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Humanities Center Faculty Fellows

Each Spring, we support outstanding faculty research with up to four (4) highly competitive Faculty Fellowships (three from the College of Arts and Sciences — one for research that directly relates to the Symposium theme — and one from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs). Visit our Fellowships page for details on how to apply.


Myrna García-Calderón Associate Professor, Spanish (Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics); Undergraduate Adviser; Director of Latino-Latin American Studies Program. Humanities Center Fellow, Arts & Sciences

B.A., University of Puerto Rico; M.A., UC-Berkeley, Ph.D. UC-Berkeley

Project:  Space, Place, and Home: Washington Heights, East Harlem and Little Havana’s Evolving Profile as Ethnic Communities

What does it mean to have ‘a sense of place’ or belonging? What relationships exist between place, self, community and memory? Which have been idealized or understood over time?  García-Calderón answers these questions and others by analyzing literary and cultural texts, the projects of cultural organizations, and evolving migratory patterns of three Caribbean-Latino groups. She explores how ethnicity is applied to communities where national origin and cultural bonds are rapidly blending into a broader concept of Latinidad.


Michael Rieppel Assistant Professor, Philosophy. Humanities Center Fellow, Arts & Sciences

B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison; Ph.D. UC-Berkeley

Project: Singular Terms and Aboutness

A remarkable fact about language is that we can understand all manner of sentences, even ones we have never encountered before. We are able to do so on the basis of understanding the individual words they contain. Yet, Rieppel asks, what do individual words mean, or denote? One  category of expressions for which the answer might seem obvious is that of singular terms: words, such as proper names, that we use to refer to particular things.  Doesn't a name like 'Alice' just denote the individual we use this name to talk about?  Rieppel explores reasons for rejecting this “Aboutness Thesis,” and the consequences of doing so.


Carol Fadda Associate Professor, English. Humanities Center Symposium Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

B.A. and M.A., American University of Beirut. Beirut, Lebanon; Ph.D., Purdue University

Project:  Carceral States, Dissident Citizenships: Arab & Muslim Narratives in an Age of “Terror”

Fadda studies literary texts, testimonials, and films that capture the experiences of incarcerated and tortured Arabs and Muslims in local and global contexts. She draws on feminists of color and anti-imperial critiques of the US prison industrial complex and its connections to incarceration sites in the Global South, with particular focus on narratives coming out of secret and extra-legal incarceration sites within and outside the US in the ongoing “Global War on Terror.”


Albrecht Diem Associate Professor, History. Humanities Center Fellow, Maxwell School

M.A., Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf; Ph.D., University of Utrecht

Project:    The Confessing Animal: Towards a History of Confession as Cultural Practice

Michel Foucault characterized the Western individual as a ‘confessing animal,’ drawing a line from the medieval confessional to psychoanalysis and therapy. Yet, little scholarship examines the historical diversity of confessional practices. Since tracing confessional practices, rituals, and theological frames requires collaboration, Diem’s project is twofold: he sets the ground for collaborative approaches to confession from a diachronic, cross-cultural perspective and examines confession in an early medieval monastic context in which confession moved from the monastic sphere to become a pastoral tool in the wider Christian community. 


Mike Goode Associate Professor, English. Humanities Center Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

Project title:  Romantic Capabilities: The Media Behaviors of William Blake, Jane Austen, and Walter Scott

Project Abstract: Romantic Capabilities examines some of the media forms in which Romantic-era literary texts by William Blake, Jane Austen, and Walter Scott have taken on new life, with an eye especially on instances where an author’s corpus has particularly flourished for some period of time in a specific media form, through a specific mode of medial dissemination, or through a specific kind of reader participation. The book takes up three cases: the viral circulation of Blake’s proverbs and pictures; the creation of fan fictions set in the story-worlds of Austen’s novels; and early virtual reality media experiments involving Scott’s historical novels. The basic premise of the project is that while any given “media behavior” of a text can advance a wide range of interpretations and political agendas, the behavior itself proves revelatory of latencies in the text’s form, latencies which sometimes force us to rethink the text’s significance for the time it was written.

