Areas of Study

Twtr Fb Yt Li Pi

Graduate Students

  • Alice Heeren


    My name is Alice Heeren. I received my BA in Art Education and a BFA in Printmaking from the Univeridade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil during which time I worked at the Laboratório de Conservação de Bens Culurais. In 2011 I received a MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a thesis entitled "The Inhotim Cultural Institute: the museum in the Neodevelopmentalist era." After an internship at MoMA and two years in the graduate program of the University of Illinois, I am currently pursuing my Ph.D at SMU in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture. My research is in Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art and Architecture with a focus on memory studies. Finally, I am currently the sub editor for Latin American Visual Arts for the upcoming Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.

  • Asiel Sepulveda


    My name is Asiel Sepúlveda. I received a B.A in Art History from Florida International University in 2012. At this great institution I wrote my undergraduate thesis “ Barroquismo: The Eclectic Tension of Cuba’s Cultural Identities,” on which I focused on redefining barroquismo as a cultural/aesthetic tension adjacent to modernist practices. Before joining SMU, I also completed an internship as a curatorial assistant at the Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum (2011-12). My academic interests are issues of identity in Modern Latin American Art, particularly the Cuban Vanguard movement. Currently, I am pursuing a project on the fusion of colonial architecture, femininity and abstraction in the work of Amelia Peláez. Last but not least, I greatly enjoy the culinary arts, roaming the Internet and friendly blitz chess.

  • Carol Mach Barreto Pino


    Carol Mach Barreto Pino is a M.A. candidate in the RASC/a program at Southern Methodist University. She was born in Rio de Janeiro and immigrated to the United States at a young age. She received her B.A. in Art History from Goucher College in 2014. While at Goucher College, she interned with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Sítio Roberto Burle Marx in Barra de Guaratiba, the Museu Historico Nacional in Rio de Janeiro and the Baltimore War Memorial. Her current interests lie in Roberto Burle Marx and his involvement in shaping the urban landscape of cities in Latin American including but not limited to, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Buenos Aires and Brasilia during the twentieth century. While working on the transnational influence of a singular landscape architect, she is able to draw on the intersection between man-built environments and human interaction in the post-colonial world.

  • Claudia Zapata


    Claudia Zapata is pursuing her Ph.D. at SMU in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture Program in Art History. She received her B.A. and M.A. from University of Texas in art history, specializing in Pre-Columbian and U.S. Latino/Chicano art. From 2010 to 2014 she served as the curator of exhibitions and programs at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas. Her recent projects include the co-founding of ChingoZine, a Latino art zine and Chingolandia, a Latino designer toy line as part of her Latino art collective, Puro Chingón Collective, LLC. Zapata has curated over 30 exhibitions at the Mexic-Arte Museum and other Texas institutions on subjects such as the commercialization of the Day of the Dead holiday, Mexican dance masks, Contemporary Chicano art, lucha libre in popular culture and more. Her most recent publication acted as the main catalog essay for Margarita Cabrera’s Uprooted Dreams, a recent Austin Art in Public Places installation using Oaxacan woodcarving to discuss cultural displacement. Her research interests include curatorial methodologies of identity-based exhibitions, Texas Neo-Chicanoism, exhibition design and people-of-color zines and designer toys. For contact and further information please see her website.

  • Elena Gittleman


    My name is Elena Gittleman and I am a second-year M.A. student writing my master’s thesis on Samson imagery in synagogue and church mosaics in Late Antique Palestine and Byzantium. I spent last summer working on the archaeological excavation of the synagogue at Huqoq in Israel and learning Byzantine Greek in the UK. I recently wrote three articles for the new ABC-Clio Encyclopedia of Crucial Events in the History of Religions, which is currently in press. I am the student co-convener (with Dr. Shira Lander) of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Research Cluster “Jewish Studies.” Before coming to SMU, I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 with a B.A. in art history and a secondary major in history. Throughout my undergraduate education, I studied the art and history of the medieval world, culminating in a senior honors thesis on the mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. I have held two internship positions in major museums; one at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and another at the Cloisters Museum and Gardens, a part of the Medieval Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. My love of art history began with a seminar on the art and architecture of Constantinople, ending with a slightly unhealthy obsession with the Hagia Sophia on my part. Drawing on all of my experiences in and out of the classroom, I plan to continue my studies of Late Antique and Byzantine art and architecture after graduation into a Ph.D. program.

  • Erin Pinon


    Erin Piñon is a second-year M.A. student and a recent graduate of Tufts University where she received her B.A. in art history and Latin American politics. Her research interests include medieval and early modern Armenian manuscripts and works on paper, cases of diaspora, genocide studies and the architecture of early Byzantium. Last summer Erin returned to Boston with the aid of SMU's Department of Art History and worked as the curatorial intern at the Armenian Library and Museum of America. There she researched the provenance of manuscripts that were looted during, and rediscovered after, the Armenian Genocide. Additionally, she curated an exhibition of miniature books and talismans (summer 2015). For this work she began her language studies in Classical and Modern Western Armenian.

