The Division of the Humanities Teaching Fellows
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.
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.
Dave Burnham received his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2021. His research combines an interest in contemporary experimental moving-image makers and the work of modernist artists across the Atlantic 1960s and ’70s. His dissertation, “Viewing the World after Structural Film: Realist Impulses in Experimental Cinema,” unites these moments by analyzing concepts of world, reality, and illusion in the world of Michael Snow, Kevin Jerome Everson, Deborah Stratman, and Hito Steyerl. He is currently at work on a book manuscript about the role of realism in the theory and practice of avant-garde cinemas. In addition to teaching Media Aesthetics and in the Arts Core, he offers a course on contemporary documentary filmmaking.
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.
Lawrence Dallman received his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 2021. He specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century continental philosophy, epistemology, and metaphilosophy. He is primarily concerned with issues in logic, understood as the art of thinking and the method of science. In his dissertation, he argues that Karl Marx’s early philosophical writings are best understood as defending a sophisticated naturalistic method for philosophy, motivated by detailed critiques of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conceptions of logic. Lawrence also has substantial interests in politics (e.g., new approaches in American populism and conservatism) and software engineering.
Emily Dupree received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2021 and her JD from the University of Chicago Law School in 2019. She works at the intersection of moral and political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and moral psychology. Her research interests include the social nature of moral personhood, the rationality of revenge under conditions of oppression, the metaphysics of gender, and gender abolition. She is currently working on a manuscript on the contingency of moral personhood as exemplified in Barbara Loden’s 1970 film, “Wanda.”
Upasana Dutta received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial literature and theory, literatures of the Global South, war literature, graphic narratives, and gender studies. Her work brings together an interdisciplinary and formally diverse archive of contemporary literary, artistic, and cultural texts in order to analyze the aesthetics of resistance as it pertains to the context of occupation in South Asia. She teaches in the Humanities Core (Readings in World Literature) as well as in the Department of English.
Carol Fan received her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at the University of Chicago in 2021. Her book project explores the structure of the Mongol Empire (1206–c.1300): its unity, fragmentation, and continuity. Her research interests include Central Asian and Mongol history, Islamicate history up to the 1500s, and cultural and economic exchanges across Eurasia. Her article “The Timurid Regions and Moghulistan through the Eyes of a Ming Diplomat: An annotated Translation of the Xiyu fanguo zhi and Selected Poems by Chen Cheng (1415)” is currently under review at the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. She teaches the Reading Cultures sequence in the Humanities Core and a NELC/History course entitled Journey Down the Silk Roads, as well as Arabic language courses.
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.
Jake Fournier received his PhD from the department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago in 2022. His research focuses on the interplay between poetry and reform in nineteenth-century America. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop whose own poetry has appeared recently in Lana Turner, Annulet, and the Partisan Hotel.
Joshua Fox received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2021. His research focuses on human well-being, a topic he pursues by exploring historical debates about life’s value. In his dissertation, he investigates the important of aesthetic experience by working through the different pessimisms confronted by Mill, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche.
Simon Friedland received his PhD in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago in 2021. His current book project, “The Pulse of Prosody: Antiquity, Historical Consciousness, and Poetic Embodiment,” approaches major works of German Classicism through the study of prosody conceived as a medium for presencing the poetic past, an embodied vehicle for poetic memory. More broadly, his research focuses on the intersection of anthropological thought and lyric poetry in a transhistorical and multilingual context He has articles in print or forthcoming on Goethe and epic verse; the concept of “care” in Kafka, Heidegger, and Blanchot; and loneliness in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He is also a member of the Peter Szondi Kolleg, an international working group devoted to investigating fundamental questions of hermeneutics and philology through collective readings of literary texts.
Rory Hanlon received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2021 from the Department of Philosophy. He works on Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, centrally focusing on Aristotle’s and Plato’s conceptions of mind, soul, and life. His dissertation provides a novel account of Aristotle’s conception of “parts of soul” and how those parts come to be unified in a single soul. Rory also works on the influences of these conceptions throughout the history of philosophy, and their relevance for contemporary philosophy of mind, moral psychology, and cognitive science. He also maintains a strong interest in philosophy of film, film theory, and the presentation of philosophy through film.
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.
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.
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.
Tynan Kelly received his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) from the University of Chicago in 2021 and his AB from NELC In 2009. He is a scholar and instructor in the humanities, specializing in the history of Islam, Arabic literature, and teaching young adults to “talk about human beings with other human beings.” His current projects include a book on the eloquence of the Prophet Muhammad, various studies on the relationship between language and sociology-cultural ideology, and a concise yet comprehensive program teaching young adults the fundamentals of oral and written exchange in personal, professional, and academic contexts.
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.
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.
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.
Enrique Macari received his PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies from the University of Chicago Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in 2022. His present research explores the relations between Mexican literature and national institutions of education, from the last decades of the nineteenth century to the 1940s. Broader interests include the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish American essay, modern aesthetic theory written in Spanish on both sides of the Atlantic, the history of literary criticism and theory, and the institutional history of Hispanic Studies and the Romance Languages in the United States.
