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MemberSarah Beetham

Dr. Sarah Beetham is an assistant professor of art history at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, specializing in American art and particularly the monuments erected to citizen soldiers after the Civil War. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Delaware and a B.A. in art history and English from Rutgers University. Her current book project, Monumental Crisis: Accident, Vandalism, and the Civil War Citizen Soldier, focuses on the ways in which post-Civil War soldier monuments have served as flashpoints for heated discussion of American life and culture in the 150 years since the end of the war. Dr. Beetham has published work on Civil War monuments and art history pedagogy in Public Art Dialogue, Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, Nierika: Revista de Estudios de Arte, and Common-Place. She has been interviewed regarding her work on Civil War monuments and the current debate over the future of Confederate monuments in several outlets, including the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, Architectural Digest, and Mic.

MemberRebecca Senior

I am currently a Henry Moore Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021) working on a research project at the University of Nottingham titled ‘Allegories of Violence: Histories of the British Empire and Monumental Sculpture’. This project explores the various manifestations of allegorical sculpture on monuments erected in honour of Britain’s imperial campaigns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a specific focus on how allegory occupied a unique space as a sanitiser of violence in visual histories. I am also recently exploring how allegorical sculpture propagated Lost Cause ideology and white supremacy on Confederate monuments, and tracing this lineage through art histories in the United States.   My doctoral  research explored the significance of allegory and monumental sculpture as sites of sociopolitical, cultural and imperial memory in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I completed my Ph.D  in History of Art at the University of York in 2018 with a thesis titled ‘The Death of Allegory? Problems of the British Funerary Monument 1762-1840’. This work analysed a series of four exemplary sculptors, and their manipulation of allegory as a unique form of visual rhetoric. By proposing funerary monuments as a canvas for allegorical expression, allegory was presented as a performative, three-dimensional phenomenon, which was used to evoke, erase and manipulate Britain’s economic and imperial histories of trade, military victory, femininity, and empire during this period. I also work as an Impact Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, where I develop evidence collection methods and research strategies across the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies. 

MemberKirsty Millican

I completed my PhD from the University of Glasgow titled ‘Contextualising the Cropmark Record: The timber monuments of Neolithic Scotland’ in 2009. From 2009-10 I held a short-term lectureship at the University of of Aberdeen and from 2010 have worked for Historic Environment Scotland. I am currently Aerial Survey Projects Manager at Historic Environment Scotland and Affiliate Researcher (Archaeology) at the University of Glasgow. I am co-director of the Lochbrow Landscape Project, an archaeological survey project investigating the sites and landscapes at and around Lochbrow in Dumfries and Galloway. My research interests include the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Scotland, timber monumentality and the use of wood to build monuments, aerial archaeology and the interpretation of cropmarks, relationships between humans and the environment in prehistory, landscape archaeology and the integration of experiential and GIS approaches. My publications cover themes of Neolithic Scotland, cropmark archaeology, experiential and landscape archaeology.

MemberSierra Rooney

I am an assistant professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, specializing in American visual culture and public art. My research interests include representations of gender and race, commemoration, civic-engagement, and place-based identity within the United States. My current book project, Breaking the Bronze Ceiling: Contemporary Statue Monuments to Women and the Changing Heroic Ideal in the United States, analyzes more than fifty monuments to the five most-commemorated women in the United States (Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks) to uncover the many ways in which artists and patrons adapt the traditional model of the hero statue to integrate feminist and race-conscious modes of thought into local communities.   

MemberChristopher LaSasso

My work draws on adaptation and performance studies, as well as critical race and postcolonial theories, to understand the role that monuments and statues play in early modern European drama. My secondary interests in the racialization of space & spatialization of race, the history of playhouses in the united states, and the political role of ‘public’ Shakespeares. At the heart of my intellectual interests is my own political work with (and in solidarity with) transnational movements to oppose, remove, and dismantle those seemingly idle idols that memorialize white supremacy and Euro-colonial conquest.

MemberNila Namsechi

Nila Namsechi is currently a PhD candidate in Byzantine, Ottoman and Greek modern Studies at University of Birmingham where she offers the first systematic study of the Byzantine and Early Medieval Duchy of Naples from c650-1000.Drawing together over fifty years of textual and archaeological research, her thesis will address the transition period that Naples underwent during these centuries by examining the built environment and monumental topography of the city and the territory of Duchy of Naples. Furthermore, her thesis aims to understand the cultural impact of Byzantium alongside other regional cultures on Naples. She is also interested in the study of Persian literature and transcription of Medieval manuscripts in English.    

MemberAdam N. Coward

I am an independent scholar researching the social and cultural history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Wales. My research mainly focuses on the cultural history of ideas, including the histories of folklore and folkloristics, the development of national identity, scholarly cultures, and international networks of knowledge exchange. However, I have a wider range of research interests including the connections between the mid-Wales woollen industry and the transatlantic slave economy and the history of leisure culture – particularly salmon fishing. By day, I work at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and so have an interest in, and knowledge of, the Welsh historical built environment and the wider heritage industry.

MemberPeter Sposato

I am an associate professor of History at Indiana University Kokomo. I earned my PhD in History from the University of Rochester, where I worked with Richard Kaeuper. Bill Caferro has been an invaluable mentor in all things Florentine, archival, and military. My first book, Forged in the Shadow of Mars: Chivalry and Violence in Late Medieval Florence (under contract with Cornell University Press), focused on the intersection of chivalry, elite culture, and violence in Due- and Trecento Florence. My second book project focuses on identity formation among marginalized elites in fourteenth and fifteenth century Florence, a process which involved holding military offices in the contado, providing advice to the Florentine government on military matters, and, perhaps most importantly, cultivating military careers. It will also consider how these men asserted their claimed identities in perpetuity, mainly through the commissioning of tomb effigies and funerary monuments with clear knightly or military themes. While in other parts of Europe these martial activities and acts of commemoration were central pillars of the dominant brand of elite identity, in Florence they were often more closely associated with elites who found themselves at the margins of Florentine politics and economically disadvantaged. 

MemberJens Notroff

Studied Prehistoric Archaeology at the Free University of Berlin under Prof. Hänsel and Prof. Teržan, where I finished studies in 2009 achieving the degree of Magister Artium. Main focus of research is the European Bronze Age, especially burial customs and material culture in view of the representation of prestige and social hierarchy, closely related to my interest in places of cult and ritual respectively the question of their archaeological evidence. Dissertation deals with the phenomenon of miniature swords in the Nordic Bronze Age and the role of these symbolic arms as markers of social rank. From Montelius’ Period IV onwards, miniature swords are found in burials while their larger pendants are mostly (but not exclusively) connected to depositions. Other than stated before, miniature swords are not displacing the large arms as grave goods completely – when they are disappearing from burials in Period V this also means the end of the Bronze Age miniature sword phenomenon in the North. Second field of research is the Pre-Pottery Neolithic and beginning sedentism as well as the development of early complex societies; affiliated with the Göbekli Type research project of the German Archaeological Institute’s Orient Department, excavating the oldest yet known monumental architecture – an early cultic centre or gathering place of hunter-gatherer groups near Şanlıurfa in south-eastern Anatolia.