Current PhD Students
Last updated on July 8, 2015.
Boyd, Rachel E.W.
Campbell, Thomas Ian
Conrad, Jessamyn Abigail Schafer
Cook, Emily Margaret
de Lacaze, Michaela
Di Croce, Alessandra
Foner, Daria Rose
Fowler, Michael Anthony
Lima, Alvaro Luis
Llorens, Natasha Marie
Marshall, Janina (Piper)
Ryan, Tina Rivers
Shah, Siddhartha V.
Tsai, Chun-Yi (Joyce)
Vazquez, Andrea Fabiola
van Oppen, Brian
von Preussen, Brigid
Yee Litt, Kori Lisa
Zarrillo, Taryn Marie
Japanese art; Momoyama-Edo period painting; narrative painting; Buddhist art
Talia’s research focuses on Japanese painting and the socio-historical context in which it was created. Her dissertation, entitled “Mapping Sacred Spaces: Representations of Pleasure and Worship in sankei mandara” explores the social, economic and political circumstances behind the appearance of sankei mandara (pilgrimage mandalas) in late-medieval Japan and the origins of the new artistic language in which they were expressed. She shows these paintings are visual documents that give a rare and unusually detailed view of patterns of popular culture and worship, laying particular emphasis on context of use, patronage and on the modes of encountering sankei mandara in social gatherings in which the image functioned as a prompt and visual aid for the performer standing beside it. Furthermore, by focusing on the differences between the mandara dedicated to a particular sacred site, she argues that the paintings shed unique light on the social and political circumstances at the represented site, subtly illustrating the tensions between religious groups and classes.Talia spent 2014-2015 in Tokyo as a Fulbright fellow, conducting dissertation research at Gakushuin Univeristy. She received her B.A. in Art History from Rutgers University, and her M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia University.
Nineteenth-Century American Art, World's Fairs
Heidi Applegate received a B.A. in Russian from Haverford College (1993), and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Maryland (2001). She was the curatorial assistant for American and British Paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC before beginning the Ph.D. program at Columbia in 2002. Her dissertation considers the ways in which the installation and interpretive practices of the fine arts exhibition at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition attempted to make modern art accessible to a mass audience. Funding for her research has included a CASVA Predoctoral Fellowship for Travel Abroad for Historians of American Art, a Wyeth Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art.
Art, Architecture and Gift-Exchange in Ancient Greece
Bailey Barnard is a second year PhD student focusing on the art and architecture of gift-exchange in ancient Greece. She completed her MA in art history from the University of Nebraska in 2011. Her MA thesis examined pre-existing systems of reciprocal gift-exchange influential to the development of Hellenistic euergetism. During her coursework at the University of Nebraska she won the Howard Award for Scholarly Writing in Art History for her paper entitled, “Revival Styles in the Crescent City: Local Peculiarities and National Trends.” Bailey attended the American School of Classical Studies summer session and taught art history courses as an adjunct until entering the PhD program in 2014. She has excavated with the University of Nebraska’s Antiochia ad Cragum Research Project and Field School and with Prof. Mylonopoulos’s team at the sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos.
Japanese Art; Edo period painting
Jens is a sixth-year PhD student in Japanese art history. He received his M.A. in East Asian Art History and Japanese Studies from the University of Heidelberg; his master's thesis centered on folding screen paintings by the Edo period painter Maruyama Ōkyo. His dissertation will investigate large-scale interior paintings on sliding doors and wall panels by the same artist, commissioned by Buddhist temples in and around Kyoto during the latter half of the 18th century. His broader interests include the critical perception of pre-modern, particularly Edo period art during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
American art; African American art/art of the African diaspora; Nineteenth-century European art
Caitlin studies American and European art and visual culture of the long nineteenth century, with a focus on issues of race and representation. Her dissertation investigates the relationships between the visual and material economies of nineteenth-century figurative sculpture, and the systems of commodification formed through Atlantic and American slavery. Caitlin's research has been supported by fellowships from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Cathedral Fund at the Royal Academy, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her writing has appeared in Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and in exhibition catalogues on American painting. She holds an A.B. in Art History and History from Bowdoin College.
South Asian Art and Architecture
Marta Becherini studied Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Venice, receiving her B.A. in Hindi from Ca' Foscari University in 2005. Prior to beginning her graduate studies at Columbia University, she spent two years working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, first as an intern and then as research assistant in the Department of Asian Art. In 2008 she received her M.A. degree from Columbia University with a paper focusing on the cross-cultural dimension of the murals decorating a medieval Buddhist monastic complex in Ladakh. Her research interests include the issue of patronage in North Indian painting, particularly with regard to sub-imperial Mughal painting, the relationship between early Indo-Islamic architecture and the architectural traditions of Iran and Central Asia, and cultural and artistic exchanges between Europe and South Asia in early modern times.
Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century French Painting, Nineteenth-Century European Art, Dance, Gesture, Embodiment
Emily received her BA, MA, and MPhil in art history from Columbia. Her dissertation, Poussin and the Dance: Body and Language in Seventeenth-Century France, explores the relationship between Classical French painting and court ballet. She has published essays on Luc-Olivier Merson (in L'Étrange Monsieur Merson, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, 2008), Jean-Léon Gérôme (in Reconsidering Gérôme, Getty Publications, 2010), and Louis-Léopold Boilly (in Louis-Léopold Boilly, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lilles, 2011) and has contributed entries on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French works to a forthcoming catalogue of paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum.
South Asian Art and Architecture
Gale received her B.A. (Magna cum Laude with Highest Honors in Art History) from Middlebury College. Since joining Columbia's doctoral program in 2011, Gale has received her M.A. and M.Phil. degrees in South Asian art while also studying Chinese painting, Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. She is currently working on a dissertation that examines 18th and 19th century wall paintings in select temples and palaces of the Kangra Valley (Himachal Pradesh, northern India). The dissertation broadly explores artistic and political interactions between late Mughal, Hindu, and Sikh courts in the Punjab and lower Himalayan regions, with analysis of the transition from the lauded Kangra tradition of painting on paper and its associated religious literature to a similar yet unstudied modality of wall painting in both sacred and courtly contexts. Gale's professional experience includes work for Sotheby's Indian and Southeast Asian Art Department, Johns Hopkins University' East Asian Studies Program, Middlebury College Museum of Art, management of a contemporary art gallery in Mumbai, and teaching art history at the undergraduate level.
