Hilary Barker is a PhD student studying the intersection of the ancient and the Renaissance in Rome. Her interests include Roman Imperial religious art, antiquarianism in Renaissance Rome, collecting history and print culture. She is particularly interested in the artistic and intellectual geography of Rome from roughly 1460 to 1600, and in how the production and collecting of guidebooks, maps and prints of Rome relates to movement in the city.
Maggie is a PhD student interested in the intersection of conceptualism, activism, and the Latin American diaspora at the end of the twentieth century. She received her BA in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2013 and spent a couple of years working in art museum education and programming before returning to the University.
Carly is a PhD student focusing primarily on late medieval western European manuscripts. Carly's research involves the images that survive late medieval medical and diagnostic practices, with interests including diagrams, maps, charts, and other forms of scientific imagery, with the goal of analyzing the visual tools used to produce and convey knowledge in the medieval world. Carly received her BA in Art History from Tufts University in 2013.
Kristopher Driggers studies pre-Columbian art history, with projects ranging from ancient Mesoamerica to the Andes. He is the current recipient of a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. Kristopher received his BA from Yale University in 2011, and has held a curatorial fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a research assistantship in African Art at the Yale University Art Gallery, and has served as Development Coordinator for the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Kristopher’s current interests include Central Mexican writing systems, cases of aniconic visual practice in the pre-Columbian world, and the historiography of pre-Columbian art.
Angie is a PhD student concentrating on West African art, with a primary focus on the art of Guinea. She is also interested in the art of Eastern Europe and has carried out extensive field research in Lithuania. She spent two years at Amherst College before transferring to Lewis & Clark College where she received her BA with honors in Art History and Gender Studies. While there she completed a senior honors thesis entitled “From Guinea to Lithuania: Art and the Making of Postcolonial Nations.” The thesis was a comparative analysis of Touré-era Guinean art alongside post-Soviet Lithuanian art in order to understand how postcolonial nations around the world use art to define nationalist ideology. A revised portion of her thesis is currently being considered for publication in an upcoming book on African dictatorships.
Research Interests: Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American Art
Committee Members: Cécile Fromont
Savannah is a doctoral candidate concentrating on the art and architecture of early-colonial Mexico. She received a BA Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Art History and Religious Studies from the University of Iowa (2009) and a MA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2011). Savannah’s research focuses on ornament in Mexico's sixteenth-century mendicant monasteries and the circulation of Renaissance architectural treatises. Savannah has completed intensive training in Classical and Modern Nahuatl through the Zacatecas Institute for Teaching and Research in Ethnology (IDIEZ) and was awarded a 2014-2015 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship to pursue dissertation research.
Research Interests: Chinese Art, Religious architecture and art from the Tang dynasty (618-907), Dunhuang art
Anne Feng received her BA with Honors in Art History from New York University (2010). Her Honors Thesis focused on Song dynasty Ten Kings of Hell paintings from Ningbo in their local religious environment. Her paper on the reconstruction of the National Museum of China at Tiananmen Square was published in Ink & Image, New York University’s journal of undergraduate research. Prior to her graduate studies, Anne worked as an intern at the Palace Museum, Beijing, and helped organize several exhibitions for the summer of 2008. She also interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 2008-09, working on the Special Collection “The World of Kublai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty”. Her research interests are religious mural paintings, concepts of sacred space, Pure Land Buddhism, Dunhuang art, and Medieval Japanese Buddhist paintings.
Research Interests: Historiography of art history, medieval urbanism, thanatology, tomb sculpture, history of the moving image, critical theory, time travel
Luke Fidler studies the history of early- and high-medieval art. He also regularly contributes criticism on contemporary art to a variety of publications. His recent scholarship has examined high-medieval cupboards, Anglo-Saxon sculpture, and the reception of Robert Grosseteste among avant-garde filmmakers.
Hanne received her BA in French and MA Film Studies from University College London and did an MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby's Institute of Art London before coming to the University of Chicago. She is interested in modern and contemporary art and film, in particular artists who work at the intersection of vernacular architecture, objects and practices of everyday life.
