WHC Fellows

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.


Jennifer Allen (History)

Jennifer Allen is Associate Professor of History. She is a specialist in the history of modern Germany with a particular interest in late twentieth-century cultural practices. Her first book, Sustainable Utopias: The Art and Politics of Hope in Germany (Harvard, forthcoming), charts the history of Germany’s relatively recent efforts to revitalize the concept of utopia after the wholesale collapse of Europe’s violent utopian social engineering projects by the end of the twentieth century. Germans chose to resist an increasing sense of political disenfranchisement, social alienation, and cultural impotence in the 1980s and ’90s and instead pursued new—and new kinds of—utopias by radically democratizing politics and culture in everyday life.

Her next book project, Insurance Against Total Destruction: A Postwar History of German Plans to Save the World, examines the range of possible global catastrophes that captivated East and West German imaginations during and after the Cold War. It follows the efforts of governments, research networks, and NGOs in both the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic to hedge against these disasters. Both states initiated massive projects to archive the raw materials necessary to pull Germany back from the brink of annihilation, should it be required, inadvertently offering answers to a particularly modern question: how could humanity be salvaged after global destruction?

Allen’s research has been supported by the American Academy in Berlin, the Volkswagen and Mellon Foundations, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich, the German Academic Exchange Service, and other organizations. Her teaching at Yale includes courses on the history of modern Europe and modern Germany, the theories and practices of memory in modern Europe, the history of the Holocaust, and the history of European countercultural politics.

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Sunil Amrith (History)

Sunil Amrith is the Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History and Chair of the South Asian Studies Council (on leave in 2021–22). His research focuses on the movements of people and the ecological processes that have connected South and Southeast Asia. Amrith’s areas of particular interest include environmental history, the history of migration, and the history of public health.

He is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and a 2016 recipient of India’s Infosys Prize in Humanities. Amrith is the author of four books, including Unruly Waters (2018), shortlisted for the 2019 Cundill Prize, and Crossing the Bay of Bengal (2013), winner of the 2014 John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History.

Amrith serves on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Modern Asian Studies and is one of the series editors of the Princeton book series “Histories of Economic Life.” He is currently writing The Ruins of Freedom, an environmental history of the modern world to be published by W. W. Norton, and in translation in six languages.

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Melissa Barton (English/Beinecke)

Melissa Barton is Curator of Drama and Prose for the Yale Collection of American Literature, which includes the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters, at Beinecke Library. She received her BA in English from Yale and her PhD, also in English, from the University of Chicago.

At the Beinecke, Melissa has curated exhibits including “Casting Shadows: Integration on the American Stage,” “Richard Wright’s Native Son on Stage and Screen,” “Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance and the Beinecke Library,” viewed by thousands of visitors over its three-month run in 2017, and, opening in 2022, “Brava! Women Make American Theater.” Her catalog Gather Out of Star-Dust: A Harlem Renaissance Album was copublished by the Beinecke and Yale University Press.

Melissa writes and presents frequently about teaching with collections. Her own research focuses on histories of Black theater and performance, particularly in the first half of the twentieth century, and in the changing stewardship and status of archives. Her scholarship has appeared in TDR and African American Literature in Transition: 1940–1950, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

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Daniel Botsman (History)

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 andoutcaste 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.

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Ardis Butterfield (English)

Ardis Butterfield is the Marie Borroff Professor of English with secondary appointments as professor of French and Music, and specializes in the literatures and music of France and England from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge for her BA and PhD degrees, she taught in Cambridge and UCL before coming to Yale in 2012. Her teaching and scholarship are grounded on continental and insular vernacular manuscripts and the social, material, and theoretical ways in which they record how writers and musical composers worked and thought. She has particular interests in the medieval lyric and lyric theory; word and music relationships; Chaucer and nationhood; bilingualism, translation, and medieval linguistic identities; and theories and histories of language, form, and genre.  

Her books include Poetry and Music in Medieval France (2002) and The Familiar Enemy: Chaucer, Language and the Nation in the Hundred Years War (2009). She has edited two collections of essays: Chaucer and the City (2006) and, with Henry Hope and Pauline Souleau, Performing Medieval Text (2017), and published some sixty articles and essays. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Virginia, the Huntington Library, San Marino, and All Souls College, Oxford. Most recently, she spent 2018–2019 as a visiting fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and senior research fellow at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. She was elected President of the New Chaucer Society in 2016–2018 and is cofounder and coeditor (from 2017) of the monograph series Oxford Studies in Medieval Literature and Culture.

