Yaron Aronowicz specializes in modernist and 20th-century literature. He is currently at work on a project that examines the fascinations of modern fiction, which focuses on how modernist novels by Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, and D.H. Lawrence represent and conceptualize attentive modes and practices. He is also at work on a project on love and its endings in modernist fiction and poetry.
Ali Aslam is a political theorist who studies the relationships among contemporary architecture, democratic politics, and ethics. His research examines the ways in which architecture conditions political possibility, focusing on how it is possible to share the same spaces on a daily basis yet live in radically different worlds. In particular, he is interested in how conditions of oblivion and obliviousness are produced, sustained, and broken through architectural and democratic practices.
Joseph Califf is a biological anthropologist whose interests range from behavioral endocrinology and human evolution to science journalism and education. He studies the complex interrelationships among genes, hormones, social environment, and behavior. In particular, his research focuses on the contribution of genetic variation and numerous nongenetic factors to individual differences in testosterone and stress hormone levels.
J. Michelle Coghlan is a literary critic who specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American cultural production. She is presently at work on two book-length projects: “Sensational Returns” recovers the spectacular second-life of the Paris Commune in U.S. literary, visual, and performance culture; “Culinary Designs” explores food writing and the making of American taste in the long 19th century. Recent work has appeared in Arizona Quarterly; the Henry James Review; Must Read: Rediscovering the American Bestseller (eds. Sarah Churchwell and Thomas Ruys Smith); and Transforming Henry James (eds. Donatella Izzo et al.; forthcoming, 2013).
Emily Coit studies British and American literature from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her current project investigates understandings of expertise and elitism in liberal democratic society, focusing on the work of cosmopolitan and expatriated American novelists and intellectuals from the era when the modern American university took shape. Other research interests include aestheticism, politics in the context of consumer culture, and ghost stories. Recent work has been published in Nineteenth-Century Literature.
Anne DeWitt studies Victorian literature and culture, focusing in particular on the ways that novels of the period take up contemporary debates about science, religion, and morality. Her book Moral
Authority, Men of Science, and the Victorian Novel (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press) examines how Victorian novels criticized the newly emerging profession of science while asserting their own expertise on moral questions. She is in the first stages of a new project about the reception of religious novels in the 1880s.
Kristin Dombek writes about performance, rhetoric, and belief in a wide range of contexts, including contemporary American religion, our relationship to other animals, and college writing pedagogy. Her writing tends to explore the secular aspects of religion and the religious aspects of secularism. Her essays can be found in n+1, TDR (The Drama Review), and The Painted Bride Quarterly, among other places, and she is co-author, with Scott Herndon, of Critical Passages: Teaching the Transition to College Composition.
Mary Harvey Doyno is a historian of the European Middle Ages with an interest in the explosion of lay religion in late medieval Italy. Her look at the beginnings of the cult of Margaret of Cortona was published in History in the Comic Mode (Columbia, 2007), and her study of recent trends in scholarship on medieval urban religious life is forthcoming from History Compass. She is completing a book that explores the veneration of contemporary city-dwellers in the independent communes of northern Italy.
Nika Elder is an art historian who specializes in American art. She has a particular interest in intersections between visual art and material culture. Her current project interprets the still-life paintings of the late 19th-century artist William Harnett in conjunction with discourses about images, objects, and images of objects in a range of disciplines—from psychology and anthropology to the decorative arts and museology—that emerged or fundamentally transformed at the turn of the century. A second project on contemporary artist Lorna Simpson examines how and why her early work references the material and visual culture of slavery.
Megan Foreman is a cultural anthropologist primarily interested in the relationships between political systems and identity as well as memory, political rhetoric, and everyday life within transitioning states. Her current work explores identity politics within the post-socialist Hungarian state, and questions assumptions about the necessity of the relationship between ethnic identity and community. In addition, she is also concerned with the methodology and ethics of research and representation, experimental ethnography, exchange, and neoliberalism.
