Art History Writing Tutors

7 Mar

Although the Arts and Science College Learning Center has offered subject-specific assistance in the past and continues to do so in biology, chemistry, math, languages and the like, in recent years our own Department has taken the lead in providing art history-specific tutoring to its undergraduates. The program kicked off in October 2008 and, according to our students’ feedback, has already proven to be a great success.

Without exception, our tutors are all graduate candidates at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU’s graduate art history program. A tutor is available in the Department of Art History, Room 306C, every weekday, from 12.30 to 2pm. Students may see them on a walk-in basis.

This semester brings us three outstanding tutors:

Bobby Brennan is in his third year at the IFA studying toward a PhD in twentieth century art. His research interests range from artistic responses to the industrial revolution to German and American art during the Cold War. He received a BA in studio art and religious studies from Seattle University in 2007. Since then he has lived and worked in China and Germany. Bobby can be seen on Mondays.

Emily Melchin graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA in 2008. She worked as a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until the summer of 2010, when she moved to New York to start the MA program at the IFA. She is a first-year MA student interested in early 20th century art, American and European. After completing the MA in 2012, she hopes to return to work in museum education. Emily can be seen on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Kara Fiedorek graduated cum laude from Yale with a degree in History of Art in 2008. She is in her first year of the PhD program at the Institute of Fine Arts. Her main interests encompass the history of photography, focusing on pre-war photography but extending to contemporary practice, with a particular emphasis on the documentary mode. She has lived abroad in Paris, Brussels and Krakow, and will spend this summer at IFA’s excavation site in Selinunte, Sicily. Kara can be seen on Thursdays and Fridays.

Finally, just a few words about the kinds of issues our tutors  address in their one-on-one sessions — and the things they won’t. Since each meeting runs no longer than approximately 20 minutes, tutors will not be able to read entire drafts. Instead, they will work on developing each student’s writing and organizational skills (and, to some extent, research strategies) in specific ways. He or she will be responsible for clarifying the general rules of grammar, sentence structure and structure of argument, proper forms of citation, bibliographic format and art history-specific terminology.

Suffice it to say, our faculty is extremely excited about this support system for our majors and non-majors alike, and we hope that it continues to develop and grow in the years to come.

We are extremely grateful to the IFA for their support of this very important program.

Dennis Geronimus

Peggy Coon


2 Responses to “Art History Writing Tutors”

  1. Having worked with Bobby Brennan on his essay for the fall 2010 Grey Gazette on “Kunstlerplakate,” the NYU Grey Art Gallery’s exhibition of artists’ posters from East Germany, I heartily recommend him to any Art History student seeking a writing tutor. He is an excellent writer! To read his essay on “Kunstlerplakate,” go to:

  2. nyuarthistory 06/09/2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks for the endorsement, Lucy! Dennis & I have been most fortunate to have a very talented pool from which to hire our tutors.

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