Kudos for Summer 2021

Kudos to…  After 10 years at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Lisa Cakmak (MSP04) began a new position as Chair and Curator of the Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium at the Art Institute of Chicago in summer 2020.  In this new position, Lisa is working with a fellow MSP alumna, Katie Raff!

Kudos to…  Erica Lehrer (MSP04), Professor of History and Sociological Anthropology at Montreal’s Concordia University, is the Principal Investigator on the Thinking Through the Museum (TTTM) research network.  This research group is based at Concordia’s Curating and Public Scholarship Lab which Erica founded and directs.  The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada recently awarded TTTM a seven year $2.5 million partnership grant for the project “Thinking Through the Museum: A Partnership Approach to Curating Difficult Knowledge in Public.”

Kudos to…  John Low (MSP05) who recently co-curated the exhibition, “Pokagon Potawatomi Black Ash Baskets: Our Storytellers.”  John is a member of the Pokégnek Bodéwadmik/Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and is Caretaker of the Baskets.  For the Pokagon Potawatomi people, baskets are more than just containers—they are living members of the community. Thirty-four of these handcrafted baskets are included in this exhibit. First-person narratives explore the unique soul and voice of each basket and the importance of traditional weaving to ancestral connection.

Kudos to…  Kathy Zarur (MSP05) is a San Francisco-based artist, curator, and educator now sharing her energies and talents as an Associate Professor of Art History at Skyline College, a community college in San Bruno, California.

Kudos to…  Alison Rivett [Byrnes] (MSP06) who was recently promoted to Associate Director of the University of Michigan Arts Initiative, a new initiative from the university President’s office.

Kudos to…  Tamara Shreiner (MSP06) who recently co-authored an article, “Visualizing the Teaching of Data Visualizations in Social Studies: A Study of Teachers’ Data Literacy Practices, Beliefs, and Knowledge” which was published in Theory & Research in Social Education.

Kudos to…  Christopher Berk (MSP07) edited a special issue of Cultural Dynamics titled “The Intimate Workings of Culture,” and Christopher contributed an article (Navigating Cultural Intimacy in Tasmanian Aboriginal Public Culture) and co-wrote the introduction.  The issue examines the complex ways power, audience, and imagination are implicated in the social practices and politics of cultural intimacy, which has proven to be a productive lens through which to explore the dialectic between the construction and contestation of collective identities.

Kudos to… Helen Dixon (MSP07) and four of her anthropology colleagues were awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant that runs through May 2024.  The project is titled “Cemeteries as More than Final Resting Places: How the History of Exclusion and Racism in the US Continues to Haunt African-Americans after Death.”  Helen leads the archival and public history components of the project, which are executed in collaboration with graduate and undergraduate students at East Carolina University. Helen also recently published “Making it “Count”: Translating your Teaching Innovations into Research Output.” The article appears in Ancient Jew Review and explores strategies of reframing, presenting, and translating one’s classroom innovations in ways increasingly recognized by academic institutions.

Kudos to…  Monica Patterson (MSP07) wrote an article that was recently published in SAGE Journals, Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals.  The article is titled “Beyond Window Rainbows: Collecting Children’s Culture in the COVID Crisis” and can be viewed here.  She also published an article about the recent controversy surrounding the decision to retire six Dr. Seuss books, and the connection to museums, archives, and curating.

Kudos to…  Joe Cialdella (MSP09) whose book, Motor City Green recently received the Jon Gjerde Prize from the Midwestern History Association. Congratulations, Joe!

Kudos to… Anna Wieck (MSP09) who began an adjunct faculty position in January 2021 at IE (Instituto de Empresa) University for Arts and Humanities in Spain.

Kudos to…  After a stint at Penn State College of Liberal Arts as an Assistant Professor of French and African Studies, Abigail Celis (MSP11) is moving to Canada to accept a position as Assistant Professor in decolonial Art History and Museum Studies at the Université de Montréal.

Kudos to…  KT Lowe (MSP11) was a contestant on Jeopardy on April 1, 2021.  Alas, there were no museum-related questions on the show.  When she is not competing on game shows, KT is the assistant librarian for instruction at Indiana University East, where in Spring 2021 she developed and taught a course on museum studies and community archives. This class included a community service component where students worked with the Richmond (IN) Symphony Orchestra on various projects.

Kudos to… Anna Topolska (MSP11) who has published two recent essays:

  • “Reflections on the Visual Truth and War Photography – A Historian’s Perspective” [Alex Grech (ed.), Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society. From Fake News, Datafication and Mass Surveillance to the Death of Trust, Emerald Publishing, forthcoming in 2021.]
  • “War and Dailiness: Between Everyday Life and the Second World War in Poznan in Visual Sources” [Violetta Julkowska (ed.), At the Source of Dailiness: Interpreting the Traces of History of Everyday Life, Poznań 2021.]

Kudos to…  Justin Meyer (MSP12) wrote an article “Art Museums and Neighborhood Development: Historical Evidence from the Case of the Portland Art Museum and the South Park Blocks in Portland, Oregon” that was recently published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Kudos to… Caitlin Clerkin (MSP14) had an article published this winter in the American Journal of Archaeology.  Co-authored with former MSP Associate Director, Brad Taylor, “Online Encounters with Museum Antiquities” explores museums’ online initiatives for ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern collections.

Kudos to…   Craig Harvey (MSP14) is currently a Lecturer at Wilfrid Laurier University, and this coming year he will begin as a Postdoctoral Associate at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

Kudos to… Kathryn Holilhan (MSP14) for winning a ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award for her dissertation, “Staging the Somatic: The Popular Hygiene Exhibition in Germany, 1882-1931.”  The ProQuest award recognizes “exceptional work produced by doctoral students for the high caliber of their scholarship and the significance and interest of their findings.”  Details about the award can be found here.

Kudos to…  Allan Martell (MSP15) is a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University where he collaborates with the Virtual Footlocker Project to document and preserve U.S. army veterans’ personal record keeping practices. Allan’s doctoral dissertation examined participatory memorial exhibitions and memories of war.

Kudos to….  Stephanie Fleming [Brown] (MSP17) who recently began a position as a Project Manager at the African Diaspora Art Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. Stephanie is excited to see her museum studies education in action as the ADAMA builds itself from the ground up.

Kudos to…  Belinda Bolivar (MSP19) recently accepted the position of Library Assessment Specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will formally begin in July.

Kudos to…  Mark Ramirez (MSP19) worked for 6 months as a Contract Archivist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC upon completion of his UM degree. In March 2021, Mark assumed the position of Assistant Registrar at the Toledo Museum of Art where he primarily handles loans to and from the Museum.

Kudos to…  Ayana Curran-Howes (MSP20) on securing the Simmons Internship at The Henry Ford this summer. Ayana will be working on “Envisioning the Opening Market and Seasonal Markets” for a new installation in Greenfield Village, slated to open in April 2022.