Mike Goode (B.A., Princeton University, 1993; Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2001) is an Associate Professor of English at Syracuse University who specializes in British Romantic literature and culture, gender, media, and intellectual history. His book Sentimental Masculinity and the Rise of History, 1790-1890 (Cambridge University Press, 2009) argued that nineteenth-century British writers associated historical understanding with the gender and sexuality of the thinker’s body, with the consequence that debates over what genres “count” as history often played out as debates over what counts as “proper” gender and sexuality. His writings on William Blake's proverbs, Walter Scott's historical novels, Edmund Burke’s political thought, living history museums, eighteenth-century political caricature, and postmodern ethics have appeared in several venues, including ELH, Representations, Textual Practice, Romantic Circles, and PMLA. He is currently working on his second book, Romantic Capabilities: The Media Behaviors of William Blake, Jane Austen, and Walter Scott, which examines how the new media forms in which certain Romantic British texts’ lives have been extended sometimes matter for thinking about these texts’ political potentials in their original historical contexts.


Radha Kumar Assistant Professor, History. Humanities Center Faculty Fellow from Maxwell

Project Title: Police, Everyday Violence, and Governmentality in Colonial India

Project Abstract: Building on Kumar's current research, this project will explore the role of routine violence and a rural spatiality – both of which characteristics distinguish colonial governance from governmentality in its classical, European sense – in the exercise of colonial governmental power, to contribute to a broader literature that seeks to delineate the particularly colonial configuration of modern forms of power.

Radha Kumar (Ph.D., Princeton University, 2015) is Assistant Professor of History at the Maxwell School, specializing in colonial and postcolonial South Asia. Radha’s research uses the lens of policing to explore everyday governance, (re)production of colonial knowledge in the management of dispersed rural populations and economies, and the deployment of routine violence under the British as well as early postcolonial governments. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Police, Politics, and the Everyday State in South India, 1900-1975. The book will examine policing not simply as state authority exercised on passive populations, but also as spatial practice that blurs the line between state and society, to argue that policing was simultaneously constitutive of the everyday authority of the state and of popular politics.


Sascha Scott Associate Professor, Art and Music Histories. Humanities Center Symposium Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

Project Title: Modern Pueblo Painting: Art, Colonization, and Aesthetic Agency

Project Abstract: Scott's research foregrounds the art of five Pueblo painters (circa 1910-1950) to highlight the various ways in which indigenous artists in the United States have asserted their aesthetic agency in the face of the harsh realities of ongoing colonialism. Her work is concerned with how Native artists creatively adopt, confront, transform, and subvert colonial culture and structures, and how their art serves the creative, economic, and political needs of the artists themselves and often their communities.

Sascha Scott (Ph.D., Rutgers, 2008) is an associate professor of art history who specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and Native American art.  She is also a member of the Native American Studies faculty. She is the author of A Strange Mixture: The Art and Politics of Painting Pueblo Indians (2015) and won a field-wide prize for her Art Bulletin essay “Awa Tsireh and the Subtle Art of Resistance” (2013).
JamesGordon Williams

James Gordon Williams Assistant Professor, African American Studies. Humanities Center Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

Project Title: Crossing Bar Lines: Improvising the Black Subject Through Music

Project Abstract: Williams' work tells a compelling story about African American musicians who use improvisational, compositional, and technological  practices to create complex commentaries on black life. The musical choices that a musician makes are shaped by both her understanding of  musical practices and by social life. Building on critical improvisation studies scholarship, his book features case studies of musicians whose body of work has been created between the 1960s and our modern time. This text contributes to the vibrant discussion on how African American artists use musical practices as a way of creating  spaces for black civil society within the dominant white society and how these spaces energize marginalize communities.

James Gordon Williams (B.M. Jazz Studies, New England Conservatory of Music, 1996; M.A. Performance & Composition, New York University, 1999; Ph.D. Integrative Studies in Music, University of California San Diego, 2013) is an artist and critical musicology scholar.  His research focuses on African American musical strategies in improvisational, compositional, and technological practices from the mid 20th century to present time, analyzing how those music practices represent political thought. He often combines his performances with research. He recently improvised a live music score for Cauleen Smith’s experimental film Crow Requiem. Dr. Williams has performed at music festivals in the United States, Malta, Switzerland, France, Italy and many internationally known music venues, such as the Village Vanguard. He is assistant professor of music in the Department of African American Studies.