Margot Bernstein began the doctoral program at Columbia University in the fall of 2012. She is interested in eighteenth-century French art and visual culture. She received her B.A. in art history and history from Williams College in 2010 and her M.A. in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2012. Margot spent the 2010-2011 academic year teaching English for the French Ministry of Education in Paris. She has held curatorial internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library & Museum. She has also worked as an archival intern at the Calder Foundation and as an education department intern and docent at the Williams College Museum of Art.
Nineteenth-century French and European Art
Susannah is a third-year PhD student concentrating in nineteenth-century French and European art and visual culture. She holds a master’s degree in the History of Art from Williams College and graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College in 2008. Before coming to Columbia, Susannah worked in curatorial departments at the Clark Art Institute and at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Nineteenth-century visual culture; art and technology; law and the image; histories of paperwork and bureaucracy
Emerson is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Frick Collection, New York. There he will complete his dissertation, "Numismatic Modernity: Economies of Representation in France, 1800-1840," which pursues the pre-history of our current financial "crisis." It considers the production and consumption of medals, monuments, and monetary objects in a period driven by—seemingly antagonistic—experiences of heightened historical consciousness, on the one hand, and the future-oriented abstractions of speculative finance, on the other.
Recent publications include "Monographic Impressions," in Reconsidering Gérôme (Scott Allan and Mary Morton, eds., Getty Publications, 2010), and a review of Victor Stoichita's The Pygmalion Effect: From Ovid to Hitchcock (Visual Resources 26:2 ). Emerson is also the editor of a forthcoming special issue of Grey Room, focused on nineteenth-century technologies of reproduction. He holds a B.A. and a law degree from the University of Sydney, Australia.
Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture; 18th- and 19th-Century Italian Architecture and Landscape
Rachel studies Italian Renaissance art and architecture. In spring 2013, she was an exchange student at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. Rachel earned her M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge in 2010, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. At Cambridge, she wrote her dissertation on a nineteenth-century Roman villa, and her studies focused on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Italian and British architecture and landscape architecture; she maintains an active interest in this field. Rachel earned her B.A. from Yale University in 2009, where she double-majored in the history of art and Italian. She has held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Robert Lehman Collection), the Yale University Art Gallery and the Frick Collection, and most recently worked at a boutique litigation firm in New York City.
Thomas Ian Campbell
Thomas Ian Campbell studies modern and contemporary art, with a focus on post-WWII art in Europe and America. He received his B.A. in Art History and Comparative Literature from Binghamton University in 2008. His research interests include the history of technology, print and media distribution, and sound. He is currently at work on his dissertation, which analyzes three audiocassette 'magazines'—Audio Arts, Tellus, and New Wilderness Audiographics—and their relationship to alternative spaces and post-conceptual art practices.
Raymond specializes in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. He received his B.A. (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Yale University in 2011 with a double major in Art History and Italian. As a recipient of the Paul Mellon Fellowship, Raymond completed two consecutive M.Phil.s at the University of Cambridge in Italian and Art History. His first M.Phil. dissertation examined the promotion of Michelangelo's poetry within the Accademia Fiorentina. His second M.Phil dissertation considered the role of art in academic banquets in 17th-century Italy. Raymond has had professional experiences at the Frick Collection, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Rome bureau of the Associated Press.
Emogene S. Cataldo
Medieval Art & Architecture; Digital Humanities
Emogene studies late medieval art, architecture, and urban identity. She received her B.A. (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) with Distinction in Studio Art in 2010 from Carleton College, where she was also a recipient of the Larson International Fellowship. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program in 2014, Emogene collaborated with several museums through her work in interactive design and art education, including the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Krannert Art Museum, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
Modern and Contemporary Art
Colby Chamberlain's research investigates intersections of art, law, and administration. The recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, a Helena Rubinstein Fellowship at the Whitney Independent Study Program, and the 2011 College Art Association Art Journal Award, he is currently completing his dissertation, “George Maciunas and the Art of Paperwork.” He is a senior editor for the online magazine Triple Canopy and a contributor to publications including Art in America, Artforum, Cabinet, and Parkett.
African, African diasporic, European modern and contemporary art, photography
Sandrine Colard is a 3rd-year PhD student. She studies African, African diasporic and European modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on photography.
She received a First Prize Diploma of Violin from the Royal Conservatory of Belgium (2000), a B.A. in English and Spanish Literatures from the Free University of Brussels (2005), and an M.A. in Africana Studies from NYU (2007). Her interests are visual culture, film, colonialism and post-colonialism in the arts.
Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French Art; Japanese Art; the History of Collecting
Sonia received her BA in Art History with a Secondary Field in Studio Art from Harvard University (Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). She worked as a student docent for the Harvard Art Museums and as a curatorial intern in the Department of Paintings at the Louvre Museum. Since joining the PhD program at Columbia, Sonia received MA and MPhil degrees, traveled to Paris for research on an Alliance Program Doctoral Mobility Grant, and wrote reviews of contemporary art. Her dissertation explores how the reinvention of French ceramics under the influence of Japanese art contributed to the emergence of modernism. Sonia is an avid reader and writer of Japanese verse. Her poetry has been awarded and published internationally. She is fluent in Italian, Romanian, French, and Japanese.
Jessamyn Abigail Schafer Conrad
Jessamyn received her BA in Art History and Social Anthropology from Harvard, and her MPhil in Historical Studies from Cambridge University. Her undergraduate thesis analyzed the spatial systems of the three Muslim Harams and her Cambridge thesis was the first comprehensive study of the collection of Islamic art currently held in the Bargello Museum in Florence. Her dissertation focuses on five trecento altarpieces made for the Cathedral in Siena, and more specifically on issues of depicted narration, space, and time. She currently teaches literature in Columbia's Core Curriculum, consults at the writing center, and is working on her second trade non-fiction book.
