The Whitney Humanities Center Fellows are appointed by Yale’s president at the recommendation of the WHC and its Executive Committee and include members of Yale’s teaching community from all ranks and disciplines. In addition, each year there are Franke Visiting Fellows and postdoctoral fellows in the humanities. The fellowship gathers for weekly luncheons at the center, where presentations on work-in-progress foster conversations and intellectual collaboration across academic disciplines.
Elijah Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University. He is one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States. His publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of urban sociology; and the classic sociological work A Place on the Corner (1978; 2nd ed., 2003). Anderson’s most recent ethnographic work, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, was published by Norton in 2011.
Professor Anderson is the recipient of numerous prestigious professional awards, most recently, the American Sociological Association’s W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award.
Benjamin Barasch is a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Humanities Program at Yale University. Having received his PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 2019, he is delighted to be back at Yale and the Humanities Program, from which he received his BA in 2009.
His scholarship is rooted in nineteenth-century American literature and modern European aesthetic and ecological thought, and he is also committed to wide-ranging inquiry into questions such as the nature of value and the status of the human in an age of environmental crisis. His book project, Living Thought: Form and Vitality in American Literature, argues that authors including Walt Whitman and Henry James held a paradoxical conception of the imagination as both the mark of human uniqueness and the source of our closest intimacy with the nonhuman world. He proposes this irreducible doubleness of the imagination as a corrective to the academic critique of the human subject. His paper “Emerson’s Discovery of Life” was named best graduate student paper by the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society in 2019. Also a performing pianist and guitarist, he studies the history and theory of classical and popular music.
At Yale, he teaches literature and political thought in the Directed Studies program as well as seminars on interdisciplinary topics in the humanities, including Modernity and the Crisis of Value (spring 2020) and Identity in Modern Thought (spring 2021). He has taught Yale Alumni College courses on American Visionary Literature and Music: Dickinson to Dylan (fall 2019) and Out Far and In Deep: Moby-Dick (fall 2020). He has lectured on figures as various as George Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Charles Ives. An alumnus of Yale’s Berkeley College, he is a Berkeley Fellow and college advisor.
Lucas Rambo Bender is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, with a secondary appointment in the Yale College Humanities Program. He researches and writes about medieval Chinese literature and thought. Having recently completed a monograph on the poet Du Fu (712–770), he is now beginning research on the philosophical ideas that underwrote the striking pluralism of late-medieval Chinese thought and culture.
Daniel Botsman is Professor of History. His interest in Japan spans the period from the seventeenth century to the present, with a particular focus on the social and political transformations of the nineteenth century. He was educated at the Australian National University and Oxford University, and received his PhD in history at Princeton. Before coming to Yale he taught in the Faculty of Law at Hokkaido University and in the history departments of Harvard University and UNC Chapel Hill. His publications include Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan (also published in Japanese under the more colorful title Chinurareta jihi, muchi-utsu teikoku—“Blood Drenched Benevolence and the Empire that Flogged”). After analyzing the evolution of penal practices and law during the centuries of samurai rule that preceded the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the book examines the rise of the modern prison system in Imperial Japan. In so doing it aims to illuminate the underside of the country’s “successful” modernization, while also revealing the deep connections between modern ideas about prisons, punishment and civilization and the global history of imperialism. Botsman is also translator of the memoirs of Okita Saburō, one of the architects of postwar Japan’s “economic miracle”, and has recently coedited two collections of essays (in Japanese and English) responding to the Japanese government’s efforts to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration in 2018.
Botsman’s current research interests include the history of caste and
outcaste people (hisabetsu burakumin), animal-human relations (cow protection), and the impact of ideas about race, slavery, and emancipation in modern Japan. Together with Adam Clulow (UT Austin) and Xing Hang (Brandeis), he is part of an ACLS-funded research team exploring the large-scale trade in deerskin that developed between Japan and Southeast Asia in the seventeenth century. He also has a strong interest in urban history, and has recently begun work on a new project about the history of Tokyo with collaborators in Japan and the US.
Since coming to Yale, Botsman has developed a strong interest in the history of the university’s deep connections to East Asia. In 2015 he collaborated with Ed Kamens, Haruko Nakamura, and Kondō Shigekazu (University of Tokyo) to mount an exhibition of premodern “Treasures from Japan” held in the Beinecke. He also regularly teaches an undergraduate seminar called “Yale and Japan”, in which students explore the remarkable archival collections available in the Yale University libraries.
