Students

Christina Alderman: Public Humanities MA StudentChristina Alderman: Public Humanities MA StudentAs Assistant Director, Family and Teen Programming at the RISD Museum, play, collaboration, and chance are central tenets of my process and work. I focus on creating experiences for family and teen audiences through both intimate and large-scale programs, at the museum and offsite. I am passionate about collaborating with communities to create content and programs, artist-driven platforms, and interdisciplinary projects. I have previously worked at the Walker Art Center, the LA County Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, and earned my BA in Art History from Chapman University.


Erin Aoyama: American Studies PhD StudentErin Aoyama: American Studies PhD StudentAs a Ph.D. student in American Studies here at Brown, I am interested in studying the experience of Japanese Americans within a broader context of American racial studies, examined through the lenses of solidarity history and transnational racial studies. In addition to understanding the impact of World War II incarceration and its aftermath, I'm interested in the larger historiographical questions raised about the limits of passing, the use of race as a political wedge, and the possible redirection of race after the Civil Rights Movement that affected more than African Americans in the South. My research focuses on the ways in which Japanese American identity is understood in our national memory, while also examining more broadly how the formation of such racial identities impacts our understanding of American history and the role of the United States in the world. I am excited to be in the Public Humanities program to work towards understanding the impact of the internment experience as a chapter in the history of race in America, potentially through public education, curricular design, or museum work.

Sandra Arnold: Public Humanities MA StudentSandra Arnold: Public Humanities MA StudentAs a public historian, my interests center on the memory and legacy of slavery and the Jim Crow era. As an artist, I am interested in telling stories that contribute to a broader understanding of the Black experience, and underrepresented narratives. I founded the Periwinkle Initiative, a public humanities nonprofit to preserve cultural heritage associated with enslaved Americans. The Initiative’s core project is the National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans - a repository that will document individual burials and burial grounds of enslaved Americans. At Brown, I will explore utilizing public art and media in preserving the memory of slavery and Jim Crow. I also plan to examine public engagement initiatives and their role in creating spaces for transformative dialogue on issues of race and reconciliation.

Emma Boast: Public Humanities MA StudentEmma Boast: Public Humanities MA StudentI’m an interdisciplinary curator and cultural programmer with a passion for creating compelling experiences and telling engaging stories that resonate with the public. Before coming to Brown, I was the founding Director of Exhibitions and Programing at the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD). In this capacity, I oversaw the museum's exhibitions, public programming, and digital initiatives. Before that, I worked as an editor and English teacher in the orthopedic surgery department of a hospital in Japan. Long, long ago, I wrote an undergraduate thesis on the politics of postwar architecture and design in the New York City subway. These eclectic and wide-ranging interests and experiences have brought me to museums – spaces where generalists and thinker-doers like me thrive. My curatorial approach and interest in the Public Humanities is rooted in a belief that museums should be places not only of contemplation but also of conversation. In my work, I merge an innovative approach to the study of material culture with storytelling that is socially and politically engaged. At Brown, I hope to explore how museums can work with the public to connect everyday experience with new areas of knowledge, encourage debate, and create rhetorical space in which visitors can question and rewrite dominant narratives. Building on my experience at MOFAD, I plan to develop a theoretical framework for the public museum and use that theory to inform a practice of community centered, socially transformative curatorial work.

Matthew Branch: Public Humanities MA StudentMatthew Branch: Public Humanities MA StudentAs an Educator and Arts Administrator with working at the intersection of public programming, extracurricular education, and social justice I am a believer in the power of informal learning and inclusive cultural programming to create opportunities for dialogue and understanding.  Currently, I serve as Coordinator for Student Activities and Orientation here at Brown University, where I advise and advocates for over one hundred student groups and am a key member of the planning committee for undergraduate Orientation. Additionally, I advise the Youth Board at the Steve Fund, an organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. Before coming to Brown I worked for five years in Museum Education and Public Programming at the Brooklyn Museum and performed with a professional Latin dance team.

