Cecilia Benaglia obtained her PhD in French and Italian Literature from Johns Hopkins University. She also holds a BA from Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice and Masters’ degrees in Comparative Literature from Université Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle and Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint-Denis. Her research interests include 20th-century French and Italian literature, the relation between politics and literary production during the 1950s and 1960s, sociology of literature, and translation studies. Cecilia’s postdoctoral work examines the transnational circulation of literary texts and concepts in France, Italy and other Francophone contexts. Focusing on the figure of the writer as a “cultural mediator,” her research combines the study of the history of publishing and of the emergence of a European literary field with detailed analysis of writers’ activities as translators and as publishers. One of the goals of her project is to examine the modalities of transmission of literary forms (with a focus on the novel) and their evolution in a transnational literary context. Cecilia carries out her postdoctoral work under the supervision of Isabelle Daunais in the Département de langue et littérature françaises, and participates in the activities of the interuniversity research group TSAR (Travaux Sur les Arts du Roman).
Rosanna Dent comes to McGill after completing her MA and PhD in History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a BA in Biology from Brown University. In 2015 she was a visiting predoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Center for the History of Science in Berlin. Rosanna’s research examines how Indigenous people and academic scientists have interacted over the past sixty years in domains such as human genetics, anthropology, and public health. In particular, she studies the history of research by western geneticists in Central Brazil in the 1950s. She argues that Indigenous subjects have fundamentally shaped the people and disciplines that researched them. Rosanna continues work on a digital archive project to repatriate scientific publications and historical materials to Xavante communities that have hosted researchers. She will also begin her next project on the history of demarcation of Indigenous land in Brazil. She examines how Indigenous activities and leaders have translated traditional knowledge to make land claims legible to the Brazilian State. Rosanna is carrying out her postdoctoral work as Mellon Postdoctoral Researcher in Indigenous Studies under the supervision of Professor David Wright in the Department of History and Classical Studies.
Eduardo Fabbro completed his PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto. He obtained his BA and BEd in History, and MA in Social History, from the University of Brasilia. His principal focus is the history of warfare in the early medieval West, and the relationship between faith and violence in medieval society. Presently he is turning his doctoral dissertation into a book entitled Warfare and the Making of Early Medieval Italy (c. 568-652), as well as undertaking a new project which reassess the theological explanations of military victory and defeat before the advent of the First Crusade in 1095. Eduardo focuses on the uses of a letter falsely ascribed to St. Augustine, a central document supporting divine intervention. The letter, which urges its recipient to fearlessly face battle with the belief that God always grants victory to the just, became a central piece of the debate on the legitimacy of violence. While at McGill, Eduardo plans to organize a series of roundtables to discuss the role of humanities in understanding religious violence and ways to defuse the threat of holy wars. He is working at McGill under the direction of Professor Travis Bruce in the Department of History and Classical Studies.
Reem Hilu holds a BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA and PhD in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University. Reem’s research interests span the fields of feminist media studies, media history, and the history of computing. Her dissertation, entitled The Family Circuit: Gender, Games, and Domestic Computing Culture, 1945-1990, explores the introduction of computing and digital media in domestic space; that is, how computer chips and microprocessors first entered the American home in the shape of interactive talking dolls, computerized board games, and embedded in domestic appliances. Reem’s postdoctoral project further develops this exploration of the changing norms and practices of sociability and intimacy in the digitally mediated home. By focusing on the intersection between computers and domesticity, her research investigates how digital media reconfigured family relations to accommodate cybernetic models, as well as how the encounter with family life helped redefine computers as extensions of family intimacy. Reem also plans to undertake a project on the history of computers and gaming in the K-12 classroom. As Mellon Postdoctoral Researcher in the Digital Humanities at McGill, Reem is an active member of the Laboratory for Experimental Studies in Culture, Art and Technology (LESCAT), and works under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Sterne in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies.
