José L. Artiles, who also publishes under the name Leopoldo Artiles-Gil, received his Ph.D. in CSDS in 2000. He is currently working at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development in the Dominican Republic as a Social Welfare Analyst. He is also a part-time professor in the Department of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo teaching political sociology, mass communications sociology, social theory, sociology of organizations and institutions, sociology of knowledge, and communication and society.
In 2004 he was a part of the research staff in the United Nations Program of Development (UNPD) in the Dominican Republic that produced the National Human Development Report of 2005, Dominican Republic. He was responsible for elaborating Chapter VI on Identity and Culture. He also wrote an article in the UNPD bulletin entitled: “Cultura y Paradigma del Desarrollo Human” (“Culture and Human Development Paradigm”).
He later published an article in the Journal Estudios Sociales, the most important social sciences journal in the Dominican Republic entitled: "Cultura y Desarrollo Humano" ("Culture and Human Development").
He has also been involved in writing survey reports for the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), and in that capacity he is co-author with Carlos Dore, Pedro Ortega and Francisco Cáceres of several published reports, including:
“Ciudadanía y Democracia en la República Dominicana: Informe sobre la Encuesta de Opinión Pública Nacional 2004,” (“Citizenship and Democracy in the Dominican Republic: Report on the National Public Opinion Survey 2004”), and “Actitudes hacia el trabajo en la República Dominicana: Reflexión sobre las percepciones y orientaciones en el mundo laboral,” (“Attitudes toward Work in the Dominican Republic: Reflections on Perceptions and Orientations in the Workplace”).
In 2008 he was commissioned by the Brazilian educational review Novamerica to write an opinon article about Latin American Cinema, focusing on the Dominican Republic.
In 2009 he prepared a study of public safety for the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development entitled: Seguridad Ciudadana en la República Dominicana: Desafíos y Propuestas de Política (Citizen - or Public - Security in the Dominican Republic: Challenges and Policy Proposals), Ministerio de Economía, Planificación y Desarrollo, 2009.
Finally, in his capacity as a social welfare analyst, he has been involved in the task force that is examining the current Long Term Development Strategy and the System of Social Indicators of the Dominican Republic (SISDOM). His findings appear in an essay on the history of Dominican Civil Society, “Estado, sociedad civil y democracia en la República Dominicana” (“State, Civil Society and Democracy in the Dominican Republic”), in La Sociedad Civil Dominicana: Contribución a su Historia (Dominican Civil Society: Contributions to Its History). Rosa Rita Álvarez et al, (Coords.), MUDE, CIES/UNIBE, Alianza ONG, República Dominicana, Santo Domingo, 2010.
Mark Axelrod is a graduate of both Indiana University (B.A. and M.A.) and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1988). He is the Director of the John Fowles Center for Creative Writing, and has received numerous writing awards including two United Kingdom Leverhulme Fellowships for Creative Writing as well as awards from the Sundance Institute. He has published four novels, Capital Castles (Pacific Writers Press, 2000), Cloud Castles (Pacific Writers Press, 1998), Cardboard Castles (Pacific Writers Press, 1996), Bombay California (Pacific Writers Press, 1994), and has recently completed a novel in three books titled, The Posthumous Memoirs of Blase Kubash. He has also written several collections of short stories, including "Dante’s Foil & Other Sporting Tales," "The Apotheosis of Aaron," and "Borges’ Travel, Hemingway’s Garage," the last recently published by the Fiction Collective 2 and a prequel to "Balzac Coffee, Leonardo’s Suites." He has published two books on screenwriting, Aspects of the Screenplay (Heinemann) and Character & Conflict: Cornerstones of Screenwriting (Heinemann), and has recently completed a book on adaptation titled, I Read It At The Movies. He recently assumed the position of co-editor of the literary journal The New Novel Review, and is a regular reviewer for The Review of Contemporary Fiction. He has been published in numerous journals in the United States and Europe, including the Iowa Review and the New York Quarterly
His Chapman University Faculty Profile can be found here
Follow this link to his personal page, which highlights his creative works.
Adrienne Baker (B.A., CSCL 2006) is the Online Communications Manager at Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), an organization that aims to build mutual respect and pluralism among young people of different religious and non-theist traditions through service to others. She is responsible for the non-profit’s social media strategy, website and blog management, as well as graphic design and photography.
After receiving her Bachelor's degree, Adrienne assisted in the direction of a non-profit that launches motivated middle-school students on the path to college and prepares older students for careers in education. She worked as an advocate for students and families throughout the program and within the Saint Paul Public Schools. She also taught high school journalism at Mounds Park Academy, while serving as the school’s diversity coordinator.
In 2007, Adrienne moved to Milwaukee, working for Information Management (formerly DM Review) magazine as Associate Editor, writing, editing and managing the publication’s website. She also took a position at Mount Mary College teaching journalism as an adjunct faculty member. While in Milwaukee, Adrienne did graduate research at Marquette University on the digital divide, as it relates to middle school curriculum and available resources in lowincome households.
Karyn Ball (Ph.D., CSDS 1999) is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her most recent book is Disciplining the Holocaust (SUNY Press, 2008). She is editor of Traumatizing Theory: The Cultural Politics of Affect in and Beyond Psychoanalysis.
Disciplining the Holocaust explores the relationship between disciplinarity and contemporary ethics of scholarship about the Holocaust. It examines critics’ efforts to defend a rigorous and morally appropriate image of the Holocaust. Rather than limiting herself to polemics about the "proper" approach to traumatic history, Karyn Ball explores recent trends in intellectual history that govern a contemporary ethics of scholarship about the Holocaust. She examines the scholarly reception of Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners, the debates culminating in Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Lyotard’s response to negations of testimony about the gas chambers, psychoanalytically informed frameworks for the critical study of traumatic history, and a conference on feminist approaches to the Holocaust and genocide. Ball’s book bridges the gap between psychoanalysis and Foucault’s understanding of disciplinary power in order to highlight the social implications of traumatic history.
View her University of Alberta faculty bio here
Jon S. Bassewitz received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society in 1996. He has taught at the University of Hartford, the Walker Art Center, and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota.
Jon is currently a paralegal for Minneapolis-based intellectual property lawyers Kinney & Lange. Before coming to Kinney & Lange, Jon worked for 10 years as a legal assistant at the offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom in New York City.
In his free time Jon enjoys canyoneering in the Four Corners Region, traveling and camping with his wife and daughter, and he performs volunteer work for Chabad-Lubavitch of West Saint Paul.
Stacy Beckwith (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1997) is Associate Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at Carleton College. She is also the Director of Carleton’s Judaic Studies Program and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Languages. Stacy completed research for her dissertation at the Tel Aviv University with the support of a Fulbright fellowship. After earning her Ph.D., she taught at Pennsylvania State University in the departments of Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies through 1999. She then established Carleton’s first full time Hebrew program. In her non-language courses she often blends literary and cultural studies, inviting students to explore Israeli Jewish and Palestinian fiction in dialogue with local urban spaces.
Stacy’s scholarship focuses on intersections of national historiography and collective memory in contemporary Israeli and Spanish (Peninsular) literature, particularly in representations of medieval through early modern Sephardic Jewish characters. Her edited volume in the Hispanic Issues series, Charting Memory: Recalling Medieval Spain (Garland, 2000), examined modern Jewish, Arab, and Hispanic memories of Iberian coexistence as expressed in ongoing traditions of literature, music, prayer, architecture, and name giving. She has also contributed to volumes such as Religious Perspectives in Modern Muslim and Jewish Literatures (Routledge, 2006), and Sephardism: Spanish/Jewish History in the Modern Literary Imagination (forthcoming, Stanford UP).
View Stacy’s faculty profile at Carleton College here.
Alissa Boguslaw (B.A., CSCL 2007) is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Sociology at The New School for Social Research in New York, NY. Her dissertation will focus on twentieth century Kosovar Jewry. Her other research interests include collective memory and identity, the politics of space, nationalism and ethnic conflict, diaspora poetics, and sephardic Jewish history.
Alissa recently presented at the Critical Themes Media Studies Conference in New York (April 2010) and the SGIR (Standing Group on International Relations) European International Relations Conference in Stockholm, Sweden (September 2010).
Pascale Bos (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1998) is Associate Professor in the departments of Germanic Studies and European Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also associated with the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies. Her research interests include twentieth century comparative Western European and US literature, gender and women’s studies, and the history, culture and literature of the Holocaust.
She is author of German-Jewish Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust: Grete Weil, Ruth Klüger, and the Politics of Address (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Her essay on "Feminists Interpreting the Politics of Wartime Rape: Berlin 1945, Yugoslavia 1992-1993,” appearing in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, can be found here.
Pascale's faculty page at the University of Texas at Austin can be found here.
Dr. Bryant-Bertail is an Associate Professor of theory and criticism at the University of Washington’s Drama Department. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Scandinavian Studies. She earned a Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on modern European theater and critical theory. She also studied theatre at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Her essays on European and American theater performance, semiotics, feminism, and intercultural theater appear in Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Assaph, Theatre Studies, and in Journal of Kafka Studies and in the anthologies Brecht Yearbook, Strindberg’s Dramaturgy, In Collaboration: le Theatre du Soleil: A Sourcebook, The Performance of Power, The Cambridge Guide to Women’s Writing in English, Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, Essays on 20th-Century German Drama, and Perspectives on Teaching Theatre. Besides the University of Washington, she has also taught at the University of South Carolina and Trinity College Dublin.
Her University of Washington Faculty page can be found here.
Her book Space and Time in Epic Theatre: The Brechtian Legacy was published in 2000. Follow this link to the publisher’s description.
