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), 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 (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.

    • 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.

    • 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 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.

       



       

    • Samantha Henneberry

    • Bio

      This past year, Samantha Henneberry (2008) completed museum study and fieldwork in Greece for her dissertation on Lakonian warrior-hoplite iconography and the role of diverse craft traditions in shaping warrior identity and social memory. While the Jacob Hirsch Fellow at the American School in Athens, she researched in various collections, including the National Archaeological and Acropolis Museums in Athens, Sparta Archaeological Museum, and Altes Museum in Berlin, and traveled throughout the archaic landscapes of the southern Peloponnese (by tiny Peugeot!). This year, with funding from the Frank E. Ratliff Fellowship, Sam will focus on research and writing in Berkeley.

    • 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 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 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 2015 he will give papers at the Renaissance Society of America annual conference, “Books and Print between Cultures, 1400-1800” at Amherst College, and invited presentations at the Institut für Kunstgeschichte (Bern, Switzerland) and the Rubenianum (Antwerp, Belgium). He is the co-author with Barbara Mundy of “Painting in New Spain, 1521-1820” (Oxford Bibliographies Online, 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.

    • 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

      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) 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.

    • 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

      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.

    • 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.

    • 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.