Graduate Students

Benjamin Aaron

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

Adviser: Bert Winther-Tamaki

Awards & Fellowships:
Gerard Endowed Award in Visual Studies (2012)
Japanese Ministry of Education Research Fellowship (2008)
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (2006, 2007)
Foreign Languages Building Fellowship (2005)

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

M.A. Visual Studies Ph.D. Program, University of California, Irvine
B.A. with highest honors, Sociology/Anthropology and English Literature, Swarthmore College

Awards & Fellowships:
Gerard Endowed Award in Visual Studies (2012)

Dissertation: Latchkey Law: Media Regulation and the Imperiled Tween
Adviser: Lucas Hilderbrand

Research Interests: the visual culture of adolescence and childhood, the 1980s, queer and feminist theory, media regulation, television, horror and melodrama, pornography

Marianna Davison

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

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

M.A. Visual Studies Ph.D. Program, University of California, Irvine
B.A., Art History, Smith College

Adviser: Cécile Whiting

Maggie Dethloff, PHOTOdocument: Twentieth-Century American Photography and Found Text, 2012
Elizabeth E. Barker, Maggie Dethloff, Randall Griffey, Bettina Jungen, Rick López, Evan Maurer, Samuel Morse, Pamela Russell, et al., Mead Art Museum at Amherst College Collection Guide, 2011

To Be at the Farther Edge: Photographs along the New England Trail / Barbara Bosworth, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, August 28–December 8, 2013
This Just In! Additions to the Collection from Pompeii to Today, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, August 16–December 29, 2013
Art for All: Additions to the Collection from Antiquity to Today, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, February 8–July 7, 2013
Bathers: From Idyllic Glen to Public Beach, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, June 18–December, 2012
PHOTOdocument: Twentieth-Century American Photography and Found Text, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, March 30–July 22, 2012
Remembering Jerome Liebling: 1924-2011, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, August 22–October 30, 2011
Disunion! The American Civil War 150 Years Later, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, July 16–December 11, 2011

Research Interests: Photography, 20th-century American art, appropriation, text, especially found text, linguistics and semiotics, corporality, temporality, and death, and curatorial practice

Corella di Fede

M.A., Cinema and Media Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. with honors, Modern Literary Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Dissertation: "Bio-logics of bodily transformation: Bioscience, Neoliberalism And Makeover TV"
Adviser: Lucas Hilderbrand

“Viral Culture at Risk: Remix Culture and the Dematerialization of the Politics of Location” in Sampling Media Sampling. Ed. Laurel Westrup, David Laderman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Research Interests: Critical theory, science and the arts, media theory and history, world cinema and global visual culture, gender studies, the body, urban space.

Graham Eng-Wilmot

M.A, Communication, Culture & Technology, Georgetown University
B.A., Journalism, University of Richmond


Dissertation: A Brief History of the Future: Audiovisual Experiments in Black Science Fiction, 1980-1986
Adviser: Bridget R. Cooks

Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor, Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, July 2008 – April 2010

Awards & Fellowships:
UCI Humanities Commons Faculty and Graduate Collaborative Research Grant
(with Bridget Cooks)

Research Interests: Afrofuturism, representations of blackness, cultural memory, archives, electronic music, the 1980s

Julian Francolino

BFA., summa cum laude, Studio Art, Biola University

Research Interests: Communist and Soviet art and visual culture, Stalinist media and culture, cults of personality, Nationalism studies, representations of peasants in 19th and 20th European painting, pedagogies and rhetoric of collectivization, visualization of the proletariat in Communist states, images and ideology, agitprop.

Finley Freibert

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

Research Interests: social and personal notions of privacy within the context of new media cultures of surveillance

Meredith Goldsmith

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

Dissertation: “White-Collar Artists: John Baldessari, Andrea Fraser, and Fred Wilson in Art Schools and Museums”
Adviser: Bridget R. Cooks

UCI Humanities Collective individual graduate research grant, 2014
UCI Humanities Collective collaborative research grant, 2010

"Quantifiable Missions: The American Association of Museums' Surveys and
their Effects." Media-N, vol. 10, no. 2 (Fall 2014).
"Museum TV" (exh. cat.). Houston, Tex: EMERGEncy Room Gallery,
of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice University, 2014.
Cult of the Ruin: Strategies of Accumulation (exh. cat.). Irvine, Calif:
University Art
Gallery/Room Gallery at UC Irvine, 2011.
Toby Kamps, Meredith Goldsmith, Cameron Armstrong, Susanne Theis,
Huber, and Tony Hoagland. No zoning: artists engage Houston (exh. cat.).
Houston, Tex: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2009.
Perspectives 164: Stephanie Syjuco: Total Fabrications (exh. cat.).
Houston, Tex:
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2008.
"Decentering the Historical Photograph and Imaging a Continuum of
Resistance," in
Core 2007. Houston, Tex: Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts
Houston, 2007.
"Taking Apart the Web Leaves the Line," in Slow Down: Abstract Painting
from Chicago (exh. cat.). Tyler, Tex: Meadows Gallery at UT Tyler, 2005.

