Current PhD Students

Last updated on September 23, 2021.

A Agarwala, Seher
Agosto, Brandon
Arseven, Müge
Álvarez Guzmán, Ana
B Barnard, Bailey
Beeson, John
Bevin, Sarah
Biascoechea, Isabel
Blair, Susannah
Bulger, Monica
C Cataldo, Emogene
Cha, Sunmin
Choi, Suhyun
Christiaens, Karin E.
Clemens, Olivia
Cohen, Sarah
Crockett, Vivian
Croggon, Nicholas
D Dillon, Claire
Dolin, Daniel
Dostal, Alexandra Zoë
E Ekserdjian, Alexander
Engler, Rachel
Ercan, Ayşe
F Fein, Katherine
Floyd, Tiffany
Fung, On-Tsun
G Girard, Virginia
Glama, Barthélemy
Gobel, Katherine
Gorant, Charlotte
H Handa, Yuri
Himes, Rachel
Hutcheson, Rachel
I Ingram, Marielle

J Jahani, Jeiran
Johal, Rattanamol
Jiang, Angel
Jiang, Chen
K Karambeigi, Pujan
Kim, Hae Yeun
Kim, Jeewon
Kite, Whitney
Kuromiya, Naomi
Kuruvilla, Tara
L Landsman, Rozemarijn
Le Pouésard, Emma
Lee, Meng-Hsuan
Leidy, Emma
Levine, Adam
Lores-Chavez, Isabella
M Marshall, Janina (Piper)
Mayer, Mateusz
Mayfield, Jordan
Mazariegos, Eric
McCann, Natalie
McCarthy, Katherine
Mellon, Diana
Merkin, Sophia
Migwans, Crystal
Miller, Caitlin
Muller, Alyse
N Ndungu, Jessica (Njeri)
Nisse, Cleo
O Ochmanek, Annie
Oh, Sehyun
Onabanjo, Oluremi
P Petit, Yann
Pivo, Hannah

R Ralston, Daniel Sobrino
Ramachandran, Kalyani Madhura Ratch, Corey
Rodríguez Perico, Lina María
Russell, Sarah
S Sánchez González, Julián
Santos, Cecília
Sarto, Nikki
Şen, Sait Kutay
Seo, Yeongik
Sledge, David
Smith, Caroline
Soley, Teresa
Song, Qisen
Spratley, Sinclair
Superfine, Molly
T Tajima, Kanako
Takaes, Ianick
Tamur, Erhan
Tibi, Laura
Toktomusheva, Kasiet
U Unger, Gwen V van Riel, Alexandra
W Wang, Alexis
Wang, Y. L. Lucy
Williams, Ashley
Woldman, Joseph
Woolley, Heather
Y Yuste, Rebecca
Z Zhu, Cathy
Zinner, Valerie
Zivkovic, Alex

Brandon Agosto

Brandon Agosto

Arts of the Ancient Americas/Pre-Columbian Art

Brandon Agosto entered the doctoral program in the fall of 2021. He specializes in the early art history and archaeology of what is today Latin America, particularly on the materiality, epigraphy, and reception of objects in ancient Mesoamerica. For his MA thesis, Brandon conducted an iconographic and epigraphic study of an ancient Maya ceramic vessel, illustrating an intricate war scene that took place between AD 603–811 and manufactured in the Mexican state of Chiapas. He plans to further explore interests in the intentionality of facture and politics of style involved in image making, as well as determining the unique biographies of ancient American objects and the narratives ascribed within museum collections. As a student of Puerto Rican descent, Brandon is also interested in studying the artistic traditions of the Indigenous Caribbean, including the well-documented intercultural exchange that took place throughout the Pre-Hispanic Americas.

Brandon has assisted with museum exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, including a reinstallation of the Arts of the Ancient Americas at the Yale Art Gallery in 2016. In addition to interests in curatorial work, he is a trained field archaeologist and has completed projects in Peru, Guatemala, and Miami. Brandon received his MA in Archaeological Studies from Yale University in 2017 and a BA in Anthropology (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Florida International University in 2014.

Muge Arseven

Müge Arseven

Ancient Greek and Near Eastern Art and Architecture

Müge entered the Ph.D. program in 2014 as a Fulbright scholar and specializes in the ancient art and architecture of Greece, Anatolia, and the Near East. She received her B.A. in architecture and landscape architecture (2013), as well as her M.A. in architectural history (2014), from Istanbul Technical University. In her master’s thesis, Müge catalogued and contextualized the archaic architectural pieces from Larisa/Buruncuk in the Aeolis region of western Asia Minor. She also participated in the 2013 survey of this site and is currently a member of Columbia University’s excavations at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos. Her other research interests include the history of archaeology, particularly the in the Ottoman Empire, and the reception and propagandistic use of archaeological heritage in Turkey. In her dissertation, Müge examines the methods of representing sacred architecture in Greek vase painting in order to parse the aesthetic and semiological role of architecture in Greek visual culture. Her dissertation research has been generously supported by a Riggio Fellowship in Art History (2017-18) and a C.V. Starr Scholarship (2019-20). She was recently awarded an honorarium by Smarthistory for her essay on Greek sanctuaries (to be published in Fall 2020) and is currently contributing to the Columbia MCAH-sponsored İstanbul Documentation Project. Müge is also passionate about the recontextualization of Ancient art in contemporary media and recreates Greek and Near Eastern artworks using digital tools.

Ana Álvarez Guzmán

Ana Álvarez Guzmán

Roman provincial art and archaeology

Ana Álvarez Guzmán entered Columbia’s PhD program in the Fall of 2019. Her research focuses upon the domestic spaces of Roman Spain, particularly upon the Roman villas of the province of Baetica and their connection to the Andalusian courtyard in modern-day Andalucía and its iterations in Latin America. Ana Gabriela received her A.B. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College in 2019, where she completed the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship with her thesis titled “The Andalusian Courtyard: Architectural Legacies of Agricultural Exploitation and Empire in Southern Spain.” She has held internships at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and at the American School of Classical Studies. Ana Gabriela is at home in both the library and the field, having excavated in the Athienou Archaeological Project in Cyprus (2017) and in the Athenian Agora Excavations in Greece (2018).

Bailey Barnard

Bailey Barnard

Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology

Bailey is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in ancient Greek art and architecture. She is interested in Hellenistic portraiture, benefaction, kingship, and cult. Her dissertation examines a group of fragmentary portrait statues representing Hellenistic Greek kings. While prior studies have generally focused on identifying kings by physiognomy and iconography, the dissertation analyzes the royal portrait statues alongside spectacles of Hellenistic kingship, especially those spectacles involving marvelous adornments, choreographed movements, and architectural framing of the king’s real body. Bailey’s dissertation has been supported in part by a Getty Library Research Grant and Sakıp Sabancı Summer Fellowship. During her time at Columbia, Bailey worked at the Onassis Cultural Center New York as a docent for the exhibitions “Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus” and “A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC – 200 AD.” Prior to Columbia, she completed her MA in art history from the University of Nebraska in 2011, after which she attended the American School of Classical Studies at Athens summer session. She excavated with the University of Nebraska’s Antiochia ad Cragum Research Project before joining Columbia University’s excavations at the sanctuary of Poseidon in Onchestos, where she served as site co-supervisor in 2016. She has published in the Metropolitan Museum Journal (2020) and contributed to Mother Jones.