Vanessa Cambier (B.A. summa cum laude, CSCL 2008) lives in Minneapolis where she works as a fantastic baker and barista. Since graduating, she has been studying traditional photography and working in the darkrooms at IFP Minnesota. She is currently collaborating with a small group of artists on a research project funded by a Forecast Public Art grant. Vanessa is looking forward to working on more art projects in the coming year, and applying to graduate school. She is looking forward to blending her love of photography and film studies in an academic setting.
Bruce Campbell (Ph.D., CSDS 1999) is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Latino/Latin American Studies at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, where he teaches courses in Spanish language, Latin American culture, Latino identities, and cultural critique. His research focuses on the intersections of popular culture, national identities, art, and public discourse in Latin America. His published work includes two books - Mexican Murals in Times of Crisis (University of Arizona Press, 2003) and ¡Viva la historieta!: Mexican Comics, NAFTA, and the Politics of Globalization (University Press of Mississippi, 2009) - in addition to chapter contributions to Spanish and Empire (Vanderbilt, 2007), Poetry and Cultural Studies: A Reader (University of Illinois, 2009), and the forthcoming Mexican Muralism: A Critical History (University of California Press). His translations of Latin American essayists have appeared in MRZine (a project of the Monthly Review Foundation), americas.org, countercurrents.org, The Humanist, and politicalaffairs.net. Among his current projects: a study of 19th century Nicaraguan newspaper poetry, and a cultural archeology of the disappearance of Nicaraguan modernist Rubén Darío’s brain.
His St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict contact info can be found here.
Polly Carl, who has served as artistic director of the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis for seven years, will leave the Twin Cities in September to take a job with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. The news is to be announced today.
The Minneapolis-based service organization serves as both midwife and research-and-development lab for new plays. During Carl’s tenure, the group heightened its national profile, upped its annual budget from $600,000 to $1.4 million, and saw its member-playwright ranks swell from 200 to more than 900.
Carl shies away from naming favorite plays — "They’re all special,” she said Tuesday. She worked on Craig Lucas’ "Small Tragedy,” which later won an Obie Award in New York in 2004 for "best American play.”
A former political activist and labor organizer in Florida, the Elkhart, Ind., native moved to the Twin Cities in 1991 to work on a doctorate in comparative studies at the University of Minnesota. She joined the Playwrights’ Center in 1998 — a year before completing her degree — as development director. She will join another Twin Citian at Steppenwolf. Managing director David Hawkanson formerly served in the same capacity at the Guthrie Theater.
This article, by Rohan Preston, originally appeared in the Star Tribune May 20th, 2009.
Terry Cochran (Ph.D., CL 1987) is currently the director of the Comparative Literature department at the University of Montreal. He was editorial director of the University of Minnesota Press, director of the Wesleyan University Press, and has also taught at Wesleyan. He is the author of several books, including La cultura contra el estado (Cátedra, 1996), Twilight of the Literary: Figures of Thought in the Age of Print (Harvard University Press, 2001) and Atta et tous les autres : foi et savoir dans la pensée du sacrifice humain (Fides, 2007), a work that examines the role of faith in textual interpretation as well as self-sacrifice. His publications and research are organized around four main themes: the theory of language, history and literary historiography, the relationship between literature and media, and cultural and economic modernity. Currently, Dr. Cochran is working on several projects questioning the residue of the sacred and its implications for literary and philosophical thought in the global context.
Faculty Page at the Université de Montréal
John Collins (Ph.D., CSDS 2000) is a Professor and Chair of the Global Studies Department at St. Lawrence University and Director of The Weave: Mediocracy Unspun.
Nicholas de Villiers (Ph.D., CSDS 2004) teaches film, gender/sexuality studies, and literature in the department of English at the University of North Florida. His research interests include queer theory, documentary, and transnational cinema. He has published essays in Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory (2005), Sexualities (2007), Bright Lights Film Journal (2007), Symploke (2008), and Jump Cut (2008 and 2009). His current book project is entitled Opacities: Life, Image, Sound in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol.
Ariel Ducey graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1994 with a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in Sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She now works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary in Alberta. Her most recent book, Never Good Enough: Health Care Workers and the False Promise of Job Training, was released December 2008 by Cornell University Press.
The following synopsis can be viewed in its original context here
“Frontline health care workers have always been especially vulnerable to the perpetual tides of health care "reform,” but in the mid-1990s in New York City, they bore the brunt of change in a new way. They were obliged to take on additional work, take lessons in recalibrating their attitudes, and, when those steps failed to bring about the desired improvements, take advantage of training programs that would ostensibly lead to better jobs. Such health care workers not only became targets of pro-market and restructuring policies but also were blamed for many of the problems created by those policies, from the deteriorating conditions of patient care to the financial vulnerability of entire institutions.
“In Never Good Enough, Ariel Ducey describes some of the most heavily funded training programs, arguing that both the content of many training and education programs and the sheer commitment of time they require pressure individual health care workers to compensate for the irrationalities of America’s health care system, for the fact that caring labor is devalued, and for the inequities of an economy driven by the relentless creation of underpaid service jobs. In so doing, the book also analyzes the roles that unions—particularly SEIU 1199 in New York—and the city’s academic institutions have played in this problematic phenomenon.
“In her thoughtful and provocative critique of job training in the health care sector, Ariel Ducey explores the history and the extent of job training initiatives for health care workers and lays out the political and economic significance of these programs beyond the obvious goal of career advancement. Questioning whether job training improves either the lives of workers or the quality of health care, she explains why such training persists, focusing in particular on the wide scope of its "emotional" benefits. The book is based on Ducey’s three years as an ethnographer in several hospitals and in-depth interviews with key players in health care training. It argues that training and education cannot be a panacea for restructuring—whether in the health care sector or the economy as a whole.”
Ariel Ducey’s faculty profile can be viewed here
Barbara Engh (Ph.D., CSDS 1997) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Fine Art at the University of Leeds, where she works with critical theories of the Frankfurt school and poststructuralism, and is especially interested in matters concerning sound, music, noise, and oral/aural technologies. Recent publications include an essay on music and critique in the work of Roland Barthes that appears in Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, and “Adorno and the Sirens: Tele-phono-graphic Bodies,” in Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality In Western Culture. She is currently working on a book titled After ‘His Master's Voice’: Post-phonographic Aurality.
In 1992 Anne Enke received her M.A. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota. She continued her work at the U, and in 1999 she completed her Ph.D. in History. She is now working as an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of History and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. Specializing in the history of sexuality, her research and teaching interests include historical constructions of race and sexuality, women’s activism, social movements, feminist, trans, and queer theory. Her most recent publication, Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism, was released by Duke University Press in 2007. Anne’s faculty profile can be seen at http://history.wisc.edu/people/faculty/enke.htm.
Jeffrey Falla (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 2000) develops certification and licensing exams in technical fields for national and international regulatory agencies, councils, and associations. In addition, he designs and manufactures hi-fi and musical instrument amplifiers, as well as publishes fiction and nonfiction. His most current book is How to Hot Rod your Fender Amp, Voyageur Press, 2011, and his most current fiction and poetry appears in the anthology Emanations, International Authors, 2011.
For more information on Jeffrey's band and his handmade amplifiers please visit the links below:
George Fiddler (B.A., SCMC 2008) is an Associate at the Minneapolis-based non-traditional marketing agency Fast Horse. He contributes to several of the firm’s client campaigns in the non-profit sector and in sports, education, health care, and consumer product industries. He regularly blogs on pop culture and marketing topics at Fast Horse’s Idea Peepshow; he is a thought leader in sports marketing, and strategizes new ways to reach his clients’ constituents with social media and content marketing. You can also find him twittering at www.twitter.com/georgefiddler, blogging http://georgefiddler.tumblr.com/, and contributing film reviews here. A few of the client campaigns he has worked on in 2010 include:
Mark Fiddler (B.A., Humanities 1985) is a private practice attorney who specializes in adoption, foster care, third party custody, and the Indian Child Welfare Act (‘ICWA’). After receiving his B.A. in 1985 he continued on to the law school at Minnesota, earning his J.D. in 1988. Much of his undergraduate work focused on critical theory, semiotics, and post-modern theory. He says that his studies laid the groundwork for his career in law: “Essentially, when I was learning to analyze the art of René Magritte, I was learning to analyze the law.”
Mark is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe, a member of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, and Chair of the Children and the Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. His family still has ties to the university, as his spouse, Elizabeth Seaquist, is an endocrinologist at the University’s medical school and his son George (also profiled here) received his bachelors degree from SCMC in 2008.
You can view Mark’s website here.
Martial Frindethie (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1996) is Associate Professor in the department of Foreign Languages and Literature at Appalachian State University, where he is currently working on a book on post-colonial Nietzsche. He has published three books, including The Black Renaissance in Francophone African and Caribbean Literatures, which was named to Choice magazine’s list of 2008 Outstanding Academic Titles, Francophone African Cinema: History, Culture, Politics and Theory, and Globalization and the Seduction of Africa's Ruling Class: An Argument for a New Philosophy.
During the 2004-2005 academic year he taught and undertook research in Mali and Mauritania as a Fulbright Scholar.
See Appalachian State University's Department of Foreign Languages and Literature here.
Gitahi Gititi (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1991) is professor of English, Film and Media Studies, and African and African American Studies at the University of Rhode Island. His scholarly and creative work has appeared in the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, Atlantic Literary Review, Paintbrush, Current Writing, Race in the College Classroom: Pedagogy and Politics, The Companion to African Literatures, ATQ:Ninteenth Century American Literature and Culture, Left Curve, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o: Texts and Contexts, Metamorphoses 2, Routledge Encyclopedia of African Literature, Mwihoko, Mutiiri, and Nyumba Ni Imwe.