Tessa is a doctoral student working on early twentieth century Japanese visual culture and media studies. She received her BA in Art History from Lewis and Clark College in 2009 and her MA in East Asian Studies from Duke University in 2014. Her MA thesis focused on the postcard medium as both an intimate possession and a global communication tool, which offered new ways for modern artists, such as Fujishima Takeji, to reach audiences. She is particularly interested in issues of modernity in Japan, the impact of international encounters on artistic production, and intersections between modern art and new media.
Melissa studies medieval art. She received her BA from the University of Toronto (2011), completing programs in Art History, Philosophy, and Women & Gender Studies, and earned an MA from the Graduate Program in the History of Art at Williams College (2014). Her qualifying paper examined the sixth-century Byzantine herbal called the Vienna Dioscorides.
Melissa's research interests include manuscripts and their making, medieval epistemology, nature and artifice, and the historiography of style. Melissa also has a special interest in technical art history, and as the 2013-14 Lenett Memorial Fellow in Art Conservation at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center she diagnosed and treated a 1965 Claes Oldenburg maquette. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she held a joint appointment in the Publications Department and the Research and Academic Program at the Clark Art Institute.
Research Interests: Korean and Chinese art
Research Interests: Medieval liturgy, illuminated manuscripts, patronage, medieval bishops and clergy
Claire is a PhD candidate writing her dissertation on the liturgical manuscripts owned by Metz bishop Renaud de Bar (1303-1316). The dissertation studies the role played by Renaud de Bar's books in the exercise and representation of episcopal power, and how art and ritual intervened in political debates and conflict in the Gothic period.
She collaborated with Aden Kumler to co-curate the 'Fragments of the Medieval Past' micro-exhibition for the Smart Museum's 2015 'Objects and Voices: A Collection of Stories' exhibition. Claire earned her BA in Art History at Oberlin College, writing her undergraduate thesis on the Beauvais Missal, a thirteenth-century book disbound by modern bibliophile Otto Ege.
Research Interests: Italian Renaissance art
Research Interests: Magazines, the history of design, 19th to 21st century European art, German art, history of museums and display practices, materiality and material culture, queer art.
Max, who hails from Berlin (East), graduated from the London School of Economics (BSc, 2004) and the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA, 2006), where he studied German Romantic art with Professor Joseph Leo Koerner. He studies European art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a particular focus on the history of modern and contemporary German art.
Max’s dissertation project, directed by Christine Mehring and Ralph Ubl (Basel), is a history of the Berlin-based art nouveau magazine PAN (1895-1900) as part of a larger history of the mediation of the applied arts in the outgoing nineteenth century, in particular in art magazines.
Max has held internships and fellowships at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. His research has been supported by the German Schiller Association, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and others.
For the academic years of 2016-2018, Max is based in Berlin at the Kunstbibliothek as a doctoral fellow in the Connecting Art Histories in the Museum (CAHIM) program of the Kunsthistorische Institut Florenz and the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin.
Research Interests: Cross-cultural exchange and interaction in the Mediterranean basin; issues of patronage and reception, including collecting, display, and gift exchange
Nora is a PhD student focusing on Italian Renaissance art and architecture, with a secondary concentration in Islamic art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. She received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Mount Holyoke College. Before coming to the University of Chicago, Nora was the Dorothy J. del Bueno Curatorial Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she curated the 2014 exhibition, Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses. She has also held positions at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and several New York City museums. Her essay on the depiction of crusading in the Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral was published by Ashgate Press in 2015.
Research Interests: Modern and contemporary Chinese art and architecture; 20th century urbanism; architecture and its visual representations; spatial and site-oriented art practice.
Nancy P. Lin studies modern and contemporary Chinese art and architecture. She received her B.A. with highest honors in History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Her work focuses on the intersection of art, architecture, and urban visual culture in examining the spatial and site-oriented artistic practices of Chinese contemporary artists in the 1990s. She received the 2015 Schiff Foundation Writing Fellowship and, together with fellow collaborators, is the recipient of the 2016 Graham Foundation project grant for the forthcoming publication Building Subjects, a survey of collective housing in China. Her article on the Big Tail Elephant Working Group is included in the forthcoming edited volume Urbanized Interfaces.
