The Teaching Fellow program is designed to enhance pedagogical skills and extend research training for recent graduates of the Humanities Division’s PhD programs. Fellows participate in a two-year program of professional development under the joint supervision of the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT) and a faculty mentor in a relevant Divisional department. Fellows teach four courses—including at least two courses in the Humanities or Arts Core—while working to advance their own research, and are active members of the University’s intellectual community.
Eduardo Acosta holds a PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, received in 2022. He specializes in the history and languages of medieval and early modern eastern India, like Medieval Bangla and Sanskrit. Combining the preoccupations of environmental and intellectual history, his dissertation traced the emergence of the idea of the Middle Ages in eighteenth and nineteenth century Bengal. His current book project, “Medieval Landscapes: Time, Nature and History in Bengal,” explores the role that the riverine landscape of Bengal had in the coinage of the idea of historical time in India. Eduardo teaches courses on the conceptual history of time outside Europe, medieval literatures of India, and Sanskrit language and literary cultures.
Maggie Borowitz received her PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago in 2022. Her research focuses upon the relationship between art and politics in late twentieth-century Latin America, with special emphasis upon feminist practices in Mexico. She teaches courses that explore twentieth- and twenty-first-century art practices across the Americas and theories of feminism, gender, and sexuality. Her current book project explores the vibrant feminist art scene of 1970s and ’80s Mexico City, principally through the work of the artist Magali Lara. Engaging with affect theory and feminist studies, the project investigates the political potency of expressions of female subjectivity. Her research has been supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship.
Devon J. Borowski
Devon J. Borowski received his PhD in Music History and Theory from the University of Chicago in 2023. His research investigates 18th-century singing cultures and colonial discourses of voice, humanity, and history in late Georgian Britain. His current book project explores how marginal actors engaged with song and the musical voice to inform nascent constructions of whiteness across the British Empire. Borowski’s research has been supported by fellowships from the American Musicological Society, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale’s LGBT Studies program. Prior to his doctoral work, he completed graduate degrees at the Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory in Early Music Performance (Voice) and in Musicology. In addition to the history of music in the modern West, Devon offers a course on queer singing practices across the globe.
Daniel Burnfin received his PhD in Germanic Studies and Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2022. Previously, he completed his MA in Germanic Studies at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and his BA and MA in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. His research engages with nineteenth- and twentieth-century German philosophy, social and political philosophy, and political economy. His dissertation addresses the topics of involuntary unemployment and poverty in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (the “rabble”), Marx’s Capital, and classical political economy, as well as the concepts of value and capital. His other interests include the philosophy of science, realism of all varieties, the history of economics and economic history—specifically classical and post-Keynesian economics—and the work of Alfred Sohn-Rethel.
Samuel P. Catlin is Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature and the College. In 2022 he received doctorates from both the Department of Comparative Literature and the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. He teaches courses on global Jewish history and culture, religion and literature, and critical theories of identity. His current book project traces the spectral presence of Christian anxieties about Judaism and Jewishness throughout the development of the putatively secular discipline of literary studies in the twentieth-century United States. His work has been or will be published in Naharaim, Oxford Bibliographies in Jewish Studies, Political Theology Network, and the forthcoming second edition of the classic volume Critical Terms for Religious Studies, among other places.
Laura Colaneri received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Chicago in 2023 and holds certificates from the University of Chicago in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, entitled “The Sinister Southern Cone: Mood, Affect, and Horror in the Cultural Imaginary of Argentine and Brazilian State Terror,” examined the narrative strategies that Argentine and Brazilian authors, filmmakers, and artists have used to respond to 20th-century dictatorships, particularly the use of conventions of the horror genre in novels, a film, an experimental play, an experimental artwork, and archival sources. It argued that these conventions are used to create the sinister mood, defined as a pervasive sense of fear and apprehension in response to ominous but shadowy threats of violence and death to make political violence more legible in the cultural imaginary of dictatorship; inspire an affective response in the reader or viewer that can help them approach the experience of state terror; and ultimately resist the shadowy nature of authoritarian power. Her research interests further include Southern Cone literature; dictatorship, authoritarianism, and political violence; cultural studies; horror and Gothic literature and film; and women's literature and gender and sexuality studies. Colaneri’s current book project, provisionally titled “Las Fuerzas del Mal: Esoteric Imaginaries amid the Occult Necropolitics of Latin American State Terror,” examines depictions of Latin American state-sponsored violence as akin to occult practices in 20th- and 21st-century literature and film.