Gitahi is a poet, short fiction writer, and multilingual translator. His works in non-European languages include two Gikuyu-language collections of poems called Mukunga-Mbura Gutari Matu (Rainbow in an Arid Sky) by Africa World Press and Mboomu Iratuthukire Nairobi (Bomb[in'] Nairobi) by Ngoro Njega Publications. Numerous essays, poems, and short stories have also appeared in the Gikuyu-language journal of art and culture, Mutiiri, of which he is a founding editor. His feature articles also appear in the Gikuyu-language newspaper, Mwihoko, published in Murang'a, Kenya.
His University of Rhode Island faculty page can be found here.
Brigid Goss (B.A., Psychology and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2003) is an associate at Best & Flanagan LLP, practicing in the areas of Family Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and Native American Law. In her Family Law practice, she assists clients with issues including marriage dissolution, child support, parenting time, child custody, paternity, spousal maintenance and child protection. In her Native American Law practice, Brigid has represented tribal interests in both state and tribal courts in matters that have included child welfare, child support, guardianships and conservatorships. Her commercial litigation practice is diverse and includes the representation of both individual and commercial clients in a wide range of civil litigation matters.
View her contact page at Best and Flanagan LLC here.
Lindsey Green-Simms (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 2009) is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of World Anglophone Literature at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She was also a 2009-2010 postdoctoral fellow in Women’s Studies at Duke University. Her interests include postcolonial theory, African literature and film, globalization, and gender/sexuality studies. Lindsey’s current book project, Postcolonial Automobility: West Africa and the Road to Globalization, examines how the contradictions of globalization are embedded in both the commodity of the automobile and in automobility, the ideal of the fully mobilized self that is typically coupled with the technological device of the automobile. She has published articles on African films and plays, Nollywood (Nigerian) video-films, and human rights cinema in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing; Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century (Ohio U. Press); Indiscretions: At the Intersection of Queer and Postcolonial Theory (Rodopi Press); and The Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations.
A recent interview with Lindsey can be found on pages 12 and 13 of the Duke Women’s Studies Newsletter
Stephen Groening (Ph.D., CSDS 2008) is currently the Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities with a specialization in global media formations at Brown University. He focuses his research on global media flows, the history of communication technologies, critical theory, mobility studies, film studies, television studies, and cultural studies. He has published on a variety of topics, including inflight entertainment in Velvet Light Trap, cynicism and South Park in Taking South Park Seriously (SUNY UP), the history of Anglophone film studies in Inventing Film Studies (Duke UP), and the U.S. military’s media operations in Iraq in FlowTV. Dr. Groening also has forthcoming articles on mobile television in New Media and Society and white collar work and training films in Useful Cinemas (Duke UP).
Thomas O. Haakenson (Ph.D., CSDS 2006) is Associate Professor and Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). He has published in the journals Cabinet, New German Critique, The Rutgers Art Review, and Quodlibetica, as well as in the anthologies Legacies of Modernism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and Memorialization in Germany Since 1945 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), among others. He has received awards and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies among others.
Taken from his Minnesota College of Art and Design profile here.
Mirko Hall (B.A., CSCL 1998) teaches all levels of German language, literature, and culture at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is also responsible for the introductory sequence in Modern Standard Arabic. In January 2009, Mirko taught an advanced seminar on the iPod as a technology of the self at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. He is a recipient of the Kathryne Amelia Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching from Converse College and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the consortium of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
Mirko’s scholarly pursuits revolve around eighteenth- and twentieth-century German literature, philosophy, and music. He is particularly interested in the emerging field of Sound Studies and how musical practices offer listeners strategies for actively participating in cultural creativity, critique, and resistance. Mirko has articles published and forthcoming in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and Telos. He is currently working on Listening in the State of Emergency, a book-length project that explores the nexus of listening subjectivity and critical theory in modernity.
Originally from the Twin Cities, Mirko received his B.A. with highest honors (CSCL), and MA, and PhD in German Studies from the University of Minnesota. As a Fulbright Fellow, he studied philosophy and musicology at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. He also has a diploma in Modern Standard Arabic from the Defense Language Institute.
Although now a happy Spartanburger, Mirko still retains the long monophthongal “o” of his native Minnesotan dialect.
Taken from his Converse College faculty profile here.
Courtney Helgoe (B.A., Honors, English and Comparative Literature, 1999, and Ph.D., CSDS 2010) currently serves as Senior Editor of the Chanhassen, MN based Experience Life Magazine. Courtney officially joined Experience Life in January 2010 after freelancing as a writer and editor since 2005. She comes to journalism from the field of education, having taught English at a Minneapolis alternative high school and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota while she completed her doctorate. In addition to her much-treasured family and friends, she loves travel to anywhere, Iyengar yoga, and the five songs she’s learned by heart on the accordion. She enjoys living in bike-friendly Minneapolis with her husband, Jim, and bigboned cat, Spit.
Terri J. Hennings received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota in 1995 after completing a master’s degree in German Language and Literature at Purdue University. She has taught at the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and the University of Freiburg. Having been a student and educator in both the U.S. and the German system, she has brought her expertise and deep knowledge of the two cultures and languages to the classroom.
Her areas of interest and research are the interplay between literature and philosophy, and theories of the postmodern including cultural theory, with particular emphasis on literary theory and theories of the aesthetic. As one of the co-founders and members of the freiburger dialoge, she also is active in the Freiburg cultural scene. Professor Hennings has published on literature and philosophy, aesthetics, and popular culture, and is currently at work on a book project exploring aesthetic ideology within the framework of the modern-postmodern debate.
She lives in the Freiburg area with her husband Gerhard Manz, their daughter Alyssa, their Golden Retriever Charly, and horse Simply Terrific.
Michael Hessel-Mial (B.A., CSCL 2010) is attending Emory University beginning Fall 2010, pursuing graduate study in the Department of Comparative Literature. He intends to specialize in 20th century American poetry, continental philosophy and linguistics, and maybe even write a few lines of poetry when he's free. He also hopes to pursue part-time work as a teaching assistant for an online university to make some extra money while taking courses. Michael's days involve long-distance runs and a daily study schedule, while his nights involve playing with his two cats and eating greasy fast food. Moving to Atlanta, he and his girlfriend dread and look forward to the intense heat and humidity.
Katharine Hooper graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012 as a Philosophy B.A. with minors in SCMC and Italian. After beginning as a fine arts student, she found that cinema was her preferred medium, and that philosophy had an important part in determining what direction she wanted to take with her work.
After working as an assistant to Professor Hisham Bizri during her time at the University, Katharine moved to New York City in the fall following her graduation. She now works in development with an internationally recognized film and media pre-production company there, in addition to working on her own scripts. She plans to continue her work in
pre-production in the future as a writer and director.
Jennifer Horne (Ph.D., CSDS 2002) is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She teaches courses on the history of film and film criticism, screen cultures, moving image analysis, and media and cultural theory. Jenny's research has focused on institutional uses of cinema, from the earliest incorporation of moving images into organizational and civic life to cold war era federal filmmaking. Her contributions to our understanding of these areas have appeared in The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, The Moving Image, and in the anthology Useful Cinema (Duke University Press, forthcoming). Jenny is at work on a book about civic spectatorship and film use in the interwar years.
Her faculty page can be found here.
David Jenemann (Ph.D., CSDS 2003) is Associate Professor in English at the University of Vermont. He teaches film, television and critical theory, as well as film genre and global cinema. His University of Vermont faculty page can be found here.
His book Adorno in America, on the life of German philosopher and social critic Theodor W. Adorno, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2007.
Adorno, one of the towering intellectual figures of the twentieth century, lived in exile in the United States between 1938 and 1953. In the first in-depth account of this period of Adorno's life, Jenemann examines Adorno's confrontation with the burgeoning American “culture industry” and casts new light on Adorno's writings about the mass media. Contrary to the widely held belief—even among his defenders—that Adorno was disconnected from America and disdained its culture, Jenemann reveals that Adorno was an active and engaged participant in cultural and intellectual life during these years. Adorno in America argues for a more complicated, more intimate relationship between Adorno and American society than has ever been previously acknowledged. What emerges is not only an image of an intellectual in exile, but ultimately a rediscovery of Adorno as a potent defender of a vital and intelligent democracy.
—Further information can be found on the University of Minnesota Press website.
Jenell Johnson (B.A., CSCL 1999) is an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whereshe teaches courses on the rhetoric of science and medicine, rhetorical theory, disability studies, and posthumanism. Jenell's research interests concern the intersection of science, medicine, and the broader culture. Her book American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming) explores the role that popularrepresentations of lobotomy had on the development, decline, and resurgence of psychosurgery in the United States. Her co-edited essay collection The Neuroscientific Turn: Transdisciplinarity in the Age of the Brain (University of Michigan Press, 2012), which features the work of humanists, social scientists, and neuroscientists, explores the promise and the pitfalls of the emergence of "neuro" disciplines like neurosociology, neuroanthropology, and neurohistory. She has published essays in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Medicine Studies, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, and Advances in Medical Sociology. For more information on Jenell, visit her personal website here: jenelljohnson.com.
R. A. Judy (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1990) teaches literary and cultural theory at the University of Pittsburgh. His current work involves exploring the ways in which popular cultural movements engage problems of authenticity and sovereignty in relation to an emerging global economy. His work focuses specifically on Islamist projects of communal identity in North America, Europe, and Africa, as well as the globalization of Hip Hop science.
His publications include the book (Dis)forming the American Canon: The Vernacular of African Arabic American Slave Narrative. A co-editor of boundary 2, Judy's own articles have appeared in Surfaces, Cultural Studies, and Noesis. His areas of special interests include Immanuel Kant, ibn Khaldun, post-structuralist theory, and post-colonial theory.
