Dissertation defenses: Vishal Khandewal, Sean Kramer, Jun Nakamura, Gerui Wang, and Courtney Wilder

Dissertation defenses in the Interdepartmental Program in Art and Archaeology: Caitlin Clerkin, Christina DiFabio, Alison Ritterhaus

Selected Accomplishments


Vrinda Agrawal


Michelle Al-Ferzly

  • External Grant: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, 2021
  • Presentation: “A Vision in Balance: Port Saint Symeon Wares Through Islamic Medico-Culinary Texts,” Scandalous Feasts and Holy Meals: Food in Medieval and Early Modern Societies, 2nd European University Institute Conference in Visual and Material Culture Studies, May 2021
  • Museum work: Research Assistant, Africa and Byzantium Exhibition, Medieval Art Department, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Madeleine Aquilina

  • UM Grant: Rackham International Research Award
  • Museum work: Dallas Museum of Art, Summer Intern for Latin American Art
  • Public Scholarship: UM Research Initiative, Carceral State Project


Carlo Berardi

  • External Grant: M. Alison Frantz Fellowship, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens [2022-23]
  • Publication: “Un’ombra della sua gloria. La percezione occidentale di Bisanzio nel XV secolo, tra impulse documentario e narrazione leggendaria”, in Per Omnia Litora. Interazioni artistiche, politiche e commerciali lungo le rotte del Mediterraneo tra XIV e XV secolo (Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore)
  • Presentation: “Old Tales Told Anew: Homeric Heroes and Komnenian Ideals in the Illustrations of the Marciana Iliad”, Oxford University Byzantine Studies Conference


Ross Bernhaut

  • External Grant: Fulbright-Nehru grant from the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program
  • Award: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures' 2020–2021 Award for Excellence in Hindi Language
  • Presentation: Organized panel entitled "Political Transformations through Architectural Interventions in Islamic South Asia" for the Historians of Islamic Art Association 2021 Biennial Symposium on "Regime Change," April 15–18, University of Michigan Ann Arbor and delivered paper, "Babur and the Transformation of Gwalior's Rock-Hewn Tīrthaṅkaras"


Haely Chang

  • External Grant: Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
  • Publication: “When the Archive Becomes a Movement: Exhibition Review for The History of Women in Korean Photography I: Women’s Photography Movements in the 1980s”  Trans Asia Photography no. 12, no.1 (Spring 2022)
  • Museum work:  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, Research Assistant Fellow


Emily Cornish

  • External Grant: Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art          
  • Publication:  SmartHistory.org: "Queen Liliʻuokalani’s accession photograph"     https://smarthistory.org/queen-liliuokalani-photograph/
  • Museum work: Baltimore Museum of Art, as freelance editor completed a review of the wall text for the re-installation of their Oceanic Art collection             


James Denison

  • Presentation:  “O’Keeffe, Stieglitz, and the Essentializing Racial Logics of American Modernism”, Space Between Society 22nd Annual Conference on “Race in the Space Between, 1914-1945 University of Virginia.
  • Pedagogy: designed and taught seminar “In Color: Race and Representation in U. S. Art, from the Progressive Era to Pop” UM


Isabelle Gillet

  • UM Grant: Institute for the Humanities Graduate Student fellowship
  • Presentation :"Le trône en Jeu: La Duchesse de Berry et le Quadrille de Marie Stuart" at conference Quadrilles: Danse et Divertissements entre République et Empire , Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris.
  • Museum work: My project "Insight" invited four scholars from the broader UM community to write essays on objects from UMMA's collection as a public -facing, outreach initiative


Allison Grenda

  • Award: First prize in the annual Graduate Student Essay Competition for 2022 held by International Center of Medieval Art


Vishal Khandewal

  • Award: South Asia Art and Architecture Dissertation Prize, University of California, Berkeley South Asia


Jordan Koel

  • External Grant: Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellowship, Warburg Institute, University of London
  • Presentation: “The Reciprocity of Medieval ‘Things,’” What Does Animation Mean in the Middle Ages? Conference held in Bialystok, Poland.
  • Pedagogy: designed and taught seminar “Living Sculpture: Miraculous Statues and Automata from Antiquity to the Present,” UM


Sean Kramer

  • Museum work: Curated exhibition “"Oh, honey: A Queer Reading of UMMA’s Collection,” University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Inaugural UM Intern, Detroit Institute of Arts, Winter 2022


Julia LaPlaca     

  • UM Grant: Rackham Student Research Grant - 2022
  • Publication: “The Four Seasons Tapestries: A Biography” essay for the exhibition booklet Cycles of Life: The Four Seasons Tapestries , Cleveland Museum of Art.


Brenna Larson

  • External Grant: Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellowship , Medici Archive, Florence
  • UM Grants: Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Junior Fellowship, Sweetland Fellows Seminar


Holley Ledbetter

  • External Grant: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship                       
  • Publication: “Reuse and Alteration: The Viking Afterlives of Samanid Silver,” in The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art, edited by Radha Dalal, Sean Roberts, and Jochen Sokoly, Yale University Press, 2021, 54-70.
  • Presentation: Co-organized the Historians of Islamic Art Association sponsored panel, “The Racialized Figure in Islamic Art and Visual Culture” and presented paper,  “Making Race Visible: Racialized Automata at the Fatimid Court,” College Art Association annual conference.