Jasmine Chu: Public Humanities MA StudentJasmine Chu: Public Humanities MA StudentI am a public historian, educator, and lover of all things imaginative. Prior to Brown, I studied History and French Literature at the University of California San Diego. My first foray into the professional world was at a local bar and music venue, which ignited my desire to work in a creative field. I began volunteering in the beautiful museums of Balboa Park, and accepted a  position as the School and Public Programs Coordinator at the San Diego Museum of Man. Through the amazing community I found in the park, I also had the pleasure of serving as a board member of the San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals. These opportunities allowed me to design and implement programs that both engaged with the public and supported connections within the local non-profit sector. I am passionate about alternative methods of storytelling, identity building, social justice, and empathetic human connections fostered by fun, wild, powerful programming. In my studies, I specifically want to dig into the shifting boundaries between “normal” and “abnormal” from the Enlightenment onwards. Moving forward, I hope to curate spaces that engage with communities to contextualize history and inspire change.  
Sam Coren: American Studies PhD StudentSam Coren: American Studies PhD StudentMy research interests include the American landscape, material culture, systems thinking, urban planning, and the Anthropocene.  I have explored these themes in recent public history projects, including a 2017 solo exhibit at the AS220, titled Topographics in Pursuit of Spirit: A Month Spent Getting to Know the Providence River, and IN:SITE, a 2016 group show at an abandoned cement mine in Rosendale, New York.  I love writing, especially historiographic writing, but hope to continue working in other media and finding new ways to narrate lived experience by way of its material traces.  Some of my recent work can be seen at samcorenblog.wordpress.com.
Emily Esten: Public Humanities MA StudentEmily Esten: Public Humanities MA StudentAs a public historian, I work to examine the theoretical and practical implications of public history on a national and international level.  Combining my interests of digital humanities, new media, and American studies, I am focused on how historical scholarship can be reinterpreted and reconstructed for and by the public.  Prior to coming to Brown, I interned in a range of departments at large and small institutions across New England.  In addition to my studies, I currently serve as an NPS volunteer at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.  Moving forward, I plan to use the methods of the historical discipline and digital technologies to make powerful and relevant interpretations across new mediums to engage audiences with the past. 
Angela Yuanyuan Feng: American Studies PhD StudentAngela Yuanyuan Feng: American Studies PhD StudentAs a Ph.D. student in American Studies, I am interested in Asian American community formation, politics and culture, Asian American Literature, and Chinese Diaspora in the Americas. My goal is to develop an interdisciplinary and transnational/transpacific approach to Asian American studies situated within a larger critical analysis of power and social justice. Prior to Brown, I worked as a lecturer in the English Department at Minzu University of China in Beijing, teaching English language and American literature, with a focus on Chinese American literature. Currently I am working on the Dissapeared Chinatown Project 1880s-1960s with my cohort Julieanne Fontana. This project is an effort to rediscover Providence’s Chinatown, preserve this early history of Chinese experiences in Rhode Island, explore its cross-racial and cross-cultural interactions with people beyond the Chinese community, and examine how the Chinese conception of community has changed from the 1880s through the present day. It will be presented as an interpretative exhibit in downtown Providence and as a publicly accessible online archive.
 Julieanne Fontana: Public Humanities MA StudentJulieanne Fontana: Public Humanities MA StudentJulieanne comes to the Public Humanities program hoping to explore the connections between history, community, and the environment. Her past experience includes working in interpretation and education with the National Park Service, data collection for environmental organizations, and a curatorial internship with the New Bedford Whaling Museum. At Brown, she will continue to study the intersection between communities and the environment, particularly analyzing the ways in which we use place to remember the past. On a more practical level, she aims to utilize outdoor recreation initiatives, community gardens, and public space to connect communities, especially youth, to the environment and history.  Julieanne enjoys learning about maritime history, hiking, traveling to explore new foods and cultures, and finding all the farm animals she can along the way!
Maria Paula Garcia Mosquera: Public Humanities MA StudentMaria Paula Garcia Mosquera: Public Humanities MA Student Since I graduated from my B.A. in History in Bogotá (Colombia), I have been interested in working as a Historian in the practice (or as a Public Historian as I later knew). This interest has taken me to work in a range of cultural organizations and government institutions, such as the Colombian National Public Radio, the Bogotá’s Office of Culture, Recreation and Sports, and the Museums of the Central Bank of Colombia. From these experiences, I found the importance of historical heritage and cultural practices for Colombians as citizens, but they are not as accessible as they should be. My mission at Brown is to explore ways to narrow the gap that exists between institutions working with heritage and a broader public. I am looking forward to learning more about notions of public engagement and how to engage non-museum audiences to this kind of institutions. I also plan to start a research project in which I envision ways to make, historical research, public collaboration, and exposure, converge. For this, I am designing a digital archive to house the records of my grandfather, who was among the first Afro-Colombians to reach prominence in the Colombian government between the 1940s and 1970s.
Thaddeus Gibson: Public Humanities MA StudentThaddeus Gibson: Public Humanities MA StudentThaddeus Gibson comes from Vermont, where he previously worked for the State Curator and the Vermont Arts Council. He received a BA in Anthropology from Williams College in 2011. His interests include American art, history and culture as well as arts advocacy, exhibit design and curation.
Amelia Golcheski: Public Humanities MA StudentAmelia Golcheski: Public Humanities MA StudentAs a public historian I am dedicated to listening to and telling stories. Growing up in the American South I know that stories are not merely stories--instead they're memories that collectively create a complicated history of the region. I am interested in memory, identity, its tie to place, and the effects of these themes on communities today. At the core of these themes are individual stories. Combining my interest in history, folklore, and new media I plan to focus my studies on recording stories for the future while examining how the public's understanding of the past is reinterpreted and reconstructed in public spaces. Prior to coming to Brown I worked with these themes first hand as a museum educator at Monticello. CONTACT ME! I'm a Program Ambassador.

