Elinor Amit, Psychology
Pictures and words are everywhere. We watch television; read newspapers and books; talk on the phone; send email and post pictures and written comments on Facebook. Pictures and words are also in our minds. We can picture an upcoming vacation in our "mind's eye,” or use our “mind’s mouth” to make a list of things we need to pack. How does visual versus verbal thinking affect our beliefs, expectations, judgments and behavior? My research aims to understand the nature and distinctive influences of visual and verbal thought.
Nicholas Aramovich, Psychology
My primary research interest is to understand decision making and problem solving by small groups and teams. My research has investigated how group members' initial solution preferences affect the processes that groups use to solve a particular problem, how well they perform, and how much their members learn in the process. Other research has investigated personal factors and emotional reactions associated with resisting majority influence and whether working as a group can help people overcome the performance pressures and deficits that occur when they face negative stereotypes about their ability.
Daniel Bowles, Germanic Languages and Literatures
As a Germanist, I am interested in the literatures, films, and cultures of Germany that raise questions of genre, gender, and their reciprocal effect on one another. My specialities include postwar German-language fiction, satire, semiotics, and the history of queerness, but I am also fascinated by the relationship among theater/opera, femininity, and nationhood in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. At present I'm preparing a book manuscript on the legacy of satirical writing practices in German literature and theoretical discourses since 1950. My translations of two novels by contemporary author Thomas Meinecke, Tomboy and Pale Blue, appeared in 2011 and 2012.
Jennifer Carballo, Anthropology
I specialize in the prehistory of Mexico, with particular focus on the origins of inequality, the sociopolitical dynamics of early villages and cities, interregional interaction and exchange, issues of gender and social identity, as well as the archaeological analysis of households and ceramics. My current research looks at the earliest villages of central Tlaxcala, Mexico, which were inhabited during an important period of increasing sociopolitical complexity prior to the appearance of the first cities and states in Mesoamerica.
Kahlil Chaar-Pérez, Romance Languages and Literatures
My interests are nineteenth and twentieth-century Caribbean literatures and cultures, colonial and transatlantic studies, and modern intellectual history. My current research focuses on Cuba and Puerto Rico, which were Spain's last two colonies in the Western Hemisphere. I examine the different ways in which Cuban and Puerto Rican intellectuals represented and contested Spanish colonialism, as they negotiated with colonial society and foreign cultural and political worlds in both sides of the Atlantic.
Scott Edwards, Music
My research focuses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century musical repertories and their modes of transmission in light of the movements of people. The central European territories of the Holy Roman Empire afford a unique opportunity to examine several concurrent processes of cultural transformation, thanks to their multi-ethnic, multi-confessional societies during this period. When the seat of the Holy Roman Empire was transferred from Vienna to Prague in the late sixteenth century, this Bohemian city was not only transformed into a highly influential center of European power without parallel in the early modern world, but also came to function as one pole in a multi-directional network of international musical exchange and cultural production that linked central Europe to the Low Lands and the Italian peninsula in new ways. I am interested in how social internationalization, as seen through the lenses of immigration, developing trade routes, diasporas, and patterns of traveling, contributed to transformations in musical tastes and practices.
Brenda Frazier, Human Evolutionary Biology
My research investigates the relationship between cranial size and shape through development of an organism as well as over evolutionary time. As an anthropologist, my organisms of interest are primates, both human and non-human.
Katherine Gustafson, English
I specialize in British literature of the long eighteenth-century and Romantic-era, with particular interests in the development of the novel and children’s literature, the history of publishing and readership, and the role of literature in mediating social formations. My book project, "Coming of Age in the Eighteenth-Century Novel," argues that the eighteenth-century novel evolved in dynamic response to changing ideas about adolescence and adolescent reading practices. I am also currently working on an edition of William Godwin’s children’s books for "Romantic Circles," a project that will make the (often overlooked) children’s literature of this seminal eighteenth-century political philosopher more widely available to scholars.
[No Photo Available]: Edward Hubbard, Anthropology
[No Photo Available]: Sarah Insley, Classics
Kellie Carter Jackson, African and African American Studies
My research focuses on black abolitionists and violent political discourse before the Civil War. My dissertation, “Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence, 1850-1861,” examines the political and social tensions preceding the American Civil War and the conditions that led some black abolitionists to believe that slavery might only be abolished by force. My research/teaching interests include African American history, slavery and emancipation in the Atlantic world, and violence and political discourse.
Jihyeon Jeong, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
My research and teaching interests lie in the fields of international relations and comparative politics, with specialization in the politics of China and North Korea, authoritarian institutions, and ethnic politics. My recent work has been focused on public goods provision and fiscal capacity in authoritarian regimes. I am currently working on a book project entitled, “Risky Neighbors and Co-Ethnic Groups: the Political Logic of Fiscal Grants in China.”
