Current VSGC Students

 
Nadya Bair
Art History
strizhev@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
 Dissertation 
“The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Art of Collaboration in Postwar Photojournalism”
My dissertation examines the early history of Magnum Photos, the photographic agency founded in 1947 in New York and Paris by such photographers as Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I demonstrate how Magnum’s editorial aesthetic and penchant for human interest stories – accounts of both extraordinary and ordinary events happening to everyday people – expanded the geographic scope of editorial news photography when World War II ended. I then track how news photography, as an aesthetic and as a mode of production, migrated into new markets and created a public face for the experience of tourism and the work of corporations. In the process, I demonstrate Magnum’s contribution to inaugurating a culture of unprecedented news image saturation that is more generally associated with 1960s America. Mine is the first project to bring together extensive archival research on Magnum and to situate the cooperative’s work within broader changes in the system of press photography, as well as the evolving fields of sociology, media studies, and even geography in the first fifteen years after World War II. Pivotal to my project is the idea that Magnum’s successes resulted not from the individual artistic genius of its photographers, but from the “Decisive Network” of agency staff, magazine editors, dark room developers, book publishers, and museum curators with whom Magnum photographers collaborated on a daily basis.

Honors and Awards
2010-2015 USC Provost Fellow
2011 VSGC (Visual Studies Graduate Certificate) Summer Research Grant
2012 VSGC Summer Research Grant
2012 STS (Science, Technology and Society Research Cluster) Summer Research Grant
2013 VSGC Anne Friedberg Prize for Doctoral Research
2014-2015 VSRI (Visual Studies Research Institute) Dissertation Writing Fellowship
2015-2016 ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship
 

 
Brianna Beehler
English 
beehler@usc.edu
Department Profile

 
Honors and Awards:
Louise Kerckhoff Prize in Gender Studies, 2014
Provost Fellowship, 2013-2015
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grant, 2011-2012 

Sanders I. Bernstein
English
 
Sanders I. Bernstein is a Provost’s PhD Fellow in English Literature at the University of Southern California. His research revolves around the novel, film, modernism, and the phenomenology and epistemology of media. He holds an AB from Harvard College in Social Studies and a BA from Oxford University in English Literature. 
 

 
Heather Blackmore
Critical Studies
blackmor@usc.edu
 
Heather is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Studies at the School of Cinematic Arts. Her research projects and interests include documentary, animation and animated documentaries; comics and graphic novels; early small gauge motion picture technologies; theories of touch and emotion; spatial exploration in video games and interactive technologies; representations of danger and the female body; machine culture; and transmedia storytelling. She is currently working on a dissertation about the evolution of miniaturized film and media technologies focused on the ways that the design process and cultures of use influence one another. Heather also experiments with stop motion animation and documentary filmmaking, and is very invested in the ideas surrounding media practice as a component of scholarship. She is an Annenberg Fellow and has been awarded a Mellon Fellowship through the Claremont College Consortium's Center for the Digital Humanities, as well as numerous awards and grants from the Annenberg Foundation, USC's Graduate Student Government, the USC Graduate School, and the VSGC. 
 

 
Adam Bloch
History
abloch@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Honors and Awards
Provost's Ph.D. Fellowship
Center for Excellence in Teaching TA Fellow
 

 
Amber Bowyer
Critical Studies
arbowyer@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Honors and Awards
Annenberg Fellow
Graduate Scholar Award 2013 International Society for the Image

Jessica Brier
Art History
brier@usc.edu 

Jessica is a doctoral student in the Department of Art History. Her research focuses on twentieth-century European and Latin American modernism with a particular interest in mechanical reproduction and works on paper, including magazines, photographs, artist books and other printed ephemera. She is interested in issues including the conditions of making in the artist’s studio; the dissemination and circulation of works on paper; the intersection of art and graphic design; and the utility of art. Formerly a curatorial assistant in photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), her writing has appeared on SFMOMA's blog, Open Space, and in art on paper, Curating Now, Art Practical, Daily Serving, and Daylight Digital. She holds a BA from New York University and an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts.

