Students

Alyssa Anderson: PhD Candidate in American StudiesAlyssa Anderson: PhD Candidate in American StudiesMy research focuses at the nexus of memory and material culture, bringing together the past and the present through objects and stories that link the two. Through the Public Humanities program I am able to be both creator and consumer of projects that work to engage communities with various histories.  
Ashley Bowen Murphy: PhD Candidate in American StudiesAshley Bowen Murphy: PhD Candidate in American StudiesMy master's thesis on Civil War reenactors introduced me to the complicated and fascinating issues around war commemoration. My research focuses on 19th century commemorative practices, Civil War veterans, and the politics of commemoration. Prior to entering Brown, I worked on health equity and social justice research for a national public health organization. I have a BA in art history from Reed College and an MA in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University. 
Elizabeth Crawford: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesElizabeth Crawford: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI intend to study how cultural institutions can promote social and political change and establish national identity in memorializing individual accounts of events of the past. I hope to explore established memorial institutions but I am also interested in the immediate, spontaneous and often ephemeral monuments that develop after a tragedy. More broadly, my work in community arts organizations has led me to seek out innovative and comprehensive exhibition design strategies.

Kate Diedrick: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesKate Diedrick: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesAs a graduate student in the public humanities, I hope to explore how art, history and literature might be used as tools for social resistance. I believe that artists, writers and scholars can open alternative, cooperative spaces in workplaces, neighborhoods and the public domain that challenge inequitable systems and build the individual and collective capacities of disenfranchised community members. Before coming to Brown, I worked in union organizing, public education and spent two and a half years in Greece, where I coordinated a study abroad program, taught ESL and played professional soccer. 
Sarah Dylla: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesSarah Dylla: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesMy interests lie in presenting meaningful stories of history and cultural heritage to the public. Prior to entering Brown University, I worked at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, Virgin Islands National Park, St. Thomas Historical Trust, and Savannah Music Festival, creating digital and traditional site interpretation aids, researching histories and landscapes, and writing cultural programming grants, respectively. Through these experiences, I gained an appreciation for how historic sites and cultural organizations cultivate connected and informed communities, creating shared experiences with heritage and safeguarding distinctive aspects of both natural and cultural environments. In the Public Humanities program, I intend to explore new ways to tell the stories of sites and objects of historical and cultural interest, integrating subject matter ranging from environmental studies to the humanities and utilizing digital technologies to make interpretations more powerful and relevant for today’s audiences.
Barbara Elmúdesi: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesBarbara Elmúdesi: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI come from a southern island of Chile and I’m interested in promoting the value of the local cultures and cultural hertiage, decentralizing both [from Santiago]. Also, I’m concerned with the creation of spaces where children can establish a relationship with these topics. I have been working on youth engagement and other cultural heritage research at the Chile’s National Library, where I was in charge of a program called “Chile para Niños” (Chile for Children).

Maiyah Gamble-Rivers: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesMaiyah Gamble-Rivers: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesComing to the Public Humanities program with a degree in Art History, I have found the perfect platform that will allow my passion for the arts and interest in Black culture/identity to merge as one. Through the Fellowship for the Study of the Public History of Slavery I hope to delve into the realm of self-discovery using the arts to explore issues of Black identity, community, and storytelling. History continues to provide a singular perspective on what it means to be Black in America, and that is to be direct descendants of slaves. As a woman of color I believe it is critical that people of color have a more comprehensive understanding of our history. I find the arts to be the most beautiful forms of resistance. Through the arts people of color continue to write themselves back into history.  CONTACT ME! I'm a Program Ambassador.

