Students

 

Paul Margrave: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesPaul Margrave: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesMy research interests are in public and community participation in the arts, with a particular focus on disability arts and work with seniors. My work attempts to make the arts as accessible as possible, understanding access in its broadest sense and embedding it as a fundamental concern in the development of projects. I decided to study for the Public Humanities degree in order to understand more about the work I have been engaged in and to explore how it connects with the wider cultural field.  CONTACT ME.  I'm a Program Ambassador.
Abigail Ettelman: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesAbigail Ettelman: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesPublic Humans tend to have wide ranging interests in the world; my work is no different. I am primarily interested in increasing museum access to and for varying populations, but I am also interested in positive, non-exploitative ways that traumatic and community memory can be expressed in the museum context. I believe that museums can be places of healing as well as community engagement and am committed to creating spaces for this work in the world. 
Jamie Topper: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesJamie Topper: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI love rhythm, culture and craftsmanship.  I have been working in the fields of arts education and ecological design since my undergraduate work in Anthropology and Sculpture (Beloit College, ’96).  I came to Brown to explore opportunities in museum exhibit design and fabrication, audio exhibition, ecological design, or applied ethnomusicology.
Kim Arcand: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesKim Arcand: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI study the perception and comprehension of science images across the novice-expert spectrum. I’m also active in the creation, distribution, and evaluation of large-scale science exhibitions in public spaces such as parks, libraries, malls, metros and prisons.  Most recently, I have co-authored a non-fiction book “Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos”  for Smithsonian Books that is aimed at attracting more novice science readers, particularly women.
Lily Benedict: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesLily Benedict: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesMy interests lie in merging the sciences and humanities in public outreach. Since completing a BA in Anthropology at Cornell University, I have worked at the Museum of Natural History in Providence, creating educational programming and exhibits in the natural sciences. I also serve on the board of the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art, developing and conducting education outreaches that merge art and science. I am especially fond of anything stuffed, pinned, or preserved in a jar. 
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. 
Nathan Storring: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesNathan Storring: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesWhether through exhibitions, writing, digital media or events, in my work I always hope to provoke conversation about contemporary issues in city-building and city-living. I am also interested in investigating how cultural institutions can build more meaningful relationships with the cities around them. Before attending Brown, I graduated with a BFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practices from OCAD University (previously the Ontario College of Art & Design), and since then I have served as the curator of Urbanspace Gallery in Toronto, Ontario.
Lauren Abman: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesLauren Abman: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI love thinking of museums as interactive learning installations. After three years of working with community and family programs at the Denver Art Museum, I joined the Public Humanities program to gain multiple perspectives on object storytelling and connecting communities through art. 
May Wijaya: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesMay Wijaya: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI came to the program from Australia where I had completed my undergraduate degree in communications and international studies. My professional background is in major events and tourism where I worked for over three years.  My interests are in strategy development in cultural policy, creative placemaking and cultural tourism. I look forward to consulting in these areas upon graduation. I was drawn to the program's flexible course structure which allowed me to pursue a range of interests while gaining a sound theoretical base and valuable professional development skills.
Nathaniel Weisenberg: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesNathaniel Weisenberg: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesIf my life has had an "aha!" moment so far, it would be during my freshman year of high school, when I visited the New England Holocaust Memorial, six abstract glass towers that grip you like iron. Since then, from reading about the Holocaust and Jewish history to studying abroad in a Spain still dealing with the legacies of its distant and not so distant past to working for a human rights education organization, I have been fascinated by history, memory, human rights, and place. I applied to the public humanities program because I wanted to learn and to practice: to understand concepts like sites of conscience and the complications of this kind of work while getting involved in oral histories, exhibits, and other public projects going on right here in Providence.
Thomas Chen: PhD in American Studies CandidateThomas Chen: PhD in American Studies CandidateAs a PhD Candidate and Public Humanities alumnus: I am interested in Asian American history and cultural studies, urban planning and politics, and geographies of racism and capitalism in the transnational United States. My dissertation examines the history of race and redevelopment in Boston's Chinatown from the 1950s to the 1990s. As a public humanist, I am committed to teaching, research, and writing that is relevant and responsive to diverse publics in direct and meaningful ways.
Theresa Polixa: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesTheresa Polixa: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesMy interest in Public Humanities is informed by my work as an interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service at Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, MA. I am curious about linguistic accessibility to NPS sites: how my experience with historic interpretation can mesh with linguistic interpretation, how the notion of "literacy" can be expanded to comprise various forms of communication (ie: visual literacy, geographic literacy, as well as language literacy, etc.) I am especially interested in learning methods to use when working with ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) audiences, as well as with younger audiences.
Alison Roberts: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesAlison Roberts: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI am interested in how visual art can be used as a tool for soft power and cultural diplomacy. Prior to Brown I received a MFA with honors in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and a BA with honors and distinction in American Studies from Kenyon.  I currently work for the US Department of State's Office of Art in Embassies and am a 2013 Fellow with NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program.
Raina Fox: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesRaina Fox: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI am fascinated by the ways we negotiate our identities in relation to individual, social, and cultural memories, especially contested narratives. Cultural institutions are uniquely situated to connect communities with these complicated histories, and I am interested in the ways that they can intentionally use humanities tools to remember, share, reflect, and inspire action around the social justice and other issues such memories elicit.  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.
Rachel Shipps: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesRachel Shipps: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesI'm interested in people and their experiences with arts and museums. Things I like include museum education, public programs, archives and art practices that enhance and change the experiences of individuals and communities. Before coming to Brown, I worked with young people in therapeutic and educational settings and have also volunteered, interned and worked in exhibition research, visitor services, education and public programming. 
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.
Victoria Charette: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesVictoria Charette: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesMy background is primarily in art history, however, after working as a gallery guide at the Yale University Art Gallery during my time as an undergraduate there, I knew I wanted to work with the public as well. Museum education fuses both my love of research and desire to engage the public through thoughtful and creative programming. As a master's student in the Public Humanities program here at Brown, I hope to continue my education in these and similar pursuits, all while gaining practical experience in a variety of cultural institutions.