John Beeson

John Beeson is a PhD candidate in art history at Columbia University and a Turza Family Fellow (2021–2022). His research focuses on late-twentieth-century art, global conceptualism, and cultural politics. Beeson’s writing has frequently appeared in Artforum, frieze, Texte zur Kunst, and May as well as exhibition catalogues and anthologies. He served as Editor of Out of Body, Out of Time, and Out of Place, a series of publications from Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017. He has also done curatorial and editorial work for Manifesta, Spike, and Texte zur Kunst.

Susannah Blair

Nineteenth-century French and European Art

Susannah specializes in nineteenth-century European art, with a focus on new technologies of reproduction, mass media, and the visual culture of the news. Her dissertation examines the life and work of artist and journalist Constantin Guys. Before coming to Columbia, Susannah worked in curatorial departments at the Clark Art Institute and at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She holds a master’s degree in the History of Art from Williams College and graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College in 2008.

Monica Bulger

Monica Bulger

Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology

Monica studies ancient Greek art and archaeology. Her dissertation examines the origins and functions of apotropaic frontality in Archaic Greek art and architectural decoration. She is also interested in the reception of classical culture in the British Empire and American colonies. Monica is the 2019-2020 Stavros Niarchos Fellow in Classical Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She graduated from NYU summa cum laude in 2015 with a B.A. in Art History and Classics. She excavated with NYU’s Yeronisos Island Excavations from 2013-2015 as a trench supervisor. Since 2015, she has excavated with Professor Mylonopoulos's team at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos.

Emogene Cataldo

Emogene S. Cataldo

Medieval Art & Architecture; Digital Humanities

Emogene's research concerns the intersection of architecture, nature, and urbanism in late medieval France and England. She is currently at work on her dissertation, which examines floriate sculpture in Gothic buildings in relationship to ecological change and liturgical practice in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Her M.A. paper investigated the reliquary of Saint George in Venice, focusing on the iconographic slippage of vegetal motifs and myth-making in the urban cult of saints. She is an enthusiastic contributor to several digital projects, including Life of a Cathedral: Notre-Dame of AmiensMaking and Knowing, and FAB-Musiconis. 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. Emogene received her B.A. in Studio Art from Carleton College with Distinction in 2010 (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Larson International Fellow). 

Karin E. Christiaens

Karin E. Christiaens

Ancient Greek & Roman Art and Archaeology

Karin is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in the study of the eastern Mediterranean under the Roman Empire. Her dissertation investigates the urban topography of Greek cities under Roman rule, with a focus on the proliferation and architectural transformation of built public spaces mediated by series of gateways.

Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, Karin completed a B.A. in Art History and English from The College of New Jersey (2010), an M.A. in Classical Art and Archaeology from The University of Chicago (2011), and a Post-baccalaureate certificate in Greek and Latin from the Classics Department at Columbia University (2014). She also holds an M.A. (2016) and M.Phil. (2017) from Columbia.

Karin has excavated at the Athenian Agora (2011-2013); the Columbia APAHA excavations at Hadrian's Villa (2014-2015); and the Columbia excavations at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Onchestos in Boeotia (2014-present), where she has been a site supervisor since 2016. At the Onassis Cultural Center, New York, she served as a docent for “Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus” (2016) and “A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC – 200 AD” (2017).

During her time at Columbia, Karin has held several pedagogy-focused fellowships with Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning (2017-2020) and was one of two inaugural fellows at the GSAS Writing Studio (2019-2020), where she designed and facilitated workshops, writing groups, and retreats and developed resources in support of dissertation writers. Currently, Karin teaches Art Humanities as a Preceptor in the Core Curriculum.

Olivia Clemens

Olivia Clemens

Arts of Islam, History of Collecting

Olivia Clemens is a PhD candidate specializing in the arts of the medieval Islamic world and the history of their reception, collecting, and display. She is currently working on the dissertation, “Forming ‘Islamic Art’ in the United States: Collecting and Exhibiting in the American Context, c. 1880–1940.” This project reveals the interplay between medievalism, Aestheticism, and the popularity of “Islamic” material. In 2021-2022, her dissertation work will be supported by a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2020-2021, she received the GSAS Teaching Scholars Fellowship, through which she designed and led an undergraduate seminar, “Medieval Revival: Copying, Collecting, and Co-Opting the Past.” Olivia holds MA and MPhil degrees from Columbia University and a BA in Art History from UCLA (summa cum laude). Before beginning graduate studies, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Sarah Cohen

Sarah Cohen

Late Antique, Byzantine & Western Medieval Art

Sarah Cohen entered the Ph.D. program in 2019 and studies Byzantine art with a particular interest in Northern Italy. She holds a B.A. degree in Classics and an A.B. degree in Art History from the College of Charleston (2017), and a M.A. degree from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU (2019). Her M.A. thesis examined the temporal structures of monumental fresco and mosaic Last Judgement scenes in Italy and Byzantium made between the 11th and 14th centuries. Sarah has previously assisted NYU’s ongoing excavations in Aphrodisias, Turkey, and has held internships at the Institute of Classical Art & Architecture and The Morgan Library & Museum.

Vivian Crockett

Vivian Crockett

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 received her B.A. in Art History at Stanford University in 2006. She is a PhD candidate completing a dissertation on the participatory and film-based work produced by two Brazilian artists, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape, in the late 1960s through the 1970s. 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. Crockett has previously worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as a research associate in the museum’s Painting and Sculpture department and had been working independently with various institutions since 2015. Her projects include Visual AIDS’ 2017 Day With(out) Art: Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings, co-curated with Erin Christovale, which premiered at the Whitney in December 2017 and screened at over 120 national and international venues. She has published texts for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Leslie-Lohman Museum, among others. Vivian was the 2017-18 Mellon Museum Research Consortium Fellow in the department of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 2018 to early 2020. She is presently The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Nicholas Croggon

Nicholas Croggon

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

Claire Dillon

Claire Dillon

Arts of the lands of Islam; medieval art; textile studies

Claire studies the intersections of visual cultures, identities, and faiths in the medieval Mediterranean, focusing on the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Her research interests also include theories of hybridity and postcolonialism, and their connections to the historiography of medieval studies. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and History in Action project awards from Columbia’s Department of History. On campus she has held positions in the Center for Teaching and Learning, and in the Media Center working on the Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments project. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Claire worked at the juncture of art and advocacy, and continues to serve Amnesty International, ART WORKS Projects, and other organizations. She earned an M.Phil. from Trinity College Dublin as a Mitchell Scholar, and received her B.A. in art history and Italian from Northwestern University, where she studied contemporary art as a Mellon Mays Fellow.