Supurna Dasgupta completed her PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2023. She was named the Lindsay Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago for 2023–25. As a feminist literary historian and cultural analyst of modern South Asia, she focuses on the interplay between gender, world literature, aesthetic experimentalism, and transnationalism. Her book project, “Intimate Revolutions: Gender and Counterculture in the Postcolony,” combs through South Asian literature of the global 1960s to trace transformations in discourses about gender and sexuality on the one hand and to foreground new dynamics between postcolonial multilingualism and the global anglophone on the other. Supurna taught English literature at the University of Delhi before moving to the United States. At the University of Chicago, Supurna teaches a wide range of classes in the College Core, in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and in Gender and Sexuality.
Chi Dat (Daniel)
Chi Dat (Daniel) received his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Chicago in 2023. He works on the subfields of psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, which explore how the human mind and brain process human languages. In his dissertation, he uses a combination of behavioral and neural experiments to investigate how the complexity of linguistic representations influences working memory processes during sentence comprehension.
Tanya Desai received her PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2023. Previously, she completed her MA and MPhil in English Literature at the University of Delhi. She works on the philosophy of film, particularly on topics of language, time, narrative, and gender. Her current book project is on Bombay cinema of the 1950s, examining the convergence of film and poetry in its iconic songs and exploring the philosophical issues these songs raise about the relation between body and voice, between the self and the world, and between words and lives. Apart from Stanley Cavell’s ordinary language philosophy and South Asian cinema, her other research and teaching interests include gender and skepticism in literature and film, global classical cinema, aesthetic theory, film comedy, animal studies, moral philosophy, and psychoanalysis.
Ömer Eren received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2023. Previously, he completed his BA in Foreign Language Education and Pedagogy and his MA in Linguistics at Boğaziçi University, Türkiye. His research interests lie in the interface of morphology (word-structure) and syntax (sentence structure) in heritage languages, specifically South Caucasian and Turkic. His dissertation documents and investigates the linguistic structure and variation of the Laz language through making a cross-generational comparison between three different generations of Laz speakers. In addition to Eren’s academic studies, he also took part in several teaching-oriented projects for the education and revitalization of endangered languages in collaboration with non-governmental and non-profit organizations and language institutes. Eren also has considerable experience in teaching Turkish and English as a foreign language to non-native speakers.
Adam Flowers received his PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2022. His research interests include: the text, history, and interpretation of the Qur’ān; early Islamic history and thought; the literary traditions of Late Antiquity;, Arabic papyrology; and literary theory. His current book project, The Genres of the Qur’ān, uses genre theory to clarify the Qur’ān’s literary structure and historical process of compilation by rediscovering the original units of Muhammad’s preaching concealed within the text and demonstrating the ways in which these units were assembled to create the Qur’ān as it exists today.
Melina Garibovic received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2023. She works in philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology, though she also has interests in moral psychology, phenomenology, and aesthetics. Her dissertation, “The Reality of Persons,” proposes a way to rethink the traditional problem of other minds and introduces a solution to the problem that draws on phenomenological empathy. Building on that, Garibovic’s current research focuses on our understanding and knowledge of other persons, and the significance this sort of understanding has for our lives.