Joan Bryant

Joan  Bryant Associate Professor, African American Studies and Undergraduate Studies Director. Humanities Center Symposium Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

Project title: Kinship, Labor, and the 19th-Century Worlds of Asa Valentine, FMC

In her project, Bryant explores the meanings of place using the record book of Asa Valentine, a free man of color in southwestern New Jersey. The journal, which he began in 1845, documents eighteen years of his life. This unpublished, never-referenced document is a starting point for mapping the contours of Black life in a place situated on the edge of the free North.

Joan Bryant is associate professor of African American history and author of the forthcoming book, Reluctant Race Men: Black Opposition to the Practice of Race in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford University Press, 2016). Her research focuses on northern free people of color. She is currently working on the historical meanings of free labor, kinship, and racial identity in antebellum New Jersey.

Roger Hallas

Roger  Hallas Associate Professor, English. Humanities Center Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

Project title: A Medium Seen Otherwise: Photography and Documentary Film

For this project, Hallas examines the significant, but critically neglected, relationship between photography and documentary film through analysis of an international range of documentary films, photobooks and web documentaries.

Roger Hallas is Associate Professor of English, and author of Reframing Bodies: AIDS, Bearing Witness and the Queer Moving Image (Duke University Press, 2009) and co-edited The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory and Visual Culture (Wallflower/Columbia University Press, 2007). He was 2011 Judith Greenberg Seinfeld Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Syracuse University and co-directs the Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival. During the 2016-17 academic year he will also serve a Howard Fellowship, awarded by the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation through Brown University.

Scott Manning Stevens

Scott Manning  Stevens Associate Professor, Native American Studies and Director. Humanities Center Faculty Fellow from Arts & Sciences

Project title: Indian Collectibles: Encounters, Appropriations, and Resistance in Native North America

Stevens’ research traces the colonial legacy’s direct influence on modern Native American self-expression in literature and the visual arts, organized around a series of case studies exploring cultural appropriation (and resistance to it) as manifested in natural history museums, fine arts collections, and libraries.

Scott Manning Stevens is a citizen of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation and Director of the Native American Studies Program. He has co-authored the books Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (U of Chicago Press, 2013) and The Art of the American West (Yale UP, 2014). Dr. Stevens was also co-editor and contributor to the recent collection Why You Can't Teach United States History without American Indians (U of North Carolina Press, 2015) and has contributed a chapter on museums to the newly released Oxford Handbook of American Indian History (Oxford UP, 2016).

Dawn M.Dow

Dawn M. Dow Assistant Professor, Sociology.

Dawn Marie Dow is an assistant professor in the sociology department of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  Professor Dow earned a Ph.D. in sociology from University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Columbia University, School of Law. She is a Faculty Fellow in the both the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media and the Humanities Center. Professor Dow’s research focuses on the intersection of gender, race, and class within the context of the family, the workplace, educational settings and the law.  She is currently preparing a book manuscript that examines African American middle-class mothers’ views and decision-making about work, family and childcare and how they approach parenting their children.
Steve Parks

Steve  Parks Associate Professor, Writing and Rhetoric.

Steve Parks is an associate professor of writing and rhetoric. His work explores how marginalized communities can use writing and publication to gain increased political and cultural efficacy. He is author of Class Politics: The Movement for the Students' Right to Their Own Language as well as Gravyland: Writing Beyond the Curriculum in the City of Brotherly Love. He is also co-editor of Circulating Communities, Listening to Our Elders, and Republic of Letters (scholarly edition). 

Currently, he is the Editor of the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Series, Conference on College Composition and Communication, as well as the Executive Director of New City Community Press ( For the past five years, he has been working with the Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers to create a print/digital archive of self-published working class writing in the United Kingdom.
Dana Spiotta

Dana  Spiotta Associate Professor.

Dana Spiotta is the author of four novels: Lightning Field, published by (Scribner, 2001); Eat the Document (Scribner, 2006), which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and a recipient of the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Stone Arabia (Scribner, 2011), which was a National Book Critics Award Finalist in fiction; and Innocents and Others, which will come out from Scribner in 2016. Spiotta was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in 2009, and she won the 2008-9 Rome Prize form the American Academy in Rome. She is an Associate Professor in the Syracuse University MFA program.

Arthur Flowers Associate Professor, Creative Writing.

Arthur Flowers is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University. He is author of novels and nonfictions, including Another Good Loving Blues, Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman, and I See The Promised Land, Tara Books, India.  He is a Delta based performance poet, webmaster of Rootsblog, and has been Executive Director of various nonprofits and the Harlem Writers Guild.