Museum TV: Art Museums Experiment with Broadcasting, 1951-1966.
EMERGEncy Room Gallery, Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice
University. Sept. 25 – Nov. 14, 2014.
Co-curated No Zoning: Artists Engage Houston. Contemporary Arts Museum,
Houston. June 9 – Oct. 4, 2009.
Perspectives 164: Stephanie Syjuco: Total Fabrications. Contemporary
Arts Museum, Houston. Dec. 12 – Feb. 22, 2009

Research Interests: Contemporary art since 1970; museum studies, theories and sociologies of work; pedagogy of art and craft; globalization discourse; South Asia visual culture.

Racquel Gonzales

M.A. Media Studies, University of Texas at Austin
B.A., magna cum laude, Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies), University of Southern California

Dissertation: "The Citizen-Detective in the Twentieth Century American Home"
Adviser: Peter Krapp

“Whose Aesthetics?: Resident Evil as a Video Game Movie.” In Media Res, May 21, 2013.
“From Daytime to Night Shift: Examining the ABC Daytime SOAPnet Primetime Spinoff Experiment.” In The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era, edited by Sam Ford, Abigail De Kosnik, and C. Lee Harrington, (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2010)
“This Must Be a Bad Movie”: Genre and Self-Reflexivity in Alan Wake.” Flow, 12.5 (July 30, 2010),
“The Beatles: Rock Band, A Revolution(?): Myth and Over-determined Discourse.” Flow, 10.8 (October 3, 2009),

Research Interests: historiography/histories of technology, cultural memory, digital media, game studies, museums and exhibition, gender studies, consumer culture and nostalgia

Anirban Gupta-Nigam

MA, Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
MPhil, Cinema Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
BA (Honors), History, University of Delhi

Adviser: Lucas Hilderbrand

Awards & Fellowships:
Robin Shikiya Memorial Graduate Award in Visual Studies, 2014

“Curatorial Governmentality: Air Design and the Atmospheres of Community in Contemporary India”. Sarai Reader 09: Projections.
“Olympics, Art and the Orbit of Capital”, available at: nigam/
“Thinking through Urban Debris: Violence, Terror and the State” (co-authored with Nandita Badami). In Ravi Kumar (ed.) The Heart of the Matter: Development, Identity and Violence, Aakar Books Delhi 2010.

Research Interests: media archaeology, materiality/obsolescence, law and image cultures.

Ryan Gurney

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

Adviser: Amy Powell

Dissertation: The Manner of the Country: Dutch Cityscape Paintings and
Urban Citizenship in the Seventeenth Century

Awards & Fellowships:
Humanities Commons Individual Dissertation Research Grant, 2015
Summer Language Study Fellowship, 2012

Research Interests: Art and visual culture of the Dutch Golden Age, early modern globalization and European contact with the Americas.

Jason Huber

M.A. Visual Studies Ph.D. Program, University of California, Irvine
B.A., Art History, Philosophy, Women's & Gender Studies, Case Western Reserve University

Dissertation: “Pathopolitics: Feminist Performance Art, Biopolitics, and Affect in the 1970s”
Adviser: Cécile Whiting

Awards & Fellowships:
University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) California Humanities Scholar, 2010-11; 2011-12
DAAD Research Grant (declined), 2015
Humanities Commons Graduate Student Research Grant, 2015

Research Interests: Contemporary art and media, gender and sexuality, feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, phenomenology and embodiment, affect and subjectivity/experience, taste and aesthetics, exhibition and reception, existentialism and ethics.

Laura Beltz Imaoka

M.A., Anthropology, California State University, Northridge
B.A. summa cum lade, Anthropology and Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara


Dissertation: 'Mapping Risk: Geographic Information Systems as Disaster Media'
Adviser: Peter Krapp

'Rain with a Chance of Radiation: Forecasting Local and Global Risk after Fukushima.' In Extreme Weather and Global Media, edited by D. Negra and J. Leyda, 191-214. New York and London: Routledge. 2015.
'GIS: Making Location Valuable.' Media Fields Journal, Issue 6, 2013.
'Pixels and Post-Tourism.' In Media Res, February 28, 2011.
'The Ambassadors of Cute: Helping or Hurting Japan’s Global Image?' In Media Res, April 27, 2011.
'Consuming and Maintaining Difference: American Fans Resisting the Globalization of Japanese Popular Culture.' disClosure 19: 73-82, 2010.
'American Fans Resisting the Globalization of Japanese Popular Culture?' Otaku2, July 17, 2008.