Sam Gray received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2023. His work spans the fields of phonetics, phonology, and sociolinguistics, focusing particularly on how phonetic features vary between human social groups. His most recent projects have looked at how acoustic properties in the voice vary depending on speaker gender. His approach to research emphasizes a pairing of quantitative statistical analyses of linguistic data, laboratory studies, and experimental work with more qualitative, interview-focused work with individual speakers. Additionally, Gray is interested in constructed languages, both as an art form and long-time hobby as well as a means of introducing others to the breadth of variation possible in human speech.
Noah Hansen received his PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2022. His research and teaching focus on Caribbean and African American literature and political thought in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on critical theorizations of labor and political economy in the global colonial periphery. His dissertation traces the emergence of Black working-class internationalism in the interwar period, analyzing how socioeconomic processes of class formation and new forms of transnational literary representation converge to make the generic figure of the “Negro Worker” a defining fulcrum of Black Internationalist political aesthetics. Thinking across economic, political, and cultural spheres, his work takes up the question of how class becomes genre in Black Atlantic literature. Hansen is also currently engaged in archival research and writing on the literature of the Marcus Garvey movement.
Claudia Hogg-Blake received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2022. She received her BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford in 2014. Her research and teaching interests include moral philosophy, moral psychology, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of non-human animals. Her most recent work lies at the intersection between the philosophy of love and animal ethics. There she has developed an account of love that is both informed by and does justice to the possibility of loving a non-human animal, such as a dog—drawing in particular on her relationship with her own dog, Gracie.
Kirsten (Kai) Ihns
Kirsten (Kai) Ihns received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2023. Previously, she completed an MFA in Poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a post-baccalaureate certificate in visual art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. Her research sits at the intersection of film studies, aesthetic theory, and poetics, focusing on work after 1970 influenced or informed by conceptual art and structural film. Her dissertation theorizes and situates a novel form of attentional/cognitive prosody she calls "aspect choreography" in long-form contemporary poems and some recent experimental films (1970–2023). Ihns teaches freestanding courses on expectation structures in time/forms, dialectically modulated tone, and also teaches in the Poetry and the Human Core Sequence.
Leland Jasperse received his PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2023. Broadly, his research and teaching focus on the aesthetic mediation of historical shifts in embodiment and embodied norms, with particular attention to gender, sexuality, disability, and racialization. His current book project takes up fin-de-siècle texts that fail to achieve erotic and narrative drive in an historical moment that saw the compulsorization of sexuality, arguing that even as these texts fueled eugenic anxieties of depopulation and white racial enervation, they provocatively position asexuality as radically disruptive of prevailing social and literary forms. Emerging from this work is a second project examining how queer illness writing grapples with the paradox of aesthetically rendering anaesthetic experience (e.g., chronic fatigue, chemotherapy, losses of appetite, and sex drive), complexly navigating, on the one hand, liberal visibility-oriented disability paradigms, and, on the other, queer theory's political and generic fetishization of limitless drives. Jasperse teaches in the Humanities Core (Media Aesthetics) and the Department of English Language and Literature.
Yueling Ji received her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2023. She studies modern Chinese literature. Her current research focuses on the methodology of Chinese literary criticism and the political history of the development of this methodology. In 2023–24, Yueling is teaching in the Media Aesthetics sequence of the Humanities Core and helping undergraduate thesis writers in East Asian Languages and Civilizations.
Jordan Johansen received her PhD in Classics (the Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World) from the University of Chicago in 2022. She is a scholar and teacher of ancient Mediterranean history, culture, and literature with a focus on Greco-Roman Egypt, gender and sexuality, environmental history, cross-cultural interactions, papyrology, and classical reception. Her current book project, “Flooding Borders: Imagined Spaces between Egypt and Nubia in the Greco-Roman Period,” draws on a diverse range of evidence to re/de/construct the multiplicity of borders accumulated in the physical and imaginary spaces of the Nubian-Egyptian borderlands. She received her BA in History, Anthropology, and Music with a minor in Human Rights from Southern Methodist University and studied Classical Languages at the University of Vermont and the University of Dallas.
