Graduate Fellows 2012-2013

Franco BaldassoFranco Baldasso 
Department of Italian Studies, FAS
“Against Redemption: The Debate over Italian History during the Transition from Fascism to Democracy”

Franco Baldasso is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Italian Studies. He graduated in modern Italian literature at the Università degli Studi of Bologna, where he worked as a journalist and editor. His mainstays of research are 20th century literature and intellectual history, the negotiations between fiction and historical discourse as well as the legacy of the Holocaust and World War II in Italy, with a main focus on the work of Primo Levi. After some publications on Levi and the representation of the Holocaust for the journal Poetiche, he published his first book, Il cerchio di gesso. Primo Levi narratore e testimone (Bologna, 2007). He also edited a series of photographical books about the city of Florence from the Risorgimento to the economic boom of the 1960s for the newspaper La Nazione. His articles appeared in Nemla-Italian Studies and Scritture Migranti. After receiving an MA at NYU with a thesis on the representation of the Balkans in Italian culture, he is now engaged in a project about intellectuals reworking national history in Italy in the transition from Fascism to Democracy.

Franco is the recipient of the 2012-13 Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities and the Remarque Institute Doctoral Fellowship.

Jamie BertheJamie Berthe
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, Steinhardt
“An Art of Ambivalence: On Jean Rouch, African Cinema, and the Complexities of the (Post)Colonial Encounter”

Jamie Berthe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. Her research interests include ethnographic and documentary film, African cinema, postcolonial studies, French colonial history and cultural politics, visual anthropology, and visual culture. Her dissertation – “An Art of Ambivalence: On Jean Rouch, African Cinema, and the Complexities of the (Post)Colonial Encounter” – explores ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch’s relationship to French colonial history and African film. Prior to arriving at MCC, Jamie was an undergraduate at The American University in Paris and earned her MA in Cinema Studies from Tisch. She has also completed The Graduate Program in Media and Culture through NYU’s Department of Anthropology. Jamie’s dissertation work has received funding from The Georges Lurcy Fellowship Program, in addition to her fellowship at The Humanities Initiative at New York University.

Omar ChetaOmar Cheta 
Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, FAS
“Rule of Merchants: The Practice of Commerce and Law in Late Ottoman Egypt, 1841-1876”

Omar Cheta is a doctoral candidate in the joint program in Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, and History. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the American University in Cairo and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. He is generally interested in the social history of the (Ottoman/post Ottoman) Middle East during the early modern and modern periods. His dissertation explores the formulation of a new definition of commerce and the concurrent emergence of associated professional practices in nineteenth-century Egypt. He has a forthcoming chapter on this topic in an edited volume entitled New Approaches to Egyptian Legal History.

Omar joins the Humanities Initiative as an honorary fellow. He is the recipient of the 2012-13 Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities from NYU.

Maria Gomez GlezMar Gómez Glez
Department of Spanish and Portuguese, FAS
“‘My secret for myself’, Teresa of Avila’s uses of secrecy”

Mar Gómez Glez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, and completed an M.A. in Literary Theory at the University Carlos III of Madrid. She is an award-winning writer, having authored the children’s novel Acebedario, the novel Cambio de sentido, and the playWearing Lorca’s Bowtie, produced by AENY The Duke theater, off-Broadway. She is the recipient of the prestigious Premio de Teatro para Autores Noveles Calderón de la Barca 2011 for her play, Cifras, awarded to the most outstanding play by an emerging dramaturge.

Nadja Millner-LarsenNadja Millner-Larsen
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, FAS
“Up Against the Real: Anti-representational Militancy in 1960s New York”

Nadja Millner-Larsen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. Nadja holds a BA in History and Human Rights from Bard College and her broad interests include visual culture, affect studies, theories of temporality, “postanarchism” and critical historiography. Nadja’s dissertation-Up Against the Real: Anti-representational Militancy in 1960s New York – examines groups of the New Left era that operated at the intersection of 1960s aesthetic and political avant-gardes. Focusing on groups (mostly anarchist) who ultimately rejected the art world in favor of a militant engagement with “the real,” Nadja argues that the negotiations between politics and form entailed by aesthetic experimentalism were constitutive of a wider critique of representational logic fundamental to many on the militant side of the New Left. The dissertation also considers the ways in which the renewed availability of this history in the present illuminates a contemporary desire to articulate a politics beyond mediation.

David RainbowDavid Rainbow
Department of History, FAS
“Participatory Autocracy: Siberian Patriots and the Imperial Politics of Progress, 1860-1920”

David Rainbow is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History.  He received a B.A. with highest honors in history and philosophy from Fresno Pacific University and an M.A. with distinction in modern European intellectual history from Drew University.  His dissertation examines the history of separatist and regionalist movements in Siberia from the 1860s to 1920 and how the Russian imperial government responded to them as a way of understanding changes in state power during the decades before the Bolshevik Revolution.  He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Fulbright Dissertation Research Fellowship, the Remarque Institute Doctoral Fellowship, the IREX and Woodrow Wilson International Center Regional Policy Symposium award, and two U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships.