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Current Students

Mary Bartlet Cowdrey Fund

Mary Bartlet Cowdrey Fund

Guidelines For Applying to Mary Bartlet Cowdrey Fund For Dissertation Research 

The Graduate Program in Art History offers one Mary Bartlet Cowdrey Dissertation Fellowship (stipend plus tuition remission) every other year. The fellowship is an "open" dissertation fellowship to be awarded to the best-qualified candidate regardless of his/her field.

Expenses: Students with approved dissertation topics in European Art are eligible to apply. *

Allowable Expenses: Photocopies, photographic materials, office supplies, travel expenses essential for dissertation research: airfare, or train fare, local transportation, parking.

Expenses Not Covered: Registration for CAA; conference travel; mileage; books; catalogues; all personal item expenses.

General Application Information: Applications are due on or before April 1 for consideration and processing. All expenses are subject to approval by the Mary Bartlet Cowdrey Committee and the graduate office. Foreign or extensive travel must be pre-authorized by the Committee. No student will receive more than a total of $1,000.00 in assistance. All expenses incurred must be over a maximum three-year period from the date of proposal approval.

For Reimbursement: Submit completed Application Form. ORIGINAL receipts are to be taped to white 8 1/2 x 11 paper and attached to the form. No photocopies, packing slips or duplicate receipts will be allowed. All receipts must be clearly printed with the date, place of purchase and item purchased. Receipts without this information will be disregarded.

Application Form (Word Document)

Any questions can be addressed to
the Graduate Office at 732/932-7041 x14.

* Students with dissertation topics in American Art must apply first to the Mitnick-Jacobs Fund. After the student has reached the $750 cap on the Mitnick-Jacobs, they may apply for another $250 of reimbursable expenses through the Cowdrey.

Current Student List



 Katie Argila

Katie Argila

Degree: BA, Loyola University Maryland

Area of Interest: 18th-19th Century American Art

Research Interest: American 19th century landscape paintings, Museum Studies, 18th century French Furniture

Bio: She received her B.A. History from Loyola University Maryland where she also double minored in Art History and International Business. She has interned at the Brooklyn Museum, Maryland Historical Society and Christie's, in New York City. Katie also contributed to the creation of two permanent installations at Loyola Maryland's gallery, "Axel Haig and Georges Rouault: Spiritual Impressions in a Changing Europe" and "Virgin Mary Seated with Christ Child".

Kira Maye Albinsky

Degree: BA, Boston College; MA, Rutgers University

Area: Italian Renaissance and Baroque

Dissertation / Advisor: “Art, Ritual, & Reform: The Archconfraternity of the Holy Crucifix of San Marcello in Rome” – Catherine Puglisi

Kira Albinsky is a PhD Candidate specializing in early modern art in Italy. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston College in 2007 with a B.A. in Art History. In 2012, she received her M.A. from Rutgers University with a thesis entitled “An ‘aderente al Caravaggio’? Carlo Saraceni, Caravaggism, and Santa Maria dell’Anima in Rome.” She is currently writing a dissertation on the social history, devotional practices, and art patronage of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Crucifix of San Marcello in Rome, which explores the interdependence of art, ritual, and reform during the Catholic Reformation. Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Graduate School-New Brunswick, and the Department of Art History at Rutgers University.

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Corina L. Apostol 

Degree: BA, Duke University
Area: Eastern European and Soviet conceptual art
Area of research: Modern and Contemporary Art
Research Interests: Late Soviet and Post Soviet Eastern European and Russiaan Art, Museology, Performance Art, Photography, Video & Film
Dissertation / Advisor: "Dissident Education: Socially Engaged Art from the Former East in GLobal Context" / Jane A. Sharp



Corina Apostol received her B.A. with honors from Duke University, majoring in Art History and History. Corina currently works as a curatorial research fellow of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. Recently Corina curated the exhibition "Leningrad's Perestroika: Crosscurrents in Photography, Video and Music" at the Zimmerli. She is the co-founder of Art Leaks, an organization that fights for artists' rights in the workforce, and co-editor of the ArtLeaks Gazette. Corina also contributes to The Long April. Texte Despre Arta, IDEA Arts+Society and Critic Atac.