Emily Margaret Cook
Roman art and archaeology; materiality, artistic materials, and production
Emily is a Ph.D. Candidate in Columbia University's Art History and Archaeology Department. Her research focuses on Roman art and archaeology of the late republic and empire. She is currently working on a dissertation that investigates the Roman characterization of sculptural media through, first, the study of sculptural copies which are extant in more than one medium and, second, the examination of 1st and 2nd century AD texts that articulate media-oriented systems of value. Funding for her research has included a Jacob K. Javits fellowship. Emily has been an archaeological trench supervisor for the inaugural 2014 season of the Hadrian's Villa excavation project of APAHA of Columbia University. She also excavated for two seasons, in the summers 2011 and 2012, at the Villa San Marco in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy with APAHA. Emily earned a B.A. in Classics and the History of Art from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. As an undergraduate, Emily worked as Curatorial Assistant at the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Collection (now Museum) and as an intern in the curatorial department of the Walters Art Museum.
Medieval Art and Architecture; 18th- and 19th-century medieval architectural revivalism
Lindsay is a fourth-year Ph.D. student specializing in Gothic architecture. She earned her M.A. (2013) and M.Phil. (2014) from Columbia and her B.A. in Art History and French from Vassar College (2010). As an undergraduate, she wrote a thesis about projects--including one by Philip Johnson--for a new chapel at Vassar in the 1950s, and she worked for two summers at Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. Before entering the Ph.D. program in 2011, Lindsay contributed to an exhaustive public sculpture database for the Chicago Park District, worked on the 2011 French Decorative Arts Symposium at the Alliance Française de Chicago, and served as a panorama photographer for Mapping Gothic France. Her M.A. paper at Columbia considered the propaganda value of photography in a 1919 book about Reims Cathedral. She helped create the Rare Book and Manuscript Library exhibition of medieval Bibles Writing the Word, and she contributed to the catalogue for The Architect's Library, an exhibition of notable architectural books from the collection at Vassar. She recently assisted with a spring undergraduate travel seminar about the architecture of medieval Jerusalem and served as the program assistant for the Columbia Summer Program in Venice.
Modern and Contemporary art; Queer and Gender Theory; Latin America and Diasporas; African Diaspora
Vivian Crockett joined Columbia as a PhD student in 2012, having completed her B.A. in Art History at Stanford University in 2006. Her M.A. thesis focused on questions of race and class in the development, reception, and evolution of Hélio Oiticica's parangolé series. Her work focuses largely on art of African diasporas, (Afro)Latinx diasporas, and Latin America at the varied intersections of race, gender, and queer theory. Vivian has previously worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she held a three-year position as a research assistant in the museum's Painting and Sculpture department. She was a collective member and editor of Aorta Magazine (2010-12), an arts publication that showcased the work of queer and transgender artists, and has recently contributed writing to Visual AIDS. In 2015, she was a guest curator for Dirty Look's biennial On Location series, a month-long series of site-specific screenings of queer cinema around New York City.
Nicholas Croggon is the Turza Family Fellow in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University, where he is completing his PhD in modern and contemporary art. Nicholas graduated with first class honours in art history and law from the University of Melbourne, and previously worked as a public interest lawyer. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the Australian contemporary art journal Discipline.
Japanese Modern Art and Architecture
Carrie Cushman graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Art History, and she holds a certificate in Japanese from Cornell University. She joined Columbia as a Ph.D. student in 2011 and received her M.Phil. in 2014. She specializes in Modern Japanese Art and Architecture, with research interests in modern ruins, the aesthetics of disaster, urban redevelopment, and the role of ruins, both natural and man-made, in narratives of postwar history. Her dissertation focuses on the photographer Miyamoto Ryūji, whose images of ruins engage multiple layers of trauma in the contemporary Japanese experience. Carrie was the recipient of the 2014-15 Meyerson Teaching Award in Art Humanities. During the 2015-16 academic year, she will be conducting research for her dissertation as a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow in Japan.
Renaissance Art and Architecture; Intersections between Art and Music
Sophia D’Addio graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Medieval & Renaissance Studies, and she holds M.A. degrees in Italian (Middlebury College), Violin/Viola Performance (Queens College), and Art History (University of Pennsylvania). She joined the doctoral program at Columbia in 2011, and received her M.Phil. in 2013. Her dissertation on painted organ shutters produced in Renaissance Italy aims to establish a new interpretive framework for these understudied objects, akin to the doors of a triptych, in light of their original musico-liturgical context. Sophia is currently conducting research in Italy on a Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship (GSAS); during the 2015-16 academic year, she will continue her dissertation research in Venice as the recipient of a Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Grant. Sophia also spends her summers working for Columbia’s study abroad program in Venice, for which she has served as both program assistant and instructor for the course “Art in Venice: Torcello to Tiepolo.”
Modern and Contemporary Art
Catherine is a Riggio Fellow who works on nineteenth and twentieth century art with a focus on experimental dance, theater, film, and music. Her dissertation takes Jill Kroesen, Julia Heyward, and Laurie Anderson as "unreliable narrators" through which to plot the entanglements of narrative, media, and performance in American art of the 1970s. Her writing has been commissioned by institutions such as the Walker Art Center and the ICA London and can also be found in Women & Performance, Art in America, and Artforum online.
Michaela de Lacaze
Latin American Modern and Contemporary art
Michaela de Lacaze, a second-year student, studies Latin American Modern and Contemporary art and is particularly interested in Brazilian and Argentinean art of the postwar period. She received her B.A. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2007. She has worked at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
Alessandra Di Croce
Italian Renaissance Art
Alessandra Di Croce, a fourth-year student, specializes in Italian Renaissance Art; her research interests are focused on the relationship between visual arts and religious issues in late 16th/early 17th century Italy, within a context of important cultural transformations at the dawn of modern thought.
Her dissertation analyzes the impact that collections of Early Christian and Medieval art objects in post-Tridentine Rome had on the development of a new understanding and appreciation of earlier art, as well as on the paleo-Christian revival of the late 16th/early 17th century in Rome. Alessandra received her BA and MA (Scuola di Specializzazione) from the University of Rome "La Sapienza". From 2001 to 2005 she collaborated with the "Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Romano", participating in several cataloguing projects and in the organization of the exhibition Il Settecento a Roma (Rome, Palazzo di Venezia, November 2005–February 2006). Alessandra has also published with Italian journals (Bollettino d'Arte, Ricerche di Storia dell'Arte, Neoclassico), and written catalogue entries for several exhibition catalogues (Il Gran Teatro del Mondo. L'Anima e il Volto del Settecento, Milan 2003; Il Settecento a Roma, Rome 2005–2006; GOYA e la tradizione italiana, Parma 2006; San Nicola da Tolentino nell'arte. Corpus iconografico, Tolentino 2006, vol. II).