Khristina Gonzalez works on 19th-century English literature and culture, specializing in the Victorian novel, the history of social reform, and constructions of villainy/monstrosity. She is currently at work on a book project that argues that a new form of villainy, which she calls “malevolent civility,” emerges in the Victorian novel. Her study traces fear of that villainy through Victorian reform tracts and novels as they grapple with the concern that some social outcasts would adopt the trappings of civility, but remain essentially alien. Other research interests include the history of the novel, the imperial project, Irish modernism, and intersections of aesthetics and politics.
James L. Gould is an ethologist interested in the mechanisms and evolution of human and animal behavior. His particular interests are animal communication, building behavior, orientation and navigation, sexual selection, learning, and cognition. Current projects focus on the evolution of mate choice, learning and concept formation, and the ecology of tropical marine forests. He also teaches EEB 311 (Animal Behavior) and EEB 312 (Marine Biology).
Dov Weinryb Grohsgal is a historian of United States history, with a focus on 20th-century American political history. His current project explores American civil rights policy in the 1960s and early 1970s, with specific interest in the relationship between civil rights policy and political strategy. His other academic concentrations include United States intellectual history and the history of the American city.
Timothy Haupt is an anthropologist interested in neoliberal governance (particularly regarding workfare and educational reform), language, and power. His first project was an ethnography of the so-called one-euro jobs, which were the hallmark of the contentious reforms to the German welfare state in 2005. While conducting fieldwork in Berlin, he became interested in the figure of the Versager (deadbeat or loser) in German and Austrian hip hop.
Amanda Irwin Wilkins studies literature from between the wars, particularly narratives that imagine war from the relatively safe space of home. She explores the ways in which writers navigate the aftermath of collective or individual trauma and use historical analogies to make sense of the present and future. Her work in literary studies complements her work on establishing interdisciplinary communities of writers in the classroom and other spaces across the university.
Walter Johnston is a comparatist whose research centers on the relationship between politics and aesthetics in German, French, and English literature and philosophy from the late 18th century to the present. His current book project argues for the centrality of reflections on the power of judgment for German literature and philosophy around the time of the French Revolution. A shorter project argues that various controversial features of contemporary political movements are best understood when situated within a long tradition of aesthetic responses to a distinctively modern conception of freedom crystallized in the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
Christopher M. Kurpiewski is a historian who studies the intersection of religion, power, and gender in medieval Europe. His current project attempts to better understand the rhetoric and reality of the collaborative relationship claimed by confessors and their “spiritual daughters” who were pursuing greater religion for themselves in the 13th and 14th centuries. Other interests include cultural studies, folklore, evolutionary psychology, and how communities preserve their memories. He is published in the Journal of Medieval History.
George Laufenberg is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in religion and medicine. He studies contemporary forms of worship, community-making, and personal and social transformation in the U.S. For his current project, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork with a group of American clinical mental health professionals who study and teach practices of “complementary and alternative medicine”—metaphysically inflected forms of care with connections to healing traditions in native North America and esotericism in Western Europe. His interdisciplinary background involves study in poetry, cultural studies, and political economy, as well as professional work in media, politics, and mental health care.
Richard Joseph Martin is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on gender, sexuality, and the re-emergence of ritual forms in modern, secular contexts. In his writing, he reflects on the epistemology of encounter, and how ethnographic research can complicate the terms through which we understand the world. His current project examines how participants in sadomasochistic subcultures in Berlin use ritual, play, and exchange in ways that both depend on and subvert ideologies of the individual. His scholarly publications include: “‘Matter out of Place?’: Fieldwork with the Arbeitskreis SM und Christsein” (Berliner Blätter 54, 2010) and “The Anthropologist’s New Clothes: On Ethnographic Exposure” (Sex: Anthropological Encounters, Haller and Martin, eds., forthcoming).
Rebekah Peeples Massengill is a sociologist whose research explores various intersections between culture, morality, and social inequality. Her forthcoming book Walmart Wars (NYU Press) analyzes how moral arguments and ways of reasoning shape public debates about political and economic issues, focusing on activist groups involved in the debate over America’s largest retailer. She also studies religious stratification, with a particular focus on the changing relationships between religious affiliation and socioeconomic status. Her work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including Poetics, Social Forces, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Andrea Mazzariello is a composer, performer, and writer. His creative output is diverse, from concert music to rock songs, sound design, prose, and collage. His scholarly pursuits include the study of popular music and vinyl culture. He is especially interested in the ways that composers and performers negotiate issues of physicality, pushing their bodies to develop new and novel approaches to music-making.
