Simin Amini


B.A. Fashion and textile design. Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran
M.A. Art History.  Alzahra University. Tehran, Iran
M.A. Near and Middle Eastern Studies. SOAS University of London.   

                                                                                                             Advisor: Matthew Canepa
Research interests: Ancient Iran Art and Archaeology, Persian mythology and literature, Zoroastrianism, Islamic Art art and Archaeology, Museum Studies.


Cienna Benn

B.A., Afro-American Studies, Sociology, Howard University

Advisor: Bridget Cooks

Research Interests: Black visual culture, Africana aesthetics, visuality, social theory, archival studies, history of photography, Black feminist thought, Digital Humanities

Agnik Bhattacharya

M.A., History, Presidency University, Kolkata, India
B.A., Ancient Indian and World History, Culture and Archaeology, Sanskrit College, University of Calcutta, India

Advisor: Matthew Canepa
Research interests: the archaeological, social and political histories of pre- Islamic eastern Iranian world and Central Asia

Brandon Blackburn

B.A., English Literature, Colby College
Advisor: Aaron Trammell

Dan Bustillo

M.F.A., Art and Technology, Integrated Media, California Institute of the Arts
M.A., University of California, Irvine
B.A., Art, Hunter College City of New York

Advisors: Bliss Cua Lim and Lucas Hilderbrand
Research Interests: Queer and trans of color theory, feminist theory, activist media, queer latinx studies, security studies, surveillance studies, carceral studies

Samantha Carter

M.A., New Media and Digital Cultures, University of Amsterdam
B.A., Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Advisor: Bridget Cooks
Research Interests: Experience of marginalized creatives in film & television in the digital era.  She is investigating this topic through what Dawn Mannay calls a researcher-initiated production, recruiting interested artists to collaborate in the development of an experimental television pilot.

Zane Casimir

Zane Casimir
M.A., Art History, University of Oregon
B.F.A., Sequential Art, Savannah College of Art and Design
B.A. Japanese/Asian Studies, Purdue University

Advisor: Bert Winther-Tamaki
Research interests: Spaces of Play; Japanese Design-of-Environment; Modern Architecture, Landscape Design, and Sculpted Space; Japanese Art, Material/Visual culture, and Performance Traditions; Video game and Play Studies; Contemporary Reception of Art Historical ideas and forms (i.e. Semiotics, Kitsch, Reproductions and Digital/Virtual Re-presentations).

Kylie Ching

M.A. Art History, University of California, Irvine
B.A., Art History and English, University of California, Irvine

Advisors: Cécile Whiting and Bert Winther-Tamaki

Dissertation: Asian Diasporic Ethical Memory Works: Reframing 20th-Century Photographs of U.S. Wars in the Asia-Pacific
Research Interests: Asian American and Asian diasporic art and visual culture, Asian American Cold War cultural critique, contemporary American art, feminist and queer theory, memory, and photography

Ileana De Giuseppe

M.A. (Summa cum laude) History, Preservation and Enhancement of the Artistic and Archaeological Heritage and Landscape, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy
B.A. (Summa cum laude) Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy

Advisor: Mathew Canepa
Research Interest: Achaemenid Art and Archaeology, Hellenistic Art and Archaeology, Museum Studies, Communication of the Cultural Heritage.

Kelly Donahey

M.F.A., Art, University of California, Irvine, M.A., University of California, Irvine
B.F.A., Photography, San Francisco Art Institute

Advisor: Catherine Liu
Research Interests: 20th century American media art and the avant-garde; mass culture; labor; the
history of American Leftism, photography, art and design pedagogy, and the professional art world;
Marxist, pragmatic, cybernetic, postmodern, and aesthetic theory; the conceptualization of
nationalism, the public, individualism, and freedom.

Tariq Elijah Edwards

B.A., Mass Communications,Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC
Advisor: Bambi Haggins

Kathie Foley-Meyer

M.F.A. in Creative Writing, School of Critical Studies, California Institute of the Arts, M.A., Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine
B.S. in Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Advisor: Bridget Cooks
Research Interests: Issues in contemporary Black visual culture, representations of Blackness in
early modern art, the relationship between Blackness and the ocean.