Chinese painting and calligraphy
Xiaohan studies the history of Chinese art and Japanese art, with a focus on the pre-modern period. She received her B.A. with Honors in Art History from Hamilton College in 2012, with a minor in History. She studied French and European art in Paris, where she also had an internship with Museé Guimet. Prior to coming to Columbia in the fall following her graduation, she interned with the Chinese works of art department at Christie's New York office, as well as the Japanese and Korean painting department at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio.
Early Modern European art; the history of art history
Adam Eaker received his B.A. in art history from Yale in 2007. Before coming to Columbia, he worked at the Yale Center for British Art and for a dealer in Old Master drawings.
Yasmine Espert is a first-year PhD student with research interests in film and photography of the Caribbean and its Diaspora. As a 2011-2012 Fulbright scholar in Barbados, she completed research under the Cultural Studies M.A. program at the University of the West Indies, the Barbados Arts Council, and The Fresh Milk Art Platform, Inc. Yasmine continues to volunteer for Fresh Milk as an off-site liaison. She held several internships, including a position at the Studio Museum in Harlem where she completed primary research for the Caribbean: Crossroads of the World exhibition. Yasmine received her B.A. in Art History from Washington and Lee University in 2011.
Frank Feltens studies Japanese art history under Professor Matthew P. McKelway. He received his B.A. in Japanese Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin and spent a year at Kyoto University as an undergraduate. His main research focuses are Momoyama and Edo period painting (particularly Rinpa) and its links with theater and classical literature. In this context he tries to draw connections between practices in the consumption and understanding of classical literature (e.g. through Noh theater, digests or renga manuals) and art in these periods. His other interests include medieval depictions of classical themes, premodern art criticism and intersections between different artistic media.
Modern and Contemporary Art
Courtney is a third year specializing in American postwar art. She received her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Harvard University in 2011, where she wrote her thesis on structural film. Prior to attending Columbia, she worked as a curatorial researcher at Dia Art Foundation and a fact-checker at Artforum magazine. She writes regularly on contemporary art for a variety of arts and artist publications.
Daria Rose Foner
Daria Rose Foner is a doctoral student specializing in Italian Renaissance painting and sculpture. She received her B.A. from Princeton University in 2011 and her M.Phil. under the direction of Deborah Howard from the University of Cambridge in 2012. In the UK, she focused her scholarship on depictions of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and received a Brancusi Award to travel to Italy to pursue research for her Master's dissertation. During her time in Cambridge, Daria volunteered at the Fitzwilliam Museum and presented papers at conferences at the University of Birmingham and the University of Edinburgh. She has held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Marianne Boesky Gallery. Prior to attending university, Daria danced with the Norwegian National Ballet.
Michael Anthony Fowler
Greek and Near Eastern art and archaeology; human sacrifice; emotional dynamics of art; material religion; archaeology and iconography of ritual; violence in art
Michael is an ABD Ph.D. candidate, currently working on a dissertation entitled "Human sacrifice in Greek antiquity: between myth, image, and reality". In the 2015-2016 academic year, he will conduct research and write in residency at the University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne and Greece, with the support of an Alliance Doctoral Mobility Grant and an Alexander S. Onassis Foundation fellowship, respectively. This past summer, Michael joined the team excavating at the sanctuary of Poseidon in Onchestos, under the direction of Prof. Mylonopoulos. In summer 2014, he was Visiting Lecturer at the Institute for Classical Archaeology, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, where he taught an undergraduate seminar on the topic of his dissertation. Michael also interned for two consecutive summers (2011, 2012) in the Collection of Vases and Minor Arts at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. In addition to working on his dissertation, he is an annual contributor to the Chronique archéologique de la religion grecque (ChronARG) and Assistant Review Editor for the Association for Coroplastic Studies (ACoST). Michael holds degrees from Columbia University (M.Phil., 2013; M.A., 2012; both Art History and Archaeology), Tufts University (M.A., Classical Archaeology, 2010), Harvard University (M.T.S., Religions of the World, 2008) and The Colorado College (B.A., Philosophy and Sociology, 2006).
Early Christian and Medieval Art and Architecture; Applications of Digital Technology in Teaching of Art History
Sofia Gans graduated from Vassar College in 2009 with a degree in art history and French. Her area of focus is early Christian and medieval art and architecture, specifically the relationships between objects and the built environment and the arts of pilgrimage. Additionally, Sofia spent two summers traveling to France with Columbia's Media Center for Art History, working on the Mellon-funded Mapping Gothic France research database. This project, along with a year and a half spent working in the Education department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also gave Sofia a strong interest in teaching art history in both a classroom and museum setting, specifically applications of new technology to further access and engagement with objects and sites.
William T. Gassaway
Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture
William earned his B.A. in Art History from the University of New Mexico, where he wrote his undergraduate thesis on the commodification of Maya cultural patrimony. Now, as a doctoral candidate in pre-Columbian art history, William is largely engaged with indigenous representations of the body and the cosmos in ancient Mexico. He has deep interests in Latin American modernism, antiquarianism, phenomenology, and the visual culture of the American Southwest as well.
In his dissertation, titled "Extraordinary Bodies: Divine Deformation among the Aztecs (AD 1350-1521),” William offers the first expressly art historical discussion of the forms, contexts and meanings of aggrieved and misshapen bodies within the arts of Central Mexico.
Feminism, photography, film, installation art, expanded cinema
Beth Gollnick studies modern and contemporary art with a special interest in photography and film. Her work focuses on issues related to feminism, institutional critique, materiality/dematerialization, and spatial politics. Beth received her BA with honors in Art History and English from the University of California, Los Angeles, where her undergraduate thesis received an Award for Scholastic Excellence.
