Faculty & Staff
Associate Professor of Architecture
Esra Akcan’s research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia. She is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University, and the director of Einaudi Center’s Institute for European Studies (starting in July 2017). She completed her architecture degree at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and her Ph.D. and postdoctoral degrees at Columbia University in New York City. She taught history-theory classes and architectural design studios at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Humboldt University in Berlin, Columbia University, New School, and Pratt Institute in New York City, and METU in Ankara. Akcan received awards and fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin (Transregional Studies Forum), Graham Foundation, Clark Institute, Getty Research Institute, Canadian Center for Architecture, CAA, Mellon Foundation, DAAD, and KRESS/ARIT. She is the author of the books Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (Duke University Press, 2012), Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion, 2012, with Sibel Bozdoğan), Çeviride Modern Olan (YKY, 2009), and (Land)Fill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (124/3, 2004). She has also authored more than a hundred articles in scholarly books and professional journals of multiple languages on contemporary theory (critical and postcolonial theory, globalization), modern and contemporary architecture in West Asia, Ottoman architectural photography, established Euro-American architects’ engagement with the Gulf States, and the Middle Eastern diaspora in Europe. Her book Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg is forthcoming at the end of 2017.
Chief Curator, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
At the Johnson Museum, Ellen Avril has curated or cocurated more than 40 exhibitions on a broad range of topics in traditional and contemporary Asian art. Among the exhibition catalogs she has authored or contributed to are Nature Observed and Imagined: Five Hundred Years of Chinese Paintings; Ancient Artistry: Pre-Chinese Ceramics and Jades from the Shatzman Collection; and Heavenly Earth: Early Chinese Ceramics from the Shatzman Collection. She served as project director for the renovation and reinstallation of the Johnson Museum’s Asian art galleries in conjunction with the 2011 building expansion. She was formerly associate curator in charge of East Asian art at the Cincinnati Art Museum and earned her M.A. in art history from the University of Kansas.
Contact: (607) 254-4509
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Anindita Banerjee is a member of the Institute for European Studies, the South Asia Program, and the Visual Studies Program, and a fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell. Her research explores the interfaces between technoscientific, cultural, and social imaginations across Russia, Eurasia, and the Indian subcontinent. She is particularly interested in science fictional literature and media, which play a crucial role in negotiating translocal practices and global understandings of modernity. The subject is explored at length in her book, We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), which won the first Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies book award. The comparative study of global modernity’s intersects with Banerjee’s broader interests in critical geography, migration and border studies, media studies, and cultures of energy. She has published articles on these topics in PMLA, Clio, Science Fiction Studies, Comparative American Studies, and other journals and scholarly collections.
Professor of Romance Studies
Bruno Bosteels previously held positions as an assistant professor at Harvard University and at Columbia University. He is the author of Alain Badiou, une trajectoire polémique (La Fabrique, 2009); Badiou and Politics (Duke University Press, 2011); The Actuality of Communism (Verso, 2011); Marx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Psychoanalysis and Religion in Times of Terror (Verso, 2012); Philosophies of Defeat: The Jargon of Finitude (Verso, 2016); and The Mexican Commune (Duke University Press, forthcoming). He has translated several books by Alain Badiou, including Theory of the Subject (Continuum, 2009); Wittgenstein’s Antiphilosophy (Verso, 2011); The Adventure of French Philosophy (Verso, 2012); Philosophy for Militants (Verso, 2013); Rhapsody for the Theatre (Verso, 2013); and The Age of the Poets (Verso, 2014). He is the author of more than one hundred articles on modern Latin American literature and culture, and on contemporary philosophy and political theory. Between 2005 and 2011 he served as general editor of Diacritics.
Contact: (607) 255-2518
Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning
Thomas J. Campanella is an urbanist whose work focuses on the design and planning history of cities and the urban built environment. A recipient of Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, he is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the James Marston Fitch Foundation. Campanella’s books include The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What It Means for the World (2008), Cities From the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America (2001), and Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (2003), winner of the Spiro Kostof Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Campanella’s essays on landscape and urbanism have been published in Orion, Obit, Wired, Salon, Metropolis and the Wall Street Journal. Campanella holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MLA from Cornell University, and BS from the State University of New York.
Associate Curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
As associate curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Madeleine Casad, Ph.D., has helped manage an expanding new media collection that spans 40 years of aesthetic experimentation with electronic communications media. These holdings have been at the center of some of Cornell University Library’s most complex media preservation initiatives, such as the creation of a new audiovisual preservation lab, a digital forensics lab, and a $300K National Endowment for the Humanities grant to develop archival preservation and access strategies for complex digital artworks.
As curator for digital scholarship in Cornell University Library’s Division of Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services, Casad is involved in the development of many faculty-led digital humanities projects at Cornell. She has played a role in the creation of new programs for reaching out to graduate students in the arts and sciences, including a graduate summer fellowship in digital scholarship, the “Conversations in Digital Humanities” lecture series, and a program of informal drop-in discussions targeting graduate students in the arts and sciences.
Her academic research interests include narrative and virtual technologies, theory and aesthetics of new media, feminist and minority art and literature, globalization, and questions of identity and contested public memory in 20th and 21st century media art. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell’s Department of Comparative Literature in 2012.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Lily Chi’s teaching covers topics in contemporary design research, 18th to 21st-century theory and criticism, and architectural drawing/representation in western history. Her studios have investigated urban temporalities, 1:1 and the situational, film and formation, and questions of location/globalization in the contemporary city. She has conducted studios in and on a number of cities in south and southeast Asia, including a sponsored studio to Singapore, and a Rotch Traveling Studio to Hanoi. Chi served as design editor for the Journal of Architectural Education from 2000–04, and is completing a writing project on city-building, war, and propaganda in 20th-century Saigon. Chi received her B.Arch. with high distinction from Carleton University (Canada), her M.Phil. in architectural history and theory from Cambridge University, and her Ph.D. from McGill University. Her doctoral work examined the role of Enlightenment concepts of custom, nature, and history in the formation of a modern architectural discourse.
Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning
Jeffrey Chusid is an architect and planner with current research interests that include the fate of historic resources in areas of cultural exchange and conflict, the conservation of modernist architecture in India, historic cements, and sustainable development. His writings can be found in journals, museum catalogues, and several texts. Chusid has consulted on public policy, resource conservation, and urban design for diverse communities such as Shanghai, China; Sevastopol, Ukraine; Levuka, Fiji; and Bastrop, Texas. He has also consulted on building and landscape preservation for numerous museums including the Huntington and Hearst Castle. Chusid received his A.B. in environmental design and his M.Arch. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1978 and 1982.
Professor of Architecture
Mark Cruvellier’s interests and areas of expertise include tall building structures, bridge design, and the development of pedagogical materials for structures in the context of architecture. He worked for several years in New York City analyzing some of that city’s tallest and most slender buildings, and then in Vancouver on several unusual bridge designs. At Cornell since 1991, Cruvellier regularly teaches classes on fundamental structural concepts and the design of structural systems. He has recently co-authored the textbook The Structural Basis of Architecture (Routledge, 2011) together with colleagues Bjorn Sandaker and Arne Eggen of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Currently Cruvellier serves as the Chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell; he was previously its Interim Chair from 1998–2001 and 2006–2009. He earned his Ph.D. at McGill University, specializing in the computer modeling of tall buildings.
Associate Professor of History of Art
Iftikhar Dadi is an artist and art historian broadly interested in the relation between art practice in the contexts of modernity, globalization, urbanization, mediatization, and post-colonialism. He has authored numerous scholarly works, including Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia. Curatorial activities include Unpacking Europe at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and Lines of Control at Cornell’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. As an artist, Dadi works collaboratively with Elizabeth Dadi. Their practice investigates popular media’s construction of memory, borders, and identity in contemporary globalization and creative resilience in urban informalities. Their work is frequently realized in large-scale installations and has been exhibited and published internationally. Dadi is an associate professor in Cornell’s Department of History of Art. He received his Ph.D. in history of art from Cornell.
Ella Maria Diaz
Assistant Professor of English and Latina/o Studies
Ella Maria Diaz is an assistant professor of English and Latina/o Studies at Cornell University. A lecturer for six years at the San Francisco Art Institute (2006–12), her book, Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: Mapping a Chicano/a Art History (University of Texas, 2017) explores the art and social history of a vanguard Chicano/a art collective founded in Northern California in the 1970s. She has published in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Chicana-Latina Studies Journal, and ASAP/Journal.
Professor of City and Regional Planning
Kieran Donaghy’s teaching and research has involved nonlinear dynamic systems modeling of issues in housing, transportation, land use, the physical environment, employment, public finance, climate change, migration, and neighborhood ecology. Donaghy has also maintained an active interest in environmental and development ethics. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the European Commission, and other international and state and federal agencies, and was the executive director of the Regional Science Association International from 1997 to 2003. Donaghy received a B.A. from the State University at Albany in sociology and philosophy prior to receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. in regional science from Cornell.
Visiting Critic, Department of Architecture
Tao DuFour is an architect and scholar whose work explores the overlaps between architecture, philosophy, and anthropology. His theoretical projects and writing address philosophical and anthropological interpretations of the natural life-world that inform conceptions of architecture, building on his doctoral research on the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, and study of the theoretical heredity of Claude Lévi-Strauss. DuFour is interested in exploring the historicity of notions such as wilderness — the “wild,” the “feral,” the “savage,” and so forth — as these relate to the history of the production of social and natural scientific knowledge. DuFour relates these research interests to his design work, which investigates possibilities for mediating traditional and computational techniques, specifically in regards to the connectivity between synthetic and analytic approaches to geometry, and the mapping of historical and physical geographies. He holds a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of architecture from Cambridge University, and a B.Arch. from The Cooper Union.
