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, Mellon Mid-Career 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.
Gary Tomlinson, John Hay Whitney Professor of Music and Humanities, is a musicologist long committed to multidisciplinary exploration, and his teaching, lecturing, and scholarship have ranged across a diverse set of interests. Central among these have been traditions of European classical music, including the history of opera and early-modern musical thought and practice; but his essays and books embrace such other topics as the music of indigenous American societies, jazz, cultural and anthropological theory, the philosophy of history, affect theory, and human evolution.
His latest research, joining humanistic theory, archaeology, and evolutionary science, investigates the role of cultural forces in the formation of modern humanity. It has led to two books: A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity (2015) and Culture and the Course of Human Evolution (in press). His earlier books include Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance; Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others; Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera; The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact; and Music and Historical Critique. He is the coauthor, with the late Joseph Kerman, of the music appreciation textbook Listen, now in its eighth edition.
Tomlinson received his BA from Dartmouth College and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He arrived at Yale in 2010 after many years as Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and garnered prizes from ASCAP, the American Musicological Society, the Modern Language Association, and the British Academy. In 2001 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Award.
Mark Bauer is Associate Director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Lecturer in Directed Studies. He received his BA in history from Stanford University, where he focused on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century central European intellectual history. He received an MA in English from the University of California Berkeley and did further graduate work in philosophy at Berkeley and at San Francisco State. Taking his PhD in English from UC Davis, he wrote his dissertation on the influence of W. B. Yeats on contemporary American poet James Merrill. A revision of this project was subsequently published by Routledge.
He has taught at Yale since 1996. Before moving to the WHC, he served for six years as Associate Director of the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs and administered and advised for British and Irish scholarships such as the Gates, Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes. Prior to coming to Yale, he taught in literature and composition programs for UC Davis, served as Writing and Humanities Tutor for San Francisco State and as Teacher Consultant and Researcher for the Bay Area Writing Project.
NORMA THOMPSON is Associate Director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Senior Lecturer in the Humanities. She received her A.B. from Bowdoin College and her Ph.D. from The Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her scholarship and teaching are in the humanities, with special interests in political philosophy and politics and literature. She is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Humanities major in Yale College.
Her latest book is Unreasonable Doubt: Circumstantial Evidence and the Art of Judgment (Paul Dry Books, 2011), first published by the University of Missouri Press in 2006. She has published two books with Yale University Press: Herodotus and the Origins of the Political Community: Arion’s Leap (1996) and The Ship of State: Politics and Statecraft from Ancient Greece to Democratic America (2001).
She edited the volume Instilling Ethics with Rowman and Littlefield (2000) and has also published in Arion, Nomos, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Perspectives on Political Science (2015, 2017), Western Civilization and the Academy (2015) and in the festschrift for David Grene, Literary Imagination, Ancient and Modern. She has articles on Herodotus and Thucydides in The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Political Theory (2009) and in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought (Wiley Online Library, 2014). Her latest book project is entitled Trials of Uncertainty.
Molly Brunson is Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, with a secondary appointment in the Department of the History of Art. She specializes in the literature and visual art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an emphasis on the recurrent realisms that emerged in imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. Brunson is particularly interested in aesthetics and interart studies, theories of the novel, visual cultural studies, the representation of space, and the transnational and transhistorical networks of modern culture. Her first book, Russian Realisms: Literature and Painting, 1840–1890 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2016), articulates a theory of realism from the relation between word and image in the classic works of Lev Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Turgenev, and the lesser known but important painters Pavel Fedotov, Vasily Perov, and Ilya Repin. In 2017 Russian Realisms won the award for Best Book in Cultural Studies from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. Brunson is currently working on a second book, The Russian Point of View: Perspective and the Birth of Modern Russian Culture (under contract with University of California Press), for which she was named a fellow at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute during summer 2016. The Russian Point of View tells the story of how linear perspective came to Russia, engaged with native aesthetic systems, and ultimately shaped the emergence of a national culture in the nineteenth century and the radical avant-garde experimentation of the twentieth. Brunson has also published in Slavic and East European Journal, Art History, Comparative Literature, as well as other volumes, and has lectured widely on her research.
