Rachel is a first-year Ph.D. student studying contemporary art from the Middle East on display in the West with emphasis on artists from Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Prior to attending UCSB, Rachel received her M.A. from the University of Iowa in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies under the mentorship of Dr. Ahmed Souaiaia. Her research focused on gendered issues in suicide bombing, as well as applying Ivan Arreguin-Toft’s asymmetric conflict theory to contemporary Middle Eastern art. During her M.A., Rachel received the award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Islamic Studies, and taught courses in Sociology, Religious Studies, and History. She also received an Obermann Graduate Fellowship to create an exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City, Iowa, entitled “Have No Fear: Islamophobia in the 21st Century." Rachel received her B.A. in Art History with Honors from the University of Iowa under the guidance of Dr. Craig Adcock. Her undergraduate research focused on applications of semiology after the death of Conceptual art. Rachel also did research on the Dutch and the World with Dr. Julie Berger Hochstrasser, as well as provided educational materials for an exhibit on the art of the Arab Spring.