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Isabel Bartolome

Degree: BA, University of California, Riverside
Area: Italian Baroque
Dissertation/Advisor: - Tod Marder


Isabel Bartolome studies Italian and French Baroque sculpture. She graduated with high honors from the University of California, Riverside with a B.A. in Art History. Her research interests include cultural and artistic exchange between France and Italy, the artist as diplomat, royal portraiture, and early seventeenth-century Parisian tapestries. She is currently doing research on Gianlorenzo Bernini’s image of Louis XIV.


 Kaitlin Pic

Eveline Baseggio

Degree: BA, MA Univ.of Venice, Ca'Foscari
Area: Italian Renaissance
Dissertation/Advisor: - Sarah McHam



Kaitlin Booher


Kaitlin Booher is a PhD student in Art History at Rutgers University. She studies the history of photography with attention to its technical and aesthetic transformations, its social history, and its use as tool for communication at the turn of the 20th century.  Her current research explores the work of Adolphe de Meyer and his role in the formation of international codes of advertising photography. Prior to Rutgers, Kaitlin was a curatorial consultant in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art and assistant curator of photography and media arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Her exhibitions include Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd (2013) and Shooting Stars: Publicity Stills from Early Hollywood and Portraits by Andy Warhol (2012). She graduated with a BA in Art History from New York University in 2008.

Degrees: BA, University of Notre Dame; MA, University of Notre Dame
Area: 19th-century French art
Research interests: Constructions of femininity and masculinity, cross-cultural encounters, Orientalism, notions of self/other, race and representation, the history of collecting
Biography: Brigid Boyle is a PhD student specializing in the art and material culture of nineteenth-century France. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in Art History and French. Her honors thesis examined Guillaume Bodinier's paintings of Italian peasants in relation to travel literature, discourses on nationalism, and the fracturing of Europe into its modern nation-states. This project served as a platform for her Master's thesis on Camille Corot's late paintings of melancholic female figures. She has held curatorial positions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Snite Museum of Art, and has participated in excavations in Mursi, Albania. 


Meaghan Bratichak

Degree: Drew University
Area: Italian Renaissance Painting
Dissertation/Advisor: - Sarah McHam


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Kelsey Brosnan

Degree: BA, Barnard College, Columbia University
Area: 18th- and 19th-Century French Art
Dissertation / Advisor: "Seductive Surfaces: Anne Vallayer Coster and the Eighteenth-Century Still Life" - Susan Sidlauskas


Kelsey Brosnan is a PhD candidate focusing on issues of gender and materiality in eighteenth-century French art. She is currently a Research Assistant in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has previously worked at the Morgan Library & Museum and Vogue Magazine.


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Todd Caissie

Degree: BA, Stony Brook University; BA, Hunter College
Area: Ancient (Greek and Roman)
Research Interests: Art History and Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean, CHAPS, GIS, cultural heritage and preservation, Greek, Roman and Iberian cultures, seafaring, international trade and diplomacy, sculpture, warfare in art, ancient sports and spectacle
Advisor: John Kenfield III


Todd Caissie is currently a first year doctoral fellow. Prior to Rutgers, Todd held several executive management level positions in the Legal Executive Search industry in New York and Tokyo, Japan.


Heather Cammarata-Seale


Heather Cammarata-Seale

Degree: BA, Drew University
Area: Modern/Contemporary
Dissertation/Advisor: "The Authentic Animal: Taxidermy and Contemporary Art," - Joan Marter
Area of Study:  Modern and Contemporary Art










Research Interests:  animals in art, taxidermy in contemporary art, the intersection of art and science, contemporary photography, museum studies, and the relationship between art and consumer culture

Biography:  Heather Cammarata-Seale is currently a doctoral candidate focusing on the representation of animals in contemporary art.  Her dissertation revolves around the artistic use of taxidermy and the theoretical implications surrounding this practice.  In addition to researching the connections between the disciplines of Art History and Animal Studies, Heather is interested in curatorial studies and museum education.  In the past, she served as a Museum Educator for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  Presently, she is the Exhibitions Coordinator for the Corporate Art Program at Johnson & Johnson’s World Headquarters.  In this position, she manages the company’s art collection and curates exhibitions in their two galleries.  


Christina Lamb Chakalova

Degrees:         BA, Lafayette College & MA, University of Vienna

Area:               Italian Baroque

Adviser:           Catherine Puglisi

Research Interest: Italian Baroque & Museum Studies


Christina Lamb Chakalova is a PhD candidate specializing in Italian Baroque painting. Christina’s research focus is 17th century Italian painting, specifically the work of Guido Reni and his followers. In addition to her doctoral studies, Christina is pursing a curatorial certificate and is a Dodge-Lawrence Fellow at the Zimmerli Art Museum. Christina received her B.A. from Lafayette College with a double major in Fine Art/Art History and Religious Studies in 2005. In 2012, Christina earned an M.A. in Art History with high honors from the University of Vienna. 


Boyoung Chang

Degree: BA, MA, Ewha University
Area: 20c Contemporary Photography
Dissertation/Advisor: "Performing the Other: Contemporary Korean Photography" - Andres Zervigon

 Austen Leigh DePinto

Austen-Leigh DePinto

Degree(s): BA, Rutgers University: Art History; MA Institute of Fine Arts, NYU: Art History & Archaeology

Area: Ancient (Greek & Roman)

Dissertation Adviser: Dr. John Kenfield

Research Interests: The Homeric Cycle & depictions of death in Archaic vase painting; sculpture of the Hellenistic & Roman Imperial periods; Roman portraits; the preservation of cultural & archaeological heritage in conflict zones; antiquities trafficking; art in the Eastern Roman Empire

Bio: Austen-Leigh received her BA from Rutgers University where she also minored in Classical Studies and English Literature. She obtained an MA from the Institute of Fine Arts where she continued her focus on Greek & Roman art & archaeology. She is currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers in Art History and CHAPS. Her excavation experience includes sites in Italy, Sicily, and Turkey. She has held various positions in the art world: she worked as an assistant at a Contemporary art gallery in Chelsea, interned at Christie’s, and she has spent the last few years teaching art history courses at various community colleges in New Jersey. Her ultimate life goal, other than obtaining a PhD, is to see all of the objects she teaches in person.

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Benjamin Eldredge

Degree: BA, University of Vermont; MA, Rutgers University
Area: Early Modern Italy
Dissertation Title: “Andrea Doria, San Matteo, and the Art of Patronage in 16th-Century Italy”
Advisors: Sarah Blake McHam, Benjamin Paul

Benjamin Eldredge is a Ph.D. candidate focusing on sculpture and patronage in sixteenth-century Italy. His dissertation examines the intersections of political and religious concerns in the opulent decorative program commissioned by Genoa’s de-facto ruler Andrea Doria for his family church, San Matteo, investigating the role of art in reifying Doria’s authority in Genoa and his ties to the Hapsburgs and the Papacy in the mid-sixteenth century, as Genoa was positioning itself as a key player on the stage of European politics. From 2012 to 2014, Benjamin is a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana—Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome.



Brooke Falk Permenter

Degree: BA, College of Charleston
Area: Medieval
Dissertation/Advisor: "Assaults on the Faith: Imagining Jews and Creating Christians in the Late Middle Ages," - Laura Weigert


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Mary Fernandez

Degree: BA, Florida State University, Literature and Art History
Area: Colonial Latin American and Caribbean Art
Advisor: Tatiana Flores


Mary Fernandez received her B.A. with honors from Florida State University, majoring in Art History and Literature. She is currently a second year doctoral fellow. Her research interests include race, gender, and identity in eighteenth-century Latin America, artistic production in New Spanish convents, and the transitional art of the Bourbon Reforms.



