Humanities Research Center Faculty Fellows
Lia T. Bascomb is Associate Professor of Africana Studies. She is trained as an interdisciplinary Black studies scholar with emphases in diaspora theory, cultural theory, visual culture, performance studies, gender and sexuality, and literature. Her scholarly interests focus on representations and performances of nation, gender, and sexuality across the African diaspora with an emphasis on the Anglophone Caribbean. Her book, In Plenty and In Time of Need: Popular Culture and the Remapping of Barbadian Identity, is part of the Critical Caribbean Studies Series at Rutgers University Press. Her next book project Finding Home, Repeated Longings looks at landownership as a means to analyze community building, migration, and diasporic belonging.
Ras Michael Brown is Associate Professor of History. His research and teaching interests engage the long historical development of religions and cultures in the African Diaspora with special emphasis on the dispersal of Kongo/Bantu people and cultures throughout the Atlantic World. Early African/American communities and their spiritual cultures figure prominently within this larger scope, especially those in South Carolina and Georgia that were ancestral to Gullah-Geechee communities. Dr. Brown’s book African-Atlantic Cultures and the South Carolina Lowcountry (Cambridge University Press, 2012) was honored by the Journal of Africana Religions as the inaugural recipient of the “Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions” in 2013. Other publications include “Gullah and Ebo: Reconsidering Early Lowcountry African American Communities,” “and “Mother Nganga: Women Experts in the Bantu-Atlantic Spiritual Cultures of the Iberian Atlantic World.”
Andrew Jason Cohen is Professor of Philosophy and Founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Georgia State University. He is the author of Toleration and Freedom from Harm: Liberalism Reconceived (Routledge, 2018) and Toleration (Polity, 2014) as well as numerous articles. Increasingly, he is looking at toleration (or the lack thereof) in our system of criminal law, in business ethics, and other fields of applied ethics as well as at issues relating to free speech and civil discourse. He blogs at https://prosociallibertarians.com; he previously blogged at http://www.bleedingheartlibertarians.com/. (CV and papers available are at https://philpeople.org/profiles/andrew-jason-cohen)
Stephanie Y. Evans, PhD is Professor of Black Women’s Studies in the Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. Her research interest is Black women’s intellectual history, memoirs, and mental health (#HistoricalWellness). She is author of three books: Black Women’s Yoga History: Memoirs of Inner Peace (SUNY, 2021); Black Passports: Travel Memoirs as a Tool for Youth Empowerment (SUNY, 2014), and Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History (UF, 2007). Her current project, “Africana Tea: A Global History of Black Women’s Health,” maps 300 Black women’s memoirs to study holistic health history. Evans examines how Black women in the African diaspora have used tea for personal and communal health, emphasizing how self-care practices have been preserved through life writing. Her full portfolio is online at http://www.professorevans.net/
Kathryn Kozaitis is Professor of Anthropology. Her work lies at the intersection of cultural, urban, and applied anthropology. Her theoretical interests are in global-local articulations of socio-cultural changes and continuities in times of crisis. She has conducted ethnographic research on questions of racialized identities and inter-ethnic relations with communities in five cities. Kozaitis received three grants from the National Science Foundation for her participatory action research (PAR) projects on systemic educational reform initiatives, designed to strengthen under-resourced schools in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. Most recently, and funded by a Fulbright Scholar Award, she completed a year-long ethnography of the Greek sovereign debt crisis among middle-class residents of Thessaloniki, Greece. The result of this work is the publication of her book, Indebted: Despair and Resilience in Greece’s Second City(Oxford University Press 2021). Her current research is on ethnography as a decolonizing methodology in field sites of intersecting crises and grassroots mobilizations.
