HAA Travel Research Award Report 2024




2022–23 Travel and Research Report from the Department of the History of Art and Architecture












Story by Mia Shroyer and the DSGN Communications.Photo courtesy of Tatymn Snider.

With the generous support of its alumni and partners, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture (HAA) delivers one-of-a-kind educational experiences to all its undergraduate and graduate majors. Among these supports, The Marian Donnelly Student Award, The Amy and Ross Curry Endowment, the Mark Sponenberg Endowment, and the Alice Wingwall Travel Award, enable HAA students to travel nationally and internationally to study works of art firsthand or seize invaluable professional development opportunities to present their research in academic conferences and workshops. In a departmental Wednesday Colloquium held in fall 2023, the seven 2022-23 recipients of these awards— Ren Reed, Mew Lingjun Jiang, Gabriela Chitwood, Raechel Root, Jessica Johnson, Tatymn Snider, Patricia McCall, and Joe Sussi—shared their unique and fulfilling experiences.  

Photo of Ren Reed presenting.

Amy and Ross Kari Student Award   
Ren Reed, BA '23 (Art History)

Thanks to the Amy and Ross Kari Student Award, Ren was able to travel to the Northwest Undergraduate Conference of the Ancient World. There, Ren presented their paper, “Harmony and Matrimony: A Cameo of Hermaphroditus.” The feedback and questions they received from the audience encouraged Ren to take a deeper dive into the subject.  

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“It was an incredible opportunity for me. It helped my confidence as a scholar, understanding that people were interested in my research...”
Ren Reed

The deeper dive resulted in multiple further undergraduate awards, including the department’s Marion Donnelly Book Prize for the best undergraduate term paper in art history. In the fall of 2023, Ren was selected as one of only five recipients of the UO Libraries’ Award For Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE).  

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Photo courtesy of Ren Reed.

Photograph of Mew Jiang

Amy and Ross Kari Student Award  
"Mew" Lingjun Jiang, PhD Candidate

Mew Jiang is a third-year PhD candidate studying Japanese Art. Mew earned an Amy and Ross Kari Student Award, which allowed her to travel to Boston to join the annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, one of the most prestigious conferences within her field. It was Mew’s first time attending this prestigious conference.  

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“[It was great] reconnect[ing] with people I’ve met in the past who have guided my study and inspired me a lot, such as Professor John Szostak.”
Mew Jiang

A distinguished faculty member at the University of Hawai'i, Professor Szostak was Mew’s first Japanese Art History professor and guided her into the field.

Mew's presentation at the conference shared the research from her qualifying paper, “Pride of the Self and Prejudice Against the Other” and featured works from the 520+ modern Japanese woodblock prints that Mr. Irwin Lavenberg donated to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in 2022. Mew refined the paper thanks to the feedback she received at the conference, which was awarded the prestigious Chino Kaori Memorial Prize from the Japan Art History Forum in 2023.

When it came to the opportunity of attending a conference, Mew was effusive with her praise about the award. 

"[Thanks to the award, I could] meet with people I met before and also communicate with specialists in the field and it was a really fruitful study,” shared Mew.

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Dr. John Szostak (U of Hawai‘i) and Mew. Photo courtesy of Mew Jiang.

Photograph of Gabi Chitwood.

Marian Donnelly Student Award             
Gabriela "Gaby" Chitwood, PhD Candidate

Gaby received a Marian Donnelly Student Award to present at the 58th International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This was Gaby's first in-person conference due to the pandemic. 

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“My experience attending in person was much richer than I had ever experienced online, which was wonderful.”
Gaby Chitwood

Gaby also organized two panels at the conference, and joined insightful conversations with peers and scholars. 

“My work was well received by those who attended, and it sparked many conversations with French scholars that I met at the conference,” reflected Gaby. 

Gaby took advantage of networking opportunities through the Annual Gathering of the Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology and Art (AVISTA). The connections Gaby made through AVISTA led her to further opportunity to present another chapter of her dissertation at the Medieval Academy of America. 

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Photo courtesy of Gaby Chitwood.

Photograph provided by Rae Root

Alice Wingwall Travel Award, Mark Sponenburgh Endowment in Art History, and Marian Donnelly Student Award  
Raechel "Rae" Root, PhD Candidate

A combination of the Alice Wingwall Travel Award and Mark Sponenburgh Endowment in Art History allowed Rae to conduct dissertation research on contemporary art in Germany and Italy by attending the 2023 Documenta and Venice Biennale.

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“[At the Venice Biennale] I learned of some works and ideas that continue to inform my revisions of that research for future publication... Even though Documenta and Venice Biennale are a kind of rite of passage, they would have been inaccessible to me without this award so I'm very grateful.”
Rae Root

In addition to her summer fieldwork, with a Marian Donnelly Student Award Rae also presented at conferences at Towson University and Rutgers University. Towson's conference on the theme of “Archival Silent NOISE,” in particular, left a powerful impression on Rae.