Francis Fletcher

Degree: B.A. College of Wooster
Area: Italian Renaissance
Dissertation/Advisor: "Mantegna's Fictive Reliefs: Painting as Moral Philosophy and the Humanist Language of Historical Inquiry in the Renaissance" - Sarah McHam



Jeff Fraiman

Degree: BA, University of Maryland; MA, Hunter College
Area: Italian Renaissance/Baroque
Dissertation/Advisor: - Catherine Puglisi


Jeffrey Fraiman is a specialist in the art of early modern Italy, with a concentration of painting in Rome around 1600. He is currently a Research Assistant in the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His dissertation, titled “The Painted Altarpiece in Rome, ca. 1600-1630: Christian Archaeology, Naturalism, and the Body,” examines devotional images of early Christian martyrs within the context of the PaleoChristian Revival in Post-Tridentine Rome, with a focus on site specificity and sacred topography.



Elvis Fuentes

Degree: BA, University of Havana, Cuba, 1999
Area: Cuban nonconformist art
Area of research: Modern and Contemporary art
Area of interest: Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American art, Political art and ideology, Propaganda art, Soviet nonconformist art, Post-Soviet art, Performance and Conceptual art
Dissertation/Advisors: Bowling for Moscow: Cuban art and Soviet visual culture, 1959-1991 / Jane A. Sharp and Tatiana Flores


Elvis Fuentes have served as curator at institutions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States for over twelve years. He won the Grand Prix at the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, 2005. During his research on Felix Gonzalez-Torres's early work in Puerto Rico, Fuentes discovered and recovered five missing video-art works by the artist. His three-museum curatorial project, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, was selected by critics of The New York Times and The Village Voice among the city's best shows of 2012. As part of it, Fuentes co-edited, Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World, co-published by Yale University Press and El Museo del Barrio. He is currently working on curatorial projects on Cuban art, political art, and new media. 



Jessica L. Hamman

Degree: BA/BFA/Certificate, Indiana University - Bloomington

Area: Italian Renaissance

Research Interest: Art Crime; Artist personalities/psychologies; the use of Portraiture, Allegory, and Symbolism; Aesthetics

As an undergrad, Jessica Hamman previously studied as a Digital/Studio Artist. She also has experience studying Art Administration and Pre-Modern Art History. Personal interests include topics such as the science and neurology behind eccentric personalities, Leonardo Da Vinci, law, Conceptual design, and music.



Aimé Iglesias Lukin

BA, Universidad de Buenos AIres; MA,New York University
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art


Aimé Iglesias Lukin is a PhD Student researching Latin American artists in New York in the 1960s and 1970s and the intersections of art and politics in the origins of Latin American Conceptualism. She is interested in Gender and Body issues that expand the notion of the political into broader territories, and in networks of exchange among the international Latin American artistic community in the 1970s. 

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Betty Jarvis

Degree: BFA, Baylor University
Area: Modern and Contemporary


Betty Jarvis graduated from Baylor University with a BFA in Studio Art- graphic design in 2013. She is currently working towards an M.A. focusing on modern and contemporary art with a special interest in questions of gender and identity as it pertains to craft as fine art.



Catherine Kupiec

Degree: Washington University in St. Louis
Area: Italian Renaissance
Dissertation/Advisor: Sarah McHam



James M. Levinsohn

BA, University of Chicago
Modern/Contemporary, History of Photography, Gender and Sexuality


Research Interests: Space, corporeality, and subjectivity in modern/contemporary photography and sculpture; material and narrative dimensions of contemporary photography/video; intersections of literary and psychoanalytic theory and art history; the "subject" in art history; vernacular/commercial photography and photography in print; photography and art books/exhibitions; modern/contemporary art and visual culture and sexual minorities and subcultures.

Biography: James is a first-year Master's student. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Art History with Honors in 2012, after having completed F. Champion Ward and Art History Dept. travel grants to Germany in Summer 2011 to research the graphic art of Neue Sachlichkeit artist Christian Schad. James has held research and writing-oriented curatorial internships in Photography at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Roman Vishniac Archive of the International Center of Photography; the latter resulted in the acclaimed 2013 exhibition Roman Vishniac Rediscovered, traveling this year to the Jewish museums of Paris and Amsterdam. He has also worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and served on a student advisory committee for the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art.


