Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

Expert Biographies

5 / Cosmology and Belief

Jane Ashton Sharp

Jane Ashton Sharp, Ph.D., is an associate professor of art history at Rutgers University. In addition to teaching classes on Russian and Soviet art, unofficial art in the former Soviet Union, and twentieth-century avant-garde art movements, she curates the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Soviet Nonconformist Art at Rutgers’ Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. Sharp has published numerous articles and book chapters on the historical Russian avant-garde, and, more recently, on Moscow conceptualism and abstract painting in the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Her book Russian Modernism between East and West: Natal’ia Goncharova and the Moscow Avant-Garde, 1905–14 won the Robert Motherwell Book Award from the Dedalus Foundation. Sharp holds an M.A. in Slavic languages and literatures and a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University.

Thomas Crow

Thomas Crow, Ph.D., is the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Prior to joining the Institute of Fine Arts, Crow was the director of the Getty Research Institute. He has also taught art history at the University of Southern California, Yale University, the University of Sussex, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago. Crow has received numerous honors for his work, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Charles Rufus Morey Prize of the College Art Association. Some of his published works include Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent, and Modern Art in the Common Culture. Crow received his B.A. from Pomona College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Anne D’Alleva

Anne D’Alleva, Ph.D., is an associate professor of art history and women’s studies at the University of Connecticut. D’Alleva is the author of Art of the Pacific Islands, Sacred Maidens and Masculine Women: Art, Gender, and Power in Post-Contact Tahiti. She has also written several books on the discipline of art history. These include Look! The Fundamentals of Art History, Look Again! Art History and Critical Theory, How to Write Art History, and Methods and Theories of Art History. D’Alleva’s work has earned her grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Vishakha N. Desai

Vishakha N. Desai, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of the Asia Society, a global non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships and deepening understanding among Asians and Americans. She received her B.A. from Bombay University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Under her leadership, the Asia Society has expanded its offices to India and Korea, developed new environmental, gender, and leadership initiatives, and opened a new center on U.S.-China relations. Desai has delivered many lectures and published and edited several books, journals, and articles related to Asian art. She serves on a number of arts boards and committees and has received honors for her work, including a Gold Medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences. Prior to her presidency of the Asia Society, she served as the Society’s senior vice president, vice president for Arts and Cultural Programs, and as the director of the Museum. She also held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and taught at several universities.

Cynthia Hahn

Cynthia Hahn, Ph.D., is a professor of art history, specializing in medieval art, at Hunter College and the Graduate Center in New York. Hahn has written several books including Portrayed on the Heart: Narrative Effect in Pictorial Lives of the Saints from the Tenth through the Thirteenth Century and a forthcoming book on reliquaries, entitled Strange Beauty. Her articles, which have been featured in journals such as Art History, Art Bulletin, Gesta, and Speculum, relate to European and Byzantine art from the Early Christian through Gothic periods. In addition to her position at Hunter College, Hahn has taught at a number of universities, including the University of Chicago, the University of Delaware, the University of Michigan, and Florida State University. She has also served as a board member for several organizations, including the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). Hahn has an M.A. from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Rosemary Joyce

Rosemary Joyce, Ph.D., is an archaeologist and professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches courses on the archaeology of the Maya and Central America, archaeological method and theory, and museum studies, among other topics. She has also conducted field research and curated exhibitions in both North America and Honduras. Joyce joined the Berkeley faculty as director of the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology, after serving as director and curator at the Peabody Museum of Harvard University where she was on the faculty in Anthropology. Joyce has published a number of works, including Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives: Sex, Gender, and Archaeology and Mesoamerican Archaeology: Theory and Practice, Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica. She earned her A.B. from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Vitaly Komar

Vitaly Komar, a Russian-born artist, is one of the founders of the Sots Art movement (Soviet Pop/Conceptual art) and a pioneer of multi-stylistic post-modernism. From 1973 to 2003, Komar worked in collaboration with Alex Melamid. They held numerous exhibitions worldwide and became the first Russian artists to be honored with a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities. Komar and Melamid collaborated with the conceptual video artist Douglas Davis on the exhibition “Questions New York/Moscow” (in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), with Fluxus musician Charlotte Moorman on Passport for the Ronald Feldman Gallery, and with Andy Warhol on the project We Buy and Sell Souls. In their last major project together, Symbols of the Big Bang, Komar and Melamid began exploring notions of spirituality. Komar continued this pursuit in his independent series Three-Day Weekend, which united symbols of different faiths and concepts of spirituality with historical and autobiographical references. Currently, he is working on New Symbolist paintings for an exhibit at the Ronald Feldman Gallery. Komar studied at the Moscow Art School and graduated from the Stroganov Institute of Art & Design in Moscow.