 
Umayyah Cable
American Studies and Ethnicity
cable@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
Cinematic Activism: Palestinian Cultural Politics in the United States
This project examines how and why Palestinian cinema has emerged as a site around which Palestinians in the US organize their social justice activism and assert their diasporic identities. I argue that the Palestinian-American community organizes itself around Palestine-themed film festivals as both a process of national identification and a strategy towards a socially just representational praxis, or what I theorize as “cinematic activism.” Through a combination of ethnographic research and media analysis, this project takes the controversy around Palestinian cinema screenings in the Boston area as a case study through which to understand the identitarian, pedagogical, and political work of Palestinian cinema in the United States.

Honors and Awards
2013 Ninfa Sanchez Memorial Award
2013 ASE Summer Research Grant
2011 USC Middle East Studies Program Language Study Grant
2011 ASE Summer Research Grant  
2010-2015 USC Dornsife College Graduate Merit Fellowship
2010 Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Summer Fellowship
2009 Special Recognition, The Palestinian Women Research & Documentation Center at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
 

 
Samantha Carrick
English
scarrick@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
“‘Each Body Has Its Art’: The Unruly Bodies of American Modernism”
My project aims to return the body to the work of modernist poetry, as well as to consider the effects that such embodied poetics have on understandings of temporality, the visual and dis-orientation. Poetry of the body is necessarily concerned with time and the decay, resilience or the instability of the body in time. Though occasionally critics have intervened into conversations of modernism with more fleshly concerns, these studies have largely focused on fiction and the novel. Modernism’s complex archive allows me to consider the role of bodies trans-generically with particular emphasis on the work of what I term embodied poetry and the unruly bodies and poetics in the modernist period.
 
Honors and Awards
2009-2015 Provost Fellow
2013 Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Research Grant
 

 
Nadine Chan
Critical Studies
nadinech@usc.edu
academic.edu Profile
 
Dissertation:
Title: Instructing Unruly Empires: Colonial Educational Film in British Malaya
My dissertation is a cultural history of films as instruments of empire. Through in-depth archival research alongside oral histories and film screenings, I examine how colonial governments utilized films as tools to teach audiences the fundamentals of good colonial citizenship. As the site of one of the first large-scale experiments with films for “native” education, film programs in Malaya initiated new pedagogical schemes throughout the British empire that taught colonial subjects things such as venereal disease prevention, financial responsibility, and loyalty to the Commonwealth. These motion-pictures, which I call “colonial educational films,” sought to bring various aspects of private life under colonial rule through visual education. In spite of their prescribed roles as tools of goverenance however, films were also unruly objects that chartered errant paths across international borders and were received in ways that troubled their disciplinary intentions. I argue that films were cultural things-in-motion with multiple social lives that interrupted their “official” trajectories as tools of governance. These contested cinematic spaces enabled Malayan audiences to negotiate their own understandings of colonial/postcolonial identity.

Honours and Awards:
Oxford Bibliographies Graduate Student Writing Award, 2015.
Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), 2013-2014
Student Writing Award (Second), Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), 2014
Provost Fellowship, University of Southern California, 2009, 2014             
Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Research Grant, University of Southern California, 2013
5th Annual Graduate Research Symposium Award, University of Southern California, 2013
Centre for Transpacific Studies Research Fellowship, University of Southern California, 2012
Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Research Grant, University of Southern California, 2012
Graduate School Provost Travel Award, University of Southern California, 2012
Science Technology and Society Research Fellowship, University of Southern California, 2011
Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Research Grant, University of Southern California, 2011
NUS Research Scholarship, National University of Singapore, 2007-2009
President’s Research Fellowship, National University of Singapore, 2007
Vice-Chancellor’s Award, National University of Singapore, 2006
Anugerah Cemerlang Mendaki Award, Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore,  2006
 

