Marcia Brennan

Professor of Art History and Religious Studies
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests: 

Marcia Brennan is the Carolyn and Fred McManis Professor of Humanities at Rice University, and Professor of Art History and Religious Studies.  She is also Artist In Residence in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Her research areas include modernist aesthetics and curatorial studies, and clinical aesthetics within the medical humanities.  She is the author of numerous books in these areas.  

Marcia Brennan's medical humanities research engages spirituality and comparative mysticism, modern and contemporary art history and museum studies, and the medical humanities.  She is the author of several books, including Curating Consciousness: Mysticism and the Modern Museum (MIT Press, 2010); Modernism’s Masculine Subjects: Matisse, The New York School, and Post-Painterly Abstraction (MIT Press, 2004); and Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics (MIT Press, 2001).  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 in both 2009 and 2010 she was awarded the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching.  In addition, since early 2009 Marcia Brennan has served as an Artist In Residence in the Department of Palliative Medicine at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Her experiences in this clinical setting represent the subject of her books The Heart of the Hereafter: Love Stories from the End of Life (John Hunt Books, U.K., 2014), Life at the End of Life: Finding Words Beyond Words (forthcoming from Intellect Books, U.K. and the University of Chicago Press), and her current book project A Rose From Two Gardens: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and Images of the End of Life (forthcoming from the University of California Medical Humanities Press).