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)

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

Adviser: Lucas Hilderbrand

Interests: the visual culture of adolescence and childhood; horror and melodrama; experimental video and documentary film; queer and feminist theory; embodiment and affect.

Meghan Chandler

M.A., Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine
B.A. summa cum laude, Cinema & Cultural Studies (honors) and Psychology, SUNY Stony Brook

Dissertation: “The Three Faces of Acetate: A Material and Cultural History of Celluloid Acetate Plastic in
Biomedicine, Photo-cinematic Imaging, and Preservation”
Adviser: Lucas Hilderbrand

“The ‘Dollification’ of Riot Grrrls: Self-Fashioning Alternative Identities” with Diana Anselmo-Sequeira in The Doll Collection: The Many Meanings of Girls' Toys, ed. Miriam Forman-Brunell (Peter Lang Press, 2014)
“The Erotic Anatomies of Charles Estienne and Annie Sprinkle.” Porn Studies (Fall 2014)
“Hybridity and the Masquerade: Andrew Huang’s Doll Face” in Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline, eds. James Elkins, Kristi McGuire, Maureen Burns, Alicia Chester, and Joel Kuennen (New York: Routledge, 2012)
“Grrrls and Dolls: Appropriated Images of Girlhood in the Works of Hans Bellmer and Riot Grrrls Bands,” Visual Culture & Gender 6 (2011): 30-39.

Humanities Collective research grant (UCI), 2014
Society for the History of Technology travel grant (SHOT), 2013
UC California Studies Consortium research grant (UCI), 2013
School of Humanities Summer Dissertation Fellowship (2013)
Outstanding Essay of the Year award for “Seeing Inside: Transparent Life, X-ray Film, and Celluloid Acetate Technology” (2013)
School of Humanities travel grant (2013, 2014)
Women's Studies Department Travel Grant (2012)

Interests: medium specificity; preservation and materiality; the body in visual culture; histories of
technologies; science and technology studies; amateur film and photography

Maggie Dethloff

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

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).

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

Adviser: Bridget R. Cooks

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

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

Finley Freibert

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

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

Kristen Galvin

M.A., Modern and Contemporary Art History, Criticism and Theory, Purchase College, SUNY
M.F.A., Studio Art, Concentration in Video, Purchase College, SUNY
B.A. with honors, Visual Arts, Brown University

Dissertation: “The Art of Parties: Downtown New York Cultural Scenes, 1978–1983”
Adviser: Lucas Hilderbrand

“The Nova Convention: A New Wave Conference Like None Other,” essay in the anthology,
The Burroughs Century (working title), Indiana University Press (forthcoming in 2015)
“TV Party: Downtown New York Scenes Live on Your TV Screen.” Sonic Visions: Popular
Music on and after Television, special issue of Journal of Popular Music Studies. 25.3 (2013): 326–348. Print, 2013
“It’s TV Party Time, Not Prime Time!” On My Video Phone: Popular Music on Screens.
IASPM-US Website. 17 July 2013. Web.
Kim, Jihoon F., and Kristen Galvin. “An Interview with Simon Penny: Techno-Utopianism, Embodied
Interaction and the Aesthetics of Behavior.” Leonardo Electronic Almanac. 17.2 (2012): 136–145. Print, 2012

Fellowships & Awards:
LaVonne Smith Graduate Tutor Award for Humanities Out There, 2014
University of California Humanities Network Graduate Fellowship, 2013-13
Summer Dissertation Fellowship, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine, 2013
Humanities Collective Individual Graduate Student Grant, University of California, Irvine, 2013
Association for Theatre in Higher Education Student Fellowship and Media Grant
Society for Cinema and Media Studies Travel Grant, 2013
Graduate Student Research and Travel Award (2), University of California, Irvine, 2013
Outstanding Film & Media Studies Teaching Assistant Award, 2011-12
Dr. Noel S. and Richard B. Frackman Program in Modern and Contemporary Art Scholarship, Purchase College, SUNY, 2007-08
Studio Art Teaching Fellowship, Purchase College, SUNY, 2006-08
Art History Teaching Assistant Fellowship, Purchase College, SUNY, 2007

Interests: Contemporary art, experimental film and video, digital culture, media history and theory, gender and sexuality, performance, embodiment, appropriation.

