His research centers on German interwar visual culture, in particular popular prints and illustrated magazines produced within the Communist milieu. This topic is explored at length in his current book project, Seeing Class: Graphic Satire and the Cultivation of Radicalism in the Weimar Republic, which demonstrates how the targeting of working-class audiences spurred formal experimentation during this tumultuous period and led to a re-evaluation of graphic satire’s artistic import and political potential. More broadly, Mandarino is interested in the development of caricature as a mode of visual communication and has begun research toward a second book project that will explore this topic back into the eighteenth century. He also hopes to someday complete a historical study of the social history of art.
Prior to joining the department, Mandarino briefly served as an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University, and spent several years as a TA at the University of Michigan, receiving the Henry P. Tappan Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. His scholarship has been supported by a research fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), two Foreign Language/Area Studies (FLAS) scholarships from the US Department of Education, and numerous research and travel grants from the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan. Forthcoming publications include: “Exposing the Republic: Weimar Communism and Caricature,” and a co-authored translation of Georg Lukács’ “Zur Frage der Satire.”