Recent Theses


The Thesis project is a central component of our MA program and involves in-depth, original research on a topic of the student’s choosing. All MA students in Art History complete a written thesis; Dual Degree students choose between the Art History thesis or Arts Administration thesis.

For a full list of thesis projects, including abstracts, see SAIC Thesis Repository.


2018 Theses

MA in Art History

Lily Brewer, “Reading Omni: Visuality and Science Popularization in the Magazine of the Future”
Alden Nowell Burke, “Under This Name, Another: The Presentation of Self and Naming with Hannah Wilke and Senga Nengudi”
Kathryn Cato, “Taking Up Space: Investigating Genders Through Formalism in Contemporary and Postminimal Contexts”
Zoe Louise Carlson, “Cecilia Vicuña: Towards a Contemporary Indigenism 1990-2010”
Daisy Charles, “Place and Process: Conceptual Art in Edmonton, Inuvik, and New York”
Luna Goldberg, “Performing Critique: Three Case Studies at the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale”
Makayla May, “Activating the Archive: Mapping Mediation and its Afterlife in the Work of Sammy Baloji”
Ratna R. Patel, “Work of Art in the Age of Public-Private Partnership”
Brandi Cordier Sjostrom, “Constructing Identities Online: Examining Amalia Ulman's Excellences & Perfections Series”
Xue Yang, “Park, Protest, and Pop: South Korea's Candlelight Protest of 2016-17”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Ian Gabriel Wilson, “Essential Ornaments: The Architecture of Ödön Lechner & The Development of a Magyar Style”



2017 Theses

MA in Art History

Nour Ammari, “Iconoclasm and the Islamic State: Understanding ISIS’ Destruction of Cultural Heritage
Alice Ashiwa, “The Making of Art Spaces in Post-WWII Tokyo: The Case of the Sogetsu Art Center”
Kat Buckley, “Threading Through the Interwar: Nomadism, Tapestry, and the Rediscovery of Marie Cuttoli”
Claire Frost, “The Future Eva Hesse: Lucy Lippard, Sol Lewitt, and the Construction of Eva Hesse”
Lindsay Garbutt, “All Known Means of Design: Reproduction and Audience Engagement in Herbert Bayer’s Bauhaus Exhibition Design at the Museum of Modern Art, 1938”
Zeenat Nagree, “‘Surviving Culture,’ ‘Co-Existing Cultures.’ Indigenism and Authenticity in the Art of Criticism of Geeta Kapur and J. Swaminathan in the 1960s”
Hannah Pivo, “Forming Flow: Knud Lonberg-Holm and Ladislav Sutnar’s Information Design Manuals and the Development of Modern Visual Communication Standards”
Brit Erin Schulte, “Queering the Weimar Archive: The Transgressive Bodies & Transgressive Performances of Anita Berber & Sebastian Droste”
Veronica Sines, “System as a Tool, Art as Energy: The Significance of Language in the Works of Lee Lozano”
Kevin Whiteneir, Jr., “Queer Heretics: Case Studies in the Convergence of Witchcraft and Queerness in Contemporary Art.”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Zoe Alexandra Goldman, “Leading America Through Local Modernism: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes' (Mexico) Exhibitions and Publications on Architecture, 1950-1952”
Lydia Claire Gordon, “Maternal Ambivalence and Non-Normative Maternal Desires in Chelsea Knight's The Breath We Took, 2013”



2016 Theses

MA in Art History

Farah Zeynep Aksoy, “Mediated Modernism: Jewad Selim's Wall Paintings and the Vacillations of Postcolonial Iraq”
Paula Calvo, “Materiality and Reproduction: Photographs of the Disappeared Recovered by Victor Basterra”
Frances Claire Dorennaum, “Keep in Touch: Reading and Relationships in Moyra's Davey's Burn the Diaries, My Saints, and Of Jane”
Lillian M. Elliott, “Great Scott! Picturing the Past through the Waverley Novels”
Annalise Flynn, “Something in the Water: The Sea, the Slabs, and Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain”
Sabrina Greig, “Order and Chaos in the City: Cartography's Mediation of Race Relations, Labor, Industry, and Transit in Chicago”
Lauren Marie Johnson, “Breaking Typography's Glass Window: Materiality as Mode in Robert Massin's Typographic Redesigns of French Postwar Experimental Literature”
Denise Joseph, “Construction Ahead: Saadiyat Island Cultural District, A Case Study in Becoming a Cultural Capital”
Shang-Huei Liang, “Action, Image, Archive Chen Chieh-Jen's Art of Re-Imagining, Re-Narrating, Re-Writing, and Re-Connecting”
Greg Sato,  "Sophisticated Ignorance": Quantifying the Film Canon”
Ke Wang, “Translation as Relation: Art History Translated into Chinese”
Sarah Wheat, “The Architect as Nomad: A Critical Examination of Bruno Taut's Theory of Architecture”
Ange Wong (Wai Man Wong), “To Cut and to Arrange: Radical Ikebana and Avant Garde Art in the 1950s”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Ligia Herrera, “Urban Development, Street Art and Neighborhood Branding in Wynwood”
Olivia Junell, “Diversity, Access, and Participation in Contemporary Arts Philanthropy”
Arthur Kolat, “Twilight on the Roads:The Wagner Drives of David Hockney”
Barbara Ann Meisinger, “The Strange and  Autonomous Gas Station”
Alda Akhsar Tchochiev, “Cardinal Loop Conference Proposal: A Commitment to Contemporary Cultural Conversation in Chicago”



