Full-Time Faculty

Karen Fraser

Program Director

Karen M. Fraser earned her PhD from Stanford University, where she studied both traditional Japanese art and the history of photography. Her research focuses on modern Japanese visual culture, with particular interest in Japanese photography from ca. 1860 through the 1930s, cross-cultural interactions and influences between Asia and the West, gender issues, and museum and exhibition history. She has presented her research widely at academic and museum venues in the United States and abroad,...


PhD, Art History, Stanford University, MA, Art History, University of South Florida, BS, Communications and Art History, University of Miami

Paula Birnbaum

(415) 422-5167

Biography Paula Birnbaum is the Academic Director of the Museum Studies Master of Arts Program and Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at USF. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary art and holds a doctorate in Art History from Bryn Mawr College. Professor Birnbaum is a former Fulbright Scholar and fellow at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University. Birnbaum’s research focuses on modern and contemporary art in relationship to gender and sexuality,...


PhD, History of Art, Bryn Mawr College, MA, History of Art, Bryn Mawr College, BA, History of Art and French Literature, Bowdoin College

Nathan Dennis

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-4938

Nathan Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Art History & Museum Studies program and also teaches in the MA in Museum Studies program at USF. Nathan specializes in late-antique and medieval art and architecture, particularly of the Mediterranean and Near East, including the material and visual traditions of Western Christian, Byzantine/Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, and Islamic cultures. He received his PhD in the History of Art from Johns Hopkins University, writing his dissertation on the...


PhD, History of Art, Johns Hopkins University

Catherine Lusheck

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5612

Kate Lusheck specializes in early modern, European art, works on paper, and curatorial practice. She is an Associate Professor of Art History & Museum Studies and also teaches the Curatorial Practicum in the MA in Museum Studies program. Professor Lusheck received her PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley in December 2000 specializing in Northern Baroque Art. Her research and teaching interests include the art of Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640),...


PhD, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley (December 2000), MA, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley (May 1992), BA, Political Science magna cum laude, DePauw University (May 1987)

John Zarobell

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4734

John Zarobell is the Department Chair of International Studies at the University of San Francisco. Formerly, he held the positions of assistant curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and associate curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Art Quarterly (SFAQ) and the online journal Art Practical, has written for numerous exhibition catalogues and has published in Art History, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, and the Berkeley Review...


PhD, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley, MA, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley, BA, Fine Art, Hampshire College

Part-Time Faculty

Nell Herbert

Adjunct Professor

Nell Herbert holds a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Studio from the University of California, Davis. In addition to teaching at USF, Nell serves as the gallery manager at USF’s Mary and Carter Thacher Gallery where she contributes to a wide range of art exhibitions that focus on California-based artists and collections. Her work at Thacher includes exhibition development and curation, publicity and community outreach,...


MA, Museum Studies, University of San Francisco, BA, Art Studio, University of California-Davis

Jessica Snow

Adjunct Professor

Jessica Snow received a BA in Art Studio from UC Davis and a MFA from Mills College. She also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Université de la Nouvelle-Sorbonne III. Squeak Carnwath, Hung Liu and Wayne Thiebaud were memorable teachers, to whom she's indebted for their mentoring. Recently she has had solo exhibitions at Galleri Urbane in Dallas and Jen Bekman Projects in NYC. She has also participated in shows at oqbo galerie in Berlin, Indianapolis Museum of...


MFA, Mills College, BA, Art Studio, UC Davis

Celia Stahr

Adjunct Professor

Celia Stahr, PhD, has a background in Modern and Contemporary art history as well as African art and the Diaspora. Her secondary areas include Native and Mesoamerican art and visual culture. She is particularly interested in artists who cross cultural boundaries and the political, social, artistic, and psychological ramifications of such actual or imagined “border” crossings. Stahr has published essays on artists such as Frida Kahlo, Elaine de Kooning and Yong Soon Min. She is writing Frida...

Jenifer Wofford

Adjunct Professor

Jenifer Wofford is a professional fine artist and illustrator who shows her work both nationally and internationally. She has presented projects in the Bay Area at venues including YBCA, the de Young Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art.  Wofford was the recipient of a 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, and a featured artist (with her collaborators) in the 2018 Manila Biennale. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art...


MFA, UC Berkeley, BFA, San Francisco Art Institute

Emeriti Faculty

Jean Audigier

Professor Emeritus
(415) 422-6800

Jean Y. Audigier received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of interest include the relationship between the visual arts, poetry, and music; The School of Barbizon & the Impressionists; the graphic works of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Chagall; the works of contemporary artists Chemiakin, Kuper, Baskin, Brisson, and Arranz-Bravo.


PhD, University of California Berkeley