Russia between Peter I and 1917, Reception of Classical Antiquity, Neoclassicism and its Detractors
Alexandra Helprin specializes in the art of Russia between 1700 and 1917. Her dissertation is about the artistic projects of the Sheremetev family, Ivan and Nikolai Argunov, and, more broadly, the effects of serfdom on Russian visual art, patronage, and collecting during the late eighteenth century. She received an A.B. in classical archaeology from Harvard in 2007.
Nina Horisaki-Christens entered the PhD program in 2013, and her current research focuses on histories of Japanese performance and media art from the late 1960s through the 1970s. Prior to entering Columbia's PhD program, she was a 2012-13 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program, for which she co-curated Maintenance Required at The Kitchen, and she also worked as Research Assistant for Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. As Assistant Curator and Interim Program Manager at Art in General, she curated exhibitions, residencies, and commissions with New York-based and Eastern European emerging artists. Horisaki-Christens was a 2008-09 Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellow at BRIC Rotunda Gallery, and Summer 2013 Curator-in-Residence at Seoul Art Space Geumcheon (Korea). She has contributed to publications produced by The Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Curators International, Art21.com, Flux Factory, and Art in General. She holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Japanese Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.
Rattanamol Singh Johal
Modern and Contemporary Art
Rattan entered the doctoral program in 2013 after earning a BA in Art History & Political Science at the Macaulay Honors College, CUNY (2009) and an MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2011). He occasionally moonlights as an independent curator, consultant and writer, and has previously worked at Khoj International Artists' Association in New Delhi. Currently interested in exploring the afterlives of the documentary mode, he examines artistic practices from around the globe that continue to critically push the genre into speculative, fictive, forensic, and other terrains.
Subhashini Kaligotla is a doctoral candidate in South Asian art with a research focus on the sixth to eighth century temple architecture of India's Deccan region. Other research interests include Indo-Islamic architecture, the contemporary art of South Asia, Orientalism, and postcolonial theory. She has taught the history of Indian art and architecture at Barnard College, Columbia University, and New York University. Subhashini also holds advanced degrees in electrical engineering and creative writing (poetry), and is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for literary translation. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India.
Jeewon studies the history of Japanese art and architecture. Her research focuses on urbanization in Korea under Japanese colonial rule and visual cultures of Japanese imperialism. She received her A.B. with honors in Art History from Dartmouth College and a Master’s from the University of Chicago, where she examined the depiction of political events in Meiji prints for her thesis. Jeewon has worked for Leeum Samsung Museum of Art on various exhibitions as a project-based researcher and translator, and held internships at The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Her studies have been supported by fellowships and grants from Dartmouth College, The Korea Foundation, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the Ichiro Shirato Fund. This year, she will be serving as a Teaching Fellow for Asian Art Humanities.
Italian Renaissance and Baroque; British Art; Printmaking/Print Culture
Clare graduated with a BA in 2010 from Swarthmore College with a double major in history and art history. She has interned in the print departments at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As a fellow at the Slought Foundation in 2010-2011 she was the research assistant for "Architecture on Display." Other research interests include the Gallery of Maps in the Vatican, the relationship between English and Chinese gardening and landscaping practices in the eighteenth century, Roman mosaics in Sicily, and southern Italian Renaissance art.
Ani is a first year Ph.D. student focusing on topics in the history of Modern Architecture. She holds a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from Vassar College and a Master's in Art History, with distinction, from the University of Oxford. For her Master's, she was awarded a studentship by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council. Ani has also received fellowships from Vassar College and the German Academic Exchange Council (DAAD), as well as a research grant from the German History Society in the UK.
Ani is interested in 20th century Modernisms in an international context, and in re-evaluating Modernism's legacy today. In addition to the Art History department, Ani is also a student at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia. This year, she is helping organize the Collins/Kaufmann Forum for Modern Architectural History.
Adam Harris Levine
Medieval European Art
Adam Harris Levine studies medieval European art. He received his MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where he wrote his dissertation on gothic ivories. His masters research recently appeared in the Sculpture Journal (2014). Adam received his BA in Art History and Spanish Literature from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. At Columbia, his research focuses on late medieval sculpture and decorative arts.
Natasha Marie Llorens
Modern and Contemporary Art
Natasha Marie Llorens' doctoral research is focused on Algerian national cinema and representations of revolutionary violence in the 1960s and 1970s. She works as independent curator based in New York and her recent projects include "Threshing Floors" at Cuchifritos Gallery on the Lower East Side and "Frames of War" at Momenta Art in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
Romanesque Sculpture and Historiography; African sculpture; history and theory of collecting and display; studio photography
I was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A., 2002) and at the Courtauld Institute of Art (M.A. Gothic Architecture, 2004). Having specialized in
Romanesque sculpture, my dissertation seeks to expand the reception of Romanesque art in France to include its parallel treatment with non-Western art,
especially African sculpture, during the early colonial period.
I have received grants from the Georges Lurcy Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for archival work conducted in Paris, Strasbourg, and Autun.
Medieval and Early Modern Italian Art
Francesca specializes in medieval and Renaissance Italian art with a secondary interest in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American painting. Before joining Columbia's doctoral program in 2010, she received a B.A. in art history and English from Williams College, an M.Phil. in English from the University of Cambridge, and an M.A. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently writing her dissertation, which examines Italian overdoors in the period ca. 1100-ca. 1500, as a predoctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut.
Nomaduma Rose Masilela
Modern and Contemporary African Art; Art Theory; Postcolonial Theory; Comparative Art Histories
Nomaduma Masilela is a second-year PhD candidate who studies modern and contemporary art from Africa and the Diaspora. She is a Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellow and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.
Nomaduma received her BA from Barnard College (2007). She was a Curatorial Fellow at The Kitchen, New York (2007-08) and conducted independent research in Dakar, Senegal as a Mortimer Hays Brandeis Traveling Fellow (2008-09) before arriving at Columbia University.
Arathi is a third-year PhD student of South Asian art history with a concentration in the Hindu temple and medieval architecture. In the course of her studies toward the B.A. in Communication at the University of California, San Diego, she became interested in studying the role that living artists play in the mediation of visual culture. This research resulted in the essay "The Value of Choice: Assigning Values to Commodities of Art", for which Arathi earned the Afsahi award (2006). She further pursued her interest in the artist while serving as a researcher for exhibits that include TRANSActions: Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art (2006), Jasper Johns: Light Bulb (2008), Robert Irwin: Primaries and Secondaries (2008) and childsplay (2008) which focused on the artist Allan Kaprow's installation and performance work ("happenings"). At Columbia, Arathi's recent M.A. thesis (2013) established a firm provenance within ancient India for an ivory statuette excavated in the city of Pompeii. Arathi is a Weatherhead East Asian Institute-SLYFF Fellow (2012) and recipient of the Steven Kossak Graduate Fellowship (2013).
