Current Graduate Students


MA/Ph.D Candidates

Noga Bernstein
Noga Bernstein is a PhD candidate, specializing in modern art and design in the United States. Her dissertation, titled “Global Age Design: Ruth Reeves’s Cross-Cultural Practice” examines Reeves’s use of global sources in her work as a textile designer, painter and preservation administrator, and reconsiders her dialogue with the broader stream of American Primitivism. Prior to joining Stony Brook’s graduate program, Noga completed her Master’s degree at Columbia University, where she wrote her thesis on geographical and gendered borders in contemporary Israeli art. Noga teaches modern art history at Stony Brook and the Fashion Institute of Technology, and has lectured on contemporary Israeli art in various galleries and community centers. In addition to her academic work, Noga held positions at the curatorial and education departments of the Haifa Museum of Art and Janco-Dada Museum, and interned at the Museum of Modern Art’s Archive Department.

Sandrine Canac
Sandrine Canac is a 2014-2015 Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and a PhD candidate specializing in postwar American art. Sandrine’s dissertation dedicated to the early work of the Conceptual artist Robert Barry will be the first scholarly project to provide a comprehensive, thematic examination of the artist’s work within a renewed theoretical framework that challenges established assumptions to accommodate rather than overwrite difference in the writing of contemporary art history.

Prior to her work at Stony Brook where she completed a Graduate Certificate in Art and Philosophy and received the Goldberger Felllowship for academic excellence, Sandrine studied at the school of Arts Plastiques et Sciences de l’Art of the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, where she earned a B.A in Cultural Analysis and Theory and a M.A. in Aesthetics and Art Sciences. Along with her expertise in late modern American Art, Sandrine has a strong interest and significant experience working with international contemporary artists and has facilitated a number of interdisciplinary projects in New York, Paris, and London.

nikki_georgopNikki Georgopulos
Nikki Georgopulos is a MA/PHD student studying nineteenth-century French art. Her research primarily focuses on the painting of Edouard Manet and early discourses surrounding Realism, namely questions of religion and mythology in a post-Enlightenment context, the formulation of a Realist imaginary, the shifting status of the female body and its role as both a consumer and an object of consumption, and the phenomenological nature of the encounter of both the artist and the viewer with art at large.

She graduated with an interdisciplinary degree in History and Literature from Reed College, where she undertook an investigation into the historical philosophy of Walter Benjamin as realized in his Arcades Project, as well as its dialogues with Kant, Hegel, and Marx. She also holds a Postgraduate Certificate from the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, where she researched and wrote on the state of archaeological property in Nazi-occupied Greece.

Juan-Carlos_Guerrero-Hernandez_sJuan Carlos Guerrero-Hernandez
Juan Carlos Guerrero-Hernandez is ABD. With formal background in Electrical Engineering (BA and MSc) and in Philosophy (MA), his research work is an interdisciplinary reflection on and analysis of phenomena of early modern, modern and contemporary art and visual culture, art theory and criticism particularly focused on art and politics, interculturality and transculturation, social memory, decoloniality and postcolonialim, witnessing, public space and participatory art. He is is interested in global contemporary art, with emphasis in art produced or related to Latin America, and has published chapters and papers on those subjects. Juan Carlos was Guess Editor for the fifth issue of the magazine {{Em_rgencia}, focused on global and contemporary public art and practices of intervention in public space, and has been invited to deliver talks in several universities in Colombia. In Spring 2015, his first talk in USA will take place in DePaul University. He was awarded the Art Criticism National Prize 2007 for an essay on Doris Salcedo’s sculptures series “Unland”, and the National Grant for Research on Visual Arts 2008 for his research on photographer Fernell Franco and multimedia artist Oscar Muñoz.

