Incoming PhD Students for 2020


Emily C. Mohr
Emily is studying ancient art history. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on the intersections between sex, gender, sexuality, race, and class in ancient Greek art and literature. Progressively, she is interested in representations (mimēseis) of feminine and non-binary bodies, with the aim to understand the lives of women, enslaved persons, and minorities in the ancient Mediterranean world more fully, including how they influenced, produced, interacted with, used, and perceived art throughout their lifetimes.
Brandee Newkirk
Coming from University of Arizona, Brandee majored in Art History and Italian with a sub-concentration in modern and contemporary art. She adds to this background with a specific interest in how the question of racism combines with issues in politics and culture. He current chosen subject is contemporary African American art, with an emphasis on social justice as well as cultural critique, and mixed media, with a particular interest in photography.
Bryan Rusch
Bryan was a Duke undergraduate with a major in Arabic and Engineering. Brian sees these disparate areas as ways of knowing the world and interpreting the world. Art History is, for him, embedded in the gap of humanities and social sciences. How does the study of architecture and urban planning help us, for example, in developing policies about the disabled? Predominantly interested in modern infrastructure and urban planning in the middle east. He has just completed a thesis on middle east urban infrastructure. Bryan is currently an active participant in Wired!.
Nzinga Simmons
Nzinga’s degree is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in Art History and minored in African, African American, and Diaspora Studies. In addition to her academic record, she has also developed art historical experiences as the Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellow in American Art at the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Breadth of interests include West African, African American, and Contemporary art historical subjects. Specific potential topic areas include art and identity, and correcting the canon. She is interested in artists who challenge representational forms and constructions of blackness.