“The conference was very intimate, and there were a lot of artists there who were working with archives," said Rae. "So, I met many artists there, one of whom I could see myself writing about in the future.” 

At the Rutgers University Graduate Symposium on Artifacts of Change, Visions of the Environment and Disruptions, Rae presented on her ongoing research about a queer ecological reading of the photography of Oregon's lesbian lands, which helped her reconceptualize her research projects. 

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Photo courtesy of Rae Root.

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“I established the Alice Wingwall Travel Award in Art History because I wanted students to get out of the classroom to see works of art and architecture in person. When you see something in a book or projected on a screen during a lecture, it’s just not the same as seeing it in person. It is so gratifying to know that the Wingwall Award has supported students in their pursuit of a greater understanding of art and architecture.”
Alison Renwick
Photo of Jessica Johnson

Marian Donnelly Student Award                
Jessica "Jessie" Johnson, PhD Candidate

A Marian Donnelly Student Award gave Jessie, a fourth-year PhD student, the opportunity to travel to London to make her academic debut at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art conference. There, Jessie presented about the career of the first Black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge. For Jessie, this accomplishment was also an unrivaled experience.

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“It was a great experience to actually be able to meet people in-person, meet people that I've heard about, and also get to meet fellow doctoral students who study British art history.”
Jessie Johnson

Jessie's presentation met with enthusiastic reception, leading to networking opportunities with other scholars. It was encouraging for Jessie to see the genuine interest among her peers and senior scholars toward not just her topic, but also in offering guidance and advice in her studies and research.

Fortuitously, the conference overlapped with the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery after a three-year renovation, which demonstrated the institution’s renewed commitment to representing people of color and addressing colonial history.

Jessie was both surprised and excited to find a replica of the portrait of Ira Aldridge, featured in her presentation, displayed prominently within the main gallery.

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Photo courtesy of Jessie Johnson.

Photograph of Tatymn Snider

Mark Sponenburgh Endowment in Art History Research Travel                
Tatymn Snider, MA

Thanks to support from the Mark Sponenburgh Endowment, Tatymn Snider, then just finishing their first year as an MA student in ancient Mediterranean art, became the first person in their immediate family to visit Europe, allowing them to refine and reinforce their thesis research on the “Marble Statue of an Old Woman” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the “Old Drunk Woman” at the Capitoline Museum.

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“This was really a great trip for me. […] After seeing [the two] statues in person, I [became] interested in their postures [which is] difficult to see [in the two-dimensional images]. How drastic the positioning is and the effect of the statue on the viewer.”
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Tatymn Snider

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Photo courtesy of Tatymn Snider.

Photo of Patricia McCall

Marian Donnelly Student Award                 
Patricia "Trish" McCall, PhD Candidate

Trish is a third-year PhD candidate in Medieval Art History, who received a Marian Donnelly award to present a part of her master's thesis at the 58th International Congress of Medieval Studies. Trish is currently converting her presentation into an article.

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“Without the funding, I probably would not have been able to go in person and going in person allowed me not only to gauge the reaction to my work, but make connections with people interested in studying the same ideas that I am.”
Trish McCall

Thanks to the invaluable feedback received at the conference, Trish has been able to refine her paper. Had she not attended in person, Trish believes, she would not have received as many questions about her work as she did nor would she have made as many diverse connections with scholars working on manuscript illuminations.

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Photo courtesy of DSGN.

Photograph from Joe Sussi

Alice Wingwall Travel Award                
Joe Sussi, PhD Candidate

Joe Sussi thanks the Alice Wingwall Travel Award that allowed him to take the research trip to Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA, which he believes will become integral to the second chapter of his dissertation. In Sacramento, Joe saw the work of Kim Abeles in a retrospective exhibition, "Smog Collectors,” and then he met the artist in person in Los Angeles. . 

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“She [Kim Abeles] was really generous… It was a really fun day.”
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Joe Sussi

The second chapter of Joe’s dissertation is on Kim Abeles’s 1985-1987 “Mountain Wedge” series and the award allowed Joe to see many of the works he had only experienced in books. In LA, Joe traced part of Abele's pilgrimage to Mountain Wedge that informed her series, while also visiting the Huntington Library for archival research on plants, a key to his investigation on the concept of “pollution.”

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Photo courtesy of Joe Sussi.

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The Department of the History of Art and Architecture (HAA) explores global history, culture, and society through art and architecture from antiquity to the present day. Trained to celebrate cultural differences and the broad spectrum of human creativity and expression, art history students are natural ambassadors of pluralism and tolerance. You’ll develop skills in appreciating visual and material culture to help you become a true global citizen—ideally equipped to understand how historical events and concerns relate to important contemporary and international phenomena.