Gerald Hartnett
Focusing on artists Guy Debord, Samuel Beckett, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, and Daniel Spoerri, Gerald Hartnett’s in-progress dissertation examines experimental, interdisciplinary art of the 1950s and early 1960s that engaged the tools and codes of technical reproducibility, cybernetics, informatics, and indeterminacy. From 1994 to 2000 he served as Editorial Advisor to Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press), which published his article “Ballast Reduction and the Audio Arts” as the introduction to the Journal’s 1996 issue. He received an M.A. from Wesleyan University in 1998 and taught Art History courses in the Continuing Studies Program at Columbia University and at The University of Pittsburgh where, assisted by Luce Foundation grants he obtained without ever subscribing to Time magazine, his M.A. essay “On the Origins of Détournement: Guy Debord’s Historical Menagerie” received the University Prize in Film Studies for 2005. More recently, he presented a paper on cybernetic and archival themes in Samuel Beckett’s work at the 2013 Society of Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Chicago. He is finishing an article on Beckett’s works in (or about) electronic media and another about twentieth-century art by transgender practitioners on the feminine spectrum. He teaches Art History and Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University.

Sophie_LandresSophie Landres
Sophie Landres is a Mellon Global Initiatives Fellow at Creative Time and a PhD candidate specializing in postwar art and culture. Her dissertation, “Body, Law, Instrument: Charlotte Moorman’s Early Performances with Nam June Paik” examines how Moorman and Paik adapted musical practices to address sexual politics and labor conditions in the 1960s. Sophie received her Master’s Degree in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa. Between degrees, she directed contemporary art galleries, curated exhibitions throughout New York City, and wrote art reviews for The Brooklyn Rail, among other publications. She currently teaches a writing and curatorial studies course at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and interdisciplinary seminars at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Joo_Yun_LeeJoo Yun Lee
Joo Yun Lee is a PhD Candidate, curator, and writer working on the intersection of art, science, and technology in modern and contemporary art. She finds her specific interests in ontology, materiality, spatiality, and the senses of computational media and its social political implication in contemporary art and visual culture. Her research is shaped by contemporary art history, media aesthetics, post-phenomenological philosophy, mathematics, sound studies, and critical studies. Her research focuses on the technological modes of production, distribution, and reception of technical image, intermedia performance and installation, sound art, and architecture from the 1960s to the present. She is at work on a dissertation entitled “Sensuous Communities: Materialized Spectatorship in Ryoji Ikeda’s Audio-visual Performances and Installation of Data Composition.”

Previous to starting her art history degree, she worked in museum administration and exhibition curation at the Seoul Museum of Art and was in charge of the Seoul International Media Art Festival. She was awarded Fulbright Graduate Study Award and was a 2013-2014 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. Her curatorial practices focus on media ecology and the issue of community in network culture and she wrote numerous exhibition catalogues and reviews both in the United States and Korea.

Danielle A. Lenhard
Danielle Lenhard is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in 18th-century French painting and libertine literature. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled “Unraveling the Curtain: Subversive Folds, Cleland’s Memoirs, and the Sublime in Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Le Verrou”. Her research examines the painting and engraving of Fragonard’s Le Verrou [The Bolt] in relation to underground libertine literature and pornographic illustrations in France and England. She has published an article of the same in Rutgers Art Review in 2010.

Her research interests include 18th-century libertine art and literature, aesthetics, theory, criticism, phenomenology, and education theory. She is especially interested in theories of interactivity and play as applied to museum education and teaching the survey. In 2011-2012, she participated in the Student Museum Educators Program at Smith College, and in 2012-2013, she is a volunteer for the Film literacy for third graders program See Hear Feel Film at Amherst Cinema in Amherst, MA. She completed her M.Phil. in 2007, and an Advanced Certificate in Art and Philosophy in 2008. She is a recipient of the Graduate Council Fellowship at Stony Brook.

Emily_LeonardoEmily Leonardo
Emily Leonardo is a PhD student specializing in twentieth-century Europe and America, specifically focusing on the exchange between postwar France and the United States. Her research considers alternative exhibition practices and shifting modes of curatorial display, with particular attention given to phenomenology, spectatorship, and documentation. She is also interested in the notion of privacy as it relates to architecture, architectural decoration, and interior design.