Aimee Meredith Cox is jointly appointed as Associate Professor in the departments of African American Studies and Anthropology at Yale University. Cox earned her MA and PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and BA with honors in anthropology from Vassar College. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of anthropology, Black studies, and performance studies. Cox’s first monograph, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship (Duke, 2015), won a 2016 Victor Turner Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing, and Honorable Mention from the 2016 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize, given by the National Women’s Studies Association.
She is the editor of the forthcoming volume Gender: Space (Macmillan) and coeditor of a special issue of Public: A Journal of Imagining America on art and knowledge production in the academy. Cox is also a former professional dancer. She danced on scholarship with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and toured extensively with Ailey II.
Her next ethnographic project, Living Past Slow Death, explores the creative protest strategies individuals and communities enact to reclaim Black life in the urban United States.
Robyn Creswell is Associate Professor (on term) of Comparative Literature at Yale University. He is the author of City of Beginnings: Poetic Modernism in Beirut (Princeton, 2019), winner of the Gaddis Smith International Book Prize for best first book. His work focuses on Arabic-, French-, and English-language poetry of the twentieth century and he is currently working on an intellectual history of the modern Middle East as told through the lives and works of its poets.
Creswell is the translator of Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Clash of Images and The Tongue of Adam, both from the French, as well as Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and Notes from Prison, from the Arabic. All three translations were published by New Directions. He received an NEA translation grant in 2019 to work on a collection of poems from the Arabic by Iman Mersal. At Yale, he is on the Steering Committee of the Translation Initiative, and along with Peter Cole he teaches a regular sequence of translation seminars.
Creswell’s essays and reviews have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine and The Nation. He is a former fellow of the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library and a winner of the Berlin Prize. A former poetry editor of The Paris Review, he is now poetry editor-at-large for Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He was a judge for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in poetry.
Blaise Pascal described human beings as “the glory and scum of the universe”. Each of us carries blueprints for an astonishing range of social behaviors, from the heroic to the atrocious. The Crockett Lab seeks to understand this paradox by investigating the psychological and neural mechanisms of social decision-making and impression formation. Our approach integrates social psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and philosophy. We use a range of methods including behavioral experiments, computational modeling, brain imaging, and pharmacology.
Richard Deming, Director of Creative Writing in the Department of English, is a poet, art critic, and theorist whose work explores the intersections of poetry, philosophy, and visual culture. His first collection of poems, Let’s Not Call It Consequence (Shearsman, 2008), received the 2009 Norma Farber Award from the Poetry Society of America. His most recent book of poems, Day for Night, appeared in 2016. He is also the author of Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading (Stanford, 2008); Art of the Ordinary: The Everyday Domain of Art, Film, Literature, and Philosophy (Cornell, 2018); and Touch of Evil (Bloomsbury/British Film Institute, 2020). He contributes to such magazines as Artforum, Sight & Sound, and The Boston Review. His poems have appeared in such places as Iowa Review, Field, American Letters & Commentary, and The Nation, as well as in a variety of anthologies. Winner of the Berlin Prize, he was the Spring 2012 John P. Birkelund Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.
Adam Eitel joins the YDS faculty as Assistant Professor of Ethics. His research and teaching focus on the history of Christian moral thought, contemporary social ethics and criticism, and modern religious thought. Eitel has roughly a dozen books, chapters, edited volumes, and articles published or in progress. These include an ethical analysis of drone strikes and a theological account of domination. His current book project explores the role of love in the moral theology of Thomas Aquinas. A 2004 Baylor University graduate and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Fribourg, Eitel received his MDiv and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Joanna Fiduccia is Assistant Professor in the Department of the History of Art. She is a specialist of European and American modernism and the historical avant-garde, with a focus on the forms and politics of representation in twentieth-century sculpture. Her research and teaching interests include visual tropes of borders and territories; twentieth-century representations of gender and race; technologies of modeling and simulation; the history of attention; and experimental research practices. Her current book project, Figures of Crisis: Alberto Giacometti and the Myths of Nationalism, traces the convergence of aesthetic and political crises in Europe in the 1930s and ’40s. It demonstrates how Giacometti’s heterodox return to figuration responded to upheavals in the representation of citizen and nation-state in France and Switzerland, bringing to light the critical nexus of sculpture and political philosophy in theories of nationalism. By redefining figuration to encompass a set of practices including political rhetoric, representational democracy, and forms of social presentation, it illustrates a vibrant field of connections between aesthetic and political developments as well as between interwar artistic tendencies.