Danielle Jones received her PhD in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago in 2023. Her research explores the ways that neo-slave narratives in the forms of films, novels and graphic novels use genre (such as horror or satire) to imagine black being and freedom in the present day. She is guided by the question of: How do authors and filmmakers use neo-slave narratives to grapple with living in the afterlife of slavery? Her research and teaching interests also include black feminist theory, African American literature, and speculative fiction.
Gary Kafer received his doctorate from the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago in 2023. He specializes in digital media studies, with broader interests in surveillance studies, visual studies, critical data studies, video game studies, science and technology studies, and theories of race, gender, and sexuality. He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines how the media concept of ubiquity obscures the different forms of visibility and violence made possible by surveillance systems and how digital technologies reproduce existing power relations. Kafer teaches Film and the Moving Image and Intro to Film in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, as well as specialty topic seminars in digital media studies.
Ella Karev is an Egyptologist and papyrologist whose research focuses on the social and economic aspects of enslavement and bound labor throughout Egyptian history, with a particular interest in post-New Kingdom Egypt. Both in reference to enslaved and unenslaved persons, Ella also researches body modification (including branding) and perception of the physical self. Ella received her PhD (with honors.) from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2022, her MA from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2018, and her BA in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Classics from Tel Aviv University in 2016.
Ritika Kaushik received her PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2022. Her current academic and videographic research focuses on the history, aesthetics, infrastructures, archives, and afterlives of state-sponsored documentaries in India. Her first book project traces the operation of state power and bureaucratic practices in state-sponsored documentary film practice in India during the 1960s and 1970s. Her writings have appeared in Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies (2017, 2020) and Economics and Politics Weekly (2020, 2022). She is currently an elected member of the Governing Council of Visible Evidence, an international community of scholars and practitioners of documentary film and nonfiction media.
Kevin King received his PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2022. His research and teaching focus on nineteenth-century British literature, culture, and history. In particular, his work is concerned with the social relations of literary production and the oppositional politics of the popular press. His current book project, “The Reserve Army of Victorian Literature,” studies the formation of an insurgent class of semi-employed, “surplus” writers in nineteenth-century Britain. It argues that these writers theorized, critiqued, and even resisted their exploitation under literary capitalism. Kevin currently teaches in the Reading Cultures sequence in the Humanities Core.
Stephanie Kraver received her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2023. She is a scholar of modern Arabic literature and Arabic and Hebrew poetry and poetics from the 20th century to the present. Her research and teaching interests sit at the intersection of Palestinian/Israeli literature and film, constructions of memory after loss, anticolonial theory, and gender and sexuality studies. At the University of Chicago, Kraver served as a doctoral fellow in the Pozen Center for Human Rights and an affiliated fellow in the Franke Institute for the Humanities. Her current book project identifies how poetic verse creates imaginative and political possibilities beyond the limits of ethno-national borders and separatist ideologies. The monograph tells the story of two poets: the celebrated Palestinian author Mahmoud Darwish and the renowned Israeli writer and peace activist Dahlia Ravikovitch. By tracing their relationship and poetry during the course of two decades, the project locates the hopeful potential of poetry amid everyday violence and the politics of poetic form. Kraver underscores acts of translation and transmission between the writers, as well as nodes of transnational solidarity, centering points of encounter and citation. She spotlights how Darwish and Ravikovitch use prolepsis, or a forward-facing gaze, to demand an alternative to the dislocation of Palestinians surrounding protracted warfare in the region.
Eduardo Leão has a degree in Portuguese Language and Literatures from the Universidade do Estado do Amazonas, in Brazil. In 2022 he finished his PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies at the University of Chicago in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, where he defended a dissertation on apocalyptic fictions in contemporary Latin American literature. His new project focuses on representations of the Amazon in speculative and science fiction.
