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.

2020 Theses

MA in Art History
Gabrielle Christiansen, “Make a Better Day: Historicizing the Charity Single in Samson Young’s Songs for Disaster Relief”
Jenny Dally, “Shadow of a Doubt: The Limits of Documentation in Eleanor Antin’s CARVINGs”
Graham Feyl, “Artificial Nature/Total Indulgence: The Materiality of Works by Arch Connelly, Nicolas Moufarrge and Greer Lankton”
Chava Krivchenia, “Ecosystem, Organism, Molecule: A Triple Scope Study of Lee Bontecou’s Untitled (1964)”
Julia Kulon, “The Subliminal Mimesis of Modernity: Polish Socialist Realist Sculpture, 1950–1954”
Lauren Makholm, “Imperative Images: Nirma Zárate's Early Screenprints”
Melody Miller, “Other People's Heritage: The Role of Music in Jeremy Deller's British Historiography”
Bradlee Murch, “Of Dusty Pages and Ornament: Hints of Permeability in Charles Locke Eastlake's Ideal Victorian Home”
Minh Nguyen, “All is True at Once: Sàn Art and Evasive Maneuvers in Contemporary Art in Vietnam”
Lydia Pifer, “On James Turrell’s Houston Works”
Elizabeth Reed, “Re-Presenting Design: Historical, Contemporary, and Speculative Inquiries on the Presence and Treatment of Design in Museums”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration
Sophie Jenkins, “Collected, mediated, suspended: the manipulated image worlds of Sarah Charlesworth and Taryn Simon”
Whitney Mash, “Depictions of House & Home: The Narratives and Counter-Narratives Revealed By Domestic Architecture in the Works of Jacob Lawrence, Kerry James Marshall, and Amanda Williams”
Shannon Hebert Waldman, “Scaffold: Towards an Imperfect Justice”

2019 Theses

MA in Art History

Madalen Claire Benson, “Site & Territory: Anti-colonialism in Jin-me Yoon and Maureen Gruben’s Contributions to LandMarks2017”
Stephanie R. Dvareckas, “Dialectics Of The Soviet Avant-Garde In The First Exhibition Of Ukrainian Nonconformist Art”
Saerom (Celia) Jung, “Kurt Schwitters's Late Works in England (1942-1947): Politics of a Dadaist in Exile”
Cate MacFadyen, “The Present Process: Deep Lez Processing in the Present in Allyson Mitchell”
Susan Lee Mackey, “Dreams of the South: Racial Fantasy in the Plantation Photographs of Clarence John Laughlin”
Yue Ren, “Injection Versus Extraction: Socially Engaged Art of Contemporary China in Context Transformations”
Miriam R. Ruiz, “Small But Ours: Picture Poems and the Czech Interwar Avant-Garde”
Isabel Alexander Servantez III, “Creating an Intersectional Chicano Art: The Work of Malaquias Montoya”
Jacob Zhicheng Zhang, “Performing Identities in the United States: Tseng Kwong Chi, Nikki S. Lee, and Ming Wong’s Migratory Politics”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Lindsey Kathleen Bell, “Accessing Sorrow: The Community Potential of Ragnar Kjartansson’s Durational Performance Works”
Baiqi Chen, “Active Contemplation: 30 Years of Huang Zhuan and Chinese Contemporary Art”
Danielle Eady, “Artists in National Parks: New Paradigms to Illuminate Invisible Histories”
Elliot J. Reichert, “Nationalist Cultural Heritage and the Question of Lebanon: 1939, 1999”
Carlos Salazar-Lermont, “Curation as a Bridge Between Communities. The Claudio Perna: Human Geography Project”
Cici Wang, “The Future Development of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art in State-Owned Museums in China”
Celina Wu, “Visualizing the Invisible: Learning to See Photography”

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”
Veronica Sesana Grajales, “A Global Nationalism: Designing the Wall & the Integration of the Arts in Brasilia”
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”
Elle Tompkins, “The Art of Eating: An Investigation of Contemporary Artists and Designers Who Critically Analyze Industrial Food, Marking Their Parallels to Gastronomic Social Movements”
Xue Yang, “Park, Protest, and Pop South Korea's Candlelight Protest of 2016-17”

MA Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Lindsey Jancay, “Stenographic Image and the Shorthand Imaginary: An Iconographic  Analysis of the Gregg Shorthand Anniversary Edition”
Tally de Orellana, “Curating Difference: Appropriation and Antagonism in Identity Formation”
Ian Gabriel Wilson, “Essential Ornaments: The Architecture of Ödön Lechner & The Development of a Magyar Style”
Yinzi Yi “Criticality and Complicity in Cao Fei's RMB City: The Production and Circulation of Regional Images in a Global Art Context”

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”