Art History Faculty
The School of Art's Art History program provides students with opportunities to study in a variety of areas. Our eight full-time faculty are experts in their fields, giving students insights to art, art practice and cultures from around the world. Read about each faculty member's expertise and research below.
Dr. Marie Gasper-Hulvat is a generalist art historian who teaches surveys, writing-intensive capstones, and upper division, specialized courses for the Studio Art BA program at Kent State Stark. She publishes on early Stalinist-era art, visual culture, and exhibition practices, particularly revolving around the late-life production of Soviet painter Kazimir Malevich. She also is active in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, with research on learning outcomes from active learning such as the game-based pedagogy known as Reacting to the Past. She has three Reacting games in development, including Guerrilla Girls in our Midst, 1984-1987; The Salon of 1863; and The Society of Independent Artists, 1917 (Fountain).
Shana Klein is an art historian trained in the history of American art, with sub-specialties in African-American and Native-American art. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of New Mexico, where she completed the dissertation—and now book—“The Fruits of Empire: Art, Food, and the Politics of Race in the Age of American Expansion.” Klein has been awarded several fellowships for her research at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, American Council of Learned Societies, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, among others. She has published research in journals such as American Art, Public Art Dialogue, Southern Cultures, and more. Her explorations of art, food, and racism have also been featured on a number of digital publications and podcasts. Her next book project, “Spoiled Milk,” examines the intersection of race and motherhood in Victorian American art. Klein’s research interests include: American visual and material culture, food studies, race and post-colonial studies, and art and social justice.
Dr. Medicus attended Earlham College for his undergraduate BA, studying Art History and Biology. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. at Indiana University, studying Italian Renaissance art under Professor Bruce Cole. Currently an Associate Professor, Dr. Medicus has published largely on sixteenth century artists, especially Domenico Beccafumi, and is currently working on an article exploring an overlooked aspect of Beccafumi's Nativity. Professor Medicus is also working on a book length study of art and innovation in the Sienese Renaissance. Dr. Medicus has received recognition for his teaching at Kent State University, including the highest award in this category offered by the University, the Distinguished Teaching Award, in 2002. Dr. Medicus regularly offers courses at the Kent campus in Early Italian Renaissance, Mannerism, Venetian Renaissance, and Baroque Art in Europe. In addition, Dr. Medicus runs a very popular four-week Art Experiences in Italy program every summer, based in Florence, which gives first hand, direct experience of ancient through Baroque European art.
Professor Reischuck is a Senior Lecturer who specializes in Late 19th and Early 20th European Art and is a practicing fine art photographer. He delivered the first all‐online offering at the graduate level when he adapted his popular Dada & Surrealism course to an entirely online delivery and also offers the Renaissance to Modern survey course in the summer entirely online. Mr. Reischuck's interests in his upper level courses are the origins of the avant‐garde and the overlapping concerns of art, literature, philosophy and music in the formation of the notion of the modern.
Professor Roll is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of design, craft, material studies, and its convergence with art history and critical theory in the field of visual culture. Her current research investigates the relationship between critical making, hierarchical relationships in contemporary art, craft and design, and production of meaning through media affiliated with all genres of visual production—both academic and mainstream. An additional trajectory of this research includes investigation of the role or identity of artist or maker within global society, and how creative practice is valued or understood within diverse cultures.
Dr. Joseph L. Underwood is a scholar and curator whose research focuses on artists from the African continent and the Diaspora, with projects that focus on the mid-to-late twentieth century Postwar era: post-colonialism, nationalism, globalization, public art, and biennialism. Dr. Underwood teaches courses that cover historical, recent, and contemporary African art, as well as the history of exhibitions, curatorial practices, and the politics of display. His research on Senegalese art and global networks of the 1970s/80s has been supported as a Tyson Scholar (Crystal Bridges Museum of Art) and an Arts Writer (Andy Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital). His related curatorial projects, like TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair, have received several awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Humanities Council.
Dr. John-Michael H. Warner is an art historian trained in gender and sexuality studies. Dr. Warner teaches histories and theories of contemporary art, twentieth-century art, and contemporary photography as well as graduate seminars that examine aspects of environmental and eco-critical art history—each from a feminist and queer perspective. Professor Warner’s first manuscript Border Spaces: The U.S.-Mexico Frontera (University of Arizona, 2018), with Katherine G. Morrissey, is a series of art historical and environmental histories of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Dr. Warner is currently working on a manuscript that attends to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Running Fence: A Project for California, 1976. Warner’s research interests include: border/borderlands studies, landscape and land use studies, eco-critical studies, theories of modern sculpture, and social/relational art.
Pinyan Zhu specializes in Chinese Buddhist visual culture. She received a doctorate in art history from the University of Kansas in 2022. Her dissertation “The Landscape of the Longmen Grottoes: Practices, Repentance, Jeweled Buddhas, and Burials under Emperor Wu Zhao (r. 690-705 CE)” examines the affective relationship between the cliff-carved cave-shrines and the medieval Buddhists in China during the reign of China’s only female monarch. Her research has been supported by Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation and the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies.
Pinyan’s article on the contemporary transformation of Baodingshan, a medieval site of cave-shrine in southwest China, appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Études chinoises. She also published on the reception of East Asian pewterware in Perspectives on a Legacy Collection: Sallie Casey Thayer’s Gift to the University of Kansas.
Pinyan has taught East Asian visual culture, Buddhist art, and ancient to medieval global art.