She has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Swiss Confederation, the Society of French Historical Studies, and the Brown Foundation, and previously taught at Reed College and the City College of New York.
She is cofounder and editor of the journal of modern and contemporary art history apricota and frequently writes criticism on contemporary art.
My research articulates a countertradition to aesthetic individualism that has been present in Western art and literature at least since the seventeenth century, and which takes on particularly striking resonances in our contemporary digitally mediated environments. My first book, Flat Protagonists: A Theory of Novel Character (Oxford, 2016), discusses an odd group of characters found across the long history of the French and British novel whose construction simplifies in the course of a narrative, instead of deepening or expanding. My second book, entitled Spaces of Feeling: Affect and Awareness in Modernist Literature (Cornell, 2017) studies representations of intersubjective affective awareness in American, British, and French fiction and poetry. I am currently developing a new academic project on the nonindividualist phenomenology of contemporary digital media, called Myths of Obscurity: The Self in the Age of Integrated Media, and a popular audience book on global histories of selfhood. I also write literary and cultural criticism for publications such as The Washington Post, n+1, Cabinet, Jacobin, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Yale Review, Logic, and Boston Review.
At Yale, I have taught courses on philosophies of the self, modernism, literary and critical theory, and world cinema. I am a coorganizer of Utopia after Utopia, a research initiative on contemporary postsocialist critical theory and art practice, and co-PI for an upcoming Sawyer Seminar called “Ordering the Multitude: Encyclopedia, Atlas, Museum.” I am also an affiliate of the Yale Film and Media Program and a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, which I joined as a Junior Fellow in 2013.
Paul Grimstad is Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Humanities. He writes regularly for The Believer, Bookforum, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, n+1, The Paris Review, Music and Literature, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, Raritan, The Yale Review, and other journals and magazines. He is the author of Experience and Experimental Writing: Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses (Oxford, 2013) and has contributed chapters to Melville’s Philosophies, The Oxford Handbook to Edgar Allan Poe, Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies, and The Oxford History of the Novel. While an assistant professor of English at Yale, he received the Sarai Ribicoff ’79 teaching prize for “instruction and character that reflect the qualities of independence, innovation, and originality.”
Elizabeth Hinton is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale, and Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty, racial inequality, and urban violence in the twentieth-century United States. She is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on criminalization and policing.
In her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard), Hinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that transformed domestic social policies and laid the groundwork for the expansion of the US prison system. In revealing the links between the rise of the American carceral state and earlier antipoverty programs, Hinton presents Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of a shift towards surveillance and confinement that began during the Johnson administration.
Before joining the Yale faculty, Hinton was Professor in the Department of History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She spent two years as a postdoctoral scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and assistant professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. A Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation Fellow, Hinton completed her PhD in US history from Columbia University in 2013.
Hinton’s articles and op-eds can be found in the pages of the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Time. She also coedited The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan) with the late historian Manning Marable.
Brad Inwood is the William Lampson Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Yale and specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. He taught at the University of Toronto from 1982 to 2015 and was University Professor of Classics and Philosophy and Canada Research Chair in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Toronto.
He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1994 and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2019. His books include Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism (1985), The Poem of Empedocles (2nd ed., 2001), Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome (2005), Seneca: Selected Philosophical Letters (2007), Ethics After Aristotle (2014), and Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction (2018). He has also been active as a translator (and cotranslator) of ancient philosophical texts from both Greek and Latin: Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings, The Stoics Reader, The Epicurus Reader, Seneca On Benefits, and Aristotle Eudemian Ethics. He was editor of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy from 2007 to 2015. A native of Ontario, he earned his BA at Brock University in St. Catharines and his graduate degrees at the University of Toronto.
He has enjoyed research stints at Cambridge University (twice), at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in California.
His current projects deal with the history of Stoicism and Plato’s Crito, though his collateral interest in the Presocratics is always on his mind.
Andrew Johnston is currently Associate Professor of Classics and History. He is a Roman historian, whose work focuses mainly on questions of memory, identity, cultural interaction, and the representation of selves and others, both at Rome and on the peripheries of the ancient classical world. His first book, The Sons of Remus: Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain (Harvard, 2017), examines the experiences, memories, discourses, and cultural negotiations of local communities and individuals in the provinces of the Roman West, telling the stories of the other side—and the others’ side—of Empire. It won the First Book Award (2019) from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. He is currently working on a book on the place of kingship in the Roman imagination from the middle Republic into late Antiquity (and beyond), provisionally entitled Regnum: The Fear of Kingship in Roman Culture (under contract with Harvard). He also has interests in archaeology and material culture and serves as director of the field school of the excavations of the Gabii Project, near Rome.
