Conversation with Skidmore Professor of English Barbara Black on Oscar Wilde and Yinka Shonibare’s photographic series Dorian Gray following a screening of the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray, November 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
“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
This paper is part of my ongoing research in and fascination with Victorian culture.
“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.