2022-2023 Select Graduate Student Accomplishments

During the past academic year, graduate students in History of Art and the Interdepartmental Program in Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology have been active and successful in multiple arenas. They are resuming research and working to rebuild communities that were disrupted by the pandemic. Among the group’s achievements is the creation of the new “Tappan Forum” in which students from both programs share papers in informal monthly meetings.  History of Art students rebuilt the tradition of the Graduate Student conference (suspended during Covid) by organizing “Intimacies: Friction, Restoration, Action," held in October 2022. Among the participants in these activities have been our inaugural group of Forsyth Visiting Graduate Student Fellows.

Our students have continued to win important fellowships, present, and publish their work internationally, complete a bumper crop of dissertations, and secure employment. Two have won new departmental awards created in memory of our esteemed, late faculty in History of Art, Marvin Eisenberg and Nathan Whitman who is remembered along with his wife Gretchen Whitman. Below are some of the highlights that indicate the range of student achievement.


Department of the History of Art

Ryan Abramowitz

  • Presentation: "Art and Sensory Experience in the Ancient World: Reanimating the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the Island of Samothrace" presented at the Society of Biblical Literature's Annual meeting in the session "Remodeling the Motel of the Mysteries," Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions conference November 2022

Vrinda Agrawal

  • Presentation: “Provenance research of Pahari paintings from the Chandigarh Museum” in the webinar Translocation of South Asian Art: Provenance and Documentation, the fifth installment in the series Hidden Networks: Trade in Asian Art, co-organized by the National Museum of Asian Art; Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; and The British Library. October 2022
  • Presentation: annual international seminar on Indian painting as part of the Goswamy-Beach-Fischer (GBF) Research Program on Indian Arts and Artists at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland. 30 Sep-2 Oct 2022

Michelle Al-Ferzly

  • Presentation: “‘Byzantine’ Desert Castles: The Byzantine-Islamic Transition in Archaeological Excavations and Museum Display” Byzantine Studies Conference (November 2023);
  • Publication: “Ifriqya in the Early Islamic Period,” Essay and Extended Object Entries for the
    exhibition catalog Africa & Byzantium, Metropolitan Museum of Art (forthcoming
    Nov. 2023);
  • Employment: Research Assistant, Metropolitan Museum of Art Fall 2022-Winter 2023, will be promoted in her department for 2023-24

Madeleine Aquilina

  • Departmental fellowship/ grant: Nathan and Gretchen Whitman Award, Fall 2022

Carlo Berardi

  • External Grant: Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellowship at the Paris Institut national d'histoire de l'art for 2023-2025
  • Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship (declined)
  • Presentation: “Translating Chivalry: The Aesthetics of Warfare in the Age of the Komnenoi (1081-1204)”, Oxford University Byzantine Society (OUBS), Michaelmas Seminar (December 2022)

Ross Bernhaut

  • Departmental grant: Charles Lang Freer Fellow, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • Departmental award: Henry P. Tappan Award for Teaching in History of Art, University of Michigan – Winter 2022
  • Publication: "Babur, Akbar, and the Transformation of Gwalior's Rock-Hewn Tirthankaras." Archives of Asian Art 73, no. 2 (accepted in February and forthcoming Fall 2023)

Katharine Campbell

  • Defended dissertation, “Creating the Composite: Combinatory Artistry and the Notion of
    Style in Antwerp, c 1510-1585,” Summer 2022

Haely Chang

  • Presentation: “Forging a Real beyond Realism: Chae Yongsin and the Intervention of Photography in Early Twentieth Century Korean Portrait Painting.” Faces across Time and Space: Portraiture and Intermediality in Europe and East Asia Session, Association for Art History’s 48th Annual Conference, (April 2022)
  • 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 12, no.1 (Spring 2022)
  • Defended dissertation, “Painting a Different Picture: Reimagining Painting through Creative Rendition Mediated by Photography in Early Twentieth Century Korea,” April 2023
  • Employment: will begin a newly created position as Curator of Asian Art at the Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, Fall 2023.