Melissa McLeod is Principal Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, specializing in nineteenth-century British fiction. Using a combination of trauma theory and narratology, her research has focused on the role of aural tropes in gothic Victorian fiction through an examination of the role of sound and voice in British nineteenth-century culture, a time when new sound technologies fascinated and destabilized the Victorian subject.Her current project examines how the formal properties of circulation function through narrative, space, and disease in Victorian novels. Through the example of Charles Dickens’s novel Bleak House, she examines narrative’s limitations, its affordances, and its ability to mimic spatial production. Her study of narrative and spatial form compares disease circulation in nineteenth-century London and twenty-first-century urban spaces.
Nick Wilding is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of History. His research focuses on Early Modern Europe, the history of science, and the history of the book. He is the author of two books: Galileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge (University of Chicago Press, 2014) and Faussaire de Lune (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2016), as well as a dozen book and journal articles. He has held fellowships at the Medici Archive Project, Stanford, Cambridge, Columbia, the American Academy in Rome, the New York Academy of Medicine and the Rare Book School. He is currently writing a biography of Galileo for Reaktion Press.
Frank L’Engle Williams is Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Associate for the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a paleo-anthropologist with an interest in behavior, exemplified by his book, Fathers and Their Children in the First Three Years of Life (Texas A&M University Press, 2019). His current project focuses on the Ice Age diet of Neandertals from La Quina cave, southwest France, dated to ~60,000 years ago, who lived in a severely cold and dry habitat where survival hinged on the hunting of reindeer in open steppe tundra. This research will utilize patterns of molar surface damage and plant remains preserved in dental calculus to re-imagine the “wolfish” diet of Neandertals and will highlight the role of plants even in the harshest of ancient human environments.
Kathryn (Kate) Wilson is Associate Professor of History and the author of Ethnic Renewal in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Her research embraces immigration/ethnic studies, public history, oral history, urban studies, and material culture to examine how power and place are mutually constitutive and how communities claim space and visibility in public historical narratives. Her current project examines the nature of race, geography, and urban development in three adjacent and historically intertwined small cities in DeKalb County, Georgia: Avondale Estates, Scottdale, and Clarkston. Based on archival sources and oral histories, this project attempts to understand how these communities responded to changing racial demographics throughout the 20th century and how these changes were and are encoded and understood in landscape, memory, and community identity.
Previous Humanities Research Center Faculty Fellows
Diana W. Anselmo is an Assistant Professor of Film & Media History. Her work on girl audiences, media history, and early fan archives has appeared in Cinema Journal (2015), Screen (2017), Camera Obscura (2017), Feminist Media Histories (2018), Film History (2019), and The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (2021), among others. Her book on queer female reception in early Hollywood is forthcoming with the University of California Press. A parallel line of research focuses on the queer dialects and fan communities forged in social media platforms, particularly on Tumblr.
Molly Bassett is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at Georgia State University. She published The Fate of Earthly Things with the University of Texas Press in 2015. Her current book project explores the contents, dynamics, ritual use, meaning, and ideology of bundles (sacred or otherwise) that serve as the substructure for understanding Aztec religion on its own terms. In the context of specific examples and existing interpretations, her book demonstrates that these bundles offer a theory and method for understanding Aztec religion.
Maurice Hobson is Associate Professor of Africana Studies. His work connects African American, political, and urban history; Civil Rights and public history and memory; popular culture; and the Black New South. With this fellowship, he will work towards the completion of his book manuscript When Truth Was Stranger Than Fiction: The Atlanta Child Murders detailing what is conventionally described as a series of 30 murders between 1979 and 1981, for which a man named Wayne Williams was convicted and imprisoned. These murders are remembered as a two-year-long tragedy worsened by neglectful policing, an all-too-common theme in American history. The project explains why democracy in the U.S. must be strengthened while giving justice to the victims of the Atlanta Child Murders.
Ashley J. Holmes is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Across the Curriculum program. She studies how public pedagogy and community-based research encourage student writers to engage with local publics and civic issues. Her current book-length project, Learning on Location: Place-Based Education for Diverse Learners, invites faculty, staff, and administrators across the disciplines to consider the significance of place within pedagogy–to question not just the what and how of teaching but also the where.
S.M. Love is Assistant Professor of Philosophy with a joint appointment at the College of Law. She is working on a book entitled Freedom from the Market where she argues that respecting the right to freedom requires both securing citizens’ access to basic resources and limiting inequalities. Further, relying on a Marxian understanding of the nature of capitalism, she argues that respecting the right to freedom requires rejecting capitalism and searching instead for a system of exchange that allows for democratic control of societal economic production. While freedom is often invoked to argue for the free market and against socioeconomic rights, Freedom from the Market shows that freedom can instead be a powerful tool in refuting such arguments.
Carrie Manning is Professor of Political Science and the author of three books on post-conflict politics. Her research focuses on civil war, peacebuilding, and democratization. Her current book project, Parties, Politics, Peace: How former insurgent groups shape politics after war, examines the long-term effects of liberal peacebuilding through the lens of post-rebel political parties. Liberal peacebuilding, for the last thirty years the dominant approach to Western international engagement in post-conflict countries, is centered around political inclusion and competition. The inclusion of former rebel groups as political actors is key to this model. During the fellowship period, Manning will explore post-rebel parties as shapers of meaning, both at the level of individual party loyalists and voters, and at the level of the party system.
Tiffany A. Player is Assistant Professor of History. Her research focuses on identity formation and the attendant political, economic, and social transformations of communities within the African diaspora during slavery and after emancipation. She is currently working on her first book project tentatively titled, “What Are We Going to Do for Ourselves?” African American Women and the Politics of Slavery from the Antebellum Era to the Great Depression that analyzes Black women’s efforts to force a public reckoning with the material and cultural legacies of slavery in the United States as an essential component of their political power across multiple generations.
Nicola Sharratt is Associate Professor of Anthropology. Her archaeological research explores state “collapse.” She directs an ongoing field project in southern Peru that examines how communities in the ancient Andes responded to both political upheaval and environmental crisis circa 1000 CE and reconstructs processes of resilience, ethnogenesis, and social turmoil over the span of half a millennium. As an HRC Fellow, she will prepare a comparative article-length manuscript interrogating archaeological scholarship from North, Meso, and South America to examine current debates in the archaeology of post-collapse dynamics in the ancient Americas.
Fall 2020 (canceled)
Molly Bassett is Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies. She is working on a book entitled The Bundles: Unwrapping Aztec Religion. Tlaquimilolli (sacred bundles) are central to understanding Aztec religion. As god-bodies, material objects, and subjects of visual culture, tlaquimilolli function as important actors in Aztec mythohistory. The contents, dynamics, ritual use, meaning, and ideology of bundles (sacred or otherwise) serve as the substructure for understanding Aztec religion on its own terms. In the context of specific examples and existing interpretations, her book demonstrates that that tlaquimilolli and other bundles offer a theory and method for understanding Aztec religion.
William A. Edmundson is Regents’ Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy. His book, Socialism for Soloists, will present a theory of justice suited to our individualistic political culture. A shared conception of justice is needed to stabilize our constitutional democracy—especially so given the explosive increase in economic inequality over the last half-century, and the coincident erosion of confidence in our basic institutions. Liberty demands a market economy, but political equality can withstand only so much economic inequality. He approaches the issue by asking what property rules reasonable people would agree to once they realize that certain vitally necessary things cannot be divided up and distributed to everybody in usable pieces: the road system and the internet for example. What falls into this category varies over time. What is constant is that ownership of things of this kind has profound consequences for a society that aspires to be free and democratic.
Ashley Holmes is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Across the Curriculum program. She studies how public pedagogy and community-based research encourage student writers to engage with local publics and civic issues. Her current project, “Communicating Across Difference,” is a study of the possibilities for embodied rhetoric and experiential learning to enhance our abilities to communicate across our personal, political, and social differences. As an HRC Fellow, Holmes will be preparing applications for two external awards: the Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society Fellowship and the NEH Public Scholars Grant.
Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr. holds the William M. Suttles Chair of Religious Studies, and is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the GSU Center for Hellenic Studies. He will be working on a book titled Crete as Cosmopolis: A Diachronic History of Cultural and Social Mixing. Questions concerning cultural pluralism, and its relation to the virtues of a democratic society, have been posed since the time of Plato. Displacements due to economic, ecological and political crisis have intensified these questions in the past decade. His diachronic history of pluralistic mixing on the island of Crete, provides historical perspective on this current discussion. Since Crete was often described as either marvelous or monstrous (and rarely anything in between), he aims to produce a more nuanced historical picture of the place as a means of highlighting the cultural promise and avoiding the political pitfalls of cosmopolitan pluralism today.
Audrey Goodman is a Professor in the English Department and the author of Translating Southwestern Landscapes and Lost Homelands (University of Arizona Press). Her research explores how literary and visual forms express cultural identities, tell stories of displacement and belonging, disrupt colonial geographies, and articulate environmental knowledge in the U.S. West. A former fellow at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center in Santa Fe, she is currently writing “A Planetary Lens: The Photo-poetics of Western Women’s Writing,” a book that focuses on the interplay between text and image in work by Joan Myers, Meridel Rubenstein, Joan Didion, Sandra Cisneros, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Joy Harjo.
Leslie Marsh is an Associate Professor in the World Languages & Cultures Department and Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies. Her current research project “From Cinema Novo to Cinema Negro: The (Re)Emergence of Black Cinema in Brazil” addresses the agency and authorship of Afro-Brazilian artists whose work during the 1960s with esteemed Cinema Novo directors preceded the emergence of a generation of filmmakers who gained access to audiovisual training and production funds created by affirmative action policies between 2003 and 2016. Afro-Brazilian artists whose careers began in the mid-twentieth century have been generally neglected in film criticism. In historicizing black cinema in Brazil, Dr. Marsh examines changing ideas of race and cultural identity in Brazil in recent years and contributes to understanding black authorship and agency in Brazilian cinema.
Joe Perry is Associate Professor of modern European and German History. His first book Christmas in Germany: A Cultural History explored the many competing social and political appropriations of Germany’s favorite holiday. His current book project, tentatively titled “Techno Scenes and the Love Parade: Culture and Politics in the Berlin Republic,” examines youth movements, the techno music scene, and the relationship between alternative cultures and urban development in post-unification Berlin. In 2017 he received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to support this research; his publications include various book chapters and articles in journals such as German Studies Review, German History, and Central European History.
Dan Weiskopf is a Professor of Philosophy and Associate Faculty member with the Neuroscience Institute. His research focuses on the mind/brain sciences, particularly their modeling practices, tools and experimental methods, explanatory and predictive norms, taxonomic schemes, and uses of images, diagrams, and other representations. In his current project, Beyond Mechanism: Interfield Modeling in the Cognitive Sciences, he aims to clarify the theoretical, social, and technological requirements for successfully integrating data and models from many disciplines into a single, unified picture of how complex systems function.
Eddie Christie, Associate Professor of English, specializes in early medieval English language, literature, and culture. His current research project, a monograph entitled The Unknown King, examines ideas about human identity that emerge in literary depictions of “face to face” encounters. Focusing on kings not as rulers but as symbolic figures who “act as a value reference for the various groups that constitute [their] society,” this book – in dialogue with recent philosophical re-evaluations of the human and with the history of anthropological thought – simultaneously reveals new semiotic and social patterns structuring the imaginative universe of Anglo-Saxon literature and critiques ingrained ethnographic assumptions in the study of the medieval past. His previous work on Old English literature, focused mainly on literacy and epistemology, is published in journals like Modern Philology, Postmedieval, Neophilologus, Literature Compass, Mythlore¸ and Culture, Theory, and Critique. In addition to courses in medieval studies, he teaches British Literature and the History of the English Language.