Sandy is a Ph.D. student whose research focuses on modern Japanese art and more broadly the transnational interactions in modern East Asian art and visual culture. Recently, she has become interested in applying methods of network analysis and data visualization to the study of modern Japanese art collectives, group exhibitions, and art magazines. In summer 2015, she participated in the Getty-sponsored digital art history institute, “Building a Digital Portfolio” at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.
She received her B.A. in art history at Santa Clara University, where she completed her senior thesis on the Taiwan-born artist Chen Jin. A revised version of her thesis was published in the journal Modern Art Asia. Before joining the department, she worked in the Asian Art Department at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she oversaw a digital imaging project of their Chinese art collection. At AIC, she also worked at the Photography Department as a research assistant and translator to the exhibition Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960-1975.
Research Interests: Architecture, Modern and Contemporary Art, Historiography
Jesse studies 20th-century art and architecture. Her dissertation, A City Is Not A Picture, examines the work of the French-Hungarian architect Yona Friedman. It theorizes the changing status of the architectural image and the ethics of design in the wake of the Second World War. Her research considers a broad range of fields, sites, and mediums -- from urban planning in the postwar Middle East, to animation and comics in 1960s’ France, to the early development of computer graphics in the United States. Jesse also works on the historiography of art history, researching the development of formalism and the role of photography in the formation of the discipline. She has published an article on the visual rhetoric of Alois Riegl in History of Photography (2016), criticism in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (forthcoming in 2017), and has contributed to Empires of Faith, the British Museum’s global research project on the historiographies of religious iconography in antiquity (forthcoming in 2017). Jesse is the recipient of the 2015 Carter Manny Award for Research, a 2015-2016 CLIR Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities in Original Sources, the 2014 Schiff Foundation Critical Architectural Writing Fellowship and a 2008-2009 T. J. Watson Fellowship.
Melanie Lukas studies the arts of Africa in exchange with Latin America and Europe during the early modern period with Professor Cécile Fromont. She is interested in the patronage, production, and transmission of art across cultures, and the role of the art object within various economies of value. She received her dual BA in the History of Art and International Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As an undergraduate she interned in the department of African art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Prior to beginning graduate studies, she worked at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, as an assistant in the department of modern prints and drawings and in the publishing office.
Research Interests: Late Medieval and Early Modern scientific images, book history and manuscript studies, Late Antique material culture, and the historiography of art, particularly in Warburgian contexts
Alexandra Marraccini received her BA from Yale University in History (2009), where she was a Bartels Fellow at the Yale Center for British Art and a recipient of the Van Sinderen Book Collecting Prize. She earned her MA in Medieval Studies at University of Toronto (2010-11), where she continued to work on book illustration as a locus of discourse about nature and the structure of natural knowledge. Her research focuses on Late Medieval and Early Modern scientific images, particularly alchemical and medical material, in England, Scotland, Germany, and the Netherlands. Her interests in the field also include book history and manuscript studies, Late Antique material culture, and the historiography of art, particularly in Warburgian contexts. Currently, she is writing on the history of Hermetic-scientific images and diagrams, and her work on Elias Ashmole’s copies of the Ripley Scrolls is forthcoming in the journal Abraxas.
Research Interests: Nineteenth Century French Art; Drawing Practices and Techniques; Modern Aesthetics; Phenomenology; Theories of Perception and Representation
Tamar is pursuing a joint degree in the Department of Art-History and the Committee on Social Thought. She works on 19th-century French Art. Her dissertation project focuses on the drawings of Jacques-Louis David, and more broadly, on the functions of preparatory processes in early 19th century French painting. Tamar received her B.A. (Honors) from Tel-Aviv University, with a double major in art-history and in the interdisciplinary humanities program. She also studied in the New-York Studio School for Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, and has extensive training as a studio artist.
Research Interests: historiographies of the projected moving image; television; abstraction; minimalism; new media; art and politics; performance; happenings; queer aesthetics; and early cinema
Nelson has written art criticism for Artforum since 2012 and is a member of Association of International Art Critics, U.S. (AICA-USA). Self-designed undergraduate courses taught at the University of Chicago include "History of Video Art" (Fall 2013) and "New Queer Cinema and the Art of the 'Culture Wars,' 1980s-1990s" (forthcoming, Winter 2015).