Emily Cornish

  • Publication: Book Review: Women Photographers of the Pacific World, 1857–1930. Pacific Arts: The Journal of the Pacific Arts Association, 22(2) (2022)

James Denison

  • Conference session organized: “U. S. Art and Critical Whiteness Studies: Looking Back, Looking Forward” College Art Association Annual Conference (February 2023)
  • Defended dissertation, “Stieglitz Groups: Race, Place, and the Essentializing Logics of American Modernism,” April 2023
  • Employment: postdoctoral fellowship, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Kalamazoo College


  • Presentation: Society for French Historical Studies
  • Presentation: Graduate symposium for the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-century Art.
  • Defended dissertation, “Figures of Conformity, Gestures of Distinction: Civility and Portraits of Women in France (1815-1848), March 2023

Allison Grenda

  • Presentation: Dumbarton Oaks Museum Graduate Study Day in Washington, D.C. on September 23, 2022, in conjunction with their exhibition on Byzantine seals entitled "Lasting Impressions: People, Power, Piety."
  • Presentation: "A Byzantine Gnadenstuhl: The Reception of a Western Iconography in Rural Venetian Crete," at the 25th Annual Oxford University Byzantine Society International Graduate Conference February 2023

Jordan Koel

  • Presentation: “Living Legends: Animated Sculpture in Medieval Culture, ca 1100-1350” Warburg Institute, London (March 2023)
  • Presentation: “Windows into the Workshop: Sculptural Animation and the Legitimization of Sculpture in the Middle Ages” University College London Interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Seminar (March 2023)

Julia LaPlaca

  • UM Grant: University of Michigan Museum of Art Irving Stenn Jr. Fellowship in Public and Digital Humanities and Museum Pedagogy 2023-24
  • Presentation: “Removing the 'Border Guards': Eugène Müntz and Aby Warburg on Tapestry,” International
    Medieval Congress
    (Leeds, UK) July 2022
  • Publication: Exhibition Review: Toledo Museum of Art Cloister Gallery Re-installation, Burlington Magazine. (June 2022).

Elizabeth (Holley) Ledbetter

  • UM Grant: Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for 2023-24
  • Presentation: “The Racialized Scentscape of Fatimid Automata, ” Invited participant for Body as Machine: Mechanical Devices in Islamic Lands Workshop at NYU/Silsila: Center for Material Histories, Oct. 2022
  • Presentation: “Making Race Visible: Racialized Automata at the Fatimid Court” College Art Association, Feb. 2022

Rheagan Martin

  • Presentation: “Visual Claims to Accuracy in Venetian Printed, Classical Texts” Renaissance Society of America, Dublin, Ireland (April 2022)
  • Publication: “Review: Learning through Images in the Italian Renaissance: Illustrated Manuscripts and Education in Quattrocento Florence” Studies in Iconography, 43 (2022)

Robert Morrissey

  • Defended dissertation, “Chigo Icons: Representations of Sacred and Sexualized Male Youths in Medieval Japanese Buddhism,” December 2022

Jun Nakamura (graduated Winter 2022)

  • Employment: Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, Princeton University Art Museum    

Megan Pounds

  • External Grant: Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Dissertation Fellowship (Freie Universität Berlin) – AY 2023-24
  • External Grant: DAAD 1-Year Research Grant -- AY 2023-24
  • Departmental award: Marvin Eisenberg Award for Excellence in Teaching

Suyog Prajapati

  • UM Fellowship/Grant: International Institute Global Individual Grant
  • Presentation: "Naka Bahi's Narrative Frieze: Bridging Monasticism and Ritualism in a Nepali Buddhist Monastery" 71st Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, University of Kansas
  • Award: Percy Buchanan Graduate Prize--South Asia, Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs

So Yoon Ryu

  • External Grant: Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship for AY 2023-24.

