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Visual and Critical Studies: Students and Alumni

This sampling of student and alumni profiles provides you examples of the innovative and groundbreaking work that has been realized through study and community exchanges facilitated by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Visual and Critical Studies and Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies programs.

Some BA in Visual and Critical Studies Graduates:

  • Tim Ivison: MPhil./PhD London Consortium; Professor of Liberal Arts, Sci-Arc, Los Angeles
  • Ruba Katrib: MA (Bard); Curator, MoMA, New York
  • Frederick Janka: Director of Development, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara
  • Paul Smith: Coordinator of Exhibitions and Programming, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago
  • Kelly Goyette: Tutor and lecturer, Duke University
  • Tim Ivison: MPhil./PhD London Consortium
  • Bianca Barattini: Art Director at Edun Americas, Inc.
  • Ruba Katrib: MA (Bard); Curator, Sculpture Center, New York
  • William Given: Voice actor
  • Lindsey Delahanty: Grant Coordinator, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Andrew Colwell: PhD student in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan
  • Mylene Hengen: Student, PhD Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris
  • Juliana Driever: MA (Columbia); Adjunct faculty, City College of NY
  • Lacey Muszynski: Food critic/Writer/Editor
  • Helen Kongsgaard: Student, MLA, Landscape Architecture, Harvard University
  • Lisa Slominski: MFA Goldsmiths (London); artist
  • Madeline Nusser: Senior Editor, "Around Town" feature for Time Out Chicago
  • Heady Pardew: Scenic Artist / Talent, New Orleans film industry
  • Frederick Janka: Associate Director, Sculpture Center, New York
  • Maureen Murphy: Managing editor, The Electronic Intifada
  • Zoe Weisman - Director of Product Innovation, Concept Laboratories, Inc.
  • Brittany Reilly: Co-owner/curator, Zg Gallery, Chicago
  • Stephanie Pavone: Co-owner/curator, Zg Gallery, Chicago
  • Garland Taylor: Artist & Museum Specialist, DuSable Museum, Chicago
  • Jaime Groetsema: General Collections Library Assistant, The Newberry Library, Chicago
  • Beatrice Smigasiewicz: MA Writing (U Iowa); instructor & translator, U Iowa
  • Maria Marchenkova: Publications Department, MoMA, NY
  • Tim Ridlen: MFA (Bard); Student, PhD in Art Practice, UCSD
  • Martha Drouet: Student, JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Hannah Manfredi: Publications Department, MoMA, NY
  • Karly Wildenhaus: Student, MA Curatorial Studies, Bard College
  • Brad Troemel: MFA, NYU Steinhardt; Adjunct instructor, NYU Steinhardt School of  Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Nicole Vismara: Program Manager for Biket Initiative (French NGO)