Catalina is a doctoral student of pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American art history. Her research explores the multivalence of colonial aesthetics and the ways in which the pre-Columbian tradition was condensed and transformed in colonial art. Catalina wrote her MA thesis on the works of Doris Salcedo from the 1990s, investigating the ways in which their materiality was connected with the socio-political context of Colombia. She received an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from Universidad de los Andes.
Chloe is a PhD student working on Early Modern Italian painting. She is especially interested in artists who worked outside of large urban centers and developed independent styles that have been historically labeled 'provincial’. She received her BA in the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University, where she wrote her senior thesis on issues of site, space, and place in Carlo Crivelli's 15th century altarpieces in Ascoli-Piceno, Italy. She has held curatorial internships at the Hirshhorn Museum and the Evergreen House Museum, and most recently served as a Research Assistant at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas.
Research Interests: Film, new media, and contemporary art
Research Interests: European avant-gardes; post-war Austria from concrete poetry to Günter Brus; artistic collaboration; Dieter Roth; the techniques of the avant-gardes; metaphors for modernity; “Über die Malerei oder Zeichen und Mal” (1917)
Caroline received her B.A. in German Literature and Art History from Harvard University, where she wrote her thesis on the figure of the library in counter-monumental sculpture and prose in Germany and Austria at the turn of the 21st century. Supported by a DAAD scholarship, she returned to Berlin for an extended stay, completing her Masters in Kulturwissenschaft at the Humboldt Universität with a thesis on the cultural history of scissors and the relation of cutting practices to image making in Western religious and medical contexts. Her dissertation on two “groups” of artists working in Vienna (the so-called wiener gruppe and the Aktionisten, 1948-1969) is taking shape around questions of artistic collaboration, language, and action as analysis.
Research Interests: The role of medieval art at the intersection of scholasticism, Aristotelian philosophy, natural science, and the study of optics in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
Martin studied Art History at the University of Vienna and specialized in medieval devotional art and illuminated manuscripts. He received his M.A. degree in 2009 with a thesis on the Strasbourg Exemplar. That same year, he was a graduate intern in the Manuscripts Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum and guest curated a manuscripts exhibition entitled "Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages," which opened in May 2012. Coinciding with the exhibit, his article "Visions of the Afterlife" (Apollo Magazine, May 2012) investigates visual representations of hell c. 1500 A.D.
Research Interests: illustrations, words and images in Chinese and Japanese art
Yunfei received her B.A in Art History from the University of Hong Kong in 2010 and her M.A from the University of Chicago in 2011. Her research interest focuses on the text-image relationship in East Asian art. Her master’s thesis examines a set of woodblock illustrations in late imperial China. Her paper on a lacquer table excavated from general Zhu Ran’s tomb of the Wu Kingdom in the Six Dynasties was published by Peking University in 2013.
Research Interests: Contemporary art and queer studies
Jenn Sichel is a PhD candidate studying modern and contemporary art. Her dissertation, Criticism without Authority: Gene Swenson, Jill Johnston, Gregory Battcock, examines a group of critics working against the grain of dominant sixties-era art criticism to advance possibilities for other, queerer, more sympathetic ways of seeing and coping with art. Jenn currently holds a yearlong Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship at the Archives of American Art. At UChicago, Jenn has taught an undergraduate survey course in art of the post-war US, has served as a Preceptor for the MA Program in the Humanities (MAPH), and has taught an art history methodologies seminar to MAPH students.
Jenn holds a BA in art history and philosophy from Boston University and an MA in art history from Williams College. While at Williams, she curated an exhibition at MASS MoCA titled “Being Here is Better Than Wishing We'd Stayed: An Installation by the Miss Rockaway Armada.” Before arriving at UChicago, Jenn served as the researcher and contributing author to the exhibition and catalogue Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, which opened at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 2010.