L. Julie Jiang, Linguistics
As a linguist, my research interests lie primarily in syntax, semantics, language universals and cross-linguistic variation. I am particularly interested in theoretical approaches to the study of Chinese languages, including Chinese dialects, minority languages, and sign languages. More broadly, I am interested in parametric approaches to the study of comparative grammar, with a special focus on Asian languages.
Matthew Landauer, Social Studies
My primary research interests include ancient political theory; questions surrounding rhetoric and advice across political contexts; theories of accountability; and contemporary democratic theory. My dissertation offered a new reading of Athenian democracy, focusing on the connection between the politics of accountability and the dynamics of political advice. This year, I will be working on "popular unaccountability" - the unaccountability of ordinary citizens voting for candidates, legislating through referenda, and serving on juries – in contemporary democracies. I am interested in exploring the role of these nodes of unaccountability, how popular unaccountability can be justified, and the potential challenges and problems popular unaccountability might entail.
Justin Lehmiller, Psychology
I am a social psychologist by training with research interests that span the areas of relationships, sexuality, and prejudice. To date, most of my work has focused on understanding how stigmatization and secrecy in the context of romantic relationships impacts the personal health of the partners involved as well as the quality and stability of the relationship over time. My other areas of active research include safer-sex practices in casual relationships and the antecedents and consequences of prejudice against sexual minorities.
Keridwen Luis, Women, Gender, and Sexuality
My main areas of interest range from culture and gender theory to folklore, community studies, and medical anthropology, and focus particularly on the body, identity, and personhood. My dissertation examined gender and the creation of culture in women's intentional communities. I am currently engaged in a project called “Fan Bodies and Fan Performance: Community, Identity, and Intersecting Selves," which explores the intersections between fandom and other identities such as queerness/sexuality, gender, race, dis/ability, and other embodied selves. I am interviewing people about their identities, body performativity, and experience in fan communities, asking questions such as, how do fandom performances intersect with gender performances? How do they intersect with queer performances and raced bodies?
Christine Ma, Psychology
I'm a cultural psychologist by training, and my current research focuses on the effect of religion and science on moral behavior. My past work has specialized in the areas of emotion, physiological self-perception, terror management processes, and group perception. I take a multi-method approach to my research, relying on surveys, physiological measures, virtual environments, and behavioral observations.
Laura Magnotti, Molecular and Cellular Biology
My current research is focused on locating new sources of neural stem cells (NSCs) that have therapeutic potential. NSCs have previously been isolated from regions of the central nervous system that are essential to normal brain function and are difficult to access surgically. In contrast, the filum terminale is a vestigial structure at the caudal end of the spinal cord that is easily accessible through surgery and plays no functional role in the postnatal nervous system, which makes it a potential source of autologous NSCs for therapeutic use. My project involves isolating NSCs from the filum terminale of rats and humans and culturing them under conditions that promote their differentiation into dopaminergic neurons.
Andreea Marculescu, Romance Languages and Literatures
I am also an ACLS New Faculty Fellow. My areas of interest include late medieval Christianity (in particular, witchcraft, demonic possession, and magic) and its connections with medieval medicine and literature (especially drama). In my current book project, titled The Ethics and Politics of Demonic Possession in Medieval French Drama, I analyze how the possessed person in theater is subjectified by the hegemonic discourse about demonic possession and how we can reach at the voice of the possessed and account for his or her suffering. I have published several articles on theater and witchcraft in both North American and European journals such as Studies in Early Modern France, Critique, Renaissance and Reformation, Mediaevalia.
Carla Martin, African and African American Studies
I am currently researching and writing on two different projects, one focused on language, music, and digital media in the former Portuguese colonies and the other on the politics of cacao and chocolate in Africa and North America. This interdisciplinary work brings together theory and methodology from the fields of social anthropology, history, ethnomusicology, and linguistics to investigate language inequality, music creation and performance, Creole studies, food studies, race, gender, and sexuality, popular culture and media, the politics of representation, anthropological ethics, education, digital humanities, and applied scholarship. My regional interests include Africa, especially Cape Verde and formerly Portuguese Africa, the Lusophone world, the African diaspora, North America, and South Asia. For more details, please visit my website.
Mariko Moher, Psychology
I am broadly interested in memory and its development. How do infants keep track of multiple items or events at once, and what can they remember about these items? Once they have these items in memory, what sorts of manipulations or transformations can be performed? Exploring the early capabilities and limitations of memory can lend insight into the basic foundations of the human mind, and I work with both infants and adults to explore what might be common across the lifespan.
Nicole Noll, Psychology
I take a social cognition approach to studying automatic social behaviors, including how they develop and change. In my research, I study how physical actions, such as nodding one's head or making a fist, influence attitudes and behavior. I am interested in how styles of behavior (e.g., confident vs. tentative) influence how we interpret situations and how others view us. In a representative current project, I am investigating the ways in which gender-typical vs. gender-atypical postures affect individuals' self-perception and behavior.