William Robert Assistant Professor, Religion.

William Robert is an Assistant Professor of Religion. He is also an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and in the Programs in LGBTQ Studies and in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. His research concerns the limits of “the human” and what happens when human beings approach, touch, or cross those limits. He explores these limits by examining experiences of mysticism and sexuality. He does so at intersections of religion, philosophy, history, and culture. His research project during his time as a Humanities Center Faculty Fellow focuses on Angela of Foligno, a thirteenth-century Christian mystic. He reads her extraordinary experiences as a limit case of what he calls “extreme humanity.” His readings are also a test case of different corporealities, different sexualities, and different sexual differences across human-divine edges.
Samantha KahnHerrick

Samantha Kahn Herrick Associate Professor, History.

Samantha Kahn Herrick is an Associate Professor in the History Department at Syracuse University. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, an M.Phil. from Oxford University, and a B.A. from Columbia University. Her research explores how medieval Christians constructed, used, and shared history by examining the stories they told about their local saints. Her first book, Imagining the Sacred Past: Hagiography and Power in Early Normandy (Harvard University Press, 2007), demonstrated that such stories could legitimate new and controversial political regimes. Her current research focuses on legends honoring the saints who, ostensibly, brought Christianity to northern Europe. These legends were local productions designed to serve local needs; yet they also circulated widely and thus reached distant audiences, who often reworked them to give them new meaning. This research explores the shifting networks that enabled these stories to travel over space and time, as well as the process of historical construction in which far-flung authors, scribes, and audiences collaborated. The goal is to learn how medieval communities shared ideas and how medieval people collectively constructed and understood history.
Karinavon Tippelskirch

Karina von Tippelskirch Assistant Professor, Languages, Literature & Linguistics.

Professor von Tippelskirch’s fields of interest include 20th century and contemporary German literature and culture, translation, transnational literary and cultural movements. Her research areas are German exile literature, German-Jewish and Yiddish literature and culture. Her publications include books and articles on Rajzel Zychlinski, a major Yiddish poet, whose poems she also translated, articles on Rose Ausländer, Anna Margolin, Mascha Kaléko, Marica Bodrožić and Daniel Kehlmann. Her current research project is on the American journalist Dorothy Thompson who befriended and ultimately helped to rescue many German and Austrian writers and intellectuals from Nazi-occupied Europe.


Kevan Edwards 315-443-5821. Undergraduate Director and Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Kevan Edwards primarily works in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and cognitive science. He is especially interested in a framework that combines a use-theoretic conception of natural language with a compositional and referentialist-cum-representational account of mental content. He has side-interests in related areas of metaphysics and epistemology.

Kevan spent two years at the University of Kansas after competing his graduate work at Rutgers, under the supervision of Jerry Fodor.

Ken Frieden Professor, Languages, Literatures and Linguistics and B.G. Rudolph Chair of Judaic Studies.

Professor Frieden takes a comparative literature approach to Yiddish and Hebrew writing, in the broader contexts of European and world literature. From this perspective, he recently completed a book on Travel and Translation in Jewish Literature.

Kwame Dixon Assistant Professor, African American Studies.

Dr. Dixon (Ph.D., Clark-Atlanta) specializes in Latin America and the Caribbean, Afro-politics and democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean, human rights and civil society, social movements, racialization and identity.


Rania Habib Associate Professor, Arabic and Linguistics; Arabic Program Coordinator .

Dr. Habib specializes in sociolinguistics particularly language variation and change. Other interests include bilingualism, cross-cultural communication, child and adolescent language and Second Language/Dialect Acquisition, phonology, Pragmatics, and Syntax. Her research is interdisciplinary as it combines a number of subfields of linguistics, applying formal linguistic theory such as Optimality Theory and the Gradual Learning Algorithm to sociolinguistic variation. She has also applied qualitative and quantitative methods of analyses to sociolinguistic variation and change. Her present research deals with dialectal variation in the Arab World particularly the colloquial Arabic of rural migrant speakers to urban centers and the change that their speech undergoes because of social factors, such as prestige, age, gender, and residential area, contact, etc. She is also interested in the influence of urban dialects on rural ones without undergoing migration to urban centers. She is currently investigating the spread of urban linguistic features in the Syrian Arabic of rural children and adolescents.


