Academic Programs

Art History Symposium Archives

Past Symposia Keynote Speakers

The Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History, sponsored and shared by the departments of art and art history at The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama at Birmingham, alternates campuses each year. Below are presenters of past symposia. Go here for more information about the Joint Program for the M.A. in Art History.


The 24th Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History was held March 1, 2019, on UA’s campus. The symposium’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Catherine Zuromskis, Assistant Professor of Fine Art in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Dr. Meryl Bailey, Mills College, “Returning the Past: Cultural Heritage, Ethics, and the American Museum in the Twenty-First Century”


Kristin Schwain, University of Missouri, “Establishing an African American Eden: Samuel Albert Countee’s World War II Mural for Fort Leonard Wood’s Black Officers’ Club”
Presenters, abstracts and posters sessions


Susan L. Huntington, The Ohio State University, “The Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence: Shifting Paradigms and Constructions of Knowledge in Buddhist Art”


Barbara Burlison Mooney, University of Iowa, “From Jumping Jack to Jump Jim Crow: The Origins of a Pernicious Southern Stereotype?”


Jeanette Kohl, University of California, Riverside, “Serial Patricians. Authenticity and Duplication in Renaissance Portraiture”


Andrew Hottle, Rowan University, “Why Are You Doing This?…and Other Questions about Rescuing Art from the Dustbin of History”


Seventeenth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History
(Flickr slideshow)

  • Keynote Speaker – Sarah Betzer, University of Virginia, “Ingres’s Shadows”
  • Bethany Bakane (UAB), “Romantic Dream Experiments”
  • Mary Benefield (UA), “Making Connections: The Chastelaine de Vergi Fresco and French Medieval Caskets”
  • Kelsey Frady (UAB), “Frances Benjamin Johnston: Imaging the New Woman through Portraiture”
  • Nicole Jordan (UAB), “The Camera Never Lies: Early War Photography”
  • Brandi Moore (UA), “Cindy Sherman: The Many Faces of Woman”
  • Stephen Smith (UAB), “Elzie Crisler Segar’s Popeye the Sailor Man and the Elusive Original”
  • Annie White (UAB), “From Propaganda to Agony: Different Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Battle Painting”


Sixteenth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History (slideshow)

  • Keynote Speaker – Tim Barringer, Yale University, “The Condition of Music: The Aesthetic Movement and the Sister Arts”
  • Mary Benefield (UA), “Gendered Spaces and Places: The Italian Renaissance Studiolo”
  • Patricia Causey (UA), “Velázquez: In Search of the Radical”
  • Nicole Jordan (UAB), “Depictions of Mythological Women in Nineteenth-Century Art as Contemporary Reflections”
  • Linda S. E. Pierini (UAB), “Images Based on the Lotus Sutra: Objects of Worship by Shinran and Nichiren”
  • Carrie Knopf (UAB), “The Bayou as Louisiana’s Last Frontier: Alfred Boisseau’s Indians on the Bayou, 1848”
  • Kelsey Frady (UAB), “Lilly Martin Spencer and War Spirit at Home: Republican Motherhood in the Civil War”
  • Angela Scott (UA), “The Leper Messiah: A Look into the Artistic Performance of Ziggy Stardust”
  • Stephen Smith (UAB), “Betty vs. Veronica: American Archie-types”


Fifteenth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History (slideshow)

  • Keynote Speaker – Elizabeth Chew, Curator, Monticello, “Inhabiting the Great Man’s House: Gender and Space at Monticello”
  • Nicole Jordan (UAB), “Giotto, Dane, and the Role of Usury in the Arena Chapel Frescos”
  • Jared Hansen (UAB), “The Black Death and Trecento Art” A Case Study of the Triumph of Death Master”
  • Jamie Boullt (UAB), “The Life and times of the Birmingham Museum of Art’s ‘Saint Peter’”
  • Kelley Wockenfuss (UAB), “The Figure of the Horse in Caravaggio’s ‘Conversion of St. Paul’”
  • Patricia Causey (UA), “Caravaggio: Older Than Dirt?”
  • Carrie Knopf (UAB), “The Japanese Influence in Mary Cassatt’s ‘The Letter’”
  • Mary K. Benefield (UA), “Sally Mann: Childhood Memories”
  • Stephen Smith (UAB), “Howard Cruse and the New Narrative”
  • Kristin Skees (UA School of Library and Information Studies) “Street Art and the Museum”


Fourteenth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History (slideshow)