Some MA in Visual and Critical Studies Graduates

  • Gordon Hall: Founder of the Center for Experimental Lectures, and an artist and writer
  • Kelly Christian: Administrative Director of AIADO/HPRES at SAIC. Writes for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Dilettante Army, The Order of the Good Death, and more. Freelance writer and designer. Lectures in conferences, galleries, and schools with special interest in death and American culture, spiritualism and seances, the social history of photography, and the American Civil War.
  • Kevin Lee: Professor for Crossmedia Publishing, Merz Akademie, University of Applied Art, Design and Media, Stuttgart
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  • Yuri Stone: Assistant Curator, MIT List Center for the Visual Arts
  • Sarah Alford: Artist/Instructor in Historical and Critical Studies, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD)
  • Maria Alejandra Carles: Artist/Director, BioMuseo (The Museum of Biodiversity), Panama City, Panama
  • Ismiaji Cahyono: Creative Director, Curatorial Director IGDA (Indonesian Graphic Design Award), Grogol, Indonesia
  • Julia Marsh: MFA (University of Illinois at Chicago); Director and Curator, Sitecited.com, Seoul
  • Jefferson Brown: Comic artist
  • Charles Lochhead: Artist; Labour Arts Coordinator at Workers Arts & Heritage Centre Program,Toronto
  • Joey Orr: Arts & Sciences Fellow, ABD, PhD program in Liberal Arts, Emory University; Associate Editor, Journal of Artistic Research
  • Ellen Alderman: Program Coordinator, Graham Foundation, Chicago; Director, Alderman Exhibitions, Chicago
  • Szu-Han Ho: Assistant Professor in Art & Ecology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Katherine Lennard: Student, PhD American Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Mike Gibisser: MFA (U of Illinois at Chicago); artist
  • Benjamin Madeska: Program Director at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Terra Haute, Indiana
  • Amanda Brinkman: Project Manager, Contemporary Visual Arts Association of New Orleans
  • Maureen Burns: Program Coordinator, Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture
  • Joel Kuennen: Freelance Writer / Staff Writer, ARTslant, Chicago
  • Kristi McGuire: Editor, University of Chicago Press; Adjunct professor, SAIC
  • Divya Menon (Kohn): Student, PhD Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Susan Morelock: MFA Photography (Columbia University);  Photographer
  • Jorge Mujica Jr.: MFA Painting (Yale University); Conservator, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
  • Zephyr Pfotenhaur: Independent Graphic Designer; Board of Directors, Santa Cruz Women's Health Center
  • Brian Wallace : Artist
  • Sarah Clugage: Intern, Cabinet magazine, Brooklyn
  • Brandon Evans: Student, PhD in Film, Harvard University
  • Rebecca Gordon: Artist/Writer/Curator/Instructor/Design Consultant, New York
  • Meredith Kooi: Student, PhD Liberal Arts, Emory University
  • Andrea Slavik: Filmmaker
  • Dustin Yager: Education and Wallace Excellence Award Marketing Manager, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis

Selected MA in Visual and Critical Studies Theses

  • Ellen P. Hartwell Alderman: Phenomenal Translucency in Toyo Ito's T House
  • Amanda Brinkman: Twilight Fan Tourism: Women, Fantasy and Pilgrimages
  • Maureen Burns: The Conflicting Desires of Mobility: Metaphors of The Exile, The Tourist, The Nomad, and Other Figures of Travel
  • Sara Clugage: All the King's Horses: Neuropsychology and the Fractured Brain
  • Christine Elliott: Situating Student Portraits: An Analysis of High School Yearbook Photography in Bloomington, Illinois
  • Brandon Evans: Sympathetic Resonances: Relationality and the Affect in the Sonic 'Field'
  • Mike Gibisser: Between the Symptom and the Synapse: The Intensity of Dementia
  • Rebecca Gordon: The Observants & Extremely Precise Objects of Ambiguous Use
  • Szu-Han Ho: Envisioning the Economic Imaginary
  • Meredith Kooi: The Misfit Mime Mimes Self: New Metaphors for Autoimmunity
  • Joel Kuennen: I in Space: Contemporary Subjectivity in Place and Time
  • Charles Andrew Lochhead: Home Economics: Chicago's Apartment Gallery Scene in Focus
  • Benjamin Madeska: Food Poetics: Essays on the Use and Meaning of Food
  • Susan Morelock: The Illusionist: Looking at Post-Production Photography in the 21st Century
  • Kelly Mullendore: Trichotillomania
  • Ann Panjaris: Always Still to Come: Redemption, Anticipation and Melancholia
  • Lucy Parker: PAINT.EXE: A HISTORY OF COMPUTER PAINT TOOLS
  • Lauren Ross: Ritual, Repetition, Transformation: Performative Artworks and the Politics of Mourning
  • Jeremy Shedd: Images that Aren't Ours: How Representation Structures Identity in the Digital Age
  • Samantha Topol: Airplane Mode On: The Skymall Effect
  • Sarah Alford: Bound and Determined: Ellen Gates Starr and the Arts and Crafts Movement