Featured Students

Amber Hickey (2012 cohort): Researching Art and Sovereignty in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Fall 2016

Four years ago, I would have never imagined that being a Visual Studies Ph.D. student would involve tasks such as speaking to committed pro seal hunt activists in Nunavut and collecting stories from reticent nuclear stockpile scientists in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Now, as I begin my fifth year of the program, I feel incredibly thankful to have had the necessary support to gather so much on-the-ground knowledge, all of which has deeply informed my work.

Lorraine Affourtit (2012 cohort): From the Front of the Classroom to the Frontlines of Oaxaca’s Social Movement

Fall 2016

In 2015-16, I researched and experienced activist art in Mexico in entirely unexpected and inspiring ways. I taught this subject in the classroom and was able to see it anew through my students’ point of view. I also participated in Mexican art activism while I was in Oaxaca City, Mexico researching the Oaxaca Commune – a political uprising of 2006, which resurged during its 10th anniversary in the summer of 2016.

Mary Thomas (2011 cohort): Art History on Air: Podcasting in the Classroom

Spring 2016

In the Spring of my fifth year as a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Studies, I taught HAVC 46: Intro to U.S. Art and Visual Culture with the support of a Chancellor’s Graduate Teaching Fellowship. Serving the fellowship's mission to foster pedagogical innovation, I involved my students in a quarter-long project for the creation of podcasts.

Amanda Maples (2013 cohort): Grad School: There’s a First Time for Everything

Spring 2016

As I round out the third year of my program, I realize the panoply of first experiences I have recently gained. Some have been successes…others not so much. Regardless, these experiences would not have been possible without the strong, unique, and supportive faculty that make up the History of Art and Visual Culture department and the Visual Studies program at UCSC.

Michelle Yee (2015 cohort): An impromptu trip to New York City to interview Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann

Spring 2016

My research in contemporary Asian American and Asian Diasporic Art led me to the Visual Studies doctoral program in the History of Art and Visual Culture department at UC Santa Cruz, in order to study with Professor Boreth Ly. Although I have only just finished my first year, it has already become very clear to me just how fortunate I am to be in this program.

Sara Blaylock (2011 cohort): A year in Berlin, researching experimental art from East Germany in the 1980s

Fall 2015

In my fifth year in the Visual Studies PhD program, I have begun the final two-year shift from student to professional academic. Facing the writing of my dissertation is the last step ahead of me. After a very successful year of research in Berlin, funded by a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), I am excited for the challenge of turning material and ideas into text. 

Jordan Reznick (2013 cohort): Exploring US snapshot photography and the construction of whiteness

Fall 2015

I initially began researching and writing about photography as a way to support my artistic practice. As my intellectual explorations became increasingly central to my work, I pursued both an M.A. in Visual & Critical Studies and an M.F.A. in Photography from California College of the Arts. I chose to come to UCSC in order to study with several scholars of race and visual culture whose work I have long admired.

Kate Korroch (2014 cohort): Close encounters with South-Korean contemporary art

Fall 2015

In 2008 I moved to Samcheok-si, Gwangwon-do, South Korea, a small rural town nestled among stunning coastal cliffs rising above the East Sea and farmland peppered with local vegetables and fruits.* I taught English in an even smaller town, and was welcomed with open arms into a world of unknowns. My move to South Korea was meant to take me on adventures around a region of the world I’d never encountered. That it did. In addition, moments from my everyday life sparked questions that became my life’s work.