Taylor Jackson: Public Humanities MA StudentTaylor Jackson: Public Humanities MA StudentMy decision to work in public history was heavily influenced by understanding the past serves as a blueprint for our society's future systemic victories and mistakes. As an undergraduate at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, I maintained an energetic fervor for studying the plight of black peoples in America while reflecting on the significance and ramifications of such a complex history. My zeal for African American History lead me to seek an employment opportunity with Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum in Memphis after receiving my BA in History from Rhodes. The privilege of being a docent at Slave Haven incomparably heightened my awareness of public history’s significance. By the end of my first day at the museum, I realized I had chosen to become an integral part of the legacy that will continue to share the narrative of this American History. I had chosen to become a historian dedicated to educate, inspire, and encourage others to learn from our past in order to elevate our society’s future. My long term goal is to become an influential member of a team whose mission is to educate the public on the history of slavery and race in the United States and the implications of that history on our society today. My other professional interest includes studying black artistic culture and understanding the ways in which black literature, music, and other forms of artistry highlight and reflect the heritage and history of black peoples within the African Diaspora. 


Bella (Zhuohan) Jiang: Public Humanities MA StudentBella (Zhuohan) Jiang: Public Humanities MA Student

After my bachelor study in Culture Industry Management in China, I come here to further pursue my interest in art and culture. My previous experiences include volunteering in Long Museum and various exhibitions, taking part in some projects of Fremantle Media, assisting Shanghai Orchestra and freelancing. Two of my articles were published on Vice China: 
In one article, I investigated 10 night clubs in Shanghai from the underground to skyscrapers in an attempt 
to reveal marginalized groups’ lifestyles and worldviews. In the other, I researched 374 Tinder users on profile and dating purpose, conducted 9 face-to-face interviews in discussion of social media and spiritual needs.   In my free time I sing a lot, my Chinese music platform has attracted more than 500,000 listeners. 
Academically, I plan to explore new opportunities of art and culture in the program, to foster arts public engagement and serve its functions.

Kenna Libes: Public Humanities MA StudentKenna Libes: Public Humanities MA Student

As a graduate in History with a passion for archaeology, my interests lie in historic material culture and gender in context. My professional goal is to work in a museum environment and to engage the public with the history of dress and the modern replication of historic garments. I'm a firm believer that handling replicas increases understanding and relatability - and it's more fun than just looking at something through the glass! While in undergrad, I did collections and curatorial work for the Smithsonian at several different museums, and prior to coming to Brown I worked in historic wardrobe at Plimoth Plantation. My hobby is sewing, so yes - I've put my money where my mouth is!

Rica Maestas: Public Humanities MA StudentRica Maestas: Public Humanities MA StudentI’m just a post-modern New Mexican with a soft spot for inappropriately placed religious iconography and a passion for making connections between things that don’t seem related. While this compulsion keeps my mental gymnastics in tip-top shape, it more importantly brings together those who love topics that have generally been considered separate. My interest in the Public Humanities is embedded in my desire to foster this intersectionality in informal, interdisciplinary, and ideally innovative learning environments (also, I’m a fan of alliteration). I’ve had the pleasure of doing so in Los Angeles, coordinating public, free, and incredibly varied academic events and I look forward to experimenting with alternative forms of educational public engagement at Brown.