His University of Pittsburgh faculty page can be found here.
Karen Jürs–Munby joined the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts as a lecturer in Theatre Studies in 2006. She received her postgraduate training in the United States, completing her M.A. in American Studies at the University of Kansas (with a thesis on feminist utopias) and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota in 2000 (with a thesis on German and French discourses on acting in the eighteenth century). She has published on eighteenth and twentieth century theatre and performance and also acted as a translator of theatre scholarship, most recently of Hans–Thies Lehmann’s Postdramatic Theatre.
Karen’s current research focuses on developments from dramatic to postdramatic forms of acting in relation to the emergence of new media and changing notions of subjectivity. Her book project is provisionally entitled Performing the Modern Self: Discourses on Acting at the Beginning and the End of the ‘Gutenberg Galaxy’ and examines theoretical texts on acting from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.
Link to her Profile at the Lancaster Institute For the Contemporary Arts
Andrew Kincaid (Ph.D., CSDS 2002) is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research interests include urbanism, modernism, postcolonial theory, and Irish studies. He has taught courses on literary and critical theory, modern literature, global/postcolonial literature, and Irish studies. He is currently on the Advisory Boards of both the Center For Celtic Studies, and the Modern Studies Program. His recent book, Postcolonial Dublin: Imperial Legacies and the Built Environment, was published through the University of Minnesota Press in 2006. His essays have been published in College Literature, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, and rea 3: religion, education and the arts. He has also contributed articles to Everything Irish: The History, Literature, Art, Music, People, and Places of Ireland from A-Z.
Andrew's faculty profile at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee can be found here.
Andrew Knighton (Ph.D., 2004, Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society) is Associate Professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles. He teaches courses in theory, cultural studies, and American literature, with a particular focus on economic criticism. His research on Nathaniel Parker Willis, Herman Melville, and Nathanael West has been published in journals including ESQ, ATQ, and Literature Interpretation Theory; currently he is working on a documentary and theoretical study of postwar library architecture in southern California. New York University Press will publish his book, Idle Threats: Men and the Limits of Productivity in Nineteenth-Century America, in 2012. He currently holds the Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D., Endowed Chair in American Communities at CSULA, and serves as Director of the CSULA/NEH American Communities Program.
Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin (Ph.D., CL, 1984) is a psychoanalyst (graduate of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis where she was the first academic from Minnesota to do so) and counter terrorist expert having developed the first theory of imagery for the Islamic suicide attack site based on early childhood development. She published The Banality of Suicide Terrorism: The Naked Truth About Islamic Suicide Bombing, Potomac, 2010. The book has been translated into Hebrew and is to be translated into French. She has written a second book tentatively titled Child Abuse and Domestic Violence as it Relates to Islamic Suicide Bombing and is currently working on the Dictionary of Desperanto concerning how terrorists use objects. In addition she has her own consulting company. An expert on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Dr. Kobrin contributed to the section on short-term psychodynamic therapy in Effective Treatments for PTSD, First Edition (Guilford Press, 2000). She was also clinical professor of Psychiatry in the Hennepin-Regions Psychiatry Training Program where she taught residents how to listen to their patients and how to conduct a therapy. She has presented at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; given seminars to police and military intelligence agencies in Israel, Spain, and Sri Lanka; and taught U.S. Army military intelligence courses in Missouri and Florida. She frequently writes at familysecuritymatters.org. In addition she developed an expertise concerning Somalia having done prison interviews. In 2008-2009 she graduated from the Human Terrain Program and was scheduled to deploy to Helmand Province, Afghanistan but was denied the right due to anti-Semitism. She studied Dari and Pashto and completed the course at the University of Nebraska. In 2012 she was interviewed for the forthcoming documentary The Body Does Not Lie concerning airport security at Ben Gurion Airport. In October 2010 Dr. Kobrin immigrated to Israel where she lives in Tel Aviv with her partner Professor Yitzhak Reiter, one of Israel's leading authorities on Sharia law and the Arab minority. Together they have six grandchildren.
Amitava Kumar received his Ph.D. in CSDS in 1993 and is now Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of several works of literary non-fiction, including "Passport Photos,” "Bombay-London-New York,” and "Husband of a Fanatic.” His novel "Home Products" was recently short-listed for India's premier literary award. Kumar's forthcoming book, “A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb,” is a writer's report on the global war on terror. Kumar serves on the editorial board of several publications and co-edits the web-journal Politics and Culture. He is the script-writer and narrator of the prize-winning documentary film "Pure Chutney" (1997) and also the more recent Dirty Laundry (2005). Professor Kumar teaches classes that mainly deal with: reportage; , the essay -form, both in prose and in film, ; literatures describing the global movement of goods and people, and; memory -work.
—-Taken from his Vassar faculty page here.
Neil Larsen (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1986) is Professor of Comparative Literature and Critical Theory at the University of California, Davis, and he works and writes extensively in the areas of Latin American literature, postcolonial studies, and general literary and critical theory. He is the author of Modernism and Hegemony (1990), Reading North by South (1995), and Determinations: Essays on Theory, Narrative and Nation in the Americas (2001). His current projects include a book of essays on changes in the written form of dialectical thought in Hegel, Marx, Lukács and Adorno.
Neil Larsen's broader research and teaching interests include critical theory and its philosophical sources, marxism, comparative literature, and post-colonial and Latin-American literary studies (including Brazil).
His University of California-Davis faculty page can be found here.
University of Minnesota Press publications:
Reading North by South: On Latin American Literature, Culture and Politics (1995)
Modernism and Hegemony: a Materialist Critique of Aesthetic Agencies (1990)
Daryl Lee (Ph.D., CSDS 2001) is an Assistant Professor in the department of General Studies at the State University of New York Institute of Technology. His research interests include cultural and critical theory, cultural formations of modernity, discourses of suicide. He has been published in Intellectual History Review, and led a presentation on Monsters, Culture, and Society.
His SUNYIT directory page can be found here.
Xiuwu Liu (Ph.D., CSDS 1994) teaches about a broad spectrum of topics and courses as an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. He has taught courses at Miami on Gender and Domesticity in America, the Rise of National Socialism in Weimar Germany, Classical Chinese Thought, and Exploring Humanistic Ethics along with a number of other topics.
Dr. Liu has published several books including Jumping into the Sea: From Academics to Entrepreneurs in South China, Western Perspectives on Chinese Higher Education: A Model for Cross-Cultural Inquiry, and his autobiography Wandering from China to America.
Silvia Lopez (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1999) is the chair of the Spanish program at Carleton College where she teaches 19th century Latin American literature as well as Introduction to Latin American Studies and Latin American Literature. Her main areas of interest are literary and social modernity in Latin America, cultural and critical theory, and the Frankfurt School. Her research focuses on cultural theory and criticism and she has published articles on Adorno, Lukács, Benjamin, Garcia Canclini, Schwarz, Dalton, and Argueta. Together with Christopher Chiappari, she translated Néstor Garcia Canclini's Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity. She edited a special issue of Cultural Critique (Fall 2001) titled "Critical Theory in Latin America". Currently she is finishing a book of essays entitled Frankfurt Minima: Essays in Aesthetics and Culture.
Her faculty profile at Carleton College can be found here.
Stephen Macek (Ph.D., CSDS 2001) is Associate Professor of Speech Communication, and Coordinator of Urban and Suburban Studies at North Central College, Naperville, Illinois. He teaches courses in media studies, urban studies, persuasion and gender/women studies. His intellectual interests include: news and journalism, film, TV, media policy and reform, philosophy and social theory, urban history and contemporary American politics. Stephen's book, Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right and the Moral Panic over the City was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2006 and won the Urban Communication Foundation Publication Award in 2007.
His professional page can be found here.
Cecily Marcus (Ph.D., Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, 2005) is Curator of the Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature, Literary Manuscripts, and the Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota Libraries Archives and Special Collections. Since joining the University Libraries in 2005 as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, she has worked on various research and technology projects relating to scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and has worked as a consultant for New York University Libraries. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters.
Silvestra Mariniello (Ph.D., CL, 1990) is Professor in the Departments of Art History, Film Studies, and Comparative Literature at the University of Montreal. Her research focuses on cinema, literature, comparative cultures, media theory, poetics, and audiovisual technology. Dr. Mariniello has served as the Director of the research centre Intermediality since July 2005. She currently leads a research team affiliated with the ICC and subsidized by the Quebec Fund for Research on Society and Culture, on the question of "Intermediality” experience. She has been published extensively (in English, Spanish, and French) on the works of Pier Paulo Pasolini and Lev Kuleshov, and on the notions of mediation, intermediality, and agency.
Professor Mariniello’s University of Montreal faculty profile and a list of her publications can be found here.
More information on the Center for Research on Intermediality can be found here.
Monika Mehta (Ph.D., Comparative Literature, 2001) is an Assistant Professor in the English department at Binghamton University, where she specializes in film and feminist studies.
She currently has two book projects under way: Selections: Cutting, Classifying, and Certifying in Bombay Cinema, which investigates the censorship of sex in Bombay cinema, and Disjunct Economies: Libidinal and Material Investments in Bombay Cinema, which explores how processes that go under the name of 'globalization' have changed relations among Bombay cinema, the Indian state, and Indian diasporic communities. An essay on "Globalizing Bombay Cinema: Reproducing the Indian State and Family" is forthcoming in Cultural Dynamics.
—Her Binghamton University faculty page is here.
