2013-2014 College Fellows

Elinor AmitElinor 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.

Jennifer CarballoJennifer 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-PerezKahlil 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.

Lianbin Dai, East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Scott EdwardsScott 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.

[No Photo Available]:  Ian Fleishman, Germanic Languages and Literatures

Katherine GustafsonKatherine 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.

Albertus HorstingAlbertus Horsting, Classics

I study the Greek and Latin literature of early Christianity, particularly the traditions of didactic poetry and the legacy of Augustine of Hippo. I am also interested in the Medieval transmission and reception of patristic literature and the place of anthologies in the formation of canons. I have prepared the first critical edition of Prosper of Aquitaine's book of epigrams on the teachings of St Augustine (to be published in the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum), one of the most popular attempts to distinguish Augustine by gathering together brief statements (sententiae) from the vast ocean of Augustine’s writings and fashioning verse renderings of them. His poetical synthesis of Augustine's doctrines determined the contours of Augustinian exegesis for centuries to come.

[No Photo Available]:  Amrita Ibrahim, Anthropology

I am an anthropologist of media and visual culture, with a particular focus on television news and journalism and its relationship to politics and the state in India. My research explores the circulatory force of Hindi television news as a form of storytelling, in which language and visual culture draws heavily on provincial narrative genres and iconic images. Through these sensational and spectacular forms of publicity, Hindi news has drawn small town media genres and their publics into national visibility, generating encounters between seemingly segregated cosmopolitan and vernacular publics. These new encounters are often the grounds on which we see individuals and communities striving for recognition and acknowledgment in national public spaces.

Kellie Carter JacksonKellie 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.

Sohini KarSohini Kar, Anthropology

My research and teaching interests center on the intersection of political economy--especially development and finance--with the everyday ethics of kinship, community, and gender in urban India. I am currently working on a book project that ethnographically traces how lenders and borrowers of microfinance in the city of Kolkata negotiate the often-divergent ethics of financial sustainability and locally constituted obligations of social relationships. 

Sasha KimelSasha Kimel, Psychology

My primary line of research focuses on reducing intergroup conflict and improving intergroup interactions. In order  to create psychologically plausible interventions that have cross-cultural relevance, I also explore the underlying psychological mechanisms involved in these interactions and how these vary by culture. By targeting meaningful real-world situations (e.g. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), my research endeavors not only to advance theories within the academic community but also to create real-world change. For more info, please visit my website: http://scholar.harvard.edu/kimel/

Matthew LandauerMatthew Landauer, Government

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 LehmillerJustin 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. 

Shenghai LiShenghai Li, South Asian Studies

My study and research fall within the general areas of philosophy, religion, and literature of India and Tibet. As an ACLS New Faculty Fellow, I offer courses in Indian religions and Buddhist philosophy and literature in both the Department of South Asian Studies and the Committee on the Study of Religion. My book project explores new ways of studying classical Indian Buddhism through the theoretical angle of scripture. In 2013–4, I am working on several research papers to examine the role of hermeneutics in Buddhist philosophical writings.

Florin LeonteFlorin Leonte, Classics

I am a Byzantinist broadly interested in the connections between medieval rhetoric, ideologies, and society. My focus is on the interactions between scholars, ecclesiastics, and high ranking state officials in fourteenth and fifteenth century Byzantium. My forthcoming book will deal with the construction of a particular kind of imperial authority in the rhetorical texts of a late Byzantine emperor. In addition, my other projects use various collections of medieval Greek letters to reconstruct local and transnational social networks.

Viktoriia LiublinskaViktoriia Liublinska, Statistics

I work on developing a set of rigorous methods to perform sensitivity analyses of conclusions obtained from empirical studies with partially missing data. The methods are applicable to a wide range of problems, and I am especially focusing on medical, social science and education fields. I also collaborate with scientists at NYU School of Medicine on numerous applied projects that involve biomedical research, carrying out study design, protocol development, power calculation, statistical analyses and their interpretation. Finally, I am interested in improving current techniques of teaching statistics and looking for novel approaches to engage students and make the subject even more fun and exciting, while maintaining the necessary level of rigor.

