Faculty News

Daniela Bleichmar was promoted to Associate Professor of Art History and History in March 2012. Her book Visible Empire. Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment will be published by the University of Chicago Press in June 2012. Recent publications include a book she co-edited with Peter C. Mancall, Collecting Across Cultures: Material Exchanges in the Early Modern Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011); a chapter in that book, Seeing the World in a Room: Looking at Exotica in Early Modern Collections;” an article, “Seeing Peruvian Nature, Up Close and from Afar,” Res 59/60 (spring/autumn 2011), 82–95; and a book chapter, “The Geography of Observation: Distance and Visibility in Eighteenth-Century Botanical Travel,” in Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck (eds.), Histories of Scientific Observation (University of Chicago Press, 2011), 373–395.

She co-organized with Peter Mancall the conference “Visual Knowledge in the Early Modern Americas,” held at the Huntington Library in March 2012, and has recently presented her work at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the 2012 College Art Association annual meeting.

Professor Bleichmar has been named a Dornsife Distinguished Faculty Fellow for 2011–2013. She received a research fellowship from the Interdisciplinary Research Group of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC for 2012–2013. In fall 2012 she will be on research leave with a fellowship from the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute.

Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History, joined the University of Southern California in July 2011. Prior to this, she taught at Bristol and Oxford Universities before moving to Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, in 2001. Her research spans the C19th and C20th, and is both interdisciplinary and transatlantic. Trained at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, she wrote her dissertation on the British reception of contemporary painting, 1870-1910. Her areas of specialization include Victorian and early twentieth-century cultural and literary history, visual culture, the history of photography and contemporary photography, women's writing, and transatlantic studies. Most recently, Professor Flint has published The Transatlantic Indian 1776-1930 (Princeton University Press, 2008), which looks at the two-way relations between Native Americans and the British in the long C19th, and explores the intersections of modernity, nationhood, performance, and popular culture. Her previous works include The Victorians and The Visual Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1993), both of which won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay prize, as well as Dickens (Harvester, 1985). She is General Editor of the Victorian volume of the New Cambridge History of English Literature (2012). She has recently held Fellowships at the National Humanities Center and the Huntington Library, San Marino. Professor Flint is working on a new book provisionally entitled "Flash! Photography, Writing, and Surprising Illumination," and other current research projects look at transatlanticism and art, and on the comparative and changing nature of the concept of "ordinariness" between 1850 and the present day.  Recent conference papers have explored the technology of flash photography, C19th street artists, environmental awareness in contemporary photography, tourist photography in C19th Venice, and documentary flash photography in early C20th America.  She is currently Chair of the Department of Art History.

Jennifer Greenhill, joins USC from the University of Illinois, where she taught since 2007 in the Art History program and in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory.  Trained at Williams College and Yale University, she specializes in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American art and visual culture, with an emphasis on intermedial and intercultural objects, race and the politics of visuality, and intersections between elite and popular forms of expression.  In 2014 she served as the Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris, France, an experience that reinforced her commitment to thinking about “American” art from a broad range of perspectives.  Greenhill’s first book, Playing It Straight: Art and Humor in the Gilded Age (University of California Press, 2012), investigates the strategies artists devised to simultaneously conform to and humorously undermine “serious” culture during the late nineteenth century, when calls for a new cultural sophistication ran headlong into a growing public appetite for humor. Exploring paintings, sculpture, and architectural projects that play it straight in various ways, the book offers a new look at well-known artists (such as Winslow Homer and Augustus Saint-Gaudens) and revises existing conceptions of how the period’s visual humor works. Greenhill maintains an active interest in the mechanisms and social effects of humorous expression, particularly at the nexus of cultures and media.  She explored these concerns in “Humor in cold dead type: performing Artemus Ward’s London panorama lecture in print” Word & Image (2012), and she is currently undertaking preliminary research for an essay on the deadpan object lessons of the contemporary artist Eric Duyckaerts. Greenhill’s most recent book, A Companion to American Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), is a co-edited collection of 35 essays by leading scholars who debate the geographic, historiographic, material and conceptual borders of the field. Her essay for the book, a dialogue with Martin Berger, examines the politics of “close looking” and argues for an expansive and diffuse conception of the visual in writing about race. An article underway, on the photographic and filmic techniques of Gordon Parks, further develops these ideas.  Greenhill’s current book project, The Commercial Imagination, focuses on mass-market illustration in the early twentieth century, extending her ongoing interest in how “art” can register in diverse sites, such as the pages of a magazine, where it shapes both public experience and individual subjectivities.  Several institutions have supported Greenhill’s work on these various projects, including the American Council of Learned Societies, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the Huntington Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Suzanne Hudson, a historian of modern and contemporary art, joins the faculty of USC after teaching in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois and completing a research fellowship at the Whitney Museum. In addition to her work as an art historian, she is an active critic whose work has appeared in international exhibition catalogues and such publications as Parkett, Flash Art, and Art Journal; she is also a monthly contributor to Artforum. Recently published essays include “Amerikan Painting,” in Tim Rollins + KOS (GAMeC Bergamo); “Agnes Martin, On a Clear Day,” in Agnes Martin (Yale University Press/Dia Art Foundation); “Naked Pictures: Ansel Adams and Esalen,” in West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965–1977 (University of Minnesota Press); “James Castle, ‘American Primitive,’” in James Castle (Museo Reina Sofia); “Wade Guyton,” in That’s The Way We Do It (Kunsthaus Bregenz); “Walead Beshty: From Photography,” in Walead Beshty (JRP|Ringier); and “‘Mathematics for Catastrophe’: Blinky Palermo in America,” in Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977 (Yale University Press/Dia Art Foundation). She is currently working on pieces on Paul Sietsema, Lesley Vance, Jacqueline Humphries, and Rosemarie Trockel. Suzanne’s book, Robert Ryman: Used Paint (MIT Press, 2009), has recently undergone a second hardcover printing. Suzanne is now drafting a manuscript dealing with abstraction and spirituality in 1960s America, as well as finishing Contemporary Art: 1989–Present, co-authored and -edited with Alexander Dumbadze (forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell in 2013) and Painting Now (forthcoming in the Thames & Hudson “World of Art Series” in 2013). Suzanne is the co-founder of the Contemporary Art Think Tank (www.cattdc.net) and President Emerita and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Society of Contemporary Art Historians (www.scahweb.org), an affiliate society of the College Art Association.

