|Research Area: Visual Cultures of the Americas
Advisor: Dr. Paul Niell
Dissertation Title: “Enlightenment, Reform, and Identity in Late Eighteenth-Century Puerto Rico: The Art of José Campeche”
Emily Thames specializes in the visual and material culture of the colonial Atlantic World, with a focus on the Spanish Americas and the Caribbean (c. 1500-1900). Her research and teaching interests include the relationship between art and empire; art in the age of revolution and nationalism; the history of colonialism, imperialism, and global exchanges; identity, self-fashioning, and portraiture; the intersection of art and race; and the visual and material cultures of the African diaspora. Her dissertation project considers José Campeche, a Puerto Rican artist working in San Juan during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Emily completed her BA in Art History and Criticism with Honors at the University of Arkansas in 2010. She received her MA degree in 2012 from the University of North Texas, writing her thesis on a set of buttons allegedly painted by Italian artist Agostino Brunias and worn by Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture. As a Ph.D. student at Florida State University, Emily has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Joe and Wanda Corn Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Student Achievement Award, the Mason Dissertation Research Award, the I.N. Winbury Award, the COGS Conference Presentation Support Grant, and the Helen J. Beard Conference Travel Grant. During the summer of 2018, Emily held the Object Research and Teaching Programming Internship position at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Emily has also served as a graduate assistant for several courses at FSU and independently taught the History of African Art and the History and Criticism of Art I and II.