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Shana Lopes

Degree: BA, University of Pennsylvania; MA, University of Arizona
Area: History of Photography
Dissertation/Advisor: - Tanya Sheehan


Shana Lopes is a third-year doctoral student focusing on the history of photography. She received her BA in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA in Art History from the University of Arizona. Shana has gained experience at institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Center for Creative Photography, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is currently the Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Department of Photographs. Her dissertation explores the interactions between German and American photography practices in the nineteenth century.



Gianna LoScerbo

Degree: BA, The University of Texas at Arlington; MA, Tufts University; MST, Pace University
Area: American photography and film
Dissertation/Advisor: "A Struggle for the Real: Documentary Photography and Film in Post-WWII American Culture," - Andres Zervigon


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Stephen Mack

BA, Kenyon College
Italian Renaissance
Sarah Blake McHam



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Olena Martynyuk

Degree: BA, MA, National University of Kyiv-Mogyla Academy
Area: 20c Ukrainian, Russian


Olena Martynyuk is working on Ukrainian and Russian art of the 20th century including avant-garde
and Soviet non-conformism with Professor Jane A. Sharp. In 2004, she graduated from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine) with an MA degree in Cultural Studies. While in Ukraine, she worked as an art manager (Atelier Karas Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine), an art columnist (Gazeta 24, Kyiv, Ukraine), and an art gallery director (Ya Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine). In 2007-2008, she was a recipient of Fulbright Junior Research Fellow grant doing research at the New School University in New York. Since 2009, she has been a PhD student in art history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA, and a graduate curatorial assistant at the Zimmerli Art Museum. At Rutgers, she taught a course on 20th century art in the summer of 2012. In September - October, 2012, she co-curated the show “Ukrainian Socialist Realism” in Ukrainian Institute of America.

She is interested in the history of the 20th  century art with accents on regional modernisms and critical theory. Her dissertation is devoted to study of Ukrainian and Russian art made in Moscow during and after Peresroika period. It will examine the hybrid character of art in late Soviet and early Post-Soviet Moscow, a period that witnessed both the crumbling of the Soviet Empire and the emergence of national artist figure. Her dissertation focuses on center-periphery dialogs in conceptual art and post-conceptual painting.


Kimiko Matsumura

Degree: BA, University of Kansas; MA, Indiana University

Area: 20c American Art

Research Interests: intersections of art and science, authoritative imagery, history of museums and scientific display, the visual culture of pseudoscience, race and representation


Kimiko Matsumura is a doctoral student whose current research considers the relationship between the natural history museum and American art in the 20th century.  She received her B.A. with honors from the University of Kansas, where she studied Art History, Human Biology and French. Most recently, she received her M.A. in Art History from Indiana University with a thesis entitled “Objective Claims, Political Purpose: Analyzing the use of objectivity in the art of Alexis Rockman and a recent intelligent design textbook.”


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Justin McCann

Degree: BA, MA, Indiana University
Area: 19th-20th American, British, and Irish art and visual culture
Dissertation: "Whistler and the Art of Transformation" Adviser: Susan Sidlauskas


Justin McCann completed his MA degree in art history at Indiana University writing on Whistler at West Point. He is currently ABD at Rutgers and at work on his dissertation that examines Whistler's self-fashioning in relation to his artistic practice. His research interests include the body, self-hood and artistic identity, dandyism, the visual cultures of rivers and cities, theater and acting, and what it means to make stuff. His broad area of interest includes all things American, British, Irish, and transatlantic in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies Fellow at the Colby College Museum of Art.



