Graduate Student Profile

La Rocca, Austen

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Austen Leigh is a doctoral candidate in both the Art History and CHAPS programs. She received a B.A. from Rutgers University in Art History, English Literature, & Classical Humanities as well as an M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU in Art History & Archaeology. Her excavation experience includes digs in Selinunte, Sicily and Aphrodisias, Turkey. Her research uses material culture as a scope to examine the relationship between history and heritage. Her dissertation: “Arches & Memory: A Diachronic View of Roman Material Culture” explores the palimpsestic nature of ancient monuments, and their role in creating cultural identities and historical narrative. Other avenues of interest include the role of material culture in conflict and post-conflict social contexts and the public role of the humanities.