 
Alexander Chase
Critical Studies
achase@usc.edu
 

 
Jih-Fei Cheng
American Studies and Ethnicity
jihfeich@usc.edu
 
 
Dissertation
Jih-Fei Cheng's dissertation, “Queer Visibilities: Race, Gender, and Viral Ways of Seeing,” intervenes into scholarly debates about HIV/AIDS by enlarging the critical lens through which the pandemic is perceived and queer theoretical interventions are deployed to address it. Employing a queer of color critique, he draws attention to early AIDS media productions that use virus representations to visually underscore how concepts of disease have historically emerged in relation to racial signifiers. "Queer Visibilities" explores the visual politics of AIDS to propose a critical framework for understanding the development of discourses about viruses over time, ultimately arguing that AIDS politics and queer theory can be used to identify a connection between the scientific narrative about the discovery of the first virus and concerns about race-mixing at the turn of the twentieth century.
 
Honors and Awards
2012, American Studies and Ethnicity Travel Grant, University of Southern California
2011-2012, New Directions Seminar Fellow, Center for Feminist Research University of Southern California
2008-2013, College Merit Award, University of Southern California
2001-2002, Tritia Toyota Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles
2000-2001, Graduate Opportunity Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles
1998-1999, Marx-Marshall Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Scholarship, University of California, San Diego
 

 
Jennifer DeClue
American Studies and Ethnicity
declue@usc.edu
Department Profile
 

 

Jonathan Dentler 
History
dentler@usc.edu

Jonathan Dentler is a doctoral student whose research focuses on the history of design, fashion, photography, and print media in postwar Europe and America. This work follows a number of European and American designers as well as Diana Vreeland of Harper’s Baazar and Vogue magazines in order to uncover the cultural politics of the mid-century Atlantic world and is focused on issues of embodiment, space, and modernism. He studied at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin as a DAAD fellow and has a BA from Columbia University.

Honors and Awards
2013-2015 USC Provost Fellow
2015 VSGC Summer Research Grant
2011 Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) graduate studies fellowship for research at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

 
 
Eike Exner
Comparative Literature
eexner@usc.edu
 

 
Jennifer Frazier
English
jffrazie@usc.edu
Department Profile
 

 
Rika Hiro
Art History
Rika Hiro's primary interest is in post-WWII period art and visual culture in Japan, especially the Anti-Art movement in the 1960s and 1970s and its global exchanges. Before coming to USC, she worked as a research assistant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Research Institute and co-founded non-profit art space Art2102 of Los Angeles. She is a regular contributor to Japanese contemporary magazine Bijutsu Techô, and co-curated Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan 1950-1970 and Radical Communication: Japanese Video Art, 1968-1988 both at the GRI. She holds M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from USC.
iezumi@usc.edu
 

 
 Timothy Holland
Critical Studies
tholland@usc.edu
academia.edu Profile
 
Dissertation
My dissertation is tentatively titled "Jacques Derrida and the Event of Cinema."  It explores deconstruction's relation to film theory while arguing for the relevance of Derrida's work in contemporary film studies and the humanities.
 
Honors and Awards
Provost's Fellowship
USC's EDGE Summer Institute;  
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Summer Seminar with Prof. Peggy Kamuf, "The Essential Humanities")
USC's Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Program Summer Research Grant.
 

 
Karen Huang
Art History
karenihu@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Karen Huang advanced to doctoral candidacy in July 2013. A Provost PhD Fellow, Karen's general research interests include modern and contemporary American art; art as political intervention; the relationship between performance and documentation; and the history of print. Her dissertation explores how contemporary American artists employ reenactment as a method for engaging with politics of the Vietnam War era, and how those reenactments can produce, alter, and interrogate collective memory in America. Karen co-organized the 2012 USC symposium, "Art and the Mind: Neuroaesthetics, Phenomenology, and the Experience of Vision," and she has worked as a research assistant at the Getty Research Institute and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Before coming to USC, Karen worked in the departments of Prints and Drawings and Medieval through Modern European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was an exhibition researcher and catalogue contributor to Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light(AIC, 2008), and she contributed research to Jose Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Broadside (AIC, 2007). Karen earned her MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BA in Art History and Spanish from Vanderbilt University.

