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Daniel Santiago Sáenz

MA 2018 
PhD student, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University in the City of New York

New York City, New York
1. How are you applying your degree in Art History from Concordia?

My art history degree has added an invaluable dimension to my understanding of Latin American and Iberian cultures. The wide range of theories, methodologies, and time periods that I encountered during my coursework have allowed me to engage in comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of Hispanic visual, religious, and literary cultures. 

2. What do you value most from your Art History experience?

I loved the opportunity to learn from professors who had different yet interrelated fields of expertise. From early modern to contemporary art, from miraculous images to sculptural practices, there was nevertheless a commitment to the examination of gender discourses, decolonial theories, and social histories. In the end, I had the privilege of working with professors Steven Stowell (my supervisor) and Cynthia Hammond (my thesis reader), so it was extremely enlightening to receive feedback from two scholars working on different fields. 

Another strength of the program can be found in the administrative staff (Dr. Anna Waclawek, Candice Tarnowski, and Dina Vescio) and the Graduate Program Director (Prof. Kristina Huneault), whose hard work is invaluable in navigating the administrative and academic aspects of Graduate School. 

3. What advice would you give to someone considering graduate studies in Art History?

Avoid the impulse to specialize in the early stages of your graduate career. In a highly competitive job market, it is important to keep a balance between disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary breadth. Take courses outside of your comfort zone and expand your knowledge as much as possible—a master’s degree is the time to do just that. Take advantage of the many resources and opportunities offered in the city (the Séminaire des nouveaux modernes, Hypothèses symposia, AHGSA and the annual conference, the Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference organized by the Department of Religions and Cultures, and so on). These experiences might shape and change your research focus, so be open to that! 


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