Kristen Meinzer is a Brooklyn-based writer who was born in South Korea and raised in Minnesota. She received a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota in 1999 and an interdisciplinary M.A. in public history and consumer culture from New York University in 2005. In 2006, she was accepted into Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Cunningham's fiction-writing program at Brooklyn College. While there, she earned the Himan Brown Award in creative writing, a Graduate Studies Research Grant, and an MFA. In 2008, she was granted a fellowship with the Willard R. Espy literary foundation. Kristen produced programming on popular culture, science, and social history for CBS, VH1, the Discovery Channel, and several other networks. Kristen currently works as a producer for Public Radio International, working on a national daily news show called The Takeaway. Kristen Meinzer is an associate producer for The Takeaway and co-host of The Takeaway's Movie Date podcast
Hassan Melehy (Ph.D., CL, 1993) is Associate Professor of French and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He specializes in early modern French and comparative literature, contemporary critical theory, and film studies. He is the author of Writing Cogito: Montaigne, Descartes, and the Institution of the Modern Subject (SUNY Press, 1997), and The Poetics of Literary Transfer in Early Modern France and England, which is forthcoming in 2010 from Ashgate. He has also written numerous articles on early modern literature and philosophy, recent and contemporary critical theory, and film studies. Currently he is doing research on Jack Kerouac's Québécois cultural background and his role in recent Québécois literature. In addition to his critical writing, he also regularly publishes poetry.
His faculty profile with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at UNC Chapel Hill can be found here.
Kitty Millet (Ph.D., CL, 1996) is currently Associate Professor of Comparative Jewish Literatures at San Francisco State University; She shares an appointment between Jewish Studies, her tenure home, and Comparative and World Literature, her disciplinary home. Kitty is also an affiliate member of the departments of English, German, Spanish, Classics, Philosophy, French, Religious Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. Her most recent publications include “Caesura, Continuity, and Myth: The Stakes of Tethering the Holocaust to German Colonial Theory” in Colonial (Dis)-Continuities: Race, Holocaust, and Postwar Germany, eds. Langbehn and Salama (Columbia UP, 2011) and “Elie Wiesel’s Night –Dying in the Present Tense,” in On Death and Dying. Ed. Harold Bloom. (Chelsea House, 2009). She also has publications forthcoming on the figure of the victim in Mishnah and American literature; and Jean Améry's loss of transcendence.
Kathryn Milun (Ph.D., CL, 1993) created and directs the Solar Commons project , an innovative plan to place solar energy collectors in urban right of way and capture the wealth earned from electricity sales in a community trust that funds low-income housing. She is currently Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where she teaches a course on The New Commons. She is also a Fellow at On the Commons, a national organization devoted to reclaiming the commons. In addition to articles, she has written two books on the commons: the urban commons in modern city planning (Pathologies of Modern Space: Empty Space, Urban Anxiety and the Recovery of the Public Self Routledge 2006) ; and the global commons in international law (The Political Uncommons: A Cross-Cultural Study of the Global Commons forthcoming from Ashgate in 2010 ).
Negar Mottahedeh is Associate Professor of Literature and Women's Studies at Duke University, and she received her Ph.D. from CSDS in 1998. Her faculty page at Duke can be found here.
In her first book, Representing the Unpresentable: Historical Images of National Reform from the Qajars to the Islamic Republic of Iran, published in 2008, Professor Mottahedeh explores the central issues of vision and visibility in Iranian culture. She focuses on historical and literary texts to understand the use of visual culture in the production of the contemporary nation. Tracing the historical mediation and dissemination of ideas for national reform in the modern period of Iran, the book examines the various discourses that have constituted the image of the "Babi.”
Her most recent work can be found on her blog pages:
GiGi Mullins-Schrof (B.A., summa cum laude SCMC and Philosophy, 2008) recently returned to the U.S. from a faculty position in the Entertainment Media Program at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. At present, she is a 2009/10 recipient of a distinguished Graduate School Fellowship from the University of Minnesota, where she will complete her M.F.A. in Experimental and Media Arts in 2012.
GiGi is a resolutely independent filmmaker, and only the second woman since the silent film era to direct a feature-length Western, Turquoise. This award-winning film marked her feature directorial debut. Her screenplay Cosmic Radio, starring Michael Madsen, Seymour Cassel, and Wes Studi, was an Official Selection at the 2008 Palm Springs International Film Festival. GiGi has directed several narrative and documentary shorts, and her film work for The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is archived at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Several of her short film pieces can be viewed here: http://turquoisethemovie.com/gigimullins.htm.
A founding member of the Midwest-based Women in Media Arts and the Idyllwild Motion Picture Arts Cooperative in Southern California, GiGi currently sits on the Board of Directors for Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis. She is a published writer, a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the academic society Phi Kappa Phi, and has been a Partner in Hope with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital since 2000.
Immediately after graduation Zach Nichols (B.A., SCMC, 2008) took a position as a telemarketer, while considering a career in sales. After reflecting on his college filmmaking experience, however, he decided sales would not be the route he wanted to follow. Since deciding to strike out on more creative endeavors, he has worked as a production assistant on four local independent films, including “Four Boxes,” “Nobody,” “Stuck Between Stations,” and “Statue of David.”
He is currently supporting himself through freelance videography, editing, and visual effects, and is in the process of launching his own, as yet untitled, video services company. He is also 6 months into production of a feature length documentary titled: “American Folk: A Tale of Lehto & Wright.” The film follows a folk rock band as they attempt to balance real life with their musical careers.
Matthew Noble-Olson (B.A., 2004, SCMC) is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. His research interests include avant-garde and experimental cinema, modernity, lateness, melancholia, photography, and dialectical thought. He completed an M.A. in Communication Studies in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in the spring of 2008 under the direction of another CSCL alum, Jonathan Sterne. His M.A. Thesis was titled: "Images Never Again Witnessed/Concepts Never Again Thought: (nostalgia) and Utopia in the Aporia of Aesthetic Theory." This thesis focused on Hollis Frampton's 1971 film, (nostalgia) as a model for thinking through the aesthetic writings of Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, and Ernst Bloch. Recently, he co-organized the Providence Women's Film Festival at Brown University, which included over 40 films and spanned 115 years of cinematic history. In past lives he has thrown raves, written for leftist rags, and exhibited propaganda films. See Matthew’s Brown University Profile here.
John O’Kane (Ph.D., CL, 1988) teaches media and pop culture at the University of California-Irvine and edits and publishes AMASS, a magazine of mass culture, politics and society. John also contributes to the Huffington Post from time to time. John has published many articles and essays and poems in a variety of local and national magazines and journals. He just completed a book on the popular bohemia of Venice, CA, and is putting together a collection of essays on contemporary politics. John is also working on a novel about the 1950s.
John's Huffington Post blog and profile can be found here.
Jenni Olson (B.A., Film Studies, 1991) has been programming, researching, collecting, creating, and writing about lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) film since 1986 and is one of the world's leading experts on LGBT cinema history.
In 1995, Jenni was one of the co-founders of PlanetOut.com, where she established the queer movie resource and database PopcornQ, and launched the first showcase for LGBT streaming media, PlanetOut Online Cinema, as well as founding the PlanetOut Short Movie Awards. She is also very proud to be co-founder of the Queer Brunch at Sundance; the annual LGBT event she created in 1998 has grown to become the largest queer party at the Sundance Film Festival.
As a film collector and archivist Jenni’s historical movie trailer programs (including the ever-popular: Homo Promo which is now available on DVD) have been shown at film festivals around the world, as have her many short films and videos (Sometimes, Meep! Meep!, Blue Diary, Matzo Maidels, Blow Up, Sing Along San Francisco). Her debut feature film, The Joy of Life world premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and went on to play a pivotal role in renewing debate about the need for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as garnering praise from critics and audiences around the globe for its unique storytelling style.
In addition to her two decades of curatorial experience (including stints at the Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Francisco LGBT Film Festivals) Jenni has written extensively about LGBT film for such publications as The Advocate, Curve Magazine, Filmmaker Magazine, indieWIRE.com, PlanetOut.com and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Her coffee table tome, The Queer Movie Poster Book, was a 2005 Lambda Literary Award nominee. Jenni continues to advise and assist filmmakers on a variety of projects as well as spearheading such continuing LGBT filmmaker resources as the WolfeQueerFestDirectory and the PQProfessionals Yahoo and Facebook Groups.
Jenni has done extensive work as a film programmer and public speaker, as well as serving on numerous film festival juries, grants panels and screening committees. She is a founding member of the advisory board for Outfest’s Legacy Project for LGBT film preservation and also serves on the advisory board of Canyon Cinema, the esteemed experimental film distribution non-profit. Materials from her extensive personal archive of rare LGBT film prints have been utilized in many documentary film projects. She can be seen in several documentary films offering her perspectives on LGBT cinema history, most notably two documentaries on which she served as associate producer: Jodie: An Icon (a 1996 British Channel 4 exploration of Jodie Foster as an icon for lesbians) and more recently the IFC documentary, Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema.
Jenni’s most recent short film, 575 Castro St. premiered at Sundance and the Berlinale in early 2009 and has been making the rounds on the film festival circuit — it can also be seen online at FilmInFocus.com. She is currently in development on a new feature called, The Royal Road: or Get Me Guinevere Turner.
In 2007 Jenni was honored as “one of the Top Ten Amazing Women in Showbiz” by Power Up, the Los Angeles-based organization for gay women in the entertainment industry. In 2005 she received the Outfest Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, the NewFest Award for Best U.S. Screenplay and a commendation from the City and County of San Francisco in recognition of her groundbreaking experimental documentary, The Joy of Life. The San Francisco Film Critics Circle also honored her with the Marlon Riggs Award (awarded annually by to a member of the Bay Area film community for courage and innovation). More recently Jenni earned a spot (number 74 to be exact) on the TopHotButches.com list of the Top 100 Butches of 2009!