Noreen Khawaja specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European intellectual history, and particularly on the shifting status of religious ideas and norms in late modernity. Her research examines the fate of metaphysics, the relation between critique and reform, the nature of realism, as well as the philosophical, historical, and aesthetic features of the secular. Her first book, on existentialism, The Religion of Existence: Asceticism in Philosophy from Kierkegaard to Sartre, was published with the University of Chicago Press in 2016. She is currently working on two major projects. The first is a monograph on the relation between theory and philosophy in the humanities, with particular focus on the study of religion. The other, longer work looks at the emergence of authenticity as a cultural ideal from the early Surrealists to the present day.
At Yale recent and upcoming courses include Existentialism, Critical Theories of Science and Religion, Authenticity, Problems of Secularization, Possession, Religion and Society, Martin Heidegger, Romance and Romanticism, The Surreal.
Hwansoo Kim is Associate Professor of Korean Buddhism and Culture in the Department of Religious Studies. He received his PhD in the colonial history of Korean and Japanese Buddhism from Harvard University in 2007. He formerly taught in the Department of Religious Studies, with a joint appointment with the Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Department at Duke University (2009–2018) and in the East Asian Studies Department at the University of Arizona (2008–2009). His present research concerns colonial, modern, and contemporary Korean Buddhism from a transnational perspective. He is the author of Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2013) and The Korean Buddhist Empire: A Transnational History, 1910–1945 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018).
Noel Lenski is Professor of Classics and History and specializes in the history of the Roman Empire and its global neighbors, particularly in the period of Late Antiquity (300–800 CE). His studies range broadly but tend to circle around the creation, maintenance, and unraveling of power dynamics. These might unfold in a variety of arenas, including politics, economics, social relations, law, and material or literary representation.
He has published two monographs on Roman emperors, Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman State (California, 2002) and Constantine and the Cities: Imperial Authority and Civic Politics (Pennsylvania, 2016); collaborated in two coauthored textbooks, The Romans: From Village to Empire (Oxford, 2011) and A Brief History of the Romans (Oxford, 2013); cotranslated two ancient law codes, The Code of Justinian: A New Annotated Translation, with Parallel Latin and Greek Text (Cambridge, 2016) and The Leges Visigothorum: An English Translation with Historical Commentary (Liverpool, forthcoming 2020); and edited or coedited five multiauthored volumes, among which the award-winning What Is a Slave Society? The Practice of Slavery in Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2018). But his favorite medium is the article, which offers the freedom to chase problems far from home base in fields such as numismatics, agrarian history, art history, and gender theory.
Lenski taught at the University of Colorado Boulder for twenty years before coming to Yale in 2015. There he served as chair of Classics for seven years and began working as managing editor of the Journal of Late Antiquity, a job he kept for his first three years at Yale.
In the 2019–20 academic year, Lenski hopes to complete a longstanding project on human migration in Greek and Roman antiquity by finishing two articles on the dynamics of migration and the conduct migrant resettlement efforts, then to build these into a brief monograph with two further sections on the social consequences of these processes, and the negative and positive responses to these events and to the migrants themselves by contemporaries. He hopes to learn from other participants in the seminar more about the application of postcolonial theory, ethnic studies, migration theory, and digital humanities to this work.
Peter Leonard is the Director of the Digital Humanities Lab at Yale University Library. He received his BA in art history from the University of Chicago and his PhD in literature from the University of Washington. A Fulbright Fellow at Uppsala University during 2007-2008, and a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA during 2010-2011 supported by a Google Digital Humanities Research Award, he came to Yale in 2013 as the first Librarian for Digital Humanities Research.
Lisa Messeri is an assistant professor of sociocultural anthropology at Yale University. She received her PhD from MIT’s program in the history and anthropology of science and technology. Her research concerns how science and technology stretch our imagination of what place is and what it means to be in place and in the world. Messeri’s first book, Placing Outer Space (Duke, 2016), is an ethnography of planetary science, studying how scientists transform planets into worlds. Her current research, supported by an NSF Scholars Award, focuses on the virtual reality community in Los Angeles.
Messeri has published articles in American Ethnologist, Social Studies of Science, Technology & Culture, and other academic journals. She has also written essays published in The New York Times, Slate, and Motherboard. Her research has been featured in Wired, PBS’s NovaNow, and on CNN.
