Faculty Fellows 2008-2009

Thomas Augst

Thomas Augst
“The Sobriety Test: Temperance and the Melodramas of Modern Citizenship”

Thomas Augst is Associate Professor of English at NYU, where he teaches courses in American literature and culture. His work explores the social and material contexts of reading, writing, and speaking, seeking to understand how literary institutions and practices have shaped the moral life of modern liberalism. He is the author of The Clerk’s Tale: Young Men and Moral Life in 19th Century America (Chicago, 2003), and the co-editor of Institutions of Reading: The Social Life of Libraries in the United States (UMass, 2007). He earned his doctorate from Harvard University, and has received research fellowships from the NEH and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Professor Augst is currently the Interim Faculty Director of the Humanities Initiative.

Markus AsperMarkus Asper
“Narratives in Ancient Greek Science Writing”

Markus Asper was Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at NYU. The author of two books on Hellenistic poetry and one on ancient Greek science writing, he focuses on literary aspects and authorial strategies in medical and mathematical texts. For the Humanities Initiative, he investigated how narrative and argument are related in (ancient) scientific discourse.

Professor Asper is currently Professor of Greek at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Kim Phillips-FeinKim Phillips-Fein
“Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan”

Kim Phillips-Fein is an Assistant Professor in the Gallatin School, where she teaches courses on 20th-century American political history with a focus on economic ideas and culture. Her first book, a history of the role played by business and economic thought in the modern conservative movement, will be published early in 2009 by W.W. Norton. It is titled Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan. Her work at the Humanities Initiative focused on the New York City financial crisis of the mid-1970s and its role in reshaping the city, as well as the part it played in the rightward shift of American politics during the decade. She has written for a wide range of publications, including The London Review of Books and The Nation.

Hala HalimHala Halim
“The Vicissitudes of Cross-cultural Encounters: Nineteenth-century Arab Mediations of Alternative Modernities”

Hala Halim is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her research focuses on cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, translation studies and postcolonial theory. Her latest project addresses nineteenth-century Arab texts that reflect critically on the encounter with European modernity. She has published articles on Alexandrian cosmopolitanism, as well as a translation of a novel by Mohamed El-Bisatie, Clamor of the Lake.

Laura Levine
“Magical Thinking: The Constitutive Power of Illusion in Renaissance Witch Tracts, Shakespeare, and Spencer”

Laura Levine is an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies in the Department of Drama at Tisch School of the Arts. Her first book, Men in Women’s Clothing: Anti-theatricality and Effeminization 1579-1643, explores anxieties about cross dressing on the Renaissance stage. She is currently at work on a book about anxieties about witchcraft and their relation to the form trials take. She has held grants from NEH, the Mary Ingraham Bunting foundation and the Folger Shakespeare Library. She teaches courses in Shakespeare, Theatre Studies and autobiographical performance.

Hasia DinerHasia Diner
“Wandering Jews: Peddlers, Immigrants, and the Discovery of New Worlds”

Hasia Diner is the Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at New York University, with a joint appointment in the departments of history and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and is the Director of the Goldstein Goren Center for American Jewish History. Previously she was a professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park. Professor Diner held a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Haifa in Israel, 1990-1991. She has been a Lilly Fellow at the Mary I. Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, in 1998 won election to membership in American Academy of Jewish Research and in 2004 to the Society of American Historians. She has also been a fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Research at Princeton University. She received her Ph.d. in History at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her bachelor’s degree was awarded in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s at the University of Chicago in 1970.