Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. She has also served as Trench Supervisor and Manager of the Finds Department during the 2011 and 2013 seasons of the Butrint Archeological Research Project, Albania. When she is not looking at bling or dirt, Laure enjoys exploring the American West, cooking and tasting food from all over the world--with a special weakness for cheese, Frenchness oblige!
    • Micki McCoy

    • Bio

      Last year, Micki McCoy (2009) continued her dissertation research on the stars and the sky in tenth- to fourteenth-century Chinese and Inner Asian art. She spent the fall in Cambridge, MA, and returned to Berkeley in the spring to serve as GSI for Patricia Berger's "Art and Architecture of Early China" course. With support from the Fulbright Program and Social Sciences Research Council, Micki will spend the fall of 2013 in Beijing and move to Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, in early 2014. She will round off this research year abroad with trips to Western Europe and St. Petersburg.

    • Elizabeth McFadden

    • Bio

      Elizabeth McFadden is a Ph.D. student in the History of Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on early modern fashion and dress. She is currently researching the iconographic tradition and cultural history of fur in sixteenth and seventeenth-century London, Amsterdam, and Venice. In May 2014 she will present a paper at the Rubenianum on the materiality of fur in the paintings of Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens at the symposium, "(Un)dressing Rubens. Fashion and Painting in 17th-century Antwerp". Her paper "Food, Alchemy, and Transformation in Jan Brueghel's The Allegory of Taste" will be published in Volume 30 of Rutgers Art Review. She earned her BA at Hood College and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

    • Cristin McKnight Sethi

    • Bio

      Cristin McKnight Sethi (2008) focuses on South Asian art of the early modern to contemporary periods. Her interests include photography, textiles, global histories of collecting and exhibiting South Asian objects, art made during the British Raj, and the politics and art historical predicament of craft. Cristin was awarded an M.A. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Art and Visual Culture from Bates College. She has lived in India while researching kalamkari textiles as a Fulbright Fellow, and while studying Hindi as a FLAS Fellow. She is currently researching and writing her dissertation on phulkari embroidery from Punjab under the guidance of Professor Joanna Williams.

    • Kappy Mintie

    • Bio

      During the 2012-13 year, Kappy took up her first GSI position for Professor Lovell's course on art, architecture, and design in the United States. She had a great time working with Berkeley undergraduates and felt honored to receive an Outstanding GSI award. Kappy has continued to develop an interest in nineteenth-century American photography and will be writing her Master's thesis on a series of photo-lithographs. In July, she will travel to the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA and then to upstate New York to complete her research for this project. Next year she will look forward to teaching once again and to the challenge of writing her dissertation prospectus.

    • 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.

    • Oliver O'Donnell

    • Bio

      Oliver O'Donnell is writing a dissertation on the intellectual history of art history in the United States. His research focuses on intersections between art history, aesthetics, and art practice from the 18th century to the present. Last year he was the GSI for the theories and methods course for art history majors (HA100) and this year he is looking forward to taking his exams, teaching again, and visiting archives on the east coast

    • Stephanie Pearson

    • Bio

      Stephanie Pearson (2007) currently lives in Berlin with her husband and colleague Mont Allen. Her dissertation research continues with the support and library of the German Archaeological Institute, along with the resources of the many other archaeological institutions in the city — whose dizzying schedule of lectures and exhibitions ensure never a dull moment! From across the pond, Stephanie was also thrilled to receive the Outstanding GSI Award for teaching Late Antique Art (Spring 2012) with Diliana Angelova.

    • Kailani Polzak

    • Bio

      Kailani Polzak (2008) has enjoyed an exciting year since becoming ABD! She traveled to Paris last summer with Alexandra Courtois to assist Darcy Grigsby with her research in preparation for an upcoming exhibition at the Louvre on Africans in French painting. She was honored to serve as the graduate student representative on the Department’s search committee for an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and is grateful to her fellow graduate students for helping to make the process an enjoyable one. This spring, Kailani presented a portion of her qualifying paper on Goya’s Second of May 1808 at the University of British Columbia Art History Graduate Symposium Eyes on Protest. She also taught as a GSI for Darcy Grigsby’s Art and Revolution in France 1789-1851 where she gave a guest lecture from her dissertation on European voyages in the Pacific and theorizations of human difference. Kailani will spend the next year conducting research for her dissertation in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany supported by a summer grant and a Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the SSRC.
       

    • 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.

    • Jenny Sakai

    • Bio

      Jenny Sakai is completing her dissertation, entitled Undoing Architecture: Temporalities of Painted Space in Early Modern Amsterdam. She received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. from Columbia (Art History and Archaeology), and is the recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship and the two-year Kress Institutional Fellowship in European Art.  Jenny's field of study is early modern Northern art, and her advisors are Elizabeth Honig, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, and Todd Olson.  Her research interests include early modern urbanism, decay, iconoclasm, reception and the uses of art, the status of representation, materiality, and the relationship between power and painting.

    • Andrew Sears

    • Bio

      Andrew Sears (2012) is studying Western medieval art with Dr. Beate Fricke. In his first year of coursework he took up Latin. He also participated in the Stronach Travel Seminar on Tudor and Neo-Tudor houses, became fascinated by late medieval private house chapels, and hopes to work more on intersections of devotion and domesticity. This summer he spent learning German as a Kress Fellow at Middlebury College.

    • Emma Silverman

    • Bio

      Emma (2012) studies the interrelationships between politics, ethics and aesthetics in modern and contemporary art. She is particularly interested in labor practices and queer and feminist politics through a focus on art made in domestic spaces. Emma earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2006 and graduated with an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. Her academic work is fed by her artistic pursuits, including puppetry and interpretive dance.

    • Jessica Stair

    • Bio

      Jessica’s third year in the graduate program was filled with important milestones including passing her qualifying paper, The Scent of Perfection: Sensory Stimulation in Monjas Muertas, which she revised and presented at the Renaissance Society of America Conference in San Diego in April.  Jessica served as co-organizer of the Townsend Working Group for Latin American Art and Literature, which brought two distinguished guests to campus, Barbara Mundy and Magali Carrera. Jessica is working on her dissertation prospectus on the visuality of legal documents in colonial Mexico.
       

    • Jessica Stewart-Stevenson

    • 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 earned her B.A. in Art History from UC Los Angeles and will be starting the PhD program at Berkeley in fall of 2013. Her own experience with cultural dichotomy has led her to question artistic production and cultural identity in immigrant and diasporic communities. In particular, she is interested in exploring the consequences of migration on art produced by artists from South Asia for an interdisciplinary inquiry into difference and belonging. She hopes that her engagement with transnational and local cultural worlds will generate new understandings of nationalism, multiculturalism, and globalization. Shivani enjoys eating and spending time with her twin. However, in her free time, she is most likely to be found lounging in sweats at her apartment and watching Bollywood films.
       

    • Yasmine Van Pee

    • Bio

      After an extended research stay in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yasmine Chtchourova-Van Pee returned to Berkeley in Fall 2012 to teach an R1B course titled “The Artist as Ethnographer.”  Yasmine is working on her dissertation,La colonisation pittoresque: Crafting Heritage in Interwar Belgium and Belgian Congo, 1920-1940, which she aims to file in spring 2014. Her family has grown with two cats, one tortoise, one opossum, and one dog.

    • Elaine Yau

    • Bio

      Elaine Yau (2007) is currently conducting dissertation research that investigates Sister Gertrude Morgan's painting and performance alongside the racial and cultural politics of twentieth-century folk art during the 1960s-1980s. She also serves as an editor for Cultural Analysis, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to investigating expressive and everyday culture. Other research interests include theories of the vernacular and traditionality, visual anthropology, American genre painting, and the sensory cultures of religion. She is advised by Professor Lovell and supported by the Wyeth Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. When not working, Elaine is usually on the search for the best fruit pies in her research locales.

    • 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.