Maria Christina Morandi

Degree: BA, MA, Universita degli Studi di Milano
Area: 20c Baltic and Russian Art



Alia Nour-Elsayed

Degree: BA, American University in Cairo; MA, Seton Hall
Area: 19c French Orientalism
Dissertation/Advisor: - Susan Sidlauskas


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Ksenia Nouril

Degree: BA, New York University
Area: Modern and Contemporary Central and Eastern European Art
Advisor: Jane Sharp


Ksenia Nouril advanced to doctoral candidacy in May 2014. Her dissertation "The Operative Object: Investigating the Historical Turn in Post-Soviet Art" examines contemporary Eastern European artists who actively question and engage with history and historical representations of socialism since 1989. She is a Dodge Fellow, holding a Graduate Curatorial Assistantship in the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. She previously has worked at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and has written for Art Margins and The Calvert Journal. 

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Sophie Ong
BA, Smith College

Area: Late Medieval and Northern Renaissance

Dissertation / Advisor: “Hanging on the Body: Pendants, Materiality, and Touch in the Late Middle Ages” – Laura Weigert

Research Interests: Medieval jewelry, reliquary jewelry, medieval goldsmiths’ work, luxury arts, artistic collaboration, materiality and intermediality, Islamic art and architecture, technical art history, museum studies

Sophie Ong is a PhD candidate specializing in northern European art of the late Middle Ages. Her dissertation examines the relationship between late medieval jeweled pendants, touch, and the body, interrogating the multi-layered significance of pendants as highly-portable, complex pieces of jewelry and devotional objects—in many cases, containers for relics worn on the body. She is also completing a minor in Islamic Art. Sophie received her B.A. cum laude with high honors in Art History from Smith College, where she also minored in Chemistry and completed the Museums Concentration with a focus on art conservation. In addition to her art historical pursuits, she is interested in museum practices, especially curatorial studies, art conservation and museum education. She has interned and worked at several museums across the US including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, The Frick Collection, the Smith College Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Zimmerli Art Museum.





Mieke Paulsen

Degree: BA,CSU, San Bernardino; MA UC Riverside
Area: Late Antique, Early Medieval
Dissertation/Advisor: - John Kenfield III


Dissertation title: "Faces in the Frame: From Masks to Heads in the Borders of Roman Mosaic".

The figural borders of Roman floor mosaics are usually examined in terms of iconographic ornament, but rarely as meaningful commentaries on the narrative panels that they frame.  However, mosaics from Pompeii, Antioch, and Constantinople show that borders play a significant role in narrative composition, a role best understood through the masks and heads that often appear in framing devices.  While masks are usually associated with Dionysos, when they are treated as part of a distinctly Roman tradition they– and the frames in which they appear– become meaningful entities in their own right, engaging with the viewer and informing the interpretive process.


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Kathleen Pierce

Degree: BA, Villanova University, MA, Rutgers University

Area: 19th/20th century French Art and Visual Culture

Dissertation / Advisor: "Surface Tension: Skin, Disease, and Visuality in Third Republic France," advised by Susan Sidlauskas

Kathleen Pierce is a PhD Candidate whose work considers intersections of art and medicine in France's Third Republic. Her dissertation project examines a broad range of objects—from dermatological illustrations and wax-cast moulages, to public health posters and vanguard painting—to understand relationships between the surface of the modern body and the surface in modern painting in fin-de-siècle France and its colonies.



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Laurie Porstner

Degree: B.A., Hunter College CUNY; M.A., Institute of Fine Arts NYU
Area: Greek and Roman
Dissertation / Advisor: Roman Holiday: Compitalia in Roman Art and Culture - John Kenfield III


Research interests: ancient domestic architecture and interior decoration, expressions of Roman and Greek religion through art, and objects associated with daily life