2015 Theses

MA in Art History

Margaret K. Carrigan, “The Landscape, The Liminal, and the Lichtung: Albert Bierstadt's Western Frontier and the Technological Horizon”
Matthew Alan Coleman, “Remotely Nearby: Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah”
Meri Rose Ekberg, “Inventing a Future through History: The Layering of Time at Mildred's Lane”
Lauren R. Fulton, “Sensations in Flux: Alison Knowles's Sonic, Tactile, and Metaphysical Experiences”
Kara Jefts, “Dance of Death: Mavo Artists and the Posture of Play in Modern Tokyo”
Brian T. Leahy, “Art Without Work: Tehching Hsieh's No Art Piece and the Ethics of Laziness”
Annette LePique, “GURLS and the Internet: Feminine Identity Construction Within the Digital Sphere”
Jayne Mack, “Holy Weaponized Perfume, Batman!: Gendered Visual Vocabulary in Revisions of Batwoman”
Olivia Graham McManus, “Locating Empowerment in Feminism and Pornography: Petra Joy's Female Fantasies and Tristan Taormino's Chemistry Vol. 1”
Aisha Marie Muhammad, "Humanity is 'In the Red'": An Examination of Jelili Atiku's Performance Series”
Meghann Ney, “Think Visual: Graphic Design and the Corporate Image”
Alison Reilly, “The Following is a True Story: Fiction, Bunkerization & Cinema in Post Socialist Albania”
Julie Warchol, "Modeling with Light": Clarence Kennedy's Photographic Sculpture, 1924-194”

MA  Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Catalina Acosta-Carrizosa, “Traveling Coordinates: A Case on Developing and Implementing a Dialogical Curatorial Practice in Santander and Norte de Santander, Columbia”
Denise Marie Bennett, “Architecture as Experience: Hans-Rucker-Co.'s Speculative Objects and Environments, 1968-1972”
Tie Jojima, “Opening the 1980s: Gang”
Yiqing Li, “Responding to Global Art Worlds: Chinese Cultural Diplomacy in Contemporary Art in the 2000s”
Mia Lopez, “Performing Ethnography: Institutional Critique and Site Specificity in Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena's Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West”
Elisabeth Holland Rose Smith, “The Dynaton's "New Vision": Possibilities for Abstraction from the Bay Area, 1948-1951”
J. Gibran Villalobos, “Industrial Players: Jannis Kounellis and Reconstruction of Italian Identity”
Katherine E. Waddell, “More than a Feeling: Performativity, Sincerity, and Sociality in the Art of the Affective Turn”



2014 Theses

MA in Art History

Mel Becker, “The Afterimage of the Afterlife: The Art of Ivan Albright”
Robyn Farrell, “Transmission as Medium: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum and Videogalerie Schum, 1968-1973”
Rachel Kupferman, “Markets and Mystics: The Institutional Reception of Contemporary Asian Art with Religion as Subject”
Julie Rosenberg, “Destruction and Reconstruction: The Art of Hung Liu”
Zohra Sakwall, “Technologies of Remembrance: Unresolved Historical Situations in Emily Jacir and Walid Raad's Video Installations”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Rebecca Hernandez, “The Great White Silence: A Material-Based Ontological View of an Art Technology in Antarctica”
Paige K. Johnston, “Hand/Print: Franciszka Themerson's Distributable Modernism”
Katy Loeb, “Marie Witt: Storied Objects”
Amelia Love, “Enacting a Road Trip: Eleanor Antin's 100 Boots (1971-1973)”
Katrina Mohn, “H.C. Westermann and the American Absurd”
Raven Falquez Munsell, “Radical Exhibiting and the Representation of Solidarity at the 1974 Venice Biennale”
Yezibel Ruiz, “Potentiality: An Assessment of the Accreditation Capacity of the National Veterans Art Museum and Proposal for Achievement”
Rebecca Schlossberg, “The (Re)mediation of Media in the Fae Richards Photo Archive”
Madeline Smith, “The Current Value of Visitor Research in Museums: An Analysis of the Historical Development of Visitor Research and Its Present Use”
Gan Uyeda, “The Militourist Image of Diamond Head”