Cooper Long received his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2023. His research and teaching focuses on the relations between film and other media, with an emphasis on questions of aesthetics and technology. Drawing on archival research, his dissertation “John Frankenheimer’s Untimely Media” argues that the films, television programs, web videos, and other moving images directed by John Frankenheimer enable us to look differently at crucial turning points in media history between the 1950s and the 2000s. An excerpt from this project, on the history of body-mounted camerawork across media, is forthcoming in Film History: An International Journal. In addition to teaching Film and the Moving Image and Introduction Film Analysis, he also offers a course on the theory and practice of special effects.
Kyle Longworth received his PhD with honors from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2022, with a focus on the social and cultural history of the late antique and early medieval Middle East. Kyle’s research examines how the emergence of Islam impacted society beyond changes in religious or ethnic demographics. His dissertation, “Islamic Bureaucrats in Late Antiquity,” examined the symbiotic relationship between state formation and the emergence of a religiously and ethnically diverse elite during the Umayyad Caliphate (41–132/661–750 CE). Using sources in Arabic, Syriac, Coptic, and Greek, the dissertation argued that the evolving socioeconomic makeup of Umayyad administrators reflected how new and old elites negotiated identity and authority to shape a new empire and Islamic imperial culture.
Sarah McDaniel received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2023. Her research and teaching interests center upon gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, and modern and contemporary LGBTQ+ life-writing, with a particular interest in correspondence. Her current book project, “Queer Correspondence: Epistolary Form and LGBTQ+ Life-Writing,” argues for “queer correspondence” both as a genre of queer life-writing operative across the long 20th century and as an interpretive methodology. Her new projects explore parent-child epistolarity (through a study of contemporary published “open letters”) and queer “endurance” (in the context of queerness and sport).
Peter Metzel received his PhD from the Germanic Studies Department at the University of Chicago in 2023. His research employs anthropological modes of inquiry to generate new readings of 19th-century German literary, philosophical, and political discourses. His dissertation conceptualizes civil war as an imaginative category that puts literary worlds into motion to experiment with different forms of social life. Bringing together various anthropological and theoretical approaches to civil strife, the dissertation explores 19th-century German theater as a site for imagining the possibilities for human cooperation at the moment of social disintegration. Additional areas of interest include the interplay of description and poeticity in lyric poetry as well as work in the conceptual history of collective violence.
Rivky Mondal received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2023. She is a recipient of the Stuart Tave Course Design Award for innovative and inclusive graduate teaching. Her research and teaching focus on post-1900 novels and narrative fiction; art practices of opacity and self-mediation in feminist and queer avant-gardism; the sociology of conflict in the everyday; and philosophical hermeneutics and histories of interpretation. Mondal’s dissertation uncovers ingenious modernist devices that record the recording of human difference and its evaluation on a microsocial scale. Through readings of Henry James, Nella Larsen, and William Faulkner, as well as Sally Rooney and Raven Leilani, the project examines what it calls “mean difference”—that is, the capacity of the “minor,” the contingent, and the petty to crystallize asymmetrical realities—and the challenge of securing meaning to difference’s most latent signs. Mondal’s writing appears in The Henry James Review, Post45 Contemporaries, The Journal of Modern Literature, and 3:AM Magazine. Mondal teaches in the Humanities Core (“Human Being and Citizen”) and in the Department of English Language and Literature. She is a postdoctoral affiliate of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.
Maximilien Novak holds a PhD in French Literature from the University of Chicago Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and a PhD in History from the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. Maximilien specializes in political humanities, translation studies, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French and German literature, and musicology. More specifically, he is interested in the history of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era. His first book, published with Honoré Champion, investigates the intellectual and literary Bildung of German Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. His second book, entitled “Napoleon and the Empire of Letters,” will discuss the new process of the legitimation of public authority after the French Revolution whereby the materialization of public opinion under Napoleon resulted in journalists becoming the leading historians in the public sphere. He has also published in journals like the Annales and French Cultural Studies. Maximilien has previously held visiting faculty positions at Boston College, Sciences Po Paris, and Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence.
