Current Graduate Students

You are here

Shadé Ayorinde

Shadé’s interest is in art as a form of visual communication that questions, manipulates, and/or distorts racial, social, and gender relationships. She studies constructions of identity via modern and contemporary American art, mass media, and visual culture. Her current work focuses on humor and how characteristics of black masculinity are brought out in Gilded Age photography, and satirical cartoons, prints, and illustrations. Shadé earned a B.S. BA in international business and an M.A. in Art History from University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Evan Allen

Evan’s studies are focused primarily around the art and architecture of the Roman provinces during the Imperial Period, especially borderline contexts. He considers both the conceptualization and representation of frontiers and geography in antiquity as well as the archaeology of provincial cities and fortifications in order to consider how these unique geographical zones expand our understanding of Roman identities and cultural memories under the empire. He’s also interested in archaeological media (including digital visualizations and photography), contemporary practices of memorialization, and the reception of antiquity throughout the modern era. Evan received his BFA in Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art and Design (2014) and his MA in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania (2016).

Natasha Bissonauth

Natasha Bissonauth's scholarship investigates migration narratives in various contemporary art forms -- photography, film, installation, montage and new media. Her work is especially engaged with art production's interventions within affect theory. While more specific research questions revolve around rereading South Asia and its diaspora via the Black Arts Movement in the UK, broader commitments turn to decoloniality, critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies, queer of color critique, transnational politics and comparative modernities. Bissonauth completed her M.A. at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London in 2006 and a B.A. at McGill University in 2005, Montreal. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked in New York City in the contemporary South Asian art scene in various galleries and grassroots non-profit art spaces. She has published artist interviews, exhibition reviews and articles in publications such as Art AsiaPacific, ArtIndia and Art&Deal. The artist book Divya Mehra: Quit India (2013) features a short essay by Bissonauth on borderwork. 

Natalia Di Pietrantonio

Natalia earned her B.A. in art history at the University California, Davis in 2008. In 2011, she received her M.A. from Columbia University in South Asian Studies. Research interests include Islamic art, cross-cultural dimensions of Southeast and South Asian Art, Indo-Persianate history, Urdu poetry and literature, erotica, gender & sexuality studies. Her doctoral dissertation, "Erotic Visions: Poetry, Literature, and Book Arts from Avadh India (1754-1857)," focuses on erotic miniatures such as representations of female nudes and amorous couples produced in and around the Indo-Islamic court of Avadh, India. Funding for her research has included IHR Mellon Pre-dissertation Fellowship, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship, and American Institute for India Studies (AIIS) Junior Research Fellowship.

Yuhua Ding

Yuhua Ding is a PhD candidate in art history at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the culture of collection and collecting, particularly that related to Chinese ancient art and antiquities as they were collected and disseminated from the late 19th century to the early twentieth century. Before she came to the US, Yuhua was a member of the research staff of the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, China. There she curated and co-curated exhibitions on modern Chinese art including painting and photography. Currently Yuhua is completing her dissertation, “Collector Deng Shi and His Contemporaries: Chinese Antiquarianism at the Turn of Twentieth Century.”

Elvira Dyangani

Elvira’s interests focus on modern and contemporary African art, in particular in the production of artistic and cultural projects that question the definition of urban space, history, community, identity and agency. Her dissertation explores the work of artists and artist collectives that challenge the notion of the “public,” while attending to the political potential and the strong activist character of daily life experiences. She is combining her academic duties with a curatorial position at Tate Modern.

Lara Fresko

Lara’s research interests revolve around history of artists' collectives and communities with regard to their artistic practices, political engagement and social economies. She comes from an interdisciplinary background with an MA in Comparative Literature and a BA in Cultural Studies, and has also worked in the field of contemporary art as an independent researcher writer and curator before coming to Cornell. Most recently she has co-curated (with Esra Sarıgedik Öktem) an international group exhibition titled “this secret world that exists right there in public” in Rampa, Istanbul. Her writing has appeared in journals such as Afterall, Art in America and ArtReview as well as in exhibition catalogs and online publications. She is interested in social movements, collectivity, public space, political economy of art, and oral history.