Modern and contemporary Japanese art; Japanese photography and film; Critical theory; Representations of World II and the atomic bomb; Postwar Japanese visual culture
Maggie studies modern Japanese art history, with a particular focus on photography from the twentieth century. Her dissertation, currently in progress, is entitled “Atlas Novus: Kawada Kikuji, The Map, and Postwar Japanese Photography.” It examines the early work of the photographer Kawada Kikuji as a lens through which to illuminate issues of image theory, memory, and alienation in post-World War II Japanese society. Maggie previously received her B.A. in Honors Art History and East Asian Studies from Brown University (2007), and her M.A. in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research (2010). Her dissertation research has been generously supported by a Riggio Fellowship in Art History (2013) and a Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship (2014). Maggie has interned at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and served as research associate at the Art Loss Register and the Ronin Gallery.
Modern Architecture; Media Theory
Steven Niedbala entered the PhD program at Columbia in 2013 after completing his B.A. at Oberlin College. At Oberlin, he completed an honors thesis on post-industrial urbanism in the city of Pittsburgh and worked for numerous arts organizations, including the Allen Memorial Art Museum and the Modern Music Guild at the Oberlin Conservatory. His current research focuses on Appalachian urban networks as well as the impact of anti-psychiatry movements upon institutional architecture in post-war North America.
European Art in the Long Nineteenth Century; Spectatorship and its histories; Sociology of Knowledge; History of the Projected Image
Stephanie O'Rourke studies European visual culture from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. She is currently working on her dissertation, "Bodies of Knowledge: Fuseli, Girodet, and Spectatorship at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century," which examines artistic production in dialogue with an expanded set of popular and scientific spectacles and discourses. Stephanie has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Yale Center for British Art, and Columbia University. Stephanie holds a B.A. from Harvard University in Art History and English Literature.
Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology
Matt is a PhD candidate in ancient art history and archaeology. He received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University and spent several years as a teacher in NYC before beginning the PhD program at Columbia. Matt now specializes in ancient Greek art, having received his M.A. in 2013 and his M.Phil in 2014; he is currently at work on his doctoral dissertation, which explores the image of the attacking body in a variety of contexts. He has interned for three summers at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, and is also active in Professor Mylonopoulos' archaeological field project in Onchestos, Greece. Matt has served as a guest instructor of ancient Greek art at the Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, and he is currently an Art Humanities preceptor.
Art and archaeology of the ancient Near East
Turkan is a PhD student, specializing in the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. She received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Bogazici University, Istanbul in 2006. She completed her M.A. in the Archeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in K.U. Leuven in 2007. Having participated in numerous field projects, since 2007 she has been a part of the Tarsus Gozlukule Archaeology Project, Turkey.
Modern & Contemporary Art
Leah Pires is a fourth-year PhD student and a Critical Studies Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Her dissertation, currently in progress, takes the work of Louise Lawler as a refractory lens to examine new models of authorship, collaboration, and critique emergent in the late 1970s. In 2013, Leah curated the exhibition "Conspicuous Unusable" at Miguel Abreu Gallery. Previously, she earned a B.A. with honors in Art History and English from McGill University.
Central-Eastern European art, film and cultural theory from 1890s to 1930s, historiography, theories of the avant- and rear-garde, ideas of formalism, radical politics and an aesthetic of resistance
Eszter is interested in the historical emergence of cinema in realms of aesthetic, technical and scientific discourse. With training in Central-European and nineteenth-century aesthetics, her interests include the culture of experiment among the interwar avant-garde, issues of scale, the visual culture of revolution, theories of automatism, evolution and animal-machines, and critical theory. Her dissertation is called "Close-Up: Bela Balazs and an Aesthetic of Distance in Early Cinema Aesthetics," the first chapter of which was published in Apertura in 2012. She is currently in Europe on a travel fellowship.
Aaron M. Rio
Muromachi Period (1336–1573) Painting; Zen Buddhist Art; Medieval Japanese Sinology; Ink Painting in the Kanto Region
Aaron is a doctoral candidate in premodern Japanese art and is currently preparing a dissertation that examines medieval Japanese images of renowned poets from Chinese antiquity, from their introduction and development within the Zen monastic context to their eventual canonization by professional painters in the late medieval period. He is particularly interested in painting as representation of and medium for sacred encounters, both real and imagined. Aaron graduated with highest distinction from Indiana University where he received a B.A., with honors, in English and East Asian Languages and Cultures (2004). Before entering the Ph.D. program at Columbia in 2006, he worked for two years in Nara Prefecture, Japan. He received his M.A. (2008) and M.Phil. (2010) in art history from Columbia. He is currently supported by the Japan Foundation and is based at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo.
Tina Rivers Ryan
Modernism; postwar American art and film; visual culture; media
Before arriving at Columbia, Tina received her B.A. in art history from Harvard and an M.A. in visual studies from the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation "Lights in Orbit: The Howard Wise Gallery and the Rise of Media in the 1960s" examines the emergence of a high-tech aesthetic in post-war American art. She will complete her project while a 2014-15 Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Portions of this project have been accepted for presentation at the annual conferences of the College Art Association and Modernist Studies Association, as well as at numerous graduate student conferences. Her work on other topics has appeared or will appear in Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, Art Journal, Art in America, Artforum.com, and in books from Düsseldorf University Press, Oxford University Press, and Richter Fey Verlag, among others. As an instructor, Tina has designed and led courses on contemporary art for Columbia, the Pratt Institute, and MoMA. Her work is collected on her website, www.tinarivers.com.