She is currently completing a new Norton edition of medieval English lyrics, and writing a book on medieval song, tentatively called Medieval Songlines: Theory of Medieval Song. The edition has provoked her to rethink approaches to medieval lyric, taking into account notions of rhythm, repetition, sound memory, silence and writing, and the pressures of history on voice formation in multilingual song genres.

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Rohit De (History)

Rohit De is a lawyer and historian of modern South Asia and focuses on the legal history of the Indian subcontinent and the common law world.  As a legal historian he moves beyond asking what the law was; to what actors thought law was and how this knowledge shaped their quotidian tactics, thoughts, and actions. In recent years, this has enabled his research to move beyond the political borders to South Asia to uncover transnational legal geographies of commerce, migration, and rights across Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

De’s book A People’s Constitution: Law and Everyday Life in the Indian Republic explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from a colonial state to a democratic republic. Mapping the use and appropriation of constitutional language and procedure by diverse groups such as butchers and sex workers, street vendors and petty businessmen, journalists and women social workers, it offers a constitutional history from below. He continues to write on the social and intellectual foundations of constitutionalism in South Asia.

De’s current research focuses around two major strands: the histories of political lawyering and the nature of the postcolonial state in South Asia. The first, supported by the Social Science Research Council, stands at the intersection of multiple fields: histories of human rights; decolonization and the Cold War; diaspora studies; and history of the legal profession. Rights from the Left: Decolonization, Diasporas and a Global History of Rebellious Lawyering demonstrates how events conventionally understood as “national political trials” in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Seychelles, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, British Guyana, and the United Kingdom were produced by, and as part of, a transnational movement for civil liberties in the 1950s. The project follows the careers of lawyers who defended unpopular causes across space and time, to offer an alternate history of universal rights and civil liberties that arise out of Asia and Africa and is mediated through India, Chinese, and Caribbean diasporas.

His interest in lawyering and legal practice and the hegemonic role played by lawyers in colonial Indian politics is leading to a series of essays tracing the connections between the everyday legal practice of South Asia’s nationalist leaders like Motilal Nehru, Jinnah and Dr. Ambedkar and the evolution of their political thought.

The second traces the evolution of the postcolonial developmental state in India through different methods, including the disciplining of the economy through criminal law in the 1960s and ’70s; and through the collective biographies of the women in the Indian Constituent Assembly.

De is also interested in comparative constitutional law and is an associate research scholar at the Yale Law School. He has assisted Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan of the Supreme Court of India and worked on constitution reform projects in Nepal and Sri Lanka. He writes on contemporary legal issues in South Asia.

De received his PhD from Princeton University, where he was elected to the Society of Woodrow Wilson Scholars. His dissertation won the Law and Society Association Prize for best representing outstanding work in law and society research in 2013. He was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for History and Economics and a fellow of Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge before coming to Yale in 2014.  He received his law degrees from the Yale Law School and the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

De teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in South Asian history; postcolonial histories of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; on Indian constitutional culture and political thought, South Asian diasporas and migration as well as on global legal history, law and colonialism, and the legal profession. You can learn more about his work in his interview in the Yale Historical Review and to the Macmillan Report.

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Anastasia Eccles (English)

I work on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, with particular interests in theories of reading, the novel, and the long history of formalism. My book project examines modes of reading cultivated by a group of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century novels and tales, asking what aesthetic experiences like being held in suspense, feeling complicit, or longing for a different plot have to do with living in a political collective.

I have also written on the reception of Laurence Sterne in Russia and am working on a coauthored manuscript on suspense and the digital humanities with members of the Stanford Literary Lab. This year I am teaching courses in the history of poetry, narrative suspense, and Jane Austen and Walter Scott.

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Michael Faciejew (Comparative Literature)

Michael Faciejew is Postdoctoral Associate affiliated with the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar “The Order of Multitudes: Atlas, Encyclopedia, Museum” and Lecturer in the Humanities Program. A historian of the global built environment, he researches the intersecting histories of architecture, information, media, and governance from the eighteenth century to the present.

His first book project examines the development of a state-sponsored culture of “information” in francophone Europe between 1890 and 1960. The book studies how the design of libraries, museums, information bureaus, and administrative offices encouraged the technicization of knowledge and intellectual work under imperialism and capitalist development.

His research has appeared in journals such as Grey RoomThresholds, the Journal of Architectural Education, and Transbordeur.

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Paul Grimstad (Humanities)

Paul Grimstad is Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Humanities Program. He writes regularly for The BelieverBookforumLondon Review of BooksThe New Yorkern+1, The Paris ReviewMusic and LiteratureThe New RepublicTimes Literary Supplementand other journals and magazines. His “Miles the Mercurial” was a notable selection for Best American Essays of 2021 (ed. Kathryn Schulz).