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

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),

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

“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.

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

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

Jason Huber

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

University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) California Humanities Scholar, 2010-11; 2011-12

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 (New York and London: Routledge, 2014).
“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.

Interests: Media studies, disaster media, science and technology studies, critical geography, globalization, U.S.-Japan relations

Deanna Kashani

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

Adviser: Bridget R. Cooks

Summer Language Study Award (Tehran, Iran), Dehkoda Lexicon Institute and International Center for Persian Studies, 2014
The Zarrinkelk Family Fellowship, Tehran, Iran, 2013 and 2014

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

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

Darol Kay

B.A., magna cum laude, Africana Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Adviser: Jared Sexton

Interests: Independent black cinema, the history and theory of film
exhibition and spectatorship, black film culture in Los Angeles
and theories of film realism.

Matthew Knutson

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

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

Benjamin Kruger-Robbins

MA, Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin
B.A. Boston University, Boston, MA
BS, Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin

Interests: television and LGBTQ studies

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).

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.
University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Implementation Grant, 2012
Irvine Museum Summer Fellow, 2011 

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

Adviser: Cécile Whiting

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

Adviser: Cécile Whiting

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

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

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

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

Peter Schweigert

M.F.A., Film Studies, Boston University
B.A., English/Music, Calvin College

Dissertation: “A World Apart: The Moving Image, the Sacred, and the Limits of Representation.”
Adviser: Bliss Cua Lim

“Engaging the Invisible: An Introduction.”  Octopus Journal, Volume 5: Invisibility (2011).

UCI School of Humanities Summer Dissertation Fellowship, 2012
UCI Humanities Center Graduate Student Research Grant, 2011

Interests: theories of signification and engagement; modern and avant garde film; religion and art; the invisible, immaterial, ephemeral.

J. Louise Sider

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

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

Christina Spiker

M.A. Program in Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine
B.A. with honors, East Asian Studies, Minor in Japanese, Ursinus College

Dissertation: “Primitive Picturesque: Ainu Representation in a Transnational Visual Economy, 1868-1926”
Adviser: Bert Winther-Tamaki

“At the Limits of Visibility: Noritaka Minami’s Past Won’t Pass (Catalog #52)” in Octopus Journal, 5 (2011): 1- 4.

Advanced Graduate Research Fellowship, UC Pacific Rim Research Program, 2013-14
Spencer Baird Society Resident Scholar, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, 2013
Chino Kaori Memorial Essay Prize for best previously un-published graduate student paper by Japan Art History Forum,  2010-11

Interests: Japanese photography and modern art, Ainu representation and activism, ethnographic photography and film, transnational flow of images, and issues concerning tourism and modernity.

Cindy Urrutia

M.A., Art History, California State University, Los Angeles
B.A., Economics & International Relations, Boston University

Adviser: Cécile Whiting

Interests: American Art, emphasis in the 20th Century & African American; Latin American Art, critical theory, theories of spectatorship, feminist theory, and Pan-American relation and cultural exchanges.

Jenna Weinman

M.A., American Studies, Lehigh University
B.A., Video Communications, Arcadia University

Dissertation: “Romantic Comedy and Revolt in the Fifties and Fifty Years Later”
Adviser: Kristen Hatch

“Second Bananas and Gay Chicken: Bromancing the Rom-Com in the Fifties and Now” in Reading the Bromance: Homosocial Relationships in Film and Television, edited by Michael DeAngelis (Detroit: by Wayne State University Press, 2014)

Interests: Hollywood melodrama and romantic comedy, gender and sexuality,
star studies, reception studies, popular culture, bromance.

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: Bridget R. Cooks

“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.

Interests: Visual narratives of queerness, queer archive activism, history and temporality, museum and exhibition studies, curatorial studies, new media art, critical theory, feminist studies, and sexuality studies