Maria Medvedeva is a sociologist of immigration. Her particular areas of interest are immigration policies and immigrant linguistic adaptation. She is currently conducting a study of how highly educated immigrant parents use the “educated person” framework to talk about and shape the adaptation experiences of their children. Her recent quantitative research about the linguistic adaptation of adolescent children of immigrants is published in International Migration Review, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and Encyclopedia of Adolescence.
Anne Hirsch Moffitt specializes in 20th-century literary modernism, with a particular interest in the ways formulations of modernism travel between and beyond metropoles. Her current project looks at novels from the United States, North Africa, and Ireland as case studies for how modernist forms were used to represent local traditional cultures being transformed by the large-scale, interpersonal and social upheaval wrought by slavery, colonialism, war, and nation-building. Broader research interests include transatlantic studies, postcolonial and diasporic literature, and theories of space and place. Recent work is forthcoming in The Faulkner Journal.
Patrick W. Moran studies British and Irish modernism, material culture, and representations of illness. He is currently working on two book projects. The first examines the modern literary fascination with excess in relation to the cultural history of hoarding. His second study explores how 20th-century novelists refused to put away their childish things, but rather turned to toy theaters, butterfly hunting, and kaleidoscopes to test the boundaries of their realist practice. Recent work has appeared in James Joyce Quarterly and Éire-Ireland.
Andrew R. Mossin is a poet interested in the relationship between different forms of life-writing and the subjective experiences they engage. His scholarship explores how constructs of masculinity in particular influence the development of avant-garde poetics and poetries, notably the San Francisco Renaissance and the Black Mountain School. His books include Male Subjectivity and Poetic Form in “New American” Poetry (Palgrave MacMillan, 2010) and two collections of poetry, The Veil (Singing Horse Press, 2008) and The Epochal Body (Singing Horse Press, 2004).
Ken Nielsen is a theater scholar whose primary research focuses on the cultural construction and representation of the U.S. in intercultural performances. Most recently he has studied how gendered and sexualized American identities are produced through scenic representation in Western Europe. Both his research and his teaching are invested in furthering an understanding of the interplay of popular culture, identity, and lived experience. Current projects include work on excessive sexualities and tragedy. In addition to his scholarship, he writes plays.
Maika Pollack is a writer whose biweekly column on museum exhibitions appears in the New York Observer. Her current research investigates the idea of vision with the eyes closed in fine art by looking at philosophy, psychology, and painting in fin-de-siècle France. She has recently returned from Paris where she researched the lithography and painting of Odilon Redon and wrote on Richard Prince’s uses of appropriation for Artforum. As a curator, her upcoming exhibition is “Women and Weaving.” Her next research project is on 19th-century photography.
Timothy Recuber is a sociologist who focuses on mass media and consumer culture. He has written about the deployment of therapeutic discourse in online archives devoted to disasters and their victims, about the ways in which popular culture has helped inspire fears of terrorism, and about the impact of “immersive” projection technology and theater architecture on contemporary cinema spectatorship. His other scholarly interests include urban studies, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of emotion.
Carol Rigolot is interested in modern French culture and in the transatlantic relationships that have linked French writers and political leaders with their American counterparts. Some key figures are Walt Whitman, T. S. Eliot, Charles de Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Nobel Prize-winning poet-diplomat Saint-John Perse. Through her work at the Humanities Council, she is involved in Princeton’s journalism program and works closely with the many visiting writers who teach on campus.
Sajan Saini is a materials scientist and writer whose popular science articles examine the impact of complex technologies in our modern engineered society. He has conducted research in optical communications and solar cell devices, taught courses on introductory modern physics and astronomy at Queens College (CUNY), and authored two book chapters on silicon photonics and spectroscopy. He is currently working on a book that describes the processing challenges within densely integrated systems, such as civil engineering projects and computer chip assembly.