Jenni continues to champion LGBT cinema on a daily basis in her role as director of e-commerce at WolfeVideo.com. She lives in San Francisco with her partner, Julie and their two daughters, Hazel and Sylvie.
Rod Peyton (B.A., SCMC, 2007) is currently completing his M.F.A. as a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, CA. While at AFI, he has received the prestigious Joseph Stefano Award for Excellence in Screenwriting, been elected to the Fellows Advisory Committee, written seven feature films and five shorts (including the award-winning Revelations, and his thesis film, Stuck). He has also worked as a development intern with Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures.
Rod’s short film, …Please Press Three, has been seen on the Sci Fi Channel, Twin Cities Public Television, the Sundance Channel and at IFP’s Cinema Lounge. His short script The Reservoir was a finalist for IFP Minnesota’s Fresh Filmmakers Grant, where it was called “sad and terrifying,” and “a kick-ass script.” Currently, he is in pre-production on a feature horror film scheduled to shoot Fall 2011 on location in Indonesia.
Shelley Quiala (B.A., Summe Cum Laude, double major in Spanish and a self-designed study based in the disciplines of Cultural Studies, Sociology, and the Performing Arts, 2001) is the Director of Arts Education and Engagement at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She manages the Arts Education and Engagement Department staff of four, leading efforts in school performances, workshops, residencies, curriculum development, an annual festival, and professional development for teachers. She also creates and manages collaborative work with such partners as the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Public School Districts. Ms. Quiala is a member of the national network of Education Directors of Performing Arts Centers Consortium (EDPACC) and the Teaching Artist Journal Design Team, and represents the Ordway at the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program and the Wallace Foundation’s Excellence Awards, focusing on audience development and programmatic impact through long-term partnerships with colleges and universities. She is also a board member for the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), spearheading professional learning opportunities at the organization’s annual showcase.
Prior to her work at the Ordway, Ms. Quiala was a teaching artist and education coordinator for Teatro del Pueblo, a Latino theater company in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Thomas Roach (Ph.D., CSDS, 2006) is Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Bryant University. His research focuses on philosophical questions of subjectivity and community, as well as identity and difference. His dissertation, "Shared Estrangement: Foucault, Friendship, and AIDS Activism," develops the ontological and ethical implications of Michel Foucault's spare but suggestive writings on friendship to produce a new and politically viable concept-friendship as impersonal intimacy. He analyzes the value of this model for political movements such as ACT UP and the "AIDS Buddy" volunteer network as well as in cultural texts, including Hervé Guibert's fictionalized memoirs, the multimedia work of David Wojnarowicz, the sound collages of Bob Ostertag, and the video activist documentaries of Tom Joslin and Gregg Bordowitz.
He has published articles and essays on Foucault, Guibert, and Didier Eribon's Insult and the Making of the Gay Self in new formations and Theory & Event. He teaches Introduction to Philosophy, Studies in Film and Video, a senior seminar in Critical Theory, and soon to come, Sexuality and Culture.
Taken from his Bryant University faculty page here.
Mary Finn Shapiro (B.A., Humanities, 1978) is an intellectual property paralegal for Wells Fargo & Company. She was recently interviewed in the CSCL department’s magazine, Intersections. The mother of 3 children, Mary states that her personal life has always driven her professional life. Her first course in CSCL was a course on the Enlightenment with Richard Leppert. She later became his advisee and research assistant. When she professes about the importance of finding mentors in life, she says that, “Without him, I would have been a humanities major, but not such an avid one. That’s why I tell my kids, ‘Get a mentor.’”
See her interview in Intersections here.
Hans Sagan (B.A., CSCL, 1995) is the Graduate Director for the Department of Architecture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.
He is receiving his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California – Berkeley in 2013. His dissertation, “Specters of '68: Protest, Policing and Urban Space” investigates the role of the built environment in law enforcement and spatial control over political protest under neoliberalism. His teaching deals with urbanism, evidence-based design and architectural theory. His research investigates cities and spaces as cultural phenomena, based in specific social and economic contexts, critically examining both the practices of creation and using spaces and places. He has written about pre-modern Rome, 19th century Paris, 20th century Black Rock City and New York City, and 21st century Trinidad, Denver and St. Paul.
He received his Master of Arts in Communications Studies (with a certificate in Cultural Studies) from the University of North Carolina. His Bachelor of Arts degree is from the University of Minnesota in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Hans has taught Evidence-Based Design and Design Theory at the University of California, Urban Studies and Planning at San Francisco State University, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina, and Media Studies and Cultural History at Duke University.
Chuck Sheaffer earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota in 2003, where he studied cinema, philosophy, and poetics (and where he held the Harold Leonard fellowship in film study). Chuck began experimenting with super-8 cameras as a teenager, and after many years of focusing on the history and philosophy of cinema, Chuck has recently returned to making movies himself. His current activities include the directing of a short dramatic movie entitled Ulysses 2.0, the researching of a creative documentary on wildfire ecology, and collaboration on a feature-length screenplay entitled Cracking Silk. Chuck’s focus on film reflects a broad interest in the relation of creative intellect to civic and institutional coherence—an interest further cultivated through a thirteen-year stint with the U.S. government, where Chuck wrote policy for natural-resource management, designed websites for public outreach, and managed remote wildfires as a U.S. Forest Service Smokejumper for seven seasons. Chuck writes about cinema as an index to the articulation of civic ideals in all contexts (whether creative or institutional), and in addition to teaching film history at Cornish College of the Arts, he also teaches courses in technical communication as a lecturer at the University of Washington. (Chuck still spends time in the mountains, too—though he now travels by land rather than by parachute.)
Adapted from Chuck’s profile on the Cornish College of Arts website.
Scott Sherer (Ph.D., CSDS 2002) is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and Gallery Director of the University of Texas-San Antonio Art Gallery and Satellite Space. His interests include modern and postmodern visual art, performance, literature and intellectual history, curatorial practices, histories of sexuality and gender, theoretical and lived constructions of space, and the social and cultural roles of institutions.
Scott's University of Texas-San Antonio faculty profile can be found here.
Gauti Sigthorsson (Ph.D., CSDS 2004) is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Greenwich in London, England. His research interests include the history of digital culture, media practices, and the business of media and communication. A link to his faculty profile on the University of Greenwich website can be found here.
Most recently he contributed an essay titled "Narrative Commodity: deCODE Genetics and the Product to Come" to a volume on Use of Science and Technology in Business (Emerald Group, 2009). A recent article on "Sensation for Sensation's Sake: Affect and the Temptation of Wow!" first published in Sjonauki Art Magazine, and republished in the online magazine Alba, can be found here.
Julietta Singh earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota in 2009. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Richmond where she specializes in postcolonial studies, literary criticism, cultural theory, global feminisms, and literatures of diaspora and migration. She is currently working on her book project, The Edible Complex: Postcolonial Narrative and the Politics of Eating, which examines diverse literatures from Africa and South Asia to argue that the recurring figure of eating across a wide body of postcolonial literary texts functions as a fierce and specifically corporeal critique of the colonial and postcolonial nation-state.
Julietta's University of Richmond faculty page can be found here
Adam Sitze (Ph.D., CSDS 2003) is Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College. At the University of Minnesota, he was a MacArthur Scholar from 1996 to 2003. In 2002, he co-founded Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, an international organization devoted to the improvement of global access to medicine and health technologies developed in, and patented by, North American and European universities. At Amherst, he teaches courses on law and literature, psychoanalysis, colonial law, and philosophy of law. He has published essays in journals such as The South Atlantic Quarterly, American Imago, CR: New Centennial Review, Theory & Event, Theoria (Natal, South Africa), Pretexts (Cape Town, South Africa), English Studies in Africa, English Language Notes, Law and Critique, Law and Humanities, and Law, Culture, and the Humanities, and in edited volumes such as The Limits of Law (Stanford University Press, 2005), Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency (Stanford University Press, 2006), Violence/Nonviolence: African Perspectives (Routledge, 2007), and States of Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2009). In 2008-9, he was awarded an ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship in support of his research on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Most recently, he wrote the introduction for Carlo Galli’s Political Spaces and Global War (University of Minnesota Press, 2010).
Adam's Amherst College faculty page can be found here.
Hans Skott-Myhre (Ph.D., CSDS 2008) is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director for the department of Social Sciences at Brock University. Hans is an interdisciplinary cultural theorist whose primary research area is the development of models of child and youth work that promote new political possibilities for youth-adult collaboration that challenge global capitalist empire. His research includes the investigation of new forms of community, identity, body practices, and creative expression that hold potential for resistance or flight for youth and adults working towards common political purposes. As a cultural theorist he uses popular culture such as films, “zines”, posters, fashion, novels, and music in combination with academic texts to explore his research interests. He has a strong interest in qualitative research and holds a Ph.D. in Work Community and Family Education from the University of Minnesota with a dissertation that focused on globalization, punks and skinheads. His second doctorate, in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, focused on revolutionary subjectivity. He has taught in the areas of psychology, social work, youth studies, philosophy and cultural studies.
MA in Popular Culture
Child and Youth Studies
Christina (Phillippi) Smith (B.A., CSCL 1999) joined Phillippi Law Firm, LLC in Eden Prairie, MN as a Law Clerk in 2005, while she attended William Mitchell College of Law. After she passed the Bar in 2008, Christina became a partner in the firm. Christina is currently in the early stages of developing her own practice. She focuses on Wills, Trusts, Asset Titling, and Probate Administration, ERISA and Benefits Planning for people approaching retirement.
Jakki Spicer (Ph.D., CSDS, 2006) was born and raised in the Bay Area, but left for college and lived in Massachusetts, New York, and Minnesota for over 16 years. She returned to the Bay Area in 2006, and feels incredibly lucky to have made a home in Alameda.
Jakki has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years, and has written arts reviews for national and local publications, including ArtUS, Artweek, mnartists.org, Cultural Critique, the Alameda Patch, and the East Bay Express.
Jonathan Sterne graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature in 1993. He went on to earn his Ph.D. at the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He now is the Chair of the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal. To read the following profile in its original context, and to learn more about Jonathan's work, visit http://sterneworks.org/:
“Dr. Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and the History and Philosophy of Science Program at McGill University. His interests include sound, the history and philosophy of technology, cultural studies, music and digital media. His award-winning first book, The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke University Press, 2003—now in its third printing) considers late 19th century technologies like sound recording, telephony and radio as artifacts of a broader sound culture. The Audible Past rewrites the history of early sound reproduction, and argues for the centrality of sound to our understandings of modernity.
“Originally trained in cultural studies and continental philosophy, Sterne branched out into historical and documentary research. His work thus combines materials recovered from the esoteric world of archives and forgotten documents with big questions that cross disciplines, paradigms, and fashions. He strives for a balance of invention, recovery, vigor and humor in his work.
“In over 40 journal articles and book chapters, Sterne covers a wide range of issues in media, technology, and the politics of culture such as: Muzak as sonic architecture; histories of television networking technologies, trains and telegraphs; the racial politics of cyberculture; and the philosophy of computer trash.
“His next book, tentatively titled MP3: the Meaning of a Format, connected the cultural and institutional forces behind the development of the mp3 format in the 1980s and early 1990s with long-term trends in the development of telecommunications, psychoacoustics and cybernetics. The book is at once a study of the world's most common audio format (more recordings exist as mp3s than in any other format or medium) and a history of hearing in a media-saturated world.
“As a primary investigator and co-investigator, Sterne has supported his work (and the work of his graduate students) with grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
“Sterne has been online since 1982, and he has seen cyberspace evolve from a loose network of bulletin boards to the massive internet as we know it today. Since 1994, he has been involved in producing Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life, one of the longest continuously-running publication on the internet and precursor of the open-access publishing movement.
“In addition to writing for Bad Subjects and sometimes other alternative media outlets like Tape Op, Punk Planet, and Other Magazine, Sterne has occasionally been interviewed in mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times,Wired Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Toronto Star, La Presse, CBC, Fox News and National Public Radio. He has delivered over 60 invited lectures in 9 countries at some of the world's top universities.
“An innovative and award winning teacher, Sterne is equally at home in the seminar room and the lecture hall. He has taught over 3000 undergraduates in his career. He is committed to creative pedagogy in and out of the classroom and his courses have had substantial online content since the late 1990s.
“Sterne has played bass since he was 10 years old and has performed and recorded with several rock bands, a few jazz acts, and a school orchestra. An aspiring amateur audio engineer, he runs a small not-for-profit home studio.
“His most recent band, Lo-Boy, released their first CD in spring of 2003, and is mixing their second, as yet untitled album.”
Michelle Stewart (Ph.D., CSDS 2001) is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies in the School of Humanities at the State University of New York, Purchase. She recently accepted the chair position in the new Film and Media Studies department at Purchase, and the website can be viewed here.
Her areas of expertise include transnational cinema, postcolonial film, critical and cultural theory, critical media studies, politics and film, documentary film, race and representation, feminist film theory, popular music, and culture and globalization. Currently she is pursuing research in France for a new book project on media of migrants between North Africa and France.
Her dissertation, Sovereign Visions: Native North American Documentary, and recent co-edited volume, Global Indigenous Media examine the ways in which state policies promoting diversity have benefited Indigenous media artists, whose work has helped build support for constitutional rights, environmental justice, and cultural renewal.
Michelle's SUNY Purchase faculty page can be found here.
Ann Marie Stock (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1993), is currently a Professor of Hispanic Studies & Film Studies at the University of William & Mary.
Dr. Stock is a specialist in cultural studies and new media. In her scholarship, Dr. Stock analyzes the impact of globalization on local representation, the intersection of visual culture and sociopolitical transformation, and the role of film and media in identity formation. Grants from Mellon, MacArthur, NEH, Fulbright and Rockefeller have supported her research in Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico and elsewhere. She is the author of On Location in Cuba: Street Filmmaking during Times of Transition (UNC Press, 2009) and editor of Framing Latin American Cinema: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (University of Minnesota Press, 1997, 2009). Dr. Stock is the founder and director of Cuban Cinema Classics, an initiative that makes available subtitled Cuban documentaries in the U.S. She contributes her expertise as programmer and juror with film events including Sundance, Havana Film Festival of New York, and Cinergia (Costa Rica). During 2005-06 she was a Scholar in Residence at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research and a Researcher at the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) in Havana. At present, she serves as the Reves Faculty Fellow in International Student-Faculty Research at William and Mary, and Director of the College's Washington DC Program devoted to "New Media and Culture in the Nation's Capital" (Fall 2010).
John Stolle-McAllister earned his Ph.D. in CSDS from the University of Minnesota in 2000 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Cultural Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research analyzes the political and cultural work of local organizations and small communities in opposing outside projects and adapting national and global thought and practice to their particular contexts. He teaches classes on Latin American cultural issues, human rights, and ethnography. He has published several articles on social movements, the Mexican transition, and popular culture, and his book, Mexican Social Movements and the Transition to Democracy (McFarland, 2005), details the cultural processes in Tepoztlán's anti-golf course and Atenco's anti-airport movements. His current project involves examining and comparing the discourses of indigenous identity and pluriculturalism in social movements in Ecuador and Mexico.
Connor Stowe (B.A., magna cum laude, SCMC, Journalism, and Art History 2009) presently works as the Country Director for an organization called Rustic Pathways. They are a world leader in travel for teenagers, and run community service, adventure, language, and arts programs for students in over 20 countries on 6 continents. He oversees the operations of all matters related to India, including managing the in-country personnel, coordinating all communications, and directing new programs and initiatives as appropriate for the country.
In addition to this role, he also manages the company's Facebook page and oversees strategy for their online presence and identity. He is currently in the process of developing a film and video component for all of the company’s Indian operations in order to promote and advertise the amazing places that their clients can visit, assist through community service, and share with the rest of the world.
Steve Suppan (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1990) has been the Director of Research for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy since 1998. Suppan began to work at IATP in 1994 as a translator, editor, bulletin writer and program officer for western hemispheric trade policy. Suppan is IATP’s liaison to several governmental and intergovernmental organizations. From 1998 to 2003, he was IATP’s liaison to the Trade and Environnment Policy Advisory Committee of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Since 2002, he has been the U.S. co-chair of the trade working group of the TransAtlantic Consumers Dialogue. Since 2000 he has been IATP's main liaison to Consumers International and has served on several Consumers International delegations to the Codex Alimentarius Commission and to Codex committees. He has written extensively on food safety policy and on agricultural trade policy. Most recently, he has written a paper on structural reform in the Codex Alimentarius Commission for CI’s Decision Making in the Global Market project. Suppan has also represented IATP at meetings of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and was the NGO liaison to the U.S. government for the World Food Summit +5. He serves on the board of the Community Nutrition Institute.
Prior to his doctoral work at the University of Minnesota, Steve studied philosophy at the University of Vienna. Prior to coming to IATP, he was an assistant professor in the department of Romance languages at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Miguel Tamen (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1989) is a Visiting Professor of Portuguese Literature at the University of Chicago, and the Director of the Programa em Teoria da Literatura at the University of Lisbon. His interests include the philosophy of language, interpretation, and moral philosophy, as well as aesthetics. His first book won the Portuguese PEN Club Essay Award (1987). He is the author of six books, among which are Friends of Interpretable Objects (Harvard UP, 2001) and The Matter of the Facts (Stanford UP, 2000). He has two more books, which are forthcoming.
Miguel's faculty page at the University of Chicago can be found here.
Dr. John Troyer completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society in 2006 and is currently the RCUK Research Fellow with the Center for Death and Society (CDAS) at the University of Bath in England. His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled "Technologies of the Human Corpse, " was awarded the University of Minnesota's 2006 Best Dissertation Award in the Arts and Humanities. Within the field of death studies, John focuses on delineating and defining the concept of the dead human subject. He believes that his research on death and dying, coupled with a cultural studies approach to understanding the global history of science and technology, advances the public and academic mission of the CDAS.
He has also co-founded the Death Reference Desk research website, which aims to consolidate in one place the best the web and your local libraries have to offer on death and dying studies. Current and future resources include:
The BBC recently interviewed him in conjunction with a piece on assisted death in the UK. That video can be found here.
John's University of Bath profile can be found here.
Jean Van Delinder (B.A., Humanities 1978) is a Professor of Sociology and the Interim Associate Graduate Dean at Oklahoma State University. She continued her education at the University of Kansas (M.A. in American Studies and Ph.D. in Sociology). The long-standing focus of her work is in how agency and resistance to oppression is structured by gender, race and ethnicity. Her recent book, Struggles before Brown: Early Civil Rights Protests and Their Significance Today examines the under-theorized oppression and protests in the Midwest just before and during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
In other work, she has examined obstacles Native Americans face in coping with chronic disease in Oklahoma. Other work examines hidden systems of gender oppression in modern India. In still other research, she has explored how broad social processes, such as economic rationalization shaped specific art forms, such as modern ballet, and influenced the aesthetic of women’s bodies in contemporary dance. Her most recent research is funded by the National Science Foundation and examines the challenges women encounter in academic science and engineering careers.
Elizabeth Walden (Ph.D., Comparative Literature 1999) is Associate Professor of English and Cultural studies at Bryant University. Her current work focuses on the senses and cinematic representation, and the failure of new philosophies of emotion to address the social conditions of the tension between thinking and feeling.
