School of Art + Art History

Art History


Mariola Alvarez
Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art | Temple University

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). 

Pamela Merrill Brekka
Instructor II of Art History and Director of USF Paris Art and Art History | University of South Florida

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. 

Elizabeth Cerejido
Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) | University of Miami Libraries

Dr. Elizabeth Cerejido is the Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) at the University of Miami Libraries. Cerejido's curatorial and academic work has focused on modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx art, with a specialization in the visual arts production and cultural politics of Cuba and its diaspora. Cerejido received her PhD in Art History from the University of Florida in Gainesville and earned her Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies at University of Miami. She has previously served as curator for the Patricia and Phillip Art Museum at Florida International University, and later as Assistant Curator of Latin American and Latino Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. In 2014, Cerejido received a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grant for “Dialogues in Cuban Art,” which brought together Cuban and Cuban-American artists and curators through cultural exchanges and symposia in both Miami and Havana. Dr. Cerejido is currently working on a major exhibition and accompanying catalogue titled Radical Conventions: Cuban American Art from the 1980s, scheduled to open at the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum in March 2022.

Jong-Chul Choi
Associate Professor in the Department of International Liberal Arts | Miyazaki International College, Japan

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. 

Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba
Curator of African Art | Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)

Dr. Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba is the Curator of African Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). He was most recently the Francois Billion Richardson Curator of African Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art from 2018 to 2022. 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. 

Dr. Ezeluomba has contributed to numerous publications including Black Art QuarterlyAfrican Arts journal; HyperallergicRoutledge Encyclopedia of African StudiesAfrican Artists: From 1882 to Now (Phaidon) and Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. His essay Cultural Patrimony and Discussion of the 1897 Invasion of Benin Kingdom: Some Questions for Arts Management will appear in the forthcoming publication Art Management and Cultural Policy across the African Diaspora. He was also a co-author of The Arts of Africa: Studying and Conserving the Collection (2021). Other recent published works include Benin Art: Changes through Time and Space in The Literature and Arts of the Niger Delta (2021); and The Development of the Exhibition of African Art in American Museums: Strategy for Engaging the Recent Repatriation Debate About the Cultural Property of Benin in Museum Innovation: Building More Equitable, Relevant and Impactful Museums (2020).

Jordan Fenton
Associate Professor of African Art History | Miami University, Ohio

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. Dr. Fenton presents his work and convenes panels at professional conferences such as College Art Association, African Studies Association, the Triennial Symposium on African Art and Midwest Art History society. He actively publishes in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, and exhibition catalogues. His book, Masquerade and Money in Urban Nigeria: The Case of Calabar, was published by University of Rochester Press in 2022. His other recent publications include “Expressive Currencies: Artistic Transactions and Transformations of Warrior-Inspired Masquerades In Calabar,” in African Arts, vol. 52: 1 (2019). 

Carlee Forbes
Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Fowler Museum | University of California, Los Angeles

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.  

Elizabeth Hamilton
Assistant professor | Fort Valley State University

Elizabeth Hamilton, PhD is an art historian and assistant professor at Fort Valley State University whose research is focused on race, feminism, and Afrofuturism and the impact of visual culture on the lives of black women. Her recent publications insclude Charting the Afrofuturist Imaginary in African American Art: The Black Female Fantastic (Taylor & Francis, 2022). Elizabeth’s work has been published in African ArtsNka: The Journal of Contemporary African Art, and the International Review of African American Art. She completed her doctorate at the University of Florida’s School of Art and Art History in 2015. Before that, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wyoming.

Courtnay Micots
Associate Professor of Art History in the Visual Arts program | Florida A & M University

Courtnay Micots is Associate Professor of Art History in the Visual Arts program at Florida A & M University. She has worked in Ghana for over ten years as well as in the Republic of Benin, South Africa, England, and Brazil. Her research encompasses a variety of resistance art forms, including carnival, architecture and asafo flags. She is an NEH grant recipient, and her book Kakaamotobe: Fancy Dress Carnival in Ghana was published in June 2021.

Christopher Richards
Associate Professor of Art History | Brooklyn College, New York City

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 (—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). His recent publication includes Cosmopolitanism and Women's Fashion in Ghana: History, Artistry and Nationalist Inspirations (Routledge, 2021). He also 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: Dr. Richards has a variety of other publications and regularly participates in symposia and conferences. 

Ana D. Rodríguez
Digitization Coordinator & Registrar | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ana D. Rodríguez is the Digitization Coordinator & Registrar of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her MA in Art History at the University of Florida in 2016, writing her thesis on Lorenzo Homar’s linoleum print titled “El Obispo de Ponce,” from the Las Plenas portfolio, plus a certificate in Latin American studies. She also possesses a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the Florida State University, and a BA in Theory of Art from the Universidad de Puerto Rico – Colegio de Mayaguez. Ana has been working in museums and libraries for the past 22 years, specifically with special collections. Her academic interests include Latin American graphic printing, description of visual materials, and digital collections.

MacKenzie Moon Ryan
Associate Professor of Art History | Rollins College

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).  

Amy Schwartzott
Associate Professor of Art History and Curator of University Galleries | North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Dr. Amy Schwartzott is Associate Professor of Art History at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University where she is Curator of University Galleries. She earned her PhD in Art History from the University of Florida in 2014.  Schwartzott’s research interests include African art (contemporary and historical); artists who utilize recycled materials (African and global expressions); and art as a tool for peace and post-conflict resolution. Continuing research in Mozambique focused on artists who use recyclia as media in their artwork resulted in two awards from the U.S. Fulbright program, including the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship and the Fulbright IIE Fellowship, as well as a Centre for Conflict Studies Fellowship. Recent research includes more diverse inquiry into both visual and performative cultures of contemporary Mozambican arts.

Her recent publications include “Unraveling and Welding Together: War’s Transformative Influence on Contemporary Mozambican Art,” in The Art of Emergency: Aesthetics and Aid in African Crises (Oxford University Press, 2020); “Recycling Discarded Histories to Chronicle Identities: Making Art from Waste in Mozambique,” in Waste: Papers on Disposability, Decay, and Depletion (­­­­Open Library of Humanities Journal, UK, 2019); “Healing the Pain of War through Art – Mozambique’s Grassroots Approach to Post-Conflict Resolution: Transfomação de Armas em Enxadas/Transforming Weapons into Plowshares,” in Dialogues with Mozambique: Interdisciplinary Reflections, Readings and Approaches on Mozambican Studies (Brill, 2018)

Schwartzott has curated exhibitions nationally and internationally in Cape Town, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique and also serves on the editorial board of ‘African Performance Review,’ the African Theatre Association’s flagship publication. She holds dual positions for the Global Center for Religious Research where she is Head of Global Arts and Religion on the Board of Directors, as well as Treasurer within the Academic Society Officers. She has recently been appointed as a grant reviewer for the national Fulbright competitions and participates in the yearly Advanced Placement Art History Reading each summer.

Leslie E. Todd
Assistant Professor of Art History | Sewanee: The University of the South

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.

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