Student Interests

Andrew Block

‘s research interests meet at the intersection of critical theory, aesthetics, performance studies, African American Studies, and Latinx Studies. My prospective dissertation centers on how twentieth-century African American writers have performed critique by abstracting narrative structures and, by extension, conventions of genre.

Block

Camara Brown

holds a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She writes about 19th century African American Women’s history. More generally, her interests include: Transnational Women of Color Feminisms; 20th-21st century Poetry and Poetics; Archival Theory; and Queer of Color Critique.

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Jessica Carbone

is a writer, editor, and historian of American foodways. She has a BA from Kenyon College in English and Sociology, and her knowledge of food calls upon her years as a developmental editor of cookbooks and recipes at Alfred A. Knopf and Clarkson Potter, and as a food history researcher and public programming developer at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Her dissertation research focuses on immigrant foodways in rural America in the 19th and 20th century, and her work in general uses food as a lens to explore complex expressions of race, ethnicity, sexuality and class in consumer culture and material culture.

 

Profile.Jessica Carbone

Yareli Castro Sevilla

is a migrant from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico who studies, broadly, 20th and 21st Latinx US history, migration and diaspora studies, cultural studies, U.S.-Latin American relations, Latin American history (with an emphasis on Mexico), and gender studies. Through my research, I seek to answer the following overarching questions: Why do people migrate? What challenges do undocumented immigrants face en route and after arrival in the United States? How does gender organize and shape migration and community formation? She double majored in History and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine.

In her free time, Yareli enjoys listening to banda, corridos, and alternative rock, watching novelas (and other binge-worthy TV), cooking, and dancing.

Castro Sevilla, Yareli - AMST picture

Chloe Chapin

is a costume designer and fashion historian. She has a BFA in Performance from Cornish College of the Arts, an MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama, and an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her current research is about the history of men’s suits and the way that historical clothing trends have had lasting effects on contemporary ideas of gender.

Chole Chapin

Dan Farbman

works at the intersection between legal and literary history in the 19th century. He is particularly interested in overlapping legal and literary strategies employed by lawyers who were engaged in anti-slavery and racial justice struggles. He received his B.A. in English and Theater & Dance from Amherst College in 2001, spent a few years trying and failing to be an actor in New York, and then returned to school to get a J.D. from Harvard in 2007. Before returning to graduate study, he clerked for a judge in Los Angeles and practiced as a civil rights lawyer in Washington D.C. working on issues of racial justice in public education.

Farbman

Amanda Figueroa

is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College and The George Washington University. Her research focuses on Latina art and activism at the U.S.-Mexico border. She also works with museums to attract underrepresented audiences to institutions through curatorial and exhibition practices.

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Amy Fish

received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies from Yale University and her A.M. in English from Harvard. Her dissertation examines literary collaborations between adults and children in 1960s-1970s anti-racist movements and argues for reading children’s adult-supervised creative productions as co-authored texts. She is a Student Associate Editor for Transition Magazine. She previously taught at Year Up Boston and worked in community engagement and service learning at Bunker Hill Community College and Northeastern University.

Fish

Jenesis Fonseca-Ledezma

is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies 20th and 21st century American culture, immigration law, and literature with special focus on Latina/o and African American literatures. Her research interests include, but are not limited to: race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, and poetry and poetics. Her work explores the ways in which performance poetry in the U.S. functions in relation to grassroots social activism, community reform, and political movements. Fonseca-Ledezma received an A.B. in English and a certificate in African American Studies from Princeton University.

Fonseca-Ledezma

Balraj Gill

works at the intersection of Indigenous studies, carceral studies, and settler colonial and imperial histories of the Americas. Her dissertation examines how histories of Indigenous confinement and incarceration in North America broaden our understanding of what scholars have called the Age of Mass Incarceration. She received her BA in Art History and Chemistry at Mount Holyoke College and an MA in History at Harvard University. She participated in the Harvard and Slavery Research Project and co-authored an essay on Harvard’s relationship with slavery published in Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019).

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Ethan Goodnight

works at the intersection of racial, religious, and intellectual history in the 19th century Atlantic World. He is interested in how African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have identified within and without of “mainstream” evangelical groups. Ethan published his first paper “William Apess, Pequot Pastor: A Native American Revisioning of Christian Nationalism in the Early Republic” with Religions in 2017. He holds a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Spring Arbor University and a Masters in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Ethan lives with his wife Maria, a high school Spanish teacher, in Watertown.

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Jonathan Karp

received his B.A. in English from Washington University in St. Louis. Before coming to Harvard, he researched material sites of segregation in St. Louis. Broadly, his interests include performance studies, jazz studies, material culture, contemporary literature, and critical race theory. More specifically, he is interested in how acts of performance and protest make place.