Andrea Scott studies the crossroads of poetry and intellectual culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is particularly interested in the reformulation of literary communities and values in the aftermath of historical upheavals. Currently, she is working on two projects. The first explores how cultural and political institutions facilitated the emergence of a transatlantic poetics during the early Cold War, particularly within the literary cultures in West Germany and the United States. The second investigates how disciplinary knowledge is constructed and shared through teaching and publishing practices in German and American universities.
Keith Shaw specializes in modern Western political theory and environmental philosophy. His current project studies the tensions between liberalism and sustainability to find ways of making our politics more accommodating to ecological concerns. In particular, he explores the conflicts between property rights and environmental regulation and shows how the liberal conception of the individual is more than compatible with a robust form of environmentalism. Other research interests include deep ecology, bioethics, the right to privacy, and American political thought.
Karen E. H. Skinazi is a literary critic engaged in teaching and studying multiethnic North American literature. She writes about the Franco-Americanness of Jack Kerouac, literary and media representations of ultra-Orthodox Jews, and narrations of racial ambiguity. She published a critical edition of Marion: The Story of an Artist’s Model by first Asian North American writer Winnifred Eaton with McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2012. Her essays have appeared in the journals American Studies, Canadian Review of American Studies, and MELUS, as well as in two edited collections.
Gregory Spears is a composer who writes instrumental and vocal music that blends together stylistic aspects of romanticism, minimalism, and early music. His music has won honors from BMI, ASCAP, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been played by So Percussion, Eighth Blackbird, and the American Composers Orchestra. His works have been commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony, the Present Music Ensemble, and the JACK Quartet. His opera Paul’s Case is currently being developed by American Opera Projects.
Joshua Vandiver studies ancient Greek and Roman and Renaissance European political thought. In his current project, he studies ancient Greek concepts of esteem, honor, and anger in response to perceived insults in the political and social community. He is also studying the reception of these concepts by political thinkers in Renaissance Italy and England.
Leanne Wood is a historical musicologist who specializes in American musical theater and film studies. Her current project focuses on aural and visual representations of the Midwest in musicals of the mid-20th century. She examines how nostalgia, pastoralism, and regional stereotypes shaped Broadway and Hollywood productions such as Oklahoma!, State Fair, The Pajama Game, and The Music Man. Her interdisciplinary work situates these place-based musicals within the context of post-war and Cold War culture, and explores how “Midwestern” musicals continue to influence popular conceptions of the nation’s heartland.
Amelia Worsley specializes in 17th- and 18th-century British literature and culture, with a particular focus on poetry. Her current project, “Loneliness: The Story of a State of Mind,” charts the arrival and development of the words “lonely” and “loneliness” in English literature. She argues that just as literature affected the language people used to describe emotions, loneliness influenced literature’s development, particularly as the notion of what it was to be a poet became increasingly allied with this state. Other research interests include historical poetics, aesthetics, drama, and performance studies.
Marion C. Wrenn is a media historian whose current project focuses on a U.S.-led Cold War initiative to encourage international journalists to embrace the American model of a free and democratic press. She is also a cultural critic and literary editor whose interests range from satirical news shows to the new burlesque, and from debates about the future of news to the impact of new media on poetry, fiction, and the literary field.
Neil J. Young is a historian of modern U.S. religion and politics. His work focuses on the rise of the religious right. His current book project examines the relationship among Mormons, Catholics, and evangelicals active in the modern conservative movement and how religious disagreements and historical tensions affected their political strategies and outcomes. Other historical interests include the Civil Rights Movement, Southern history, and the rise of the suburban nation.
Andrew Zwicker is a physicist and science educator. His current laboratory research includes dusty plasmas in the lab and under microgravity conditions, atmospheric plasmas for use as a music speaker, and plasma-based production of diamond-thin films. His educational interests include project-based learning centered on energy efficiency and production as well as innovative methods for communicating science to the general public through science museum displays and the university's Art of Science competition.