Stefano Giannini Associate Professor, Italian; Italian Program Coordinator.

Stefano Giannini teaches Modern Italian literature. His research focuses on the historical novel and the dialectis memory/oblivion. A graduate of the University of Genoa (Italy), he studied at the University of Oregon and completed a Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He taught at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and at the University of Calgary (Canada). At SU he is the coordinator of the Italian program.

Amy Kallendar

    Amy Kallendar is assistant professor of Middle East History, and associated faculty in the department of Women’s and Gender Studies. She came to Syracuse from the University of California, Berkeley where she earned a PhD in Middle East history in 2007, and teaches courses on the Ottoman Empire, the modern Middle East, Orientalism, Gender, Race and Colonialism, and Popular Culture in the Middle East. Her first book project is a social history of women and the family that governed Tunisia in the Ottoman period (18th and 19th centuries). Since the Tunisian Revolution she has turned to more contemporary events, current projects include bloggers and the Tunisian revolution, French support for Tunisian authoritarianism, women, family and representations of Tunisian modernity.

    Arsalan Kehnemuyipour Professor, Linguistics. (former SU faculty)

      Professor Kahnemuyipour received his PhD in Linguistics from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto in 2004. He taught at Syracuse University from 2004 to 2010. He joined the Department of Language Studies at U of T Mississauga in 2010.

      His areas of expertise are syntax (sentence structure), morphology (word structure) and the interface between syntax and phonology (the sound system). He has worked on a number of languages including his native Persian, as well as English, Armenian, Turkish, Niuean, among others. He has published a book with Oxford University Press and articles in top ranked journals such as Natural Language and Linguistic Theory and Linguistic Inquiry.  His project while serving his Humanities Center fellowship was cross linguistic investigation of verb agreement in copular sentences.

      Bruce Smith Professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences.

      Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Smith attended Bucknell University where he stayed to earn a MA in English and work at The Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg. He has taught at Tufts, Boston, and Harvard Universities, on the West Coast at Portland State and Lewis & Clark College, and at University of Alabama before coming to Syracuse in 2002. He is the author of six books of poems, The Common Wages, Silver and Information (National Poetry Series, selected by Hayden Carruth), Mercy Seat, The Other Lover (University of Chicago), which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Songs for Two Voices, and Devotions, (Chicago, 2011).  Devotions has been named a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.  Poems in this collection have appeared in The Best American Poetry, 2003 and 2004, The New Yorker,The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Partisan Review, Kenyon Review,Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and were included in the Best of the Small Presses anthology for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. Essays and reviews of his have appeared in Harvard Review, Boston Review, and Newsday. He has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center and was a winner of the Discovery/The Nation prize. In 2000 he was a Guggenheim fellow and has twice been a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. In 2010 he received an award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

      Elizabeth Cohen Associate Professor, Political Science.

      Cohen's areas of specialization include contemporary and modern political theory, history of political thought, immigration and citizenship.  During the term of her Humanities Center fellowship, Cohen's research focused on "Jus Temporis and the Sovereignty of Time in Citizenship."  This project develops and illustrates the theory that the variables of date and time serve a role equal to that of place and lineage in the assignment of citizenship. Much like sovereign physical boundaries, boundaries in time clearly delineate the people for whom a polity is responsible and in exactly what capacity. The establishment of pivotal dates and durations of time reflects a set of beliefs and commitments about what time represents for political life and for the normative underpinnings of a political community.

      Amos Kiewe Professor, Communication and Rhetorical Studies.

      Kiewe's areas of research are in rhetorical theory and criticism, political communication, presidential studies, argumentation, and persuasion. Most recently he began teaching and researching with students unsolved Civil Rights murders.

      Kiewe has published in such journals as Communication Studies, Legal Studies Forum, Journal of American Culture, Argumentation and Advocacy, and Southern Communication Journal. He is the author of several books, including FDR’s First Fireside Chat: Public Confidence and the Banking Crisis (Texas A&M Press, 2007), co-authored FDR’s Body Politics: The Rhetoric of Disability (Texas A&M Press, 2003), A Shining City on a Hill: Ronald Reagan's Economic Rhetoric, 1951-1989 (Praeger, 1991), co-edited Actor, Ideologue, Politician: The Public Speeches of Ronald Reagan (Greenwood, 1992), and edited The Modern Presidency and Crisis Rhetoric (Praeger, 1994).