Morgane Cadieu is Assistant Professor in the Department of French at Yale. She specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone prose, space and randomness in theory and literature, narratives of social emancipation and migration, materialist philosophies (from atomism to feminism), and trains in art. Her first book is forthcoming at Éditions Classiques Garnier under the title Marcher au hasard: clinamen et création dans la prose du XXe siècle. In this essay, she questions the stakes of randomness and antirandomness when an author or a character walks, writes, and enumerates. She uses the clinamen (Lucretius’s swerve) as an aesthetical paradigm to unearth the role played by determinism and free will in the works of Queneau, Perec, Beckett, Garréta, Calvino, Calle, Duras, and Modiano. Her literary and theoretical genealogy of this atomist form of aleatory deviation, coupled with rhetorical analyses of the texts, allows her to identify a new practice of urban perambulation; to analyze what the Oulipo’s clinamen borrows from materialist traditions; and to show how experimental literature rewrites De Rerum Natura to figure creation and the desire for encounters. In her next book project (Rewriting Rastignac), she will explore the representation of social mobilities from the 1970s onward, with a strong emphasis on very contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and film. Her research has appeared in Fixxion, Sites, French Forum, Formules, and the Cahiers Georges Perec. She is currently a member of the MLA Forum Executive Committee on twentieth- and twenty-first-century French literature.
Joe Cleary is an Irish literary critic and Professor of English at Yale University. He was educated in what is now Maynooth University, Ireland, and Columbia University, New York, where he studied with Edward W. Said and took his doctorate in English and comparative literature. His work has been chiefly concerned with long-range histories of modernization, globalization and capitalist culture, the elaboration of a left-wing cultural materialist analysis of Irish literature and society, and with situating Irish cultural history in broader international postcolonial and world systems perspectives. He is the author of Literature, Partition and the Nation-State: Culture and Conflict in Ireland, Israel and Palestine (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Outrageous Fortune: Capital and Culture in Modern Ireland (Field Day Publications, 2007). He has edited The Cambridge Companion to Irish Modernism (2014) and coedited (with Claire Connolly) The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture (2005) as well as editing a number of special issues in major journals: these include an issue on “Ireland after the Celtic Tiger: From Boom to Bust” with boundary 2 (Spring 2018), an issue with MLQ in September 2012 on “Peripheral Realisms” (with Jed Esty and Colleen Lye), and a special issue on “Empire Studies” (with Michael de Nie) for Éire-Ireland in Summer 2007. His articles have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, boundary 2, Textual Practice, The Irish Review, Éire-Ireland, and Field Day Review. He was a visiting professor at Notre Dame University in 2000 and the director of the Notre Dame Irish Seminar in Dublin from 2007 to 2009.
Joe has taught graduate and undergraduate seminars at Yale on literature, imperialism, and world crisis; the Irish Literary Revival; and on Irish, British, and Irish American modernism. Current research interests include modernism, empire, and world literature; Marxist critical theory and literary history; postcolonial studies; twentieth-century and contemporary Irish and British literatures; Irish and Irish American literatures. He is currently working on a book, contracted with Cambridge University Press, on modernism, empire, and the restructuring of “world literature” in early twentieth-century Europe, and he has just completed a book on Irish expatriate fiction and the contemporary world literary system.
Richard Cohn received his PhD from the Eastman School of Music in 1987, with a dissertation on transpositional combination in atonal music, under the supervision of Robert D. Morris. Early articles focused on music of Bartók and Schenkerian theory. He taught in the music department at the University of Chicago from 1985, serving as chair from 1998 to 2001. In 2004, he founded Oxford Studies in Music Theory, which he edited for Oxford University Press for ten years. In 2005 he was appointed Battell Professor of the Theory of Music at Yale University. He is currently executive editor of the Journal of Music Theory.
Cohn’s Audacious Euphony: Chromatic Harmony and the Triad’s Second Nature was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. He recently contributed to and coedited a volume on David Lewin’s analytical writings. In preparation is a general model of musical meter with applications for European, African, and African diasporic music. Cohn’s articles have twice earned the Society for Music Theory’s Outstanding Publication Award. He has presented keynote lectures and workshops in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and Singapore.