He is the author of Experience and Experimental Writing: Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses (Oxford, 2013), which was recently the focus of a symposium in the journal Nonsite, and has contributed chapters to  The Oxford Handbook to Edgar Allan PoeMelville’s PhilosophiesStanley Cavell and Literary Studies,  The Oxford History of the Novel, and the forthcoming volumes The Jamesian Mind and The New Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Valerie Hansen (History)

Verie Hansen is the Stanley Woodward Professor of History and teaches world and Chinese history. The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World—and Globalization Began (Scribner, 2020) demonstrates that different regions of the world were linked together long before 1492, when many analysts believe the Age of Discovery began. In the year 1000 Viking, Polynesian, and Chinese navigators were all regularly voyaging across oceans, and overland exchanges of goods and enslaved peoples across Afro-Eurasia were common.

She is particularly interested in broadening our understanding of the early modern to include the experiences of the Chinese and other non-European peoples.

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Elizabeth Hinton (African American Studies/Law School)

Elizabeth Hinton is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, 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.

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Denise Ho (History)

Denise Y. Ho is Assistant Professor of Twentieth-Century Chinese History in the Department of History. She received her PhD in modern Chinese history from Harvard University in 2009. She previously taught at the University of Kentucky (2009–2012) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2013–2015).

She is the author of Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China (Cambridge, 2018) and coeditor of Material Contradictions in Mao’s China (University of Washington Press, forthcoming). Her second project, a study of Hong Kong and China, is entitled Cross-Border Relations.

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Willie Jennings (Divinity School)

Willie James Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Africana Studies. He is a leading authority on race and Christianity.

His publications include The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (2010), winner of the American Academy of Religion Award for best book and the Grawemeyer Award, the largest prize for a text on religion given in North America; A Commentary on the Book of Acts (2017), winner of the Reference Book of the Year Award; and After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging (2020), winner of the Publishers Weekly Book of the Year Award.

He is currently working on a book on race, Christian doctrines of creation, and animist thought. He also writes poetry.

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Peter Leonard (Digital Humanities)

Peter Leonard is 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 2010–2011 postdoctoral researcher at UCLA supported by a Google Digital Humanities Research Award, he came to Yale in 2013 as the first Librarian for Digital Humanities Research.

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Brian Meacham (Yale Film Archive)

Brian Meacham is Managing Archivist at the Yale Film Archive, where he has overseen the film collection since 2013. He is responsible for acquisition, inspection, cataloging, and preservation of the Archive’s collection, which includes thousands of print and pre-print film elements acquired by the university over the last fifty years. He has overseen the preservation of more than twenty-five films in the collection and helped launch and program the ongoing 35mm screening series Treasures from the Yale Film Archive. He led the Yale Film Archive’s application for membership in the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and is a member of the FIAF Executive Committee. 

He received his master’s in library and information science with a concentration in archives management from Simmons College and began work as Archive Coordinator at the Harvard Film Archive in 2002. He received a certificate in film preservation from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, in 2006. As Public Access Coordinator and subsequently Short Film Preservationist at the Academy Film Archive from 2006 to 2013, he oversaw public, scholarly, and commercial access to the holdings of the Academy Film Archive and curated and preserved a collection of live-action and animated short films spanning more than one hundred years of cinema history. He also helped spearhead a collaborative effort between the National Film Preservation Foundation and five film archives in the United States to repatriate and preserve hundreds of American silent films found in the New Zealand Film Archive, including Upstream, a lost feature film directed by John Ford.

He teaches a course on the film archive for the Yale Film & Media Studies graduate program and has published articles in Film Quarterly, the Journal of Film Preservation, and The Moving Image. His current projects include ongoing research into the cultural and technological history of the analog photobooth, as well as the ways in which filmmakers and cinephiles document their movie-going histories.

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Alice Miller (Public Health/Law School)

Alice Miller is Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Law at Yale Law School and Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership. She is also Assistant Clinical Professor in the Yale School of Public Health and Lecturer in Global Affairs at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.

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Samuel Moyn (Law School/History)

Samuel Moyn is Henry Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and Professor of History at Yale University. His new book is Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021).

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Stephanie Almeida Nevin (Postdoc Humanities)

Stephanie Almeida Nevin is a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Humanities Program at Yale, where she teaches Historical and Political Thought in Directed Studies. Her research focuses on the history of political thought on education.