Mario Feit is Associate Professor of Political Science with a focus on Political Theory. He is working on a book manuscript that defends impatience as a democratic virtue and temporality. This research project engages the Book of Job, the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois, feminist theory, and literatures of social acceleration. Portions of this work have been published in Contemporary Political Theory and Political Theology. Dr. Feit won the award for best article published in 2017 in the journal Contemporary Political Theory for his article “Democratic Impatience: Martin Luther King, Jr. on Democratic Temporality.”
Emanuela Guano is Professor in the Anthropology Department. As an urban anthropologist, she has conducted ethnographic research in Argentina and Italy. Her recent book Creative Urbanity: An Italian Middle Class in the Shade of Revitalization (U-Penn Press 2017) is an exploration of the forms of creative self-employment that have emerged from the neoliberal transformation of Italian cityscapes. In 2018, Dr. Guano was awarded a Wenner-Gren Foundation Postdoctoral Grant to support ethnographic research on her new project on urban aesthetics and the resistance to redevelopment in an Italian postindustrial periphery. Her work has been published in journals including Cultural Anthropology, City & Society, and Ethnos.
LeeAnne M. Richardson, Associate Professor of English, spends much of her time thinking and writing about how gender, literary forms, and history interact. She will use her time as a Humanities Research Center fellow to complete a book manuscript called The Forms of Michael Field. Michael Field was the name under which aunt and niece Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper published 28 volumes of verse drama and 8 books of lyric poetry between 1884 and 1914. The Forms of Michael Field begins from the premise that the two poets’ construction of a singular masculine identity works on the same principles as a literary form: like a genre, their poetic identity shaped how audiences received, understood, and interpreted their poetic work. Bradley and Cooper carefully designed and managed this identity (often instructing others in correct pronoun use–always masculine and singular; requesting different modes of address for their individual female selves and their public poetic identity), and they treated the creation of this identity with the same artistic seriousness they gave to their published poetry.
Molly Bassett is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Religious Studies. Her research explores Aztec and Nahua—indigenous Mexican—cosmologies. Her first book, The Fate of Earthly Things, analyzed the concept of god (teotl) and deity manifestations in Mesoamerica, and her next project examines ritual wrapping and bundling as an important way in which Aztecs interacted with their local environment. This project draws on ethnohistory, ethnolinguistics, and folk biology to explore how Aztecs “bundled” ordinary things and words to make extraordinary structures and concepts.
Kimberly Cleveland is Associate Professor of Art History in the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design. She explores questions of race, ethnicity, and identity in relation to artistic production in her classes, curatorial projects, and research. She is currently writing a book, Artistic Renderings of Brazil’s Black Wet Nurses: Visualizing the Women Who Nourished a Nation. In this publication, Cleveland uses renderings of the black wet nurse as a lens through which to explore broader social developments in Brazilian history and to analyze how artistic representations of this body of women have both followed and challenged dominant attitudes toward race and the memory of slavery. Her first book, Black Art in Brazil: Expressions of Identity, was published by the University Press of Florida in 2013.
John Holman (Professor of English and Creative Writing) is the author of Squabble and Other Stories, Luminous Mysteries (a novel), and Triangle Ray. He is a Whiting Award winner whose fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Mississippi Review, Oxford American, as well as other journals and anthologies. Focusing largely on African-American characters, his work concerns the lives of diverse populations in the American South.
Jennifer Patico is Associate Professor of Anthropology and the author of Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class (Stanford University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2008), an ethnography of consumerism, shifting class identities, and moral discourses in post-Soviet St Petersburg. Her current project, a book tentatively titled Sugar and Selfhood: Children’s Food and Middle Class Ways of Being (NYU Press), examines parenting practices, children’s food, and underlying concerns about self in urban Atlanta. Her work has been published in journals including American Ethnologist, Slavic Review, Ethnos, Critique of Anthropology and Gastronomica.
Jennie Burnet is Associate Professor of Global Studies and Anthropology and Associate Director of the Global Studies Institute. Her research explores the social, cultural and psychological aspects of war, genocide, and mass violence and the micro-level impact of large-scale social change in the context of conflict. She is currently writing a book, To Save Heaven and Earth: Rescue during the Rwandan Genocide, which examines how and why some Rwandans risked their lives to save those targeted in the 1994 genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda. Her first book, Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory & Silence in Rwanda, won the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology.