 
Grant Johnson
Art History
 
Grant Johnson is a Ph.D. student in art history and a graduate of Kenyon College. His research interests include contemporary painting and sculpture, fashion and transnational style. As a poet and critic, his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Brooklyn RailFashion Theory, Frieze, Red BranchZone 3, Performa and the online edition of Artforum. He has presented at the University of Manchester as part of "Barthes, Benjamin and Fashion" and "The Olympiad" at Yale University, and has contributed to exhibitions and publications at The Frick Collection, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Gund Gallery and Paul Kasmin Gallery. 

 
 
Alison Kozberg
Critical Studies
kozberg@usc.edu
 

Peter Labuza
labuza@usc.edu
academia.edu Profile
 
Peter Labuza is a PhD student in Critical Studies at the School of Cinematic Arts, as well as a member of the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate. His dissertation will examine the transition of live television directors to Hollywood in the early 1960s, highlighting the aesthetic and production process in order to reconsider the development of the Hollywood New Wave. His other research interests include contemporary slow cinema the comedy of Elaine May, the cultural legacy of film noir, and the relationship between digital editing and Hollywood narrative. He received his M.A. and his B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, and is the author of Approaching The End: Imagining Apocalypse in American Cinema. Labuza also works as a film critic for Variety, Sight & Sound, and RogerEbert.Com, and is the host of the popular podcast The Cinephiliacs.

Honors And Awards
Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Summer Research Grant, 2015

 
 Ana Lee
Comparative Literature
analee@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
"The Shards of China in Brazilian and Cuban Literature and Visual Culture, 1847-1889" analyzes the material and literary representations of Chinese culture and immigration to Brazil and Cuba during the end of the nineteenth century.
 
Honors and Awards
USC PhD Merit Fellow , 2008- 
Mellon/Sawyer Seminars Graduate Fellow, 2013-2014  
Fulbright Award, 2013-2014  
Center for Law, History and Culture , 2012-2013  
Center for Transpacific Studies Fellow, 2012-2013  
Visual Studies Research Institute Research Grant, 2012-2013  
Foreign Languages and Area Studies (declined), 2009-2010 
 

 
Robin Lewis
Creative Writing
robinlew@usc.edu
 
 

 

Ioana Literat
Communications
iliterat@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation:"Crowdsourced Art: Activating Creative Participation in Online Spaces"
Description: My research examines participatory practices of collective creativity in digital contexts. In my dissertation, I focus on crowdsourced art, a term I introduce in order to describe online creative works that rely on large-scale public participation. Building on the concept of crowdsourcing as a strategy for content generation, I introduce a useful typology for this creative digital practice, and explore the aesthetic, cultural and technological implications of crowdsourced art. As a practical application of my research, I crowdsourced the development of a children's book about digital culture – written and illustrated entirely by online participants – and determined, through large-scale statistical analysis, the impact that various incentives have on the process of creative participation online. 
Starting in the fall of 2015, Ioana will be joining the faculty of Teachers College, Columbia University, as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design (CMLTD) program.  
Honors and Awards
Provost Fellowship
Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Award

 
Joshua MacGregor
Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture
jmacgreg@usc.edu
 
Joshua MacGregor is a Provost's PhD Fellow on the Comparative Media and Culture track of the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Program at USC. Possessing a B.A. in English and Gender, Sexuality, and  Women's Studies from the University of Vermont, Joshua's work weaves together insights drawn from a wide range of disciplines and discourses -- including English, critical theory, film and visual studies, critical studies of race, gender, and sexuality, and theories of space and state violence -- in addition to their own experiences as an activist to produce an interdisciplinary framework that they bring to bear on critical questions pertaining to the politics of film and other media. At present, they are interested in exploring the intersections between visual culture, police and prisons, and trans/queer liberation struggles."
 
