Fellows, 2010-2011

at the NYU Center for the Humanities

Jonathan Cottrell

Jonathan Cottrell

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Philosophy, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: “Contradictions and Absurdities” in Hume’s View of the Self

Jonathan Cottrell received his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford, before joining NYU’s Philosophy Department in the Fall of 2005. He completed his Ph.D. in August 2012, and spent his Fellowship year with the Humanities Initiative writing a dissertation chapter about David Hume’s view of the self, which will put forward an interpretation of Hume’s claim that “the identity which we ascribe to the mind of man is only a fictitious one,” and use this interpretation to defend a new account of the reasons why Hume would later come to retract his own view of the self in a notoriously obscure passage of his Appendix to ‘A Treatise of Human Nature.’ Jonathan also plans to begin work on a paper explaining and evaluating the conception of the imagination that informs Hume’s conception of the fictitious.

Jonathan is the recipient of a 2011-12 ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for“Fictions of the Imagination” in Hume’s ‘Treatise’ . As of Fall 2012, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at NYU.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Honorary Faculty Fellow; Visiting Scholar, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Stehinardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Project: 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). She is a founding editor of  MediaCommons), and has published articles and notes in journals including the Journal of Electronic PublishingPMLA,Contemporary Literature, and Cinema Journal.

Toral Gajarawala

Toral Gajarawala

Faculty Fellow; Assistant Professor, Department of English, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: 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 Gallope

Michael Gallope

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Music, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: Immanence and Singularity in Modernist Philosophies of Music, 1910-1980

Michael Gallope received a BA in Visual Arts and a BM in Piano from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he was recipient of the John Elvin Piano Prize. He completed his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology at NYU and was a recipient of an Advanced Certificate in Poetics and Theory. His research centered on the philosophy of music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His dissertation, entitled “Immanence and Singularity in Modernist Philosophies of Music, 1910-1980” was a four-part comparative study of the way Bloch, Adorno, Jankélévitch, and Deleuze each renew the Hegelian tradition of speculative thought in relation to shifting ontologies of what constitutes the proper foundation of musical technique. He has published articles on Cavell, Deleuze, Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and the phenomenology of music. His future projects include an archival study of modernist self-consciousness in the work of Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and an analytical and theoretical study on the role of chant in experiences of the demand for political change.

Gallope is currently a Collegiate Assistant Professor of the Humanities at the University of Chicago, and is working on an article on Richard Taruskin and speculative historiography, and another on the punk experimentalism and vernacular intellectual culture.

Jessica Goethals

Jessica Goethals

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Italian Studies, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: Renovatio: The Literature of Revival and Reform after the Sack of Rome (1527)

Jessica Goethals received her Ph.D. from the Department of Italian Studies. She completed her BA at Northwestern University and her MA at NYU. Her areas of interest include fifteenth and sixteenth-century Italian literature and intellectual history, prophecy and apocalypse, the intersection between Spanish and Italian literature, and the twentieth-century novel. Her dissertation, “Renovatio: The Literature of Revival and Reform after the Sack of Rome (1527)” explores representations of the apocalyptic fall of the Eternal City and attempts to rejuvenate Italian letters in its aftermath. She is also co-editor, with Valerie McGuire and Gaoheng Zhang, of the proceedings of the 2006 NYU graduate conference, “Power and Image in Early Modern Europe” (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008).

Goethals is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Italian Studies at NYU.

Michael Kunichika

Michael Kunichika

Faculty Fellow; Assistant Professor, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: “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 Ostashevsky

Eugene Ostashevsky

Faculty Fellow; Master Teacher of the Humanities, Liberal Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: 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 Polan

Dana Polan

Faculty Fellow; Professor, Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts

Project: 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 Rust

Martha Rust

Faculty Fellow; Associate Professor, Department of English, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: 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.

Scott Selberg

Scott Selberg

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Project: The Matter With Old People: Visual Culture and Alzheimer’s Disease

Scott Selberg earned his BA in Art History from Williams College and his MA in Communication Studies from UNC Chapel Hill. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. His research and teaching interests include visual culture, critical theory, cultural memory, science and technology studies, and cultural studies. His dissertation explores the visual culture of Alzheimer’s disease, focusing in particular on the intersections of cognition, age, and bioethics. Scott also has a background in film and radio production and as a curator and programmer at film festivals and museums.

Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu

Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu

Faculty Fellow; Associate Professor, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: 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).

Aaron Tugendhaft

Aaron Tugendhaft

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: “Baal is Our King”: Politics and Narrative at the End of the Bronze Age

Aaron Tugendhaft received his Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, with a focus on the Hebrew Bible and its ancient near eastern context. His research centered on the relationship between theology and politics in the myth of Baal from the ancient Mediterranean city of Ugarit. He also taught courses on political philosophy and religion at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he has been a part-time faculty member since 2007. In 2008, he curated the exhibition Idol Anxiety for the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art in Chicago. Before coming to NYU, he received a B.A. in Art History and an M.A. in Social Thought, both from the University of Chicago, and studied philosophy and Jewish thought respectively at the Sorbonne (Paris IV) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his spare time, he makes handmade books with The Crumpled Press and attends operas at the Met.

Aaron was awarded the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Learned Practices of Canonical Texts Seminar by the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte for Summer 2012. He also published “On ym and A.AB.BA at Ugarit,” Ugarit-Forschungen 42 (2010 [2012]).

Tugendhaft’s first book, Baal and Bronze Age Politics , is in preparation and will be published De Gruyter.  He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and managing editor of The Crumpled Press.

Jerome Wakefield

Jerome Wakefield

Faculty Fellow; University Professor, Silver School of Social Work

Project: 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.

Matthew Watkins

Matthew Watkins

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of History, and Institute of French Studies, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: Mendésisme and Modernization: The Making of an Indissoluble Association in Post-Liberation France, 1944-1975

Matthew is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in History and French Studies. His dissertation, “Mendésisme and Modernization: The Making of an Indissoluble Association in Post-Liberation France, 1944-1975,” considers the origins and social uses of the remarkable proliferation of public celebrations of Pierre Mendès France, the Prime Minister of France for a mere seven-and-a-half months in the mid-1950s. Rather than the traditional biographical focus on Mendès, this work contends that the so-called “mendésistes” played a key, and under-appreciated, role in the diffusion of a potent postwar discourse of “modernization”: a kind of magical thinking associated with technocratic expert leadership, the panacea of productivity, and the elevation of the economy into the master-realm from which all other social change would necessarily flow. Matthew earned a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. at the University of Toronto. He was awarded a Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship for 2010-2011 and joined the Humanities Initiative as an Honorary Fellow.

Adina Yoffie

Adina Yoffie

ACLS Fellow; Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, Department of History, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: 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.