Cassandra Wolos Pattanayak, Statistics
My research focuses on causal inference with applications to social science and medicine; specifically, I am interested in public health, education, and law. I extend and apply causal methods by emphasizing balance on observed covariates in randomized and non-randomized studies. I am designing several studies that create covariate balance via propensity score matching or subclassification and developing estimation methods appropriate for these designs. I am part of a collaboration with Harvard Law School that is running a series of randomized experiments designed to evaluate the effectiveness of legal aid programs.
Shawn Ramirez, Government
I specialize in conflict, peace and security studies. My work focuses on the role of power-sharing rules and diplomacy in war and peacemaking. My current book project, Diplomacy and the Legitimacy of Peace Agreements, uses formal theory, statistical and experimental methods, and field research to understand why leaders choose to bargain publicly, privately or use adjudication processes when managing crises, when do talks break down or succeed, and what can make unpopular agreements acceptable to the public. My other projects examine the effect of rebel and insurgent military strategy on post-conflict health, and the effects of network structures in terrorism and conflict.
Lawrence Ian Reed, Psychology
I am interested in both basic and clinical research in the area of emotion. My basic research interests are informed by evolutionary theory and focus on the social and communicative functions of facial expressions. Clinically, I am interested in emotional experiences in patients with borderline personality disorder.
Meredith Reiches, Human Evolutionary Biology
I am interested in human reproductive ecology, the role of environment and behavior in human reproduction. The emphasis of my research is on the adolescent life history transition, the time at which bodies shift their major energy allocations from linear growth to reproductive function. I'm fascinated broadly by the life history patterns and tradeoffs that characterize human breeding communities, particularly communities under energetic stress, such as the West African agriculturalist population where I have done field work. In addition, my work touches on intersections between women, gender, and sexuality studies, life history as it appears in literature, and evolution.
Bronwyn Roantree, Religion
My work is situated at the intersection of religion and international politics. Previous work queried the proper place of religion in the public sphere through an examination of three cases before the European Court of Human Rights involving limitations on religious freedom. Current research interests include the regulation of religious dress in public spaces and the role of religion in public education.
Steven Rozenski, English
I study late-medieval devotional and mystical literature, particularly German, Dutch, and English texts and their international transmission and translation. In 2010 I published a translation of the verse autobiography of the fifteenth-century German singer and composer Johannes von Soest, and I have also written about late-medieval aural culture, manuscript illumination, and bridal mysticism. My current project is a study of the reception of the fourteenth-century German Dominican Henry Suso.
Harpreet Singh, South Asian Studies
I specialize in the comparative study of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities in South Asia. My teaching responsibilities at Harvard have ranged from introductory courses on South Asian religions to advanced courses on religious nationalism and literary cultures. I am also interested in the ways in which emerging technologies are in the process of transforming education, which led me to co-found the Academic Room, a next-generation social platform to democratize access to educational resources and help scholars disseminate their research to a worldwide audience. I also co-founded the Sikh Coalition—the largest Sikh civil rights organization in North America—in the wake of hate crimes against Sikh-Americans after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Brian Stewart, Anthropology
I am a Paleolithic archaeologist with a specialization in southern African prehistory. My primary interest is in exploring how prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies organized their activities and relationships in space, both within individual campsites and across regional landscapes. My current research concerns the evolution of "landscape learning" and flexible foraging strategies among modern humans. To address this, I am investigating and comparing early modern human adaptive responses to two challenging environments in southern Africa – the Lesotho Highlands and the Namaqualand coastal desert – through the integration of rockshelter excavations and landscape surveys.
[No Photo Available]: Justin Stover, Classics
Farida Tcherkassova, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Joshua Wakeham, Sociology
My research examines how the demands of organizational life shape the way people think about and respond to complex and morally ambiguous problems. Drawing on fieldwork at several organizations dealing with young criminals, I am interested in how professionals with very different understandings of a problem must work together to define the problem and negotiate its solution. More broadly, my research and teaching interests include: organizations, knowledge and cognition, juvenile justice, social services, justice and morality, law, crime and deviance, and social theory.
Karen Zumhagen-Yekple, Comparative Literature
I work in European, British, American and Latin-American literature and film of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on modernism, its afterlife in global literature, and the relationship between philosophy and literature. My current book project deals with the ethics of enigma in the modernist puzzle text, looking primarily at works by Wittgenstein, Joyce, Woolf and Kafka and the unorthodox modern narratives of quest and conversion that resonate in their writing. I am also co-editor of a collection of essays entitled Wittgenstein and Modernism, and have begun work on a project that examines the legacy of modernism’s absorption in riddles and transformative longing in the work of J.M. Coetzee and Ricardo Piglia.