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UCSB HAA Winter 2014 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

We concluded the academic year by celebrating the Class of 2014 at the department’s Awards Ceremony and Graduation Reception on Fri, June 13. This was a bright and cheerful moment amid the somber concluding weeks of the quarter that saw the tragic death of six UCSB students. One of them, Katherine (Katie) Cooper, was a History of Art and Architecture major, only two courses away from graduation. Many of our departmental faculty and graduate students knew three other students: Christopher Martinez had taken courses in the department recently, and David Wang and James Hong were taking classes in the department during Spring quarter.  Students, staff and faculty held a departmental memorial meeting on Tue, May 27, to mourn the loss of these promising students and cherish their memories. Later that day we joined the larger gathering of the campus community at the memorial meeting at Harder Stadium.  

Chancellor Henry T. Yang has announced scholarship funds in the names of these six students and the university has conferred upon them posthumous bachelor’s degrees.

These students were very much on our minds as we gathered to celebrate the gift of education, the value of art and architectural history, and the success of our students at the Awards Ceremony and Graduation Reception. Sixty-four majors and 33 minors in History of Art and Architecture graduated this year, and 9 students participated in the department’s honor’s program. The undergraduate honor’s thesis projects on display at the Awards Ceremony demonstrated the wonderful range and high quality of research conducted by our students: from Italian Renaissance and nineteenth-century German art, to critical questions in contemporary art and urbanism. In addition, three graduate students filed their PhD dissertations this year: Mahlon Chute, Samantha Lauren, and Mira Rai Waits. Congratulations to all of them!

On Fri, May 30, we celebrated Prof. Fikret Yegül’s 38 years of service at UCSB with aplomb. After completing his PhD from Harvard University in 1975, Prof. Yegül spent a year teaching at Wellesley College, joining UCSB in 1976. Six groundbreaking books, numerous articles, recognition from major funding agencies and disciplinary organizations, including grants from the American Philosophical Society, CASVA, ACLS, Graham Foundation, NEH, College Art Association, American Academy in Rome, and the Society of Architectural Historian’s Alice B. Hitchcock Prize for his 1992 book, Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity, as well as countless lectures and three generations of students later, he retires July 1 of this year. His wife and colleague, Prof. Diane Favro, his friends, students, colleagues, Dean David Marshall, and Chancellor Yang were there to bid him a happy retirement, or as Fikret called it: “permanent sabbatical!” I wish to thank Fikret for his generosity as a colleague and his contribution to the department, campus, and the discipline.

I hope you will have a fun and productive summer. Looking ahead to Fall quarter, we are planning a Beginning-of-the-year Reception on Fri, October 10 at 3pm. Please save the date, and I look forward to seeing you there.   

With best wishes,

Swati Chattopadhyay
Professor and Chair
Editor, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and JSAH Online

The Department of History of Art and Architecture is pleased to announce a new Undergraduate Emphasis in Museum Studies, beginning Fall quarter 2014. Students who participate in the emphasis will be able to choose from among a variety of lecture courses, seminars, and internships designed to provide intensive “hands on” experience. The range of materials and the global scope of our courses will make our emphasis unique and innovative among Museum Studies programs. Because Museum Studies is an inherently interdisciplinary field, we will also encourage students who are participating in the emphasis to take appropriate courses in other departments. Our new emphasis will prepare students who apply to graduate programs in Art History, Architectural Conservation, Museum Studies, Art Business, Art Law, and Arts Management with the intention of having careers in museums, art galleries, historic preservation, public history, and auction houses. Click here for the flyer.

Museum Studies flyer

Prof. Sylvester Ogbechie has been awarded the Teshome H. Gabriel Distinguished Africanist Award for 2014 from the African and African-American Studies Research Center at UC San Diego. He was also their Distinguished Lecturer for 2014.

Prof. Jenni Sorkin has been awarded the Regent's Junior Faculty Fellowship for 2014-15 by UCSB.

Several graduate students received fellowships for 2014-15 to conduct dissertation research: Laura Dizerega was granted the UC Dean’s Fellowship. Marta Faust and Brianna Bricker received the Albert and Elain Borchard Fellowship in European Studies. Ana Mitrovici was awarded the Society of Architectural Historians’ Scott Opler Endowment for New Scholars for the Croatia Study Tour this year, and the UC Humanities Research Institute’s Andrew Vincent White and Florence Wales White Scholarship for 2014-2015.