Nicholas Conard heads the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology at the University of Tübingen. His main areas of research include Paleolithic archaeology; the evolution and dispersal of modern humans; the environmental and settlement history of Eurasia and Africa, as well as the origins of agriculture and sedentism. Conard has directed numerous excavations in Germany, South Africa, Syria, and Iran. He studied anthropology, chemistry, physics, and geology at the University of Rochester (BA, MS), Yale (MA, PhD), the University of Freiburg, and the University of Cologne. Before moving to Tübingen in 1995, he served as an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut and as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentral Musueum in Mainz. In addition to other posts inside and outside the University of Tübingen, Conard is the director of the Urgeschictliches Museum in Blaubeuren and the Archäopark Vogelherd. Conard was awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg in 2010 and was elected to the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2011. He has worked as a visiting professor in Cape Town and Beijing. As a Franke Fellow at the Whitney Humanties Center, Conard will be preparing a publication on the origins of art and music that is based on discoveries from his excavations in the caves of the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany.
Robyn Creswell joined the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale in 2014, after teaching two years at Brown University. He has taught courses on modern Arabic literature, art and revolution, and modernist poetry (in French, English, Spanish, and Arabic). He is currently finishing a book on the modernist poetry movement in Beirut in the 1950s and 1960s, which focuses on the work of the Syrian poet and critic Adonis.
In 2012, Creswell was a fellow at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, where he worked on a translation of the Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim’s early masterpiece, That Smell and Notes from Prison (New Directions, 2013). He has also translated the Moroccan critic and fabulist Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Clash of Images (New Directions, 2010), from the French, and is currently translating Kilito’s Adam’s Tongue, which explores theories of the origins of language in the classical Arabic tradition.
In addition to his scholarship, Creswell regularly publishes works of criticism in The New York Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. He received the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism in 2013 and has been poetry editor of The Paris Review since 2011.
Molly Crockett is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Prior to joining Yale, Crockett was a University Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, Fellow of Jesus College, and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford. She holds a BSc in neuroscience from UCLA and a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge, and completed a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship with economists and neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and University College London. Crockett’s lab investigates the psychological and neural mechanisms of morality, altruism, and economic decision-making. Her research integrates perspectives from social psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics, and philosophy, and employs a range of methods including behavioral experiments, computational modeling, brain imaging, and pharmacology. Current interests include self-deception and moral hypocrisy; the development of trust in healthy people and psychiatric disorders; moral outrage and political polarization; and how technology transforms social emotions.
Marta Figlerowicz is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and English, and an affiliate of the Film and Media Program, at Yale. She works at the intersection of comparative literature, philosophy, and media theory, with a particular focus on nonindividualist accounts of the self. Her primary sources tend to be works of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Western visual art and literature; she places them within a broader historical and cultural context that reaches back to the early modern period and into fields such as anthropology, network theory, and the history of science. Figlerowicz is the author of two books, Flat Protagonists (Oxford, 2016) and Spaces of Feeling (Cornell, 2017), as well as articles and essays in New Literary History, Poetics Today, Film Quarterly, Camera Obscura, Cabinet, Boston Review, n+1, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. A graduate of Harvard and of UC Berkeley, she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows between 2013 and 2016.
Paul Franks is Professor of Philosophy and Judaic Studies, with secondary appointments in Religious Studies and Germanic Languages and Literatures. He is involved in the revival of post-Kantian Idealist approaches to metaphysics and epistemology within analytic philosophy, and in the reinvigoration of Jewish philosophy as a way of thinking not only about questions in philosophy of religion but also about the challenges and contributions of minority cultures inhabiting modern societies, in light of struggles for civil rights and backlashes to these struggles. He was educated at Gateshead Talmudical Academy; Balliol College, Oxford; and Harvard University, where he received his PhD for a dissertation that explored Kant’s and Hegel’s conceptions of the difficulty of their work against the backgrounds of ordinary language philosophy (Austin, Wittgenstein, Cavell) and the esotericist tradition of medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy. He was a junior fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows and taught at Indiana University, Bloomington; the University of Notre Dame; and the University of Toronto, where he was the inaugural holder of the Jerahmiel S. and Carole S. Grafstein Chair in Jewish Philosophy, before moving to Yale in 2011.