Biography: Laurie Porstner is a Ph.D. candidate. Her dissertation focuses on the iconography and material culture of Compitalia in both the “public” and “private” spheres, such as in the domestic cult scenes found in mosaic panels (emblemata) embedded within larger compositions such as the Mosaic of the Months from El Jem in Tunisia and the Mosaic of the Agricultural Calendar from Saint-Romain-en-Gal in France, the iconography of its non-elite priesthood (the vicomagistri) in “public” works of Roman art such as the Vicomagistri Relief to the more “private” objects involved in its celebration.   Her M.A. (Art History and Archaeology) is from the Institute of Fine Arts NYU, and B.A. (Classical Archaeology) with high honors is from Hunter College CUNY. Laurie has worked for the College Board, taught classes in the Metropolitan Museum for a private school in Manhattan, and has been a teaching assistant for Introduction to Art History at Hunter College and Rutgers University. She attended the American Academy in Rome’s 2012 Classical Summer School and presented a paper, “The Origin of the Christian Cult of the Saints Derived from Roman Domestic Religion as Evidenced in Antioch,” which was derived from her M.A. research, at the April 2013 Public and Private in the Roman House II conference in Helsinki.


 Dillon Raborn

Nandita Punj

Degree: MA, Delhi University; MPhil, Jawaharlal Nehru University; PhD, Delhi University (Jain Monastic Institutions in Western India, c. 750-1400 CE)
Area: South Asian Art


Dillon Raborn

Degree: BA from Southeastern Louisiana University

Area: Pre-WWII European art and post-WWII American art

Research Interests: Word and Image studies, art theory and criticism, and modernist studies

With the guidance of my two fabulous undergrad art history professors, I made the jump from a small Louisiana university to the art history department of Rutgers, and I am so happy to be here!  Currently interested in race studies.

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Anna Rogulina

Degree: BA, Vassar College
Area of research: Modern and Contemporary Art
Research interests: Soviet and Post Soviet Art, Museum Studies, Global Conceptualisms, Photography.
Advisor: Jane A. Sharp   


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Negar Rokhgar

From: Tehran, Iran
Studied: Master of Art Research at Tehran University of Art
With a focus on Persian/ Middle Eastern/ Islamic Art
Current Status: MA/PhD student at Rutgers University  Department of Art History
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Blake McHam
My Area of study: Renaissance/ Venice/ Interactions between Near Eastern and Venice
Working: Ballet Piano accompanist at Rutgers University
Other Interests: Music, Piano, Dance



Florencia San Martin

Degree: BA, Catholic University of Chile; MFA, New York University
Area: Modern and Contemporary Art / Latin America / Photography
Dissertation / Advisor: Dr. Tatiana Flores


Florencia San Martin studies contemporary art, specifically as it relates to post-capitalism in Latin America, photographic practices, and the relationships between art and politics. She entered the PhD program in the fall of 2012, after graduated from NYU with a M.F.A. For both degrees, San Martín has been awarded a full scholarship granted by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research from the Republic of Chile (CONYCIT)



Kate Scott

Degree: BA, Rochester Institute of Technology and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Area: American Art and the History of Photography
Dissertation/Advisor: - Andres Zervigon



Andrew Scruggs

Degree: BA, BFA, East Tennessee State University
Area: Modern and Contemporary Photography
Dissertation/Advisor: "Photo Riot! American Photographic Practices, 1962-1975," - Andres Zervigon



Heather Shannon

Degree: Oregon State University
Area: Modern, Photography
Dissertation/Advisor: - Tanya Sheehan



Hannah R. Shaw

Degree: BA, Columbia University
Area: History of Photography, German Modernism
Dissertation/Advisor: - Andres Zervigon



Rebecca Shields

Degree: BA, MA, Univ.of Virginia
Area: English Baroque
Dissertation/Advisor: - Tod Marder



Carly Steinborn

Degree: BA, New York University
Area: Medieval
Dissertation/Advisor: "Transforming Sacred Space: Image and Materiality in the Orthodox Baptistery of Ravenna," - Erik Thunø


Kathleen Sullivan2

Kathleen Sullivan

Degree: BA, Georgetown University; MA, Rutgers University
Area: Italian Renaissance
Dissertation/Advisor: Style and Meaning in Girolamo Romanino - Benjamin Paul

Research Interests: 16th-century North Italian painting, art and reform, style, 16th-century Brescian painting

Kathleen Sullivan is a PhD candidate specializing in Italian Renaissance art. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Georgetown University (Art History, Classics) in 2008. She subsequently received her M.A. in Art History from Rutgers University with a thesis entitled “Picturing Contemplation: Titian’s Saint Nicholas Altarpiece,” a version of which was published in the Rutgers Art Review in 2013. The paper reexamines the contested dating of the altarpiece in the context of the conflict between the Observant and Conventual factions of the Franciscan Order.

