Thea Ballard is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in art history, studying contemporary art with a focus on sound, affect, and sonic relational aesthetics. Her dissertation is titled "The Song Between Voices: Conversation, Intimacy, and the Sound of Relation in American Contemporary Art." She received a BA in American Studies from Vassar College in 2013. Her art and music criticism has appeared in publications including Artforum, Art in America, Modern Painters, Affidavit, Pitchfork, the Brooklyn Rail, the Fader, Momus, ArtReview, unbag, the Nation, and Dis. She has contributed to exhibition catalogues for Israel Lund and John Akomfrah. Her advisor is Dr. Kristine Stiles, Frances Family Distinguished Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.