Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Nina Horisaki-Christens

    Nina Horisaki-Christens received her Ph.D. from the Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Comparative Literature in Society at Columbia University in 2021. Her research focuses on the intersection of art, media, urbanism, translation, and social engagement in Japan, Asia, and the Asian diaspora. Horisaki-Christens' dissertation, "VIDEO HIROBA: Contingent Publics and Video Communication in Japan, 1966-1981," took up the birth of the term bideo (video) in Japanese art discourse of the early 1970s through the work of the Tokyo-based collective Video Hiroba. Using the lens of critical translation theory, the project examined how a rejection of "expression" in favor of "communication" evoked new images of community, positioning Video Hiroba at the intersection of local and transnational discussions of video's possibilities for addressing intersecting crises in urban, media, environmental, and art institutional landscapes.

  • Cathy Zhu

    Catherine received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2022. She researches Chinese painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties (960-1368) and the relationship between art, imperial power, and the creation of social and political identities. Her dissertation studies images of omens in the founding of the Southern Song and their role in crafting a sense of nationhood. She is particularly interested in the viewing practices and iconicity of images, and how such their material and functional aspects concretize notions of imperial power and cultural reach.


Past Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Daria Melnikova

    Daria Melnikova received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Her research focuses on the specific medium of “performance art” within the transnational context of Japan, the U.S., and Russia from the early 20th century to the present. She is particularly interested in the status of the body at moments of crisis, such as the ideological repressions of gender and sexuality during the empire and nation building; the postwar visibility of the body in the atomic and news media age; and the intersection of the individual and the community in public spaces of common memory. Since the works of performance art are accessible for the most part only through photographic images, material objects, and texts, she is also interested in the issue of performance documentation, particularly the necessity to review the status of a “document” for researching, archiving and exhibiting purposes.

  • Ja Won Lee

    Ja Won Lee received her Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles in 2018. Her research focuses on the exchange of material culture and the interaction between artists and collectors in East Asia. Her recently published article “Collecting Culture, Representing the Self: Chosŏn Portraits of Collectors of Chinese Antiquities,” appears in Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 31 (June 2018). In it, she examines how a trend in collecting and appreciating Chinese antiquities impacted the developments of portraiture in the nineteenth century. Her current project centers on antiquarianism and transcultural movements in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Korea, Japan, and China. Before joining Columbia University, she was a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and taught at University of Hong Kong and UCLA.

  • Talia Andrei

    Talia Andrei’s research focuses on late-medieval Japanese painting and the social, political, and economic context in which it was created. Her dissertation, “Mapping Sacred Spaces: Representations of Pleasure and Worship in sankei mandara” explores the historical and artistic circumstances behind the appearance of sankei mandara (pilgrimage mandalas) in late-medieval Japan and argues that the comparative study of mandara dedicated to a particular sacred site can uncover clues about the mandara’s patronage and power dynamics of local religious institutions. She is currently developing a book project based on this research, and in a forthcoming article she explores the cartographic features of the sankei mandara genre.

  • Miriam Chusid

    Miriam Chusid’s received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2016. Her current research focuses on the visual representations of the six paths of existence, or the Buddhist hells and other undesirable realms of the afterlife. Chusid is currently developing a book project that centers on the soteriological role of hell imagery in thirteenth and fourteenth century Japan, and she is particularly interested in the interplay between art, text, and ritual; the use of art and architecture to convey Buddhist knowledge and changes in belief; and the relationship between icons and visual narratives. She is also at work on a second project that examines how Japan’s cultural elite appropriated medieval Buddhist paintings and sculptures to construct a national visual heritage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.