After studying art history at New York University and Hunter College, Emily worked for collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund, and in the Drawings and Prints Department of The Morgan Library & Museum. She currently works for the database Artsy, assessing art works and artists for its Art Genome Project.

Nick_ParkinsonNicholas Parkinson
Nicholas Parkinson is a PhD candidate specializing in the history of nineteenth century European art and criticism.  His dissertation, titled “The Image of the North: the Critical Reception of Nordic Art in France, 1878-1900,” traces the history of French interest in Scandinavia and Finland to examine how perceptions of northernness influenced how Nordic art was understood and discussed.  He is broadly interested in transnational approaches to art history, the history of aesthetic theory, and fin-de-siècle art and culture.

He is an active member of both the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study and the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art.  His most recent publication, “De Chirico and the Fin-de-Siècle,” will be printed in the book Symbolist Roots of Modern Art, edited by Michelle Facos and Thor Mednick, in 2015.

Sierra_RooneySierra Rooney
Sierra Rooney is a Ph.D. student specializing in contemporary public art in the United States. Her current research focuses on art in the public sphere and attendant concerns: temporality, site specificity, and community engagement, with a particular interest in representations of gender and race.
Sierra is currently the Secretary for Public Art Dialogue, an organization and bi-annual journal devoted to fostering dialogue among public art professions, scholars, and students across disciplines. She is also the editorial assistant for the forthcoming anthology Blackwell Companion to Public Art. Her writing has appeared in Public Art Dialogue and the International Sculpture Center Press publication, Artists Reclaim the Commons: New Works/ New Territories / New Publics. She received her B.A. in Film from Emerson College and her M.A. in Art History from The City College of New York, CUNY, where she was the recipient of the Connor Fellowship.

Paul_RuberyPaul Rubery
Paul Rubery is a MA/PhD student studying European contemporary art and the eurozone crisis. His current research concerns the aesthetics of ruin and decay, the body and embodiment, and post-Marxist critical theory. He writes frequently on Irish and Icelandic art.
Paul received his BA in Art History from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. From 2013-2014, he served as an editorial assistant to InVisible Culture, an online journal of visual studies. An up-to-date record of publications, conferences, and talks can found here:

Alena_SauzadeAlena Sauzade
Alena Sauzade is a doctoral candidate specializing in public art and commemoration. Her dissertation “Witnesses to Terror: Nationhood and Trauma in Memorials to Victims of Terrorism,” focuses on memorials to victims of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, in the United States and worldwide. It considers September 11th as a cultural trauma, and explores how the artifacts of the attacks, including World Trade Center steel and Pentagon limestone, have become important symbolic components in the composition of official and vernacular memorials. Her research focuses on government and community sponsored monuments as well as intentional and unintentional memorials in order to interrogate the various ways that memory functions in the public sphere.
Alena is a Graduate Council Fellowship recipient. She earned a B.A. in Art History at Mills College and an M.A. in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University, and has interned at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Her essay, “Memory in the Displaced Landscape: Narratives of National Identity at the Irish Hunger Memorial,” will be published in Formations of Identity: Society, Politics, and Landscape, edited by Floyd Martin and Eileen Yanoviak.

Erin_StoutErin Stout
Erin Stout is a PhD student studying avant-garde practices of the interwar period as they relate to postwar developments in the United States. Her current research focuses primarily on immersive psychedelic environments during the Vietnam War era with an especial interest in synesthesia, intermedia, and collective experience. The broad objective of her research is to understand more about the encroachment of art on life and life on art and the phenomenological, physiological, and psychological implications of these phenomenal occurrences. Erin received her BA in French literature and language from the Evergreen Sate College in Olympia, Washington and an MA in Art History from Brooklyn College, CUNY.

