Arts & Aesthetics Graduate Fellows

Arts & Aesthetics Graduate Fellows

Hudson McFann


Hudson McFann is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and a Rutgers Presidential Fellow. Using archival research, oral history interviews, participatory mapping, and discourse analysis, his research explores everyday life in Khao I Dang (1979–1993), a refugee camp established near the Thai–Cambodian border in the wake of the Cambodian genocide. Before coming to Rutgers, he completed his BA at Ohio State University and MA at New York University. McFann’s postgraduate work has been funded by the Beinecke Scholarship Program, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Khmer Studies.

Areas of Interest: Discard studies, politics of memory, everyday life, discourse, conflict urbanism, and Cambodian diaspora.

Giuditta Cirnigliaro

2d Graduate Fellows Giuditta CirnigliaroGiuditta Cirnigliaro is a PhD student in the Department of Italian at Rutgers University with a concentration in Art History. She holds a Laurea degree in Italian Literature from the University of Milan, a BA in Painting from the Brera Academy, and an MA in Fine Arts from the Glasgow School of Arts. Her dissertation centers on Leonardo da Vinci’s compositional methods in drawings and literary writings, and she analyzes recurrent patterns in the production of contemporary creative projects. She has curated art exhibitions and presented at conferences in Italy, Germany, the UK, and the United States and has received various scholarly awards, including the Baden-Württemberg-Stipendium and an Andrew W. Mellon research grant.

Areas of Interest: Early modern studies (including mathematics, libraries, and art), fables and emblems, Leonardo da Vinci, word and image combinations in Renaissance and contemporary art, and drawing and the digital humanities.

Florencia San Martín


Florencia San Martín is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University, where she is completing a dissertation titled “The Art of Alfredo Jaar within a Latin American Framework.” She received an MFA from NYU in Creative Writing in Spanish and a BA in Studio Art from Catholic University in Chile. A contributor to ArtNexus and Artishock, she has written book chapters and exhibition catalogues on artists such as Pedro Lemebel and Jorge Tacla and has curated exhibitions in both Chile and New York. Prior to joining the CCA, Florencia taught courses in art history at the College of Staten Island-CUNY.

Areas of Interest: Latin American studies, contemporary art, Chilean art, decoloniality, gender and performance studies, and the history of photography.

Bakary Diaby

DiabyCroppedBakary Diaby is a PhD candidate in the Rutgers English Department specializing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a specific focus on Romanticism and Continental Philosophy. His research interests include cognitive science, social theory, poetics, and the relationship between the Enlightenment and contemporary critical theory. As a fellow at the Center, he will be further developing his dissertation, tentatively titled “Sensing Meaning: Vulnerability and the Aesthetic in the Romantic Age.” Detailing the evolution of the concept of “aesthetics,” the project revalues Romanticism’s “aestheticization of the world” by examining the role vulnerability played regarding gender, poverty, and slavery. Bakary is eager to participate in interdisciplinary dialogue on “Arts & Aesthetics,” matters of renewed concerned in our present moment.

Areas of Interest: Romanticism, eighteenth-century British and German philosophy, poetics and aesthetics, cognitive science, sociology and social theory, and contemporary critical theory.

Amy Cooper

2d Graduate Fellows Amy CooperAmy Cooper is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Rutgers University whose work focuses on theories of the image in pre-modern aesthetics. By retracing the role of the image in the history of aesthetic formalism, her dissertation seeks to recover the sensory-cognitive foundations of early modern poetics. She has received summer research support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rutgers TA/GA Professional Development Fund. From 2013 to 2016, she acted as co-organizer for the Rutgers Medieval-Renaissance Colloquium, and she is the recipient of the 2016 Catherine Musello Cantalupo Essay Prize in Literature and Religion.

Areas of Interest: Early modern literature, the art of memory, the history of science, historical phenomenology, skepticism, and aesthetics.