Sonya Lee in this academic year is the Paul Mellon Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. She gave a number of lectures in the fall, including the Dulcy B. Miller Lecture at Smith College Museum of Art, a seminar talk at the University of Hong Kong, and Colloquium CCXLIX at CASVA in the National Gallery of Art.

Carolyn Malone works on French Romanesque and English Gothic architecture and sculpture. Her book, Facade as Spectacle: Ritual and Ideology at Wells Cathedral (Leiden & Boston 2004) which was published in Brill's interdisciplinary series, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions, interprets the Gothic façade of Wells as part of political discourse and liturgical innovation in England around 1220. More recently, she has published two books on the early-eleventh century church of Saint-Bénigne in Dijon. Her archeological documentation of Saint-Bénigne was published as: L’église et la rotonde de Saint-Bénigne à Dijon autour de l’an mil (Editions universitaires de Dijon, 2008). Her liturgical and historical study, Saint-Bénigne de Dijon en l’an mil, "totius Gallie basilicis mirabiliorem": Interprétation politique, liturgique et théologique ed. Susan Boynton and Isabelle Cochelin, Disciplina monastica,5 (Turnhout : Brepols, 2009) was funded by fellowships from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, ACLS, and AAUW. For the same Brepols series she is currently editing with Clark Maines, Consuetudines et Regulae: Sources for Monastic Life in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. She is also writing a book chapter entitled, “Architecture as Evidence for Liturgical Performance,” Understanding Medieval Liturgy: Essays in Interpretation (Ashgate, 2013). Her current research is on twelfth-century sculptural fragments at Canterbury Cathedral.

Amy F. Ogata's research explores the history of modern European and American architecture, design and material culture. Her most recent book is Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America (Minnesota, 2013). Historicizing the idea of childhood creativity, she shows how material goods such as toys, playrooms, playgrounds, books, schools, and even museums produced for the American baby boom participated actively in forming the notion of the creative child after World War II. A short book on the British toy and graphic designer Fredun Shapur will appear in late 2013, and a co-edited volume accompanying a traveling exhibition on Swedish Wooden Toys will be published in 2014. Her first book was on architecture and design in turn-of-the-century Belgium, Art Nouveau and the Social Vision of Modern Living: Belgian Artists in a European Context (Cambridge, 2001). Ogata is currently working on a study of metal and the metallic in Second Empire France. She has received grants from the Wyeth Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the American Association of University Women, the Smithsonian Institution, the Spencer Foundation, the Belgian-American Foundation, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

John Pollini was appointed a Research Associate at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology(2009) and became a Fellow of the Cotsen Institute in 2010. In 2009, he also established "The Visual Culture of the Ancient World" initiative under the aegis of USC's International Museum Institute. Participating in this new initiative are several leading museums (Getty, LACMA, and Natural History) in Los Angeles, as well as the Getty Research Center and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. The mission of VCAW-IMI is to bridge the divide between academia and museums and to bring together these two educational spheres by promoting collaborative planning of a variety of projects and activities in the form of lectures, conferences, seminars, and exhibitions as a means ofexploring globally a wide range of issues of common interest pertaining to the study of the ancient world.

