DATE/UM: Ecological Temporalities Across the Schuylkill River (2016-2017)

Lead Curator


Philadelphia’s post-industrial landscape serves as backdrop and as actant in the broader conversations around ecological temporalities of Timescales. We see a timescale as intrinsically ecological in that different networks, communities, and types of information shape how we experience, understand, and know a place and its temporalities. Along with the conference’s three days of transdisciplinary conversations, films, and performances, this archive-as-mobile installation features collaborations and interventions developed by a growing corps of academics, activists, artists, and communities in and along the Lower Schuylkill River (LSR).

Through the installation, we explore the problem of data, and the date as one kind of datum. A datum functions as a unique measurement of observations, qualities, or trends, while a date performs the task of marking out and defining time through specific, quantifiable means. In the context of the LSR, data/dates are embedded into a watery, industrial landscape and used to describe the various human and nonhuman communities that the river hosts. In what ways, this installation asks, are the timescales of various kinds of river data in/commensurable?  



  • Timescales Conference, Kislak Center, October 20-26, 2016.

  • DataRefuge, Penn Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, January 13-February 9, 2017

  • WHYY Philadelphia, March 6, 2017


"Art installation interprets water pollution with sound," StateImpactPA, NPR, January 17, 2017. 

"Art and data marry to illuminate stories of life on the Schuylkill River," NewsWorks, March 3, 2017.

Bethany Wiggin, "Forgotten Places and Radical Hope on Philadelphia's Tidal Schuylkill River." Open Rivers, Issue 6, Spring 2017. 

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq (2017-2018)

Researcher and Curatorial Team

Penn Museum, Philadelphia

Cultures in the Crossfire draws attention to the loss and resilience of cultural heritage in the context of war in modern-day Syria and Iraq by bringing together two major points of discussion. First, the art and artifacts from Syria and Iraq demonstrate the richness and resilience of the region’s diverse communities through time. Second, the exhibition draws attention to the violent political conflicts, loss of life, and destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East today. Cultural heritage, broadly defined, includes important objects, monuments, sites, places, and landscapes, to practices, traditions, and oral histories.

Organized around four themes—identities, knowledge, lives, and movement—texts and objects from Syria and Iraq are displayed alongside multi-media installations by Syrian-British artist Issam Kourbaj, whose works consider themes of war, loss, identity, and resilience. This exhibition aims to foster for the audience awareness and new perspectives on war and violence, and the vital and precarious role of visual culture and archaeology. 

The exhibition also aims for visitors to understand how Penn Museum and other stakeholders are helping to prevent the destruction of people’s lives, communities, and cultural heritage.

The Golden Age of King Midas (2016)

Researcher and Curatorial Team

Penn Museum, Philadelphia


The Golden Age of King Midas was an international exhibition that grew out of a Penn graduate seminar. It offers a rich history of Penn's excavations since 1950, while showcasing finds from the site, from mosaics and paintings, to metal, luxury vessels and jewelry, to coins and sealings, to architectural fragments and its spectacular burial mounds of tumuli. The exhibition not only shares the finds and history of Gordion, but also tells of its international and cross-cultural interactions with other kingdoms and city states (Assyria, Persia, Lydia, Urartu, Greece, and the Neo-Hittite cities of North Syria). 

Learn More

"Curatorial Seminar Students and the Golden Age of King Midas," Penn Museum. 

In Search of King Midas, Expedition Magazine Volume 57/ ssue 3. 

The Golden Age of King Midaseds. C.B. Rose and G. Darbyshire, Philadelphia: Penn Press, 2016. 

Sex: A History in 30 Objects (2015-2016)

Assistant Curator

Penn Museum, Philadelphia

In conjunction with the Penn Humanities Forum on Sex, the Penn Museum featured thirty different objects from its collection that demonstrated the diverse ways that humans in the past and present have understood sex and sexuality. The exhibition explored themes including Love and Sex; Beauty, Desire, and Attraction; Religion and Sex; Gender Diversity, Gender and Society; and Initiation and Ceremony. Objects came from different areas of the world, including ancient Iran, Greece, Rome, New Guinea, Egypt, Sierra Leone, India, Tibet, and North America. 


University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. 2017-. 

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. ICA Lecturer. 2015-2016. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia. Spotlight Lecturer. 2014-2015.