In her book manuscript, The Spirit of Education: Politics and Pedagogy in Plato, Rousseau, Dewey, and Freire, Almeida Nevin argues that a true civic education is only found in lifelong association with others. Revealing how social, political, and economic justifications for education often rely on a limited vision of education as subject formation, she challenges the assumption that persons are entities to be made in the classroom. Her project explores how education has long been romanticized by political thinkers for its supposed power to shape ideal selves and societies.
In 2016, Almeida Nevin co-founded the Citizens Thinkers Writers program for students in the New Haven public schools. Prior to her graduate study at Yale, she earned a B.A. in politics and English from Pomona College and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

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Meghan O'Rourke (Yale Review/English)

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, The Night Side: Reimagining Chronic Illness, 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, O’Rourke is the editor of The Yale Review and teaches classes on the art of public criticism, the art of editing, and more.

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Stephen Pitti (History/RITM)
Stephen Pitti is Professor of History; American Studies; Spanish and Portuguese; and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. He is also Founding Director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, and Associate Head of Ezra Stiles College. A scholar of Latinx communities in the United States, he is the author of The Devil in Silicon Valley: Race, Mexican Americans, and Northern California (2003), American Latinos and the Making of the United States (2012), and articles on Latinx history and historiography.
He has provided expert reports on the history of racial animus for federal civil rights cases and is currently writing a book entitled The World of César Chávez. He coedits the Politics and Culture in Modern America series for the University of Pennsylvania Press and serves on various boards, including the board of the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute in San Antonio.  
As a past member of the National Park Service Advisory Board and chair of the National Historic Landmarks Committee, Pitti led an effort to identify, preserve, and interpret historic sites that capture a broad and more accurate history of the United States. He has taught courses about the Smithsonian and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Yale-Smithsonian Initiative. His work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and other organizations.
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Maya Prabhu (School of Medicine)

Maya Prabhu is a medical doctor practicing in psychiatry and an international jurist in international health law and sustainable development. She is Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Law and Psychiatry Division. In addition, Prabhu works with victims of international conflicts seeking political asylum through the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine and the Yale Institute for Global Health, and is the lead counsel for Health at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law. As of 2016, Prabhu coleads the Yale Adult Refugee Clinic.

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Michael Printy (Sterling Library)

Michael Printy is Librarian for Western European Humanities and 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. The project aims to situate Germans and Germany within larger transnational contexts, using digital media to bring together diverse historical sources.

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Nana Osei Quarshie (History)

Nana Osei Quarshie is Assistant Professor of the History of Science and Medicine. He received his PhD from the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2020. His research illuminates the impact of African political imaginaries, which are often relegated to the margins, on the production of knowledge about science, medicine, and technology globally. 

Quarshie’s first book project, An African Pharmakon, is a historical ethnography of the place of psychiatric care in political processes of social stratification and in the production of national, regional, and ethnic diversity in West Africa. This research has been supported by the Chateaubriand Fellowship, the Race, Law, and History Fellowship at the Michigan Law School, and the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), among others.

At Yale, Quarshie teaches courses on the global history of psychiatry and confinement, African systems of thought, and historical methods beyond the archive.

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Judith Resnik (Law School)

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.

Resnick 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.

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Jill Richards (English)

Jill Richards is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and affiliate faculty in WGSS and LGBT studies. 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, 2020) and coauthor of The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism (Columbia, 2020), alongside Sarah Chihaya, Katherine Hill, and Merve Emre. Her current book project turns to oceanic archives as a resource for transnational queer theory.

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Carolyn Roberts (History/History of Science and Medicine/African American Studies)

Carolyn Roberts is a historian of medicine and science. She holds a joint appointment in the departments of History/History of Science and Medicine and African American Studies. She also holds a secondary appointment at Yale School of Medicine in the Program in the History of Medicine. Her research interests concern the history of race, science, and medicine in the context of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. This includes attention to the critical role played by African and African-descended medical and health knowledge in the Atlantic world.

Roberts is currently working on several book manuscripts, including To Heal and to Harm: Medicine, Knowledge, and Power in the British Slave Trade, which is under contract with Harvard University Press. The book traces the troubling relationship between the British slave trade and the development of modern medicine. Roberts uncovers the stories of doctors, patients, apothecaries, and early pharmaceutical companies involved in this brutal form of human commerce. The book vividly demonstrates how the seeds of “Big Pharma,” new power dynamics in the doctor-patient relationship, and racial bias in medical care have roots in the slave trade. 