Babatunde Lawal

Babatunde Lawal, Ph.D., is a professor of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, where he specializes in African, African American, and African Diaspora art. Lawal has conducted field work in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Republic of Benin, Brazil, and the U.S. In addition to his position at VCU, Lawal has taught at several other universities in the U.S., Africa, and Brazil. His publications include The Gelede Spectacle: Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in African Culture, Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art, and several articles in leading art journals. Lawal holds a Ph.D. in art history from Indiana University.

Mary Miller

Mary Miller, Ph.D., is dean of Yale College and Sterling Professor of History of Art at Yale University. A specialist in art of the ancient New World, she has authored and co-authored The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec, Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya, and The Blood of Kings: Ritual and Dynasty in Maya Art, among other books. In addition to these publications, Miller curated an acclaimed exhibition for the National Gallery of Art entitled “The Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya.” Her projects related to the Maya have earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received her A.B. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from Yale University.

Fred Myers

Fred Myers, Ph.D., is the Silver Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at New York University. Myers’ research focuses on Aboriginal people in Australia, specifically Western Desert people. His many published works include Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art and The Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Art and Anthropology. Myers has received numerous honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He was elected president of the American Ethnological Society and has spearheaded NYU’s Morse Academic Plan, a general education program for the College of Arts and Sciences. Myers earned his B.A. from Amherst College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr.

Kishwar Rizvi

Kishwar Rizvi, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Islamic Art at Yale University. She has written on representations of religious and imperial authority in the art and architecture of Safavid Iran, as well as on issues of gender, nationalism, and religious identity in modern Iran and Pakistan. Her current research, for which she has been selected as a Carnegie Foundation Scholar, focuses on ideology and transnationalism in contemporary mosque architecture in the Middle East. Rizvi is the author of The Safavid Dynastic Shrine: History, Religion and Architecture in Early Modern Iran (forthcoming) and an editor of Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century.

Peter G. Roe

Peter G. Roe, Ph.D., is a professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware, where he has taught courses including Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, South American Archaeology, and Technology and Culture. He has conducted extensive field research in Puerto Rico and Peru and authored many scholarly articles and essays on American Indian cultures. Roe has received support for his research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the University of Delaware, and other organizations. He earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Larry Silver

Larry Silver, Ph.D., is the Farquhar Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in Northern European painting and graphics of the Renaissance and Reformation periods. In addition to his position at the University of Pennsylvania, Silver has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Northwestern University, and Smith College. He has been the recipient of many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kress Foundation. A prolific author, Silver has written numerous articles and books, among them Peasant Scenes and Landscapes, Marketing Maximilian, and a survey text, entitled Art in History. He is also the co-author of books including Rembrandt’s Faith and The Graven Image. Silver served as a former president of both the College Art Association and the Historians of Netherlandish Art. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans, Ph.D., is the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is a prolific and wide-ranging author whose books include The Hispanic Condition: Reflections on Culture and Identity in America, Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, Love and Language, and Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years. He is the editor of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, the three-volume set Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories, Cesar Chavez: An Organizer’s Tale, and The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. He has been the recipient of numerous honors, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Jewish Book Award, an Emmy nomination, the Latino Hall of Fame Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to his post at Amherst, Stavans has taught at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Oberlin College, Bennington College, and Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. Stavans is chairman and CEO of Quixote Productions, LLC, which has produced TV series and films on Jewish and Latin history and culture.

Andrew Stewart

Andrew Stewart, Ph.D., is Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the UC Berkeley excavation team at Tel Dor, Israel. Stewart’s research focuses on ancient Greek art and culture and the later reception of Greek sculpture. Stewart has earned grants and fellowships from the Getty Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation. A recipient of Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Stewart has also taught at Cambridge University, Columbia University, and the University of Otago in New Zealand. Some of his published works include Greek Sculpture: An Exploration (winner of the Wittenborn Memorial Book Award and the Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing); Art, Desire, and the Body in Ancient Greece; and most recently, Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art. Stewart earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

Yui Suzuki

Yui Suzuki, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of art history specializing in ancient and medieval Japanese art at the University of Maryland. In addition to her position at the University of Maryland, Suzuki is a fellow for the Yale Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion. Suzuki focuses her research on Japanese Buddhist icons and is currently writing a book on the worship of Medicine Buddha images in ancient Japan. She earned her M.A. from Sophia University in Japan and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Robert A. F. (Tenzin) Thurman

Robert A. F. (Tenzin) Thurman, Ph.D., is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, the president of Tibet House U.S., an educational nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture of Tibet, president of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, and editor-in-chief of the Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences, a long-term translation and publication project of the Tibetan Tengyur canon. A close personal friend of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for more than forty-five years, Thurman is a former Tibetan Buddhist monk. Named one of the “25 Most Influential Americans” by Time magazine in 1997, Thurman is a much sought-after lecturer. His academic and popular writings explore world cultures, politics, and the relevance and application of Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary thought and science. He is a tireless advocate of justice and freedom for the Tibetan nation, within or without China. (http://www.bobthurman.com, http://www.tibethouse.org, http://www.menla.org)


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy