Areas of Study

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Graduate Students

  • Alice Heeren

    Biography

    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

    Biography

    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

    Biography

    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.

  • Elena Gittleman

    Biography

    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

    Biography

    Erin Piñon: I am a first year M.A. student and recent graduate of Tufts University where I received a B.A. in Art History. My focus is Byzantine art and architecture - not solely because I like shiny things, but also because I am fascinated with the terrestrial expansion and chronological spread of the Byzantine Empire. I also enjoy researching Armenian culture and history. I have a strong interest in 7th and 10th Century Armenian cathedrals and their enduring architectural influence and standing as historical monuments in troubled territory. Finally, I provide all of the written content for a contemporary art gallery in Deep Ellum, called W.A.A.S. serving -- my outlet to living artists.

  • Jamie Teich

    Biography

    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

    Biography

    Joe Hartman is a PhD candidate in the RASC/a program at Southern Methodist University. His research interests include cultural geography, performance, phenomenology, and visual culture. His current work focuses on the art and architecture of the Iberian and Ibero-American worlds, especially early modern Ecuador. Hartman recently completed a master’s in art history at the University of North Texas in 2011. His thesis, “The Ceiba Tree as a Multivocal Signifier: Afro-Cuban Symbolism and Urban Space in the Early Cuban Republic” originates from seminar work on visual culture in the African diaspora and theories of transculturation in the colonial and early modern periods. He also pursued a minor focus in ancient and medieval art of the Mediterranean. Before his arrival in Texas, Hartman taught art for several years in Indiana. His experience ranges from high school media arts, visual education for inner-city middle school students, and general art for elementary students. He acquired a bachelor’s degree in art and Spanish at Goshen College, Indiana in 2007 where he also received a certification in k-12 education. As an undergraduate, Hartman enjoyed creating editorial cartoons for the Goshen Record newspaper and acting in several main stage plays. Now his days are filled with reading books, writing, thinking, and, most importantly, quality time with his wife and cat.

  • Lauren Richman

    Biography

    Lauren Richman is a doctoral student focusing on modern and contemporary art, specifically the history of photography and 20th century to contemporary installation work. Her research interests include themes of trauma, the Holocaust, representations of memory, and explorations of loss and memorial in postwar French and German art. Lauren received her BA in the History of Art (minors in French, Studio Art) from Vanderbilt University in 2011. She worked as an intern at the Art Institute of Chicago (Dept. of Photography), Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, New Orleans Museum of Art, and Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery.

  • Mariana Westphalen Von Hartenthal

    Biography

    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

    Biography

    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.

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