Roberts is the 2021 recipient of Yale’s prestigious Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of race, science, and medicine from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Her teaching blends history with medical sociology and public health to explore present-day crises related to race, racism, and health. Roberts is also a popular workshop leader and speaker. She brings critical historical perspectives to antiracism interventions in science, medicine, and public health. Roberts has contributed to institutional efforts to diversify STEM, including antiracist pedagogy and curricula, and has worked with a variety of corporations, nonprofit organizations, and institutions including PBS/NOVA, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Mt. Sinai Morningside, and several colleges and universities. Her media appearances include the PBS/NOVA documentary The Violence Paradox and CNN.

Roberts received an MA and PhD from Harvard University, an MA from Andover Newton Theological School, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

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Marc Robinson (Theater Studies)

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 Meredith Monk, Adrienne Kennedy, Cecil Taylor, Robert Wilson, and Elizabeth LeCompte.

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.

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Daniel Schillinger (Postdoc Humanities)

Daniel Schillinger is Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Humanities Program, 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 QuarterlyHistory of Political ThoughtPolitical 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.

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Christophe Schuwey (French)

I specialize in the literature and culture of seventeenth-century France. My scholarship focuses on marketing and literature, the development and control of an information culture, and the making of cultural hierarchies.

My latest book, Un entrepreneur des lettres au XVIIe siècle (Classiques Garnier, 2020), explores how a close collaborator to Molière turned classical literature and early modern books into fashionable entertainment devices and social networks. In the field of digital humanities, my essay Interfaces (Alphil, 2019) reflects on what digital humanities can really do for literature.

I have also developed multiple critical editions and databases on early modern theater and literature.

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Gerald Torres (Yale School of the Environment/Law School)

Gerald Torres is Professor of Environmental Justice at the Yale School of the Environment and Professor at the Yale Law School. He is a former president of the Association of American Law Schools and has taught at Stanford Law School and at Harvard Law School, where he served as the Oneida Nation Visiting Professor of Law.

Torres served as Counsel to the Attorney General on environmental matters and Indian affairs at the US Department of Justice and has served on the board of the Environmental Law Institute, the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and the National Petroleum Council. He is Board Chair of EarthDay Network and Founding Chairman of the Advancement Project, the leading civil rights advocacy organization in the country. He is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Torres has just been appointed to the Advisory Council of the Connecticut Sea Grant. He has also served as a consultant to the United Nations on environmental matters and is a life member of the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations. 

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Jesus Velasco (Spanish)

Jesús R. Velasco is Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Comparative Literature. His most recent book is Dead Voice: Law, Philosophy, and Fiction in the Iberian Middle Ages (Penn, 2020); his new book, Microliteraturas, is forthcoming (Cátedra, 2022).

He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation in law, titled “Science de l’âme et corps du droit: généalogies d’une affinité,” at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

At Yale, he founded and convenes Iberian Connections (iberian-connections.yale.edu).

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John Williams (English)

My work focuses 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 am currently at work on a book titled “World Presence: The Trouble with Mindfulness.”

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Jonathan Wyrtzen (Sociology)

Jonathan Wyrtzen’s teaching and research engages a set of related thematic areas that include empire and colonialism, state formation and nonstate forms of political organization, ethnicity and nationalism, and religion and sociopolitical action. 

His work focuses on society and politics in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly with regards to interactions catalyzed by the expansion of European empires into this region. His first book, Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity (Cornell, 2015; 2016 Social Science History Association President’s Book Award winner), examines how European colonial intervention in Morocco (1912–1956) established a new type of political field in which notions about and relationships among politics and identity formation were fundamentally transformed. His second book project, Worldmaking in the Long Great War: How Local and Colonial Struggles Shaped the Modern Middle East” (Columbia, forthcoming 2022), reexamines how the First World War unmade the greater Ottoman political order that had shaped the Middle East for centuries and opened up the possibility for local and European actors to reimagine political identities and political futures within the region. Running against the standard narrative of European colonial powers imposing artificial boundaries at the Paris Peace Conference, it demonstrates that, instead of an imperial drawing room, it was in and through violent clashes on the ground among competing local and colonial projects during the latter phases of the Long Great War in the 1920s–30s that the Middle East’s states, boundaries, and identities were remade.

He is currently starting up a third book project, tentatively titled Nation in Empire,” that explores how spatial and symbolic boundaries of political and social inclusion/exclusion are recurrently drawn and contested. The project focuses on two central cases—the United States and France—tracing out how their entwined histories of overland and overseas imperial expansion (including the Caribbean/Americas, Africa/Middle East, East and Southeast Asia) and contraction have patterned long-running struggles over “national” identities and the apportionment of rights.

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