Honors and Awards
USC Provost's Fellowship, 2014 - 2019
USC VSRI Top-Up Grant, 2014
Daniel-McCarter Award, UVM, 2014
Willard B. Pope Award, UVM, 2014
 
 

 
Annie Manion
Critical Studies
manion@usc.edu
 

 
Melissa Marshall
Communications
mbrough@usc.edu
 

 
 Luci Marzola
Critical Studies
lmarzola@usc.edu
academia.edu Profile
 
 
Dissertation
Engineering Hollywood: Technology, Technicians, and the Science of Building the Studio System, 1915-1933
My dissertation examines the industrial control of technology during the formation of the Hollywood studio system. It asks what it means for a creative business to industrialize in a period well before the invention of the seemingly contradictory notion of “creative industries.” By studying the often-ignored technical aspects of motion picture production, from cameras to developer solutions, along with their inventors, manufacturers, and practitioners, this project will create a new understanding of the industrial system that emerged in Hollywood.
 
Honors and Awards
2014, Baird Society Resident Scholars Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
2014, Annenberg Fellowship Travel Award, USC Graduate School
2013, Visual Studies Graduate Works in Progress Research Grant, USC Visual Studies Research Institute
2013, USC Visual Studies Graduate Certificate, Summer Research Travel Award
2011-2012, Sinatra Scholarship, USC School of Cinematic Arts

 
Brendan McMahon                   
Art History
bcmcmaho@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
"Engaño Colorido: The Arts of Iridescence in Viceregal Mexico" explores the value of iridescence in Viceregal Mexico (ca.1521—1800) and the early modern Spanish world through an analysis of period responses to this optical phenomenon which survive today in objects, images, and texts.  Inquiry revolves around the production and reception of enconchados (shell inlay) and featherwork created in central Mexico throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Rather than to dismiss these objects as decorative, my dissertation seeks to explore the epistemological anxieties that the iridescent materials from which they were constructed prompted in Mexico and the early modern Spanish world.  I demonstrate that period interest in the limitations of vision, the boundaries of artistic creation, and the mechanics of sight itself created an important intellectual framework in which the visual qualities of objects that incorporated iridescent materials were highly valued. 
 
Honors and Awards:
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
Fulbright Garcia-Robles Fellowship
Visual Studies Summer Research Grant: Summer 2012
Del Amo Foundation Fellowship: Summer 2011 

 
 
Christopher McGeorge
                        Art History
                       mcgeorge@usc.edu 
 
Christopher McGeorge's research links materiality, reception, expectation, and the formation of meaning to moments when the material qualities of art and visual culture become newsworthy. He examines the fresco mania surrounding the redecoration of the houses of parliament, reproductive prints published in the Art Journal after the works in the Robert Vernon Collection, the dissemination of Burne-Jones's stained glass windows throughout the world, and the materialization of vision through the stereoscope. 
 
Honors and Awards:
Andrew W. Mellon Digital Humanities Ph.D Fellow, 2015-2017
USC Dornsife Doctoral Fellow, 2012-2017
Visual Studies Summer Research Grant, Summer 2014
Art History Summer Travel Award, 2014
Selected Participant, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Graduate Seminar, "British Print Culture in a Transnational Context, 1700-2014", Summer 2014
 

 Joshua A. Mitchell
American Studies and Ethnicity
mitc153@usc.edu
Dissertation
“The Prisoners’ Cinema: Perception in Carceral and Cinematic Time,” examines how the duration of a prison sentence can leave a physical trace in the human senses. Using archival administrative documents, prisoners’ publications, and philosophies of punishment and aesthetics, this dissertation connects histories of the prison to those of cinema as they innovate, evolve, and perhaps one day vanish. Departing from assessments of the prison’s representation in film and television, “The Prisoners’ Cinema” instead examines industries of cinematic production and spectatorship inside U.S. prisons.
Honors and Awards
VSGC Summer Research Grant, 2015
ASE Student Travel Award, 2015
Ninfa Sánchez Memorial Award, 2014
Doctoral Student Summer Institute Award, 2014
ASE Student Travel Award, 2014
ASE Student Travel Award, 2013
Wallis Annenberg Endowed Fellowship, 2012-2017