Carla Benzan received her BA and MA in Art History from the University of British Columbia, a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University, and her PhD from University College London. Carla’s research complicates traditional approaches to the study of sacred images; attending the relationship between embodiment and vision, her work reveals the active role that images played in producing more modern modes of experience and spectatorship circa 1600. Her postdoctoral project considers how visual images reconciled tensions between representation and embodiment through the figure of the falling body. Focusing on three frescoes of the Italian Renaissance, her project argues that illusionistic images of falling bodies in religious art paradoxically created a suspension of belief that gave impulse to more modern forms of experience in art theory, philosophy, literature, and physics. Carla’s project bridges the study of early modern art to contemporary art and media by studying falling in philosophy, art, and film after 1970, when poststructuralist philosophers reflected on falling in order to reposition embodiment at the centre of experience and knowledge. Carla is carrying out her postdoctoral research under the supervision of Professor Angela Vanhaelen in the Department of Arts History and Communication Studies, and is involved in the SSHRC-funded project Early Modern Conversions, based at the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI).
Alice Hutton Sharp obtained her BA in History from the University of Chicago, and her MA and PhD from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. In 2013 she received the inaugural Claudio Leonardi Fellowship for doctoral research in Medieval Latin. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the origins of the Genesis commentary found in the Glossa ordinaria, the standard teaching text on the Bible in the thirteenth-century universities, combining the study of manuscript evidence, textual criticism, and biblical exegesis in her history of the commentary. Alice’s postdoctoral research arises from the Glossa’s discussion of humanity, and examines theological texts to explore how the understanding of human reason and rationality changed over the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Western Europe, arguing that these developments influenced the scholastic embrace of formal logic. This research includes the medieval history of the Latin vocabulary found in discussions of the human mind, academic discussions of (hypothetical) rational monsters, and the discussion of reason in anti-heretical polemic. She has also published on sacramental theology in the vitae of Welsh saints, and has studied Modern Welsh at the University of Cardiff. Alice is carrying out her research under the supervision of Professor Faith Wallis in the Department of History and Classical Studies, and is a member of the McGill Medievalists Group.
Michael Raby completed his MA and PhD in English at the University of Toronto. His research is part of an ongoing, multidisciplinary endeavour within the humanities to write the history of attention. Focusing on the late medieval period, his dissertation demonstrates how concerns about attention (and distraction) were at the heart of contemporary debates about cognition, prayer, and literature. These concerns were particularly pressing for authors who wrote in English or what one fourteenth-century translator called the language of the distracted. Michael’s postdoctoral research investigates what the study of books as material objects can tell us about the practices and habits of attention formation in the Middle Ages. Central to this project are Books of Hours, the widely popular devotional books that distilled for lay readers aspects of the monastic experience of regulated forms of prayer and reading. Working under the supervision of Michael Van Dussen, Michael is making use of the Books of Hours that are part of the Rare Books and Special Collection at McGill. He is also actively engaged with the McGill Medievalists Group and the McGill Early Manuscript Initiative.
Cuilan Liu received her PhD in South Asian Studies from Harvard University for her dissertation on the status and role of music within the Buddhist religious tradition, and its subsequent interpretation in China and Tibet. She received a second PhD field in Critical Media Practice offered by the Harvard Film Study Center, for which she completed the 83-minute documentary film Young Jigme shot in a Buddhist monastery in Northeastern Tibet. In 2014 she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. Cuilan’s current Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, under the supervision of Professor Robin Yates in the Department of East Asian Studies, focuses on Buddhism and the State in middle period China. She examines the tension between Buddhism and the State during the Tang Dynasty (7th-10th centuries), when Buddhism and Chinese law both reached a pinnacle of their respective developments. One of her key objectives is to understand how legal space was constantly reshaped by the co-existence and interaction of two complex legal systems. Ultimately, her project aims to examine how a balance was struck between the restriction and accommodation of religious law in the public sphere. She is making use of manuscripts through the International Dunhuang Project, and at the McGill Library, which houses an exceptional collection of primary sources in Chinese Law.