Jonathan Karp

Keish Kim

is a migrant from South Korea. She holds a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies and Geography from Syracuse University. She likes to think about migration, spaces, and impasse, and enjoys working with (re)membering memories through creative non-fiction writing.  Her research interests include postcolonial and transnational feminism, citizenship and belonging, intersections of education and activism, diaspora studies, queer of color critique, and decoloniality.

Keish Kim

Michael King

I see my work existing at the intersection of African American and Diasporic literature and music, with an interest in the ways that locationally and historically specific communities have developed or drawn from prior instantiations of gesture and sound so to make lives, create joy and issue critiques in the midst of racial terror and violence. As I often tell those who are curious about my work, I am interested in looking at and talking about various methods of racial resilience—which includes but is always in excess of efforts of resistance.  Leading from this, my dissertation, Breaking into Time: Melancholic Practices in the LP Era, 1961-1980, looks at the history of the long-play record album in order to argue that the rising importance of LP recordings in African American performance occurs due to the convergence of market interests and exploitation, on the one hand, and ingenuity and tradition, on the other.  If as Maurice Merleau-Ponty argues, economic systems are “a cosmos, a human choice become a situation,” the use of and innovation through recorded formats and media by African American communities might be thought of as a melancholic means through which communal and human choice, however fleeting and limited, were retained.

King

Karintha Lowe

holds a B.A. in English Literature from Macalester College. She is interested in visual archives, transnational migration, and questions of sovereignty. In her current research, she studies the intersections between family photography and contemporary art within Chinese and Chinese American communities.

Profile. K Lowe

adelaide Mandeville

studies discourses of secularism, religion, and modernity, particularly those that attempt to set boundaries on citizenship and nationhood. Her work looks at how particular conceptions of the human, of life and death, and of space and time operate in political and legal texts in contemporary U.S. history. Broadly, she is interested in legal, religious, and cultural studies; political theory and cultural politics; the history of ideas and the production of knowledge; carceral studies; and ecology and geography. After receiving her B.A. in Religious Studies from Brown University in 2012, she worked at Intelligence Squared U.S., a nonprofit debate series focused on public policy and broadcast on NPR.

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Mary McNeil

an Afro-Wampanoag scholar from Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wheelock College (’14), where she double majored in American Studies and History. Mary is particularly interested in examining racial identity formation and material effect in 19th century and contemporary Afro-Native communities. She is also keenly interested in Radical Black Women’s History and Critical Hip-Hop Studies.

McNeil

Laura Nelson

studies the free universities of the 1960s and 1970s, exploring how student activists across the world posed critiques of traditional colleges and universities and created their own alternative models of learning. She is interested in the ways these learning experiments brought together literature, politics, art and philosophy. Before starting the American Studies program, Laura studied Literature and Education at Oxford University, where she was involved with multiple projects thinking about the public role of the humanities and the university.

Nelson

Eve O'Connor

studies schooling and child-rearing with particular interests in histories of protest and public education. Her broader research areas include U.S. cultural studies, queer and affect theory, racial capitalism, and the state. She is pursuing a secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

Michael Ortiz

is a Ph.D student in the American Studies program and pursuing an AM in the Department of History of Science. His research focuses on the history of science, capitalism, and imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries and critical social theory. His current project focuses on histories and legacies of medical experimentation in the Global South throughout the post-war era.

Michael Ortiz

Jewel Pereyra

received her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. in English from Georgetown University. Her research interests include: 20th-21st Century American Literature and Poetry; Immigration and Diaspora; Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies; Transnational Feminisms; Performance and Sound Studies; and Archival Theory and Practice. Her current research explores Afro-Filipinx print, sound, and performance cultures from the Philippine-American War to the present. Also a poet, she has received writing fellowships from Home School Hudson, Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., and VONA/Voices.

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Catie Peters

researches questions of empire, race, and nature. Her dissertation is a south-south project that examines nineteenth-century connections between Asian migrants and Afro-Caribbean people in Trinidad, Guyana, and Cuba. Invested in the tension between “the imperative and impossibility of archival recovery” (Morgan 2015), it also positions subjects often treated as agricultural “laborers” as theorists of environmental knowledge and practice. Catie holds a MA in Anthropology of Food from the School of Oriental and African Studies, where she was named Best Student in 2013. Her research has recently been supported by the John Carter Brown Library, Wisconsin Historical Society, Harvard University Asia Center, Knox Memorial Traveling Fellowship, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Jens Aubrey Westengard Fund. She has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies from 2018-2019.

