2021-2022 College Fellows

Chukwuma Agubokwu, Theater, Dance & Media

Gloria Ayee  Gloria Ayee, Government

My research employs an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach to examine national truth and reconciliation processes around the world and their capacity for addressing severe human rights violations, and promoting democratization and nation-building in post-conflict societies. I am a political scientist and College Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University, where I have held positions as a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow. I am also a faculty associate with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. My areas of specialization are American politics, comparative politics, behavior and identity politics, and race and ethnic politics. Broadly, my research interests include transitional justice, truth and reconciliation commissions, human rights, political reconciliation, politics and popular culture, political communication, immigrant political incorporation, and gender and politics. 

Jessica Beck  Jessica Beck, Anthropology

I am an archaeologist who studies human skeletal remains from archaeological sites. My fieldwork takes place in Spain and Romania and focuses on the third millennium BCE, a time of sweeping social, political, and economic transformations. My research investigates the biocultural consequences of these changes, with a focus on how inequalities either became embodied or were moderated using particular social mechanisms such as mortuary practices.

Steffani Bennett  Steffani Bennett, History of Art and Architecture

I am an interregional art historian of East Asia focusing on pre-modern Japan and China. Within this realm, my research has explored medieval Japanese painting, particularly the work and career of the seminal Japanese painter Sesshū Tōyō (1420-ca.1506). Specifically, my dissertation examined Sesshū’s journey to Ming-dynasty China between 1467 and 1469 to illuminate how the painter’s experience of travel transformed his approach to painting and his identity as an artist in medieval Japan. I have scholarly interest in many areas of cross-cultural interaction between Japan and its neighbors, as well as in the evolution of the landscape genre in Japanese painting history. 

Alexis Brown, Art, Film, and Visual Studies/Theater, Dance & Media

Garth Coombs  Garth Coombs, Psychology

My research focuses on the dynamics between sleep behaviors and experiences of stress and their role in mental health. I aim to better understand how the interrelationships of stress and sleep may shed light on factors that put us at risk for, or make us resilient to, developing psychiatric disorders, particularly during major life transitions such as adolescence or beginning college. My research interests have inspired one of the courses I am teaching here at Harvard: Psychology of Sleep. I will also be teaching a year-long tutorial for Senior Thesis students, as well as a Sophomore Tutorial that focuses on how to think and write like a psychology researcher.

Julia Fierman  Julia Fierman, Anthropology

I am a sociocultural anthropologist interested in the affective drivers of political participation. My research focuses on relationships of comradeship, or “fellowship” (compañerismo), in Peronism—an ideologically mercurial brand of populism that has largely defined Argentine politics and culture since 1945. I am also interested in discourses of racialization in Latin American democracies, particularly how political and social responses to migration elucidate the relationship between race and citizenship in narratives of national belonging. My work has appeared in the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, the Journal of Historical Sociology, and Social Sciences. 

Joyhanna Garza  Joyhanna Garza, Anthropology

I am a sociocultural linguist interested in language, race, and gender from an ethnographic lens, particularly in mediatized contexts. My research takes a semiotic approach to the study of language with a focus on transnational Korean popular culture and its consumption in Mexico and the US. My book project, tentatively titled K-beauty on the Move, tracks South Korea’s emergent hegemony in the global skin care and cosmetics market and examines how mediatized representations act as a primary means of K-beauty consumption.

Erica Jackson, Art, Film and Visual Studies

Jessica Jones, Psychology

Glory Liu  Glory Liu, Social Studies

I am a political theorist with interests in political thought, political economy, and intellectual history. I'm currently writing a book on the reception of Adam Smith's ideas in American history from the eighteenth century to the present. I also study the diversity of moral objections to inequality in public opinion. Outside of my research, you can probably find me in one of Boston's or Providence's dance studios, where I spend a lot of time training and performing as a contemporary ballet dancer.

Abigail Modaff  Abigail Modaff, Social Studies

I am a historian of American culture and ideas, specializing in the long Progressive Era (1877-1929). My research examines the unspoken assumptions—moral, anthropological, and even aesthetic—that underlie political life. I am currently working on a book about how the quest for mutual understanding dominated American politics between the Haymarket bombing and the Harlem Renaissance. I received my PhD in History from Harvard in 2021.

Mayron Pereira Piccolo Ribeiro  Mayron Pereira Piccolo Ribeiro, Psychology

My research interest is in the intersection between reward processing and mental health. My recent works mostly investigate how individuals with different eating phenotypes (including eating disorders) respond to monetary rewards and how differences in the neural reward system may explain why some individuals eat more when they are depressed while others eat less.

Jennifer Perry  Jennifer Perry, Psychology

I am a social psychologist and affective neuroscientist studying how social group memberships shape our cognition, emotion, and behavior. I try to understand how racial group membership and social power alters how we think, feel, and act towards other people. Lines of research include: the link between racial phenotypicality, stereotypes, and discrimination, how we perceive the pain and suffering of others, and how we evaluate the social status of people belonging to different social groups.

Jacob Rode  Jacob Rode, Psychology

In my research, I apply social psychological theories and methods to study topics in sustainability. My current work investigates the role motivated reasoning, political polarization, and partisan bias play in shaping environmental and climate change attitudes. The goal of my research is to identify the drivers of sustainable attitudes and behaviors.

Caley Smith  Caley Smith, South Asian Studies

I am a scholar of the history of South Asian religions. My major focus is the concept of text. How might the representation of composing, reciting, hearing, and memorizing illuminate how texts were understood and used by a pre-modern community? My current book project, The Invisible Mask, examines the role poetic impersonation played in Vedic ritual and the way this impersonation shaped the notion of recitation and ritual kinship in early Buddhist and Hindu ascetic communities. As College Fellow, I will be researching the emergence and development of the varṇa system and its eventual displacement of Vedic ritual kinship.

William Stewart, Germanic Languages and Literatures

Timothy Valshtein  Timothy Valshtein, Psychology

Broadly, I am interested in motivation, self-regulation, and close relationships. Presently, I seek to use both classic and novel conceptualizations of motivation to understand a.) the process by which individuals pursue and form romantic relationships, as well as b.) how issues in these processes may undergird stalking-like behaviors. In addition to substantive issues related to motivation science, relationship science, and gender, I am also interested in action and justice-oriented research, quantitative methods, and current pedagogical methods.