Mellon Faculty Fellows Program

Provost Wendell Pritchett and Vice Provost for Faculty Laura Perna are pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of Mellon Fellows.

The Mellon Fellows Program seeks to support mid-career faculty from core humanities and arts disciplines and whose work is strongly based on cultural/historical analysis. The program is intended to orient arts and humanities faculty to the fundamentals of leadership roles, encourage collaboration and community across departments and disciplines, and build the next generation of higher education leaders inflected with humanistic culture and values.

2022 Mellon Fellows

Nikhil Anand,  Associate Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses his research on cities, infrastructure, state power and climate change. He addresses these questions by studying the political ecology of cities, read through the different lives of water.

Vance Byrd, Presidential Associate Professor of German in the School of Arts and Sciences, is a scholar of late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German literature who investigates and how literary and print culture intersect with the history of visual media. He has written articles on the history of books and periodicals, museum studies, the environmental humanities, commemoration, as well as approaches to race, gender, and sexuality.

Huey Copeland, BFC Presidential Associate Professor of History of Art in the School of Arts and Sciences, explores African diasporic, American, and European art from the late eighteenth century to the present with an emphasis on articulations of blackness in the Western visual field. In particular, his research homes in on the vexed intersections of race and gender, subject and object, the aesthetic and its others from a black feminist perspective that aims to put pressure on the blind spots and conventions of modernist art history.

Eva Del Soldato, Associate Professor of Roman Languages, Graduate Chair of Italian Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research mainly on the reception of the Aristotelian and Platonic traditions in the early modern period. She is also interested in translation studies, and particularly in the rise of the vernaculars as languages of elevated discourse, in the history of libraries and universities, and in manuscript studies.

Huda Fakhreddine, Associate Professor Arabic Literature in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research on modernist movements or trends in Arabic poetry and their relationship to the Arabic literary tradition. She is interested in the role of the Arabic qaṣīda as a space for negotiating the foreign and the indigenous, the modern and the traditional, and its relationship to other poetic forms such as the free verse poem and the prose poem.

Jared Farmer, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History, Chair of Graduate Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses his research on the histories of built and unbuilt environments from the hyperlocal to the planetary. His temporal expertise is the long nineteenth century; his regional expertise is the North American West.

Glenda GoodmanAssociate Professor of Music in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research on American music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her avenues of inquiry include the material culture of music and book history, amateur music-making and gender, and soundscapes of colonialism.

David Hartt, Associate Professor of Fine Arts in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, creates work that unpacks the social, cultural, and economic complexities of his various subjects. He explores how historic ideas and ideals persist or transform over time.

Lisa Mitchell, Associate Professor of South Asia Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research on the multiple genealogies of democracy in India; public space and political protest in the history and everyday practice of Indian democracy; the street and the railway station as public space; the city and the built environment in South Asia; urban credit networks; and commodities in transnational history. Her research centers on the Telugu-speaking regions of southern India, including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Science, Director of Health and Societies in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses his research within the Subaltern Studies tradition and continues to work within that tradition of scholarship. He is also interested in issues of marginality and marginalization both within and through science.

Zita Cristina Nunes, Associate Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research in the areas of comparative African American/African Diaspora literature, literatures of the Americas, and literary theory.

Anna Papafragou, Professor of Linguistics in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research on nature and growth of
human language (especially linguistic meaning) across different communities and learners.

Jennifer Ponce de Leόn, Associate Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research on cultural production and antisystemic movements in the Americas since the 1960s and critical theory. She works across studies of contemporary visual arts, literature, and performance; transnational Latinx and Latin American studies; and Marxist aesthetics and social theory, including anticolonial and postcolonial thought.

Avishag (Abby) Reisman, Associate Professor of the teaching, learning, and leadership division in the Graduate School of Education, focuses her research on the challenges of teaching document-based historical inquiry. Her scholarship investigates the design and implementation of curriculum materials, assessments of student learning, teacher education, and professional development experiences that support document-based analysis and classroom discourse.

Lauren Ristvet, Associate Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses her research on Near Eastern archaeology, complex societies, political transformation, imperialism, ritual and performance theory, the archaeology of consumption, landscape archaeology, and human response to environmental change. Her geographical region of interest is the Middle East, Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Jolyon Baraka Thomas, Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, focuses his research on religion in Japan and the United States, such as Asian Religions, American Religions, Buddhism, Childhood, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Material and Visual Culture, Modernity, Secularism, and Science, and Politics and Publics.

2021 Mellon Fellows

Ericka Beckman, Associate Professor and Graduate Chair of Romance Languages in the School of Arts and Sciences, researches the narratives of capitalist modernity and modernization in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin America.

Kimberly Bowes, Professor of Classical Studies and Director of Integrated Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, studies archaeology and material culture of the Roman and later Roman worlds and historical economies with a particular focus on poverty and the lived experience of the poor.

Jean Christophe Cloutier, Associate Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, teaches 20th Century and contemporary American literature involving popular culture, notably comics and cinema.

James Ker, Associate Professor of and Undergraduate Chair of Classical Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, researches the cultural history of the Roman world, both in antiquity and in its reception.

Sonal Khullar, Associate Professor of South Asian Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, studies the art of South Asia from the eighteenth century onward with a particular interest in histories of cosmopolitanism, postcolonial art worlds, art-writing and life-writing, critical historiographies of art, aesthetic theories, feminist geography, the anthropology of art, cross-cultural exchange, and the problem of comparison across areas and periods.

David Kim, Associate Professor of History of Art in the School of Arts and Sciences, studies Southern Renaissance art, with focus on the issues of art literature, transcultural exchange, and material culture.

Zachary Lesser, Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, teaches Shakespeare and early modern drama, the history of material texts, bibliography and editing, early modern political and religious debate, and digital humanities.

Heather Sharkey, Professor and Chair of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in the School of Arts and Sciences, is a historian of the Middle East and Africa, and of the modern Christian and Islamic worlds.

Daniel Singer, Associate Professor of Philosophy in the School of Arts and Sciences, researches the theories of epistemic normativity and group deliberation. He uses agent-based computer models to better understand how groups of people reason together.

Ramya Sreenivasan, Associate Professor of History in the School of Arts and Sciences, studies society, politics, and culture in second-millennium South Asia: the period between the thirteenth century and the present in northern India.

Emily Steinlight, Associate Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, studies nineteenth-century British literature, with a focus on the relationship between political thought and literary form, as well as the history and theory of the novel, mass politics, the Victorian natural and social sciences, and critical theory.

Amy Stornaiuolo, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and International Education in the Graduate School of Education, studies adolescents’ multimodal composing practices, teachers’ uses of digital technologies, and shifting relationships between authors and audiences in online, networked spaces.

Julia Wilker, Associate Professor of Classical Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, researches the Near East in Hellenistic and Roman times, on the history of Judaea from the Maccabean revolt to the second century CE.