Current Grad Students in History of Art
Emily Alesandrini (she/her) is an art historian, independent curator, and advocate working in Philadelphia and New York. A third-year graduate student in the History of Art department at Bryn Mawr, her research concerns contemporary representations of race and gender with a particular focus on issues of opacity, ornament, and the diasporic body in art by women and artists of color. Alesandrini strives to spotlight underrepresented voices in the field and work in community-based collaboration to subvert systems of oppression and erasure within and beyond art history. She has contributed to exhibition planning and publications at Wave Hill in the Bronx, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, The Ford Foundation Gallery in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Sex in New York, and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York (forthcoming). Alesandrini graduated from Smith College with Latin Honors and a BA in Art History. As a fully-funded Elizabeth Allison Emory Scholar, she earned her MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from Tulane University. She currently serves as the Curatorial Fellow in Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections.
Nina is a Ph.D. candidate in history of art. Her dissertation examines the material culture of domestic space and the global origins of late nineteenth-century home decorating. She received her B.A. in history and art history from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 2012 and earned her M.A. at Bryn Mawr in 2018 with a thesis focusing on the use of Japanese decorative arts by middle-class American women. Nina has worked at the National Library of New Zealand’s Alexander Turnbull Library and has held graduate internships in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in Bryn Mawr College's Special Collections, where she curated the exhibition “All-Over Design”: Lockwood de Forest between Ahmedabad and Bryn Mawr in 2019. She holds the 2021-2023 Marie Zimmermann Collections Fellowship from the Decorative Arts Trust and is researching the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House for Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Elena Gittleman is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. She received her BA in Art History and Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Art History from Southern Methodist University during which time she worked as a square supervisor at the Huqoq Excavation Project in northern Israel. She held a graduate curatorial fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, assisting in the exhibition “Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands (19 November 2017–11 February 2018) as well as education positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Met Cloisters, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has curated two exhibitions at Bryn Mawr College and served as the co-chair for the Graduate Student Association (2017-2019) and the 12th Biennial Graduate Group Symposium. Her dissertation explores the legacy and importance of ancient Greco-Roman theater in medieval Byzantine visual culture, arguing that the cultural memory of theater was intimately entwined both with medieval performativity and in the elite preservation of the Empire’s classical heritage. She has presented her research at regional, national, and international conferences. Her research has been supported by grants from the International Center of Medieval Art, the Istanbul Research Institute, and the Medieval Academy of America.
Tessa Bachi Haas
Tessa is a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art department, working with Professor Homay King. She specializes in new media, net art, and digital identity, particularly through queer studies and material culture methodologies. Tessa completed her M.A. thesis, “Currency, Ritual, and Craft: Cowrie Shells in the Work of Rina Banerjee,” with Professor Sylvia Houghteling in 2019. She has curated and co-curated exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the Center for Creative Works, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College Special Collections, and AUTOMAT. She has contributed to exhibition planning and publications at PAFA, Woodmere Art Museum, Arcadia Exhibitions, the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard University, and the American Philosophical Society. Tessa is the department assistant for BMC’s Museum Studies program and current Hanna Holborn Gray graduate mentor.
Meg Hankel is a doctoral candidate in the history of art. She specializes in modern and contemporary art, with a focus on the history of photography and new media. She earned an MA degree in art history from the University of Georgia in 2017, and a BA in art history from Columbia College Chicago in 2009. Her dissertation research focuses on the history of the stereograph and other 3D technologies (such as VR) and their use in modern and contemporary artistic practice. Other research interests include the intersection of art, gaming, and the theory of play, as well as the development of color technology in analog and digital photography. She has previously held a curatorial internship at the Georgia Museum of Art, assisted with the Barnes Foundation exhibition From Today, Painting is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France (2019), has participated in the Bryn Mawr Digital Scholarship Graduate Fellows Program, and has served as co-chair of the University of Pennsylvania Incubation Series, with whom she has curated multiple exhibitions throughout Philadelphia. She has presented her work at a variety of conferences including the German Studies Association Conference and the International Conference of Stereo and Immersive Media. Before pursuing graduate studies, she worked for the photographer Steve Schapiro in Chicago, Illinois.
Elliot is an M.A. in the history of art. He received a B.F.A. in photographic illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 and an M.A. in the history of art from Williams College in 2014. His research interests revolve around photography’s effect on different mediums in contemporary art, and its unique relationship to memory and mourning.
Emily Leifer is a PhD candidate in the history of art at Bryn Mawr College, working with Professor Homay King. She studies modern and contemporary art, focusing on art of the 1960s and 1970s. Her dissertation explores Light and Space installation art and evolving concepts of the environment, both architectural and ecological, in the United States around the mid-twentieth century. Emily received her M.A. from Williams College and her B.A. from Brandeis University. She has held curatorial internships at the ICA Philadelphia, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, and David Zwirner Gallery.