Alice M. Miller, JD is Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership between the Law and Public Health Schools at Yale University.
Her work critically engages with both theory and practice of rights claims around gender, sexuality, and reproduction in the context of health and law, including humanitarian law as well as municipal and transnational legal rights frameworks. Examinations of how gender and sexuality as domains for rights claims are co-constructed with other axes of power/disempowerment such as race, citizenship, and age are central to her investigations. Her experience encompasses scholarship and teaching at Yale University, UC Berkeley, and Columbia University, as well as three decades of advocacy, training and collaborative work with NGOs and community groups in New Haven, elsewhere in the US and globally, as well as with UN and other intergovernmental agencies.
Her writings appear in feminist, legal, queer theory, social justice, and public health venues, and her coedited book (with Mindy J. Roseman, JD, PhD) Beyond Virtue and Vice: Rethinking Human Rights and Criminal Law (Penn, 2019) seeks to provide a platform of analysis and action for a growing cross-movement collaboration of feminist and queer researchers and advocates seeking to challenge policing and carceral policies within and across nations. Her current work includes developing a theory/practice project she has termed ”gender 360” in order to build links between disparate gender/rights advocacy in human rights, criminal and humanitarian legal worlds in the US and globally, as well as supporting ongoing work in New Haven with street-based sex workers as part of GHJP’s efforts to leverage the skills of the academy in service to opening space for advocacy by and redirecting resources to local communities.
Nadine Moeller is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale. Her research focuses on settlement archaeology and urbanism in ancient Egypt, household archaeology, and climate change in antiquity. She is author of The Archaeology of Urbanism in Ancient Egypt (Cambridge, 2016) and coeditor together with Karen Radner (LMU Munich) and Dan Potts (NYU/ISAW) of the Oxford History of the Ancient Near East (2020–), a five-volume project to replace the Cambridge Ancient History. She has been directing the ongoing excavations at Tell Edfu in southern Egypt together with Gregory Marouard since 2010, and participated in numerous excavations and fieldwork projects at other sites in Egypt such as Abu Rawash, Memphis, Dendara, Theban West Bank, Valley of the Kings, and Elephantine.
She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge and held the Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellowship at University College, Oxford. Her previous appointment was at the Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Elise Morrison is Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Yale, where she teaches courses such as Feminist Theater, Theater History, and Digital Media in Performance. She received her PhD in theater and performance studies from Brown University and held a postdoctoral fellowship in interdisciplinary performance studies at Yale from 2012 to 2015. She has taught at Texas A&M University and at Harvard University, where she also served as the associate director for speaking instruction at the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.
Morrison’s first book, Discipline and Desire: Surveillance Technologies in Performance, was published by University of Michigan Press in 2016. Morrison edited a special issue on “Surveillance Technologies in Performance” for the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (Routledge, 11.2) and has published on this topic in IJPADM, Theater Magazine, and TDR. Her current research focuses on theatrical performances that stage technologies of contemporary warfare—from military drones to virtual reality interfaces used to train and rehabilitate soldiers—in interactive scenarios that seek to intervene in habits of passive spectatorship and immobilized ethical responsiveness that have been induced by spectacular representations of war fought “at a distance.” Also a practicing artist, Morrison is a singer-songwriter and theater director, and has created and performed multiple intermedia cabaret performances that focus on gender, surveillance, and mediatized culture.
Joseph North is Assistant Professor of English at Yale University. He was educated in Australia (University of Sydney, University of New South Wales), before completing his PhD in English and comparative literature in the United States (Columbia University). His work to date has focused mainly on literary, critical, and political thinking in the English-speaking world of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, especially the history of literary criticism. His book Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History (Harvard, 2017) offers a substantially new account of the history of literary studies and argues for a renewed commitment to the practice of literary criticism, as distinct from literary scholarship.
Recently he has been developing a history, analysis, and aesthetic critique of “centrism” as a structure of feeling, arguing in particular that the centrist preference for gradualism and moderation in politics continually prevents us from taking the swift and decisive action necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change.
His current work turns to literary and aesthetic texts in an effort to demonstrate the power and persuasiveness of modes of political feeling that are better able to register the need for rapid and fundamental change.
