a smiling picture of Marcia Brennan

About:
Marcia Brennan’s research engages clinical aesthetics and the medical humanities, spirituality and comparative mysticism, and modern art and museum studies. She is the author of several books, including Curating Consciousness: Mysticism and the Modern Museum, Modernism’s Masculine Subjects: Matisse, The New York School, and Post-Painterly Abstraction, and Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics. She is the winner of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center Book Prize, and the recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Office of Research, Rice University, and Rice’s Humanities Research Center. She has served as a Fellow at Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence, and she has been awarded the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching. Since 2009, she has also served as an Artist In Residence in the Department of Palliative Medicine at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Her experiences in this setting represent the subject of her books The Heart of the Hereafter: Love Stories from the End of Life, Life at the End of Life: Finding Words Beyond Words, and A Rose From Two Gardens: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and Images of the End of Life.

Courses:
Seminar on Life at the End of Life (RELI 344)
Seminar on the Humanities of Care (RELI 361/HURC 361)
Seminar on Love (HART 347/RELI 343)
Seminar on Epiphanies (RELI 375/HART 328)
14 Artworks at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (HART 207)
14 Films You Should See Before You Graduate From Rice University (HART 180/FILM 180)

Selected Awards:

  • Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center Book Prize (2016), an award given once every three years to a book that “has made a significant contribution to shaping current thinking about the arts…and impacts scholarship in the years that follow.”

  • Humanities Research Center, Rice University: Public Humanities Initiative Grant (2016), Faculty Fellowships (2014, 2007), Collaborative Faculty Fellowship (2008-09).

  • George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching (2009, 2010, Finalist 2015).

  • Center for Teaching Excellence, Rice University, Faculty Fellow (2014-15).

  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2006).

Professional Service and Affiliations:

  • Artist In Residence, Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (since March 2009).

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Curatorial Studies (Intellect and the University of Chicago Press, since 2011).

Books:

  • A Rose From Two Gardens: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and Images of the End of Life (San Francisco and Berkeley: University of California Medical Humanities Press, forthcoming).

  • Life at the End of Life: Finding Words Beyond Words (Bristol, U.K.: Intellect Books and the University of Chicago Press, 2017).

  • The Heart of the Hereafter: Love Stories from the End of Life (Axis Mundi Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, U.K., 2014).

  • Mel Chin: Do Not Ask Me, ed. James Harithas (Houston: Ineri Publishing and The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 2011).

  • Curating Consciousness: Mysticism and the Modern Museum (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010).

  • Flowering Light: Kabbalistic Mysticism and the Art of Elliot R. Wolfson (Houston: Rice University Press, 2009).

  • A Modern Patronage: de Menil Gifts to European and American Museums (New Haven: Yale University Press and The Menil Collection, 2007).

  • Modernism’s Masculine Subjects: Matisse, The New York School, and Post-Painterly Abstraction (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004).

  • Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001).

Specialization:
Clinical Aesthetics, Medical Humanities, and Palliative Care Modern and Contemporary Art History and Museum Studies Spirituality and Comparative Mysticism

Academic History:
Ph.D. Brown University, Department of History of Art and Architecture, 1997
M.A. Brown University, Department of History of Art and Architecture, 1993
B.A. Mount Holyoke College, 1988