Sarah Fugfugosh-Munoz

M.A., California State University, Los Angeles
B.A., Art History, California State University, Los Angeles

Advisor: Lyle Massey
Research Interests: Early modern art, visual culture, gender studies in Italy and France: 16th and 17th century female artistic production, developments in genre painting, particularly still-life painting concurrent with scientific views, food studies-nutrition, health, history of consumption, relationship between early modern scientific gaze, natural philosophy, botanical illustration, garden and landscape history and horticultural practice.

Anthony Graham

M.S., Critical, Curatorial, Conceptual, Columbia University, New York
B.A., Architecture, University of San Diego, California

Research Interests: contemporary art, architecture, and public space; abstraction, materiality, and embodiment; critical theory and decolonial studies

Robert Hayden III

Hayden III
B.A., (summa cum laude with honors) Art History, University of California, Los Angeles

Advisor: James Nisbet
Research Interests: Modern art of the Americas and Europe, focusing on geometric abstraction and the monochrome; postmodern American art; post-WWII visual art in Los Angeles; the John McLaughlin catalogue raisonné.

Asako Katsura

M.A., (with distinction) Japanese Studies, Sophia University, Japan
B.A., Art History, International Christian University, Japan

Advisor: Bert Winther-Tamaki
Research Interests: Research Interests: Modern and contemporary Japanese art, conceptual photography in Japan and California between the 1950s and 1970s, art and visual culture of Japanese countryside before the Asia Pacific War, the culture of eroguro nansensu (erotic grotesque nonsense) in the 1920s–1930s Japan, memorialization of war trauma in postwar Japan, Asian American art and visual culture.

Aaron Katzeman

M.A., Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine
B.A. (summa cum laude with honors) Art History, certificate in Environmental Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Advisor: James Nisbet
Dissertation: "We Only Want the Land: Groundings of Revolutionary Ecological Art"
Research interests: contemporary art, documentary photography, Third Cinema, land art, environmental humanities, climate change, political ecology, cultural geography, global studies, social movements, decolonization, settler colonial studies

Justin Keever

M.A., Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine
B.A. (with highest honors & highest distinction) Communications/New Media Theory, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Production, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Advisor: Braxton Soderman
Research Interests: New Media, Game Studies, Critical Theory, Neoliberal Subjectivity, Structural Marxism, Ideology, Animality, Glitch Aesthetics, Embodiment, Materialism, Agency

Zachary Korol-Gold

B.A., Visual Art, Brown University

Advisor: James Nisbet
Research Interest: Ecological art, contemporary art, alternative agriculture, ecocriticism, political ecology

Nastasya Kosygina

B.A., University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Advisor: Mathew Canepa
Research Interest: Archaeology and material culture of the late antique eastern Mediterranean and western Asia, human relationships to materiality and their effect upon the material debris of praxis, etic and emic concepts of "magic" vs premodern landscapes of doing, non-luxury material culture and human intentionality, the unintelligible word and the non-legible inscription, Greek and Syriac epigraphy and paleography.

Kien Minh Le

M.A., Film Studies, Ohio University
B.A., (with distinction), Digital Media Studies, Juniata College

Advisor: Lucas Hilderbrand
Research Interests:  historical materialism, materiality, critical infrastructure studies, platform studies, cultural studies, cultural memory, coloniality

Edward Charles Mendez

M.A. Public Engagement - University of Nevada, Reno
B.A. English (Writing Specialization) - University of Nevada, Reno

Advisor: Allison Perlman and Bambi Haggins
Research Interests: Anti-Blackness and American visual culture; race, film, and television; political economy, cultural studies, critical theory. Edward is also co-editor of the film section for The Brooklyn Rail.