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Charles Petersen

studies how change happens in a society’s view of itself and its possibilities—what theorists call the “social imaginary.” His primary interests lie at the intersection of two scholarly movements: the history of capitalism and the history of the democratic state. Focusing on the second half of the twentieth century, he studies how quintessential processes of democratization, such as inclusion through equality of opportunity, were mobilized to produce and legitimate vast inequality. He also has longstanding interests in the history of the American West, environmental history, the history of philosophy, and the study of literature. He received a B.A. in English from Carleton College in 2005. Before coming to Harvard he worked as a journalist and critic, writing for the New York Times, the Nation, and the New York Review of Books; he has been an editor at n+1 magazine since 2007. His personal website is here.

Petersen

Evander Price

studies American art history and literature through the peculiar lens of time theory, or chronocriticism. Time: it’s that thing that keeps everything from happening at once. So how does a particular culture’s temporal imagination affect its ethics?  Just how much future is there, anyways?  He is also very interested in ecocriticism, the history of science, cosmology, speculative fiction, and all things Herman Melville.  Before coming to Harvard, he was a curatorial intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and recently was one of the lucky few 38th voyagers aboard the whaler Charles W. Morgan. He received his B.A. in Art History and English from Vassar College in 2011.

 

Price

Allison Puglisi

is a social and political historian of the 20th-century US. She graduated with a BA in History from Dartmouth College, where her thesis research explored the welfare-rights movement and Chinese American labor movement. Her research interests include queer and feminist theory, the Black freedom struggle, and urban and environmental history. Allison’s dissertation explores landscapes of environmental racism during and after the Civil Rights Movement, and how Black residents have theorized their relationships to nature.

Puglisi

WHITNEY BARLOW ROBLES

works at the intersection of early American history, the history of science, and material culture studies. Before coming to Harvard, Whitney received her B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and worked as a science writer for the American Museum of Natural History and as a science editor for a global health laboratory at Caltech. Her dissertation examines the formative role animals and specimens played in eighteenth-century natural history. Her most recent publications include an essay in The New England Quarterly about an earthquake that shook Boston in 1755, a chapter about flattened scientific specimens in the book The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766-1820, and an essay on reconstructing historical specimen preservation techniques in Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life. Her scholarship has recently been supported by the American Historical Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Antiquarian Society.

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Christofer A. Rodelo

is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Harvard University, pursuing a secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. He holds an MA in English from Harvard, and a BA in American Studies and Ethnicity, Race & Migration from Yale University. Broadly, his research interests include theater and performance studies/history; 19th- 20th century U.S. literature, drama, and art; Latinx, Afro-Latinx, and African American literary and cultural studies; transnational/comparative studies of race and ethnicity, aesthetic theory and visual culture; disability studies; queer literature and queer of color critique; and archival theory. His dissertation is a critical study of Latinx performance and literature in the transnational 19th century. It historically indexes 19th century minoritarian aesthetic practices, theorizes the affective and material contours of whiteness, blackness and indigeneity, and rubs together the methodological tenets of literary and performance studies for an archivally-grounded reading of textual, performative,  and visual ephemera.

His research has received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Imagining America Consortium, American Society for Theatre Research, Modern Language Association, Newberry Library, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Charles Warren Center for Studies of American History, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Open Gate Fund of the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus. He has publications in Journal of Homosexuality,  ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture,  and TDR/The Drama Review. At Harvard, he serves as a co-founder/co-coordinator of the Harvard Race and Ethnicity Working Group, Latinx Studies Working Group, and Theater and Performance Colloquium. He is a graduate affiliate of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

Rodelo

Keidrick Roy

works at the intersection of American literature, intellectual history, and political philosophy. His broader research interests include the study of theology and race in the United States during the twentieth century. Before coming to Harvard, Keidrick served in the military as a nuclear operations officer and as an Instructor of English at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Keidrick has received research and project support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Pat Tillman Foundation, and the American Culture Association. He holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy (2009) and an M.A. in English from the University of Arizona (2010). His CV is available at www.keidrickroy.com.

Profile K. Roy

Lucie Steinberg

holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Art History from Bryn Mawr College, and an M.A. from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Her work at Williams focused on contemporary artistic engagements with American history. Her research interests include art and activism of the 1980s and 1990s, American esoteric religions, and critical theory.

Steinberg

SIMON HONGZHE SUN

is an early American historian from the People’s Republic of China. He obtained a BA in History from the Department of World History, College of History, Nankai University, Tianjin, and an MA in History with a focus on American history from the History Department of Peking University, Beijing. He is particularly interested in the proto-globalization and the connections between early America and his own part of the world. Previously, he had written articles on Hu Shi, contemporary Chinese politics, and early Canadian history.

HONGZHE

4 Heads, Broadway, New York by William Klein, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 2.2002.874, Photo by Imaging Department © President and Fellows of Harvard College