Alexandra Zoë Dostal

Alexandra Zoë Dostal

Zoë specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art and visual culture with a focus on institutions and gender. Her dissertation, “Rope, Linen, Thread: Gender, Labor, and the Textile Industry in Eighteenth-Century British Art,” has been supported by fellowships from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation. While at Columbia, Zoë completed the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality Graduate Certificate, founded the Art History and Archaeology Graduate Association, and co-organizes the Art X Social Justice graduate initiative. She earned an MA with distinction from The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2016 and a BA with honors from Vassar College in 2013. Previously, Zoë was a print room assistant at The Courtauld Gallery and a curatorial intern at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Ekserdjian

Alexander Ekserdjian

Roman and Etruscan art and archaeology; divine imagery; cross-cultural votive giving

Alexander Ekserdjian works on sculpture in Roman and pre-Roman Italy, with a focus on the human body. He is interested in the material culture of religion and the transmission of artistic ideas to and from Italy. His dissertation studies the representations of gods in the freestanding and architectural sculpture of central Italian sanctuaries. He has reviewed books related to votive giving and he collaborated in the preparation of the exhibition Agents of Faith (Bard Graduate Center Gallery, September 2018 – January 2019), as well as contributing to its catalogue. Alexander entered the Ph.D. program in 2015, having graduated from St. John’s College, Oxford with a double first in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. He excavated for three seasons at the Sangro Valley Project in the Abruzzo (student supervisor 2014, 2015), and has excavated since 2016 as part of the APAHA program at Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, where he now serves as a Trench Supervisor.

Rachel Julia Engler

Rachel Julia Engler

Rachel Julia Engler studies the history of architecture, with a particular focus on spaces of religious and spiritual practice. Her dissertation considers the facilities and media complexes associated with television evangelists. Recent publications include the translation, together with Reto Geiser, of Sigfried Giedion's Befreites Wohnen (Lars Müller, 2019), and the chapter "To Holland: Frank Lloyd Wright's Urbanism in Postwar Rotterdam," in Architektur und Akteure: Praxis und Öffentlichkeit in der Nachkriegsgesellschaft (Transcript Verlag, 2018). Rachel joined the doctoral program in Art History in 2014. She received her BA from Yale University in 2010.

Ayşe Ercan

Ayşe Ercan

Ayşe Ercan is an active archaeologist and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She maintains a wide range of research interests that include settlement archaeology, trade in the medieval world, and interactions between cultural heritage and modern cityscapes in Turkey. She holds a B.A. in Archaeology from Istanbul University (2007) and a M.A. in Art History and Archaeology from Koç University, Istanbul (2010). Her Masters dissertation provided the first synthetic historical account of the harbor of Theodosios (modern-day Yenikapı, Istanbul) through a critical study of the recent archaeological excavations conducted by the Istanbul Archaeological Museums. She has participated in scholarly programs organized by Dumbarton Oaks, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. In addition to her current research project on the Mangana complex of Constantine IX Monomachos located in Istanbul, Ercan has participated in numerous excavations in Turkey such as Perge, Sagalassos, Aphrodisias, Gre Amer in Batman, Küçükyalı and Rhegion in Istanbul, and Onchestos in Greece.

Katherine Fein

Katherine Fein

Katherine studies visual and material culture in North America and the Atlantic world. She is currently at work on a dissertation about nudity, race, and ecology in nineteenth-century art. In 2019, she published an article about life casting and indexicality in British Art Studies, and her article about early photography, tactility, and whiteness is forthcoming in Oxford Art Journal as the recipient of the 2020 Essay Prize for Early Career Researchers. Her research has been supported by Columbia University as well as the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. At Columbia, she also completed a graduate certificate with the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and has held fellowships at the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Tiffany Floyd

Tiffany Floyd

Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World

Tiffany is a PhD candidate specializing in twentieth-century Iraqi art, working on understanding the relationship between Iraqi modern art and the country's rich antique past. Her primary research interest thus include the politics of archaeology and time, the construction of modern artistic and intellectual identity in Iraq, and the deconstruction of the complex modernist category of "Mesopotamia." Her other interests center on the history of photography, postcolonial theory, modes of affective reception and the destruction of Iraq's cultural heritage. As a graduate student, Tiffany has worked on several important field projects including the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World and the Modern Art Iraq Archive.

On-Tsun Fung

On-Tsun Fung

On-Tsun joined the PhD program in 2021. His research focuses on Japanese art in the early modern period and, in particular, how ink painters associated with Sinophile and Zen circles interpreted their relationship with their Chinese counterparts in the eighteenth century. He holds a B.A. from the University of Hong Kong, and an M.A. from Columbia University where he conducted for his thesis a close study of a pair of oshiebari byōbu screens by the Obaku Zen monk-painter Kakutei Jōkō (1722–86). He has previously worked as Assistant Curator at Asia Society Hong Kong Center and published in Orientations and Arts of Asia.

Virginia Girard

Virginia Girard

Early Modern Art and Science; 16th and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish Art

Virginia is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in the art and environment of Early Modern Europe. Her dissertation recovers legends and beliefs associated with the climate and geology of Northern Europe to consider their influence on early landscape painting. Her other research interests include the history of science, natural history, and neuroscience and art. Before starting the Ph.D. program, Virginia completed her M.A. with distinction at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2018) and her B.A. (summa cum laude) at Cornell University (2017). She has held positions at the Courtauld Institute’s Witt and Conway Library, Pace Gallery Palo Alto, and the Anderson Collection at Stanford University.

Barthélemy Glama

Barthélemy Glama

History and Theory of Museums and Collections; History of Archaeological Science; 18th- and 19th-Century European Art

Barthélemy studies the history of European museums in the 18th and 19th centuries, with a focus on their relationship to colonial expansion. A former fellow of the École normale supérieure of Paris, Barthélemy earned a B.A. (2011) in art history and history as well as an M.A. (2013) in art history and cultural heritage studies from Paris-Sorbonne University, both with distinction. In recent years, he has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre Museum.

Charlotte Gorant

Charlotte Gorant

South Asian art; Early Buddhist sculpture; Transmission of Buddhist art across Asia

Charlotte specializes in South Asian art history and archaeology, particularly visual materials from the ancient and early medieval periods. She is interested in religious themes and narratives as evolving discourses within images, sites, and textual sources. Charlotte's dissertation re-evaluates sculptures from the early Buddhist stūpa of Bhārhut and she has recently been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship in support of her field work in India. Charlotte received a BA in South Asian Religions from Bard College and an MA in the History of Art from SOAS, University of London. She worked as a research assistant for the digital lexicography project entitled 'The Buddhist Translator's Workbench' and is interested in brāhmī epigraphy. Charlotte has held several curatorial internships, including research for the Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia large-scale exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Pearls on a String Islamic art exhibition at the Walters Art Museum. She has forthcoming publications on visual representations of nāgas in early Buddhism. Her work has previously received support from the Steven Kossak Graduate Fellowship, the Provost Graduate Fellowship, the American Institute of Indian Studies Language Fellowship, and the C.V. Starr Graduate Fellowship.

Rachel Hutcheson

Rachel studies modern and contemporary art with a focus on photography, video, and installation. Her research interests include histories of technology and perception from the late nineteenth century to the present. Prior to entering the PhD program at Columbia, Rachel was the Assistant Curator and Exhibition Coordinator at the University of Mary Washington Galleries. She completed her M.A. in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013) and BA at Virginia Commonwealth University (2011). Rachel interned for the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago and was a curatorial intern of Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Angel Jiang

Angel Jiang

History of Architecture; Renaissance architecture

Angel is a PhD candidate specializing in medieval and Renaissance architecture in Spain and Italy. Her dissertation, “Plateresque Fantasies: Architecture and Ornament in Renaissance Spain,” examines Spanish plateresque architecture and its relationship with ornamental media. Prior to pursuing a PhD at Columbia, she earned an M.A. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and a B.A. in the History and Theory of Architecture from Columbia University, both with distinction. She currently holds a Jane and Whitney Morgan Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Chen Jiang

Chen Jiang

Modern Japanese Art

Chen Jiang entered the PhD program in 2016 to study Japanese art history, with a particular interest in the art and visual culture of the Bakumatsu and Meiji eras. Her dissertation examines the works of Kikuchi Yōsai and the genre of history painting. She graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in 2015 with a B.A. in History of Art, writing an undergraduate thesis on the photographic self-portraits by Morimura Yasumasa. She then received her M.St. in History of Art & Visual Culture from Oxford University in 2016, where she examined in her thesis the artistic career of the female nanga painter Noguchi Shōhin. Prior to entering Columbia, she has held internships at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mead Art Museum, Pace Gallery, and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. Her studies have been supported by fellowships and grants from Amherst College, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Nippon Foundation, the Toshiba International Foundation, and the Japan Foundation.