Michael Sanchez is completing his dissertation on a systemic shift in the mediation of art between Northern Europe and America at the turn of the 1970s. Laying the groundwork for much of what was to come in the following decades, this shift began with an apparently insignificant logistical inversion: rather than importing the works of American artists, dealers in Germany, beginning with Konrad Fischer, imported these artists themselves. His dissertation traces the unexpected ramifications of this inversion, far beyond the realm of logistics, through a series of projects undertaken by a handful of "agents" in the years after 1967, including Fischer, Kasper Koenig, and collectors in the Netherlands. He is also currently at work on an essay for the catalogue raisonné of Martin Kippenberger.
History of Photography; 19th and 20th-Century American Art; Historiography
Drew is currently the 2012-2015 Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His dissertation explores the relationship between emerging professional photographic practices and photographic modernism in the work of Walker Evans. In 2011, he co-organized the exhibition 'Social Forces Visualized': Photography and Scientific Charity, 1900-1920, an in-depth examination of the pedagogical and publicity practices of Progressive Era charity and social work organizations. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue reconsidered photographs by Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, and Jessie Tarbox Beals, among others. He has served as a curatorial research assistant at the The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and received his B.A. in Economics and Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Chinese painting and calligraphy; Chinese decorative objects; modern and contemporary ink painting in China
Joseph Scheier-Dolberg studies the history of Chinese art, with a focus on painting. He received his BA from Swarthmore College in 2000 and his MA from Harvard University in 2005. In between, he spent time in Sichuan Province studying the history of Tibetan mural painting in a monastery on the border of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Prior to coming to Columbia in 2009, he spent several years working in the Chinese art department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Ancient Greek and Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology
David is a fourth year PhD student interested in artistic exchange and interaction in the eastern Mediterranean during the early first millennium BC. He graduated cum laude from New York University (B.A., Classics and Fine Arts, 2011) and received certificates in Greek and Latin from the University of Pennsylvania (2012). David has excavated at the Athenian Agora (2010-2013) and is currently a site supervisor at Columbia's excavations at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos in Boeotia, Greece. He is the 2015-2016 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Modern and contemporary art; African-American art and art of the African diaspora; media and performance
Abbe Schriber entered the PhD program in Art History and Archaeology in Fall 2013. She studies modern and contemporary art, looking at identity formation, black aesthetics, and the politics of representation in conceptual art and performance from the 1960s-1980s.
Previously, she was Curatorial Assistant at The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she coordinated exhibitions and didactic materials. There her curatorial projects included the permanent collection exhibition Body Language (2013-14), a solo exhibition presenting the work of Mendi + Keith Obadike (2013) and an installation celebrating the tenth anniversary of the museum’s “Harlem Postcards” series (2012-13). She contributes regularly to artforum.com, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail, and recently published an essay in the exhibition catalogue for the exhibition Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey (2014). Abbe has also contributed texts to Studio Museum publications including Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art (2014), Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989 (2014), When The Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South (2014), The Shadows Took Shape (2013), Fore (2013), and Re:Collection: Selections from The Studio Museum in Harlem (2012). She received her BA from Oberlin College in 2009.
Siddhartha V. Shah
Siddhartha V. Shah received his BA in art history from The Johns Hopkins University (2000) and MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (2003) with an emphasis on Hindu philosophy from a Jungian perspective. He has been an art dealer for 15 years, specializing exclusively in Hindu and Buddhist Nepalese art since 2005, and his articles have appeared in numerous publications including Marg, Orientations, and Art Asia Pacific Magazine. His academic interests include cults of the Divine Feminine, Indian jewelry, and cultural exchange between India and Europe through luxury goods. Siddhartha is also a yoga instructor and assists with teacher trainings in New York City and Chicago. He is the 2014 Steven Kossak Graduate Fellow, recipient of the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Doctoral Summer Fellowship and a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship in 2015.
Modern and Contemporary Art
Rachel Silveri studies modern and contemporary art and has a broad interest in the thematic of the everyday across the historic and neo-avant-gardes. She received her B.A. in History of Art and Gender Studies from the University of Michigan in 2008 and was awarded an M.A. from Columbia in 2010.
Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, Egyptian Art, Historiography
Jake is a third year student focusing on the art and archaeology of the ancient near East and Egypt. He is especially interested in the reception and reuse of cultural heritage in the Middle East. Prior to entering the PhD program, Jake graduated magna cum laude from Columbia with a BA in art history and linguistics, writing an honors thesis on the relationship between image and text in early Mesopotamian kudurrus and glyptic. He has interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Pierpont Morgan Library, and has excavated with the University of Edinburgh's Prastio Mesorotsos expedition and Boğaziçi University's Tarsus Gözlükule project, where he served as a trench supervisor.
Chinese painting and calligraphy, Japanese pictorial art, Korean pre-modern art and aesthetics
Hwanhee is planning to explore, through the prism of rivalry, the lives and activities of seventeenth-century Chinese painters, most of whom competed for recognition from eminent patrons, art markets, and aesthetic publics. He is also deeply interested in history of Chinese album paintings with a keen focus on the possibilities and limitations of the painting format.
Hwanhee received his B.A. degree in Aesthetics (2007) and M.A. in Art History (2011) from Seoul National University with his MA thesis, "The Invention of a Masterpiece: The Life and Afterlife of Dong Qichang's (1555-1636) Wanluan Thatched Hall." In the paper Hwanhee has examined not only the painter's efforts to convey a specific message by coordinating verbal and visual languages but also the transformation of the painting's status into a masterpiece by later agents. Prior to joining Columbia in 2012, he participated in the preparation of the exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom (2013-14) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a full-time intern funded by the Korea Foundation.
Chun-Yi (Joyce) Tsai
Arts of East Asia (especially paintings from Song-Yuan China and Muromachi-Edo Japan)
Chun-Yi 'Joyce' Tsai joined Columbia University in 2006. Before then, she completed her B.A. in English Literature at National Taiwan University and earned an M.A. in East Asian Studies at Harvard University. Her dissertation concerns the origins, transmission, and perception of images of the supernatural grotesque in Song-Yuan China. This project emerged from her interest in Chinese popular culture nurtured in her Harvard years, where she worked on topics related to the lay religion, vernacular literature, and folk arts of Late Imperial China. In between her degrees, she worked in broadcast journalism and in the education and curatorial divisions of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Freer & Sackler Galleries, and The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.