Claritza Maldonado: American Studies PhD StudentClaritza Maldonado: American Studies PhD StudentI am a poet, creative writer, and researcher from Chicago with roots in Puerto Rico. I hold a BA in Linguistics with a minor in Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a poet, I have learned how research can exist and span spaces like stages. This is when I began understanding research as public humanities work. Through public art, media, performance, and poetry, my research explores how (Afro)Latina/x/o identity and community inform one another and how they are represented, with a focus on regional [Puerto] Rican identities tracing from the 1960s to the present. Community and public are at the center of my work, therefore, I am excited to continue to learn and implement to have such knowledge live in public and accessible spaces/ways for communities of color. I spent the past months as a James Lollar Hagan Intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, followed by being a Graduate and Professional Development Intern at the Smithsonian Latino Center, which further developed my interest and knowledge in curating. I am particularly interested in ways of transforming the traditional museum space, along with looking at public humanities beyond the museum, such as performance, public murals, cultural centers, art/cultural pop-ups, and the digital world.
Liz Malone: Public Humanities MA StudentLiz Malone: Public Humanities MA StudentWhile earning my B.S. in Urban Studies from Worcester State University, I have always been fascinated in studying people and their connection to community and how their education molds that unique relationship. We learn through peoples’ individual and collective stories and connecting those stories to policy and practice within cultural and educational institutions. In my three short years working at Brown University, I have learned that this institution thrives on building and maintaining community. My interests involve learning how cultural and educational institutions, such as Brown, connect and relay information in effective methods to their community and beyond.
Hannah Mooney: Public Humanities MA StudentHannah Mooney: Public Humanities MA Student

As a public historian, my goal is to help create a better informed and more empathetic and accepting society. During my time at and since graduating from Furman University with a B.A. in history, I have worked in history museums, children’s museums, and historic houses in an effort to reach this goal. I see museums as valuable teaching tools, where we can interpret and talk about challenging aspects of American history, as well as engage a new generation of critical thinkers. My other professional interests include working directly with students and families, and finding ways to increase accessibility of museums and other cultural institutions for students of all backgrounds.

Maddie Mott: Public Humanities MA StudentMaddie Mott: Public Humanities MA StudentI am an administrative historian, fundraiser, and small museum advocate from Portland, Oregon. I’ve done work in development, grant research and planning, and exhibit development at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Clackamas County Historical Society, but no work gets me more excited than realizing the potential of a small history museum. I think that small museums are the backbones of a community, the preservers of its heritage, and just as valuable as the Field or the Met, but they often face a unique set of constraints that make change feel like an impossible task. While at Brown, I plan on studying innovative methods to make smaller institutions more inclusive, accessible, and most importantly, sustainable. After graduation, I will start my own consulting firm that takes these strategies to small museums in order to relieve some of the burdens they may carry. Besides changemaking, my other passions include quiche, video games, and Instagramming pictures of my taxidermy duckling.  Check out my website, maddiemott.com, for a complete resume and project list!  

Alyson Myers: Public Humanities MA StudentAlyson Myers: Public Humanities MA StudentI am a historian, educator, archaeologist, and museum enthusiast. Prior to attending Brown University, I graduated from The College of William and Mary, in my home state of Virginia, with a B.A. in Early American History. William and Mary exposed me to the local history and sites through various coursework under the direction of the NIAHD (National Institute for American History and Democracy) program. The NIAHD certificate program introduced me to the fields of Historic Preservation, Material Culture, Architecture, Archaeology, Museum Studies, and Public History. In addition to the exposure of these new disciplines, I was also presented opportunities to work alongside experts in their fields and collaborate with highly accredited institutions like Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne. These experiences allowed me to explore stories of race and gender in a world written predominately from one perspective and become passionate for those lost narratives, particularly those of women, during Colonial America and the American Revolution. I hope to educate the public on the field of history and inspire younger generations through museum education and programming. During my time at Brown, I hope to acquire the proper tools and knowledge to continue working in museums, non-profit, or other governmental agencies in order to educate the public on these portions of history that are often neglected.