Assistant Professor of Architecture
As an architect and landscape architect with a PhD in humanistic geography, Jeremy Foster is interested in the opportunities built environments — simultaneously, assemblages of material processes and practices, spaces of representation, and vehicles of discourse — offer for transdisciplinary study. He has worked professionally as both architect and landscape architect, and taught at several universities. At Cornell, in addition to design studios addressing the social, environmental, and infrastructural challenges of contemporary cities, he has taught courses on the history and theory of landscape and urban design; on the interplay between cultural representations and material practices in the shaping of cities, landscapes, and territories; and most recently, on the temporal, performative, and ‘more-than-representational’ aspects of place. His research focuses on the diverse ways landscapes are imaginatively mobilized to project emergent ideas of culture, nature, and citizenship during periods of social and political transition. In addition to his book Washed with Sun: Landscape and the Making of White South Africa (Pittsburgh, 2008), Foster has published in Journal of Southern African Studies; Journal of Historical Geography; Cultural Geographies; Safundi; Gender Place and Culture; Journal of Landscape Architecture; and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Forthcoming pieces will appear in volumes of Architecture and its Geographical Horizons (ed. R. Quek), Women, Modernity and Landscape Architecture (ed. S. Duempelmann), and Cultural Landscape Heritage in Sub-Saharan Africa (ed. J. Beardsley)
Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Studies
Arnika Fuhrmann is an interdisciplinary scholar of Southeast Asia, working at the intersections of the region’s aesthetic and political modernities. Her book manuscript Ghostly Desires examines how Buddhist-coded anachronisms of haunting figure struggles over sexuality, personhood, and notions of collectivity in contemporary Thai cinema. In a new research project, Fuhrmann focuses on new media and how the study of the digital allows for a perspective on the political public sphere that transcends commonplace distinctions of liberalism and illiberalism. This project intersects with her interests in the transformation of cities in contemporary South/east Asia. Fuhrmann’s recent writing has appeared in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, Oriens Extremus, and positions: asia critique. Complementing her academic work, she also engages in cultural programming and works in the curatorial team of the Asian Film Festival Berlin (www.asianfilmfestivalberlin.de).
Professor of English
Andrew Galloway has been a member of Cornell University’s English Department since receiving his Ph.D. (U. C. Berkeley) in 1991. He has written numerous essays on medieval English, Latin, and French literature and culture from the tenth to the fifteenth century, especially Piers Plowman, Chaucer’s poetry, Gower’s poetry, and their fifteenth-century followers; as well as essays on textual criticism, London literature, and medieval historical writing such as a chapter in the Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (2002) and entries for the Brill Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle. For seven years he edited the annual volumes of The Yearbook of Langland Studies, and he provided the translations of the Latin verses and glosses for the new 3-volume edition of Gower’s Confessio Amantis by Russell Peck (2000-2005). His monographs include The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman: Volume 1 (2006), and Medieval Literature and Culture (2006); his edited volumes include Through a Classical Eye: Transcultural and Transhistorical Visions in Medieval English, Italian, and Latin Literature in Honour of Winthrop Wetherbee (co-ed. R. F. Yeager; 2009), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Culture (2011), Answerable Style: The Idea of the Literary in Medieval England (co-ed. Frank Grady; 2012), Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: An Interlinear Translation (updating and expanding the version by Vincent Hopper; 2012), and The Cambridge Companion to Piers Plowman (co-ed. Andrew Cole; 2013).
Visiting Associate Professor of Art
From a professional base in photography and arts writing, and an academic foundation in fine art and the history of photography, the work of Bill Gaskins explores questions about photography and the portrait in the twenty-first century. An entry point for the viewer is his fascination with the myths of photography, American culture, and representations of African American people. As an artist, teacher, scholar, and essayist, Gaskins’ artwork, teaching, and writing examine race and representation, photography and the portrait, the history of photography, the politics of visual culture, art and the academy, and the artist as citizen.
His approach to photography as a producer and critical spectator has garnered attention through commissions, residencies, grants, public lectures, exhibition catalogs and books, as well as solo and group exhibitions at major venues such as the Crocker Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, and The Smithsonian Museum. He is the author of the breakthrough monograph Good & Bad Hair: Photographs by Bill Gaskins, and recently completed his first short film The Meaning of Hope, a reflection on the twenty-first century through the city of Detroit.
Born in Philadelphia, Gaskins received his B.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art, a M.A. from The Ohio State University, and a M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Travis L. Gosa
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Travis Gosa holds a faculty appointment in the graduate field of education, and is affiliated with the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality. Since 2008, he has served on the advisory board of Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip hop culture in the United States. An interdisciplinary social scientist, he teaches twentieth and twenty-first century African American culture, education, and music. Gosa is editor of Remixing Change: Hip Hop & Obama (Oxford University Press, 2014; co-edited with Erik Nielson). His most recent academic work has been published with peer-reviewed journals Poetics, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Teacher’s College Record, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of American Culture. In addition, he has contributed scholarly essays to many critical anthologies including The Cambridge Companion To Hip Hop (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Race still Matters: African American Lived Experiences in the Twenty-First Century (SUNY University Press, 2014), and Social Media: Impact & Usage (Lexington Books, 2012). He has written for various media outlets, including Ebony, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Black Commentator, FoxNews, and Hip Hop Republican. His book-in-progress examines the relationship between hip hop culture and black student achievement.
Associate Professor of Film and American Studies
Haenni received her B.A. in English and Russian from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. She is the author of The Immigrant Scene: Ethnic Amusements in New York, 1880-1920 (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and coeditor (with John White) of Fifty Key American Films (Routledge, 2009). Much of her research involves questions of migration and urbanism. Current projects include a book-length study on cinema in the port city of Marseilles, and an edited anthology of world films. Her teaching areas include American, transnational and silent film; popular and mass culture; cinema in the context of other media (including fiction and theater); immigrant and ethnic film and culture; and the intersection between urbanism and media.
Curator of Education, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Cathy Rosa Klimaszewski is Associate Director/Harriet Ames Trust Curator of Education at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Klimaszewski has worked at the Johnson Museum for 26 years, and has been head of the education department since 1993. The Museum’s education programs, serving both the Cornell campus and the Finger Lakes region, have received national recognition and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and numerous foundations. Klimaszewski earned a B.F.A. in art education, and a M.F.A. in museum studies from Syracuse University. She has presented at numerous museum conferences, and most recently served as a grants award panelist for the Arts-in-Education Division of the New York State Council on the Arts. In addition to her duties at the Museum, Klimaszewski currently serves on several committees and is a house fellow at Carl Becker House on West Campus.
Contact: (607) 254-4627
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Oneka LaBennett received her Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University in 2002, and her B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Wesleyan University in 1994. Her research and teaching interests include popular youth culture; race, gender, and consumption; urban anthropology; transnationalism and diaspora; and Caribbean migration. LaBennett is the author of She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn (New York University Press, 2011), and editor of Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century (University of California Press, 2012; co-edited with Daniel Martinez HoSang and Laura Pulido). She has contributed to a number of journals and edited volumes, including most recently an essay titled “Racialization,” in Keywords for American Cultural Studies (second edition, forthcoming, NYU Press). She has also conducted oral history research on art and culture in the Bronx with a focus on Bronx women’s contributions to hip-hop music. LaBennett was born in Guyana and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Medina Lasansky has lectured widely and published extensively on the relationship between politics, popular culture, and the built environment. Her 2004 book The Renaissance Perfected: Architecture, Spectacle, and Tourism in Fascist Italy (Penn State University Press) won the Henry Paolucci/Walter Bagehot Book Award in 2005 and was runner up for both the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, given by the College Art Association for “an especially distinguished book in the history of art” and the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award. Her coedited volume, Architecture and Tourism. Perception, Performance, and Place (Berg, 2004) was translated into Spanish in 2006. Her essay on San Gimignano won the 2005 Founders’ Award from the Society of Architectural Historians for the best article written by a junior scholar to appear in the previous two years in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Awards, grants, and fellowships include the 2005 Provost’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship; a Visiting Scholar appointment at the Study Centre, Canadian Centre for Architecture in 2004; and research fellowships at both the Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami Beach and the Centro Interuniversitario di Studi Americani ed Euro-americani, Studi Politici, Universita di Torino. She was a Fellow at the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, in 2003.
Professor of Comparative Literature
Tom McEnaney received his Ph.D. in comparative literature (Spanish, French, and English) from UC Berkeley. His research interests include the history of media and technology, the novel in the Americas, sound studies, discourse theory, linguistic anthropology, and new media studies. He has published on digital photography’s role in the construction of divided global and national publics in Cuba (La Habana Elegante), and the poetics of play and historiography in Borges and Benjamin (VariacionesBorges). He is also an occasional contributor to the sound studies blog Sounding Out! He is collaborating with Hoyt Long and Richard So at the University of Chicago on a digital humanities project that examines the circulation of poetry and the formation of transnational social networks across the Americas and East Asia (“Literary Networks”). His current book project, Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narrative, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas, investigates the coevolution of radio and the novel in Argentina, Cuba, and the United States, charting how authors in these countries began to reconceive novel writing as an act of listening.
Curator of Digital and Media Collections, Cornell Libraries
Liz Muller is curator of digital and media collections and head of archival technical services in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. She curates the Division’s architecture and planning archival collections, historical media, and digital material, and she coordinates the description of archival collections. She has written, presented, and taught on archival theory and visual media. She currently serves on the editorial committee for the Society of Architectural Historians Architecture Resources Archive (SAHARA). She holds an A.B. in history from Princeton University, M.A. in the history of architecture and urbanism from Cornell University, and M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois.
Edgar A. Tafel Associate Professor of Architecture and director of the M.Arch. program
Caroline O’Donnell teaches a range of design and theory at both graduate and undergraduate levels in the Department of Architecture. She is the founding principal of CODA, an award-winning design office committed to the generation of form through analysis of context – visible and invisible, material, and energetic. Recent projects include the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program pavilion in New York City; a grill pavilion for Stuttgart, Germany; and a housing development in Dublin, Ireland. O’Donnell is the faculty editor of the Cornell Journal of Architecture and her writing has been published in several publications including Log, MAP, Thresholds, and Pidgin. O’Donnell received her B.Arch. from the Manchester School of Architecture, England, and her M.Arch II at Princeton University.
Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Cornell Libraries
Katherine Reagan is assistant director for collections and Ernest L. Stern Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts in Cornell Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. Prior to her arrival at Cornell in 1996, she worked at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Her degrees are from U.C Berkeley (B.A., 1989) and from Columbia University (M.A., 1992). She is a past president of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association, and she teaches book history for Cornell’s Department of English and for Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.