Laurel V. McLaughlin
Laurel V. McLaughlin is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art working with Prof. Homay King. Her research focuses on contemporary performance and new media, specifically engaging with migratory aesthetics, post-war conceptual and feminist art, and theories of identity and embodiment. McLaughlin holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University in Art History and English as a Presidential Scholar (2013), an M.A. with Distinction from The Courtauld Institute of Art (2015), and an M.A. from Bryn Mawr College (2017). She has presented her research at the University of California, Berkeley; the College Art Association, New York; Performance Studies International, Calgary; and the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, Hong Kong, and her research has been supported by a 2021–2022 Bryn Mawr College Dean’s Fellowship and a 2020–2021 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art. Her criticism, interviews, and essays have been published in Art Papers, BOMB Magazine, Performa Magazine, Contact Quarterly, Performance Research, Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts, PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research, Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, numerous exhibition catalogs, and are forthcoming in an interdisciplinary volume that she is co-editing with Carrie Robbins on the work of Tania El Khoury (Amherst College Press 2022). She has held curatorial fellowships and assistant positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Slought Foundation, Bryn Mawr College Special Collections, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the ICA Philadelphia; co-curated exhibitions and performance events with the University of Pennsylvania's Incubation Series at AUTOMAT Gallery, FJORD Gallery, and Vox Populi; and organized exhibitions in Portland, OR at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, Paragon Arts Gallery, and Fuller Rosen Gallery with Oregon Contemporary, in addition to Artspace New Haven, CT. She is currently organizing the traveling survey, Emilio Rojas: tracing a wound through my body at Emerson Contemporary in Fall 2022 (followed by the Usdan Gallery, Bennington VT; SECCA, Winston-Salem, NC). email@example.com
Anna Moblard Meier
Anna is a Ph.D. student working with Prof. Christiane Hertel. Her areas of interest are modern Viennese and Japanese art. She earned her B.A. in German Literature and Studio Art from Reed College in 2002 and her M.F.A. in Printmaking from PAFA in 2010. She completed her M.A. thesis, a study of fin-de-siècle Vienna and the allegorical works of Gustav Klimt, at Bryn Mawr in 2014. Currently, her Ph.D. research is focused on the artistic exchange between Europe and Japan in the late 19th century and the early International Exhibitions. Anna has presented papers at the University of Texas at Austin and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. In her time at Bryn Mawr, she has been a teaching assistant for the Growth and Structure of Cities Department and served as a research assistant in Special Collections. She has also curated and co-curated several exhibitions, including Bridges That Stand When All Else Falls Away: TriCo, Japan, and Melted Roof Tiles from Hiroshima 1945 (BMC 2012); Beneath the Printed Pattern: Display and Disguise in Ukiyo-e Bijinga (BMC 2013), Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan: Perspectives and Testimonies from the Tri-co Collection, (BMC 2013); and A Sense of Place: Modern Japanese Prints (University of Pennsylvania Ross Gallery 2015).
Maggie North is an art historian, curator, and graduate student in the History of Art department at Bryn Mawr College. She holds a BA in art history from Providence College and an MA in the history of art and architecture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. North specializes in American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with a focus on women artists and feminist theory. In her research and writing, she aims to illuminate intersections between gender and material artistic practice, exploring the historical and social significance of artistic mediums and their applications in the modern era. To her current work, North brings nearly a decade of curatorial experience. Before joining the graduate program at Bryn Mawr, she served as Curator of Art at the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Massachusetts where she interpreted and spoke about a broad range of objects. Most recently, she co-curated the exhibition As They Saw It: Women Artists Then & Now (on view at the Springfield Museums from October 14, 2023 – January 14, 2024 and at the Fenimore Art Museum from April 1, 2024 – September 2, 2024).
Meriç Özölçer is a third-year graduate student with a focus on Byzantine and Medieval Islamic Art and Architecture. Her MA thesis, advised by Professor Alicia Walker, will focus on the position of small-scale reliquaries within later Byzantine devotional contexts. Meriç was introduced to the study of Byzantine Art while pursuing her B.A. degree in Psychology at Boğaziçi University, in her hometown of İstanbul. She continued her education on Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at the University of Oxford, where she obtained the degree of Master of Studies in this field. Her research interests range from the role of architecture and monumental art in shaping Medieval religious experience, to the gendered reflections of power on the making of luxury objects in the Middle and Late Byzantine periods.