Lisa_Dillon_StricklandLisa Dillon Strickland
Lisa Dillon Strickland is a PhD candidate specializing in the relationship between postwar American art, visual culture, and Cold War politics. Her research focuses on the political implications of cartographic and site-specific art practices created during the Cold War in the United States. Lisa completed an M.A in art history and criticism from Stony Brook University, and a Graduate Certificate in Art and Philosophy. Prior to attending Stony Brook University, Lisa completed a B.A. in Art History and Criticism from Florida State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of South Florida.

She was awarded the Koppelmann award for her work on gender, and the Goldberger Fellowship for academic excellence. Lisa currently teaches undergraduate courses at Stony Brook University on Renaissance and Modern art.

Joseph_L_Underwood_2Joseph L. Underwood
Joseph Underwood is a PhD student, hailing from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He completed a B.A. in Art History under Drs. Nancy Wolsk and Wei Lin, graduating summa cum laude with a second major in French Language & Literature. He has conducted research in Senegal, France, and China as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar and a James G. Stemler Scholar. He has also held positions at the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Musée Boribana (Dakar), The Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum for African Art.

His research interests include modern and contemporary art in Africa, especially in Senegal, and on exhibition practices at fairs, biennials, and museums. Future research projects will focus on the role of artists in creating ‘national identities’, the relationship between artist and authorship, and art institutions in Africa.

His recent publication in African Arts on the 2014 Dak’Art Biennale, where he worked on the scenographic team for the Exposition Internationale, can be downloaded here:

MFA Candidates

fiona_2_webFiona Naomi Cashell
Fiona N. Cashell holds a BDes in Visual Communication from Cork Institute of Technology and an MSc in Advertising from Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. Currently pursuing her MFA at Stony Brook University, she is also Instructor of Record in Digital Art, Design and Print. Presently, work in the studio is focused around the production, development and artistic exploration of lens based digital art, video and multi-media installation. She has exhibited in Ireland, the UK and Japan, with most recent exhibitions including FTLO at Bottleneck Gallery, Williamsburg, New York.

Ye-seul_sYe-seul Choi
Ye-seul Choi received her BFA from Kookmin University of Fine Arts in South Korea. She is a MFA candidate specializing in paintings, drawings, and installations, which often approach materialistic exploration by using oil, water-color, woods, and fabrics. Interaction with the nudity of materials becomes the inspiration at the beginning.

Heather_Cruce_1_Drift_1200wHeather Cruce
Female type bodies are in a perpetual state of violence and objectification. Conceptually I explore the vulnerability and aesthetics of the these bodies. Current works are inspired by the practice of religious ossuaries, a place to display the bones of the departed in decorative fashions in a space of reverence, prayer and reflection. I am using symbolism much in the same vein as memento mori. It is both a reflection of mortality while looking at the immortality of the soul and after life.
The material, ceramic, relates to the human body as both are strong yet fragile, as well as forms of beauty and function.
Recent and current works are ceramic-based sculptural installations that focus on the idea of re-appropriating the objectification of female type bodies. That is, to use the very tools that dehumanize and to subvert previous imagery to that which reads with compassion and value thus reintroducing humanity.

Heather M. Cruce is an emerging visual artist. Born and raised on the California coast she currently works and maintains her art practice in Long Island, New York. She is the current recipient of the Goldberger Fine Arts Scholarship in recognition for her achievement and dedication to the arts. Former achievements include receiving the Martin Wong Foundation Scholarship in Ceramic Art. Exhibition record notes works exhibited in California, New York and Spain.

Myda_overkill1_sMyda El-Maghrabi
What drives not merely me, the individual, but us, our society as a whole? How do we regard our own experiences and, as an extension, how does that affect how we relate to those of another, or more specifically, that of “the other”? How do our individual motivations affect our societal motivations and vice versa? Through constant questioning, including research into contemporary as well as historic social criticisms, the work of Myda El-Maghrabi investigates how our human community operates: how it functions and dysfunctions; how its members connect or disconnect; and what leads one group to disenfranchise another.

Myda graduated from Boston University with a BA in English Literature and is currently an MFA candidate at Stony Brook University.

