Rachel Winter

Rachel Winter
Graduate Student


Areas of Concentration: Contemporary art from the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey; Museum History, Theory, and Display (US and Global); Global Contemporary art; Cultural Exchange; Biennials; the Art Market; Globalization; World's Fairs & Festivals
Faculty Advisor: Jenni Sorkin
Committee Members: Laurie Monahan, Heather Badamo, Sarah-Neel Smith (Art History, Maryland Institute College of Art)
Dissertation: "A Spectacle of Inclusion: The Rise of Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey in the United States and England, 1970-2020"
M.A. Thesis: "Out of the Periphery: Identity and Protest Art Amidst Alternative Revolutions" (Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Iowa, completed 2017)


Rachel Winter is a Ph.D. candidate researching contemporary artists from the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey that are prominently featured in major museums post 9/11. Her dissertation examines the relatively unknown history of curating and collecting contemporary art from the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey before 9/11 in both the US and the UK, as well as how collecting and curatorial practices were informed by earlier fairs and festivals. Throughout her tenure at UCSB, Rachel has been a Teaching Assistant for art history surveys ranging from ancient to medieval, Renaissance to Baroque, modern to contemporary, and the history of photography.  She is also the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the Graduate Student Internship Fellowship, as well as research/travel grants from the History of Art & Architecture department, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UCSB. Presently, she is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the AD&A Museum. Rachel is also an Intern in the Art of the Middle East department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Rachel received her M.A. from the University of Iowa in Interdisciplinary Studies: Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies under the mentorship of Dr. Ahmed Souaiaia in 2017. Her M.A. research focused on issues of gender and suicide bombers, as well as the relationship between asymmetric conflict theory and popular uprisings. During her M.A., Rachel received the award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Islamic Studies, and taught courses in Sociology, Religious Studies, and History. In 2015, Rachel received her B.A. with honors in Art History from the University of Iowa focusing on critical theory and conceptual art under the guidance of Dr. Craig Adcock. During Rachel’s tenure at the Old Capital Museum in Iowa City, Iowa, she designed educational materials on protest art created during the Arab Spring.