Srishti Sankaranarayanan

  • UM fellowship/grant: Rackham Graduate Student Research (Pre-Candidate) Grant - December 2022
  • Presentation: annual conference for European Association for South Asian Studies to be held in Turin, Italy, July 2023

Bailey Sullivan

  • Public Scholarship: UM Humanities Collaboratory project “Black Washtenaw County”

Sarah Tsung

  • External Grant: FLAS Fellowship to study Chinese - Summer 2023

Dylan Volk

  • Presentation: “Border Arte and the Solvent Properties of Trans Aesthetics,” South and About! Graduate Student Workshop, Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) at New York University, October 2022
  • Presentation: “Networked Mnemonics: Remembering Brandon in and Beyond the Nebraska Borderlands,” Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), Baltimore, October 2022
  • Presentation: “Gender Troublemakers: Trans Feminism, Tribadism, and the Force of Friction,” at symposium Intimacies Graduate Symposium in the History of Art, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, October 2022

Sarah Wheat

  • UMFellowship: Freie Universität Berlin exchange through the German Studies Department for the 2023/24 academic year.
  • Presentations: Nineteenth Century Studies Association Conference (March 2023) Rice University Graduate Symposium in Architectural History (April 2023) Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies (June 2023)
  • Publication: “Industrial Architecture in North America,” with Claire Zimmerman. Oxford Bibliographies in Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, ed. Kevin Murphy. New York: Oxford University Press, (forthcoming) 2023.

Sandra Williams

  • Departmental award: Henry P. Tappan Award for excellence in scholarship
  • Presentation: “Gender Conceal and Reveal in Pre-Modern Persianate Painting,” For panel: ”Intersections of Race and Gender in Islamic Art and Visual Culture,” Historians of Islamic Art Association Biennial Symposium, March 2-4, 2023 – Houston, TX.
  • Publication: “A Queer Palimpsest: Historical Layers in Salman Toor’s The Bar on East 13th Street,” Iranian Art from the Sasanians to the Islamic Republic: Essays in Honour of Linda Komaroff (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, forthcoming)

Youngshin Yook

  • Departmental Grant: Charles Lang Freer Fellowship (awarded for Winter/Spring 2024)


History of Art, Forsyth Visiting Graduate Student Fellows’ selected accomplishments

Liliana Clavijo García

  • Presentation: “Estallido social in Colombia 2021. Corporality and resistance in public space" presented at Symposium Intimacies: Friction, Restoration, Action - Department of History of Art, University of Michigan, October 8, 2022
  • Presentation: "Memoria de una tragedia. Unidad Residencial República de Venezuela en Cali, Colombia (1956)" presented at III Congreso Iberoamericano de Historia Urbana AIHU - Universidad Complutense de Madrid, November 22 - 25, 2022
  • Presentation: "Lago & Sáenz. La materia y el vacío" School of Architecture, Universidad del Valle. Cali, Colombia / December 12, 2022

Kimberly Gultia

  • Presentation: "Living the American Dream: The Filipina Mestiza and the Modern Home (1954-1964)" at the Cornell SEAP Graduate Student Conference in Ithaca, NY, last March 10-12, 2023.

Doyun Kim

  • Will complete the MA program at Seoul National University in June and enter Ph. D. program in History of Art at the University of Michigan in Fall 2023.


Interdepartmental Program in Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology

Sheira Cohen

  • Defended dissertation: "Beyond Ethnicity:Connectivity and Community Formation in Western Central Italy 800-350 BCE"
  • Employment: Assistant professor, Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.

Alexandra Creola

  • Defended dissertation: "Roman Nymphs and the Underworld: Place, Landscape, and Religion in Roman Italy”

Craig Harvey

  • Employment: Assistant Professor, Roman Archaeology, University of Alberta

Nadhira Hill 

  • Defended dissertation: "De-centering the Symposium: Characterizing Commensality in Late Classical Olynthos, Greece"
  • Employment: Assistant professor, Randolph-Macon College

Tyler Johnson

  • Defended dissertation: "Beyond Abandonment: Residential Transformations in Rome and its Region from the Imperial Period to Late Antiquity"

 Zoe Ortiz

  • Defended dissertation: "The Sculptures and Urban Landscape of Gabii: A City in Transition"
  • Employment: Assistant Professor, University of North Texas