Marie-Agathe Simonetti

PhD candidate, Art History

Faculty advisor: Preeti Chopra

Marie-Agathe SimonettiMarie-Agathe is a PhD candidate in Art History, originally from Lyon, France. Her dissertation examines photography as an expression of politics from the French and Vietnamese perspectives. To do so, she focuses notably on color photographs displayed in colonial exhibitions and portraits of Vietnamese revolutionaries published in newspapers.

As an art history scholar of Vietnam during French colonization, which lasted from 1858 to 1954, Marie-Agathe said research on photography in Vietnam is underexplored. Her work integrates photography into the history and art history of the country by showing that it was a well-developed medium.

“Moreover, Vietnam is oftentimes associated with war in the United States,” Marie-Agathe said. “My work shows that Vietnam is more than a conflict and that photography created Vietnamese agency.”

Marie-Agathe received a Graduate School fellowship in 2020-21.

“I am grateful for this generous support,” Marie-Agathe said. “It enabled me to work on my dissertation while raising my first child.”

After receiving her Graduate School fellowship, Marie-Agathe also secured further funding opportunities outside of the university. One is a research grant from the French School of the Far East. The second grant, from the German Center for Art History in Paris, funded Marie-Agathe to conduct research in Paris during the spring 2022 semester.