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Alumni News: Gaudêncio Fidelis appointed chief curator of 10th Mercosul Biennial

28 Oct

Gaudêncio Fidelis. Photo by Raul Holtz.

The Board of Directors of the Mercosul Biennial Foundation of Visual Arts (FBAVM) announced the appointment of Dr. Gaudêncio Fidelis (PhD, 2008) as the chief curator for the 10th Mercosul Biennial exhibition to be held in 2015 in the city of Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil. This is the second largest biennial in Brazil after São Paulo. An art historian and curator, Mr. Fidelis will be responsible for overseeing the exhibition, working with and supervising a team of curators and professionals in charge of the curatorial artistic and educational platform of the project. The 10th edition of the Mercosul Biennial will be titled Messages from a New America. Click here to read more.

Next VizCult: Kim Sexton, University of Arkansas

8 Oct
“Street Life:  The Portico in Renaissance Italy”
Wednesday, October 15, 5:15 pm
FA 218

Libro di matematica di Giuliano de’ Medici, fol. 122v, ca. 1490. Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, ms. 2669.

Porticoes and loggias heralded the regeneration of cities in late medieval Italy. Historians usually view these open edifices as public amenities that signaled the vitality and prosperity of urban life in the Renaissance. A closer look at the nature of the activities porticoes housed – manual trades, banking, gaming, civic rituals – reveals that these pursuits were linked by ethical and moral quandaries that surfaced as Italy entered the early modern period. Sexton argues that porticoes, rather than passively sheltering such events, actively displayed emergent social, economic, and political lifestyles to the public. In so doing, porticoes became active tools of visual rhetoric in urban spaces, endowing new and unfamiliar practices with a patina of legitimacy. Sexton’s research situates post-classical porticoes deeply in cultural history, in the processes that informed their construction, and in the mentalities and collective attitudes of the citizens that used them.

Kim Sexton is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas.

Co-sponsors:  Alumni Association, German & Russian Studies, CEMERS, Romance Languages, History

Alumni Activities: Hala Auji and Shriya Sridharan

18 Sep

Congratulations to Hala Auji (PhD 2013), who was recently named Assistant Professor at the American University Beirut, and to Shriya Sridharan (PhD 2012), a new faculty member at the Center for Public History at the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, in Bangalore.

Alumni Art Show opens at University Art Museum next week

12 Sep

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Alumni Activities: Sharon Smith (PhD, 2009) at MIT

17 Apr

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Sharon Smith (PhD, 2009) presented a paper, “Gather Knowledge:  Evolving Systems of Documentation in Islamic Environmental Design”, this past weekend, April 11-12, 2014, at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT conference on “The Orangi Pilot Project and Legacy of Architect Perween Rehman.” For more information, visit

Sharon C. Smith is the Program Head at the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT and Co-Director of Archnet. Her areas of specialization include Middle Eastern art and architecture, and Early Modern Italian art and architecture. Sharon sits on several boards, including the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), and was recently named a Fellow of the Institute, Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM). In addition, Sharon serves as image editor for Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World. She has presented widely on issues of documentation, digitization, and the dissemination of knowledge, as well as on art historical topics primarily focused on visual and material culture in the Early Modern Mediterranean.

Alumni Activities: Sharon Smith (PhD, 2009) at Qatar University

19 Mar

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Alumni Activities: Jasmine Burns wins Gerd Muehsam Award

13 Mar
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Congratulations to Jasmine Burns (MA ’13), the winner of this year’s Gerd Muehsam Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America. Jasmine received the award for her paper “Digital Facsimiles and the Modern Viewer: Medieval Manuscripts and Archival Practice in the Age of New Media,” which was based on her MA thesis.


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