Rheagan Martin

  • External Grant: Ongoing fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
  • Publication: “The Quarantine Question” Art Journal Open/CAA (December 2021) http://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=16055&page=16
  • Presentation: “Visual Claims to Accuracy in Venetian Printed, Classical Texts” Renaissance Society of America Conference, Dublin, Ireland.


Robert Morrissey

  • UM grant: Irving J. Stenn Fellowship, University of Michigan Museum of Art


Jun Nakamura

  • External Grant: Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow in Prints at the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Megan Pounds

  • UM grant: Rackham International Research Award
  • Presentation: “Ekphrasis in Hans Richter’s Kunst und Antikunst and André Breton’s ‘Entrée des mediums’-- University of Toronto, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Workshop Ekphrasis: “The Scene of Writing the Seen"
  • Museum work: Research for UMMA for future exhibition on Marian Spore Bush


Suyog Prajapati

  • Publication:  “The Navadurga Dance of Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Triennale 2077 & Siddhartha Arts Foundation”, 2022. https://www.kathmandutriennale.org/research-paper/nava-durga-performance-of-bhaktapur                      
  • Moderated event: Deepak Shimkhada, Chandi Murals: Where History and Faith Meet, Fulbright Lecture Series No. 22, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDYb0ou5Bbk
  • Museum work: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Summer intern for work on exhibitions: “Ganesha: Lord of New Beginnings” and “Mandalas: Mapping the Buddhist Art of Tibet”          


Soyoon Ryu

  • Museum work: Dallas Museum of Art Summer Intern for Modern Asian Art
  • Public scholarship: Helped to develop the Humanities Collaboratory project titled Black Washtenaw County, and have been working with the project (along with Bailey Sullivan) to curate an exhibition of Black artists in Washtenaw County.


Srishti Sankaranarayanan

  • UM grant: Rackham International Student Fellowship 2021-22
  • Museum work: Asia Society Museum, Summer Intern


Bailey Sullivan

  • UM Grant: Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Grant            
  • Presentation: "Orientalizing the Holy Land: The Occidental Gaze in Bernhard von Breydenbach’s Peregrinatio in terram sanctam," at the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, American University of Paris in January 2022.                                                            
  • Public Scholarship: Helped to develop the Humanities Collaboratory project “Black Washtenaw County, “and have been working with the project (along with Soyoon Ryu) to curate an exhibition of Black artists in Washtenaw County.


Dylan Volk

  • External Grant: ACLS/Luce Dissertation Fellowship in American Art Sept '22 - Sept '23
  • Award: Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award by Rackham, 2022
  •  Presentation: “Negotiating Intimacy, Identity, and Anonymity in the Work of Mahmoud Khaled,” National Women's Studies Association (NWSA)


Sarah Wheat

  • External Grant: 12 month Berlin Program Fellowship in Advanced German and European Studies at the Free University Berlin
  • 6 month DAAD Short Term Research Grant
  • Pedagogy: Taught two seminars as a guest lecturer at the University of Kassel: "Architecture and Feminism" (co-taught with Prof. Alla Vronskaya February 2021 - May 2021) and "Theories of Place and Space in the Built Environment" (conceptualized, organized, and taught by Sarah in October 2021 - February 2022)


Sandy Williams

  • UM Grant: Freer Fellowship 2022-2023
  • Publication: “At Home in the Past with Pouya Afshar,” published in In Character, Pouya Afshar: Selected Works, 2010 to 2020. Irvine, CA: UC Irvine (2021).
  • Museum work: Asia Society Museum, Summer Intern


Youngshin Yook

  • UM Grant: Nam Center for Korean Studies Fellow (2021-2022) 
  • Publications: Catalog essay for the exhibition Humor Has it" (2021) organized by Nam June Paik Art Center (Korea)
  • Catalog essay for the exhibition  Tricks and Vision: Jirō Takamatsu. (scheduled for 2023) organized by the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. 


Selected Accomplishments, IPCAA


Leah Bernardo-Ciddio

  • UM Grant:  Institute for the Humanities Graduate Student Fellowship


Caitlin Clerkin

  • External Grant: Two-year postdoctoral curatorial fellowship at Harvard University


Christina DiFabio 

  • External Grant: Getty Museum postdoctoral fellowship (2022/23) and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation postdoctoral fellowship (2023/24).


Amelia Eichengreen

  • External Grant: Fulbright Fellowship


Machal Gradoz

  • UM Grant: Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship (Machal also received the Hirsch Fellowship from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, which she declined in favor of the Rackham Predoc)


Joseph Frankl

  • External Grant: American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Schliemann Fellowship)


Laurel Fricker

  • External Grant: American School of Classical Studies at Athens (White Fellowship)


Alex Moskowitz

  • External Grant: Archaeological Institute of America (Olivia James Fellowship)


Theo Nash

  • External Grant: American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Vermeule Fellowship)