Fellows, 2017-2018

at the NYU Center for the Humanities

Gabriela Basterra

Gabriela Basterra

Faculty Fellow; Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, and Spanish & Portuguese, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: Kant in the Maquis’ Backpack: Freedom in Spain’s Resistance Movements, 1939-1975

Gabriela Basterra teaches philosophy and literature at the Comparative Literature and the Spanish & Portuguese Departments at New York University, and is faculty in the Poetics & Theory Program. Between 2004 and 2010 she was also a Director of Program at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. Prof. Basterra is the author of Seductions of Fate: Tragic Subjectivity, Ethics, Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and The Subject of Freedom: Kant, Levinas (Fordham University Press, 2015). She has co-edited Quel sujet du politique? (Rue Descartes, 2010), and her published essays focus on the work of Velázquez, Racine, Kant, Nietzsche, García Lorca, Lacan, Arendt, Levinas, Ricoeur, Antelme, Nancy, and Laclau, among others. Her two ongoing book projects are Kant in the Maquis’ Backpack and Shaping the Void.

 Cécile Bishop

Cécile Bishop

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

Project: The Liberation of Paris, in Black and White

Cécile Bishop is Assistant Professor of French at New York University. She obtained her PhD from King’s College London in 2012. Before joining NYU, she was a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and a lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her work focuses on francophone postcolonial literatures and visual culture. She is the author of Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of African Dictatorship: The Aesthetics of Tyranny (Oxford: Legenda 2014). Bishop’s current book project examines what role the aesthetic and the literary can play in current debates on race in France.

Joan Flores

Joan Flores

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

Project: Colón Women: West Indian Women in the Construction of the Panama Canal, 1904-1914

Joan Flores is a PhD candidate in African Diaspora History at NYU. Her dissertation explores the lives and labors of West Indian women in Panama during the Canal construction, showing how these women—both those who migrated and those who stayed in the islands—participated in and imagined themselves as part of a diasporic community in communication and exchange with Panama. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the American Historical Association’s Albert J. Beveridge Grant, a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, an AAUW Dissertation Fellowship, and the Howard Reece Prize for Best Paper in Diplomatic or Naval History. She holds a B.A. in Black Studies from Amherst College and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

 Ayasha Guerin

Ayasha Guerin

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: The Making of NYC’s Zone-A: Histories of Flooding and Resilience on NYC’s Most Vulnerable Shores

Ayasha Guerin is a PhD candidate in American Studies focused on urban and environmental studies, engaging questions about sustainable urban development and the sociopolitical relations that define the 21st century neoliberal city. Her art and writing concern themes of the urban/natural, public and private space, ecology, community, and security. Ayasha completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, where she studied Urban and Environmental Studies and minored in Anthropology and Photography. Currently, Ayasha is the Andrew F. Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York. Her dissertation “Making Zone A: Flooding and Resilience on NYC’s Most Vulnerable Shores” is a socio-ecological study of four New York City waterfront communities and the environmental histories of their settled land.

 MC Hyland

MC Hyland

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

Project: On the Commons: Poetic Afterlives of 18th-Century Property Concepts

MC Hyland is a PhD candidate in English Literature at New York University, and holds MFAs in Poetry and Book Arts from the University of Alabama. Her dissertation, On the Commons: Poetic Afterlives of 18th-Century Property Concepts reads a long history of poetic engagements with the boundary between public and private space. From her research, she produces scholarly and poetic texts, artists’ books, and public art projects. She is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, a poetry micropress, as well as the author of several poetry chapbooks and the poetry collection Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press, 2010). Her work has been supported by grants from NYU, the University of Alabama, the Mellon Foundation, Poets House, the Wordsworth Summer Conference, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and Art Shanty Projects.

 Mikiya Koyagi

Mikiya Koyagi

Faculty Fellow; Assistant Professor, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: Society on the Move: Experiences of the Trans-Iranian Railway, 1850-1950

Mikiya Koyagi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He holds a PhD in History from The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include transportation, infrastructure, mobility, borderlands, and intra-Asian connections (particularly Japan and West Asia). His writings have appeared in journals such as The International Journal of Middle East Studies and The Journal of World History. His current book manuscript examines how a broad segment of Iranian society, including diplomats, nomadic tribes, migrant workers, and travelers, experienced encounters with railway infrastructure by tracing the Trans-Iranian Railway project from its conception in the mid-nineteenth century to its early years of operation in the mid-twentieth century.

 Heather Lee

Heather Lee

Faculty Fellow; Assistant Professor of History, Department of Humanities, NYU Shanghai

Project: The Chop Suey Corridor: How U.S. Immigration Law Fueled a Chinese Restaurant Boom in New York City, 1870-1946

Heather Ruth Lee is an assistant professor of history at NYU Shanghai. She is completing a book on the history of Chinese restaurants in New York City. She is exploring a second project on food rationing and the consequences on urban food provisioning and consumption. She is also developing a historical database of immigrant restaurants, which she will make publicly available through an interactive digital platform. Her research has been featured in NPR, Atlantic magazine, and Gastropod, a podcast on food science and history. She has advised and curated exhibitions, including shows at the New York Historical Society, the National Museum of American History, and the Museum of Chinese in America.

