Congratulations to our Doctoral Students on their New Positions!

April 6, 2020 by Department of Art History

Congratulations to Elizabeth Mattison, Michaela Rife, and Akshaya Tankha who have been awarded positions that will begin following the defence of their dissertations. 

Elizabeth Rice Mattison to take up position of Graduate Intern in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Getty Museum

In September 2020, Elizabeth Rice Mattison (BA, 2014; MA, 2014) will take up the position of 2020–21 Graduate Intern in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Getty Museum. She will begin this role following the defense of her dissertation, “Reforming Sculpture: The Prince-Bishopric of Liège, 1468–1566,” in September 2020. Her dissertation examines the development of the idea of sculpture in the sixteenth-century Low Countries; this research argues that the confluence of the Protestant Reformation, iconoclasm, and the immigration of artists prompted sculptors and patrons to reconsider the very nature of sculpture as a distinct artistic form. At the Getty, Elizabeth will assist researching the museum’s collection, focusing especially on Netherlandish and German objects, and will begin work on her monograph on the sculpture in Liège.

In addition to the position at the Getty, Elizabeth has also been awarded the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the Historians of Netherlandish Art to complete the final stages of her dissertation research and writing. 

Michaela Rife receives three-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Society of Fellows

The University of Michigan’s Society of Fellows has awarded Michaela Rife (BA, 2010; MA, 2011; MA, 2014) a three-year postdoctoral fellowship, including an appointment as Assistant Professor in the History of Art Department, beginning in September 2020.

In May 2020, Michaela will defend her dissertation “Public Art, Private Land: Settler Colonialism and Environment in New Deal Murals on the Great Plains,” which analyzes government-sponsored public art produced in the context of the American Dust Bowl. At Michigan, she will be developing ecocritical art history courses and beginning a book project based on her dissertation. 

Akshaya Tankha Receives Post-Doctoral Fellowship in South Asian Studies at Yale University

Akshaya Tankha (BA, 2004; MA, 2006; MA, 2008) has been appointed as the Dr. Malathy Singh Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University for the academic year 2020-21.

Akshaya is set to defend his doctoral dissertation, "An Aesthetics of Endurance: art, visual culture and Indigenous presence in Nagaland, India," in June 2020. His thesis explores craft forms, house-museums, memorial monuments, and comic books, produced in the predominantly Indigenous and Christian northeast Indian state of Nagaland in the aftermath of an armed movement for political autonomy that lasted from 1953 to 1997, as aesthetic practices that foreground the plural and layered temporalities of Indigenous art and Indigenous presence marginalized by the state in contemporary South Asia. During his postdoctoral fellowship, Akshaya will commence research on Indigenous cinematic and new media practices in northeast India, and their transregional circulation, as the new and emergent aesthetic figurations of Indigenous presence in contemporary South Asia.