Andrew Bricker comes to McGill with a BA and MA in English from the University of Toronto, and a recently completed PhD from Stanford University. He has held research fellowships at such institutes as the Huntington Library, the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University and the Clark Library at UCLA, and is a Mellon Fellow of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia (2013-2015). Andrew’s research bridges literary studies, legal history, and book history. In his dissertation, Producing & Litigating Satire, 1670–1792, he demonstrates the ways in which emerging legal procedures shaped how satire was both written and published during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and how, in turn, satiric and bibliographical practices shaped the development of court procedures, the deployment of the common law, and the enactment of legislation. Andrew’s postdoctoral project, under the supervision of Professor Peter Sabor, broadens the scope of his dissertation to examine both a wider range of literary forms and a broader swath of laws and legal procedures. From novels and poems to periodical and pamphlet literature, Andrew will focus on the relationship between the production of literature during the eighteenth century and statutory and common laws that explicitly targeted a range of literary forms. He will have the opportunity to work closely with other scholars in the Interacting with Print research group and at the Burney Centre.
Hadas Kotek received her BA in Linguistics from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and has just completed her PhD in Linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was an exchange student at Humboldt University of Berlin in 2007, and is fluent in Hebrew, English and German. Hadas’s interest in linguistic theory revolves around the puzzle of what it means to ask a question, and how the intricate rules governing the formation of questions interact with the semantics of question-asking itself. While her dissertation investigates the syntax and semantics of how interrogatives work, her postdoctoral research will entail a large-scale cross-linguistic investigation of these phenomena, and how the various grammatical mechanisms of question formation are deployed in real time language comprehension. Specifically, Hadas is concerned with “wh-in-situ” languages, those languages where interrogatives retain a fixed position in the sentence (as in Japanese and Chinese), rather than moving fully or partly (as in English: “who ate what?”) to the beginning of the sentence. While under the supervision of Prof. Junko Shimoyama, Hadas will also have the opportunity to collaborate with members of the Syntactic Interfaces Research Group at McGill (McSIRG).
Axel Volmar holds an MA in Cultural History and Theory from Humboldt University in Berlin and Communication Science from Technical University Berlin. In 2012 he completed a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Siegen, Germany. His dissertation, Sound Experiments: The Auditory Culture of Science since 1800, assesses the role of listening and sound technologies (the stethoscope, the Geiger counter and sonar, among others) as epistemic tools for the production of scientific knowledge. The dissertation resides at the intersection of sound studies, the history of science and technology, and media theory. While at McGill under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Sterne, Axel will expand his previous research into the field of “data sonification.” He will investigate the role of the senses in making sense of abstract data structures by focusing on the relationship between the technologies of data processing and the sensory practices of data analysis. He is particularly interested in the history of scientific listening, and the shift from listening to physical phenomena to listening to virtual data structures, starting in the 1980s. Axel will be able to work closely with colleagues in the Media@McGill research hub, as well as the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technologies housed at McGill.
Bobby Benedicto received his BA in Political Science from Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines), his MA in Political Science from York University (Toronto), and his PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Melbourne (Australia) for his dissertation, Bright Lights, Gay Globality: Mobility, Class, and Gay Life in Twenty-first Century Manila. Prior to coming to McGill, he was an Assistant Professor at Ateneo de Manila University, and then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry. Dr. Benedicto’s research is located at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary and transnational inquiry in sexuality studies, gender studies, urban studies and media and cultural studies. His book, Under Bright Lights: Gay Manila and the Global Scene (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming), will make a major contribution to scholarship on urban transformation and the role that queer-identified cultures play in the re-construction of postcolonial cities, particularly in post-revolutionary contexts. While at McGill, he will work with Professor Carrie Rentschler and will continue to work on his second book, Queer Afterlives: Dictatorship Architecture, Transgender Performance, and the Place of the Dead.
Emily Kopley received her BA in English from Yale University and her PhD in English Literature from Stanford University for her dissertation, The Potentate and the Cannibal: Poetry and the Novel in Virginia Woolf. Under the direction of Professor Miranda Hickman, Emily will develop a historiography of source study focused on unexplored sources of select English-language modernist works. Based on evidence that modernist authors were especially alert to contemporary use of past literature, she will show how robust source study can give us new readings of literature and new narratives of literary history. She will also show how in today’s world, with searchable online databases greatly facilitating the detection of sources, rigorous approaches to interpreting sources are growing more critical. In addition to her publications and presentations at professional association meetings, Emily has been a guest lecturer at both Sonoma State and Penn State Universities. She also has wide experience working with manuscripts and rare book materials: she has worked at Yale’s Beinecke Library where she assisted in the curation of several exhibits, and at Stanford’s Special Collections and Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Department.