Pujan Karambeigi

Pujan Karambeigi

Global Conceptual Art, Racial Capitalism, Social Movement Theory

Pujan Karambeigi’s research focuses on contemporary art as it interfaces with globalization. He is interested in how artists and cultural workers relayed questions posed by the African and Middle Eastern diaspora in Western Europe as they faced a radical immigration reform over the course of the 1970s. At the center lies the collapse of the so-called 'guestworker-system’ and how this in turn sparked discussions around multiculturalism.

His research has been supported by the DAAD and the German National Merit Foundation and he was the 2018/2019 Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Curatorial Fellow where he organized Alice Creischer’s first solo exhibition in North America. He is editorial contributor at Jacobin and his writing has been published by Art in America, Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, Mousse Magazine, and Frieze, among others.

Rattanamol Johal

Rattanamol Singh Johal

Global modernism and contemporary art; media, performance, and installation art; feminism and postmodernism; critical geography and urban theory

Rattan is a doctoral candidate studying transformations in contemporary art, its institutional contexts and international networks at the turn of the twenty-first century, with a specific focus on the development of installation-based practices in metropolitan India during the nineties. He earned a BA in Art History & Political Science, summa cum laude, from the Macaulay Honors College, CUNY (2010) and an MA in History of Art, with Distinction, from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2011). During his tenure in the doctoral program, he has held fellowships at the Tate Research Centre: Asia (2018 Visiting Fellow), The Museum of Modern Art (2016-17 C-MAP Fellow for Asia in the Department of Media and Performance Art), and the Whitney Independent Study Program (2016-17 Helena Rubinstein Critical Studies Fellow). He has previously worked in various capacities, including curator, archivist, and publications editor at Khoj International Artists' Association in New Delhi (2011-13).

Jeewon Kim

Jeewon Kim

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.

Whitney Adana Kite

Whitney Adana Kite

Medieval Art & Architecture

Whitney studies the art and architecture of the medieval Near East, with a particular interest in Armenia. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Biological Anthropology, with minors in the History of Art and Music. From 2014-2016, she was a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in malaria genetics at the National Institutes of Health; her findings have been published in Malaria Journal, Nature Communications, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others. She then earned her M.A. at Tufts University (2018), where she was awarded the Ronda Saad Graduate Prize in Art History. While at Tufts, she served as a research assistant in the department of European Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her MA thesis at Columbia reconsidered the architectural sculpture of Noravank’ and received the International Center for Medieval Art Graduate Student Essay Award (2020). Her research has been generously supported by the National Association of Armenian Studies and Research and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Naomi Kuromiya

Naomi Kuromiya

Naomi is a PhD candidate specializing in modern Japanese art and architecture, with an interest in the intersections of "avant-garde” and “tradition,” and multimedia collaborations and design projects of the early to mid-twentieth century. Her dissertation examines the concept of the total artwork in modern Japan, and she recently was awarded a Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Doctoral Fellowship in support of her field work. Her studies and research have also been supported by FLAS and by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She entered the PhD program in 2017 after completing her M.A. at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, with a thesis that examined the global influence of the postwar Japanese calligraphy collective, Bokujin-kai. She previously earned an A.B. with honors in the History of Art and French Literature from Brown University. Prior to entering Columbia, Naomi worked for The Lyonel Feininger Project, and for The Museum of Modern Art, where she held the 2012-2014 Dedalus Fellowship in the Archives.

Tara Kuruvilla

Tara Kuruvilla

Art of Colonial South Asia; Historiography; History of Collecting

Tara is an advanced Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, specializing in South Asian Art History. She holds a B.A. (2012) in Art History from New York University, and an M.A. (2015) in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University. She also holds an M.A. (2016) and an M.Phil. (2018) in Art History from Columbia University. Her research interests include the art of British India, collecting and empire, and art-historical historiography. Race and identity politics in "post-racial" America served as the focal point for her first exhibition of contemporary art, a curious blindness, which was featured in The New York Times, Blouin ArtInfo, Vogue and The Village Voice.

Tara’s research has been supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Summer Travel Fellowship, the C.V. Starr Scholarship, and the Steven Kossak Graduate Fellowship in South Asian Art History. She has taught introductory courses in Western and Indian art, served as a Teaching Consultant with the Center for Teaching and Learning, and received a Teaching Observation Fellowship. As a 2021–2022 GSAS Teaching Scholar, Tara will design and teach an undergraduate seminar titled Imperial (Re)Visions: Art and Empire in India.

Rozemarijn Landsman

Rozemarijn Landsman

Early Modern Art

Rozemarijn Landsman's doctoral research explores the relationships between art and technology in the work of the Dutch seventeenth-century artist and inventor, Jan van der Heyden (1637–1712). Prior to her studies in the United States, she received an M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Amsterdam. She previously held fellowships and internships at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the National Gallery of art, Washington, among others. Her publications include an essay and article about the vedute-painter Caspar van Wittel (1653–1736), as well as a paper exploring the potential use of sponges by early modern Dutch painters. Rozemarijn is the 2019–2021 Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow at The Frick Collection

Emma Le Pouésard

Emma Le Pouésard

Emma Le Pouésard specializes in medieval art. She earned her B.A. in art history in 2015, graduating with First Class Honours and Distinction from McGill University. Her dissertation entitled “Contested Sites of Feminine Agency: Ivory Grooming Implements in Late Medieval Europe,” examines a group of fourteenth-century elephant ivory mirror cases, combs, and hair parters, using feminist, materialist, and ecocritical lenses to uncover them as sites of contestation and emancipation for their feminine users. Her work considering the crossover between ecocriticism and feminism in medieval walrus ivory carving was published in Postmedieval's "New Feminisms" issue (September 2019).

Meng-Hsuan Lee

Meng-Hsuan Lee

Meng-Hsuan Lee 李孟瑄 joined the PhD program in 2018. He studies modern architecture, with a focus on Japanese colonial architecture and urbanism in Taiwan. Using the framework of screen genealogies, his current project investigates the rise of façadism and urban media culture in Taiwanese cities during the Japanese colonial period, particularly in the 1920s and 30s. More broadly, he is interested in the intersection of architecture and media, global colonialisms, and architectural preservation.

Prior to joining Columbia, Meng received his M.A. in Humanities (art history) from the University of Chicago, where he worked as a research assistant in Japanese art and wrote his master’s thesis examining the politics of urban memory surrounding Shih-Shih South Village 四四南村, a controversial architectural preservation project in Taipei. Previously, he received his B.A. in Drama and Theatre from National Taiwan University, where he also worked as a scenic designer.

