Fellows, 2012-2013

at the NYU Center for the Humanities

Franco Baldasso

Franco Baldasso

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

Project: 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 Berthe

Jamie Berthe

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

Project: 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 Cheta

Omar Cheta

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: 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.

Juan Sebastian De Vivo

Juan Sebastian De Vivo

Post-Doctoral Fellow; Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, Department of Classics, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: The Memory of Battle in Ancient Greece: Warfare, Identity, and Materiality

Juan Sebastian De Vivo is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the Department of Classics at NYU. His research centers upon the significance of objects, their display, use, contemplation, collection, and representation, and how these then come to constitute narratives of identity, particularly within traumatic and interstitial spaces: battle, emigration, rites of passage. His dissertation, entitled “The Memory of Battle in Ancient Greece: Warfare, Identity, and Materiality,” focuses upon the experience of warfare in Archaic and Classical Greece, asking how the material culture of battle—particularly armor—shaped the experience, representation, and commemoration of warfare during a critical transitional period in Greek history. Other interests include Greek epic, Roman portraits, the anthropology of diaspora and transnationalism, border studies, the history of collecting and display, Jorge Luis Borges, and Julio Cortázar. He received his PhD in Classical Archaeology from Stanford University, an MA from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Stanford University, and his BA in Liberal Studies and Classics from California State University, Los Angeles. For the academic year 2009-10, he was a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute.

Mar Gómez Glez

Mar Gómez Glez

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: 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.

Aisha Khan

Aisha Khan

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

Project: Sacred Sacrilege: Religion and the View from Caribbean Obeah and Hosay

Aisha Khan is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Undergraduate Studies, and is also a joint faculty member with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU. She specializes in race and ethnicity; social stratification; theory and method in diaspora studies; religion; the Caribbean and Latin America. She has co-edited Empirical Futures: Anthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz (2009, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press), and Women Anthropologists: Biographical Sketches (1989, Urbana: University of Illinois Press), and is the author of Callaloo Nation: Metaphors of Race and Religious Identity among South Asians in Trinidad (2004, Durham: Duke University Press). Professor Khan is currently completing two manuscripts: Islam and the Atlantic World andSacred Sacrilege: Religion and the View from Caribbean Obeah and Hosay.

Professor Khan has been the recipient of awards from Fulbright, Sigma Xi Society, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and has won a Richard Carley Hunt Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Ilya Kliger

Ilya Kliger

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

Project: Untimely Community: The Tragic Imagination in the Age of Russian Realism

Ilya Kliger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, and specializes in 19th-century Russian and French novel, theory of the novel, literary theory, aesthetics, epistemology. He is the author of the recently published, The Narrative Shape of Truth: Veridiction in Modern European Literature (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011).

Elizabeth McHenry

Elizabeth McHenry

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

Project: Enter the New Negro: African American Literary Activism in a New Century

Elizabeth McHenry is an Associate Professor of English, and specializes in African-American literature, culture, and intellectual history; nineteenth and twentieth-century United States literature; and the history of the book. She is the recipient of numerous scholarly awards, including: Columbia College Alumna Achievement Award, Columbia University, 2004; Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction, 2003; John Hope Franklin Center Book Award, 2002; National Humanities Center, National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow, 1998 – 1999. Professor McHenry is the author of Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies (Duke University Press, 2002), and several articles.

Eve Meltzer

Eve Meltzer

Faculty Fellow; Assistant Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Project: Group Photo: The Psycho-Photographic Process in the Making of Group Identity

Eve Meltzer is assistant professor of visual studies and visual culture at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study, with research and teaching interests in the areas of contemporary art history and criticism, the history and theory of photography, material culture, and a range of philosophical and theoretical discourses including psychoanalysis, structuralism, phenomenology, and affect theory. Her first book, Systems We Have Loved: Conceptual Art, Affect, and the Antihumanist Turn will be published by University of Chicago Press in 2013. Meltzer is beginning work on a second book project that will attempt to bring together psychoanalytic theories of group psychology with close readings of several bodies of photographs that could be called “group photos.” Meltzer also regularly writes exhibition reviews for Frieze Magazine.

Nadja Millner-Larsen

Nadja Millner-Larsen

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

Project: 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 Rainbow

David Rainbow

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of History, Faculty of Arts & Science

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.

Shelley Rice

Shelley Rice

Faculty Fellow; Arts Professor, Department of Photography and Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts

Project: Local Space/Global Visions: Archives, Networks and Visual Geography Around 1900

Shelley Rice is Arts Professor in the Department of Photography and Imaging at Tisch. She is the author of Parisian Views (MIT Press, 1997; shortlisted for the Kraszna-Krausz Award, 1999); Inverted Odysseys: Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman (MIT Press, 1999). She is also the co-author of numerous catalogues, books, and criticism.  She most recently was awarded the rank of chevalier, or knight, in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her contributions to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.

Professor Rice has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (1992); Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship (France, 1988) and Fulbright Senior Lecture Fellowship (to create a Media Center linked to public television at Bosphorus University, Istanbul,1999). She has also received a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency (1989), two National Endowment for the Arts grants, two National Endowment for the Humanities grants, two New York State Council on the Arts grants, a Bourse d’Etude from the French Minister of Culture (1991), and the PEN/Jerard Award for Non-Fiction Essay (1989).

Martin Scherzinger

Martin Scherzinger

Faculty Fellow; Associate Professor, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Project:African Genealogies of European and American Art Music: 1950-1980

Martin Scherzinger is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at Steinhardt. His research specializes in sound studies, music, media and politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular interest in the music of European modernism and after, as well as African music and transnational musical fusions. His research includes the examination of links between political economy and digital sound technologies, the poetics of copyright law in an international frame, the relation between aesthetics and censorship, the sensory limits of mass-mediated music, the mathematical geometries of musical time, and the history of sound in philosophy. This work represents an attempt to understand what we might call contemporary “modalities of listening;” that is, the economic, political, metaphysical, and technological determinants of both mediated and (what is perceived as) immediate auditory experience.