Peter Skafish received his BA in Cultural Studies from Indiana University, and both his MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2011, he has been a Fondation Fyssen Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Collège de France (unité mixte de recherche du Centre national de la recherche scientifique et de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales) in Paris. Peter’s research, which has been described as an investigation of an anthropology of concepts – a philosophical anthropology – is centered on the study of contemporary mediums or channelers. His dissertation and current book project – The “Other Consciousness” of a Speculative American Mystic: An Anthropology of Concepts – focus on the autobiographical writings of the 20th century American mystic, Jane Roberts in which he argues that her writings are a critique of western notions of the “skin-bound” self (one body housing one person housing one mind or soul) in ways that can be put into productive dialogue with other critiques of the unitary self – especially those of Derrida and Deleuze. While at McGill, Peter will work with Professor Eduardo Kohn and will finish and publish his book on Roberts, continue to work on the articles that will comprise his second book, Concepts of the American Fantastic, and edit the volume of papers from the colloquium, “Métaphysiques compares : La philosophie à l'épreuve de l'anthropologie” at Cerisy, Normandy, he co-organized this past summer.
Eliot Michaelson received his AA from Deep Spring’s College (CA), his BA from the University of Chicago, and his PhD in Philosophy from UCLA for his dissertation, This and That: On the Semantics and Pragmatics of Highly Context-Sensitive Terms. At the core of Eliot’s work is the belief is that lying is central to our understanding of linguistic meaning. His research therefore focuses on distinguishing lying from other kinds of falsehood and deception in speech, the insincerity inherent in lies, and the effects that insincerity has on our ethical and imaginative lives. In doing so, it raises questions that lie at the heart of philosophical and literary investigations such as the nature of sincerity, the nature of truth, and the notion of reliability as a speaker or a narrator. Under the supervision of Professor Andrew Reisner, Eliot will focus on two distinct elements of the nature of lying: whether something like deceptive intent is indeed necessary for lying and the linguistic meaning that makes particular utterances lies. His forthcoming publications include: “Shifty Characters” in Philosophical Studies, “Justice for Unicorns” in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, and “Indexicality and the Answering Machine Paradox” (with Jonathan Cohen) in Philosophy Compass.
Charles Sharpe completed a BA in Political Science from Furman University in South Carolina, an MA in International Relations from Yale, and an MA and PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sharpe was the 1999 recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship at the University of Bonn, Germany, and the 2000 recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. From 2004-2005 Dr. Sharpe worked for the United Nations Development Program in New York, where he helped to develop mine action strategies for national development agencies. In his doctoral dissertation “The Origins of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration,” Dr. Sharpe examines how the United States conceived and executed its plan for post-WWII relief. He reveals covert American aspirations to use the emerging United Nations system to facilitate the creation of an American empire. During his tenure as a Mellon fellow, Dr. Sharpe will broaden the scope of his dissertation to examine more closely the interplay of American diplomacy with the Chinese, Soviet, British and Canadian governments in the creation of the United Nations. His research will be conducted under the supervision of Professor Lorenz Lüthi in the Department of History and Classical Studies.
Noémie Solomon holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Maîtrise and Diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA) in Dance studies from Université Paris VIII. In 2003 Dr. Solomon was a visiting scholar at Brown University’s Department of Theater, Dance and Speech. After completing her doctoral dissertation on contemporary choreography in Europe, she was awarded a Mellon fellowship to undertake her postdoctoral project on dance in Quebec after 1948. Specifically, she will be addressing issues of movement, performance and subjectivity: the ways in which choreographic experiments redefine the role and status of the moving body. Dr. Solomon’s research at McGill is carried out under the supervision of Professors Erin Hurley and Alanna Thain from the Department of English. Together with her supervisors, she will contribute to the “Representation, Performance, Culture” research axis of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, as well as McGill’s CFI-funded Moving Image Research Laboratory. Dr. Solomon also works on curatorial initiatives for art venues and festivals in Europe and the United States.