Juan Diego Mariategui
Juan Diego Mariategui is a scholar of modern and contemporary Hispanic Caribbean literature, particularly that of Puerto Rico and Cuba, who received his PhD in of Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Chicago Department in 2021. His book project, “To Reach the Isle: Poetics of the Island in Puerto Rican Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries,” explores the shifting connections between literature, geography, and (post)colonialism. More specifically, it studies the ways literary representations of the geographical island articulated conflicting spatial imaginaries, national identities, and cultural traditions that mediate the imperial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. As a Teaching Fellow, Juan Diego leads courses on Hispanic Caribbean literature, more wide-ranging surveys on Latin American literature from the colonial era to the present day, and language classes.
David “Clay” Mettens
David “Clay” Mettens is a composer of works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles; his collaborators include the Grossman Ensemble, Music in the American Wild, and the Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta, among others. Recently, he has been recognized with the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Hermitage Prize and a 2020 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He completed his PhD in Music at the University of Chicago in 2021, where he studied composition with Anthony Cheung, Sam Pluta, and Augusta Read Thomas. He earned a master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music and undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina, including a BM in music composition as well as a clarinet performance certificate.
Composer Will Myers received their PhD in Music at the University of Chicago in 2021. Their dissertation, Workaround, was premiered by the Grossman Ensemble in December 2019, and largely engaged with questions of performer agency and labor. Their other compositional tendencies include fragile musical utopias, games and playfulness, and an interest in gesture. In addition to their work as a composer, Will is a violist, violinist, and conductor, and is interested in music theory, video game music, and film.
Jo Nixon received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her research and teaching interests include late medieval literature, exemplarity, affect, and disability. Her writing on The Clerk’s Tale has been published in The Chaucer Review, and her research has been supported by the Nicholson Center for British Studies. She teaches in the English Department and also teaches the Greece and Rome sequence in the Humanities Core.
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.
Jennifer Yida Pan
Jennifer Yida Pan received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her research and teaching take a multilingual approach to nineteenth- and twentieth- century literature, science and technology studies, trade and migration studies, and literary theory. Her current project examines the relation between literary and technological design, asking how the technology of literature came to be so differentiated in our understanding from other forms of technology and considering what attention to affinities between literary and other technologies can tell us about the worlds we build and the ways we build them. Jennifer’s research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Lindsay Graduate Fellowship Fund, the Copeland Colloquium, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Nicholson Center for British Studies.
Filippo Petricca received his PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago in 2022. He is a Romance philologist and comparative literary historian of medieval and early modern European literature. His current project investigates the relationship between literature and economics in medieval Italy and France, by exploring the porous zones in which literature and economics overlap and interact, and the ways in which fiction creates possible worlds that absorb, refashion, and critique historical realities. His research interests include medieval theories of fiction; the history of money, debt, and credit networks; medieval economic treatises; periodization; chivalric literature; Dante studies; and the medieval conception of love.
Jacob Phillips received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2020. He works in phonetics and phonology and is particularly interested in issues of language variation and change. In his dissertation, he employs experimental methodologies in speech production and perception to ask what social and linguistic factors create the conditions that allow a sound change to emerge and spread across a community. In other work, he is interested in the role that sensory feedback plays in our experience with language. In particular, he asks how individuals with impaired or inhibited somatosensory feedback categorize ambiguous speech sounds and how they adjust their speech to ever-changing conditions.
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.
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”.
Claudio Sansone received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2021, as well as an MA in Classics in the same year. His teaching and research centers on ancient and premodern poetry and mythology, primarily from the Greco-Roman world, the Near East, India, and Iran. His approach to texts from the past uses categories of affect, labor, and ideology to ask questions about how the present might be different—for instance, how does reading the literature of premodern worlds that antedate the emergence of global capitalism and its life-saturating affects offer routes into rethinking alternatives to capitalism today? Before attending the University of Chicago, Claudio received a BA with honors in English from Trinity College Dublin.
Jenna received her PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago in 2021. As a Teaching Fellow, she teaches language courses for the department of Classics and in the Greece and Rome: Texts, Traditions, Transformations sequence in the Humanities Core. Her work, to date, has focused on Late Republican–Early Augustan Latin poetry, specifically Roman elegy: her dissertation reevaluates the elegiac tropes of the shut-out lover (exclusus amator) and artistic leisure (otium) in the work of Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid. In so doing, it looks beyond elegy to establish a discourse around personal and artistic value—and its representation in poetry—against which Roman elegy can be read, which reflects her interests in generic presentation, definition, and reception.
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.
