thomas-maryMary Thomas
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz

Mary Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Studies in the History of Art and Visual Culture department at UC Santa Cruz. Her dissertation, titled “Enacted Sites: Art and the Visualization of Spatial Justice in Los Angeles, 1966-2014,” examines how improvisation has influenced artistic practice in South Los Angeles. She is currently working on a digital companion to her dissertation that uses Neatline to map the role of improvisatory practice in remaking the urban landscape by examining how historic jazz clubs, theatrical workshops, and festivals influenced the development of the visual arts in South Los Angeles. She is the recipient of a Mellon Mays Dissertation Completion Fellowship and served as the inaugural Digital Humanities fellow at UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Scholarship Commons. In addition to engaging digital art history in her research, she also seeks to encourage undergraduates to consider new possibilities for art history by integrating podcasting and digital exhibition projects into her teaching.