Emma Leidy

Emma Leidy

Emma began her Ph.D. studies at Columbia in 2021. She specializes in Medieval Art and is particularly interested in central Europe. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in Art History and German Languages and Literature, receiving Highest Honors (2019). Her Distinguished Major’s Thesis, entitled “Liturgical Splendor and Paschal Devotion: Homiliary W.148 in the Walters Art Museum” and awarded best undergraduate thesis by the UVA Department of Art in 2019, investigates a fourteenth-century homiliary in the context of female monasticism and piety in the late Middle Ages. Emma also holds an M.A. from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany (2021), writing her Master’s thesis on the development and dispersion of Marian images in fourteenth-century Bohemia. Her M.A. studies were supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). She previously held an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2019).

Adam Harris Levine

Adam Harris Levine

Medieval European Art

Adam Harris Levine joined the doctoral program in 2013 after he received a B.A. in Art History and Spanish Literature from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He also holds an M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia. Adam’s research considers European medieval and renaissance sculpture and decorative arts. His dissertation, in progress, is called “Divine Gifts: Relics and Reliquaries at the Court of Charles V”. Adam is Assistant Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

Isabella Lores-Chavez

Isabella Lores-Chavez

Isabella is a PhD Candidate in the department, writing her dissertation on the circulation, use, and depiction of plaster casts in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. Currently, Isabella is the 2020-2022 Samuel H. Kress Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. In 2018-2019, she was the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Theodore Rousseau Fellow in European Paintings. In 2012 Isabella received her Bachelor of Arts (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Art History from Yale University. In 2013, she curated a small exhibition of drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, entitled Dutch and French Genre Drawings from the Robert Lehman Collection. Isabella has also worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Biblical Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. From 2016 to 2018, she also served as the Academic Coordinator for the Getty Connecting Art Histories project "Spanish Italy and the Iberian Americas."

Mateusz Mayer

Mateusz Mayer

Renaissance and Baroque European Art

Mateusz joined the PhD program in 2017. He specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art, with an emphasis on the artistic intersections between Italy and Northern Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He graduated with a Magister degree in art history from the University of Vienna in 2012, and received his MPhil in art history from the University of Cambridge in 2014 (both with distinction). Prior to coming to Columbia, Mateusz worked at the curatorial departments of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Austrian National Gallery Belvedere, and Klosterneuburg Abbey. He furthermore held two consecutive summer fellowships in Venice at the Rosand Library and Study Center of Save Venice Inc.

Jordan Mason Mayfield

Jordan Mason Mayfield

Arts of the African Diaspora; Contemporary art of the Americas and the Caribbean; Women, Gender, & sexuality studies; queer theory

Jordan entered the department in 2019. She studies contemporary art of the African Diaspora with a concentration on the Americas and the Caribbean. Her research primarily focuses on memory, the afterlives of the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery, as well as the intersections of Black feminist thought, sexuality, queerness, and spirituality. Her undergraduate thesis, “Divine Reflections: Embodying Erzulie, Yemayá, and Black Womanhood,” examined the evocation of Afro-Atlantic female deities from Haitian Vodou and Afro Cuban Yoruba Orisha worship as archetypes of Black female identity in the works of Reneé Stout and María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Jordan is a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Leadership Alliance Research Fellow, and Office of the Provost Diversity Fellow. Prior to coming to Columbia, she worked as the departmental assistant in the Exhibitions department of the Brooklyn Museum and also interned in the curatorial department of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art as an undergraduate. Jordan graduated from Wellesley College in 2018 with a B.A. in Art History with departmental honors and was awarded the 2018 Plogsterth Prize in Art History and the Pamela Daniels ’59 Fellowship.

Eric Mazariegos

Eric Mazariegos Jr.

Pre-Columbian Art

Eric joined the department in 2019 with research interests spanning ancient and contemporary Indigenous, Latin American, and Latinx art. His current project revolves around luminous metallurgical technologies on the northern coast of Pre-Columbian South America, concerning issues of technological style, processual facture, and nonhuman ontologies. In 2021, Eric presented his research at graduate student conferences and invited lectures at NYU, UC Santa Barbara, and CSU Fullerton, and for his research linking contemporary photography practices to Chicanx muralism, he received Honorable Mention from the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. Eric received his BA in art history from UCLA in 2019 (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude), where he was a University of California Regents Scholar. His undergraduate research on Olmec art was published in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Journal in 2018.

Katherine McCarthy

Katherine McCarthy

Katherine McCarthy joined the doctoral program in the fall of 2019. Her research crosses the indigenous Americas, exploring both the ancient world as well as modern/contemporary traditions. Interested in the relationship between natural and constructed visualities, Katherine aims to connect her art historical work with fields such as anthropology and geography. Katherine’s interest in studio art has led to an ongoing focus on materiality and object-focused research.

In her first year, she was named the Alex Gordon Graduate Fellow in Pre-Columbian Art, with a major focus in Pre-Columbian art and architecture and a minor focus in Native American Art. Katherine completed her BFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she graduated summa cum laude with awards of Academic Achievement from the department and the School of Liberal Arts. In 2019, Katherine graduated with her MA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on monuments, empire, and landscape in the Aztec realm.

Previously, Katherine has held internships with The Conservation Center, The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. During her time in Texas, Katherine worked for the Harry Ransom Center, helping to organize and process materials in the digitization laboratory, as well as aided in the management of the Art History Department's collections of Ancient and Indigenous Art from the Americas.

Diana Mellon

Diana Mellon

Diana studies medieval and Renaissance Italian art, with a particular focus on the body, health and landscape. She earned her B.A. (2009) from Yale University and her M.A. (2015) and M.Phil. (2016) from Columbia University. Diana has held internships and fellowships at the Frick Collection, the National Gallery of Art, the Yale Center for British Art, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the American Academy in Rome. She conducted research for her dissertation on the visual culture of therapeutic bathing as a 2019–2020 resident at La Capraia Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities at the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, Italy. As a 2020–2021 Teaching Scholar in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Diana designed and taught a seminar on medieval and Renaissance maps of the Mediterranean.

Sophia Merkin

Sophia Merkin

Sophia Merkin is a PhD candidate specializing in Oceanic art. Her dissertation entitled “Collecting Oceania: Pacific objects, histories, and data in U.S. museums” uses art historical and digital humanities approaches to illuminate the history of collecting Oceanic art in the United States. In 2021, she published an article on Indigeneity, decolonization, and landscapes in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand in Re:Locations Journal. She is a C.V. Starr Fellow in 2021-2022, and in 2018 she was a Fellow at the Columbia University Media Center for Art History. She served as Rapporteur for the Columbia University Seminar in the Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas from 2017-2019. She holds a BA, MA, and MPhil from Columbia University and an MA with distinction from Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to entering the doctoral program in 2016, she worked as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Arts and Design and a Research Assistant in the Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at Sotheby’s.

Alyse Muller

Alyse Muller is a doctoral student specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European painting and sculpture. Prior to joining the department, Alyse was a Research Associate in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Research Assistant at The Frick Collection. She has a B.A. with honors from Mt. Holyoke College and earned her M.A. in Art History with distinction from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Her work has been supported by the Casa Muraro Fellowship and the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Fellowship.

