History of Art and Architecture

Rachel Di Cicco


Rae Di Cicco is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. She specializes in the modern art, design, and cultural history of Central Europe. Her work investigates issues of identity and politics faced in the region during the transition from imperial to national organization after World War I. Her master’s thesis, “Erika Giovanna Klien and Cosmopolitan Imagination in Post-Habsburg Austria,” explored the incorporation of signifiers of national artistic styles into Kineticist artist Erika Giovanna Klien’s artistic production as a kind of cosmopolitan imagination, visualizing – literally making visual – hybrid and shifting identity and multiple belonging. Her dissertation, tentatively titled, “The Kosmos, the Body, and the Other: The Cosmopolitan Imagination of Erika Giovanna Klien,” will expand on the research begun in her master’s on Klien and the Vienna-based modernist movement in which she took part in the 1920s, Kinetismus. The dissertation will extend this focus into Klien’s emigration to the United States in 1929 and her subsequent interest in indigenous cultures of the American Southwest.

Education Details

PhD, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh, in progress.
Dissertation Title: “The Kosmos, the Body, and the Other: The Cosmopolitan Imagination of Erika Giovanna Klien”
Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Barbara McCloskey
Dissertation Committee Members: Drs. Jennifer Josten, Mrinalini Rajagopalan, Randall Halle


Master of Arts, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh, 2015.
MA Paper: “Erika Giovanna Klien and Cosmopolitan Imagination in Post-Habsburg Austria”


Bachelor of Arts, Art History, University of Washington, 2010.
Honors Theses: “Victory and Validation: Noble and Ignoble Suicide on the Column of Trajan,” “The Two Faces of Absinthe in Late Nineteenth – Early Twentieth Century Art”

Selected Publications

“Visualizing Belonging: Viennese Kineticism in Interwar Central Europe,” in The Palgrave Handbook of Artistic and Cultural Responses to War: Vol. 2 Europe, Africa, and South America, ed. Martin Kerby. London: Palgrave-Macmillan, expected 2019.

“Boundless: Art and Identification Across Borders,” editorial statement. Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture 6 (Fall 2017): i-vi. DOI:https://doi.org/10.5195/contemp.2017.233

Pabst, Daniel and Rae Di Cicco, “Untitled (Architectural Photography).” Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture 6 (Fall 2017): 78-82. DOI:https://doi.org/10.5195/contemp.2017.223

Selected Awards

Fulbright-Mach Award for Doctoral Candidates, Fulbright Austria, 2018-2019

Botstiber Fellowship in Austrian-American Studies, 2017-2018

Center for Italian Modern Art Travel Fellowship, 2017

DAAD Intensivsprachkursstipendium (Intensive Language Course Grant to study at the Goethe Institut Freiburg), 2015

K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2013-2014

Selected Conferences

“Little Data in a Big World: Digitally Consolidating Dispersed Personal Archives,” “Digital Art History - Methods, Practices, Methodologies,” Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities Conference, Institute of Art History, University of Zagreb, Croatia, November 2018

Panel Chair, “Roundtable: Digital Publishing, Dissent, and Socially-Engaged Art History,” College Art Association 106th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, February 2018

“An Enduring Double Standard: Kineticism, Appropriation, and the Limits of Modernism” Erasures and Eradications in Viennese Modernism Panel, College Art Association 105th Annual Conference, New York City, NY, February 2017

“Visualizing Belonging: Viennese Kineticism as Cosmopolitan Practice,” Insiders and Outsiders: Belonging and Identity in Eastern Europe Panel, Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, March 2016

“Erika in Amerika: Picturing the Lost Heimat and National Identifications Abroad” Cultural Dis/Union: In/Outside (National) Culture Panel, Cultural Studies Annual Common Seminar Colloquium, University of Pittsburgh, April 2014