Fikret Yegul with students past and present

Prof. Fikret Yegül retired from the department July 1, 2014. He is pictured at left at his retirement reception on Fri, May 27, with former graduate student John Senseney (Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Urbana-Champaign), and current graduate students Brianna Bricker and Ana Mitrovici.

Below left: Prof. Yegül "showing off" his distinctive red socks, joined here by colleagues Prof. Mark Meadow, Prof. Swati Chattopadhyay, and Prof. John Senseney.

Below right: a Santa Barbara News Press news story celebrating his 1992 Alice B. Hitchcock Award and culinary talents.

Fikret and colleagues in red socks
Newspaper article on Fikret's cooking

The Art History Graduate Student Association held their third Annual Alumni Panel on Fri, April 4, featuring participation by four of our esteemed alumni: George Flaherty, Assistant Professor of Art History at University of Texas, Austin, Mitzi Kirkland-Ives, Associate Professor of Art History at Missouri State University, Emily Peters, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and ShiPu Wang, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Merced. This year marked the first time we brought together alumni both in person and from across the country with Skype video chat.

In the two-hour panel discussion with seventeen graduate students, our alumni shared their experiences of transitioning from the graduate student level to finding a job as a full-time assistant professor or an assistant curator.

We thank the alumni for sharing their time and experience with our current students, and to the Graduate Division for co-sponsoring the event.

AHGSA alumni panel

David Marshall, Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts addressed the students at the departmental Awards Ceremony and Graduation Reception on Fri, June 13. Prof. Ann Jensen Adams presented the undergraduate awards and Prof. Nuha Khoury the graduate awards, while Prof. Swati Chattopadhyay presented the Chairperson’s awards.  On behalf of the Art, Design and Architecture Museum, Acting Director Prof. Bruce Robertson announced the Museum Internship awards. The two speakers were Prof. Denise Amy Baxter and Prof. Aleca Le Blanc. (See more Award Ceremony photos here)

    Graduate Awards:
  • Margaret Mallory Award for Best PhD Dissertation: Mira Rai Waits (pictured top left with Prof. Khoury)
    Honorable Mention: Mahlon Chute & Samantha Lauren
  • Graduate Committee Award: Erin Travers & Diva Zumaya
  • Chairperson’s Award: Laura Dizerega
    Undergraduate Awards:
  • Chairperson’s Award: Catherine Estrada
    Honorable Mention: Lydia Kaestner (pictured bottom left)
  • Writing and Research Promise Award: Marie Biaggi, Megan Murray, & Jacob McConnell
  • Recognition for Participating in the Honor’s Program: Aubrey Closson, Lydia Kaestner, Sloane Kochman, Tori Miles, Matthew Newman, Gian Saratz, & Merisa Vertti
  • Howard C. Fenton Award for Best Honors Theses: Catherine Estrada & Andrew Seber (pictured lower right)
  • Academic Excellence Award: Tori Miles
  • Image Resource Center Award: Shawn Moore & Mariel Lacson (pictured upper right)
  • Art Design & Architecture Museum Service Award: Mariel Lacson & Merisa Vertti

The 39th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium organized by the graduate students (symposium co-chairs: Laura Dizerega and Alisa Alexander) on Sat, April 26, entitled Documents of Culture/Documents of Barbarism, was a huge success. The symposium included graduate student speakers from UCSB along with six other universities in the US and Canada, and featured talks that spanned art, architectural and visual culture from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Prof. Susan Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, delivered a brilliant keynote lecture, critically examining the received histories of Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.
The History of Art and Architecture Lecture Series, Owning Otherness, concluded with the May 8 lecture "Away from chinoiserie and japonisme: New Approaches to European Collections of Asian Art in the Nineteenth Century," by Dr. Ting Chang, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham, and the May 22 roundtable with Dr. Steven Engelsman, Dr. Anthony Shelton and Dr. Ira Jacknis.


An exhibition titled, “Bollywood 101: the Visual Culture of Bollywood Film Posters,” curated by department alumna Shalini Kakar (PhD 2010), debuts on September 12, 2014 at the Art Design and Architecture Museum on campus.