Diane Garvey: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesDiane Garvey: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesMy passion for arts and cultural organizations has brought me to the public humanities graduate program at Brown. I am particularly interested in studying the intersections between art, culture, and business and am excited to use the Humanities as a lens through which to explore this space. By merging fields of study I believe we can get a broader, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of how to lead or create successful and responsible organizations and businesses.
Elena Gonzales: PhD Candidate in American StudiesElena Gonzales: PhD Candidate in American StudiesElena Gonzales is a fifth year doctoral candidate in American Studies at Brown University, where she received her Masters in public humanities in 2010. Her research and projects focus on curatorial work for social justice. Her dissertation charts this type of work across diverse museums and argues that exhibitions work for social justice most effectively when engaging both intellectual and embodied emotional responses. Since coming to Brown, Elena has been the co-curator of two exhibitions, has worked at the National Museum of American History and the Anacostia Community Museum at the Smithsonian, and has taught a curatorial studies class for undergraduates. In 2012 Elena became a Ford Dissertation Fellow. She is also a Visiting Scholar in American Studies at Northwestern University.
Amelia Grabowski: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesAmelia Grabowski: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesDisplays of public humanities hold overwhelming emotional power, power that unites strangers through shared memory. I am interested in exploring this power as it relates to addressing community cleavages, whether addressing extremely local issues or national narratives such as the focal point of my research—the modern Civil Rights Movement. In my work with public humanities, I will continue to contribute to dialogue in these divided communities.
Molly Kerker: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesMolly Kerker: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI come to Public Humanities with a deep interest in how individual and collective expression can intersect with social justice work. While I am broadly interested in stories (in all their forms), I am particularly interested in contesting narratives, oral history, and community education. Ultimately, I am excited to gain skills that will allow me to work at a historical or cultural organization in a creative capacity.
Sophia Lacava-Bohanan: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesSophia Lacava-Bohanan: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI am fascinated with how public institutions contribute to the development of visual literacy, and how visual art is used as a form of communication. My work with non-profits has focused on creating and implementing photography-based programming designed to connect individuals from varied cultures, economic circumstances and social backgrounds. I joined the Public Humanities program to further study the intersection of arts education, nonprofit management and arts administration.
Nicole Larrondo: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesNicole Larrondo: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesFor the past 4 years I've been working on several cultural heritage projects in remote sectors of my country, Chile. Developing heritage scholarship in these rural communities has helped strengthen their importance and value as keepers of cultures and traditions long gone, thereby structuring a strong case to the government and the private sector to protect, preserve, provide access, and develop further these sites. In the Public Humanities program I'm searching for tools to help rural communities reconstruct their past through oral history and visual interpretation (interviews, photographs, and drawings amongst others) which will help to preserve their (and our) local community identity for future generations.
Liz Malone: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesLiz Malone: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesWhile earning my B.S. in Urban Studies from Worcester State University, I have always been fascinated in studying people and their connection to community and how their education molds that unique relationship. We learn through peoples’ individual and collective stories and connecting those stories to policy and practice within cultural and educational institutions. In my three short years working at Brown University, I have learned that this institution thrives on building and maintaining community. My interests involve learning how cultural and educational institutions, such as Brown, connect and relay information in effective methods to their community and beyond.

Laura Mitchell: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesLaura Mitchell: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI am interested in the development of creative networks and the ways in which educational and cultural institutions intersect with other facets of public life. Through interdisciplinary coursework and work with museums, cultural agencies, and universities, I have begun to explore these intersections, with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary and digital projects and their implications for engagement with diverse publics. At Brown, I aim to immerse myself in various facets of public humanities, from cultural planning to digital humanities, in order to think through how scholarship and culture operate in networked public contexts and to help foster new modes of cultural participation and learning.  CONTACT ME.  I'm a Program Ambassador.
Robin Ness: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesRobin Ness: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI am interested in linking the past and present through art, and in the conjunction of contemporary artistic practice with cultural heritage sites. Working with artists, art, and historic sites in the urban harbor areas of Providence and Gothenburg to revitalize the past through creative practice, will be central to my activities within the program. The MA in Public Humanities degree will accent my BFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design, inform my work in Digital Production Services at Brown, and will expand my professional and artistic opportunities in creating, interpreting, preserving, and transmitting the cultural heritage record.
Crystal Ngo: PhD candidate in American StudiesCrystal Ngo: PhD candidate in American StudiesMy intellectual interests constellate around the US-Vietnam War: its epistemology, its effects on ideas of identity and community, and its perpetuation in contemporary culture and society. More broadly, I study the materiality and visuality of migration experiences as well as exhibitionary theories and practices. Before coming to Brown, I worked in community organizing, nonprofit development, and association management, and public humanities has helped me relate my research to my past work and to the many frameworks in and beyond academe.
Jessica Palinski: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesJessica Palinski: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesWhile earning my BFA at Savannah College of Art and Design,  my art focused on the photographic juxtaposition of the past and the present. Working in the photo archives, exhibitions, and education departments at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum deepened my understanding of the impact of history on art and strengthened my desire to create art exhibitions with a unique purpose. At Brown, I am primarily interested in exploring and developing exhibitions that focus on the way museums, galleries, and other public art spaces serve as places of inspiration for artists: how the art of the past informs our present.  CONTACT ME.  I'm a Program Ambassador.