Rebekah Spearman received her PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago in 2022. Her research focuses on depictions of otherness in archaic Greek poetry. Her dissertation, titled “Adoption and Alterity in Pindar,” traces the imagery of adoption in Pindar’s poetry to examine his portrayal of otherness. It argues that Pindar uses adoption and chosen relationships as a way of expanding a biological understanding of nature to one that includes synthetic bonds as well. Her current research investigates the concept of partheneia,or virginity, in Greek poetry. In particular, she is interested in exploring partheneia as a positive self-identification in poetry written by and for Greek parthenoi (or ex-parthenoi) and in hymns and poetic narratives about divine parthenoi. In addition, Rebekah is interested in Classical reception, particularly in Russia. Her interests in reception and othered figures impact her teaching, and in Winter Quarter she will be piloting a course on partheneia in Greece and beyond.
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.
Andrew Malilay White
Andrew Malilay White is a scholar and musician specializing in improvised music in nineteenth-century Europe. He studied at the University of Guam, the University of Notre Dame, and New York University before receiving his PhD in Music from the University of Chicago. He received the Eugene K. Wolf Travel Grant from the American Musicological Society to support his research on thoroughbass teaching methods in the early nineteenth century, and was a fellow in the Franke Institute for the Humanities while conducting wider research on textuality and historical piano practice techniques. Andrew’s research and personal interests overlap, and include ballet, visual art, and algorithmic electronic dance music. A chapter of his work on Clara Schumann's early compositions will be published in the Oxford Handbook of Musical Variation in 2023.
Shirl Yang received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her book project uncovers a rich archive of withdrawal—shirking, avoiding, and withholding—in postwar American literature and film to argue for the centrality of non-participation to contemporary economic life. While notions of “engaged withdrawal” feature in feminist anti-work, autonomist, and anarchist traditions, there remains to be a sustained study of these forms of withdrawal from a literary and aesthetic perspective. Turning to marginalized economic subjects—including slackers in the office novel, perpetual renters in public housing films, and counter-consumption rhetoric in “New Sincerity” writing—this project seeks to demonstrate how, far from being a terminal mode of disassociation in response to state and corporate disinvestment, withdrawal involves the ongoing management of disaffection and hope, reticence and resistance, disengagement and relationality.
Michal Zechariah received her PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her research and teaching interests include early modern English literature, rhetoric, and the history and philosophy of emotion. Her current work focuses on how cases of emotional failure invite reconsiderations of moral requirements in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Milton Studies, The Seventeenth Century, Psyche, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.
MAPH Teaching Fellows
Alia Breitwieser Goehr
Alia Goehr received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2021 and presently teaches in the MA Program in the Humanities. Her main areas of expertise are early modern Chinese literature, print culture, philosophy, and religion. Her current work examines how thinkers responded to the political upheavals of China’s long seventeenth century by turning to officially unsanctioned forms of literature in search of new moral worldviews, which they then disseminated through annotated anthologies and commentary editions of literary works. In light of these moral-philosophical innovations, two of her articles in progress make a case for literature as a “fourth teaching” that Chinese literati deployed to adapt, illuminate, or subvert the terms of more established teachings such as Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism. Her book project, “Bodies of Truth: Recovering a Chinese Literary Realism,” reframes Jin Shengtan's (1608–1661) famous commentary edition of the vernacular novel Water Margin as an activist endeavor motivated by Buddhist soteriology and considers how this fresh angle on Jin’s literary work might inform a new appreciation of the Chinese novel’s place in—and potential contribution to—world literature.
Matt Hubbell received his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2021. His research focuses on acting and performance as constitutive elements of cinematic form, particularly in postwar cinema. His dissertation, “Acting After the New Wave: The Political Aesthetics of Performance in France, 1968–1981,” examines performance, gesture, and the body in post-’68 French film in order to explore the intersections of cinematic form, politics, and everyday experience. He is at work on a book manuscript that builds on this project, and is currently researching the relation of the Women’s Liberation Movement to French actresses and their conception of the labor of acting. His other research interests include forms of transnational youth culture (including music and fashion) in the 1960s; Marxism and the history of leftist film, European horror and exploitation cinema; and the place of the image within historiographic practice.
Helina Mazza-Hilway earned an MAT at Bard College, an MA in Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her dissertation,“Writ(h)ing Subjecthood: Toward a Feminine Grotesque in Modern Japanese Literature,” examines modern subjectivity in the works of three early twentieth-century women writers, and argues that these writers employed a strategy she terms the ‘feminine grotesque’—as generative as it was abject and aberrant—within the written negotiations of their emergent subjecthood. Helina’s other research interests include trauma and resilience, spiritualism, non-human selfhood, genre fiction and minor literatures, readership, and low theory. She has taught writing at a range of levels (secondary school through post-graduate) for over a decade, and relishes opportunities to talk with others about language, rhetoric, and writing as communication.
Andrew Pitel Received his PhD from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 2021. He teaches in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, the Department of Philosophy, and the College. His dissertation was on the Kantian doctrine that we do not know things as they are in themselves. He is currently working on projects on the knowability of substance in Locke and Kant, on the relation between Kant’s conception of transcendental philosophy and the longer medieval tradition of transcendental thought, and on the Kantian claim that there are certain “pure concepts” we all possess simply by having the capacity for conceptual thought.