Paul is the author of All or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism (2005), has translated and commented on essays by Franz Rosenzweig, and served as associate editor of the Yearbook of German Idealism for its first ten years. While continuing to publish on questions of systematicity and skepticism addressed in All or Nothing, he is currently working on two book projects. The first is a collaborative project with Michael L. Morgan, reconstructing the history of modern Jewish philosophy from the expulsion of Jews from Western Europe at the turn of the sixteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. Unlike other versions of the story, this book explores the contributions to philosophy of kabbalah, which was the principal idiom of Jewish thought for several centuries, influenced general European philosophy through Latin translations in the seventeenth century, and became a resource for the thinking of modernity and the Holocaust in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Modern Jewish philosophy will be portrayed as a minority critique of majority culture and thought, which is at once both internal to and yet radically critical of general European philosophy, especially with respect to foundational issues concerning the metaphysics and politics of universality and contingency. The second project is a monograph on Kant’s legacy in metaphysics and epistemology, examining the transformation of the Kantian problematic—and hence of the fundamental terms of the critical philosophy—in virtue of the development of historical methods and historicism, of psychological methods and psychologism, and of logical methods and logicism. The ultimate goal is a topography of contemporary varieties of neo-Kantianism and post-Kantianism along with an assessment of their comparative viability.
Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History, specializes in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. She earned her PhD at the University of Virginia. Her most recent book, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (Yale University Press), won the Best Book award from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, and her edited volume, Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library of America), was one of the Atlantic Monthly’s “best books” of 2001. Her current project, The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence in Antebellum America, explores physical violence in the U.S. Congress between 1830 and the Civil War, and what it suggests about the institution of Congress, the nature of American sectionalism, the challenges of a young nation’s developing democracy, and the longstanding roots of the Civil War.
A fellow of the Society of American Historians, Freeman has won fellowships from, among others, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Dirkson Congressional Research Center, the American Historical Association, and the Library of Congress. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and was rated one of the nation’s “Top Young Historians” in 2005.
Freeman’s articles have appeared in William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, Journal of Policy History, and Yale Law Journal, among others. She has written op-ed pieces for the New York Times, and appeared in a host of documentaries on PBS and the History Channel, and in a number of radio programs for NPR and the BBC. She has done extensive work in the realm of public history, including co-curating museum exhibitions, acting as a historical consultant for documentary filmmakers, and giving frequent public lectures at venues such as the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the National Gallery of Art, and Colonial Williamsburg. She has also worked extensively with high school history teachers and students in workshops, lectures, and symposia around the nation. In the last two years, she has worked as a historical consultant for the National Park Service in the reconstruction of the Alexander Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
Freeman teaches graduate reading and research courses in early national American history, and undergraduate seminars on early national politics and political culture, as well as lecture courses on the American Revolution and early national America.
Irving Goh is President’s Assistant Professor of Literature at the National University of Singapore. Prior to that appointment, he served as a Royal Society and British Academy Newton Fellow in the Department of French at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject (Fordham UP, 2014), which won the MLA 23rd Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies. His next monograph (in French), L’Existence prépositionnelle, will appear with Galilée in February 2019. He is currently completing the manuscript Touching Literature, or the Experience of the Limit, which will be published by Cornell UP. Meanwhile, he is also working on his next book project on failure. More information about his works can be found at www.irving-goh.com
Brad Inwood is 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. His books include Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism (1985), The Poem of Empedocles (second edition 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 co-translator) 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, though his collateral interest in the Presocratics is always on his mind.
Seth Jacobowitz is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and affiliate faculty in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He received his PhD in East Asian literature from Cornell University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. Prior to coming to Yale, he taught in the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University. He is the author of Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture (Harvard Asia Center, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 International Convention of Asia Scholars Book Prize in the Humanities, and the Edogawa Rampo Reader (Kurodahan Press, 2008), an anthology translated from Japanese. He has been Simon Visiting Professor at University of Manchester, Asakawa Fellow at Waseda University in Tokyo, an invited guest lecturer at Yonsei University in Seoul, and frequent Visiting Researcher to the Center of Japanese Studies at the University of São Paulo. His first field of specialization focused on the intersection of media and literature in late nineteenth-century Japan. His current research is for a book on the prewar Japanese immigration to Brazil and the literature of Japanese overseas expansion. In addition, he is coauthoring a book on science and science fiction in prewar Japan with Aaron W. Moore, Handa Chair of Japanese-Chinese Relations at the University of Edinburgh.
Matthew Jacobson is William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History and Chair of the American Studies program. He is the author of seven books on race and ethnicity in US politics and culture, including works on immigration, empire, the Civil Rights movement, film, music, and photography. The central threads that run through his research and writing are the intractability of race as an organizer of perception and power in the United States, and the significance of myriad cultural forms as sites where racialized ways of “knowing” are established, policed, challenged, contested, resisted, or overturned. His books include Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (1998); Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917 (2000); and Odetta’s One Grain of Sand (forthcoming, 2019).