Pablo Ottonello holds a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Chicago in 2023. He specializes in diaries from contemporary Latin American authors. He studied the concept of “failure” as a system that nourishes these vast writing projects. Ottonello published seven books of fiction: Quiero ser artista (2015), El verano de los peces muertos (2018), Veteranos de la guerra del día (2018), El vello álmico (2019), La breve luz de nuestros días (2020), Satisfaction (2021), and Match (2023). He teaches Spanish language and contemporary literature courses with a focus in Latin America and the Southern Cone. Ottonello writes films, television series and articles in the Argentinan press and is working on a novel about mass shootings in the United States.
Cinta Pelejà received her PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2023. She is a film and media scholar and programmer, She specializing in the history and theory of global documentary and nonfiction cinema. Her first book project, “The Screen Encounter: Cinematic Experiences of the Self,” puts in dialogue a geographically and historically diverse archive of films to examine the phenomenon of seeing oneself onscreen. Her broader research and teaching interests include intersectional feminism and cinema, film historiography and archival evidence, politics and documentary spectatorship, private images and amateur filmmaking, and local and community-based film and media programming. Pelejà’s academic work has appeared in the journal Feminist Media Histories and the New Review of Film and Television Studies blog. She has also worked as a curator and producer for Apordoc—Portuguese Documentary Association, and served as co-director of Doclisboa—International Film Festival.
Nory Peters received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2023. Her research interests include human rights, literary theory, the history of science, social and political philosophy, and the history of emotions. Her current book project is based on her doctoral dissertation and draws on a diverse archive of aesthetic, intellectual, cultural, and legal texts to explore the philosophical frameworks, aesthetic representations, institutional foundations, and politics of human rights in the 20th and 21st centuries. Peters teaches courses on global human rights history and literature. Her research has been supported by the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, and the Mellon Foundation.
Sanjukta received her PhD from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations in 2022. Her dissertation explores the cultural politics of place-making practices that intersect with caste, linguistic, religious, and gender identities in the provincial colonial city of Allahabad. She is working on a book project tentatively titled “Indian Discourses on Caste: Print Cultures, Caste Publics, and the Provincial City in Colonial India.” She has written for Scroll, Economic and Political Weekly, and academic blogs. Her teaching interests include histories of race and caste, urban history, and print cultures of South Asia. She is also a research fellow for NPR’s history podcast, Throughline, and a part of the South Asian Studies podcast team at New Books Network.
Ermioni Prokopaki received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2023, and her BA from Vassar College in 2015. She works primarily in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy with a focus on Plato's epistemology and Plato's epistemic psychology. She has advocated for a dynamic conception of knowledge, according to which the knower is defined by her ongoing commitment to the value of truth. In her present work, Prokopaki examines whether the practice of knowledge and philosophy may be fruitfully compared to the practice of mathematical commensuration. Her other major philosophical interest lies in the history of analytic philosophy and, in particular, the work of Wittgenstein and Ryle. She teaches in the Philosophy Department and the Greece and Rome: Texts, Traditions, and Transformations sequence of the Humanities Core.
Taimur Reza received his PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2023. His research delves into the territorial identity and sense of belonging among Muslims in modern South Asia by focusing on colonial Bengal, emphasizing concepts such as toleration, syncretism, and multiculturalism. His current book project, titled "Muslim Homeland: Bengali Muslims' Belonging in a Transnational Horizon," explores the role of some origin myths in shaping Muslim political belonging in South Asia. It examines how these myths defined the boundaries of what was possible or impossible in Muslim politics and fostered a uniquely Muslim idea of homeland there. Reza teaches courses on South Asian Islam, South Asian political thought, and Modern Western political theory.