Christie Hartley (Associate Professor, Philosophy) specializes in social and political philosophy and feminist theory. With Lori Watson, she just completed a book for Oxford University Press titled Equal Citizenship and Public Reason: A Feminist Political Liberalism. She is currently working on the connection between dependency and domination in liberalism as well as a feminist critique of convergence liberalism.
Peter Lindsay (Professor of Political Science, Philosophy, and Political Theory) is the author of Creative Individualism: The Democratic Vision of C. B. Macpherson (1996) and The Craft of University Teaching (2018). He is completing a book that examines an alternative framework for looking at property relations, and then uses that framework to draw general conclusions about what would (and does) constitute just ownership. After starting with a contentious claim – that the world’s poor have no obligation to respect existing property relations – the book explores how we might defend any property rights and why, given the nature of ownership, only one method makes sense. The ramifications of this method – the alternative framework – are then explored with respect to both existing and ideal claims of ownership.
John McMillian (Associate Professor, History) specializes in twentieth-century American history, with an emphasis on 1960s and 1970s. His books include Beatles Versus Stones (2013) and Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America (Oxford, 2011). His current project, “Welcome to Fear City: Crime, Policing, Corruption, and the Making of Modern New York,” examines predatory street crime in NYC from 1963-2001. Lately, much scholarly attention has focused on the rise of the carceral state, but many of these important works overlook just how vast, vexing, and intolerable NYC’s crime problem was. “Welcome to Fear City” will to provide a comprehensive account of how city officials, the NYPD, community activists, and policy analysts battled over how to solve NYC’s crime problem, and it will address the controversies that NYC’s crime-fighting strategies created.
Julia Gaffield (Assistant Professor, History) researches the Atlantic World, focusing on the aftermath of the Haitian Revolution and early-nineteenth century state formation during the Age of Revolution. She is author of Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution (UNC, 2015) and editor of The Haitian Declaration of Independence: Creation, Context, and Legacy (UVA, 2016). As a Humanities Research Center Faculty Fellow she will be working on her book manuscript in progress, “The Abandoned Faithful: Sovereignty, Diplomacy, and Religious Dominion in the Aftermath of Revolution.”
Monique Moultrie (Assistant Professor, Religious Studies) works on issues including sexual ethics, African American religions, and gender and sexuality studies. Her book Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality was published by Duke University Press in December 2017. Moultrie has worked as a consultant for the National Institutes of Health and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender-Religious Archives Network. She is also a working group member for Columbia University’s Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice, and of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice’s Scholars Group. Her next project is a book-length study of black lesbian religious leadership and faith activism.
LeeAnne M. Richardson (Associate Professor, English) spends much of her time thinking and writing about how genre and history interact. Her HRC project is titled “Turn of the Century Women Poets: Skirting the Problems of Periodization” — a book manuscript that examines the social, economic, and political forms that worked to shape women’s poetry of the late-nineteenth century. In this study, poetry provides a lens through which to view other influential cultural forms and to uncover the connections, collisions, and continuities among them. The late-Victorian and pre-Modernist era (1880-1920) saw enormous social, legal, political, professional, and educational changes for British men and women both. Studying women’s poetry as a category unto itself allows access to the specifically gendered effects of social change. “Turn of the Century Women’s Poetry” corrects the exclusively masculine picture of fin de siècle literary production and demonstrates how women poets participated in and contributed to their literary-historical world.
Neil Van Leeuwen (Associate Professor, Philosophy; Associate faculty, Neuroscience). His work focuses on belief, imagining, and the relation between the two. Currently, his research is focused on functionalist theories of belief and other cognitive attitudes. He is also developing a systematic theory of imagination, its etiology, representational structure, and influence on behavior.He is currently working on a book for Harvard University Press, tentatively titled “Religion as Make-Believe.”