Along with colleague Laura Wexler, he is acting co-director of the Public Humanities at Yale, an institution-building journey that has left an immense mark on his work and on the trajectory of his career. Between 2009 and 2014 he carried out a documentary photography and oral history project devoted to Obama’s America, over time touching upon the Great Recession, the Tea Party, the Occupy Movement, the anti-Obama backlash, Islamophobia, and Xenophobia in such a way as—we now know—to presage the rise of Trumpism. Iterations of this project include a web-based archive at www.historianseye.org; a gallery installation at the Whitney Humanities Center in 2014, “At the Crossroads of Hope and Despair”; and a forthcoming book, The Historian’s Eye: Meditations on Photography, History, and the American Present (UNC Press). He is also lead researcher and writer of A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation (Hammer and Nail Productions, 2017), a film on the harrowing experiences of a generation and more of African American players who came up as “firsts” in southern minor league towns in the twenty-five years after Jackie Robinson.
He is currently at work on a book for students at all levels, History as Creativity: Cryptic Dimensions of Scholarly Method, a guide to the art rather than the science of historical inquiry and writing, based in part on interviews with prominent practitioners.
Stephen R. Latham is Director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. He received his law degree from Harvard and his doctorate in jurisprudence from UC Berkeley. Before entering academia full-time, he was secretary to the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. He is faculty chair of Yale’s Human Subjects Committee (its social/behavioral IRB), vice-chair of three of its medical IRBs, and co-chair of its Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee. He has done clinical ethics consultation with the Pediatric Ethics Committee of Yale–New Haven’s Children’s Hospital, and currently serves on the Medical Review Board of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. Latham has been a graduate fellow of Harvard’s Safra Center on Ethics, a research fellow of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and a board member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, from which he received a Distinguished Service Award. He is the author of over 100 publications on a broad range of ethical and legal issues relating to medicine, medical research, and public health, and is coeditor of books including The American Medical Ethics Revolution (Johns Hopkins) and Genetics, Ethics and Education (Cambridge). At Yale he teaches courses on philosophical bioethics and on bioethics and law. He has continuing interests in medical history (particularly in colonial America) and in using art to explore bioethical issues.
Mary Lui is Professor of American Studies and History. Her primary research interests include Asian American history, urban history, women and gender studies, and public history. She is the author of The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City (Princeton University Press, 2005). The book uses a 1909 unsolved murder case to examine race, gender, and interracial sexual relations in the cultural, social, and spatial formation of New York City Chinatown from 1870 to 1920.
Karuna Mantena is Associate Professor of Political Science. She holds a BSc in international relations from the London School of Economics, an MA in ideology and discourse analysis from the University of Essex, and a PhD in government from Harvard.
Her research interests include modern political thought, modern social theory, the theory and history of empire, and South Asian politics and history. Her first book, Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism (2010), analyzed the transformation of nineteenth-century British imperial ideology. Her current work focuses on political realism and the political thought of M. K. Gandhi.
Since 2011, Mantena has been serving as co-director of the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought. She is also currently the chair of the South Asian Studies Council at Yale.
This fall she is offering an undergraduate lecture course, “Gandhi, King, and the Politics of Nonviolence,” and an introductory seminar in South Asian Studies. In the spring, she will be teaching the seminars “Advanced Topics in Modern Political Philosophy” and ”Indian Political Thought.”
Stephanie Newell is Professor of English and Senior Research Fellow in International and Area Studies at Yale. Her books and articles on the intersections between colonial identities and creative writing in African newspapers, pamphlets, novels, and magazines form part of a growing interest in African print cultures among cultural historians. Her recent book, The Power to Name: A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa (2013), studies the ways African contributors to colonial-era newspapers experimented with the English language, developed genres, and adopted voices that were often playful and satirical as well as intensely anticolonial. It was a finalist for the Herskovitz Prize for African Studies in 2014. In all her recent books and articles, she focuses on colonial power relations as articulated through local print cultures in colonial West Africa, particularly African-owned newspapers.
