History of Art and Architecture

Work Forces: Participants

Alex J Taylor (co-leader) is Assistant Professor and Academic Curator in History of Art and Architecture. His first book Perils of the Studio (2007) explored the professionalization of the artist’s studio in Australia. He is currently completing a history of corporate art patronage in 1960s art, and has published on the intersections between abstract metal sculpture and the transformations of industrial labor in the post-war decades.

Barbara McCloskey (co-leader) is Professor and Chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture.  Her research and publications have examined the work of communist left artists of the early 20th century in Germany and the United States, and their involvement with the international revolutionary worker’s movement.  She is interested in incorporating Pittsburgh’s long labor history into this story for a possible exhibition in the future.

María Lis Baiocchi is a PhD student in Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She takes a sociocultural perspective on paid domestic work as a productive site to interrogate issues of citizenship, gender, labor, and the state. Her dissertation research has involved ethnographic research with domestic workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Robin Brooks is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century literature, particularly African-American, Caribbean, and African literature. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Florida and an MA in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For this workshop, Brooks will focus on Black urban experience in Pittsburgh.

Emily Culver is a PhD student in History at the University of Pittsburgh, and a local organizer with Socialist Alternative. Her research deals with 20th century labor laws in Peru as they related to domestic workers, and the role the first Peruvian female senator played in proposing and debating them. As a part of Socialist Alternative, part of what she works on is bridging the gap between local activists and members of the working class and unions in Pittsburgh.

Paula Kane is Marous Chair of Catholic Studies in Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, with a joint appointment in History. Her publications include a history of Boston Catholics, a study of an alleged stigmatic nun from Manhattan, a co-edited documentary anthology of gender in American Catholicism and numerous articles and book chapters on religion and film, sacred architecture, and religious suffering. 

Katie Loney is a PhD student in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American art and design, including design reform and institutionalization, collecting and display practices, and the intersection of taste, domesticity, and commerce. She is especially interested in the ways in which transnational modes of production, exchange, and consumption form and define social relationships. 

Michael K. MacKenzie is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include democratic theory, democratic institutions, participatory politics, and intergenerational relations. He is currently working on a book about navigating future issues and making long-term decisions in democratic systems. 

Joshua McDermott is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. Joshua grew up in Southern Idaho near the Wyoming and Utah borders. His research focuses on informal labor, globalization and labor, inequality, and radical labor organizations. He has conducted research in Mexico City, Pittsburgh, and the Mano River Region of West Africa. For this workshop, McDermott will focus on the gentrification and labor inequalities in Pittsburgh.

Mark Paterson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. His books include The Senses of Touch: Haptics, Affects and Technologies(2007) and Seeing with the Hands: Blindness, Vision and Touch After Descartes(2016). His current research charts the application of new empirical techniques and instruments for measuring the body in modernity, including those used in the workplace.

Elizabeth Pitts is an Assistant Professor in English at the University of Pittsburgh. She studies how technologies influence the nature of professional work and professional identity. Her current book project draws parallels between the composition of genetically engineered organisms and the composition of persuasive speech and writing to facilitate humanistic inquiry into the material practices undertaken in laboratories.

Sara Rosenblum is a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) student with a focus in Nonprofit Management at the University of Pittsburgh. After earning a BA in Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies from Wheaton College (MA), she worked as a Field Director for Working America, AFL-CIO. Her academic interests include racial and economic justice and workers’ rights.

Emma Squire is a PhD student in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include twentieth-century Eastern European and contemporary Yiddish theatre, queer solo performance, and new work development. Currently, Squire is researching the 1915 Union Paper Box Company Fire and turn-of-the-twentieth-century Pittsburgh labor history for the Archive Theatre Project. 

Elina Zhang is a MFA candidate in Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Harking from Auburn, Alabama, she graduated with a BA from Bowdoin College, where she led a multicultural coalition of student groups promoting intergroup dialogue about social issues. She writes about gendered pain, pop culture, and what we owe each other.