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Graduate Students

Ph.D. Student
New Media Art, The History of Art and Technology, Curating Media & The Politics of Production
Christina Ayson Plank is a scholar, educator, and curator based in San Jose, California. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on migration, labor, and contemporary art of the Philippines and its diaspora. Her doctoral dissertation is tentatively titled “Counter-Production as Resistance: Contemporary Art of the Filipino Labor Diaspora.” She received an M.A. in Asian American Studies at UCLA and a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art at Marist College.
Land-based contemporary art practices; settler-colonial studies; the politics of land, including land rights and land use management; extractive capitalism and environmental justice.
exhibition/museums; critical curatorial studies; contemporary Oceanic art; colonial history, race, and culture; archive interventions
Empires and colonialism in East/Southeast Asia, including internal colonialism; Asian borderlands and its visual culture; politics of representation; minor transnationalism and the post-national; Cantonese diaspora.
histories of photography; Indigenous and settler-colonial studies; intersections between infrastructure, legal geographies and landscapes
Visual aspects of devotional practices in Roman Catholic traditions with a focus on ex-voto practices of Italy, Spain and Mexico
Ph.D. Candidate
I'm writing an inter-disciplinary dissertation that tells the story of neoliberalism in Lebanon from waste.
South Korean contemporary art and culture in regard to gender, sexuality, and the body.
Contemporary Art from Africa and its Diasporas
Theories of empire and the ways in which ethnic minorities maintained their identity under periods of colonization localized in Indigenous and Spanish empires in the Andes.
19th and 20th century US built environment, public art and architecture, schools and educational institutions, play, childhood, urban and community planning, social practice, community-based art movements, alternative educational spaces
History of Art and Visual Culture, PhD candidate
Interactions between the Inka and the Amazon; colonial Peru, the Amazon(s).
Interest in the cultural matronage of Late Antique, Byzantine, and Medieval royal women.
Aaron Samuel Mulenga, area of study includes contemporary art of Africa, post-colonial theory and the roles that museums play in shaping cultural narratives. Aaron is a multi-disciplined artist with a keen interest in sculptural forms and installation.
My current research focuses on the visual culture (contemporary art, architecture & mass media) of the Arctic, particularly Svalbard Norway, and its geopolitical implications for global collective memory
Islamic art, material culture, performing arts and gender in Southeast Asia
20th-21st Centuries Latin American and Brazilian art, Latin American and Brazilian Visual Culture, Contemporary Art.
Cultural memory, trauma, and identity/postidentity (particularly contemporary Jewish American identity and the Holocaust); embodiment and performance; temporal/spatial relations; visual lexicons.
Ecology and the nonhuman in contemporary art, ecomedia, emerging media, documentary film, animation, virtual reality, feminist theory, landscape studies, contemporary art of the Americas, cultural memory, postcolonialism, political theory.
Research interests: visual culture of Africa and its diasporas; French colonialism; memory and the archive(s) of slavery; performance; textiles, clothing and the body.
Contemporary Chicanx, Latinx, and Latin American art and visual/material culture. Borderlands, transborder politics, and the colonial body.
Ph.D. Candidate, Visual Studies, University of California Santa Cruz, Co-Executive Editor, Pacific Arts
Material and visual cultures of Oceania, Pacific Studies, environment and ecology, Indigenous studies, Native American material and visual culture, settler colonial history
Art and visual culture of the U.S., global contemporary art, nuclear toxicity, U.S. militarism and environmental justice concerns, ecocritical art history and visual studies, Cold War visual culture
Visual culture of environmental violence, toxicity and contamination, settler colonialism, artists' methods, eco-cinema, environmental documentary, speculative fiction(s), film / video / screen-based media, surveillance, maps and cartography