Maria’s work explores the history of ideas as told through literary and visual forms, tracing the trajectories of literary and art-historical tools, methods, and epistemological frameworks. She is drawn to rich, multivalent objects that exceed categorical definition and demand forms of attention that cross disciplinary and medium-based boundaries. Through these, she seeks to tell stories about human imagination and its conditions of possibility: what can be known, and what can be thought. Her dissertation relays the untold history of allegory as a form of thought from the 1950s to today, tracking how changes in allegorical form reflect and inform a broader set of cultural assumptions about how we relate to our world and what we allow ourselves to find therein.
Maria holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto, as well as a Stanford Ph.D. Minor in Art & Art History. She is the coordinator of the Stanford Interdisciplinary Working Group in Literary and Visual Culture. As a practicing novelist, she explores the broad category of strange experience our culture calls “drugs.”