Contact: (607) 255-3530
Associate University Librarian, Cornell Libraries
Oya Y. Rieger oversees the Library’s digitization, online repository, digital preservation, electronic publishing, and e-scholarship initiatives with a focus on needs assessment, requirements analysis, business modeling, web design, and information policy development. She has provided leadership in various digital collection and online publishing initiatives that explore and promote new models of scholarly communication. She is the coauthor of the award-winning Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives (Research Libraries Group 2000). She has served on several digital imaging and preservation working groups, and authored reports about the preservation and sustainability challenges associated with web-based scholarly content. Her doctoral research explored how information and communication technologies are being perceived as “productivity tools” and “objects of study” by the humanities scholars. She has a B.S. in economics, an M.P.A., and an M.S. in information systems. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Department of Communication, Human-Computer Interaction. Her research interests focus on sociocultural aspects of information and communication technologies.
Associate Professor in Africana Studies
An interdisciplinary scholar, Rooks works on the racial implications of beauty, fashion, and adornment; racial inequality in education; race, migration, and urbanization; and Black women’s studies. Her books include Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and African American Women, (19960; Ladies’ Pages: African American Women’s Magazines and the Culture That Made Them, (20040; and White Money/Black Power: The History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education, (2006). She was associate editor of Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris, 1920-1975, and editor of Black Women’s Studies: A Reader, (2005).
Associate Professor, German Studies
Professor of City and Regional Planning
Michael Tomlan is a historic preservation educator who teaches the history of urban development, documentation techniques, problems in contemporary preservation planning practice, and museum planning and development. Tomlan directs the graduate program in Historic Preservation Planning. He assists students in archaeology, architecture, engineering, history, hotel administration, landscape architecture, public affairs, real estate, and urban studies. He works in Cambodia and India, as well as throughout the United States. Tomlan received his B.Arch. from the University of Tennessee, his M.S.H.P. from Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Cornell.
Associate Professor of Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies
Shawkat M. Toorawa received his B.A., A.M., and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His interests are classical and medieval Arabic literature, modern Arabic poetry, the Qur’an, and the Indian Ocean. He is the author of Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur and Arabic Writerly Culture: A ninth-century bookman in Baghdad (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005). He is at present preparing a book on the Qur’an’s literary imaginary, and a critical edition of an 18th-century Arabic text from India. He has translated Adonis’s A Time Between Ashes and Roses: Poems (Syracuse, 2004), and edited The Western Indian Ocean: Essays on islands and islanders (HTT, 2007). His anthology, The City that Never Sleeps: Poems of New York is forthcoming (SUNY, 2014). He is a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow; and an executive editor of the Library of Arabic Literature, an initiative to edit and translate the premodern Arabic literary heritage.
Professor and Chair of Performing and Media Arts
Amy Villarejo is professor and chair of the Department of Performing and Media Arts, and she also holds an appointment in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She has written widely in cinema and media studies, as well as queer and feminist theory. Her books include Queen Christina (1995), Keyframes: Popular Film and Cultural Studies (2001), Lesbian Rule (2003), Film Studies: The Basics (2007), and Ethereal Queer (2014). Turning her attention to questions of global cinema, she is coauthor of the forthcoming volume Film Studies: A Global Introduction and has written articles on Brazilian cinema and South Asian media culture.
Andrew C. Weislogel
Curator of European Art before 1800, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Weislogel, who has been on at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art since 1999, holds a doctorate in Italian and French Renaissance Art from Cornell University. He has curated numerous exhibitions on a wide range of premodern topics, including Etchings by Rembrandt from the Collection of S. William Pelletier; The New and Unknown World: Art, Exploration and Trade in the Dutch Golden Age; and Mirror of the City: The Printed View in Italy and Beyond, 1450–1940. He also served for ten years as curatorial advisor to the Cornell History of Art Majors’ Society, and as organizing curator for the Museum’s 2009 presentation of Icons of the Desert: Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya. Weislogel has long experience partnering with faculty and teaching visiting classes, mining the Museum’s collection to enrich curricula in a variety of fields, and has served as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University. He has been a member of Print Council of America since 2004.
Contact: (607) 254-4640
Mary N. Woods
Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architectural Theory, Department of Architecture
Both in her teaching and scholarship, Mary N. Woods, an architectural and urban historian, studies how film, photography, and other media shape and mediate our experience and understanding of space and the built environment as well as the design and making of cities and landscapes across time and cultures.
Woods’s Beyond the Architect’s Eye: Photographs of the American Built Environment explores tradition and modernity in New York City, the American South, and Miami through different photographic genres. First published in 2009, Penn Press will bring out a paperback edition in spring 2014. Beyond the Architect’s Eye received subventions from the Graham Foundation, Andrew Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publications, Clarence Stein Institute, AAP, and Cornell architecture. Woods is also the author of From Craft to Profession (1999) and other essays and articles. She has won fellowships from the Buell Center, Fulbright, ACLS, and Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center.
Woods has just completed a manuscript on the history of women architects in Delhi and Mumbai from the independence struggle to the present day. And, she is at work on a film and book about cinema halls and the immigrant experience in India and beyond with Delhi film maker Vani Subramanian, a Fulbright fellow at Cornell for 2013-2014. Woods recently served as an advisor for the UNESCO nomination of south Mumbai’s Victorian and Art Deco districts as a world heritage site. Her next project is a publication and exhibit on urban ruins in shrinking and exploding cities from the global north and south since the 1960s.
Known for her teaching with colleagues from film, information science, Olin Library, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Woods led a seminar at the Johnson Museum with curator Andrew Weislogel where her students curated an exhibit, Projecting Cities, in dialogue with his show Mirror of the City: The Printed View in Italy and Beyond. She has organized many other interdisciplinary conferences, lecture series, film programs, and exhibitions at Cornell.
Cornell University Librarian
Gerald Beasley was appointed the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, effective August 1, 2017. He formerly held leadership positions in Canada as vice-provost and chief librarian at the University of Alberta (2013–17) and university librarian at Concordia University, Montreal (2008–13). He has also led the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University (2004–08) and the Canadian Centre for Architecture Library (1999–2004). Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Beasley has master’s degrees in library studies from University College, London, and in English language and literature from Oxford University.
Contact: (607) 255-3393
Gale and Ira Drukier Dean, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
Kent Kleinman is the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. His scholarly focus is twentieth-century European Modernism, and his books include After Taste; Rudolf Arnheim: Revealing Vision; The Villa Müller: A Work of Adolf Loos; Mies van der Rohe: The Krefeld Villas; and a translation of Jan Turnovsky’s The Poetics of a Wall Projection. He was professor and dean at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons, The New School for Design; professor and chair of architecture at the University of Buffalo; and an associate professor at the University of Michigan. He has also taught at a number of international schools. He received his professional degree in architecture from the University of California–Berkeley, and is a licensed architect in California.
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Timothy Murray is director of the Society for the Humanities, curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, comoderator of the -empyre-new media listserv, and cocurator of CTHEORY MULTIMEDIA. A curator of new media art, and theorist of the digital humanities and arts, he sits on the National Steering Committee of HASTAC, and is currently working on a book, Immaterial Archives: Curatorial Instabilities @ New Media Art, which is a sequel to Digital Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (Minnesota, 2008). His books include Zonas de Contacto: el arte en CD-Rom (Centro de la Imagen, 1999); Drama Trauma: Specters of Race and Sexuality in Performance, Video, Art (Routledge, 1997); Like a Film: Ideological Fantasy on Screen, Camera, and Canvas (Routledge, 1993); Theatrical Legitimation: Allegories of Genius In XVIIth-Century England and France (Oxford, 1987), ed. with Alan Smith; Repossessions: Psychoanalysis and the Phantasms of Early-Modern Culture (Minnesota, 1998), ed; and Mimesis, Masochism & Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought (Michigan, 1997). His research and teaching crosses the boundaries of new media, film and video, visual studies, twentieth-century Continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, critical theory, performance, and English and French early modern studies.
Director, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Wiles oversees the Museum of Art’s operations and staff; a collection of more than 35,000 artworks including extensive holdings in Asian and contemporary art; and an educational and outreach mission with programming serving the Cornell campus, the local community, and the region. Wiles has a bachelor’s degree in modern languages from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (1981), an M.A. in art history from Hunter College (1987), and a Ph.D. in art history from the City University of New York Graduate Center (2001). A member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, she also serves on the editorial advisory board of the journal Master Drawings.
Contact: (607) 255-6464
Fall 2016 and spring 2016 seminars: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Hannah Bahnmiller is a first-year masters student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Her multidisciplinary undergraduate background at the University of North Dakota in anthropology, geography, and philosophy was further enriched by studying abroad in India for two semesters. These experiences culminated in focus on the spatial elements of inequality and a drive to work with people towards community betterment, especially in an international context.
At Cornell, Bahnmiller is pursuing her degree with a concentration in international studies in planning. Her interests focus on the confluence of the processes of institutional governance, citizen participation, and changing economic systems. She hopes to pursue a career in community-centered development which promotes economically viable and democratic communities.
Fall 2017 seminar: B.Arch. candidate, architecture
Born and raised in Lebanon, Boutros is currently a fifth-year student in the B.Arch. program, pursuing a concentration in architecture, culture, and society. He has been focusing His studies on challenging architecture’s obsession with being apolitical and neutral. Boutros hopes to use architecture as a tool to reveal conflict in all of its forms, enabling its resolution, rather than repressing it with the typical, impotent, “pacifist” approach of denial and unaccountability.
Fall 2016 seminar: B.S. URS/B.S./B.A. candidate, city and regional planning, economics, and music
Patrick Braga is a fifth-year undergraduate majoring in urban and regional studies, economics, and music. He was formerly a visiting student at St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford, where he read geography and music. Braga’s research has focused on transportation and land use planning as well as histories of urbanism in thought and practice. He is currently working on a book examining bicycling in Boston through the lens of experience and nonprofit community-building. His honors thesis examines the changes in ideologies and practices of urban land use planning in Rio de Janeiro. Braga has managed to bring his interests in urban planning and music together in his forthcoming opera, Eyes That Do Not See, which tells the myth of Prometheus through the architectural theory of Le Corbusier.
Spring 2016 seminar: Ph.D candidate, Hispanic literature and culture
Martina Broner holds a B.A. in visual imaging from the University of Minnesota and M.F.A. degrees from Columbia University (film) and New York University (creative writing in Spanish). She was born to Argentine parents in Caracas, Venezuela. Before coming to Cornell, she worked in the film and television industry. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature and cultures, where her research focuses on intersections between media theory and landscape urbanism in Latin America. She is particularly interested in the notion of nature as media, as well as in the possibility of creative collaboration between human beings and the environment. She is also exploring parallels between media archaeology and historical ecology. As a Mellon Fellow, she will investigate the mediated visuality of the Amazonian landscape to reflect on the ways in which symbolic cartographies interact with material geographies.
Fall 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Asian literature, religion, and culture
Ryan Buyco is an interdisciplinary scholar and critic who focuses on transpacific imaginaries as they relate to Okinawa, Hawai’i, and the Philippines. His critical interests concern the conceptual possibilities of the ocean as a way of disrupting area studies “land-locked” orientations. His research project empirically and theoretically explores what he terms as the “Uchinanchu Pacific” to conceptualize Okinawan diasporic culture in Hawai’i and the Philippines. Before entering the Ph.D. field of Asian literature, religion, and culture at Cornell, Buyco was a graduate student at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where he received his M.A. in Asian studies concentrating on Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines.
Kimberly J. Cárdenas
Fall 2016 seminar: B.A. candidate, government, Latin, and Latin American studies
Kimberly Cárdenas is a fourth-year undergraduate studying government, Latin, and Latin American studies. She is the daughter of Mexican migrants and grew up in La Puente, California. Cárdenas studied at Sciences Po, Paris, where she investigated issues of multiculturalism and nation in France. She is primarily interested in geographical terrains as sites of contestation and knowledge production that revolve around notions of race, gender, and sexuality — particularly with a focus on diasporic Latinos in the U.S. Cárdenas has worked in Chiapas, Mexico, alongside an indigenous women’s rights collective, researching food insecurity and gender. She is currently working on a project launched this past summer in Tucson, on the racialization of Latino immigrant students from Mexico, while studying the historical trajectories of Mexican migrations to the U.S.
As a Mellon Fellow, Cárdenas is interested in investigating the concept of Afro-Latinidad as it relates to space, and how race continues to inform the political transformation and foundation of Cuba.
Spring 2018 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Akanksha Chauhan is a graduate student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Prior to moving to New York, she spent seven years training as a professional architect, working in award-winning architecture and urban design practices in New Delhi. This past summer she assisted the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in the production of “The Quito Papers and the New Urban Agenda” — a visionary new treatise on cities.
Chauhan specializes in inclusive cities, foregrounding the role of architecture, planning, and public policy. Her ongoing research interest is in applying phenomenographic methods to rethink public space. She is a proponent of sustainable urban development with a strong emphasis on waterfront revitalization and coastal resilience.
Spring 2015 seminar: B.Arch. candidate, architecture
Kate Chen is a second year bachelor of architecture student at Cornell. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas, but has lived in many places during her life, including China, Sweden, and Canada. This spring, Chen will be working as an academic programs intern at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and serving as art director for Thread Magazine, Cornell’s student-run fashion editorial.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, English
Abram Coetsee is a South-African born and U.S. raised student in the English Ph.D. program at Cornell University. His research and teaching focus on aesthetics, political confrontation, and public space in early 20th century art. He uses questions of cultural legibility, assimilation and its resistances, and the materialist force of aesthetics to analyze artistic and revolutionary acts under a broader horizon of expressive events. Coetsee holds bachelors’ degrees in English and religious studies from University of California–Berkeley, and is a junior fellow at the Berkeley Institute. As a 2015–16 fellow at the New York Council for the Humanities, he looks at methods of archivization and political community in a project on contemporary graffiti in New York City.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history
Sean Cosgrove is a cultural and urban historian of the modern United States in his second year of the history Ph.D. program at Cornell University. Before starting at Cornell, Cosgrove received his B.A. in English literature and history from the University of Sydney, and a M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago. His current research project seeks to understand the relationship between unusual forms of everyday violence that emerged in late 19th-century America and conceptions of the human body, gender and sexuality, and urban spaces.
Spring 2018 seminar: B.F.A./B.A. candidate, fine arts and American studies
Kevin Cruz is a fifth-year, concurrent degree undergraduate studying fine arts and American studies, with a minor in Latina/o studies. Born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, Cruz was raised in Los Angeles, California. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Cruz studies Chicana/o poster production during the 1970s and 1980s, and the ways Chicana/o posters interrogate American mainstream perceptions of undocumented communities while proposing counter-narratives. In the spring of 2017, Cruz’s senior thesis, “Driving Aztlán,” received the history department’s Bernard E. West award for most promising undergraduate research in American history. In his senior thesis, Cruz traces the mythopoetic concept of Aztlán in late 20th-century Chicana/o discourse, proposes the work of artist Chicano artist Gilbert “Magú” Luján as visually and theoretically mobilizing Aztlán, and concludes with an analysis of Aztlán invoked in the work of Chicagoan artist Francisco Mendoza. Cruz is interested in the role of Chicana/o artists as theoreticians, and the possibilities of artworks as discursive spaces.
As an artist, Cruz uses silkscreening as a process to trouble Eurocentric notions of the singular work of art. His work is driven by the possibilities posters provide for consciousness-raising and empowerment.
Spring 2015 seminar: M.F.A. candidate, creative writing
Travis Duprey received a Certificate of Completion in Journalism from Paradise Valley Community College in 2011 and a B.S. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University in 2012. His research interests include contemporary lyric poetry, digital and process-based poetics, the materiality of texts and surfaces, and poetics as critical exegesis/new critical methodologies.
Fall 2015 seminar: B.S. candidate, city and regional planning
Ehab Ebeid is a second-year student studying urban and regional studies. A native of Giza, Egypt, he has also lived and studied in Montreal and Hong Kong. Ebeid is interested in contemporary downtown Cairo, in the persistence of a ‘Paris along the Nile’ or ‘Paris of the East’ trope, and a narrative of social decline constructed around this colonial district. These, in turn, inform the quarter’s ongoing restoration efforts and nascent artistic scene.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, art history
Kaitlin Emmanuel holds a B.A. in art history from the University of California–Berkeley (2011) and aanM.A. in Asian studies from Cornell University (2017). Her work draws on postcolonial theory, cosmopolitanism, and comparative modernities to examine how socio-political legacies condition art making, particularly in studies of global modernism, nationalism, and the subaltern. As she enters the Ph.D. program in art history at Cornell, she extends this analysis to her experience working with and researching the Sri Lanka avant-garde, and her identity as a first-generation Sri Lankan-American. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked in various curatorial and editorial positions for cultural organizations, including Raking Leaves (Colombo), Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design (Jaffna), Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), and Musée du Louvre (Paris), among others.
Emily Celeste Vazquez Enriquez
Spring 2018 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Romance studies
Emily Celeste Vazquez Enriquez holds a licenciatura in Hispanic literature from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico, and an M.A. in Spanish with specialization in Latin American literature from the University of Texas at El Paso. Focused on the fields of border and migration studies, in her research she analyzes the social and discursive intersections between speculation and environment. Particularly, she is interested in studying speculative border fiction depicting the built and natural environments of the Guatemala-Mexico and Mexico-U.S. borderlands.
Spring 2016 seminar: Ph.D.candidate, romance studies
Katryn Evinson is a second-year Ph.D. student in romance studies at Cornell. She holds a licenciatura in humanities with a concentration in philosophy from Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona, Spain (2009); and a M.A. in aesthetics and contemporary art theory from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2013), where she completed a thesis titled “Failure as an Aporia: The Politics of a ‘Disobedient Structure.'” Evinson’s interests revolve around questions found in the intersection between aesthetics and politics, mainly within debates raised in post-structural theory, autonomism, and feminist theory. More specifically, Evinson works on forms of political subjectivation in 20th- and 21st-century Latin American and Spanish peninsular literature; she is mostly drawn to forms that essay ways for challenging the logics of representation in thinking of subjectivity. Evinson’s project as a Mellon Fellow will focus on the tension between hospitality and community in Horacio Quiroga’s short stories set in the Amazon rainforest.
Spring 2016 seminar: M.Arch.II candidate, architecture
After five years of architecture study in Zhejiang University, China; a semester’s exchange study in ETSAM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; and an internship in the LYCS Architecture office, Fang continues his graduate study at Cornell AAP for a post-professional degree in architecture. With the fellowship awarded from Zhejiang University and MAD Architecture Office, Fang travelled around Europe and Japan, and discovered interests in amorphous agencies in oriental modernism; morphology evolution of rural settlements in China after globalization and capitalization; and ecological landscape urbanism in postindustrial time — rethinking of cities after the third front movement. As the founder of AMorphous Group and MON Magazine, a student-run magazine in Zhejiang University, Fang is exploring the possibilities in other territories with colleagues from Harvard and Columbia universities, extending his academic interests and thinkings.
Spring 2016 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Alia Fierro is a graduate student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. In 2013 she received her B.A. in Latin American studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with three minors in urban planning, Latina/o studies, and Brazilian and Portuguese studies. Fierro explores issues of equity, resource allocation, bottom-up/grassroots planning, and community empowerment through economic initiatives that promote community self-sufficiency, especially in Latin America and communities of color in the U.S. Her work at Cornell has also taken her to Chiapas, Mexico, where she worked on climate change mitigation and disaster risk management in indigenous communities alongside nonprofit organizations and the United Nations Development Programme. This work sparked her interest in how modern urban processes are affecting indigenous communities and their livelihoods throughout Latin America.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history of art, archaeology, and visual studies
Lara Fresko’s work considers contemporary art as a site of the sublime and spectral reverberations of national, ideological, violent, and traumatic histories. Particularly, her work focuses on contemporary art from Turkey produced between 1990–2015 and its source materials in the long 20th century. Drawing from heterodox art historians such as Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin and in dialogue with theories of aesthetics and representation, psychoanalytic theories, and memory studies, her project engages contemporary art in its mediation of socio-political and historical processes.
Fall 2014 seminar: M.Arch. candidate, architecture
Anamika Goyal received her B.S. in biology from Duke University in 2011, and is currently working towards her master of architecture at Cornell University. Her interests include public interest design and studying issues of urbanism in Africa and Asia. She has experience with public installation art, with a focus in metals and mosaic tile. Most recently, she completed an internship in Sierra Leone looking at education and its relationship to other urban systems.
From her background in the medical sciences, Goyal brings an interest in the intersection of networks to create larger systems. She uses her understanding of protein biology to better understand the relationships between urban, political, and economic systems across the globe. Her medical background has also put the user experience at the forefront of her design process. She is interested in combining this with more historical knowledge and design projects in new, sometimes challenging contexts to continue studying global systems and issues of urbanism at various scales.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, History of Architecture and Urban Development program
Aslihan Gunhan is a first year Ph.D. student in the History of Architecture and Urban Development program. Prior to Cornell, Gunhan was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and worked at MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. She received her B.Arch. with minor in city planning and M.Arch. from Middle East Technical University Department of Architecture in Turkey.
Her studies focus on the narratives of modernity through museums. She aims to work on the term “museum landscape” as a means to understand and critically dismantle the narratives of identity, constructed during the formation of nation states along the coasts of the Aegean Sea. Her research projects aim to be situated at a critical juncture between architecture, political geography, and the postcolonial discourse. The Mellon Collaborative Seminar will provide a rich medium for her research project, and an interdisciplinary arena where architectural research will meet with museum studies and humanities discourse.
Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history of art
Lauren van Haaften-Schick’s research considers the legal-juridical history of art, with a focus on philosophical and legal provocations in conceptual art and institutional critique. Current subjects include the work of Seth Siegelaub, artists’ contracts, critical forms of circulation including artists’ books and media interventions, and artists’ labor, moral, and property rights. Recent exhibitions include Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures, at The Center for Book Arts, New York; Albright College, Pennsylvania; Smith College, Massachusetts; and others (2012-14): and Non-Participation, at The Luminary, Missouri; and The Art League Houston, Texas (2014-15). Recent presentations and publications include: “The Artists’ Resale Right,” at the Artists Space Books and Talks, New York; “What Now? The Politics of Listening,” at Art in General and the Vera List Center, New York; a presentation at the Law, Culture, and the Humanities conference at Georgetown University Law Centre; “Gauging the Gray Area” (with Helena Keeffe) for “Valuing Labor in the Arts” at the Arts Research Center, University of California–Berkeley; “Seth Siegelaub’s Agreement as Critical Circulation” for “Living Labor, Marxism and Performance Studies,” at New York University; lectures at Bureau Publik and Rum46, Denmark, for the series “Making Social Realities with Books”; and “Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments” (with Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento) in the Texas A&M Law Review. In 2012 she was the curator in residence for the Art & Law Program, New York. She has worked as a curator, gallerist, archivist, researcher, and grantmaker since receiving her B.A. in studio arts and art history from Hampshire College in 2006.
Fall 2014 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Gabriel Halili is a Filipino architect who received his B.S. in architecture at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. He is interested in understanding cities through different lenses including architecture, urban planning, politics, social media, and technology and their application in the Southeast Asian context.
His experiences in metro Manila as both a resident and an architect led him to pursue a master of regional planning degree at Cornell University. Coming into the program he brings with him questions related to informality and the role of planners and architects in the cities of the Global South. As a graduate student in the program, his interests broadened to include politics, social media, and technology as lenses to understand cities and their formation.
Currently, Halili’s research is on the relationship between social media and placemaking. He is looking into how practitioners are using technology and social media as tools to create urban spaces that better reflect the needs of the public.
Spring 2018 seminar: B.A. candidate, English
Salvador Herrera is a fourth-year undergraduate studying English literature with a minor in Latina/o studies. Born and raised in Chicago, his research interests include depictions of violence in transnational Latina/o literature, and theories of consciousness, identity, and spatiality. He looks to literary representations as a medium for freezing time and critically exploring space, or, as an in-between space of cultural communication, negotiation, and enunciation through imagination. He is developing a theory of simulative reading for his honors thesis, in which the reading experience can be cognitively tailored to induce social change. He plans to prove this with the deployment of text world theory, geocriticism, and effective narratology as powerful analytical tools in contemporary literary studies.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history of architecture and urban development
Labib Hossain is a first-year Ph.D. student in the History of Architecture and Urban Development program. Prior to Cornell, Hossain graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an M.S. in architecture under the supervision of Dilip da Cunha and Anuradha Mathur. He received his B.Arch. and M.Arch. from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in Bangladesh.
His studies focus on the traditional practices (muslin weaving) in monsoon landscape that can offer an alternative reading of human habitation, one that challenges the dry/permanent ground and serves to open a new imagination that shifts us from a divided landscape of contained waters to a “ground of wetness.” The idea of dwelling derived from weaving questions the rigid dichotomy, as it is detached and rooted at the same time. The Migration and Discrimination seminar will provide a rich medium for his research project, and give him an understanding of the complex phenomenon of displacement which will be essential for his Ph.D. research.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, comparative literature
Junting Huang is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature at Cornell. He received his M.St. in film aesthetics from Oxford University and his B.A. in English Literature from Tsinghua University in Beijing. His academic interests include new media art, digital poetics, transmediality and intermediality, 20th century avant-garde, cognitive theory, and critical theory and technology. As a Mellon Fellow, he hopes to explore the intersections of urban space and artistic networks in relation to media technology.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Africana studies
Marsha Jean-Charles is interested in transnational literary studies of black women’s bildungsroman and immigration novels. She endeavors to research the cosmologies and revolutionary politics aroused from forced migration and statelessness. A Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, her undergraduate thesis, titled “Of Griottes & Pantomimes,” is a work elucidating the place of Black feminisms in the novels of Edwidge Danticat. In her master’s thesis, titled “Embodying Goddesses: Edwidge Danticat’s Literary Revolution,” she mixes historical narratives and two of Danticat’s short stories to include the voices of revolutionary women in Haiti’s war for independence.
An organizer at her core, she wishes to fuse her academic work with her activist work and expand understandings of the uses of literary and performance art as tools for activism.
Jean-Charles has a B.A. from Wesleyan University (2011), and a M.A. from Columbia University (2014).
Fall 2016 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Jabari Jordan-Walker is a first-year master’s student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Jordan-Walker’s academic background began within the framework of art criticism and theory. He holds a B.F.A. in critical and cultural studies from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. Jordan-Walker’s focus on public art and architecture cumulated into a meditation on institutional critique and mutations of public/private space through the 21st century. In the face of the economic boom stimulated by the 2010 Winter Olympics, his artwork and writing took on the city’s increasing lack of affordable housing. During his residence in Vancouver — a city that acknowledges it sits on unceded Coast Salish land — Jordan-Walker was exposed to the disproportionate challenges First Nations people face while attempting to invest in Vancouver’s ever-changing urban identity. This experience has him questioning the differences in how governments are addressing the refugee and internal houselessness crisis’, respectively.
His research interests at Cornell University revolve around an interaction with native urban populations of the Arctic (Inuit) region. More specifically, understanding how strides in self-governance have played a major role in developing holistic and fairer urban societies. Focusing on architecture, vernacularism, and urban geographic research tools, Jordan-Walker asks how to better solidify the infrastructural position of urban aboriginal populations in vulnerable cities such as Nuuk, Greenland.
Fall 2016 seminar: Ph.D candidate, comparative literature
Marc Kohlbry is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature. Prior to Cornell, he received his M.A. in French from New York University in Paris and his B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Southern California. His current research project investigates the notion of literary production, specifically by analyzing the linguistic and communicative relationships between forms of experimental fiction and 20th-century capitalism. As a Mellon Fellow, he will consider the particularities of cultural and economic production in 20th-century Cuba, and by extension, the literary production of Cuban authors living and writing in exile during that time.
Spring 2015 seminar: B.A. candidate, comparative literature and history of art
Carlos Kong studies history of art and comparative literature with a minor in classics. His interests in critical theory and contemporary visual studies include photography, video, performance, and media art; sexuality and gender studies; classical reception; materialisms and media theory; and aesthetics and politics. Kong spent a semester at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where he was a research forum associate scholar. His honors thesis in the Department of Comparative Literature examines the technicity and testimony of desire, trauma, and sexuality in contemporary philosophy and mediated art practices. Kong is currently the curatorial intern in earlier European and American art at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, and has previously worked for the Cornell Cast Collection.
Fall 2017 seminars: Ph.D. candidate, English
Samuel Lagasse is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at Cornell University. Lagasse earned his B.A. from Kenyon College, where he double-majored in English and religious studies. He works in the interdisciplinary field of diaspora studies, with a focus on Anglophone literature and critical theory. His interests include formations of modernity and modernist aesthetic practices, especially as they relate to issues of race, gender, and sexuality, and to the queer intimacies between African, Caribbean, and Asian subjects in diaspora. He is a member of the Institute for Comparative Modernities 2017–18 reading group, Queering the Archive.
As a Mellon Urbanism Fellow, Lagasse is interested in tracing the emergence and transformation of critical modernities that cut across the discursive economies of migration and discrimination. His project will undertake a consideration of the ways in which in which formations of modernity “travel” in relation to the symbolic and representational frameworks of race, gender, and sexuality, particularly as these frameworks concern the figuration and interpellation of South Asian and African subjects in diaspora.
Spring 2014 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Victoria Long holds a B.A. in criminology and peace and conflict studies from the University of Toronto. Her academic interests include urban resiliency, communication and visual representation methods in the field of planning, gender and equity, and the broadening of civic engagement across scales and sectors.
Long’s passion for urban planning and design stems from prior work experience, which includes policy analysis in the Ontario government where she contributed to efforts with First Nations and government representatives to develop a land use strategy in the far north of Ontario. At the local level, Long collaborated with Toronto residents to launch the Church-Wellesley Neighbourhood Association and increase public engagement in development processes. Most recently, she conducted research for the New York Academy of Medicine’s Older Adults Disaster Preparedness and Response Initiative, which aims to provide better emergency support systems for older adults following Hurricane Sandy.
Building upon a personal interest in photography, Long is currently exploring photography’s potential to reveal local, regional, and global processes of identity formation. As a Mellon Fellow, she aims to investigate how the construction of diverse visual narratives can inform and enhance planning methods.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Africana studies
Afifa Ltifi is a second year Ph.D. student in Africana studies. She received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in cross-cultural studies from the Higher Institute of Languages of Tunis. She is interested in studying the diasporic condition of Afro-Maghrebeans and the complex processes of their identity formation and “indigenization” in North Africa. In addition to her academic research, she was an occasional writer and a contributor for the OpenDemocracy and Urban Africa’s joint project, Cities in Conflict. She also worked as a fixer in the Ghost Boat open investigation project, tracking the disappearance of 243 refugees from Somalia and Eritrea in the Mediterranean. Ghost Boat was ranked as a finalist for the 2016 National Magazine award in the reporting category and 2016 Kurt Schork Memorial Award.
Fall 2016 seminar: B.Arch. candidate, architecture
Liam Martin is currently a fifth-year B.Arch. student at Cornell University. Martin is interested in public interest design, phenomenology, and the study of soft architectures. He is a cofounder and collaborator at MONK, a student-run design and research initiative based in Ithaca and Paris, dedicated to fostering an intersectional approach within the design process, as well as the investigation and development of architecture’s role in geopolitical intervention. He has been involved in the master-planning and construction of not-for-profit education projects in Honduras, collaborated with RICA*studio on the design of a play-therapy garden in Valencia, Spain, and continues to be personally and professionally invested in benevolent design projects at all scales.
Luis A. Martinez
Spring 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, city and regional planning
Luis A. Martinez’s work uses action research and ethnographic methods to understand how and why the brown body has been subjected to an ordering in social space in relation to street-level planning bureaucracies and institutions in New York City. As a Mellon Fellow, Luis will explore representations of the brown body and the aesthetics of displacement, erasure, and resistance in Spanish Harlem and the Bronx.
Martinez is director of LDR-Lab (Latino Design and Research Lab) and editor in chief of the journal Práctica. Before coming to Cornell, Martinez worked as a practicing architect, designer, and organizer in the city of Chicago. He earned a bachelor of science in architectural studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure D’Architecture de Versailles, France. During his summers, he enjoys visiting his parent’s hometown of Rioverde, San Luis Potosí Mexico.
Spring 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, History of Architecture and Urban Development program
Anna Mascorella received her M.A. in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in art history and philosophy (double major) from Colorado State University. Her work, focused primarily on modern Italy, investigates the relationship between politics, visual culture, and the built environment.
As a Mellon Fellow, Mascorella plans to explore representations of the Italian-American communities historically located in Harlem and the South Bronx, as well as their labor and housing histories. This fellowship thus offers her a means to delve into Italian migration and the construction and mediation of Italian-American spaces and places over time, and to consider the political and cultural elements embedded in these processes. The seminar will provide a dynamic approach for her research into these communities and their representations through its comparative, cross-disciplinary lens and collaborative methodological training.
Spring 2016 seminar: Ph.D.candidate, English
Thom May was raised and educated in the U.K. He received his undergraduate degree in English and theatre from the University of Warwick, and a master’s from the University of Cambridge in 2014 for his thesis on “Hysterical Fiction” written during the transition from the Cold War to the War on Terror. He works on late 20th-century and contemporary literature and drama in the English graduate program at Cornell, and teaches writing in the department. His project as a Mellon Urbanism Fellow will consider colonial figurations of the Amazon in literature and film.
Fall 2014 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
McGrath holds a B.A. in international studies from Loyola University Chicago. A background in international topics and engineering has developed into academic interests around issues of rapidly urbanizing cities in the Global South. In particular, McGrath focuses on Southeast Asia, Vietnamese language, and rural-urban linkages within the food systems of growing cities.
Prior to coming to Cornell to pursue a master of regional planning, McGrath gained exposure to nonprofit organizations as a student in Chicago. During that time, McGrath studied at the Loyola Center in Ho Chi Minh City, studying general issues around development in Vietnam, as well as topical courses such as Vietnamese literature and contemporary gender in Vietnamese society. During his stay in Ho Chi Minh City he worked with LIN Center for Community Development to help design new fundraising strategies based on previous nonprofit experience in the U.S. and Haiti.
McGrath’s current research focuses on peri-urban agriculture in Hanoi around rapidly expanding urban development. He hopes to draw on visual and verbal storytelling as a way to access collective memory and historical context around the individual and community experience of development in Southeast Asia.
Spring 2018 seminar: M.A. candidate, historic preservation planning
Jill Miller is a first-year M.A. candidate in historic preservation planning. Preservation, to Miller, encompasses her passion for cultural landscapes, eras past, and historic infrastructure. Her recent studies have led her to consider the ways in which society perpetuates our heritage and history within the spaces we create. She graduated from Virginia Tech’s Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program in 2017, where she also studied horticulture and urban forestry. Internships with the National Park Service and Forest Service shaped the way she sees the field of preservation and conservation. Miller incorporates aspects of poetry, personal narratives, and storytelling in her approach to design and representation. Upon graduation, she intends to enter public service — with a regional or state agency — and contribute to the future stewardship of community cultural resources. She grew up in the small town of Canton, Connecticut, along the Farmington River.
Spring 2018 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, English
Joseph Miranda is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of English at Cornell University. He earned his B.A. in English from George Washington University in Washington, DC. His work focuses on 20th- and 21st-century Latinx literature and culture and queer studies. With broader interests in questions of how space constructs and orients identity, his work traverses different theoretical, genre, and physical geographies, to ask what does a decolonial, queer, and Latinx form look like in the novel, film, comics, and performance? As a Mellon fellow, Miranda is hoping to engage with representations of the built environment to question how we conceive of public space as a place of possibility in a moment where the city is being straightened and whitened out due to neoliberal policies that erase and cordon off queer and people of color. Prior to Cornell, Miranda taught high school English in Newark, New Jersey, and was a Teach for America corps member.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, anthropology
Amir Mohamed is a Ph.D. student and sociocultural anthropologist interested in urban citizenship, transgression, and the intersection of politics, space, and aesthetics. Before studying at Cornell, Mohamed received his M.A. in social science from the University of Chicago and his dual B.A. in history and anthropology from Monmouth University. His current research, situated in urban Guatemala, investigates how and to what effect residents transform the built environment into a medium for sociopolitical deliberation and critique.
Spring 2018 and fall 2017 seminars: Ph.D. candidate, history of architecture and urban development
Michael Moynihan is a Ph.D. candidate in the history of architecture and urban development. Prior to coming to Cornell, Moynihan worked with the British Council of Architecture, Design, and Fashion; assisted on several projects with a research and educational trust named Bukka; and was an intern at the Denver Art Museum in the Department of Architecture, Design, and Graphics. He received a master’s degree in architectural history from University College London and bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. His research explores the forces and dynamics that deny many individuals the right to participate in dictating the quality and organization of everyday life.
Fall 2017 seminar: M.Arch. candidate, architecture
Hafsa Noor Muhammad has recently completed her first year as an M.Arch. student at Cornell University, and a summer internship with Dull Olson Weekes Architects–IBI Group, exploring her deepening interest in educational spaces. She is interested in design morphologies and systems of urban networks as they relate to architecture, not to automate development for cities, but to develop solutions that are critically aware of their sociopolitical and temporal contexts. Her interests bridge multiple disciplines of architecture, mathematics, and poetry as they relate to urban systems. Prior to finding her path in architecture, she received her B.A. from Hunter College of City University of New York with a double major in mathematics and the Thomas Hunter Interdisciplinary Honors Curriculum. Her mathematical interests culminated in receiving departmental honors with a focus on manifolds, dynamical systems, and chaos theory. Her creative pursuits in architecture aim to understand the fissures in parametric architecture from the deterministic nature of algorithmic modeling and giving special regard to cultural dissonances in a global network of responsive, interrelated cities. She is interested in integrating the investigation of urban and global networks with that of architecture to continue to explore its virtues and vices at various scales.
Spring 2016 seminar: B.Arch. candidate, architecture
Cameron Neuhoff is currently studying architecture in preparation for life as a practitioner, physically involved in his architectural work. He is the cofounder and president of Building Community, a Cornell student organization that engages the Ithaca community and develops knowledge of craft through building projects at various scales. Underlying this broad agenda of physical participation is a keen interest in understanding the human’s relationship with his surrounding environment, natural and artificial.
Fall 2016 and spring 2016 seminars: Ph.D.candidate, anthropology
Rachel Odhner is a second-year Ph.D. student in the anthropology department at Cornell University. Broadly speaking, she is interested in environmental anthropology, agricultural change and livelihoods, water resource use and management, human-environment relationships, and Latin America.
Prior to beginning graduate school, she received her B.A. in cultural anthropology and Latin American studies at the University of Rochester. Experiences living and working in Ecuador and Nicaragua on projects related to food security and rural development left her with many questions about such interventions. These questions led her to graduate school. Her dissertation research explores changing agricultural and water management practices among smallholder farmers in Nicaragua, in the context of climate change adaptation interventions and plans for a major waterway infrastructure project. She will examine how both farmers and development actors negotiate knowledge, value, and notions of place amid a changing environment and sociopolitical landscape.
As a Mellon Fellow, Odhner looks forward to further exploring a critical question that lies at the heart of her own research: how competing ontological assumptions about the meaning and significance of the natural world play out in processes of development.
Félix Miguel Rosario Ortiz
Fall 2016 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, romance studies
Félix Miguel Rosario Ortiz is a second-year Ph.D. student in romance studies. Prior to Cornell, he received his bachelor’s degree in Hispanic studies from the University of Puerto Rico (2013), where he focused on the notion of spectacle in Caribbean literature. His research interests include Latin American existentialism and the poetics of poets who assert the verse — especially the prose to discourse about literary creation.
His project as a Mellon Fellow will consider the symbolic metabolization of insularism as an existentialist element along with the triumph of urbanity in Cuban fiction.
Spring 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, architecture
Whitten Overby is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Architecture. His dissertation is titled “Dollyscapes,” and provides an ethnographic architectural history and theory of spaces owned and inhabited by American country music icon and Christian feminist Dolly Parton. His other research interests include diagrams, televisual feminisms, slasher films, set designs for both aforementioned genres, prisons, affect, and the anthropology of Christianity.
Matías Borg Oviedo
Spring 2016 seminar: Ph.D.candidate, romance studies
Matías Borg Oviedo is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell. He holds a bachelor’s degree in modern literature from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, where he focused on contemporary literature from the southern cone. His research interests include the links between aesthetics and politics, modernity, critical theory, and biopolitics in contemporary Latin American literature and film. His current research deals with problems regarding poetics and politics in 20th century art.
As part of his Mellon Fellowship, Borg Oviedo intends to explore the industrial exploitation of rubber and forms of resistance and commonality within the context of the Amazon rainforest.
Spring 2018 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history of architecture and urban development
Ana Ozaki is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Architecture. Her research interests include Brazilian modern architecture; housing; historic preservation; Latin American, postcolonial, and feminist studies; as well as the intersections between architecture and the fields of urban sociology, human geography, and anthropology. Besides writing, Ozaki is interested in the public discussion of social issues central to architecture historiography in the form of exhibitions and public events. Broadly speaking, she is currently working on 20th-century vernacular modernisms, processes of socio-spatial segregation, insurgency, and avant-garde in Latin America.
Fall 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, comparative literature
Vinh Pham is a first-year Ph.D. student in the department of Comparative Literature at Cornell. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Spanish from Florida Atlantic University, where he focused on literary works from the late 19th and early 20th century Spain and Latin America. His interests include; trans-pacific literature, post-colonial theory, comparative colonialism, colonial race-politics, and gender identity in former Asian colonies. His current work deals with the intersections of race and power relations in colonial Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on vernacular texts from French Indochina and the Spanish Philippines. His body of work is seeking to outline the commonalities between these political entities in terms of their geographical nature, as well as similar relations with Western powers, and theorize about how these processes have informed the formation of their national identities and perceptions of modernity.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, comparative literature
Vinh Pham is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature. His current work deals with the intersections of race and gender in colonial Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on vernacular texts from French Indochina and the Spanish Philippines. Currently, he holds a B.A. as well as an M.A. in Spanish literature from Florida Atlantic University. In taking the Mellon Seminar, Pham hopes to gain more insight into contemporary issues in Berlin relating to immigration, international politics, and the resulting movement of peoples and their reception in the host country. He is hoping to develop a project that will push his engagement further with the problematics of immigration and integration, which he views as crucial since the question of immigration plays a central role in discourses relating to colonialism and the resulting literature.
Fall 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Asian literature, religion, and culture
Chairat Polmuk received his B.A. (with honors) and M.A. in Thai literature from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. In 2013, he completed his M.A. in southeast asian studies from Cornell University, writing a thesis on Lao literary modernity and its political implications in the wake of cultural nationalism and anticolonial movements in Southeast Asia. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture at Cornell with special interests in critical ethnic studies, affect theory, and film studies. As a Mellon Fellow, he proposes to explore emergent counterpublic aesthetics in contemporary Thailand in relation to the country’s current political impasse. The project aims to unravel how Thailand’s political conflicts during the past decade have paradoxically constituted “the intimate public sphere” in which marginalized subjects are bound to the state through narratives of care, reparation, and, more recently, happiness, and how artists and activists alike have critically responded to such affective politics.
Spring 2018 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, art history
Gilda Posada is a Xicana cultural worker from southeast Los Angeles. Posada received her A.B. from the University of California–Davis in Chicana/o studies and comparative literature. In 2017, she graduated with a dual M.F.A./M.A. degree from California College of the Arts in the Social Practice program and the Visual and Critical Studies program. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the History of Art program at Cornell University. Prior to her graduate work, she served as the curator for Galería de la Raza in San Francisco and assistant director for Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer in Woodland, California.
Posada’s work explores decolonial theory and its formation through Xicanx Studies, the evolution of Xicanx identity and its visualization through art, and Xicanx art social/public art engagement. Her interdisciplinary practice is rooted in working from, with, and by the Xicanx community. Posada’s projects are invested in decolonial practices that challenge settler-colonial hegemonic patriarchal and heteronormative oppressive structures.
Spring 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, English
Zachary Price received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and is a Ph.D. student in the English department at Cornell. He is currently the graduate assistant for LGBT Studies, and has been involved in developing a LGBT film series at Cornell with the goal of engaging students on issues surrounding queer cinema. Price focuses on contemporary horror films, with a particular interest in the aesthetics of contagion. His approach to horror is oriented by debates in affect and queer theory. As a Mellon Fellow, he hopes to further explore the link between affect and cinema by looking at the ways urban landscapes are figured in fiction films, asking how cinema can disrupt our affective attachments to “known” spaces.
Spring 2018 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history
Ryan Purcell is a student in the history Ph.D. program at Cornell University. His research is focused on the politics and culture of urban decay in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s. This includes issues such as the transformation of urban crime policy, privatization of public services, and urban decay as a catalyst for cultural production. His work on cities and popular culture has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the College Art Association, and Hyperallergic, among other places.
Spring 2018 seminar: master of regional planning candidate, city and regional planning
Sonora Rodríguez is a first-year master’s student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she has served her community as a local organizer, high school teacher, and a board member for several grassroots nonprofits. In 2016, she received two B.A.s from the University of New Mexico in Chicana and Chicano studies and international studies, and two minors in Spanish and sustainability studies. Her future goals are to pursue a Ph.D. in urban planning and return home to engage in the complex issues that face the Southwest.
As a Mellon Fellow, Rodríguez is interested in investigating the historical intersections of race, ethnicity, and class as it relates to the development of urban centers.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, anthropology
Erin Routon is a Ph.D. candidate in the anthropology department at Cornell. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Hawaii, Hilo in 2006 and her M.A. in religious studies at the University of California–Riverside in 2013. Her master’s research concentrated on migrant material culture and religious aid and activist organizations in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, principally in Southern California and Arizona. Her dissertation research focuses on humanitarian legal aid in immigrant “family” detention facilities, primarily in south Texas. Through this ethnographic project, she is interested in addressing questions concerning gender, emotional labor, on-the-ground counter-conducts, and the management of the complex relationship between the state, for-profit carceral entities, and humanitarian legal aid within the current climate of immigrant detention.
Spring 2018 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, anthropology
Erin Routon is a Ph.D. candidate in the anthropology department at Cornell. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Hawaii–Hilo in 2006 and her M.A. in religious studies at the University of California–Riverside in 2013. Her master’s research concentrated on migrant material culture and religious aid and activist organizations in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, principally in Southern California and Arizona. Her dissertation research focuses on humanitarian legal aid in migrant “family” detention facilities in the U.S., primarily in South Texas. Through this ethnographic project, her work addresses questions concerning care, emotional labor, on-the-ground counter-conducts, and management of the complex relationship between the state, for-profit carceral entities, and humanitarian legal aid within the current climate of immigrant detention.
Fall 2014 and spring 2015 seminars: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Taru is an architect from Delhi and holds a B.Arch. from Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics, Jamia Millia Islamia. While working for her undergraduate thesis on the current slum rehabilitation policies in Delhi, Taru became interested in the nature of informal spatial settlement patterns, informality and socioeconomic behavior. Her B.Arch. thesis looked at a slum rehabilitation project based in Delhi. Kathputli Colony, known amongst connoisseurs of folk art for its vibrant culture and artists across the world, was to be rehabilitated to livable towers as a part of a public-private partnership. While exploring the nuances of this project, the injustice and politics of the story left her with multiple questions. She further went on to work with Anangpur Building Centre, exploring sustainable city strategies in the Global South and issues around inclusive decision-making and access to resources. She joined CRP to seek answers to these layered questions.
She is currently working on her thesis which looks at pushback mechanisms and the role of civil society against structural violence in the tribal areas of Jharkhand. In spring 2014, she had the opportunity to participate in research which explored planning through a gender lens, looking at structural barriers that privilege or harm certain genders over others. She is also exploring various media, like film and web design, where such issues may be addressed and discussed in a public realm.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history of architecture and urban development
Ecem Sarıçayır is a first-year Ph.D. candidate in the History of Architecture and Urban Development program. She graduated in architecture from Istanbul Technical University and participated in a one- year exchange program at Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus-Senftenberg. Drawing on methods developed in contemporary artistic practices, she has completed a master’s degree in design at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. Proposing a methodology that stems from architectural and artistic practices for reading in between spaces, her thesis examined border spaces of geographies with ongoing conflict through a series of transnational case studies.
Working on the intersections of politics, architecture, urban planning, and history, her research interests revolve around urban and public spaces that are marked by conflictual and political claims. By studying these spaces she attempts to read the contemporary city and its struggles, searching for traces of its history in the city-space of today and exploring propositions for its future.
The Mellon Seminar provides her with varied transnational case studies in which different cities and conflictual claims intermingle.
Fall 2015 and spring 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Africana studies
Nadia Sasso has a dual B.A. degree in English and sociology from Bucknell University, and an M.A. in American studies with a certification in documentary film from Lehigh University. Her master’s project was a documentary film, Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?, which explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally. It specifically looks at how they wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues. Sasso is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Africana Studies at Cornell University where she will continue to use film and new media to generate qualitative insights into the fusion of U.S. and African experiences, as well as identify the contours of new identity formations among immigrants beyond the first generation.
Born in America to parents who emigrated from Sierra Leone, Sasso believes in the potential for collaboration to inspire innovation. She spearheaded the corporate social responsibility initiative at Royal Dynamite so that the company donates an educational care package to children around the world when a t-shirt is purchased from the company. The initiative has led to collaboration with more than 300 organizations in countries across the globe. In 2010 she cofounded Yehri Wi Cry (YWC), an organization that distributes birthing kits in Sierra Leone to increase the successful birth and delivery rates for women. Named among Katie Couric’s “Next Generation of Female Leaders,” Sasso received the Young African Committed to Excellence Award by Face2Face Africa magazine. She is also the 2013 recipient of the Posse Foundation’s Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award where she was honored for her commitment to social responsibility.
Spring 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, History of Architecture and Urban Development program
Annie Schentag received a B.A. in art history from Smith College, a master of urban planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and an M.A. in the history of architecture and urban development from Cornell University. Her research areas include American urban photography during the industrial era, the depiction of the American Rust Belt through film and popular culture, and contemporary ‘ruin porn’ photography.