John has received distinguished fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice), and the American Council of Learned Societies (twice) and has served as Whitehead Professor of Archaeology at the American School at Athens. In 2009-2010 he was the recipient of a generous grant from USC's "Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Initiative" to fund a virtual reality computer project focusing on the Augustan Monuments of the Northern Campus Martius in Rome. He has given papers on this project and the application of this new technology at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, at international conferences at Stanford University, the British Academy, and the University of London), and in a lecture at Cambridge University. The results of this project will be included in his forthcoming book (2012), "From Republic to Empire: Rhetoric, Religion, and Power in the Visual Culture of Ancient Rome," (with a generous subvention from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation), as well as in another book in progress, titled "Dynastic Narratives in Augustan Art and Thought: The Rhetoric and Poetry of Visual Imagery," which is in progress.

Recently published was his article, "Lovemaking and Voyeurism in Roman Art and Culture: A Case for the House of the Centenary at Pompeii," which appeared in 2010 in Römische Mitteilungen. Another two articles based on papers delivered at international conferences are forthcoming (2011-12): "Recutting Roman Portraits: Problems in Interpretation and the New Technology in Finding Possible Solutions" (Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome) and the "Archaeology of Destruction: Christians, Images of Classical Antiquity, and Some Problems of Interpretation' (in the archaeological series of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology, State University of New York at Buffalo). In the spring of 2011, he will deliver several papers at universities and international conference in Europe and Turkey, and in the fall of 2011, he will be a Research Fellow at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, working on his book, "Christian Destruction and Desecration of Image of Classical Antiquity: A Study in Religious Intolerance and Violence in the Ancient World." In 2012-13 he will give the distinguished Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lectures of the Archaeological Institute of American in 10 different venues throughout the United States.

In addition to his research and publications, John offers (beginning in 2010) a summer excavation class for USC students at the site of Ostia Antica, the port town of ancient Rome, in conjunction with the American Institute for Roman Culture in Rome and the University of Bologna.

SeRoberts is a historian of early modern European art.  His research focuses on printmaking and cartography and spans wide chronological and geographic boundaries to include the relationship between the histories of representation, identity, and ideology across the Mediterranean world in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. Examination of the implicit tensions between local history and frameworks of cultural interaction in visual culture provides a unifying thread to his range of research interests.  In the past two years his essays on print culture, geography, and portraiture have appeared in the journals Imago Mundi, Print Quarterly, and Renaissance Studies. His book Printing a Mediterranean World: Florence, Constantinople, and the Renaissance of Geography will appear in the fall of 2012 from Harvard University Press. He is presently co-editing with Timothy McCall and Giancarlo Fiorenza the volume Visual Rhetorics of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe and is engaged
 in a second book-length project on print technology and the origins of intellectual property in fifteenth-century Italy and the North entitled Secrets, Lies, and the Origins of Engraving.  

Ann Marie Yasin's current research focuses on questions of memory, materiality and user engagement with Roman and late antique architecture and material culture. Her first book on the social functions of early Christian church spaces appeared in 2009 from Cambridge University Press, and her next major project, a co-authored book on the archaeology of religion in the ancient Mediterranean, is under contract with Yale University Press. She has received an Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Grant from the USC Provost's office to support this research while on sabbatical in 2011-12. Her recently completed articles include a study of architectural interaction and sight lines between altars and saints' memorials in late antique ecclesiastical complexes; an investigation of spatial and social aspects of graffiti at early Christian sacred sites; and an exploration of the material conditions of late antique relic installations. She is also currently editing over 30 essays on early Christian and Byzantine architecture for the Cambridge World History of Religious Architecture.

In addition to her regular course offerings on ancient and late ancient art and architecture, Prof. Yasin has developed new courses for 2012-13, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, on historical and theoretical perspectives on material culture studies.

Prof. Yasin is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Classical Antiquity, and at USC she serves on the advisory boards of the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Major, the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate, and the Interdisciplinary Research Group of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture. She is also co-PI for the new USC Visual Studies Research Institute funded by a generous grant from the USC College 2020 Initiative beginning in 2012-13.