Tavia Nyong’o is a Professor of American Studies, African-American Studies, and Theatre and Performance Studies at Yale University. His first book, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (Minnesota, 2009), won the Errol Hill Award for best book in African American theatre and performance studies. His second book, Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life (NYU Press, 2018) considers memory and history in black art and performance at the intersection of queer and trans aesthetics. Nyong’o is co-editor of the journal Social Text and co-series editor of the Sexual Cultures book series at New York University press. He also writes occasional cultural criticism for venues such as The Nation, The Guardian, NPR, Art Forum, Frieze, and Texte Zur Kunst.
Meghan O’Rourke is a nonfiction writer, poet, and editor. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Long Goodbye (2011) and the poetry collections Sun In Days (2017), which was named a New York Times Best Poetry Book of the Year; Once (2011); and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. Her forthcoming nonfiction book is about contested chronic illnesses.
O’Rourke is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Whiting Nonfiction Award, the May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize for Poetry from the Poetry Foundation, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes.
She began her career as a fiction and nonfiction editor at The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry, among others.
A graduate of Yale University, O’Rourke is the new editor of The Yale Review, and will be teaching a class on the art of editing.
My main research interests are in metaphysics, cognitive science, and the philosophy of mind. In my work, I explore questions about the nature of the self, decision-making, temporal experience, philosophical methodology, causation, causal experience, time and time’s arrow, perception, mereology, constitution, and essence.
Jessica Gabriel Peritz is Assistant Professor of Music. She studies intersections of music, literature, and philosophy in the long eighteenth century, with a particular focus on representations of bodies and politics in Italian opera. She is currently finishing her first book, On the Subject of Voice: Music, Poetics, and the Enlightenment Politics of Feeling (under contract with University of California Press), which traces the emergence in late eighteenth-century Italy of an ideological connection between voice and subjectivity. Drawing on a range of approaches and frameworks in addition to those of historical musicology—from gender studies, disability studies, sound studies, anthropology, literary theory, and more—the monograph argues that Italian cultural anxieties collided with Enlightenment epistemologies of emotion in debates about the singing voice, eventually transforming “voice” into a medium for civilizing political subjects. Her article “Orpheus’s Civilising Song, or, The Politics of Voice in Late Enlightenment Italy” was published in 2020 in Cambridge Opera Journal.
She is also beginning work on a new project that explores negotiations of masculinity, race, and empire in Metastasian opera seria. Peritz came to Yale from the University of Chicago, where she received her PhD in music history and theory in 2019. She holds an MMus in vocal performance from the Mannes College of Music and an AB in history and literature from Harvard.
Her research has received fellowships and awards from the American Musicological Society, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the University of Chicago’s Franke Institute for the Humanities, among others, as well as a 2017–2018 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome.
Michael Printy is the Librarian for Western European Humanities and the Head of the Humanities Group at the Yale Library, where he is responsible for collection development and research support in French, German, Italian, European history, and philosophy. He holds a PhD in history from UC Berkeley, a BA in history from Yale, and an MLIS from Simmons College. He has held research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His interests include European intellectual and religious history, German history, the Enlightenment, and the history of information.
He is the author of Enlightenment and the Creation of German Catholicism (Cambridge, 2009), which explores the ways in which eighteenth-century Germans reconceived the relationship between religion, society, and the state. It argues that German confessional identities were recast in the eighteenth century, and that the Enlightenment was the agent of this transformation. He is the coeditor A Companion to the Catholic Enlightenment in Europe (Brill, 2010), as well as more recent articles on the Protestant Enlightenment. He is currently working on a book entitled Enlightenment’s Reformation: Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1750–1830. This book will show how the meaning of the Reformation was recast in the public sphere during the eighteenth century, first by a set of religious thinkers intent on revitalizing Christianity to meet the challenges of the day, and subsequently by a cohort of intellectuals seeking to establish public support for Kantian philosophy. The result was a rich if unstable idea linking Protestantism and modern freedom that would dominate German intellectual culture until the First World War.
He is also a senior editor on the thematic module “Knowledge and Education” for the German History Intersections website, a translated primary source project sponsored by the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. Launching in the fall of 2020, the project aims to situate Germans and Germany within larger transnational contexts, using digital media to bring together diverse historical sources.