Her current research project, “The Cultural Politics of Dirt in Africa,” was awarded a 2.3 million euro grant by the European Research Council in 2013, and the project moved with her from the UK to Yale in 2015, where, with the support of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, it was completed in December 2016. She is currently working on a book deriving from this project, “Histories of Dirt: Media and Urban Life in Colonial and Postcolonial Lagos,” under contract to Duke University Press for publication in 2019. The book will suggest that the category of dirt is a particularly useful vector for understanding the ways urban residents and the media represent social relationships in global cities such as Lagos. Local residents’ opinions and interpretations of urban relationships are at the forefront of the study, including African audience responses to public health movies produced by the Colonial Film Unit between the 1930s and 1950s, and audience reactions to Ebola-themed Nollywood movies in 2015. In the longer term, she plans to return to the newspaper archive with a project on West African newspapers and the making of transcolonial publics.
Henry Parkes is Assistant Professor of Music, jointly appointed to the Department of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. A graduate of the University of Oxford, he earned his PhD in musicology at the University of Cambridge, where he was later a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College. His research deals with the earliest musical traditions of the medieval Western Church, with an emphasis on liturgy and ritual, institutional history, and the role of writing in shaping and regulating oral tradition. The author of The Making of Liturgy in the Ottonian Church: Books, Music and Ritual in Mainz 950–1050 (Cambridge University Press, 2015), he is currently exploring questions of authority and canon formation in Christian liturgical practices in the centuries between the Carolingian dynasty and Gregorian Reforms (ca. 900–1100), with a particular focus on the developing concept of “Gregorian” chant.
John Durham Peters is the María Rosa Menocal Professor of English & Film and Media Studies. He arrived at Yale at the beginning of 2017, after three decades at the University of Iowa, where he advised or coadvised over thirty dissertations. He is the author of The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media (2015), Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition (2005), Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (1999), and many essays in multidisciplinary outlets including anthropology, film studies, history, musicology, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. In spring 2019 he will be teaching the Shulman seminar, with the topic of elemental media.
Jennifer Raab is an associate professor in the Department of the History of Art and an affiliate of the Program in the History of Science and Medicine. Her scholarship engages with landscape studies, the history of photography, aesthetic theory, and the intersections between literary and visual representations.
Her first book, Frederic Church: The Art and Science of Detail (Yale University Press, 2015), examined the aesthetics of detail that fundamentally shaped nineteenth-century American landscape painting and that was inseparable from scientific discourses of the time. Her current book, Relics of War (under contract with Princeton University Press), asks how the work of photographing warfare—and specifically violence to the body—shaped the visual language and the cultural context for post–Civil War photography in the United States. The project considers the connections between early medical photography and geological surveys; the status of the relic in nineteenth-century culture and how the photograph itself might function as a relic; the material problem of dead bodies, burial, and commemoration; and the relationship between photography and pilgrimage. Recently, she coauthored a book and exhibition with colleagues from Yale, Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance (Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Yale University Press, 2018) and contributed the lead essay to East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century Landscape Photography (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Yale University Press, 2017). She is on the steering committee of the new Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative.
Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas received her BA in economics and Latin American studies from Yale College, and her MA/PhD in anthropology from Columbia University. She is the author of National Performances: Class, Race, and Space in Puerto Rican Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2003; ASA Latino Studies Book Award, 2006) and Street Therapists: Affect, Race, and Neoliberal Personhood in Latino Newark (University of Chicago Press, 2012; Frank Bonilla Book Award, 2010–12). She is also coauthor of Latino Crossings: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Politics of Race and Citizenship (Routledge, 2003). Ramos-Zayas has published journal articles in the fields of youth culture, race and critical race theory, citizenship and migration, the anthropology of emotion and affect. Prior to joining Yale in 2017, Ramos-Zayas conducted postdoctoral work in educational evaluation research at Harvard; taught at Rutgers University–New Brunswick; and occupied the Valentin Lizana y Parrague Endowed Chair at the City University of New York.
Ramos-Zayas’s ethnographic work aims to understand and disentangle systems of power and privilege at a variety of scales, ranging from U.S. imperial and white supremacist politics to how individuals and communities make sense of everyday forms of power and subordination. Issues of social justice and the intersection of intimate worlds and political economic structures are fundamental concerns in her research. She is currently working on an ethnographic project tentatively titled “Sovereign Parenting: Class, Whiteness, and the Moral Economy of Privilege in Brazil and Puerto Rico” (under contract with Duke University Press). Ramos-Zayas is also participating in the NEH’s Newest Americans Project in Newark, NJ, where she hopes to produce a visual ethnography on the urban altars Latina/o youth build to commemorate death.