Evelyn Richardson received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2022. His research interests are nineteenth-century Arabic literature, the history of the Middle East in this period, the reception of ancient Greek literature in Arabic, and the history of ideas about ancient pasts in both Arabic and European languages. He has published work on Sulayman al-Bustani’s translation of the Iliad into Arabic, and has articles in progress on the first printed work of ancient history in Arabic and on the Arabic reception of Racine’s mythological plays. His current book project, based on his doctoral dissertation, is provisionally titled “At the Limits of the Universal: Arabic Historical Thought in the Nineteenth Century”.
Ryan Simonelli received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and his BA from New College of Florida. He works mainly in philosophy of language and philosophical logic, but his work inevitably crosses over into issues in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. It is often guided by an implicit or explicit engagement with certain key figures in the history of analytic philosophy, such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Wilfrid Sellars. He also does non-academic philosophy and lots of other things like surfing, swimming, hurting himself skateboarding, blundering pieces in chess, mixing music, and making art.
Aurore Spiers is a historian of film and media, primarily in France and the United States. She received her PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2022. Her research interests include gender and cinema, film historiography, women filmmakers and workers, French cinema, early and silent global cinemas, and feminist film theory. Mainly focused on women’s contributions to cinema, her work interrogates historiographical processes—what history gets written, how, and why—through the lens of gender and intersectional feminism. It asks why women (and other marginalized groups) have so often been forgotten, and what strategies—critical, creative, speculative, and so on—may be employed against historical erasure. Her first book project, based on research from her doctoral thesis, studies women’s labor in French film archives from the 1920s through the 1970s. Her writing, on topics ranging from the reception of The Birth of a Nation (1915) in France to the rediscovery of Alice Guy Blaché within the context of the Women’s Liberation Movement, has appeared in 1895: Mille huit cent quatre-vingt-quinze and Feminist Media Histories. She is also a contributing editor and country coordinator (France) to the Women Film Pioneers Project.
Laura Stigliano received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2022. Her research focuses on syntax, its interfaces, and experimental linguistics. She mainly works on Spanish and Hungarian. Her dissertation investigates the syntax of ellipsis, the linguistic phenomenon in which specific linguistic material is omitted but understood in the context of the remaining elements. Before coming to Chicago, Laura received her BA in Literature and Linguistics from the University of Buenos Aires.
Rebeca Velasquez was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, earning a B.A. at the University of Texas-Pan American and an M.A. at the University of Houston. In 2023, Rebeca graduated with her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, “Colonized Futures: Law, Inheritance, and Empire in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel,” examines the relationship between metropolitan fiction and colonial law during the second half of the nineteenth-century.
Florian Walch received his PhD in Music from the University of Chicago in 2023. His research and teaching interests include the history and analysis of popular music, media and genre theory, psychoanalysis, and theories of tonality. His dissertation, “Extreme Metal Across the Digital Divide,” analyzes extreme metal’s present technostalgia as its means of stabilizing subgenres that resolved conflicts of the protracted analog-digital transition. He is expanding this research into a book manuscript that compares how the digital turn figured into the codification of sub- and micro-genres across extreme metal, hip hop, and electronic dance music. In addition to presenting papers at national and international conferences, Walch has published on chromatic passages in Mozart that challenge canonical analytical technologies and lines of influence in black metal music.
Ella Wilhelm received her PhD in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago in 2023. She is currently working on a project that analyzes the function and significance of the terms “world” and “universe” around 1800 to describe aesthetic experience (as entry into a new world, relation to the universe) and to theorize aesthetic form by way of different cosmic metaphors. Her wider areas of interest include the environmental humanities, specifically questions of planetarity and world systems, and the role of aesthetics in religious and philosophical controversies from the Reformation to the 19th century. In Germanic Studies, Wilhelm currently teaches classes on fairy tales, the Romantic conception of nature, and critical university studies. In the Humanities Core, she teaches in the Media Aesthetics sequence.