Nancy studies medieval art and architecture with Professor Aden Kumler. She graduated from Agnes Scott College (2008) and then attended the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she earned her MA (2009) and specialized in medieval manuscript studies. Nancy wrote her MA thesis on British Library MS Egerton 1821 and subsequently published an article offering a gendered account of the manuscript's blood-ridden pages (Medieval Feminist Forum, June 2010). Following the Courtauld, she completed a "Diplôme de muséologie" at the Ecole du Louvre. She has since worked for artist Judy Chicago and has written on Chicago's land art happenings in Above: For the Earth and Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture magazines. Nancy has interned for The Cloisters and the Musée de Cluny. Her dissertation, "Non est hic: Figuring the Absent Christ in Early Medieval Art" studies images of Christ after his Resurrection between the tenth through twelfth centuries. She currently holds a Kress History of Art Institutional Fellowship (2015-2017) at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art in Paris and a Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2015-16).
Anatole Upart is a doctoral student specializing in Italian Renaissance art and architecture. He received his BFA in printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999) and MA in art history from UIC (2011). During his undergrad years he worked as an intern and a research assistant at the Art Institute of Chicago (Prints and Drawings Department) on Soviet WWII propaganda posters. His current research explores effects of ritual life of religious communities on the built environment of the Early Modern period as well as of the mid-twentieth century.
Zsofi Valyi-Nagy is a PhD student in modern and contemporary art. She received her BA in Visual Arts and Linguistics from the University of Chicago, and her MSt in English linguistics from the University of Oxford. Her master's dissertation traced linguistic features in art criticism since the 1960s through the publications October and Artforum. Before returning to UChicago, Zsofi worked as an art educator, web designer, and publications assistant at a contemporary art gallery, while devoting time to her new media art practice and learning holography. She is interested in the nexus of art, technology, and gender in the Cold War, as well as the history of criticism.
Research Interests: History of photography, documentary practices, modern and contemporary African art, modern and contemporary American art, and the landscape in visual art
Leslie Wilson is a PhD candidate specializing in contemporary documentary photography and its relationship to art, the everyday, reportage, and protest movements. Her dissertation considers approaches to photography as a documentary medium in South Africa, 1980-2000s. She received a BA (hon.) from Wellesley College in International Relations where her senior thesis examined efforts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
Research Interests: Manuscript illumination, history of the book, medieval vernacular literature, courtly art and court culture
Beth Woodward is a PhD candidate specializing in medieval art. Her dissertation focuses on “courtly” art, with a particular interest in the intersection of artistic, literary, and cultural practices in thirteenth-century France. Her research interests include medieval romance literature and its illustration, luxury objects, theories of viewership and reception, and medieval practices of display and disguise.
Yin received a BA from Tsinghua University in Art History (2011) and a MA in art history from The Central Academy of Fine Arts (2014) and a second MA from North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2016). Her paper on “The Meanings of Worship in Wooden Architecture in Brick: An Analysis Centered at the Duan-Family Tombs in Jishan and tombs of Jin Dynasty in Southern Shanxi” was published in The Study of Art History. Her current interest focus on church buildings and Christian art in China from the seventeenth century to nineteenth century.
Research Interests: Art and Architecture of East and Central Asia, Arts on the Silk Road, Global Art History
Jin Xu studies history of art and architecture on the Silk Road, with a focus on the arts and culture of the Xianbei (proto-Mongols) and the Sogdians (an Eastern Iranian people). His dissertation discusses sarcophagi of the Northern Dynasties (386-581 CE), a politically divisive but culturally brilliant period in Chinese history; it explores how people of different ethnicities, cultures, and social classes, expressed distinct identities through materials such as clay, textiles, precious metals, and above all, stone.
His professional experiences include: instructor of self-designed undergraduate courses “The Arts of China” (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Course Design Award) and “Materiality and Spirituality in Chinese Art ”(Chicago Objects Study Initiative Seminar at the Art Institute of Chicago), Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago, associate producer of the BBC documentary “The Art of China,” student assistant of Xiangtangshan/Tianlongshan Digital Caves Projects, and teaching assistant for various undergraduate and high school courses at the University of Chicago.
Research Interests: History of photography in China
Tingting studies the Chinese history of photography with Professor Wu Hung. She received her BA in photojournalism from People's University in China, and a MFA in photography from the Parsons School of Design in New York. Her research focuses on how the Chinese perspective of photography was shaped, inheriting both local art styles and western thought in late Imperial period. Prior to her PhD studies, Tingting worked as a specialist at the Huachen Auction House in Beijing for dating, identifying and evaluating 19th century photographs. She also worked as the research staff at the China Photo Archives (Xinhua News Agency). Tingting published her book NICHE:In or Out - Interviews with Contemporary American Photographic Artists in 2009, and was the translator for the first two volumes of Terry Bennett's History of Photography in China (2010, 2013).