Keridwen LuisKeridwen 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?

Andreea MarculescuAndreea 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 FranceCritiqueRenaissance and Reformation, Mediaevalia.

Carla MartinCarla 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.

Stephanie MeredithStephanie Meredith, Human Evolutionary Biology

I study the development of social behavior in non-human primates. I focus specifically on the development of behavioral sex differences in non-human primates because I am interested in being able to make data-based inferences about evolution of human sex-typed behavior. My past work has focused on wild ring-tailed lemurs in southwestern Madagascar, and I am currently working to expand my taxonomic focus to include wild baboons in Ethiopia.

Andreea NicolaeAndreea Nicolae, Linguistics

As a linguist, my research focuses mostly on theoretical work in semantics, and its interfaces with syntax and pragmatics.  I am particularly intrigued by expressions and constructions whose analysis lies at the intersection of these areas given that my starting hypothesis is that natural language is compositional. Currently I am looking at the polarity system of indefinites and how that can be used to inform our theoretical understanding of the semantics of questions. 

Lawrence Ian ReedLawrence 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.

Nicole RosaNicole Rosa, Psychology

As a social developmental psychologist, I am interested in factors that contribute to healthier aging and tools that may protect or aid memory as we age.  Most of my research has focused on the role of self and other in accurate and false memory.  I have examined how aging, cognitive impairment, gender and self-esteem affect the benefits from self and other in both younger and older adults.  I am also interested in disability studies and have been exploring the ways in which disability education can be integrated into psychology.

Steven RozenskiSteven 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. 

Lara DurgavichLara Saipe Durgavich, Human Evolutionary Biology

Allison SeitchikAllison Seitchik, Psychology

My primary research interest is in motivation and performance. My research has focused on how social threat influences motivation and, subsequently, performance. Currently, I am interested in developing interventions to overcome social threat performance effects, especially in relation to reducing the gender gap in STEM-related fields. I am also interested in how implicit biases and stereotypes may influence performance in and motivation to enter and stay in STEM-related fields.

Harpreet SinghHarpreet 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.

Farida TcherkassovaFarida Tcherkassova, Slavic Languages and Literatures

I consider myself a philologist in the traditional sense, i.e. a scholar who studies the intersections of language and history through the close reading of literary texts. However I try to combine this methodology both with an awareness of the texts’ philosophical dimensions and also of their place in concrete lives. This synthetic approach is evident in my dissertation on Mikhail Kuzmin (1872-1936), a wide-ranging cultural figure from the period of cultural flowering known as the Silver Age. I am also interested in the literary history of the Russian emigration. I have co-edited a volume of letters by Konstantin Bal’mont to his lover Dagmar Shakhovskaia which should appear in Moscow (in Russian) this year.

[No Photo Available]:  Don Tontiplaphol, Social Studies

Yvona Trnka-AmrheinYvona Trnka-Amrhein, Classics

My research focuses on Ancient Greek prose, mainly prose fiction and biography. I am interested in the borders of prose genres and the interplay of history and fiction in prose texts, especially accounts of kings and divinities. I also study the complex interactions between Egyptian, Greek, and Roman culture in Greco-Roman Egypt. This work involves papyrology, Demotic Egyptian literature, and the material culture of cities and towns in Egypt.

Kris-Stella TrumpKris-Stella Trump, Government

My main research interests are political psychology, comparative political behavior, and the functioning of democratic systems. I am particularly interested in social cognition and the application of social psychology to questions in political science. I am currently working on a book project about how income inequality affects our perceptions of fairness in income differences.

Joshua WakehamJoshua 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.

Katie ZinkKatie Zink, Human Evolutionary Biology

My research primarily focuses on cranio-dental morphology and the functional integration of the masticatory complex. In particular, I am interested in understanding how the advent and increasing use of food processing techniques has shaped hominin skulls and dentition. Have you ever wondered why you have such small teeth and jaws? Or why you spend so much money at the dentist/orthodontic office? To address these questions, I am using animal and human experimental models to investigate the effects of both simple and complex food processing techniques on chewing performance, and the growth and integration of the teeth and jaws.