The Art History Association is pleased to announce that Amanda Brito and Sheila Scoville have been selected by their peers as the 2022 winners of the I. N. Winbury Award. The award, which includes a $300 stipend for book purchases, is presented annually to one MA student and one PhD student. Academic papers are submitted for consideration to the graduate student organization, which arranges for a panel of doctoral students to judge the MA papers and a panel of MA students to judge the doctoral papers. The PhD panel also selected an MA Honorable Mention, Quentin Clark.
In her paper, “Communist Pop: Propaganda and Paradox in the Work of OSPAAAL,” MA student Amanda Brito examines the deployment of Pop art in off-center contexts like Cuba by interrogating the contributions of OSPAAAL and their multi-lingual publication Tricontinental. Her research seeks to interrogate OSPAAAL, more specifically Elena Serrano and Alfredo Rostgaard, in terms of their engagements with US-American Pop’s signature forms as a vehicle for disseminating communist ideology. Her analysis centers OSPAAAL’s images of Che Guevara and their retooling of American Pop’s unmistakable visual language to address issues of pop culture, idol worship, and mass consumerism.
In “México Profundo Rebooted: Fernando Palma Rodríguez’s Nahua-tronic,” doctoral student Sheila Scoville discusses the contemporary Nahua artist Fernando Palma Rodríguez, who builds robots of Mesoamerican deities, archetypes, and allegorical flora and fauna. His practice exemplifies how Mexico’s orginarios (“original people”) have tethered their expressive and symbolic vocabularies to emergent technology to code and integrate their experiences with a changing world into their own conceptions of contemporary life.
In his paper, “Religion Meets Politics: The Pairing of Sacred and Imperial Imagery in Sixth-Century Byzantium,” Quentin Clark investigates the role of art in shaping a Christian empire. During the fourth through eighth centuries, the religious and political climate of Byzantium significantly affected the material culture it produced––both within Constantinople and in other regional centers of power throughout the empire. Quentin’s paper focuses on the continuity and change of imperial iconography during this period, and its increased pairing with sacred iconography. He ultimately argues that this pairing of imperial and Christian iconography was strategically enacted, resulting in further Christianization of the Byzantine Empire.
Congratulations to Amanda, Sheila, and Quentin on being recognized for the high caliber of their research and writing! The Art History Association thanks everyone who submitted papers and participated in the judging this year.