Andrea Fabiola Vazquez
Pre-Columbian Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
Andrea holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (2001) and an MA in Art History from Columbia University (2009). Her interest in ancient American art history grew out of an extended period of travel throughout Central and South America. Drawing on her previous studies of visual communications, Andrea's research explores the relationship between semiotics and materiality in Andean visual culture.
Southern Renaissance and Baroque, Iberian Renaissance and Baroque
Julia specializes in Southern Renaissance and Baroque art. She received her B.A. in 2009 from Brown University, where she double-concentrated in the history of art and architecture and classics. She went on to internships in the Department of Paintings at the Musée du Louvre and in the Client Services/Business Development department of Sotheby's, Paris, before continuing her graduate studies at Columbia in the fall of 2010. She is currently researching a dissertation that reconsiders the career of Diego Velázquez at the court of Philip IV as a major episode in the history of curatorial practice. She has presented working excerpts from her dissertation at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, UK, and at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Italian Renaissance Architecture
Lorenzo received his M. Arch. summa cum laude from the University of Florence in Italy in 2008 with a thesis on Florentine architecture in the late-fourteenth century entitled "The Palace of Francesco di Marco Datini in Prato." As a trained architect he worked in Florence for a firm specializing in architectural restoration and continued his research on early Renaissance architecture both in Florence and Oxford. Lorenzo joined the doctoral program at Columbia University in 2009; his research interests include the structural behavior and preservation of medieval and Renaissance buildings as well as cultural exchange between Europe and the Islamic world during the Renaissance.
Brigid von Preussen
Eighteenth and nineteenth-century European art, histories of design and the decorative arts, revival styles
Brigid holds a BA in Art History from Cambridge University and an MA in Cultural and Intellectual History, 1300-1650, from the Warburg Institute. Her PhD dissertation at Columbia examines the relationship between Neoclassicism, commerce, and inter-medial reproduction in late eighteenth-century British design and art, with a focus on the work produced by (and under the names of) Robert Adam, Josiah Wedgwood, and John Flaxman.
Alexis Wang is a doctoral student specializing in early Christian and medieval art and architecture. She received her B.A.(Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in art history from New York University, where her senior thesis on the iconographic program of Hildegard of Bingen's Rupertsberg Scivias won the Borgman Prize for Best Thesis in the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining Columbia, Alexis worked in the Private Sales department at Christie's, the Auctions department at Artnet, and as a curatorial intern in the Department of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Alex focuses on the painting and broader visual culture of late 19th Century France. His interests include theories of the avant-garde, collaborations between writers and visual artists, and the history of exhibition and display. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 2011 with a special major in Visual Studies and Social Thought. At Swarthmore, he completed theses exploring the built environment of the King of Prussia Mall and the camp femininity of the bande dessinée heroine, Barbarella.
20th and 21st century art
Leah Werier is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in 20th and 21st century art. Before coming to Columbia, Leah completed an MA in 2012 at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London where she studied with Mignon Nixon PhD and visiting lecturer Juliet Mitchell on the topic of Art and Psychoanalysis: Fifty Years of War in a Time of Peace 1960-2010. She graduated with a B.F.A (Honors) from the University of Manitoba, Canada where she was awarded the Program Medal in Art History (2011).
Leah is the 2014-2015 representative for the Art History department on the Graduate Student Advisory Council, where she also serves on the Quality of Life Committee. She has also been chosen to be a Pine Tree Scholar for the academic year 2014-2015.
Modern and Contemporary Architecture, Design and Media
Robert is a fifth year in the department focused on modern and contemporary architecture, design and media, particularly in interwar Germany and postwar America. He recently co-organized an exhibition on the late graphic designer Muriel Cooper at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, a catalog for which is forthcoming from the MIT Press with the support of the Graham Foundation. He holds a B.A. with honors in History and Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago, and has worked at the design firms MetaDesign and Ammunition in San Francisco and as a curatorial intern in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. He is currently the Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Harvard Art Museums and a critic at the Yale School of Art.
Yu Yang studies the history of Japanese art, with a focus on modern Japanese architecture. She received her B.A. in Film Studies from Peking University and her M.A in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently supported by the Japan Foundation and is based at the Department of Architecture and Design at the Kyoto Institute of Technology. Her dissertation examines the dynamic interactions between the development of modernist architecture in Manchuria and Western Japan (in particular, the Hanshin-kan area) during the first half of the twentieth century.
Kori Lisa Yee Litt
Early Renaissance Italian Painting; Chinese Art
Kori Lisa Yee Litt specializes in Italian art, with an emphasis on Sienese and Florentine painting of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Her research interests include frescoes and illuminated manuscripts produced for and by the major mendicant orders, the global dissemination of early Renaissance art, and theories of sensory perception. In the field of Chinese art, Kori has focused on the topic of materiality in Song Dynasty painting, the history of Chinese calligraphy, and contemporary artist Xu Bing. This year she is teaching both Art Humanities and Asian Art Humanities. Kori received an M.A. in Art History from Williams College in 2007 and a B.A. in Art History and Psychological & Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College in 2005.
Modern and Contemporary Art; Performance Studies; Media History and Theory
Gillian Young holds a B.A. in Literature from Brown University and an M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU. Before coming to Columbia, she worked in the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art. Gillian is currently at work on her dissertation on Joan Jonas and the emergence of "performance art" in the 1970s. Her recent writing on performance and other topics has appeared in Art in America, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and TDR/The Drama Review.
Taryn Marie Zarrillo
17th century Venetian art with a particular interest in issues of patrimony, the history of collecting, and forgeries
Her dissertation, Artistic Patrimony and Cultural Politics in Seicento Venice, expands on initial studies begun at the Courtauld Institute of Art where she studied with Professor Sheila McTighe and received an MA in 2002. Prior to entering the Ph.D program at Columbia University she worked in the curatorial departments of several institutions, including: the Mount Holyoke Museum of Art, The MIT Museum, the Courtauld Gallery (where she also served on the Advisory Committee), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Musée du Louvre. She has also served as an international art courier, exhibition organizer, is trained in conservation techniques and during summers has taught for Art History Abroad, a British based program. Taryn Marie received her BA in Renaissance and Baroque Studies from Mount Holyoke College and currently works with Professors David Rosand and Simon Schama at Columbia. When she is not studying art, she is an avid fencer, training in New York and Venice.