Francey Russell is a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in the Humanities Program at Yale for 2017–2019. She works on moral philosophy and moral psychology, and has interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European philosophy, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and Kant’s practical philosophy. Her current projects explore how our essential finitude should shape our philosophical and practical thinking about human agency and ethics. She is interested especially in our limited self-knowledge and our dependency with respect to others. Much of her current work grows out of her dissertation, “Self-Opacity, Human Agency, and Ethics.” She is working on papers on the paradox of apology, on Freud and second nature, on Kant’s concept of self-conceit, and on memorials. Francey also regularly publishes art and film criticism in venues like the Los Angeles Review of Books and Lenny Letter.
Brian Scassellati is Professor of Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Mechanical Engineering at Yale University and Director of the NSF Expedition on Socially Assistive Robotics. His research focuses on building embodied computational models of human social behavior, especially the developmental progression of early social skills. Using computational modeling and socially interactive robots, his research evaluates models of how infants acquire social skills and assists in the diagnosis and quantification of disorders of social development (such as autism). His other interests include humanoid robots, human-robot interaction, artificial intelligence, machine perception, and social learning.
Scassellati received his PhD in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His dissertation work (“Foundations for a Theory of Mind for a Humanoid Robot”) with Rodney Brooks used models drawn from developmental psychology to build a primitive system for allowing robots to understand people. His work at MIT focused mainly on two well-known humanoid robots named Cog and Kismet. Scassellati’s research in social robotics and assistive robotics has been recognized within the robotics community, the cognitive science community, and the broader scientific community. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2007 and received an NSF CAREER award in 2003. His work has been awarded five best-paper awards. He was the chairman of the IEEE Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee from 2006 to 2007, program chair of the IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL) in both 2007 and 2008, program chair for the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in 2009, and chair of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society in 2014.
Descriptions of his recent work have been published in the Wall Street Journal (reprinted here), the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Popular Science, New Scientist, the APA Monitor on Psychology, SEED Magazine, and NPR’s All Things Considered.
Jason L. Schwartz is Assistant Professor of Health Policy and in the History of Medicine at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine. He is also affiliated with the Program in the History of Science and Medicine. His general research interest is in the ways in which evidence has been interpreted, evaluated, and translated into regulation and policy in medicine and public health. His publications on topics in public health policy and history have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, the American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, The Milbank Quarterly, and elsewhere. Among his ongoing projects is a book manuscript, “Medicine by Committee: Expert Advice and Health Care in Modern America,” that examines the emergence, evolution, and continuing influence of expert advisory committees in American medicine and public health from the 1960s to the present, particularly regarding pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and screening technologies. Prior to arriving at Yale in 2015, he taught in the Princeton University Center for Human Values and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. He is a graduate of Princeton, where he received an AB in classics, and Penn, where he received a PhD in the history and sociology of science and a master’s degree (MBE) in bioethics. http://jschwartz.yale.edu/
Elli Stern received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2008. From 2009 to 2010 he was Junior William Golding Fellow in the Humanities at Brasenose College and the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. He researches the transformation and development of traditional and religious worldviews in Western life and thought. In particular, he focuses on modern Jewish history, Zionism, secularism, and religious radicalism. His first book, The Genius: Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism, was published by Yale University Press in 2012. His work Jewish Materialism (Yale University Press, 2017) details the ideological background to Jews’ involvement in Zionism, capitalism, and Communism. His courses include Secularism: From the Enlightenment to the Present, Modern Jewish Intellectual History, and Law and Ethics in Modern Judaism. He has served as a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and a consultant to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland.
Adam Stern is a postdoctoral associate in the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism and a lecturer in the Humanities Program and the Department of Religious Studies. He received a PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University in 2017 and has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin Madison. His research interests include continental philosophy, medieval and modern Jewish thought, secularism, political theology, and theories of translation. He is currently completing his first book project, “Genealogies of Survival: Christianity, Sovereignty, and the Jews.” Beginning with the much discussed if little examined question of “Jewish survival,” the book demonstrates how modern, secular rhetorics of survival trace the theological-political legacy of Christianity. His articles and translations have appeared in the Journal of Religion, the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, and the Journal of Palestine Studies.