Bollywood 101 poster

Ann Jensen Adam’s book, Public Faces and Private Identities, originally published in hardback by Cambridge University Press in 2009, is now in its second hardback printing, and is now being released in paperback on May 31 of this year.

Ann Jensen Adams book cover

Fikret Yegul’s article, “A Victor’s Message: the Talking Column of the Temple of Artemis at Sardis,” has been published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH) and JSAH Online.

JSAH June 2014 cover
  • Prof. Ann Jensen Adams delivered a paper entitled "From Congruence to Competition: Art and Science in the Early Modern Period" for the conference "Interrogating Methodologies: Exploring Boundaries in Art & Science," at UCSB, April 18-19. She also moderated a session for the conference "Connecting Seas" at the Getty Research Institute, April 23-24.
  • In May Prof. Volker M. Welter was invited by the Freud Museum in London to give a talk on the architect son of Sigmund Freud, Ernst L. Freud, the subject matter of his latest book.  On March 30, 2014, he participated in the Architecture Under Attack: Destruction and Renewal in and after World War I symposium organized by the Architecture, Space, and Society Network at Birkbeck College, University of London, in order to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the Great War.  Prof. Welter’s lecture was titled, “‘Open Order’—‘Open Plan’: On the Origin of Modernist Architecture in the Battlefields of the Great War.” He also presented a talk, titled, “Elusive Pasts, Fleeting Futures—Private Homes as Sites and Objects of Memories” at the conference, Things to Remember: Materializing Memories in Art and Popular Culture at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands.  His talk focused on two houses commissioned by Emily Hall Tremaine in the late 1930s and late 1940s from architects Lutah Maria Riggs and Oscar Niemeyer for locations in Santa Barbara and Montecito respectively.
  • Prof. Sylvester Ogbechie was a participant in the Clark Colloquium in April, where he presented a lecture, “The Time of the Brave: Temporality, Canonicity and the Discourse of African Art.” At the Depaul University Colloquium on African and Black Diaspora Studies, "The State of the Field and Future Directions," he gave a paper "Knowledge System Discourse and the Future of African/Black Diaspora Studies," proposing a need to construct and validate a system of economic value for African and black diaspora cultural knowledge in order to ensure the sustenance of African studies as a viable discipline. As the Teshome H. Gabriel Distinguished Africanist Award recipient for 2014, he gave two lectures: “Welcome to Nollywood: Inventing Global Cinema in Africa;” and “Cinema Aesthetics and New Media in Contemporary Africa: the Nollywood Phenomenon.”
  • Prof. Jeanette Peterson presented a lecture, “Material and Substance in Colonial Latin America,” in the lecture series, Mobilities and Materialities of the Early Modern World, at UC Berkeley. And she presented in two workshops, one at the Getty Research Institute, Books and Prints in the Spanish Americas, and the other at UC Berkeley, The Early Modern Patterns Group, organized by Prof. Elizabeth Honig.
  • Prof. Jenni Sorkin published an exhibition review for Texte zur Kunst, an exhibition catalog essay, “Crosscuts: Dan Webb’s Sculptural Practice” in Fragile Fortress (Bellevue Art Museum), and a peer-reviewed article, “Pots in Drag: Beatrice Wood and Camp” in Journal of Modern Craft 7:1 (Spring 2014). She presented several talks including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, University of Southern California, Bellevue Arts Museum, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Carleton College, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 2014 College Art Association Annual Meeting, and University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • Prof. Swati Chattopadhyay presented a keynote, “Elementary Aspects of Indian Urbanism,” at the symposium, Built Environment, Knowledge, Praxis: Postcolonial Conversations between India and the UK held at the Bartlett College of Architecture, University College London in May.
  • Recent PhDs, Austen Bailly and Jane Dini, have been awarded $300,000 each from NEH for exhibitions at their respective institutions: Austen, for an exhibition on Thomas Hart Benton and Film, Peabody-Essex Museum, Salem, Mass., and Jane, for Dance and American Art, Detroit Institute of Art.

Dear Alumni: please send your news of appointments, awards and other achievements to swati at or spafford at