Faculty Fellows 2010-2011

Toral Gajarawala
Assistant Professor, Department of English, FAS
“Untouchable Fictions: Literary Realism and the Crisis of Caste”

Toral Gajarawala is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature.  She teaches courses on postcolonial studies, South Asian literatures, Anglophonism, and the novel.  Her current research interests include literary movements; vernacular language politics; the translation of metaphor; and the various crises of realism. In 2011, Professor Gajarawala won the William Riley Parker Prize for best essay in the PMLA (May 2011), “Some Time between Revisionist and Revolutionary: Unreading History in Dalit Literature”.

Michael Kunichika
Assistant Professor, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, FAS
“Our Native Antiquity”: Russian Modernists Imagine the Steppe

Michael Kunichika is Assistant Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies. At NYU he has taught courses on the Russian and Soviet avant-garde; the interrelations of art and literature; primitivism and the concept of Eurasianism. He was a contributor to the volume Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture, and has completed two interrelated articles on avant-garde cinematic ethnography and ecstatic space in the work of Dziga Vertov. As a Humanities Initiative Fellow, he examined the literary history of the Russian steppe, the last part of his book on the creation of an indigenous antiquity during the Russian modernist period. He is currently at work on a book examining the creation of an indigenous antiquity during the Russian modernist period.

Eugene OstashevskyEugene Ostashevsky
Master Teacher of the Humanities, Liberal Studies Program, FAS
“OBERIU Conversations: Poetry, Science and Play in Stalin’s Russia”

Eugene Ostashevsky teaches Cultural Foundations at the Liberal Studies Program: in Florence for the past three semesters and in NYC normally. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford with a dissertation on the history of zero in the Renaissance but, since graduating in 2000, has shifted his academic focus to Russian avant-garde writing from the 1930s by the OBERIU group. His books include OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern UP, 2006), as well as several volumes of his own poetry, the most recent of which is The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008).

Professor Ostashevsky was the recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Translation Project, 2010.

Dana PolanDana Polan
Professor, Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch
“Raymond Williams for Film and Media Studies”

Dana Polan is the author of 8 books in film and media and approximately 200 essays, reviews, and review-essays. These most recent works include an essay on Raymond Williams and Film publicized in Cinema Journal, an essay on Elena Zelayeta publicized in an anthology on approaches to TV studies, and an essay on the year 2009 published in the Rutgers anthology on American Cinema of the 2000s. One of his books, The Sopranos, was published in 2009 in Duke University Press’s new series, Spin-offs, on individual television shows. Another recent book in this series is on Julia Child’s The French Chef.

He is a former president of the Society for Cinema Studies, the professional society for film, and a former editor of its publication, Cinema Journal. He has a Doctorat d’Etat in Letters from the Sorbonne Nouvelle and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought from Stanford. He has been knighted by the French Ministry of Culture for contributions to cross-cultural exchange, and in 2003, he was selected as one of that year’s two Academy Foundation Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Martha RustMartha Rust
Associate Professor, Department of English, FAS; Director, Medieval and Renaissance Center
“Item: Lists and the Poetics of Reckoning in Late Medieval England”

Martha Rust works in the literary-historical period of the Middle Ages, focusing on late-medieval manuscript culture: that network of beliefs and practices– devotional, pedagogical, economic, technological, agricultural, among others–that constituted the milieu of medieval book production and use. The broader interests she brings to her study of this field include the phenomenology of reading, picture theory, and cognitive linguistics. Her first book, Imaginary Worlds in Medieval Books: Exploring the Manuscript Matrix, demonstrates the interpretive power of conceptualizing the medieval manuscript as a virtual realm, one that is called forth by a reader’s engagement with a book’s play of picture and text. In her current book project, Item: Lists and the Poetics of Reckoning in Late Medieval England, Rust seeks to develop a theory of a written list as a device that functions within three signifying domains: the domains of words, of pictures, and of things.

Rust’s teaching is inspired by her fascination not only with medieval manuscript culture but also with its contemporary “new media” and “post-modern” analogues. Thus in addition to conventional essay writing, her classes often entail the use of collaborative writing environments such as wikis and blogs as well as experimentation with a variety of “marginal” genres that characterize medieval pages and web “pages” alike as collage, including the note, anecdote, proverb, commentary, and fragmentary or even found text.

She is a recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions Grant.

Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu
Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu

Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, FAS
“True Beauty: Science, Culture and the Multinational Cosmetics Industry”

Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu is an Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her research focuses on the relationship between culture and economy, particularly the ways that these converge to produce new identities, labor formations, and social networks. She has explored this relationship in a variety of projects that consider how material structures, including commercial markets, state policies, and cultural geographies, shape seemingly immaterial productions, like art, fashion, and beauty. She is the author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion (Duke UP, December) and editor, with Mimi Thi Nguyen, of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America (2007) and, with Alondra Nelson, of Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (2001).

Jerome WakefieldJerome Wakefield
University Professor
Silver School of Social Work/Provostial Fellow
“Philosophical Foundations of Clinical Social Work”

Jerome Wakefield is University Professor, Professor of Social Work, and Professor of Psychiatry, and Affiliate Faculty in Bioethics and the Center for Ancient Studies, at New York University. He holds two doctorates, in Social Work and Philosophy, both from University of California at Berkeley, and has previously held faculty positions at University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Rutgers University. He writes primarily on the conceptual foundations of the mental health professions, especially the concept of mental disorder and the validity of psychiatric diagnostic criteria in distinguishing mental disorder from nondisordered forms of suffering.

Most recently, he is author with Allan Horwitz of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder (Oxford, 2007), named the best psychology book of 2007 by the Association of Professional and Scholarly Publishers. He is currently on the Editorial Boards of Evolutionary Psychology, Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences (Pub. In Italian), and Clinical Social Work Journal.

Adina YoffieAdina Yoffie
ACLS Fellow, Department of History
“Biblical Literalism in Early Modern Protestant Europe”

Adina M. Yoffie is an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow in the History Department at New York University. She is teaching courses this academic year on the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Bible as a tool of subversion. Her research explores the meaning of the literal sense of the Bible in early modern Europe. She focuses particularly on how Protestant professors defined the term in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Germany and the Netherlands, and how their religious, political, and scholarly allegiances affected their definitions. Adina also has research experience in the field of Jewish Studies; she spent last year as a post-doctoral research associate at Princeton University, where she translated Hebrew manuscripts of the Toledot Yeshu, a medieval Jewish life of Jesus. She received her Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in June 2009.


Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Visiting Scholar, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, Steinhardt
“New Narratives in Digital Technologies”

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, in Claremont, California, and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at Steinhardt-NYU.  She is author of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television, published in 2006 by Vanderbilt University Press, and of Planned Obsolescence:  Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (2012, NYU Press; also available for open peer review online athttp://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/mcpress/plannedobsolescence).  She is a founding editor of MediaCommons (http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org), and has published articles and notes in journals including the Journal of Electronic PublishingPMLA,Contemporary Literature, and Cinema Journal.