Kathleen’s dissertation project is entitled “Style and Meaning in Girolamo Romanino.” It reexamines the stylistic choices of the 16th-century North Italian painter Romanino, and, in particular, focuses on questions about his use of an “anticlassical style” in a number of significant commissions. The project proposes to complicate the understanding of his heterodox style by proposing that it was not simply a reaction against prevailing norms, but that other factors, including the religious climate, the location, the medium, the subject matter, and the patron, influenced his stylistic decisions.


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Tianyi Sun

Her research focus on is modern/contemporary art.
BA: China Central Academy of Fine Arts.

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Tashima Thomas

Degree: BA, University of Houston; MA, San Diego State University
Area: Latin American Art
Dissertation/Advisor: - Tatiana Flores


Tashima Thomas is a Ph.D. Candidate studying the art of the African Diaspora in the Americas and is focusing her dissertation on food pathways, sugar cane, bananas, commodity fetishism, and the consumption of culture.  She holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Houston and an M.A. in Art History from San Diego State University.  She is a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow and the recipient of the Goldman Sachs Multicultural Afrolatino Junior Fellowship at the Smithsonian.  Her interests include: visual culture, fashion, film, music, popular culture, remix theory, and critical race theory.



Joëlla van Donkersgoed

BA and MA in Archaeological Heritage Management at Leiden University (The Netherlands), currently enrolled as PhD student in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies at the department of Art History at Rutgers University.

Advisor: Archer St.Clair-Harvey


Her research focus is on the concept of cultural landscapes, especially in Dutch post-colonial countries. She is currently working on a project to enlist the Banda Islands (Indonesia) on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Furthermore, her dissertation project focuses on the Cultural and Botanical Landscape of Richtersveld in South Africa. In both projects she in interested the two-faced history and how these different layers of history can be translated in the management practice of these cultural landscapes.



Ivannia Vega-McTighe

Degree: BA, Boston College; MA, Seton Hall
Area: Early Medieval
Dissertation/Advisor: - Erik Thuno



Annemarie Voss

Degree: BA, Michigan State University
Area: Contemporary
Dissertation/Advisor: "Incremental Remedies: Women Artists and Ecology Since 1980," - Joan Marter

Yuen-Dept Website1a

Melissa Yuen

Degrees: BS, University of Notre Dame; MA, Rutgers University
Area: Italian Baroque
Dissertation Title/Advisor: "The Young Mattia Preti in Rome: Style and Italian Baroque Painting, c. 1630-1653"--Catherine Puglisi


Research Interests: Italian Baroque painting and sculpture, Old Master Drawings, Caravaggio and his Followers, style and stylistic change

Melissa Yuen is currently working on her dissertation, which examines the early career of Mattia Preti and seeks to situate his youthful paintings within the artistic atmosphere of Rome. She has presented papers relating to aspects of this research at Hunter College, and the Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference. Her exhibition review of "Il Cavalier Calabrese. Mattia Preti: tra Caravaggio e Luca Giordano" appeared in the November 2013 issue of The Burlington Magazine.





Art History Graduate Student Organization

Art History Graduate Student Organization (AHGSO)

The Art History Graduate Student Organization (AHGSO) is an autonomous group established to further the interests of the students within the program. It functions in cooperation with the University-wide Graduate Student Association. Among other things, the AHGSO elects a student representative who attends all Graduate Art History Faculty Meetings (except those involving the evaluation and discussion of individual students of personal matters) and who votes on all issues except those concerning faculty appointments and academic decisions affecting individual students.

The AHGSO also conducts an annual symposium at which graduate students are invited to deliver papers embodying their original research in the field. Students are encouraged to participate in the association's various standing committees which are concerned with all aspects of the students' social and academic life within the program.

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