Research Interests: Media studies, critical GIS studies, environmental film and media, science and technology studies, critical studies of marketing, U.S.-Japan relations

Sharrissa Iqbal

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

Awards & Fellowships:
San Francisco Art Institute Fellowship in History and Theory of Contemporary Art 2012
Research Interests:
California Modernism, Minimalism, abstract art, design

Deanna Kashani

M.A. Visual Studies Ph.D. Program, University of California, Irvine
B.A., History of the Modern Middle East, Brown University

Adviser: Bridget R. Cooks

Awards & Fellowships:
Summer Language Study Award (Tehran, Iran), Dehkoda Lexicon Institute and International Center for Persian Studies, 2014
The Zarrinkelk Family Fellowship, Tehran, Iran, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2013, 2014, 2015
American Institute of Iranian Studies Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Research in Iranian Studies Fellowship, 2015
Pedagogical Fellowship 2014-2015

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

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

“In what style should we memorialize?” Sikh Formations. Religion, Culture, Theory. (Vol. 9, Issue 2, Fall 2013)

Co-curator, The Art of Sikh Revolution, Ottawa, Canada, 2013

Research Interests: architecture of the South Asian diaspora, including Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities

Matthew Knutson

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

Research Interests: videogames, new media, and the politics of virtual experience

Benjamin Kruger-Robbins

MA, Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin
BS (Highest Honors), Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin

Research Interests: Television and LGBTQ studies, Marginalized Audiences, Network Branding, and Critical Race Theory.

Published articles:

Straight Men Can't Camp: The Politics of 'Too Gay' in Behind the Candelabra. Flow, 18.03 (2013)

Awards & Fellowships:

Gerard Endowed Graduate Award in Visual Studies, 2015

Anna Kryczka

M.A., Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
B.A. with honors, Art History, Knox College

Dissertation: On Taste and Nation
Adviser: Cécile Whiting

“TV and Taste on the New Frontier: A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy” History and Technology: An International Journal (July 2014).

Learning by Doing at the Farm: Craft, Science, and Counterculture in Modern California Chicago: Soberscove Press, 2014. With Robert Kett.
“Performing the Pedagogical Parergon: Our Literal Speed in Chicago” Journal of Visual Culture (August 2010).
“Deference to the Vernacular” Art21 (December 9, 2009).

Awards & Fellowships:
Irvine Museum Summer Fellow, 2011
University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Implementation Grant, 2012
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Publication Grant for Learning by Doing 2013.
UCI Humanities Collective Summer Dissertation Research Grant 2012 and 2013.
Water UCI-Jet Propulsion Laboratory Fellow, 2014-15
Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, 2015

Research Interests: Mid-twentieth century American art, design, media and material culture, and architecture with an emphasis on issues of taste, technology, display, labor, and domesticity.

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


Dissertation: The Adolescent Inferior in American Print

Adviser: Cécile Whiting

Research Interests: visualization of social stereotypes, print culture, text and image, image as science, portrait genres

Kayleigh Perkov

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

Dissertation: Handmade High-Tech: Craft and Technological Systems circa 1968-1974

Adviser: Cécile Whiting

Co-curator with ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Queer Collage, 2015

Awards & Fellowships:
Graduate Intern at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced
Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), 2015
Graduate Intern of Contemporary Decorative Arts, Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston, 2014-15
UC President’s Public Partnerships in the Humanities (with Lucas Hilderbrand and ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives), 2014
UC California Studies Award Graduate Student Travel Grant, 2013
Irvine Museum Summer Fellowship, 2012

Research Interests: Contemporary feminist art, craft and decorative arts, issues of display and institutional identity

Mary Schmitt

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

Dissertation: A Visual Cultural History of the Black Radical in Film and

Adviser: Allison Perlman

Research Interests: Race and Politics in Popular Media, Cultural Memory, Black Radical Politics and Cultural Production, Postcolonial Theory and Cultural Studies, African and African Diaspora Art and Politics

Awards & Fellowships:
Pedagogical Fellowship, 2015-16

J. Louise Sider

MA Cinema Studies, University of Toronto
B.A. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Research Interests: "Trans/national cinemas, particularly from the Philippines and Southeast Asia; minor, independent and counter cinemas; documentary; feminist, critical race and postcolonial studies"

Awards & Fellowships:
Robin Shikiya Memorial Graduate Award in Visual Studies, 2015

Lucena Lau Valle

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

Awards & Fellowships:
2015-16, Humanities Out There Teaching Fellow
2015, Irving R. Lai Graduate Scholarship, Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
2014, Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Fellowship

Research Interests:
Museum studies, urban studies, cultural political economy, Latina/o studies, Asian American studies, Los Angeles, cultural memory and public humanities. 

Chae Yoo

B.A., Media Studies & English Literature, Korea University

Awards & Fellowships:
National KOSAF Fellowship, 2012

Nemaf Seoul International New Media Festival, 2014
Superstition, Media Theatre I-Gong, 2014

Research Interests:
Media archaeology, network theory, modernism and colonialism in East Asia, Zen Buddhism and art, manga/game studies, historiography of technology.

Jessica Ziegenfuss

M.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

Adviser: Jamie Nisbet

“Disrupting Cause-and-Effect Narratives of Pornography and Violence: A Contextual and Theoretical Case Study of Sexual Violence in Mainstream Media.” Oculus 1, 1 (2010): 77-91.
“The Grand Odalisque and Feminist Psychoanalysis: Hegemonic and Subversive Re- Interpretation of an Image.” Ohio State Libraries (2008): 1-28.

Awards & Fellowships:
Gerard Endowed Graduate Award in Visual Studies, 2014

Research Interests: Decay and ruination, eco-aesthetics, art criticism, postminimalist sculpture, late modernist and contemporary art, exhibition and institutional histories, queer theory, critical theory, and feminist theory.