Her essay "Design by Other Means: Terence Malik's The Thin Red Line" appeared in Design and Culture in 2009. An earlier essay on "Cultural Studies and the Ethics of Everyday Life,” appearing in the journal Culture Machine, can be found here.
Elizabeth's Bryant University web page can be found here.
Lesley completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1996. She spent a year as an Ahmanson-Getty Fellow at UCLA and then went to Indiana University, South Bend in the fall of 1997. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Foreign Language department, teaching all levels of French language, literature, and culture. She has taught courses on the French Revolution, focusing on the history and literature of the period and its later representations in film, and a team-taught course, which included a study-trip to London and Paris. She also has a continuing interest in cinema and African literature, and has developed new courses at Indiana in these areas.
Lesley's research interests are in 18th century French studies, especially women's art and literature. Her book A Mother's Love: Crafting Feminine Virtue in Enlightenment France was published in 2008.
Lesley's Faculty page at Indiana University-South Bend can be found here.
Alex Wefel (B.A., Cultural Studies and SCMC 2007) started working for Supervalu the summer of the year he graduated from the U of M. Like most college grads, Alex really didn’t know what he wanted to do, so he signed up with a temp agency and received an assignment at Supervalu. At the end of 2007 he was offered a full time position in the General Merchandise New Item Setup division of Procurement.
Over the next couple years Alex was given increasing responsibilities and his own team. He is currently a Data Management Supervisor in charge of the General Merchandise New Item Setup team. He also works on the Price Synchronization team to spearhead initiatives for getting vendors and brokers on board for price syncing.
Even though there doesn’t seem to be an immediate connection between a CSCL degree and being a Data Management Supervisor, Alex says that the knowledge he acquired as a CSCL student has had a tremendous impact on his career. The classes he took allowed him to think about different issues and scenarios in ways he never imagined he would be able to prior to his time at the University.
Margie Weinstein (Ph.D., CSDS 2008), Manager of Education Initiatives at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, creates and organizes all public programs for adult audiences. She also assists the Associate Director with long-term planning, and is building a network of academic partners at New York City universities to foster collaboration between the Museum and academic institutions. Margie began working at the Whitney in 2003, became Coordinator of Adult Public Programs in summer 2005, and then moved into her current position in fall 2008.
As a graduate student in Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota, Craig Wilkins was struck by how people define space at hip hop raves. In the midst of dance, human presence defines architecture, not the other way around.
An avid dancer, Wilkins hung out at raves in the Minneapolis area when Prince was rising in popularity. He was fascinated with how music and dancing creates an identity and function for space.
“No matter how many different kinds of people come to a rave, there's a moment in that rave where everybody's on the same page. Everybody's in the same place, whether that place is in a warehouse, an open field… I'm like, man that's a phenomenal, wonderful thing. Are there any other ways that can happen? How might I be able to make that architectural? Basically what architects do is shape space. If music can help create space and can help create identity, what kind of identity would a hip hop space make?”
Fast forward 20 years, Wilkins is in Detroit, a professor of architecture at the University of Michigan and the director of the university's Detroit Community Design Center. He dances less, but retains an appreciation of hip hop and the notion that human activity defines architecture, not the other way around.
Wilkins, an African American in a field representing few like him, has combined his hip hop ideas with mentoring young African-American students in an innovative book, “The Aesthetics of Equity,” published last year by the University of Minnesota Press. A manifesto on hip hop architecture for professionals and students that challenges the traditional view of architecture and its inclusion of African Americans, the book is written in two voices - that of a scholar and a student. The hip-hop sections tend to be shorter and wittier, but no less complete than the academic sections, written in proper scholarly rhetoric.
Born in the poverty of the Bronx, “hip hop culture has taken things considered garbage, has rescued them and taken things that have been considered dispensable and made them indispensable,” he says. The use of turntables and scratchy LPs, at a time when CDs were defining recorded sound, became a laboratory of sound. “What they did was rescue the turntable, and they used it in a way that it was not designed for. The turntable is a passive instrument. You play a record on it. They used in a diametrically opposed way. It's an active instrument now.”
Culturally, hip hop created an avenue for "dispensable" people to become "indispensable.” To get out of the Bronx, “you either had to be shockingly brilliant, which is almost impossible to do with the quality of the schools, or you had to be physically talented; you had to be a basketball player, a football player, something. … Hip hop changed the rules. You could take a cassette player, go in the basement of your parent's house and rap all day, come out and sell it and become an entrepreneur. And eventually you sell it to a record company and how you become a recording artist. From there you become yet another kind of entrepreneur.”
Wilkins reasons that you can also make "dispensable" material "indispensable" in architecture. “(Hip hop) had huge possibilities in terms of sustainability … If it can be realized, it is groundbreaking. It would bring together all of the things I want to do in my architectural career — not only doing aesthetically pleasing work but do work that means something beyond the fact that it is a beautiful object; it addresses a critical, meaningful concern.
“We don't bulldoze buildings like we used to, because that just creates waste. We now deconstruct buildings so we can those materials again. The entire argument for sustainability comes out of the hip hop mentality. What sustainability is about is using things in an efficient manner, rethinking how material gets used and how material gets made.
“What we've come to understand about space is a very Cartesian (philosopher Rene Descartes) view of space - this wide, that long...that abstract notion of space. Hip hop space is not like that at all. Hip hop space is a space that only becomes a space when people are in it; when people interact with it.
“How do we know we are in a classroom? From a Lockean (philosopher John Locke) perspective, we know we're in four walls that have defined the space… from a hip hop perspective, those things don't matter. The reason you know you're in a classroom is because there is a teacher and a student and they are interacting...and that teacher, in that interaction, can become the student, as the student can become a teacher.”
Wilkins' connection between architecture and music is both traditional and innovative, says Kenneth Crutcher, president of the Detroit Chapter of the National Organization for Minority Architects and adjunct lecturer at Lawrence Technological University. Architecture, he says, has been referred to as "frozen music.” What's different is that Wilkins says hip hop not only defines the artistic appearance of a structure, but the function of its design. Most significant, hip hop "is an African American invention.” Our perception of space and aesthetics are based on Western tradition, he says, concurring with Wilkins. “To apply an African American art form like hip hop to architecture is significant.”
Crutcher, whose architecture firm, Crutcher Studio, designed Lola's restaurant in Harmony Park/Paradise Valley, says that hip hop has permeated culture on all levels and has become a universal music genre. Many architects have drawn their ideas from hip hop, though few may have noticed. “Some of their edgy styles and use of raw materials, whether they admit it or not, (has) urban feel, urban character.”
As an educator, Crutcher also appreciates Wilkins' effort to write the book in a student dialect. Chapter 4, “Space-Action,” is required reading in his design studio. The concept of space being taught when he was a student was not something familiar to Crutcher's experience growing up in Detroit. “There was no translation. You had to do a lot of reading and some of it didn't make sense" Wilkins explains that "this is what the professor will say to you and this is what he's really saying.”
In the "Remix" section of Chapter 4, Wilkins writes: "So dig. There is another way of looking at space, eh? Who knew? Actually, there is a shit load of ways, but first, let's look at ol' Lockey (John Locke) boy again. He really believes that the only way we can know space is to touch it or see it. That's an interesting point - but is that really true?”
Although Wilkins' book is directed to African American students and colleagues, it has a universal quality. “A lot of the themes I talk about in the book are beyond people of color,” he says.
“When you talk about the way in which we are taught to see the world … it allows for certain things to happen and it excludes certain things. When I talk about looking at space as designers - not from an abstract perspective but from an engaged perspective, a real perspective that puts people at the center of the creation of space, not on the periphery of the space, that transcends color; it has nothing to do with color.
“What it comes down to, as a designer, what do you think your responsibility is? Is it to the form of the building or the people who inhabit it? Is it to the client who pays for the building or is it society that has to interact with that building? Those things have no color.”
If architecture abruptly changes, like break dancing, this could be a moment where "a rupture in the dance is necessary says Wilkins. “The old solutions no longer apply. Our problems at this time are different. Architecture should be about that, about responding to society now, all of society, for the future.”
In a place like Detroit, where there hasn't been much building going on lately, and many questions loom about its economic and social future, Craig Wilkins projects a street-smart prophetic vision: "Let's get started … It's gonna be a lil' sumpin' sumpin' special.”
This article can be seen in its original context at http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/wilkins19109.aspx .
Craig was recently the recipient of a 2010 Kresge Artist Fellowship in the Literary and Performing Arts. For more information please go to: www.kresgeartsindetroit.org
Wei Zhang (Ph.D., Comparative Literature, 1995) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. Previously Dr. Zhang taught at the Victorian University of New Zealand and Minnesota State University-Mankato. Her teaching interests include Asian religions, eastern philosophy, and east-west comparative philosophy. Her most recent undergraduate courses include “Buddhism—Truths and Paths” and “Introducing Chinese Religions;” recent graduate seminars include “Buddhist Ethics,” “Buddhism and Postmodernism,” and “Daoism and Chinese Medicine.”
Dr. Zhang's scholarship focuses on Daoist traditions, Chinese religious and metaphysical medicine, and Mahayana Buddhist commentarial traditions. Her articles have appeared in Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, The Virginia Review of Asian Studies, and Journal of Chinese Philosophy. Her first book, Heidegger, Rorty and Eastern Thinkers – A Hermeneutics of Cross-Cultural Understanding was published by The State University of New York Press (SUNY) in 2006. Her second book, What is Enlightenment—Can China Answer Kant's Question? is forthcoming from the SUNY press as well.
Dr. Zhang's faculty profile at the University of South Florida can be found here.