Christine Mladic

Christine Mladic

Public Humanities Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: Digital Quechua: Networking New York City’s Andean Immigrants

Christine Mladic Janney is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at New York University. Her research interests include everyday practices of photography and the anthropology of media, ideas of race and ethnicity in Peru, Quechua language use and language ideologies, and migration. She has been involved with outreach initiatives related to Quechua languages such as the Rimasun Quechua language podcast series, the Quechua Collective of New York, and the Runasimi Outreach Committee; she also directed the film Living Quechua. As a Public Humanities Fellow, Christine will produce new informational Quechua language audio content focusing on health issues and legal rights, create a Quechua language audio app, and coordinate public events that interface Quechua-speaking communities members with broader NYC and US publics.

 Wendy V. Muñiz

Wendy V. Muñiz

Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow; Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project: The Unofficial Archive: A Critique of Archival Culture in the Dominican Republic, 1865-1927

Wendy V. Muñiz is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the NYU Center for the Humanities and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her research centers on unorthodox archival media in the Hispanic Caribbean, with a focus on the Dominican Republic. Also a writer and producer on films that explore cultural memory in the Americas, she is currently producing two documentaries that aim to preserve and disseminate endangered queer archives and contemporary curiosity cabinets in the region. Muñiz’s scholarly and filmmaking work has received grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the CUNY DSI Archives and Library, the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University, Programa Ibermedia, and FONPROCINE, among others. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she was appointed Lead Teaching Fellow from 2015 to 2016 in recognition for her work with students, and is the recipient of the NYU Center for the Humanities Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

 Wendi Muse

Wendi Muse

Public Humanities Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of History, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: The Left POCket Project

Wendi Muse is a doctoral candidate in History at New York University. Her dissertation Exiles & Allies: Portuguese Africa and the Brazilian Left (1951-1992) examines the impact of political and intellectual exchange between Lusophone African and Brazilian activists during concurrent respective struggles against authoritarian rule. Wendi holds a Master’s in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (NYU) and has served as a Program Assistant and translator for the NYU Steinhardt course Race and Higher Education in Brazil. As a Public Humanities Fellow, Wendi will work with local organizers and scholars to make the history of leftist movements led by and comprised of people of color easily-accessible through a public lecture series and digital media platform.

Kaitlin Noss

Kaitlin Noss

Doctoral Student Fellow; Doctoral Student, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Graduate School of Arts & Science

Project: Race, Land, and Revolution between the United States and Kenya

Kaitlin Noss is entering her 6th year in the American Studies doctoral program at NYU. She was raised as a radical environmentalist, and is a grateful student of the Black radical tradition, Indigenous resistance history, and the prison abolition movement. Her work focuses on the relationships between race, capital, and land in the post-WWII era of US imperialism. Specifically, her dissertation maps international anti-colonial and Black liberation movements, race-making, militarism, agriculture and environmental change between the US and Kenya from 1952-1998. The questions shaping her dissertation emerged out of 12 years of working with the Maasai Community Partnership Project—an international solidarity network undertaking research to support Indigenous land rights cases and monitor the practices of US and UK NGOs in East Africa. Her research, in turn, has grounded her activism in the US as a union organizer for the UAW and against policing, gentrification, and other forms of racial violence in New York City. She is also an Instructor at the innovative Social Justice and Human Rights Master’s program at Prescott College based in Arizona, teaching social movement theory and community organizing skills. She most enjoys spending time in Prospect Park with her dog Trotsky (political ideologies forgiven), and at the gay end of Riis beach with her wildly wonderful friends.

Simón Trujillo

Simón Trujillo

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

Project: Land Uprising: Mystical Materialism and the Indigenous Reclamation of the Americas

Simón Ventura Trujillo is an Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies in the English Department at New York University. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he teaches and researches on Chicana/o and Latina/o literature, Borderland methodologies, decolonial social movements, and comparative racialization in the Americas. Grounded in the locality of New Mexico, his book project unpacks the labor of Indigenous land reclamation as a cross-racial and transnational intellectual labor on the politics of reading and writing. By engaging writings by La Alianza Federal de Mercedes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ana Castillo, Simon Ortiz, and the EZLN, this project shuttles between colonial, national, and neoliberal periodicities and highlights submerged points of convergence between Indigenous North and Latin America. It thus offers a different take on Chicana/o and Indigenous cultural studies as fields constituted through intertextual and intersubjective relations that break down the abstract divisions between religion, history, politics, economy, and culture.

Greg Vargo

Greg Vargo

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

Project: Chartist drama: the performance of politics and the politics of performance

Greg Vargo is an assistant professor in the department of English, FAS and the Gallatin School. His research focuses on the literary and cultural milieu of nineteenth-century British protest movements and the interplay between politics, periodical culture, and the novel. He is the author of An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction: Chartism, Radical Print Culture, and the Social Problem Novel (Cambridge UP, forthcoming 2017-18), which suggests that underground newspapers affiliated with radical movements fostered an experimental literary culture which stretched the contours of well-known Victorian genres including the Bildungsroman, melodrama, and social-problem fiction. A new research project focuses on anti-imperialism in nineteenth-century British radicalism. At the Center for the Humanities, he will be working on the role of theater in working-class political movements of the Victorian era.

Hannah Zeavin

Hannah Zeavin

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

Project: The Communication Cure: Tele-Therapy 1890-2015

Hannah Zeavin is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. Her research examines the relationships between the history of psychiatry and media history. Her dissertation, “The Communication Cure: Tele-Therapy 1890-2017” focuses on the delivery of talk therapy over distance, arguing that tele-therapy, far from being a new treatment modality in the age of Skype and smartphone apps, is at least as old as psychoanalysis itself. She has served as the Managing Editor of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience, and the Assistant Editor of Public Culture and Public Books. Beyond the academy, she volunteers as a state-certified crisis counselor.