Cleo Nisse

Cleo Nisse

Cleo Nisse is a PhD candidate and the 2020-2023 Predoctoral Paul Mellon Fellow with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. She received her B.A. in History from Cambridge University (double first class) then trained as a painting conservator at the Courtauld Institute, London. She specializes in the art of Early Modern Italy, with a focus on the techniques and materials of artistic practice, complemented by a concern for the mutability of artworks over time. She is writing her PhD dissertation on the adoption, development and significance of canvas supports for painting in Renaissance Venice. Her doctoral work has additionally been supported by fellowships from the Turza Family Foundation, Casa Muraro and Save Venice Inc.

Oluremi Onabanjo

Oluremi Onabanjo

Oluremi studies the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora, and the history of photography and its related media. Prior to entering Columbia’s PhD program in 2018, she worked as the Director of Exhibitions and Collections for The Walther Collection, where she organized exhibitions within Europe, North America, and Africa. Oluremi has lectured internationally on photography and curatorial practice, and contributed to catalogues and photo books for 10x10 Photobooks, the American Federation of Arts, Aperture Foundation, Autograph ABP, The Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Walther Collection amongst others. She is a Visiting Critic at the University of Pennsylvania, holds an MSc in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology from Oxford University, and a BA in African Studies from Columbia University.

Yann Petit

Yann Petit

Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora

Yann specializes in contemporary West African masquerades with a focus on Côte d'Ivoire and Benin. He received his B.A (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2018 with the highest honors in both of his majors, Art History and Anthropology. Prior to entering Columbia's Ph.D. program in 2019, he worked as an archaeological assistant at the Schiele Museum of Natural history and as a researcher at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. His past research projects covered the symbolism of a water goddess at the site of Bliesbruck-Reinheim and the role of the senses during night time Bobo masquerades in Burkina Faso.

Hannah Pivo

Hannah Pivo

Modern Design and Architecture

Hannah Pivo is a Ph.D. student specializing in 19th- and 20th-century design and architecture, with a focus on the history of graphic design and information visualization. She holds a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Art History with a specialization in Design History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hannah’s research has been supported by the Center for the History of Business, Technology and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware as well as Rochester Institute of Technology’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection, where she was the Summer Research Fellow for 2021. Her work has appeared in the journals Design Issues and Public Art Dialogue and she has contributed to exhibition catalogs on various topics in modern and contemporary art and design, most recently Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980 (published in 2020 by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in conjunction with the Milwaukee Art Museum). Before entering the doctoral program in 2019, Hannah was Curatorial Assistant for 20th- and 21st-Century Design at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Daniel Sobrino Ralston

Daniel Sobrino Ralston

Daniel specializes in the art and visual culture of nineteenth-century Spain. His dissertation considers Mariano Fortuny and other prominent Spanish painters at work in Paris and Rome in the 1860s and 1870s, analyzing how they interacted with, modified, and subtly subverted the art and expectations of their French contemporaries, especially Édouard Manet. In 2019, he curated Sorolla in the Studio, a focused exhibition at the Meadows Museum that explored the working methods of Joaquín Sorolla. He has also published in several catalogues and contributed to collection research on Spanish paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Hispanic Society of America. He received his BA in art history and Spanish from the University of British Columbia. His work has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship (2017–2018), the Meadows Curatorial Fellowship (2018–2019), and a research grant from the Casa de Velázquez (2021). Daniel is currently the 2021–2023 CEEH Curatorial Fellow in Spanish Paintings at the National Gallery, London.

Kalyani Madhura Ramachandran

Kalyani Madhura Ramachandran

Kalyani studies the architecture and sculpture of ancient India. She is a Dean’s Fellow, twice recipient of the Steven Kossak Graduate Fellowship in South Asian Art History, and has been supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies Language Program. Prior to joining Columbia, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she conducted research for five exhibitions. Kalyani has a B.A. from the University of Delhi where she received the Department of History Prize and an MPhil from the University of Oxford on the Rhodes Scholarship.

Corey Ratch

Corey Ratch

Early 20th century French and German art and photography; animals

Corey is a PhD candidate specializing in interwar French and German art and photography with an interest in contested divisions between humans and other animals in philosophy, politics, and culture. His dissertation addresses the impact of images of slaughtered animals, and how as production increased throughout the twentieth century, the slaughterhouse became increasingly removed from public view. This history in no small part helped pave the way for the contemporary factory farm and the current ecological crisis. His work is motivated largely by critical animal studies, posthumanism, and biosemiotics, focusing on depictions of nonhuman animals in art, how discourses of animality intersect with race, gender, and class, and how we are affected by images of violence and dismemberment.

Corey received an Art History Honours degree from the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at the University of British Columbia.

Lina María Rodríguez Perico

Lina María Rodríguez Perico

Lina entered the PhD program in 2020. She is interested in studying the artistic exchanges between Europe and South America during the Early Modern Period, specially the migration and transformation of European iconographical models. She is also keen on emblems and numismatics, topics she has delved into during her BA and MA dissertations. Lina holds a BA (Cum Laude) in History of Art from the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). Her thesis, Del libro de emblemas al espacio monacal: la serie de emblemas de amor divino del Monasterio de Santa Catalina de Siena (Arequipa, Perú), received a meritorious award and has been presented in different international conferences. In 2019 she received her MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture from the Warburg Institute, where her postgraduate studies were generously supported by the University of London. Her master’s dissertation, titled FELICITAS in Italian Renaissance Visual Culture: The Role of Sixteenth-Century Printed Sources in the Re-Appropriation of Classical Motifs, was awarded a distinction. Before arriving to Columbia, Lina held internships at the Museo Colonial in Bogotá (2015), the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (2016), and worked as a curator for a bank’s private collection in Colombia.

Sarah Russell

Sarah Russell

Renaissance and Baroque European Art

Sarah studies early modern Spain and its broad sphere of influence in Europe and the Americas, focusing especially on brushwork, naturalism, and the intellectual culture surrounding the art of painting. She earned a B.A. in Art History and Spanish from the University of Virginia, where her Distinguished Majors Program thesis, "Velázquez and the Demystification of Myth" won the Lindner center Prize for the Best Undergraduate Thesis in Art History. Before coming to Columbia, she taught English in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain with a Fulbright grant. Sarah serves as a student coordinator for the New York Renaissance Consortium and the Bettman Lecture Series at Columbia.

Julián Sánchez González

Julián Sánchez González

Global Modernisms, Art History and Spirituality, Arts of the Black Atlantic Diaspora

Julián Sánchez González joined the PhD program in Art History at Columbia University in 2018. He holds an M.A. in Art History (Honors Thesis) from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts (2018), and a double B.A. in History and Political Science from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá (2012-13). His broader academic interests investigate the relation between art making and spiritual practices throughout the twentieth century. His current research project analyzes the influence of non-monotheistic spiritualities in the arts of the 1970s and 1980s in the Americas and the Caribbean (Colombia, United States-California, and Trinidad and Tobago). Previously, Mr. Sánchez worked with the Museos de Arte y Numismática del Banco de la República in Bogotá and the Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. His writing has been published by the Museum of Modern Art, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, Oxford Art Online, Artsy, Alice Yard, the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, and the Universidad Tres de Febrero, among others. His work has been generously supported by the Fulbright Program, the Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia, and the Fundación Colfuturo, as well as by the Heyman Center for the Public Humanities and the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University.

