Fellows Society Current Graduate Fellow: Rachel Fesperman

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Rachel Fesperman

Hometown: Asheville, NC, USA

2014 – present

PhD in Global Contemporary Art History

Website: http://www.rachelfesperman.org

FSU Art History PhD profile: https://arthistory.fsu.edu/rachel-fesperman/


Kress Foundation Fellowship in Art History, Betty Ashburn '86 School of French, Middlebury College (2017)

International Dissertation Semester Research Fellowship (IDSRF), France (2019–2020)


Educational/Professional Background

I graduated with honors and distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a BA in Modern/Contemporary Art History and minors in modern history and gender studies. While at UNC-CH, I worked, volunteered, and interned at the Ackland Art Museum. Since coming to FSU, I have taught in FSU's Department of Art History and Architecture and for the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. I have worked with the curatorial team at Wolfsonian-FIU and for the American Tapestry Alliance (ATA) on digital curation, marketing, and outreach.


Research and Teaching Interests, or Professional Field

I am an intersectional art historian; gender, queer, and de/post-colonial studies guide my work as a researcher and instructor. I study global contemporary art (after 1960) with a focus on Francophone visual cultures. My research and teaching interests center on performance, ephemeral, and multimedia art particularly as they relate to themes of gender, sexuality, and (de)coloniality.


Experience as A Graduate Student at FSU

The ability to attend Middlebury College's French School in 2017 was an incredible experience. It was a deeply transformative experience to receive funding to study in an immersive environment and it has informed my research more than I can say!

Similarly, the opportunity to conduct dissertation research in France this past year has been wonderful. I was able to not only study documents at several archives around the country but also to live and be fully immersed in French culture.


Experience as A Member of The Fellows Society

I have loved attending Fellows events on campus and am so glad to see that they are still being offered digitally!


Future Plans/Aspirations

I hope to become an interdisciplinary scholar of art history and/or gender studies.


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