LaNitra Berger is the Director of Postgraduate Fellowships and the Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History with a Certificate in African and African American Studies in March 2009 from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and International Relations from Stanford University.
Dr. Berger’s dissertation is titled, Pictures that Satisfy: Modernist Discourses and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Nation in the Art of Irma Stern (1894-1966). Her dissertation examines how German-Jewish South African artist Irma Stern’s work underscores the international influence of German Expressionism on modern art and how her work provides insight into the underlying political and social forces that aid in the construction of art historical narratives in South Africa. Because she is one of only a few internationally respected South African artists of the apartheid era, examining Stern’s work and career allows us to develop a more complex understanding of how race, gender, and nation contributed to the development of modernism in South African art history.
Dr. Berger has published in the Journal of Asian and African Studies, the Women’s History Review, the Southern California Quarterly, and the Journal of Jewish Identities. She is also a contributor to The American Prospect Online Magazine. She is a native of southern California.
Dr. Berger credits her parents for instilling in her, from a very young age, the value of education. Her parents bought her a little desk for studying even before she started kindergarten. She spent long hours reading at that desk every day. Dr. Berger’s parents were her biggest cheerleaders at every stage of her education. Her close relationship with faculty at Stanford University inspired her to apply to graduate school.