Robin Ness: Public Humanities MA StudentRobin Ness: Public Humanities MA StudentI work on linking the past to the present through public history projects, digital storytelling, curatorial and creative practice. My scholarship in the Public Humanities MA program builds upon my BFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design and 25 years of experience in Brown University’s Library System. After 12 years serving as Digital Production Specialist in the library's Digital Technologies Department, my current role, in Special Collections at the John Hay Library, is aiding researchers and contributing to exhibit planning. Merging a fascination with historical inquiry; objects; interpretation; and engagement, the projects I develop tend to utilize technologies in order to expose stories previously hidden in archives to a new and wider audience. My academic work in the Public Humanities program, in conjunction with my work promoting Brown University’s Special Collections and Archives materials, allows me to continually find new opportunities in creating, interpreting, preserving, and transmitting the cultural heritage record.
Johanna Obenda: Public Humanities MA StudentJohanna Obenda: Public Humanities MA StudentMy name is Johanna Obenda, and I received a BA in History from the University of Alabama in 2016. As an undergraduate student, I developed a passion for storytelling, particularly stories of the black experience and the transatlantic slave trade. I was able to explore and share these stories through various mediums, including documentary film, podcasting, and academic research. My interest in history and cultural studies, multimedia work, and public engagement led me to museums and museum education. I have explored the ways museums act as platforms for accessible learning at The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At Brown I hope to continue expanding my understanding of Public Humanities and to study who gets to share history and stories with the public and how they choose to do so. Specifically, I am interested in focusing on the ways slavery is depicted in popular culture (art, media, literature) and the ways slavery and its legacies affect our collective understanding of both the past and present. I hope to further develop my knowledge of the varied realities of the African Diaspora while continuing to develop my understanding of the role of museums and cultural institutions in displaying and sharing these narratives with the public. Check out my website http://johannaobenda.com to view my projects and learn a bit more about me!
Molly Pailet: Public Humanities MA StudentMolly Pailet: Public Humanities MA Student I am passionate about applied history, non-traditional education, and creating opportunities for engagement and connection. My interest in how history can function outside of a textbook evolved during my time at Bates College (History BA). Undertaking a bachelor’s thesis project deepened my interest in creating historical projects centered around people and reinforced my love for accessible and relevant academia. In my thesis I examined possible historical and cultural insights and explanations for the Czech Republic’s secular, yet culturally christian atmosphere. Before coming to Brown I interned and worked with various institutions in educational and exhibit development roles (Bates College Museum, History Colorado, the Dikeou Collection, and the Byers-Evans House). I was able to further indulge my interest in Slavic history and culture by working as a teacher in the Czech Republic with the Fulbright Program. My Czech experience prompted musings about identity, history, and connection to place- which I intend to explore at Brown. Teaching abroad strengthened my belief in the need to create multicultural connections/understanding and in the power of education. I plan to give life to these beliefs as I continue pursuing a people oriented career path rooted in the humanities.
Alexandra Peck: Certificate in Public Humanities Program (Anthropology PhD Student)Alexandra Peck: Certificate in Public Humanities Program (Anthropology PhD Student)I’m Alexandra Peck, a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at Brown. My research interests include material culture, tribal museums, and public art displays on Coast Salish reservations in the Pacific Northwest. I hold a B.A. in Anthropology from Seattle University, as well as a M.A. in Anthropology from Brown, where my research emphasizes Native, feminist, and collaborative anthropologies. Recently, I have held a proctorship at Brown’s Haffenreffer Museum and worked for RISD as an assistant curator of their Native American collection. Currently, I am earning a Graduate Certificate in Public Humanities.
Bryn Pernot: Public Humanities MA StudentBryn Pernot: Public Humanities MA StudentAs an evaluator, researcher, and program developer, I am a staunch advocate for museums playing an active role in engaging their communities. I strongly believe that these institutions have the responsibility to make their exhibits and programs relevant and thus transformative. In my graduate studies, I seek to integrate fields like anthropology, education, theater, and design to investigate how museums can integrate diverse backgrounds and perspectives, as well as provide a space for public participation. These interests are inspired by my personal dedication to equity and social justice and are also informed by my professional background and training. Prior to coming to Brown, I worked on education evaluation and research at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, educational programming at the Smart Museum of Art, and curatorial projects at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and exhibit spaces throughout Chicago. In all of these places, I have sought to understand what a museum is, can be, and should be in the contemporary world. I look forward to continuing this inquiry and applying new types of critical thinking and theoretical frameworks to address the role of museums today, to initiate and sustain positive social change. 
Julia Renaud: Public Humanities MA StudentJulia Renaud: Public Humanities MA Student

A proud native of the San Francisco Bay Area, I studied American History and Literature as well as the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard. After graduating in 2009, I worked for several years in the archives of the Calder Foundation in New York, and also spent time at the American Repertory Theater, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and D. E. Shaw Research. The work of “making” history has held my interest and imagination throughout my personal, academic, and professional pursuits. I am particularly intrigued by how representations of America’s complicated histories of labor, race, class, and gender reflect ongoing cultural negotiations of these charged topics. In the Public Humanities program, I hope to further explore this topic (and, of course, the marvelous city of Providence).