Cecília Resende Santos

Cecília Resende Santos

History of Architecture

Cecília Resende Santos is a Ph.D. student specializing in modern architecture and planning, with an interest in the history of modernity and development in the Americas. She received a B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago, where her thesis examining the private-public relationships that shaped postindustrial Chicago received the department’s annual thesis prize. Her art writing has appeared at the Chicago-based publications Newcity, Sixty Inches from Center, and Plates, and since 2020 she has co-directed the spatial practice project Open Sheds Used for What?. Before entering the program in 2021, Cecília served as Curatorial Fellow at the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial and held positions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Graham Foundation, and Wrightwood 659 gallery.

Sait Kutay Şen

Sait Kutay Şen

Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology

Kutay started the PhD program at Columbia in 2019 after receiving his MA from the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. His master’s thesis, titled “Text and Image in Dialogue: Revisiting Iron Age Neo-Hittite Stelae” explored the capacity of the Hieroglyphic Luwian script to create multi-tiered meanings by exploiting its visual, textual and organizational characteristics as well as the figurative imagery on the monuments. His research interests are primarily focused on the relationship between historical consciousness and visual representation in ancient Mesopotamia and Anatolia as well as theories of representation and temporality. Kutay is also interested in field archaeology and is a member of the Boğaziçi University’s Tarsus-Gözlükule archaeological research project.

Yeongik Seo

Yeongik Seo

Yeongik studies the medieval Japanese art, with a particular focus on the screen paintings in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. He earned his M.A. in Art History from Seoul National University, with a thesis titled “A Study of Willows, Bridge, and Waterwheel Screens,” and his B.A. in Sociology and Korean History from Yonsei University, Korea. Prior to joining Columbia’s Ph.D. program in 2018, Yeongik worked for the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation as a research assistant, and for the Association of Art History and Visual Culture as an assistant administrator.

Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith

Early Modern Italian Art

Caroline entered the doctoral program in 2019 after receiving her MA in Art History from the University of Oregon in 2018. Her research focuses on early modern sculpture and monuments in Italy, paying close attention to issues of memory and identity. Previously, she held a curatorial externship at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, where she organized several exhibitions of 20th-century silverwork from the permanent collection. She earned her BA in History from the University of Oregon in 2012 and her MS in Education from Johns Hopkins in 2015. She served with Teach for America in Waikoloa, Hawaii from 2013 until 2015.

Teresa Soley

Teresa Soley

Late Medieval and Early Modern European Art and Architecture

Teresa Soley is a PhD candidate focusing on the arts of Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Her thesis examines fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Portuguese tomb sculptures, with a particular interest in the rhetorical function of funerary monuments and their relationship with history. Prior to Columbia, she received a BA in Art History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Washington and Lee University and a Research MA in Art History of the Low Countries in its European Context from Universiteit Utrecht, where her studies concentrated on Early Netherlandish Painting. Her curatorial experience at the Groeningemuseum and Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges included collaborations on the exhibitions Memling. Rinascimento fiammingo at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, and Faces Then: Renaissance Portraits from the Low Countries at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Teresa has been a visiting researcher at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Centro de Humanidades (CHAM) and Instituto de História da Arte at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, and the 2019-21 Samuel H. Kress Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, DC. She had contributed to the catalogue for the 2015 exhibition L'Homme, Le Dragon et la Mort: La Gloire de Saint Georges, publications on Renaissance materiality and technical art history, and Sculpture Journal.

Qisen Song

Qisen Song

History of Architecture; Modern Chinese Art and Architecture

Qisen’s research focuses on modern architecture and visual culture in socialist countries, with an emphasis on Sino-Soviet exchange. He entered the PhD program in 2020, after receiving his B.A. in History of Art and European Studies from Vanderbilt University, where his thesis comparing early socialist architecture in China and Yugoslavia earned highest honors. He received Buchanan Library Fellowship to develop data for Architectura Sinica, a digital Chinese architectural history archive for cultural heritage preservation. Qisen has previously held internships at Cai Guo-Qiang Studio, the Frist Art Museum, and Christie’s.

Molly Superfine

Molly Superfine

Modern and contemporary art; art of the African diaspora; performance art; queer theory; critical race theory

Molly Superfine entered the program in Fall 2015 and is a Ph.D. candidate. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary arts of the Americas, especially in the United States and Colombia. Her dissertation examines post-conceptual sculpture, assemblage, and performance through critical race, feminist, and haptic theories. Prior to Columbia University, she received her B.A. in art history and Spanish at Duke University in 2013. As an undergraduate, Molly focused on modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx art, while also looking at art of the African diaspora, and feminist theory. Molly has held internships at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She also worked at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and served as the assistant director of a gallery in Chelsea before joining the program at Columbia. 

Ianick Takaes

Ianick Takaes

European Renaissance Art

Ianick Takaes joined in 2018 the Ph.D. program in Art History and the certificate program in Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. He specializes in Italian Renaissance art, early twentieth-century art historiography (with emphasis on the Warburgian tradition), and aesthetics. He has a B.A. in Visual Arts (2013) and an M.A. in History of Art (2017) from the State University of Campinas, Brazil. In his Master’s thesis, Ianick discussed and translated into Portuguese Edgar Wind’s Art and Anarchy (1963). His work has been supported by CNPq, FAPESP, the Casa Muraro Fellowship, and the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Fellowship. He is also the recipient of the Turza Family Endowment Fund Fellowship (2019-2020). His writings have been published by the Journal of Art Historiography, Figura, and Engramma. Academia.edu profile.

Erhan Tamur

Erhan Tamur

Ancient Western Asian Art and Archaeology; Modern European Philosophy

Erhan received his M.A. in Ancient Western Asian Archaeology from Freie Universität Berlin. His M.A. thesis, published in Forum Kritische Archäologie, focused on the sculptural art of the Syro-Anatolian city-states in the Iron Age (ca. twelfth to seventh centuries BCE), with an emphasis on the drawbacks of correlating certain styles with certain ethnicities. In his dissertation, tentatively entitled “Site-Worlds: An Account of Material Lives from Tello (ancient Girsu),” he engages with multiple temporalities of a paradigmatic archaeological site in southern Mesopotamia and aims to develop what he calls a “site-world:” the totality of multi-temporal networks of material encounters, discussed not in isolation but as embedded in an understanding of the mutual constitution of past and present, and of object and subject.

In addition, his research on twentieth century art-historical theory, centered around the works of Meyer Schapiro and Hans Sedlmayr, is scheduled for publication in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics. In 2021, he will also co-curate an exhibition on Mesopotamian art in the third millennium BCE at the Morgan Library & Museum.

His dissertation research is supported by a twenty-four-month predoctoral fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) of the National Gallery of Art.

Laura Tibi

Laura Tibi

Global modernism and contemporary art; modern Middle East; postcolonial theory

Laura is a PhD student studying the art, architecture, and cultural politics of the modern Middle East. Her current work is committed to revising and reviving histories of painting and photography in twentieth century Palestine. More broadly, she engages with debates around transnationalism and global art histories, problematizing the exclusionary rhetoric of modernism. She is also interested in alternative exhibition practices and decolonial negotiations of art and public space. Laura holds a B.A. (honours, high distinction) in Architecture and an MA in Art History from the University of Toronto. Her thesis, “The Roots for a Palestinian Nahda: Zulfa al-Sa’di and the Advent of Palestinian Modern Art,” received a merit award and was published in Jerusalem Quarterly (autumn, 2020). In 2021, she was awarded a research grant from The Palestinian Museum in Ramallah, where she is conducting research on the artistic practice and legacy of Karimeh Abbud (forthcoming 2022).