 
Avigail Moss
Academia.edu Profile
avigailm@usc.edu 
Avigail Moss is a PhD candidate in art history working on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and visual culture. From 2009 to 2010 she was a researcher-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, The Netherlands, where she co-organized symposia on art, philosophy, and feminist theory. In 2012 she co-edited a book on painting after Conceptual Art (Painting - The Implicit Horizon, Jan van Eyck Academie, 2012), and has produced essays and presentations for art institutes in Europe and North America. She has also published exhibition reviews in Texte zur Kunst and CAA.online. She holds a BA from UCLA, an MFA in painting from Yale University, and an MA in art history from University College London.
 
Honors and Awards
2015 Visual Studies Summer Research Fellowship 

 
Elizabeth Murphy    
Art History
epmurphy@usc.edu
Department Profile
 

 
Patricia Nelson
English
penelson@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation:
"Crossing Over: Comedy and Lesbian Identity in American Popular Culture"
Charting an historical narrative from Gertrude Stein through to Ellen DeGeneres, my project considers the ways that comedic or humorous performances of identity manifest differently in artistic and cultural contexts spanning the avant-garde, the subcultural, and the popular. In focusing on transitions of lesbian artists including Jill Johnston, Moms Mabley, Lily Tomlin, and Marga Gomez across media— specifically, between writing, live performance and television—the project considers two related arcs through the twentieth century: first, the way that artists negotiated the shifting visibility of sexuality identity in popular media, and second, the changing relationship of popular humor to developing media forms in the US between the 1930s and the 1990s.
 
Honors and Awards:
English Department Conference Travel Award. University of Southern California, 2011, 2012, 2014.
Visual Studies Summer Research Grant. University of Southern California, 2013.
Louise Kerckhoff Prize in Gender Studies. University of Southern California, 2012.
English Department Summer Fellowship. University of Southern California, 2012.
College Doctoral Fellowship. University of Southern California, 2010-present.
 

 
Taylor Nygaard
Critical Studies.
nygaard@usc.edu
 

 
  Kathryn Page-Lippsmeyer
East Asain Languages and Cultures
pagelipp@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
The Gendered Posthuman in Japanese Science Fiction
Description: The Gendered Posthuman in Japanese Science Fiction is an interdisciplinary literary, visual studies, and new media studies investigation of the contradictions within the aesthetic space created by the longest running Japanese science fiction magazine’s cover illustrators and how those inconsistencies affected the function and articulation of the “posthuman” in feminist science fiction. By tracing these spectacles the study redefines the cyborg’s subversive potential and challenges utopic thinking about the dissolution of gender in the posthuman to propose a new model of distributed authorship for the digital age rooted in the relationship between fan and genre.
 
Honors and Awards
Nippon Foundation Fellows Scholarship2012-13
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship, Summer 2012
Barbara F. Inamoto Fellowship in Japanese Studies, 2011
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship, USC Summer 2011
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, USC2009-10
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship, USCSummer 2010
Mitsubishi Scholarship for Summer Study AbroadSummer 2008
Asian Studies Scholarship for Summer Study Abroad Summer 2007
 

 
Yunji Park
East Asain Languages and Cultures
yunjipar@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
My project examines women’s images and their agencies represented in the South Korean popular culture during the 1950s. This study aims to rediscover postwar Korean popular literature and culture, which was not much discussed before because of nationalistic discourse, permeated with anti-communism, in modern Korean cultural history. In order to explore female agency and neglected creative subjectivity of the Korean masses, this research will present the aspect of abundant freedom embedded in the (re)construction of gender identities and the emergence of youth culture along with global cold war politics through analyzing the impact of popular media such as American and Korean films and women’s magazines on Korean people.
 
Honors and Awards
Sejong Society Graduate Fellow, 2012-
East Asian Languages and Cultures Summer Research Grant, Summer 2012
USC College Merit Fellowship, 2009-
Student Travel Grants, The Western Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, 2008
 

 
 Arunima Paul
English
arunimap@usc.edu
Department Profile 

Dissertation
"Unraveling Countrysides: Figurations of the provincial in post-Liberalization Indian cinema"
The dissertation is a cross-genre study of representations of provincial India in contemporary Indian cinema. It examines the specific cultural trope of provincial dystopia in relation to emergent notions of modernity, statehood, citizenship and gender identities in India following economic, political and cultural Liberalization
 
Honors and Awards
Manning Endowed Fellowship, Graduate School, USC, 2013-2014Advanced Fellowship, Department of English, USC, 2011-2012    
College Graduate Merit Award, Department of English, USC, 2007-2008    
Visual Studies Award, 2007-2008
 

 
Catherine Peiper
Critical Studies
peiper@usc.edu
 

 
Emily Perez
Critical Studies
emilyper@usc.edu
 

 
 Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye
Art History
jennifer.reynolds@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
Dissertation
"Contemporary Pre-Columbian," The collecting of pre-Columbian artifacts reached its apex in the nineteenth century with the forging of Mexican national identity from the Aztec Empire and the consolidation of Pan-American hemispheric unity. However, legal regulations, the enormity of architectural complexes, and the paucity of stellar pre-Columbian artifacts made it difficult for original objects to travel internationally. To solve this problem, several reproductive technologies were employed to spread an Aztec-centric Mexican national identity. I track the creation, acquisition, and display of these replicas beyond Mexico to map the transatlantic networks of exchange and their current manifestation in contemporary Mexican artists, specifically Tatiana Parcero, Mariana Castillo Deball, and Demián Flores.
 
Honors and Awards
USC Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Fall 2013-Spring 2014
Del Amo Foundation Research Award, Summer 2012
Resisting the Path to Genocide Summer Research Fellowship, Summer 2012
Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Summer Fellowship, Summer 2011
Dean Joan Metcalf Schaefer Scholarship, 2009-2010 and 2011-2012
Jewel Gala – Friends of Fine Arts Fellowship, Summer 2009

 
 
Aaron Rich
Critical Studies
aaronr@usc.edu

Honors and Awards
2015 Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Research Grant
 

 
Casey Riffel
Critical Studies
riffel@usc.edu
 

 
Anthony Rodriguez
American Studies and Ethnicity
abrodrig@usc.edu 
Department Profile
 

Amanda K. Ruud
English
ruud@usc.edu
 
Research Interests:  Early Modern Drama, Performance, Embodiment, Adaptation, and Visual Culture.
 
Amanda's dissertation will tentatively focus on Shakespeare the illusionist, tracing Shakespearean moments of sensory surprise across text, stage, and screen in order to question the primacy of visual evidence in drama. This project will situate performed illusionistic moments in changing accounts of embodiment and epistemology, beginning with the early modern performance of “unrepresentable” events (such as magic, invisibility or extreme violence) and ending with the emergence of silent film with it’s self-aware inclusion of trick-shots and magic tricks.
 
Honors and Awards
2013-2018 USC Provost’s Fellow
2013 English Department Travel Grant
2014 English Department Travel Grant
2015 VSGC Summer Research Grant

 


 
Lacey Schauwecker
Comparative Literature
lschauwe@usc.edu
Department Profile
 

 
Laura Scheurer
English
lauralon@usc.edu
 

 
Stephanie Sparling
American Studies and Ethnicity
smsparli@usc.edu
Department Profile
 
 
 
 

 
Lin Zhang
Communications
zhan370@usc.edy
Department Profile
 

 
Shan Zhao
American Studies
shanmuzh@usc.edu
 
 

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