  • Jamie Teich


    Jamie Teich is a doctoral student focusing on the art of Spain, medieval to early modern, with a growing interest in the history of Latin American art. Her research interests include performance, film theory, artists’ techniques, relics, textiles and bodies in space and in relation to architecture. Jamie received a Master’s in art history from Tufts University where she wrote a qualifying paper on a Romanesque church in Catalonia and another on an unpublished medieval Armenian manuscript page recently acquired by the Armenian Library and Museum in Massachusetts. She also received a Bachelor’s in theater, from Hunter College in New York, where she designed costumes for many theatrical productions between off-Broadway Shakespeare and Fringe Festival circuses. Before coming to Southern Methodist University she worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in the curatorial, education, and conservation departments. She is currently curatorial assistant to Zahira Véliz Bomford, who acts as the curator for the Apelles Collection, based in Chile and London, and is senior paintings conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The collection is comprised mostly of Golden Age Spanish drawings.

  • Joseph Hartman


    Joe Hartman is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Southern Methodist University’s Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture program (RASC/a). He specializes in the history of Latin American art and architecture with an emphasis on the spatial and visual cultures of Cuba and the Caribbean. Hartman has published articles and reviews in The Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians; The Middle Ground Journal; Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas; and Athanor. He has presented his findings at the College Arts Association; Harvard University; El Museo del Barrio; and the Universitat de Barcelona, among others. In 2011, Hartman graduated with a Master’s in art history from the University of North Texas, where he wrote his thesis on the Afro-Cuban religious reception of urban spaces in Havana, Cuba. There, he also pursued a secondary focus in medieval material culture of the Mediterranean. Hartman’s dissertation, tentatively titled “Modern Dreams: Image, Space, and Politics in Machado’s Cuba, 1925-1933,” examines how civic environments constructed during the regime of Cuban President Gerardo Machado entwine themselves in the practices of art, politics, and daily life. Hartman currently resides in Dallas with his wife, toddler and cat.

  • Lauren Richman


    Lauren Richman is a third year doctoral candidate focusing on modern and contemporary art, photography and film of post-WWII Europe and North America.  Her research interests include the play and historical aberrations of violence, the intersections between art and visual mass culture, and studies of security, surveillance and political propaganda. Lauren received her B.A. in art history (2011) from Vanderbilt University and her M.A. in the same subject from SMU (2013); her thesis is titled “Perform, Cough, Critique: Christian Boltanski’s Cinematic Tactics in 1969.” The first recipient of the Gayle and Paul Stoffel Doctoral Fellowship in RASC/a, Lauren completed a specially designed year of coursework in 2013-14 with leading scholars in her field under the guidance of her advisor, Assistant Professor of Art History Eric Stryker. This included a  fall 2013 residence at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London under the mentorship of Julian Stallabrass and Sarah Wilson as well as independent research and coursework at Berlin’s Freie and Humboldt Universities through summer 2014.

  • Mariana Westphalen Von Hartenthal


    Mariana von Hartenthal is from Curitiba, a city in the South of Brazil. She studied Architecture and Urban Planning as an undergrad; shortly after she graduated she went to England where she took an MA in Museum Studies at the University of Southampton. Later on, she took another Master’s, this time in the area of Technology and Interaction (at the Federal University for Technology – Paraná, Brazil), which allowed her to research the way we perceive and interact with space, a longstanding interest of hers. While doing research for her MA thesis, she realized that some remarkable aspects of the interplay between people and space were first investigated by artists, which is how she arrived at studying art history. Although she did not follow an orthodox path in her academic career, she is happy to say that this has not been a problem here at RASC/a -- quite the opposite. Faculty members and colleagues are open to hearing about different perspectives, which is one of the aspects that make the program so exciting. Here, she feels encouraged to pursue her main research goal: the role of art in our understanding and construction of urban space, especially focusing on Latin American cities of the 20th century.

  • Rachel Spradley


    My name is Rachel Spradley and I am a second year master’s student in art history. I graduated in 2010 from The University of Texas at Austin, where I completed a double major in Plan II, an honors liberal arts program, and Spanish as well as a minor in art history. While at UT I studied art history abroad in Vienna, Austria during the summer of 2007 and Buenos Aires, Argentina in the spring semester of 2009, where I also studied Spanish language and Latin American literature. I wrote my Plan II undergraduate thesis, which earned a Model Thesis designation, on Islamic architecture in medieval Spain. My professional experience includes two years as a program officer for Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where I helped coordinate the organization’s teacher institute program. I also spent several months working with a small art advisory firm in Houston prior to beginning my master’s degree. Over the past summer I worked as an intern in the education department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. As a master’s student, I have continued to pursue the study of Islamic influence in the arts of medieval Spain.

Areas of Study



Art History

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies



Faculty and Staff

Graduate Students

Art History Newsletter

RASC/a Graduate Conference

Department Projects

Dallas Resources

Libraries and Visual Resources

Community Engagement


Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Communication Studies

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts