Graduate Students

Benjamin Aaron

M.A. (with distinction), Japanese Language and Culture, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
B.A., Japanese Literature, University of Florida

Advisor: Bert Winther-Tamaki
Research Interests: Post-WWII Japanese visual arts, trauma Studies, memory/memorialization, representation of trauma/atrocities, cultural memory, avant-garde/modernism, East-West dialectical influences

Shane Breitenstein

B.A. with highest honors, Sociology/Anthropology and English Literature, Swarthmore College

Advisor: Lucas Hilderbrand
Dissertation: "Latchkey Law: Media Regulation and the Imperiled Tween"
Research Interests: The visual culture of adolescence and childhood, the 1980s, queer and feminist theory, media regulation, television, horror and melodrama, pornography

Marianna Davison

DavisonM.A., Visual Culture, Illinois State University
B.A., Art History, University of Texas at Austin

Advisor: James Nisbet
Research Interests: Modern and contemporary art history and visual culture, trash art, socially engaged collaboration and artist collectives, eco-aesthetics, biopolitics, and critical theory

Maggie Dethloff

DethloffB.A., Art History, Smith College

Advisor: Cécile Whiting
Research Interests: Photography, 20th-century American art, appropriation, text, especially found text, linguistics and semiotics, materiality, and death, and curatorial practice

Julian Francolino

FrancolinoM.A., Visual Studies, UC Irvine
B.F.A., summa cum laude, Studio Art, Biola University

Advisor: Aglaya Glebova
Research Interests: Modernism and modern art, socialist realism, art and communism, art of the so-called Eastern Bloc, Soviet art, public monuments, monumental propaganda, posters and print propaganda.

Finley Freibert

FreibertPh.D., Applied and Industrial Mathematics, University of Louisville
M.A., University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
B.A., DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

Advisor: Bliss Cua Lim
Research Interests: Media industries, film history, exploitation and cult film, queer studies and film, horror, transnational and digital media

Mehra Gharibian

GharibianB.A. with honors, English and Ethnic Studies, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Research Interests: Representations of race within popular culture and media narrative, contemporary art of the Middle Eastern / SWANA diaspora, Middle Eastern / SWANA American community formation, Kanye West

Meredith Goldsmith

GoldsmithM.A., Visual Studies, California College of the Arts
B.A., Art History, California State University, Chico

Advisor: Bridget R. Cooks
Dissertation: “White-Collar Artists: John Baldessari, Andrea Fraser, and Fred Wilson in Art Schools and Museums”
Research Interests: Contemporary art since 1970, museum studies, theories and sociologies of work, pedagogy of art and craft, globalization discourse, South Asia visual culture

Anirban Gupta-Nigam

M.A., Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
M.Phil, Cinema Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
B.A. (Honors), History, University of Delhi

Advisors: Lucas Hilderbrand and Bliss Cua Lim
Research Interests: Media and environmental studies, technologies of interiority, obviousness and the mundane

Ryan Gurney

GurneyM.A., Art History, San Francisco State University
B.A., Art History, California State University, Stanislaus

Advisor: Amy Powell
Dissertation: "The Manner of the Country: Dutch Cityscape Paintings and Urban Citizenship in the Seventeenth Century"
Research Interests: Art and visual culture of the Dutch Golden Age, early modern globalization and European contact with the Americas

Sharrissa Iqbal

IqbalM.A., History and Theory of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Art Institute
B.A., Art History, University of Southern California

Advisor: Cécile Whiting
Research Interests: California Modernism, Minimalism, abstract art, design

Deanna Kashani

KashaniB.A., History of the Modern Middle East, Brown University

Advisor: Bridget R. Cooks
Research Interests: Modern and contemporary Iranian art, the history of exhibition practices in Iran, feminist art history, and the history of the modern museum

Tavleen Kaur

M.S., Architectural History & Theory, University of Washington
M.S., History & Theory of Architecture, University of Michigan
B.A., University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Advisor: Bridget Cooks
Research Interests: Architecture of the South Asian diaspora, including Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities

Matthew Knutson

KnutsonM.Ed., Secondary Education, University of Minnesota
M.A., English, Boston College
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Advisor: Braxton Soderman
Research Interests: Esports, skillful play, the temporality of new media, game studies, and the politics of digital experience

Benjamin Kruger-Robbins

Kruger-RobbinsM.A., Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin
B.S. (Highest Honors), Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin

Advisor: Victoria Johnson
Research Interests: Television and LGBTQ studies, marginalized audiences, network branding, and critical race theory
Dissertation: "Find Your Own Thing: ABC's Address to the Margins and the Network Politics of Niche Broadcasting"

Christine Mugnolo

M.A., Early Modern Art History, Courtauld Institute of Art, London
M.F.A., Studio Art Concentration in Painting and Printmaking, University of Connecticut
M.F.A., Studio Art, Concentration in Painting, Indiana University
B.A., magna cum laude, Art History, Princeton University

Advisor: Cécile Whiting
Dissertation: "The Adolescent Inferior in American Print"
Research Interests: Visualization of social stereotypes, print culture, text and image, image as science, portrait genres

Kayleigh Perkov

PerkovB.A. cum laude with college and departmental honors, Art History and Women's Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Advisor: Cécile Whiting
Dissertation: “Giving Form to Feedback: Craft and Technology circa 1968-1974”
Research Interests: ”Craft, design, and the decorative arts, history of technology, and feminist art history"

Mary Schmitt

SchmittM.A., Humanities, University of Chicago
B.A., University Honors, Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago

Advisor: Allison Perlman
Dissertation: "Neoliberalism and Black Radical Memory in Popular Culture"
Research Interests: Race and political economy in popular culture, cultural memory, black radical politics and cultural production, postcolonial theory and cultural studies, African and African diaspora art and politics

Lucena Lau Valle

ValleM.S., Art History, Pratt Institute, NY
B.A., Art History, San Francisco State University, CA

Advisor: Cécile Whiting
Research Interests: Museum studies, urban studies, cultural political economy, Latina & Latino studies, Asian American studies, Los Angeles, cultural memory and public humanities

Scott Volz

VolzM.A., Art History and Criticism, SUNY Stony Brook
B.A., Art History, Kent State University

Advisor: James Nisbet
Research Interests: Land art, postminimalism, modern and contemporary art, California modernism, political ecology, climate change, energy history, critical theory

Jessica Ziegenfuss

ZiegenfussM.A., Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University
B.A. with honors, Women's Studies and History of Art, The Ohio State University

Advisor: James Nisbet
Dissertation: Synthetic Ecologies and Polymer Plastics in the Art of Eva Hesse and Lynda Benglis (1960s-1970s)
Research Interests: Feminist and queer theory, critical theory, ecological studies of art, postminimalism, issues of materiality and art, scientific experimentation in art, and the history of synthetics and the petrochemical industry