Emily V. Thornbury is a scholar of Old English and Anglo-Latin literature, with a particular interest in early theories of aesthetics. She joins the English department from the University of California at Berkeley. Her first book, Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England, explored how and why people set about composing verse in England prior to the Norman Conquest. Whether in English or Latin, the Anglo-Saxons’ poetry was enmeshed in the social circumstances in which it was composed, and it 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 Anglo-Saxon 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 Anglo-Saxons 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 for the Anglo-Saxons, we can glimpse alternative ways of reading, seeing, and understanding art.
Linn Marie Tonstad is an associate professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School and affiliate faculty in WGSS and LGBT studies at Yale University. She works on modern Christian thought as well as feminist and queer theory, with especial interests in how human beings imagine themselves and their possibilities and the way religious language works. She is the author of God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Finitude (Routledge, 2017) and Queer Theology: Beyond Apologetics (Cascade, 2018). She is currently working on a book on method in theology and queer theory.
Katrin Truestedt’s research is situated at the intersection of literature, law, and philosophy and engages with early modern, modern, and contemporary German and English literature. She is the author of Die Komödie der Tragödie, which was published with Konstanz University Press in 2011 and awarded the Martin Lehnert Prize of the German Shakespeare Association, and coeditor of Happy Days: Lebenswissen nach Cavell (Fink, 2009). She has published various papers on Shakespeare, Kleist, Kafka, Kraus, Schmitt, Blumenberg, Cavell, and Derrida in journals such as Telos, Law and Humanities, Law and Critique, Modern Language Notes, and Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie. Katrin is one of the editors of the journal Law and Literature and writes a column for 3 Quarks Daily. Currently she is writing her second book on figures of “Stellvertretung” (advocacy, agency, representation, substitution) in rhetoric, law, and literature.
Jane Tylus is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at Yale. A literary historian who works primarily on late medieval and early modern Europe, Tylus received her PhD from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University. Her most recent books are Siena, City of Secrets (Chicago, 2015), Early Modern Cultures of Translation (coedited with Karen Newman, Philadelphia, 2015), Poetics of Masculinity in Early Modern Italy and Spain (coedited with Gerry Milligan, Toronto, 2010), and Reclaiming Catherine of Siena (Chicago, 2009; winner of the 2010 MLA Howard Marraro Prize for Outstanding Work in Italian Studies). She has translated the complete poetry of Gaspara Stampa and Lucrezia Tornabuoni de’ Medici (Chicago, 2010; 2002) and edited the early modern volume with David Damrosch for the Longman Anthology of World Literature. Since 2013 she has served as general editor of the journal I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance.
From 2003 to 2018, Tylus was Professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature at NYU, where she also served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Founding Faculty Director of the NYU Center for the Humanities. Prior to NYU she taught in the departments of French and Italian and comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is currently working on a book manuscript, “Saying Goodbye in the Renaissance,” and a series of essays on epic, exile, and linguistic hospitality. Other scholarly interests include modern Sicilian literature, female mysticism, representations of work and peasantry, detective fiction, and the history and theory of translation studies.
Kirk Wetters is Professor of German. His work focuses on literature and intellectual history from the age of Goethe to the age of critical theory, with a current focus on the overlapping genealogies of theory, literature, literary criticism, and scholarly methods. His most recent monograph, Demonic History from Goethe to the Present (Northwestern University Press, 2014), explores the turbulent reception of Goethe’s idea of the demonic in twentieth-century authors such as Friedrich Gundolf, Oswald Spengler, Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, Heimito von Doderer, and Hans Blumenberg. Also from 2014 on the same topic, coedited with Lars Friedrich and Eva Geulen: Das Dämonische.: Schicksale einer Kategorie der Zweideutigkeit (Fink). From 2012, coedited with Rüdiger Campe and Paul Fleming: Hans Blumenberg (Telos 158, 2012). And from 2008: The Opinion System: Impasses of the Public Sphere from Hobbes to Habermas. His current work pursues questions of legitimacy, illegitimacy, and legitimation in a wide range of literary and theoretical authors (with Max Weber as a point of orientation). In spring 2017, he was a visiting fellow at the Stefan Zweig Centre in Salzburg, pursuing research on Zweig, genre, and literary depictions of history. Starting in 2018, he will be a coeditor of Athenäum, the journal of the Friedrich Schlegel Society.