Kanitra Fletcher

Kanitra researches visual imagery of and by women of the black diaspora, particularly in the Americas and the Caribbean. Her current work focuses on self-portraiture by black women artists. Kanitra is a Ford Foundation Fellow with a BA in English Literature from Rutgers University—New Brunswick and an MA in Latin American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She also has worked at various arts institutions, including the Bronx Museum of Arts, Museum of Modern Art, and New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

Sara Garzon

Sara’s research interest is in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art with a special focus on historical time, coloniality and the politics of the identity in Contemporary Art. Before coming to Cornell, Sara received an M.A in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. While in New York, Sara also worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the Lifchez-Stronach Curatorial Intern, later on she was part of the Audience Engagement Team at the Brooklyn Museum, and before that was Executive Director of the Sacramento Art History Consortium (SAHC).

Elisabeth Emmons Hahn

Emmons specializes in heritage and museum studies in the modern and contemporary periods. Her dissertation research focuses on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, analyzing the design, stakeholder involvement, and resultant heritage narratives promoted by the site. Her surrounding work has involved the interdisciplinary study of the creation of identity narratives; stakeholder involvement; the control and interpretation of historic sites; black markets in art, architectural fragments, and antiquities; the ethics of collecting; heritage tourism, preservation, and sustainability; art law; digital heritage; and the intersection of these topics with the politics and design of museums. Previous education includes Middlebury College, the Universitá degli Studi di Ferrara and the Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law, Cultural Heritage and the Arts. She has contributed to exhibitions, education, and collections work at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, and the archaeological displays and catalogues for Robert Treman State Park, as well as preservation and museological consultation for the Harriet Tubman Home, and the Pratt Arts Center. Emmons is also an avid teacher, is active in online communities for heritage blogging and photography, and enjoys bringing those activities into dialogue with her academic research.

Betty Hensellek

I research art and archaeology along the so-called Silk Roads in first millennium CE Inner Eurasia.  My dissertation project investigates dress along Late Antique and Early Medieval frontier zones.  I received a BA in Art History and a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati (2011) and my MA with distinction from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (2013).  From 2014-2015 I was a DAAD Gastdoktorandin at the Seminar für Orientalische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. Email: 

Sooyon Lee

Based in Seoul, South Korea. She studied Linguistics at the Seoul National University and received M.A. in Art History on the theme of "Nam June Paik: performance to video art, expanding of perceptions." Her research interest includes contemporary media art from 1960s to present, primarily focusing on media as a surface and receptor of ideas and presenter of socio-political values. Since 2008, she has been working as a curator of National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) and she has organized various exhibitions: Out of the Silent Planet(2010, the first media collection show in MMCA), Public Project Cheonggye (2011), Art of Communication: Anri Sala, Yang Ah Ham, Philippe Parreno, Jorge Pardo (2011), a performance exhibition with Hayward Gallery in London, Move (2012) and a 3-year project of Germany-Korea, Korea-NRW International Art and Artists Exchange Program (2013).

Alison McCann

Ali earned her B.A. at the University of New Hampshire, with a major in history, concentrated in religious history, and minors in art history, political science, and Middle Eastern studies.  She received her MSc. in  Renaissance and Early Modern studies from the University of Edinburgh.  Focused on the Italian Renaissance, she is interested in the intersection of religious thought and art during the Reformation and Counter Reformation, artistic censorship, artistic criticism, and the history of art history.

Asli Menevse

Asli arrived in the discipline of Art History from an interdisciplinary background: a B.A. in Political Sciences and Sociology, and a M.A. in History with a concentration in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. She stepped into visual studies attending the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University where she received her second M.A. in Art History in 2013. Her research topics incorporate two elements of interest that are prevalent throughout her academic venture: nineteenth-century modernity and mass media. Her methodological framework is informed by broader interests in postcolonialism, imperialism, Marxism, and mass production.

Polly Nordstrand

Polly is developing her interests in and around global indigenous art, comparative modernities, and critical theory. She focuses on American Indian art and specifically the pottery of María and Julian Martínez (San Ildefonso Pueblo). Her related interests include visual sovereignty, craft theory, American art of the interwar period, and theories/histories of colonialism. Polly is a Predissertation Ford Foundation Fellow.