Zhiyan Yang is a doctoral student specializing in modern and contemporary East Asian art. After spending three years at Sarah Lawrence College, bracketing a year abroad at the University of Oxford, studying mainly Western art, Zhiyan regained his interests of what is closest to his heart, Chinese art. Working at Xu Bing Studio in Brooklyn, New York as an intern, he had the chance to view the contemporary Chinese art world from a rather different perspective. His current research interests include traditional art media, architecture, visual culture, and the relationship among all three in the context of the idea of modernity from the late 19th century up to today. Aside from China, Zhiyan has also developed a passion for Japanese art and photography after the Second World War.
After receiving undergraduate degrees in Art History, Philosophy, and Classical Studies from Saint Peter's University, Christine thought her wide Humanities background particularly suited her to teach Mathematics to New York City Public School children, which she did while obtaining a Master's in Teaching (Math Concentration) from Pace University. After many tedious years and a small epiphany involving The Wizard of Oz, she returned to her first and true love, Art History, and studied for a Master's from CUNY–Hunter College. Christine’s thesis examined the complexities of Alessandro Allori's Montauto Chapel of SS. Annunziata in Florence. She has interned with Save Venice, Inc., volunteered for the Guggenheim Museum of Art, and is the 2014 Summer Curatorial Intern in the Old Master’s Drawings Department of the National Gallery of Art, DC. Christine’s current research interests are the transfer and manifestation of style in 16th Century Italy, especially as it relates to the rise of the art academy, professional rivalry, and the longue durée of the life of Michelangelo.
Research Interests: Late Medieval Chinese Art
Arts of the steppe peoples, who formed the Five Dynasties, Liao, Xia, Jin, and Yuan China(s), interest Dongshan the most. Before he came to Chicago, Dongshan completed coursework and internships at Chinese University of Hong Kong, Palace Museum (Beijing), Williams College, Columbia University, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. His M.A. thesis deals with the flowers and birds in a Yuan dynasty wall painting, Medicine Buddha Bhaisajyaguru.
Research Interests: Modern Chinese Art and Architecture
Xi studies modern Chinese art and architecture with Professor Wu Hung. Prior to entering the Ph.D program at the University of Chicago in 2012, she received her M.A in Art History from University of Louisville. Her thesis focuses on a case study of the Paramount Ballroom, entitled “The Paramount Ballroom in the 1930s: A Modernist Social and Architectural Space.” It examines how this ballroom emerged, how it was interpreted by Chinese society, and the historical role it played in modernizing Shanghai’s urban space in the 1930s. She is particularly interested in how early 20th century Chinese art and architecture are borrowed, adopted, incorporated, and reinterpreted in both historical and cultural contexts.
Research Interests: Chinese art, visual art and aesthetic mentalities of Middle Period China (ca. 800-1400), the painting-spectatordom relationship, Chinese art historiography
Meng Zhao is a PhD student studying Chinese art with a particular focus on painting practice of Middle Period China (ca. 800-1400). Meng received her B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature at Fudan University and her M.A. in History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia at SOAS University of London. Her master’s dissertation addressed a dramaturgical schema activated by the act of gazing frequently depicted in the Southern Song (1127-1279) court painting. Meng is particularly interested in the tension between the understanding of paintings as self-knowledge and the social dimensions of aesthetic mentalities, and in the sensuous credibility of pictorial representation of the middle period.
Zhenru Zhou is a PhD student studying East Asian art and architecture. Her interests include East Asian visual culture, medieval religious architecture, and cultural exchange along the Silk Road. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she received her M.A. in architecture respectively from Princeton University in 2016 and Tsinghua University in 2014 and her B.A. from Tsinghua in 2011. Her MA thesis focuses on representations of the Buddhist West Pure Land, entitled “Recarving the Dunhuang Grottoes: a study on the roles of architecture in the process of copying Buddhist Pure Land landscapes.” She also interned at Dunhuang Academy and Tsinghua Architecture Design Institute.