Dr. Mariola Alvarez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. She received her MA in art history from the University of Florida, and her PhD in the same from the University of California, San Diego. She was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Humanities Research Center at Rice University. Her research focuses on Latin American art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a specialization in the history of abstraction in Brazil. Her current research examines Neoconcretism, a Brazilian movement led by artists and poets from the 1950s and 1960s. Alvarez is co-editor and contributing author of the book New Geographies of Abstract Art in Postwar Latin America (Routledge, 2019).
Alvarez’s other recent publications include “Galatea/bulbo Collective: Project Description,” and “Interview with Mauricio Brandão of BijaRi” in Collective Situations: Readings in Contemporary Latin American Art 1995–2010 (Duke, 2017), and “Minor Transnational Brazilian Art: Lyrical Abstraction and the Case of Manabu Mabe,” (Third Text, vol. 30, Issue 1-2, 2016).
Dr. Pamela Merrill Brekka is Instructor II of Art History at the University of South Florida and Director of USF Paris Art and Art History. She also teaches classes for UF’s School of Art and Art History and the UF MA in Art Education program. Brekka received her PhD in art history from the University of Florida in 2012. She specializes in Northern Renaissance and Baroque art. Her research concerns the Reformation era Antwerp print market as context for politicized illustrated bibles. She was the recipient of a Newberry Library Fellowship in the History of Cartography and was awarded a University of London, School of Advanced Study scholarship in the History of Maps and Mapping at the London Rare Books School.
Brekka’s recent publications include: “Tabernaculi interiori,” in Voir double. Pièges et révélations du visible (Hazan, 2016); “The ‘Living’ Tabernacle in the Antwerp Polyglot Bible,” in The Anthropomorphic Lens: Anthropomorphism, Microcosmism and Analogy in Early Modern Thought and Visual Arts (Brill, 2014); and “The Antwerp Polyglot Bible's 'New World Indian-Jew' Map as a Reflection of Empire,” in Imago Mundi: International Journal for the History of Cartography, vol. 63 (June 2011). She has presented her research most recently at the College Art Association Annual Conference (2018) and SECAC (2019). Brekka was a University Women's Club Scholar (UF), and in 2012 was the UF School of Art and Art History’s Graduate Student of the Year.
Dr. Jong-Chul Choi is Associate Professor in the Department of International Liberal Arts at the Miyazaki International College, Japan. Choi received his PhD in Art History at the University of Florida in 2012. His recent research deals with contemporary media art and its aesthetic, political, and technological issues. Since settling in Asia in 2013, he has contributed articles to leading art journals and wrote many catalogue essays for public museums. Choi teaches courses such as Japanese Thoughts and Arts, Topics in International Arts, and the Development of Modern Art and Architecture.
Choi is currently preparing two book manuscripts: Photography’s New Turn in the Post-Photographic Era, and After the Return of the Real: Arts in the Age of Disaster. His recent publications include “Reinventing the Archive in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Walid Raad’s The Atlas Group,” (Digital Creativity, vol. 30, March 2018), “Photo-graphy, ‘the Shadow in the Cave,’ its Pain and Love: The Ethics of Photography, (Photographies, Vol. 11-1, February 2018), “Park Chan-kyong’s Asian Gothic as ‘The Most Sublime Hysteria’ in Its Return,” (Third Text, vol. 30, Issue 5-6, 2017), and “Entre art et politique / Between Art and Politics,” (Artpress, November 2016). Choi has presented his work internationally at conferences for renowned associations and institutions, including the Korean Society of Art History, the Western Art History Association, Harvard University, Cornell University, and Beijing and Seoul National Universities. He has also guest lectured at the Korean Academy of Philosophy, the Harn Museum of Art, and other museums in Asia.
Dr. Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba is the Francois Billion Richardson Curator of African Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He holds a PhD in art history from the University of Florida, where he was awarded the Graduate School Dissertation Award. While at UF he served as a research assistant at the Harn Museum of Art for the Kongo across the Waters exhibition. Later Dr. Ezeluomba was the Andrew Mellon research specialist in African Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on a project that studied the African collection at the museum.