Bermet Nishanova

M.S., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
M.A., Art History, University of Chicago       B.A., Art History, University of Georgia

Advisors: Alka Patel and Matthew Canepa
Research Interests: Islamic Arts and Architecture of East Asian, textiles and materiality, Persian language and literature. 

Lee Purvey

B.A., Anthropology, Grinnell College

Advisor: Abigail Lapin Dardashti
Research Interests: Modernist art movements in mid-20th century Mexican architecture and monumental arts and its intersection with broader social, political, and historical topics.

Raphael Rosalen

M.A., University of Southern California, Cinema and Media Studies
B.A., University of Southern California, Cinema and Media Studies

Research Interest: Digital media, popular media, celebrity studies, internet studies, digital humanities, gender studies.

Alex Rudenshiold

Alexander Rudenshiold
M.A., University of Virginia, Media, Culture and Technology
B.A., University of Mary Washington, Art, Double Major in Political Science, English

Research Interest: Online community, American leftism, subculture, platform studies, game studies, "internet culture", new media, queer histories


Luis Eduardo Serna

M.A. Art and Ecologism, Universidad de Colombia, Colombia, South America
B.A., Fine Arts, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, South America

Advisors: Glen Mimura and Allison Perlman
Research Interests: Contemporary artistic practices focused on social justice processes, the Colombian peace process, narratives and representations of victims in the armed conflict in Colombia, representation of otherness, controversy mapping as a way to expand disciplined forms of analysis.

Molly Katharine Thrailkill

Molly Thrailkill
M.A. (with distinction), History of Art, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
B.A., Art & Art History and French, Colgate University

Advisor: Cécile Whiting
Research Interests: History of photography: photojournalism, documentary, digital rendering, and new media. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art and visual culture; particularly the landscape of the American West, forestry and logging, tourism, and the Big Trees.

Bryan Truitt

B.A., Art Practice and Cognitive Science, University of California, Berkeley

Advisor: Aaron Trammell
Research Interests: digital media, biopolitics, cultural studies, feminist and queer theory, science and technology studies, critical race theory, social and environmental justice.



Jianda (Dada) Wang

Dada Wang
M.A., Art History, University of California, Davis                       B.A., Art History, Critical Theory, Macalester College, MN

Advisor: Roberta Wue
Research interests: Contemporary Chinese visual culture, art as strategy of resistance, performance studies, minoritarian artistic production.



Mallory Elizabeth Wells

B.A., Art History, Occidental College

Advisor: Matthew Canepa
Research Interests: Transcultural exchange and visualities of authority in the late antique Mediterranean, the late antique Near East, and the early European Middle Ages.

KT Wong

B.A., Music and Theater, Lafayette College

Advisor: Bo Ruberg
Research interests: Game studies, ludomusicology, media archaeology, translation studies, transmedia storytelling

Siavash Yansori

M.A, Film & Media Studies, Columbia University
M.F.A, Photography, University of Cincinnati

Advisor: Kristen Hatch
Research Interests: Iranian and Middle Eastern Cinema,
Melodrama, History of Photography, Postcolonialism, Gender, and Queer Studies


Elliot Yu

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interest:

Xinyue (Lulu) Yuan

M.A. (with distinction), History of Art and Archeology, University of London
B.A., Liberal Arts, Sun Yat-sen University

Advisor: Roberta Wue
Dissertation: "Ambient Paper: Wartime Migration and Modern Chinese Artists' Books, 1932-1948"
Research Interests: Modern Chinese Art and Visual Culture in a Global Context, Transnationalism, Mobility Studies, Wartime Modernism, Space, Experience, Art and Media Technologies.

Layah Ziaii-Bigdeli

M.A., Art History Concentration in Cultural Heritage and Preservation, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
B.A., Art History & Archeology, Columbia University

Advisor: Matthew P. Canepa
Research Interests: Sasanian Art and Archaeology, Islamic Art and Archaeology, Persian Language and Literature, Numismatics, Museum studies, Cultural Heritage, Gender and Sexuality Studies