Victoria_unnamedVictoria Febrer
Victoria Febrer is a fine artist based in NYC. Her work has been shown in the US, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, and Japan, with solo exhibitions in New York, Valencia, and Madrid. Her interests are centered on the relationship of the universal and the personal, and the way that repeated images and icons have influenced our understandings of our place in the world. She works in a variety of media including paint, film projection, and red wine (through a process of her own invention called vinography).

Victoria is committed to the vital role of a critical arts practice as a force for lasting positive social change as a key tool in the empowerment of communities. She has taught youth, children, and families at diverse institutions including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Free Arts NYC, Center for Arts Education, the Cooper Union, and Stony Brook University. Victoria Febrer is a proud graduate of the Cooper Union and the recipient of the American Association of Colleges & Universities’ K. Patricia Cross Award for Future Leaders in Education.

I don’t think there are many things more important than being a teacher and being a student. That, to me, is the deepest social contract, to understand the idea that individual creativity within a willing community is a profound social act. –
John Hejduk (1929-2000)”

*Victoria Febrer is the current Goldberger Fellow and recipient of the Art Department Chair’s Scholarship Award.

Nicole_IMG_7669Nicole Hixon
With conspicuous consumption everywhere we look, I present possible solutions for our detritus. I create a glimpse into amazing possibilities for discarded things by using recycled products in my work. By fabricating familiar objects with atypical materials, I provoke the viewer to further explore my chosen media, and encourage thought about how we assign value to objects.

catherine-katsafourosCatherine Katsafouros
Catherine Katsafouros earned her BA in Studio Art with minors in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at Stony Brook University. She is currently pursuing her MFA with a focus in electronic media. Her work is conceptually grounded in feminist, gender and violence issues. Catherine was raised in Greece and she currently lives and works in New York.

Logan_Marks_sLogan Marks
Logan Marks received his BFA in sculpture from Indiana University in 2011. His work stems from a background in metalworking, the utilization of the found object, and both indoor and outdoor installation practices. Scale and material are often altered to reflect an alternative view of the environment around us. These given perspectives are asking the viewer to reconsider their interactions with the surroundings. Photography, lighting, painting, woodworking, and casting play as supporting roles in his larger practice. Art handling and teaching also provide as major influences to Logan’s work.

Tanya_dahliaTanya Kaiser Robinson
Tanya Kaiser Robinson received her BFA in sculpture from Mount St. Joseph University in 2011. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Stony Brook University. Her work examines decidedly female themes while exploring and at times challenging preconceived notions of beauty. Tanya currently lives and works in New York.

becca-imageRebecca Uliasz
Rebecca earned a BFA concentrating in Painting and Photography from the University of Connecticut in 2014, where she also minored Art History and Digital Arts. She is currently pursuing an MFA in addition to a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Her work explores societal and psychological identity grounded in feminist and gender studies. She has exhibited her work in New York and Connecticut and currently resides on Long Island.

allson-webimageAllison M Walters
Allison M Walters is a visual artist specializing in the constructed experience. She is interested in the intersection of human experience, authority, and the absurd.

DewaynewrencherDewayne C. Wrencher
Dewayne C. Wrencher is a contemporary native-born Black American visual and spoken artist working primarily with themes relating to identity, power, and historical events of social injustice. He received a Bachelor of Science in Art, emphasis in Printmaking with a minor in Ethnic and Racial Studies from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and holds an Associate degree in Graphic Design.

As the University of Wisconsin La Crosse’s Social Justice Director, Dewayne has co-facilitated several community building workshops and presentations for adults and youth from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. He is the founder of the community organization, the Kings of Nia where he uses his Art as a facilitation tool in difficult discussions. His work in visual and spoken word pedagogy has created opportunities for him to exhibit work at the American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference and the National McNair Research Conference.

Dewayne is currently pursuing an MFA in Studio Art at Stony Brook University and continuing to develop the ability of blending the media of Printmaking and spoken word poetry.