Bradley Pecore

Bradley Pecore (Menominee/Mohican) is an emerging curator and visual historian examining Native American and Indigenous aesthetics. He specializes in the History of Native American Art, Museum and Curatorial Studies, American Art, and Gender Studies. Since 2006, Pecore has been involved in over 60 exhibitions as curator, researcher, educator, writer, collections specialist, and artist liaison. He was the guest curator for Drift Art Project (2007) at Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY, and in 2012, he contributed to Manifestations: New Native Art Criticism. He has lectured on Native American and Indigenous Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Hey Center (NMAI-GGHC), Smithsonian Institution, New York, NY, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to multiple awards and recognitions, he is a recipient of the Newberry Library Graduate Student Fellowship (2012). He received his BA in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pecore has special interests in globalization and Indigeneity, performance, feminist and queer theories, decolonization, and comparative modernities. His dissertation considers Indigenous philosophical and historical ideas of gendered subjectivities and focuses in particular on Queer Indigenous and Two Spirit visualities. Pecore is currently a Curatorial Resident at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI-GGHC) Smithsonian Institution, New York, NY.

Hannah Ryan

Focusing on the visual culture and literature of the Transatlantic and with particular emphases on diaspora, tourism, consumption, health, and the physicality of knowledge, Hannah Ryan's perspective is humanist, feminist, and decolonial. Her current research investigates the ways in which the maternal body is deployed within colonial and religious visual rhetoric of the early modern and modern Transatlantic.

Constanza Salazar

Constanza Salazar's research focuses on expanding the traditional boundaries of the discipline of art history by incorporating new interdisciplinary theoretical paradigms that explore the intimate relationship between new media art, critical theory, and society. Her current work includes renegotiating the concepts of identity, embodiment, and agency within a networked-society to ultimately uncover new ways of conceptualizing "the body" and new theories of otherness that suggest a shift towards thinking about a post-human ontology. Salazar completed her schooling in Canada. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, and completed her M.A. in Art History at the University of Guelph. Salazar has presented papers internationally which examine the theories of new materialism, speculative realism, and new ontology within contemporary art and critical theory.

Sadia Shirazi

Sadia Shirazi’s research interests include modernism and contemporary art and architecture, global art markets, and theories of space, postcoloniality, media and gender. Her practice explores the relationship of art and architecture to sociopolitical issues, spatial imaginaries, and technologies of display. Her recent curatorial projects include 230 MB / Exhibition Without Objects (EWO) at Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi (2013), 136 MB / Exhibition Without Objects at The Drawing Room in Lahore (2012) and Foreclosed. Between Crisis and Possibility at The Kitchen in New York City (2011). Shirazi holds a MArch degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was a curatorial fellow of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Kristen Streahle

Kristen’s interests include the interaction of architecture, politics and religion in southern Italy, especially within the Norman Kingdom of Sicily; the cultural and artistic exchange of that region within a larger medieval Mediterranean context; Qur'anic Arabic; the political and artistic context of 14th-century baronial Sicily; and digital architecture preservation and digital media.

Kaja Tally-Schumacher

Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Kaja double-majored in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and in Political Science for her B.A. at the University of Minnesota. She received her M.A. (with distinction) in Greek and Roman Art History at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. Her primary research area is Roman art and archaeology, and she has additional interests in nineteenth and twentieth century urbanism and architecture. She is particularly interested in Roman domestic spaces, gardens, and funerary art. Her non-scholarly interests include downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, Latin dancing, and scuba diving.

Lauren van Haaften-Schick

Lauren’s research considers the legislative and juridical history of art, with a focus on philosophical and legal provocations in conceptual art and institutional critique. Current subjects include the work of Seth Siegelaub, artists' contracts, critical forms of circulation including artists' books and media interventions, and artists’ labor, moral, and property rights. Recent exhibitions include “Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures,” The Center for Book Arts, NY, Albright College, PA, Smith College, MA, and others (2012-14), and “Non-Participation,” The Luminary, MO, and The Art League Houston, TX (2014-15). Recent presentations & publications include: "The Artists' Resale Right," Artists Space Books & Talks, NY; "What Now? The Politics of Listening," Art in General and the Vera List Center, NY; The Law, Culture, and the Humanities conference at Georgetown University Law Centre; "Gauging the Gray Area" (with Helena Keeffe) for "Valuing Labor in the Arts" at the Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley; "Seth Siegelaub's Agreement as Critical Circulation" for “Living Labor, Marxism and Performance Studies,” NYU; lectures at Bureau Publik and Rum46, Denmark, for the series "Making Social Realities with Books"; and “Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments” (with Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento) published in the Texas A&M Law Review. In 2012 she was Curator in Residence for the Art & Law Program, NY, and is a member of W.A.G.E. Artists Resale Rights Working Group. She has worked as a curator, gallerist, archivist, researcher, and grantmaker since receiving her BA in Studio Arts and Art History from Hampshire College, 2006.