Judith Resnik is the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches about federalism, procedure, courts, equality, and citizenship. Her teaching and scholarship focus on the impact of democratic, egalitarian principles on government services, from courts and prisons to post offices; on the relationships of states to citizens and noncitizens; on the forms and norms of federalism; and on equality and gender. Her books include Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (2011, with Dennis E. Curtis); Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (2009, with Seyla Benhabib); and the 2014 Daedalus volume, The Invention of Courts (coedited with Linda Greenhouse). Recent chapters in books include “Not Isolating Isolation,” in Solitary Confinement: History, Effects, and Pathways to Reform (Oxford, 2020); “Courts and Economic and Social Rights/Courts as Economic and Social Rights,” in The Future of Economic and Social Rights (Cambridge, 2019); and “Judicial Methods of Mediating Conflicts: Recognizing and Accommodating Differences in Pluralist Legal Regimes,” in Judicial Power: How Constitutional Courts Affect Political Transformations (Cambridge, 2019).
Resnik chairs Yale Law School’s Global Constitutionalism Seminar and edits its online book series; forthcoming is the ninth volume, Seeking Safety, Knowledge, and Security in a Troubling Environment. Resnik is also the founding director of Yale’s Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law, which convenes colloquia on access to criminal and civil justice systems and awards year-long fellowships to law school graduates and summer fellowships at several US colleges.
The 2019 Liman monograph, Ability to Pay, and the 2018 Liman monograph, Who Pays? Fines, Fees, and the Cost of Courts, are available as e-books along with a series of monographs compiling nation-wide survey data on the use of solitary confinement in the United States. Resnik has an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship for two years to support her work to write a book, Impermissible Punishments, about how prisoners, insistent on their status as rights-bearing individuals, imposed limits on sovereign punishment powers.
She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Managerial Trustee of the International Association of Women Judges. In 2018, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from the University College London Faculty of Laws.
Jill Richards is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and affiliate faculty in WGSS and LGBT studies at Yale University. She works on transnational modernist and postcolonial literature, as well as feminist and queer theory, with a specialization in the legal histories of sexuality and empire. She is the author of The Fury Archives: Female Citizenship, Human Rights, and the International Avante-Gardes (Columbia UP, 2020) and co-coauthor of The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism (Columbia UP, 2020), alongside Sarah Chihaya, Katherine Hill, and Merve Emre. Her current book project turns to oceanic archives as a resource for transnational queer theory.
Marc Robinson is Professor of English, American Studies, and Theater and Performance Studies. He is also Professor in the Practice of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama. His books include The American Play: 1787–2000 (Yale, 2009) and The Other American Drama (Cambridge, 1994). In addition, he is the editor of The Myopia and Other Plays by David Greenspan (Critical Performances series, Michigan, 2012), The Theater of Maria Irene Fornes (Johns Hopkins, 1999), and Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile (Faber and Faber, 1994).
He is currently completing All Images Too Static: American Performance in 1976, a study of Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Elizabeth LeCompte, and other experimental theater artists.
Robinson has been awarded the 2009 George Jean Nathan Award and the 2010 George Freedley Special Jury Prize (both for The American Play), the 2012 Lambda Literary Award in Drama (for The Myopia and Other Plays by David Greenspan), and the 2004 Betty Jean Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching of American Drama. He is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.
Douglas Rogers is Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Director of the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at Yale University. His research and teaching interests are in political and economic anthropology; natural resources (especially oil) and energy; corporations; the anthropology of religion and ethics; historical anthropology; and socialist societies and their postsocialist trajectories. His archival and ethnographic research in Russia has led to two award-winning books: The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals (Cornell, 2009) and The Depths of Russia: Oil, Power, and Culture after Socialism (Cornell, 2015).
Rogers is currently working on two projects. The first, Eating Oil: Energy and Life in and after the Cold War, is a book about the history and present-day reverberations of petroleum science and technology in the Soviet Union and around the world, including the rise and fall of the oil-into-food (“petroprotein”) industry in the 1960s–80s; the lives of oil- and methane-eating bacteria; hydrocarbon microbiology and biotechnology more broadly; and debates about oil’s biogenic and/or abiogenic origins. The second is a set of smaller pieces on the history, theory, and practice of the Russian and Soviet corporation.
Rogers received his BA from Middlebury College, an MPhil in social and cultural anthropology from Oxford University, and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and other organizations.
Daniel Schillinger is Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Humanities Program at Yale, where he teaches Historical and Political Thought in Directed Studies. His research focuses on Greek and early modern political thought and has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Political Research Quarterly, History of Political Thought, Political Theory, and The Review of Metaphysics. In his book manuscript, Schillinger examines the political significance of luck. Whereas many contemporary political theorists argue that democratic societies should seek to neutralize the effects of luck on the lives of citizens, he doubts that luck exists “out there” as something to be neutralized. Returning to Thucydides, Euripides, and Aristotle, Schillinger argues that luck is a psychological phenomenon, which remains politically significant insofar as perceptions of good or bad luck elicit intense emotions and corrupt judgment. At the same time, he finds in Greek political thought lasting reflections on virtuous political agency and unjust domination that can help us to explain how citizens confront, or are overwhelmed by, disaster.