Schentag is currently working on her dissertation, which focuses on a century of industrial images in Buffalo, New York, as well as their distribution, circulation, and appropriations by local, national, and global audiences over time. As a Mellon Fellow, she is looking to delve into research on artist interventions located in Harlem and the South Bronx, drawing comparisons with similar projects occurring in Buffalo’s industrial spaces. She is interested in gaining new digital research techniques and methodologies in this seminar in order to apply them to her interpretation of industrial soundscapes, installations, and events for her dissertation.
Fall 2017 seminar: B.Arch. candidate, architecture
Duncan Steele is currently a third-year B.Arch. student at Cornell University. His work concentrates on the intersection between social policy and architectural design. He believes in drawing as an analytical tool for exposing and unpacking injustices imposed on the subjugated by their environments and is currently researching public space typologies designed to inflict suffering. His background with Ithaca’s Building Community and Maximum City, a Toronto organization dedicated to connecting youth with the agency to affect planning policy and development, led to a lifelong investment in design as catalyst for social progress. If architecture is the built form of a society’s values, Steele aspires to further one through practice that communicates a popular desire to equitably serve the disadvantaged.
Spring 2015 and fall 2014 Seminars: Ph.D. candidate, anthropology
Before coming to Cornell, Emiko Stock worked as an interpreter-fixer and an anthropologist in Cambodia. She studied at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, and completed a masters in Khmer language and civilization (INALCO, Paris) and in anthropology (Nanterre, Paris X).
Her ongoing research questions the notion of elusive identities, with a particular attention to Cham Muslims in Cambodia, using historical and visual anthropology in a multi-sited ethnography.
As a Mellon Fellow, Stock wants to pursue her interest in the deconstruction of binarisms, as applied to urban life, and focus on the in-betweens. Looking at interstitial spaces defining the city through their very own absence, she proposes a visual approach (un)settled somewhere between still and motion, between what is there and what is gone, what appears and what is invisible, rendering the very elusiveness of the city itself.
Spring 2018 seminar: B.Arch. candidate, architecture
CoCo Tin is a fourth-year bachelor of architecture student also minoring in art history. She was born in Hong Kong and has lived in the United Kingdom, Italy, and now the U.S. Her passion lies at the intersection of art, architecture, and theory, speciﬁcally regarding how works at this intersection can be created and curated for a larger audience outside of academia. Fascinated by the psychological, cultural, and political repercussions of art and architecture on the built environment, her studies at Cornell have been focused on redirecting such reactions for social change.
Synthesizing parallels between the art world and the highly political architecture world, Tin’s architectural focus is one that merges art and activism in the public sphere. In an age where even the natural environment has been curated by mankind, she believes that the lack of sensitivity for the impact of our own constructions is thus the notion for (re)evaluation.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, history
Kelsey Utne is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Cornell. She received a dual B.A./B.S. in history and political science from Salem State University and an M.A. in South Asian studies from the University of Washington. Her current research examines commemoration and the role of the dead in colonial and nationalist politics of 19th- and 20th-century South Asia, especially in relation to conceptions of place in urban Muslim communities. Outside of Cornell she serves as the Community Welcoming Team Leader for Ithaca Welcomes Refugees, a local nonprofit that supports immigrant and refugee communities in Tompkins County.
Katherine Lonsdale Waller
Spring 2015 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, English
Katherine Lonsdale Waller is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department at Cornell University. She received her B.A. in English from Rice University and her M.A. in English from McGill University. Her master’s research concentrated on the mutually-informing relationship between the theatre and the epistolary novel in Restoration and the early eighteenth century. Waller’s research interests include cross-media-platform narration and representation, reality and realism in contemporary popular culture and especially in television, and self-conscious authorship and media use.
Spring 2015 seminar: B.A. candidate, government
Walsh is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a degree in government. Her focuses include political theory, comparative literature, and everyday politics. She is interested in considering political problems and disparities as narratives and ordinary stories as a way to dissolve institutional oppression. She spent last summer in Hungary researching youth radical politics and narratives of nationalism. She is excited to participate in this seminar and hope to use the study of film in cities as a way to explicitly look at perspective and narration in space.
Spring 2015 and fall 2014 seminars: Ph.D. candidate, comparative literature
Elizabeth Wijaya earned her B.A. in English literature and M.A. in literary arts at the National University of Singapore under the ASEAN Scholarship and the Research Scholarship, respectively. Her areas of interest include trauma theory, media theory, and critical theory (particularly hauntology and deconstructive thought); Southeast Asian and East Asian cinema (especially Taiwan cinema); and ethics and aesthetics. She has been published on Derrida and Levinas in Derrida Today.
While pursuing her M.A., Wijaya was also preparing for her first feature-length codirectorial film, I Have Loved, shot on location in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The film was nominated for the Best Cinematography award in the 24th Singapore International Film Festival and represented Singapore at the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards 2012. It also competed in various international film festivals including the Asian New Talent Awards at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival. Wijaya is part of a collective of Southeast Asian filmmakers, 13 Little Pictures (13littlepictures.com). With the collective, she co-organized a film workshop held during December 2012 in Luang Prabang, Laos, for Southeast Asian independent filmmakers. The forging of communities and collaborative efforts interest her both theoretically and practically. Wijaya is also actively involved in Cornell Cinema’s Student Advisory Board.
Fall 2017 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Africana studies
Mayowa Willoughby is a third-year Ph.D. student in Africana studies at Cornell University. In 2014, Willoughby received their B.A. in comparative literature from Dartmouth College where she completed a thesis titled “But the Color Stayed,” an interdisciplinary analysis of the experiences of Turks of African descent in contemporary Turkey. Willoughby’s current scholastic interests concern the ways the plant world has been used by people of African descent in the Mediterranean to intervene in physical, spiritual, and psychic traumas. Willoughby’s research asks how plants in particular and (sub)terranean ecologies in general can be used to index histories of that which might be called “blackness” within the Turkish Republic.
Spring 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, government
Diane Wong is currently a doctoral student in Cornell University’s Department of Government. Her research interests include American politics, Asian American politics, race and ethnicity, urban politics, women of color feminism, and youth activism.
As a scholar activist and organizer, her research stems from a passion for community-building. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at Binghamton University, Wong spent time at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) based in New York City. She worked closely with local residents and small businesses to piece together a walking tour titled “Voices from Ground One: Post-9/11 Chinatown” that documents the profound changes and hardships that the effects of 9/11 and post-9/11 policies have had on the residential area. Her current research explores how the process of gentrification impacts the lives of communities of color living in urban spaces.
As the director of advocacy for the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU), Wong works with students, faculty, and administrators from various college campuses to establish Asian-American studies programs across the country. Recently, she helped launch an inaugural High School Ambassadors Leadership Program for Washington, DC and New York City metro area high school students interested in discussing Asian-American identity and political activism.
Spring 2018 seminar: M.A. candidate, historic preservation planning
Gretchen Worth is a second-year master’s student in historic preservation planning. She has returned to academia after many years working in the media industry in China and Southeast Asia. While there, she became involved with an organization working with communities to restore their important historic sites and volunteered on restoration projects in Mongolia, Nepal, and Armenia. It is these experiences that have brought her to Cornell and its city and regional planning program.
She is most interested in the community aspects of restoration and preservation planning: how the community is defined, how to ensure disparate voices can be heard, people’s sensorial memories of their important places, and the social and economic benefits that can be realized locally through the restoration of buildings and sites. Her thesis examines how the merging of site-specific art with historic structures can encourage community engagement in the process and participation, and, as a result, increase that community’s (and the broader public’s) recognition of the power of preservation.
Spring 2016 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, city and regional planning
Yicong Yang holds a B.Eng. in urban planning and a M.Res. in urban design. With a strong interest in world geography, she possesses study and project experiences in various countries including China, the U.S., England, Lebanon, and New Zealand. Her previous research thesis on urban informality in a Chinese megacity explored spatiality of informality in the context of urbanization process.
Since joining Cornell in the fall of 2015, she has developed an interest in discovering interactions and communications between agents in the urban and natural environment on the basis of her previous exploratory approach to understanding the concrete spatial form and urbanization.
As a Mellon Fellow, she is currently pursuing her interest in mapping urbanities (especially in the Brazilian Amazon) through integrating theoretical foundations of human geography and critical philosophy with scientific methods of spatial dynamic modeling and complexity.
Fall 2014 seminar: Ph.D. candidate, Asian literature, religion, and culture
Nari Yoon was born and raised in Seoul, and spent her childhood in Teheran and Mumbai. She received a master of international studies from Seoul National University in 2012 and a M.A. in Asian studies from Cornell in 2014. She briefly worked as an international news researcher at MBC Broadcasting Network in Seoul, and interned for NGOs in East Timor before coming to Cornell.
Yoon is interested in investigating how political and economic policies affect human lives and she is particularly interested in the process of constructing modern national subjectivity in East Asia. She has recently finished her M.A. thesis comparing the political aesthetics of romantic love in Meiji Japan and colonial Korea. Her study explores the texts of Ozaki Koyo’s Kongjiki Yasha (The Gold Demon, 1897-1903) and Yi Kwangsu’s Mujông (The Heartless, 1917) to reveal how the modern idea of “romantic love” was utilized as an ideological apparatus in both Meiji Japan and colonial Korea. Through her analysis, she tried to show how romantic love, a particular mode of feeling or perception, of this era can impart a valuable insight in understanding larger economic and political structures of the time. As a Mellon Fellow, she would like to study more on the political unconscious manifested through architectures, films, and other visual, material, and literary texts of Asia.
Fall 2016 seminar: M.R.P. candidate, city and regional planning
Yi Zhang is a second-year graduate student in city and regional planning. Her studies and experience began during a five-year undergraduate program in urban planning at Zhejiang University, China. Her undergraduate work included a one-semester exchange program at University College in Dublin, and a summer exchange program at Hong Kong University.
Zhang’s dedicated interest in urban transformation and the urbanization process lead her to conduct diverse projects including urban transportation connection, urban open space accessibility, and urban creative space evolvement in Chinese megacities. After arriving at Cornell in fall 2015, she has continued to research urban space renewal by interacting with local people and applying spatial models.
For her Mellon fellowship, she plans to use the urbanization process in Cuba as an example to understand how isolated islands flourish with urbanized farms, as well as how the farming behavior has transitioned both spatially and institutionally in recent years.