Rebecca Rex: Public Humanities MA StudentRebecca Rex: Public Humanities MA StudentI am a reader, writer, art seeker and potter with an interest in how the humanities can be deployed to address social issues, and the philanthropic mechanisms that enable this process.  Having spent the greater chunk of my career in cultural institutions, including the Preservation Society of Newport, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and The Frick Collection, I’m also a sucker for issues around organizational strategy and mission effectiveness.  I’m privileged to have the opportunity to engage directly in this work as a trustee and board secretary of the Newport Art Museum (whose kilns I then get to clog with all manner of clay ‘experiments’).  I’m further privileged to work at Brown in the Office of Foundation Relations where I have the opportunity to exercise my deep interest in philanthropy by working with faculty in the humanities and social sciences to develop proposals to private foundations for support of research and other academic initiatives.

Isabella Robbins: Public Humanities MA StudentIsabella Robbins: Public Humanities MA StudentYá'át'ééh! My name is Isabella Robbins and I will be entering the Brown School of Public Humanities as the inaugural Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative Fellow. I am a citizen of the Navajo Nation and I recently graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Art History. During my undergraduate years, I was able to take my first art history courses, sparking my interest in the (mis)representation of Native and Indigenous peoples in museum spaces, National Parks, and intersection of the two. So far, I have been able to work as an intern in the museum collections of Yosemite National Park and Grand Canyon National Park, and as an intern to the curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Cantor Arts Center. During my time at Brown, I will be working in the Haffenreffer Museum and I look forward learning more about the Indigenous peoples of Rhode Island and the greater New England area. Through my education and as a future museum professional, I hope to find ways to bridge past Indigenous histories with continuing, contemporary ones in respectful and accessible ways. Finally, I am interested in reclamation of storytelling and Native voices in museums, but also how those elements are reclaimed in other spaces like public art displays, graffiti, and social justice movements.
Ryan Saglio: Public Humanities MA StudentRyan Saglio: Public Humanities MA StudentI am a Rhode Island native who graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2015 with my BA in English and Art History. While in school, my research focused on the ethical, aesthetic, and technical aspects of conservation and display of ancient antiquities. My research spawned an interest in how ideas and information spread through various types of communication and how we, as the public, perceive it. I am also fascinated by the concepts of originality and uniqueness and how our perception of them, change our view of the world. For the past five years, I have worked with children and adults with developmental delays and helped them learn to access their communities. I have learned that most community spaces are not as accessible to that population as we might think. Often spaces are limiting both physically and intellectually.  My goal here at Brown is to expand not only my research and interest in communication and reception but to work to make public spaces more inclusive for all types of people. I hope to take these interests and experiences and become a museum educator. Art and culture has always been a passion and I hope to take the insights I have gained and make museums more accessible for all.
Brigitte Santana: Public Humanities MA StudentBrigitte Santana: Public Humanities MA StudentI aim to make museums more accessible and equitable places to work and visit (online and IRL).  My areas of academic interest include: digital humanities, information science, social psychology, ethnic studies, and visual culture.  Professionally, I am interested in curation, digital engagement, and museum education.  From 2016-2017, I was the Brown University Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) Curatorial Fellow.  Other previous experiences include working for LA Plaza de Cultura Y Artes and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, teaching a class on comics and graphic novels at Art Division, and earning my bachelor's degree at Columbia University.  Some of my joys include portraiture, cherimoyas, and the occasional outer space metaphor.

Ruby Thiagarajan: Public Humanities MA StudentRuby Thiagarajan: Public Humanities MA Student I’m interested in genuine and truthful storytelling and in how that can build more engaged and connected communities. I hail from Singapore and spent some time in France and the Netherlands for my undergraduate education before coming to Brown. Professionally, I’m a founding editor of Mynah Magazine, a non-fiction longform magazine dedicated to telling Singapore’s forgotten and untold stories. The team started the magazine in 2016 out of frustration at the lack of accessible and non-academic homes for considered and intelligent writing about Singaporean culture and history. While magazines might be my first love, I’m interested in branching out and exploring other mediums of storytelling like exhibitions, podcasts and walking tours. In my studies, I’m planning on deepening my understanding in issues of race, gender, and class in order to build an intersectional approach to the public humanities.

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