Katy Rosenthal is a third-year student specializing in decorative arts and material culture with a focus on textiles. Within these fields, her historical interests lie in intra-Asian trade during the onset of global modernity. Her MA thesis, advised by Professor Sylvia Houghteling, examines embroidered garments which emerged from trade conducted in China by the Parsi community in India under the British Raj. Katy comes to the department with a background in design, having received a B.S. in Textile and Apparel Design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an associate degree in Textile and Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
Emily Shoyer is a second-year graduate student in the History of Art department. She received her B.A. with honors in Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University and her M.A. in Art History with honors from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her methodology mobilizes decolonial, trauma and psychoanalytic theory to address cross-cultural and cross-temporal, predominantly contemporary, art created during conditions of crisis and dehumanization. She queries what it means as a viewer on an ethical plane to view, and even witness, such work. She has been fortunate to publish and speak about her research on artists such as Maryan S. Maryan, Obiora Udechukwu, Owanto and Aida Silvestri in Postcolonial Interventions and at academic conferences hosted by Curtin University and Indiana University.
She currently serves as the Curator at Large at the Museum of Sex in New York City where she opened Reclaiming and Making: Art, Desire, Violence - an exhibition confronting sexual violence through contemporary art in November 2021. In June 2022 she opened F*CK ART: the Body & its Absence. Listed by Hyperallergic as one of the top NYC exhibitions of the summer and featured in Re-Edition Magazine, Dazed Digital and InsideHook, the exhibition highlights eighteen predominantly queer artists addressing the body as a charged, erotic and fluid meaning-making agent. This fall, she will open a retrospective on the photographs of Linda Troeller at the Museum of Sex co-organized with fellow Bryn Mawr graduate student Emily Alesandrini and including 25 photographs on loan from Bryn Mawr Special Collections. Prior to the Museum of Sex, she held curatorial positions at the Museum of Modern Art, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and the Jewish Museum.
Yixin (Star) Song
Yixin (Star) Song is a first-year student specializing in Chinese arts, modern architecture history, and critical theories. His interests lie in Chinese literati landscape paintings and the phenomenology of architecture. He received a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Cognitive Science at Carleton College.
He currently serves as the assistant curator at the Chengdu Chang Dai-Chien Art Museum, preparing the special exhibition “Eastern Chang & Western Picasso,” a contrasting exhibition focusing on Chang and Picasso’s sketches throughout their careers. He is also planning a permanent exhibition for the museum, which will show Chang’s paintings based on different genres. Additionally, he is in charge of the souvenir shop and the catalog editor group.
Charlie Taylor is a first-year graduate student in History of Art working under Prof. Alicia Walker. Their work focuses on gender in Byzantine visual culture, especially as it pertains to monasticism, asceticism, and the intersection of sanctity and queerness. They completed their BPhil in History of Art and Classics at the University of Pittsburgh in spring 2023 with a thesis titled Emaciated Women, Weeping Men: Queerness and the Saintly Body in Medieval Christian Art c. 1000-1500. They held an internship at The Met Cloisters in summer 2022, and most recently served as the Fine Foundation Fellow at Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, a non-profit membership-based artist group.
Yuzhu Wang is a first-year graduate student in the History of Art department at Bryn Mawr, working with Professor Jie Shi. She received a B.A in archaeology from Renmin University of China in 2019 and a M.A in art history from Tufts University in 2021. She is interested in the artistic tradition of the Silk Road, particularly the exchange of conventions and techniques from different communities. Before coming to Bryn Mawr, she worked at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (ICA/Boston), and the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts.
Alexis White entered the History of Art department as a graduate student in 2021. Her current research focuses on American Art of the 19th century. Alexis holds an MFA from Cornell University and a BA from the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Mechella Ignace Yezernitskaya
Mechella Yezernitskaya is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History of Art working with Professor Homay King and Professor and Provost Tim Harte. Mechella specializes in the wartime visual and literary culture of the Russian and Soviet avant-gardes focusing on war-related imagery by Russian avant-garde artists beginning with World War I. She is currently a 2020-2021 American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Dissertation Fellow. She has also received research grants from the Walter Read Hovey Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Malevich Society, and a Short-Term Research Fellowship from The New York Public Library. She has presented her research at Södertörn University (Stockholm, Sweden), Karazin University (Kharkiv, Ukraine), Hofstra University (New York), Temple University (Philadelphia), and the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), among others. Mechella’s articles and reviews have been published in ARTMargins Online, Baltic Worlds, post: notes on art in a global context, Slavic & East European Information Resources, and in the edited volume Artistic Expressions and the Great War, A Hundred Years On (Peter Lang Publishing, 2020). At Bryn Mawr, she has served as a teaching assistant in the Film Studies Program and has worked in the Special Collections Department. Mechella has also held guest curatorial positions and fellowships at the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Brooklyn Museum. Mechella received her M.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her B.A. with honors in Art History from Fordham University.