Clarissa Ceglio: PhD candidate in American Studies, Public Humanities alumnaClarissa Ceglio: PhD candidate in American Studies, Public Humanities alumnaMy day-to-day work with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is collaborative and involves new digital public humanities projects, such as connecticuthistory.org, a state encyclopedia re-imagined for the 21st century. I am also completing my dissertation which examines the cultural and ideological work of US museums at home and abroad during World War II. 

Keila Davis: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesKeila Davis: MA candidate in Public HumanitiesCultural institutions enable audiences of all racial, gender, age, and educational backgrounds to connect to a time period, culture, or occurrence. They can be a useful method for spreading knowledge, defying stereotypes, and building communities. I received my B.A. in history from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA and my primary research interests include race, social movements, and history as it relates to museums, cultural institutions, contemporary human rights issues and policies. More broadly, I am interested in culture, heritage, communities, and issues of race and gender inequalities. My pervasive love of history, intellectual curiosity, and a desire to share that with others led me to study Public Humanities. CONTACT ME.  I'm a Program Ambassador.
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.
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.
Laura Mitchell: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesLaura Mitchell: MA Candidate in Public HumanitiesI am interested in the intersection of story and place and in the development of creative ecosystems. Through interdisciplinary coursework at UCLA and work with museums and cultural agencies, I have been able to explore community culture and the diverse relationships that underlie cultural networks. At Brown, I hope to immerse myself in various facets of public humanities, including cultural policy and planning, museum identity, and educational programming, in order to help foster cultural engagement and civic participation.  CONTACT ME.  I'm a Program Ambassador.
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.
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.

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. 
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.
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.
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.

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