“Fashionable Widowhood in Saratoga: The Etiquette of Material Mourning in the Late Victorian Period,” Saratoga Springs History Museum, April 24, 2019; presented in conjunction with the exhibition Death Becomes Her
“The Resistance is Fiber: Contemporary Political Voices in Leisure Crafts and Fiber Arts,” 7th Annual Capital District Feminist Studies Consortium Conference, Skidmore College, Feb. 1, 2019
This presentation examined case studies of contemporary fiber practitioners who use their hands and thread to move the political needle in myriad ways.
“Smoking and Sociability: Cigarette Holders in the Deco Age,” presented in conjunction with a private book signing and display of objects in celebration of A Token of Elegance: Cigarette Holders in Vogue, for the Art Deco Society of New York, April 28, 2016, and as a Research Forum talk for Indianapolis Museum of Art staff, April 20, 2016
From the ADSNY event page: “The evening focused on the beauty and social history of Jazz Age cigarette holders . . . Rebecca McNamara and [collector Carolyn] Hsu-Balcer led us through the development of this modern, neatly configured and packaged smoking device that, ‘attracted women to luxuriate in smoky reveries.’ We explored how holders became a handy theatrical prop for business and political interactions as much as a fashionable branding tool of social sophistication among celebrities and within elite circles.”
“Mourning Widows in Nineteenth-Century New York: A Sartorial Public Display of Grief and Independence,” presented at Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Graduate Student Symposium on the Decorative Arts and Design, April 11, 2014, and as a brown bag lunch for Cooper Hewitt staff, Sept. 19, 2014
This paper focused on how the stark-black crepe garments, including a long veil, proclaimed the widow as a unique figure in society, who was suffering the loss of a husband yet demonstrated through her garments that despite this loss, she retained her role in polite society. The presentation thesis derived from my broader, more in-depth MA thesis.
“Mantel as ‘Little Museum’ and Other Musings: Late Nineteenth-Century Writers Debate the Domestic Mantelpiece,” presented at the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association Annual Conference, Nov. 9, 2013
“Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who’s the Sexiest of Them All?: An Analysis of the Disney Princess Online Fan Art Phenomenon on DeviantART.com,” presented at the Graduate Student Symposium, Parsons Festival 2013, May 16, 2013
This project has been both fun and puzzling to work on. DeviantART.com features countless variations of the Disney princesses and other female Disney characters. They are made to look like teenagers, babies, femme fatales, and crazy-strong, crazy-scary, and crazy-sexy women. Discussing the images with some of the artists was incredibly enlightening. The paper explored this otherwise ignored (at least from a scholarly standpoint) area of Internet fandom and Disney culture. Although more tangential to my focus areas, I hope to continue analyzing this pop culture phenomenon in future work.
“How William Lescaze Led the Future of New York Townhouse Design: Modern Residential Architecture in Early Twentieth-Century Manhattan,” presented at the Graduate Student Symposium, Parsons Festival 2012, May 11, 2012
This project came out of a seminar paper on a blueprint depicting the facade of Lescaze’s townhouse in the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum collection. The ongoing work explores modernist architecture in a fresh light to offer a new understanding both of modernist architectural history in New York and the city’s current townhouse design. I also wrote a blog post on Lescaze’s blueprint for the Cooper-Hewitt, which can be accessed here.
“Accelerating Change: Case Studies from a Three-Year Grant Project on Accession and Inclusion,” in the panel “Small Steps Toward Significant Change: Institutional Collaborations and Conversations,” panelist, Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG) Annual Conference, June 22, 2020
“Reviewing a Permanent Collection,” virtual guide/facilitator, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation Curatorial Gatherings, June 9, 2020; invited
“Global Topics for Local Audiences,” webinar co-organizer, Association of Art Museum Curators, Nov. 14, 2019; moderator/co-organizer: Melissa Buron, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
“Exhibiting and Teaching Challenging Material,” roundtable co-facilitator, Teaching & Learning with Museum Exhibitions—Innovations across the Disciplines, conference, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, June 22, 2019; invited
“Crowdsourcing Exhibitions: Lessons Learned,” live webinar for the AAMC Professional Development Committee, Oct. 15, 2015
Served as organizer and moderator. Panelists: Katie Buckingham, Curator, Museum of Glass; Eric Schmalz, Citizen History Community Manager, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; and Daniel Sharp, Arts Outreach Specialist, Kickstarter
Conversation with Skidmore Professor of English Barbara Black on Yinka Shonibare’s photographic series Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, and the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray, Nov. 9, 2017, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College; held in conjunction with the exhibition Other Side: Art, Object, Self