Dr. Jordan Fenton (pictured at right) is Assistant Professor of African Art History at Miami University (Ohio). He earned his PhD in art history at the University of Florida in 2012. He specializes in African art, with an emphasis on the visual and performed expression of Nigerian masquerade arts, secret societies, esoteric knowledge systems, funerary rituals and installations, dress, and economics. He also studies the ways in which so-called “traditional” arts and artists operate in metropolitan cities. At Miami, Fenton teaches Introduction to Non-Western Art and courses and seminars exploring Africa and its Diaspora.
Fenton's nineteen months of fieldwork investigation into the art and culture of Calabar, capital city of Cross River State, Nigeria, was carried out between 2008 and 2018. Research was conducted as a Fulbright-Hays scholar (2009–2010), Foreign Language Area Studies fellow (2008 and 2009), and at the Smithsonian Institution in residence at the National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. (2011), and more recently through various programs available at Miami. During his time in Calabar, Fenton was invited to be initiated into the six secret masquerade societies he studied, adopted as a son by a local king, conferred with the rank of chief, and honored with lengthy apprenticeships into nsibidi, an imaged and performed esoteric knowledge system of the Cross River region. His publications include “Expressive Currencies: Artistic Transactions and Transformations of Warrior-Inspired Masquerades In Calabar,” in African Arts, vol. 52: 1 (2019).
Carlee Forbes is a Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 with her MA in art history, specializing in African art. After completing her MA, Carlee moved to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to pursue her PhD in art history. While at UF, she worked as a curatorial/editorial assistant at the Harn for the Kongo across the Waters exhibition. She also worked for the Gator Marching Band as the colorguard instructor from 2011–2013.
Dr. MacKenzie Moon Ryan is Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art & Art History at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on global networks of trade, African textiles and fashion (especially kanga cloth), and the consumption of commodities. She recently published “Converging Trades and New Technologies: The Emergence of Kanga Textiles on the Swahili Coast in the Late Nineteenth Century,” in Textile Traders, Consumer Cultures, and the Material Worlds of the Indian Ocean (Palgrave, 2018). Ryan teaches African art, global art, the history of fashion, and museum studies.
Ryan’s other publications include “The Art of the Trade: Merchant and Production Networks of Kanga Cloth in the Colonial Era,” in World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean (Krannert Art Museum, 2018), and “A Decade of Design: The Global Invention of the Kanga, 1876-1886,” (Textile History, vol.48, no.1, 2017). She curated the exhibition “African Apparel: Threaded Transformations across the 20th Century” for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, which is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue (2020). She serves as an editor of the scholarly journal, African Arts (distributed by MIT press).
Christopher Richards is Assistant Professor of Art History at Brooklyn College in New York City. He received his PhD in art history from the University of Florida in 2014. Dr. Richards’s main fields of interest are African dress, fashion, and bodily ornamentation, with a focus on the countries of Ghana and South Africa. He was awarded a Mellon Post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for the Creative Arts of Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Richards was featured in the film Wax Print—produced and directed by British-Nigerian filmmaker Aiwan Obinyan (https://waxprintfilm.com)—and his research was presented in the nationally-recognized MOMA exhibition Is Fashion Modern? (2017–2018).
Richards co-curated Beadwork, Art and the Body with Anitra Nettleton at the Wits Art Museum and guest curated Kabas and Couture: Contemporary Ghanaian Fashion at the Harn Museum of Art (both in 2015). He wrote a chapter on Ghana's female flight attendants for the edited volume Fashion, Agency, and Empowerment: Performing Agency, Following Script (Bloomsbury, 2019) and a chapter on the South African fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo in Beadwork, Art and the Body (Taylor & Francis, 2015). His article on the history of Ghanaian fashion and the country's first fashion designer is one of the most downloaded articles on the African Arts website: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/AFAR_a_00296?class=ref+nowrap+abs. Dr. Richards has a variety of other publications and regularly participates in symposia and conferences.
Dr. Leslie E. Todd is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Sewanee: The University of the South where she teaches courses on art of the early modern period with a global perspective. She received her MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Florida, and her BA from Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on wooden polychrome sculpture dating to the eighteenth century from Quito, Ecuador, a major center for sculpture making in colonial Spanish America. Her research has been supported by a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, a Foreign Language and Area Studies award, and a four-year Graduate School Fellowship at the University of Florida, among others.