Gwen Unger

Gwen Unger

Gwen A. Unger is a PhD candidate in Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University in the City of New York. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, focusing on cultural movements in Brazil. From 2014-2016 she held the position of Gallery Director at the Philip Slein Gallery in St.Louis. At Columbia, Gwen studies modern and contemporary Latin American art, earning her MA with a thesis on the work of Hélio Oiticica during his time in New York City and her MPhil in the fields of modern Latin American and Caribbean art, and Afro-Cuban culture. During her time at Columbia Gwen has participated in the MoMA Museum Research Consortium, a symposium held at the Casa de las Americas led by Professor Alex Alberro, and recently delivered a paper at LASA 2018 on the role of the Cuban artist in the global market. Her current research focuses on contemporary Cuban artists from the 1990’s, specifically considering questions of race, subjectivity and belonging for Afro-Cuban artists during the Special Period.

Alexandra van Riel

Alexandra van Riel

Alexandra van riel entered Columbia’s PhD program in the Fall of 2017. Her research focuses on the art of the African diasporas in Brazil since re-democratization. Alexandra received her BA in English from Boston University and her MAs in Humanities and Social Thought from NYU and Art History from Columbia. She has worked as a cultural manager at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona and as program manager at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre in Luang Prabang, where she headed up a curatorial research team on projects for UNESCO and for the museum's own exhibitions while overseeing its educational activities. In 2016 she was an editor for Rio de Janeiro's Federal University’s Arte & Ensaio journal and in 2018 participated in MoMA's Museum Research Consortium.

Alexis Wang

Alexis Wang

Medieval Art & Architecture

Alexis Wang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University, where she also received her M.Phil. and M.A. Her research examines medieval conceptions of mixture and media, focusing on the practice of embedding devotional objects within monumental mural images in medieval Italy. In 2019-2020, she was a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, and in 2021-2022, she is the Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Y. L. Lucy Wang.

Y. L. Lucy Wang.

Modern Architecture

Y. L. Lucy Wang is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in modern architecture, with an interest in the Sinosphere of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her dissertation traces the emergence of professionalized architecture in the greater China region, examining how a hygienic consciousness entered into architectural expertise and how architects, doctors, land-surveyors, and engineers integrated new understandings of disease. Her research more broadly addresses global modernisms and diasporic architecture particularly in the Qing, British, and French empires.

At Columbia, Lucy served as coordinator for the Collins/Kaufmann Forum for Modern Architectural History (2017-2019), held the Riggio Fellowship in Art History (2020-2021), and engaged in various pedagogical leadership roles at the Center for Teaching and Learning (2019-2022). Her research and studies have been supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation, and Dumbarton Oaks. She is currently a 2021-2022 Mellon-Marron Research Consortium (MRC) Fellow in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA.

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams

19th and 20th century American art

Ashley entered the PhD program in 2019. Her research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art and architecture, with special interests in settler colonialism, gender, and eugenics. Previously she was the John Wilmerding Intern in American Art at the National Gallery of Art (2018-2019). She holds a BA in Art History and French from Agnes Scott College (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and an MA in Art History from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. At UMass, she co-organized Strength, Unity, Power: Contemporary Practices in Native Arts, a symposium on decolonizing art institutions. She has a forthcoming chapter in the Routledge Companion to Art and Disability (2022) about sculpture, the ideal body, and transatlantic fascism at Rockefeller Center.

Joseph Woldman

Joseph Woldman

Etruscan and Roman Art and Archaeology

Joseph Woldman is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in the art of Etruria and Rome. His dissertation considers the phenomenological and agential significance of artificial faces that are affixed to Etruscan architecture and ceramics in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.

Joseph holds a BA in Art History and Religious Studies as well as a Professional Certificate in Arts Administration from New York University. He has presented both his current research as well as a portion of his MA qualifying paper on representations of Herakles on Caeretan hydriae at two AIA Annual Meetings. Joseph has also served as a graduate student assistant in Columbia University’s Art Properties and has been an active participant in four seasons of the APAHA excavations in Hadrian’s Villa.

Rebecca Yuste

Rebecca Yuste

History and Theory of Architecture

Rebecca entered Columbia’s PhD program in the Fall of 2019. She studies Belle-Époque architecture in France, Mexico and Argentina. She is interested in institutions of knowledge and their spatial articulation, and writes about the relationship between the history of science and architecture.

Rebecca received her A.B. magna cum laude from Princeton University in Art and Archaeology in 2019, where she won the Frederick Barnard White Prize in Architecture. Rebecca has held internships at the Princeton University Art Museum, the Norman Foster Foundation and the Whitney Museum of American Art. This past summer, she served as Writer in Residence at the Institute for the Study of Latin America Art (ISLAA), where she worked with the Cesar Paternosto Archive. In the fall, she will participate in MoMA’s Museum Research Consortium Study Sessions.

Cathy Zhu

Cathy Zhu

Cathy is a Ph.D. candidate whose research interests center on Chinese painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties (960-1368). Her dissertation studies images of omens in the twelfth century and their role in visualizing emperorship. Before studying at Columbia, Cathy graduated with honors from the University of Chicago (A.B., 2009) in Economics and Art History and from Williams College (M.A., 2013) in the History of Art. She has interned in the curatorial departments at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Clark Art Institute, where she contributed to two exhibits on Chinese art and archaeology, and worked at Hindman Auctions in the Asian Works of Art Department. Cathy’s research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation/ACLS, the C.V. Starr Foundation, the Getty Foundation, Columbia’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the American Oriental Society, among others.

Valerie Zinner

Valerie Zinner

Valerie Zinner's research focuses on early modern Japanese illustrated narratives. She earned an honors B.A. in Art History and English Literature from the Macaulay Honors College (CUNY), and M.A. in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University. Valerie has also pursued the study of Japanese cursive writing (kuzushiji), participating in multiple translation workshops at Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania. She has received fellowships and grants from the Macaulay Honors College, Nippon Zaidan, and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She recently was awarded a Fulbright grant, and is currently a visiting researcher at Tokyo University while she completes her dissertation fieldwork on the Sumiyoshi School of painters.

Alex Zivkovic

Alex Zivkovic

Photography and media theory

Alex is a Ph.D. candidate studying modern art and the history of photography, with a focus on surrealism and interwar media. His dissertation examines the role of greenhouses, aquariums, and gardens in French mass culture from 1860 to 1940. Alex's other research projects include a forthcoming article on media and wildness in animal horror films in the New Review of Film and Television Studies and a recent conference presentation on taxidermy in surrealist sculpture. Additionally, he completed an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in media theory through Columbia’s Center for Comparative Media. Alex graduated from Stanford University in 2017, receiving a B.A. with distinction in Art History (with honors) and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Before starting at Columbia, he worked as a project research assistant for SFMOMA’s René Magritte: The Fifth Season (2018). His shorter essays on art and media have been published digitally at SFMOMA and Slate.