Marcia Brennan, PhD
Associate Professor of Art History and Religious Studies
COLLAGE: The Art for Cancer Network
Marcia Brennan, PhD is Associate Professor of Art History and Religious Studies at Rice University. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Brown University. Her research engages modern and contemporary art history and museum studies; gender theory; mysticism and comparative religion; and the emerging field of the medical humanities. She is the author of four scholarly books, including Curating Consciousness: Mysticism and the Modern Museum (MIT Press, 2010); Flowering Light: Kabbalistic Mysticism and the Art of Elliot R. Wolfson (Rice University Press, 2009); Modernism’s Masculine Subjects: Matisse, The New York School, and Post-Painterly Abstraction (MIT Press, 2004); Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics (MIT Press, 2001, 2002). In addition, she is the lead author of the Menil Collection’s twentieth-anniversary exhibition catalogue, A Modern Patronage: De Menil Gifts to American and European Museums (Yale, 2007); and she is the lead author of the exhibition catalogue Mel Chin: Do Not Ask Me (Houston: Ineri Publishing and The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, September 2011). She is also the author of a book of inspiration writings, The Day Your Heart Broke In Your Eyes: The Book of Recognition (Blue Dolphin, 2011). She is the recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Office of Research, Rice University, and Rice’s Humanities Research Center. In both 2009 and 2010 she was awarded the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching.
In addition to her work at Rice University, Marcia Brennan serves as an Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Palliative Medicine at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Her experiences in this clinical context represent the subject of her latest book project, Words Beyond Words: Finding Language Where There Is No Language (forthcoming from Intellect Books, U.K. and the University of Chicago Press).