Graduate Fellows 2015-2016

Narges Bajoghli
Doctoral Student
Department of Anthropology, GSAS

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Narges Bajoghli is a PhD candidate in socio-cultural Anthropology at New York University and a documentary filmmaker in NYU’s Culture and Media Program.  Narges’ research focuses on pro-regime cultural producers in Iran, and is supported by dissertation research grants from the Social Science Research Council, The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, NYU’s Torch Fellowship the National Science Foundation (awarded/declined), and the a Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship at NYU. She is the director of The Skin That Burns, a documentary film about survivors of chemical warfare in Iran, distributed by Film Media Group. Narges writes on Iran for The Guardian, Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), The Huffington Post, LobeLog, and IranWire. She has also appeared as a guest commentator on Iranian politics on DemocracyNow!, NPR, BBC WorldService, BBC Persian, and HuffPost Live.


Valeria G. Castelli
Doctoral Student, Public Humanities Fellow
Department of Italian Studies, GSAS

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Valeria G. Castelli is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Italian Studies at New York University. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled: Ethics, Performativity and Action in Contemporary Italian Documentary Film (2001-2014). Valeria received her Laurea in Lettere Moderne with a specialization in Modern Philology from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano and her M.A. in Italian Studies from the University College of London. Her research interests include: Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature, Cultural Studies, Documentary Film, Media and Film Studies, Italian Poetry, Ethics, Activism and Social Change. In Spring 2015, Valeria was a Remarque Institute Doctoral Fellow at NYU. She is the recipient of a 2015-2016 Public Humanities Fellowship at the New York Council for the Humanities and the NYU Center for the Humanities.


Hi’ilei Julia Hobart
Doctoral Student
Nutrition & Food Studies and Public Health, Steinhardt

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Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaʻakahaʻopulani Hobart is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Food Studies at New York University. She holds an M.A. in Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, an M.L.S. in Library Science and Archives Management from Pratt Institute, and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Colby College. She is broadly interested in indigenous history, temperature, and technology infrastructures. Her dissertation, entitled “Tropical Necessities: Ice, Territory, and Taste in Hawaiʻi” is a commodity history of comestible ice. In particular, the study examines the development of the taste for coldness and affective experiences of Hawaiʻi’s settler colonial society. She is the founder and organizer of the NYC-Pacific Studies Working Group and is currently guest editing a journal issue of Food, Culture, and Society on the food systems of Hawai‘i.


Sean Larson
Doctoral Student

Department of German, GSAS

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Sean Larson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of German at NYU. His research interests include Marxism, aesthetic theory, psychoanalysis, political economy, and revolution. Sean previously studied Political Theory and Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich as well as German and Spanish Literature at the University of Florida. His dissertation project investigates the social and economic transformations brought about during the German Revolution of 1918-23 and their impact upon the core aesthetic trends of the Weimar Republic, including “New Objectivity” literature, Bertolt Brecht’s theatre, and the circle of humanist philosophers and art historians around Aby Warburg.


Sean Nesselrode
Doctoral Student
Institute of Fine Arts

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Sean Nesselrode is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, and he specializes in modern and contemporary art of the Americas. Research interests include peripheral modernities, narratives and counter-narratives of progress, and the politics of abstraction. He earned his BA in Art History and English Literature at Swarthmore College and his MA in the History of Art and Archaeology from New York University. His dissertation examines the artistic development of Venezuelan modernism(s) through the lens of petroleum as a real and imagined source of progress. His writings have been published in Caiana: Revista de Historia del Arte y Cultura Visual del Centro Argentino de Investigadores de Arte, ICAA Documents Project Working Papers, and Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas (forthcoming).


Lana Povitz
Doctoral Student, Public Humanities Fellow
Department of History, GSAS

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Lana Dee Povitz is a doctoral candidate in U.S. history at New York University. Her dissertation, A Taste of What It Takes: Food Activism in New York City explores the central role food has played in building and sustaining community since the 1960s, whether through mothers monitoring school lunch programs in the South Bronx, volunteers delivering meals for people with AIDS, or young New Leftists establishing the Park Slope Food Coop. Lana is engaged in an array of contemporary social struggles, including those for peace, prison abolition, and queer and feminist movement.


Luke Stark
Doctoral Student
Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt

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Luke Stark is doctoral candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University under the supervision of Helen Nissenbaum. His dissertation project, “Self-Managed Feeling: Psychology and Interaction Design from Smartphones to the Anxious Seat,” is a genealogy of digital mood tracking applications, and explores how psychological tools and techniques have been built into the design of the mobile device we use on a daily basis. With a focus on affect and emotion, Luke’s broader scholarship explores the changing nature of human subjectivity in the computational age. Luke holds an Honours BA in History & English and an MA in History, both from the University of Toronto; he has been generously funded by the National Science Foundation, New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and the Provost’s Global Research Initiative, the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing, and Microsoft Research.