Alicia Schmidt Camacho is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. She is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, the Council of Latin American and Iberian Studies, and the Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Her scholarship examines migration, social movements, and cultural politics in North America.
She has written articles about transnational labor organizing, gender violence and feminicide in Mexico, border governance, and migrant expressive culture. Her book, Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (NYU, 2008), received the Lora Romero First Book Prize in American Studies. She is currently writing a second book, entitled The Carceral Border, a study of the ways unauthorized migrants have confronted state and social violence along their passage through the North American migratory circuit since the 1980s. Another book project, derived from the 2019 Tam Tran Lectures in American Studies at Brown University, considers the significance of defending human mobility in the contemporary era of mass deportation and border construction. In 2017, Alicia formed the Migrant Justice Initiative, a multidisciplinary project for scholars to document and engage with migrant-led organizing, and to shape better understandings of migrant realities in the Americas.
She works with feminist, human rights, and migrant advocacy organizations in the US and Mexico to address the concerns of migrants and other vulnerable transborder populations.
Emily V. Thornbury is a scholar of Old English and Anglo-Latin literature, with a particular interest in early theories of aesthetics. She joined the English department from the University of California at Berkeley in fall 2018. Her first book, Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge, 2014) explored how and why people set about composing verse in England prior to the Norman Conquest. Whether in English or Latin, early medieval poetry was enmeshed in the social circumstances in which it was composed, and reveals the ways that communities—or their absence—continually shaped and reshaped poets’ ideas of form and their expectations for what their art could achieve.
Presently, Thornbury is working on a book called The Virtue of Ornament, which traces the nonclassical, largely untheorized aesthetic principles of pre-Conquest English art and literature through a series of productive encounters with Classical forms. Ornament—understood in Classical aesthetics mainly as an extraneous overlay or elaboration, but by early medieval people at the fringes of the Mediterranean cultural sphere as a transformative act—provides an entryway into a world of thought in which surface and depth, proportion, symmetry, and value itself had very different meanings. By understanding how ornament worked in early medieval England, we can glimpse alternative ways of reading, seeing, and understanding art.
Jane Tylus specializes in late medieval and early modern European literature, religion, and culture, with secondary interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction. Her work has focused on the recovery and interrogation of lost and marginalized voices—historical personages, dialects and “parole pellegrine”, minor genres such as pastoral, secondary characters in plays, poems, and epics. She has also been active in the practice and theory of translation. Her current book project explores the ritual of departure in early modernity, especially how writers and artists sent their works into the world.
She previously taught in Italian studies and comparative literature at NYU, where she was founding faculty director of the Humanities Initiative, and the University of Wisconsin Madison. She has been general editor for the journal I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance since 2013, and currently sits on the advisory committee for PMLA.
My academic work so far has focused on international histories of technological/media innovation and the perceived difference of racial and cultural otherness. My book, The Buddha in the Machine: Art, Technology, and The Meeting of East and West (Yale, 2014), examines the role of technological discourse in representations of Asian/American aesthetics in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century film and literature. The book won the 2015 Harry Levin Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association. I also just published a new essay in Critical Inquiry titled “World Futures” which forms part 1 of a manuscript I am working on titled The Oracles of World Time.
Sunny Xiang is Assistant Professor of English and a faculty affiliate of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Her research and teaching bridge Asian/Pacific/American studies, critical race studies, postcolonial studies, cold war culture, archival studies, and contemporary literature.
Her first book, Tonal Intelligence: The Aesthetics of Asian Inscrutability During the Long Cold War (Columbia, 2020), offers an alternate approach to periodizing the American cold war in Asia by thinking race through tone. Xiang’s current book-length project, Atomic Wear: Transpacific Fashions and the Making of the Militarized Mundane, recasts cold war articulations of “atomic” style as vernacular theories of race and gender. In exploiting the echo between atomic war and atomic wear, this study investigates how chemical experiments sponsored by the US military transformed technologies of self-making—from undergarments to tanning lotions to inflatable chairs—in ways that radically attenuated the distinctions between nature and culture, inside and outside, domestic and foreign, self and other, and wartime and peacetime.