  • Keynote Speaker – Dr. Krista Thompson (Northwestern University) “‘The Sound of Light’: Reflections on Art History in the Visual Culture of Hip Hop”
  • Alicia Cook (UAB) “Ed Harris’s Pollock: A Personalized Portrayal of a Life”
  • Emma Fox (UAB) “Rembrandt’s Self-Portraits: Art Biography and Autobiography”
  • Jamie Boullt (UAB) “Bibliophile – the Library of Don Diego Hurtado De Mendoza”
  • Carissa Rice (UAB) “Outsider Art and Its Leader of the Pack”
  • Marylee D. Freeman (UA) “Ganguro: New Diaspora or Stereotypical Imitation? A Look at the Sub-Culture Behind Iona Rozeal Brown’s a3 Series”
  • Jenny Blount (UAB) “The Black Male Nude: A Study of John Singer Sargent’sThomas McKeller Nude“
  • Laura Page (UA) “A Discussion of Gender as Performance in the Selected Photographs of Catherine Opie”
  • Heather Levesque (UA) “A Moment in Time to Heal a Lifetime of Pain”
  • Jaime Cantrell (UA) “No Objection: Exploring Abjection in Artistic Representations”


Thirteenth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History

  • Keynote Speaker – Michael Yonan (University of Missouri-Columbia) “The Game of Looking: Interpreting Franz Xaver Messerschmidt”
  • Jason Anderson (UAB), “Analyzing the Chakrasamvara Mandala: The Relevance of Western Context of Eastern Art”
  • Mary Anna Brown (UA), “The Pietà in Modern and Contemporary Memorial Images”
  • Christina Dick (UAB), “Painting Shakespeare”
  • Emma Fox (UAB) “Journey of the Queen of Sheba and Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba: Two Painted Panels by the Workshop of Apollonio di Giovanni”
  • Amber Henson (UAB), “The Photographs of Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond and the Iconography of Mental Illness”
  • Andy Jones (UAB), “Orientalism and Exoticism in Gift Book Illustration


Twelfth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History (slideshow)

  • Keynote Speaker – Graham Boettcher (Birmingham Museum of Art) “The Wages of War: National Conflict and ‘Domestic Violence’ in Nineteenth-Century American Art”
  • Rachel Dobson (UA) “Piety and Status in an Annunciation Tableau in a Fifteenth-Century Woman’s Book of Hours”
  • Andrew Stuart Jones (UAB) “William Blake and the Discourse of Bookmaking”
  • Mary Anna Hudson (UA) “Chocolate: A Social History Presented by an Examination of a Seventeenth-Century Spanish Still Life Painting”
  • Lisa Brumfield (UAB) “Van Gogh’s Sunflower Series: Looking at the Overlooked”
  • Valerie Piette (The University of Alabama) “Alberto Giacometti”  click here to read abstract
  • Corey Dzenko (UA) “Anxiety, Action, and Ambiguity: Remediation within the Photographic Images of Kerry Skarbakka”
  • Amber Henson (UAB) “Justine Cooper’s Rapt I and the Universal Portrait”


Eleventh Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History

  • Keynote Speaker – Dr. Andrea Pearson (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania) “Gendered Subject, Gendered Spectator: Mary Magdalen in the Gaze of Margaret of York”
  • Krista Chandler (UAB) “The Undoing of Caravaggio’s Madonna of Loreto: An Iconographical and Socio-Historical Assessment”
  • Nancy Howell (UAB) “Obsession for Perfection: The Art of Albert Pinkham Ryder”
  • Harley Acres (UAB) “Comic Books, Cross-Dressing, and Appropriation: Japan’s Takarazuka Theater”
  • Kate Russell (UAB) “Everett Shinn’s Theater Images Analyzed Through the Gaze and the Social Historical Context”
  • Thomas M. Shelby (UA) “From Craftsman to Modernism: The Life and Works of Birmingham Architect D.O. Whilldin, 1881-1970″
  • Adrian Smythies (UAB) “The Architecture And Iconography of the India Cultural Center and Temple, Eads, Tennessee”
  • Corey Dzenko (UA) “Construction of the Decisive Moment”
  • Melissa Jones (UAB) “Minkisi, Magic, and Mojo: The Art of Renée Stout”
  • Stacey Taylor (UAB) “The Merits of Washing Machines: Pop Art and American Cold War Culture”


Tenth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History

  • Keynote Speaker – Janice Leoshko (University of Texas at Austin) “Enlightenment, Ruins and Devotion”
  • April Wilson (UA) “Promotional Propaganda in the Renaissance: Striking a Pose in Portrait Medals”
  • Megan Koza Mitchell (UA) “Igniting Communication: The Gun Powder Drawings of Cai Guo-Qiang”
  • Stacey Taylor (UAB) “Earthworks and their Photographs: Problematics of Recording Earth Art”
  • Adrian Smythies (UAB) ”Nicolas Poussin’s The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus“
  • Katie Sullivan (UAB) ”Legitimacy Through Magnificence: The Consumption Strategies of Borso d’Este”
  • Michele Forman (UAB) ”He Wrote Me: Chris Marker’s Use of Fictive Devices in the Documentary Film Sans Soleil“