Eduardo Robles: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesEduardo Robles: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI’m interested in the counter-hegemonic potential of culture and cultural production, its ability to unite and educate interethnic communities to challenge systematic inequalities that emerge with globalization.  I earned a BA in History from UC Santa Cruz in 2007, then during The Great Recession I was literati and diffuse, living in complex urban centers like Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Paris.  Now, if aesthetics is contemplation and ethics action, I’m joining Brown’s Public Humanities program intent on obtaining a practicum at a cultural organization engaged in creative egalitarianism.  I wish to acquire professional skills in project management and learn effective cultural policy (applicability rather than rhetorical) while researching the entanglements of race discourse in public history and material culture studies.     

Jess Schlosser Smith: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesJess Schlosser Smith: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI’m thrilled to have the opportunity to step back and look at cultural programming and public engagement from a broader perspective. My interests include community collaborations, socially engaged artwork, leadership and strategy, residency programs, and creative economic development.
Reya Sehgal: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesReya Sehgal: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI am deeply interested in performances of diversity and multiculturalism in the public sphere, from neighborhood branding initiatives to museum exhibitions to the increasingly documented and mediated performances of self in everyday life. Having worked in "the art world" for several years, I feel that there is a pressing need to restructure our institutions to represent, serve, and engage diverse publics in responsive and responsible ways. Accordingly, I hope to study institutions and their environments—built, social, auditory, historical—to better understand the confluences between place-making and identity-making and the opportunities for radical change. As an artist, I seek to learn more about the curation and creation of public performance, the transformative possibilities of para-/institutional collaboration, and the challenges to identitarian and disciplinary hierarchies in the contemporary art world. CONTACT ME! I'm a Program Ambassador.
Sage Snider: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesSage Snider: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI often feel that I’m only truly myself when I’m engaging in my “leisure” activities—activities I do by choice and for my own enjoyment—and I have likewise found that one of the best ways to study other people is to examine what they do for entertainment. At Brown, I’m interested in studying the history of how modern American entertainment (particularly in the arts) reflects and influences broader cultural phenomena, and also learning how to shape historically-informative, leisure experiences in contemporary, American life (particularly in museum contexts). Before Brown, I did work on ancient Greek music and culture for the Yale University Art Gallery, taught at the Great Books Summer Program at Stanford, apprenticed at The Bread and Puppet Theater, ran and created public programs (e.g., on Civil War music) at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and performed as a musician at a Vermont ski resort.
Rebecca Soules: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesRebecca Soules: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesWith my experience working at small museums and historic sites, I am primarily interested in the challenges faced by small museums in the twenty-first century, particularly with regards to educating and inspiring young visitors.  My personal interests in historic handicrafts and costumed interpretation also encourage me to explore the ways in which museums can be more tactile, inviting, and stimulating in the digital age.  My concentration in American Civilization at Brown as an undergraduate also developed my interest in using oral history, historical ephemera, and other overlooked primary sources to broaden the historical record.
Caroline Nye Stevens: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesCaroline Nye Stevens: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesAs a program manager, architectural guide, and independent blogger, I have spent the past several years exploring ways of bringing Chicago’s diverse architectural landscape and vibrant history to life for others by opening doors to its buildings and telling the stories of its neighborhoods. I aspire to expand my knowledge of architectural history to a national and international scale, and engage with the latest practices that would allow me to best share my enthusiasm for the built environment in the public realm. 

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