Peter Rudiak-Gould comes to McGill from Oxford University, where he completed both his MPhil and DPhil in Anthropology. He also holds undergraduate degrees in Cognitive Science and Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Rudiak-Gould conducts research on climate change focusing on the role of scientific expertise in influencing climate change beliefs in indigenous communities. His work has guided climate change educational policy in the Australian Prime Minister’s Office, and he has received significant media attention for his extensive fieldwork and numerous publications on the Micronesian Marshall Islands. Dr. Rudiak-Gould has broadened the scope of his research to include the study of climate change issues in the indigenous Sami communities of Norway, where he has already conducted preliminary fieldwork on reindeer herders. His Mellon Fellowship at McGill is under the supervision of Professor Colin Scott in the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Rudiak-Gould also works closely with McGill’s Centre for Technology, Society and Development (STANDD), and with researchers at the McGill School of Environment.
Leslie Tomory obtained his MA and PhD in the History of Technology from the University of Toronto. He also holds a MEng from McGill in Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Tomory examines the development of early industrial networks – canal, gas, water, and sewage systems – in Industrial Revolution Britain. He investigates these systems from the points of view of construction, governance and stabilization, and examines how they borrowed legal, financial and business models from each other. He also studies questions of how British companies built and operated subsidiaries throughout Europe. His Mellon Fellowship is supervised by Professor Brian Lewis from the Department of History and Classical Studies. Dr. Tomory is actively involved in the History and Philosophy of Sciences seminar and lecture series at McGill. His monograph on the origins of the gaslight industry is being published by MIT Press in 2012 as part of its Transformations series.
Timothy Waligore holds an MA, MPhil and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, and a BA in Government from Dartmouth College. He comes to McGill after completing postdoctoral fellowships at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt, Germany and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Waligore’s expertise is in the history of modern political thought and contemporary political theory. He examines the links between cosmopolitanism and imperialism using the writings of Kant, Fichte and Hegel, and draws on contemporary discussions of the relationship between justice and context. His work contributes to contemporary debates on how to resolve tensions between claims based on historical injustices, global distributive justice, and multicultural citizenship. Dr. Waligore’s research is supervised by Professor Jacob Levy and other theorists in the Department of Political Science and in the Department of Philosophy.
Philip Slavin has a broad background in the fields of history and economics, as well as undergraduate degrees in musicology and violin performance. He received his PhD in Medieval History from the University of Toronto and went on to do postdoctoral studies at Yale University's Economic Growth Center. Under the supervision of Professor George Grantham in the Department of Economics, Dr. Slavin is studying the impact of environmental crises on nutrition and health in late medieval England. Crop failures, floods and cattle plague caused widespread starvation and disease that ultimately claimed forty percent of England's population by 1351. Dr. Slavin has identified, digitized and tabulated over 6,000 archival sources from various repositories in the UK. The application of statistical models to these records will enable him to further our understanding of the long-reaching impacts of these events. Dr. Slavin is already widely published and is the recipient of many prizes and grants. He speaks three languages and has a reading knowledge of fifteen others.
Arne Hintz obtained his MA in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Prior to his postdoctoral research fellowship at McGill, Dr. Hintz was Program Director of the Center for Media and Communication Studies at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Under the supervision of Professor Marc Raboy, Dr. Hintz is investigating issues related to global media governance. In particular, he is studying the policy environment of community and citizens media, the role of technological standard setting, and questions of power and participation in emerging governance regimes. Dr. Hintz is actively involved in the Media@McGill research hub, and is the project manager for the international research project "Mapping Global Media Policy." Dr. Hintz has a practical background in journalism and alternative media activism, he has been a community media advocate at the UN World Summit on the Information Society, the European Union and UNESCO, and he works as policy adviser with the Community Media Forum Europe and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters. He is a co-founder of the Civil Society Media Policy Consortium, and vice-chair of the Community Communication section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).
Carlotta Daro received her BA from the University of Rome, and her MA and PhD in the History of Art from the Sorbonne. While at McGill under the direction of Professor Jonathan Sterne, Dr. Daro is pursing research on the impact of telecommunication infrastructures in shaping urban form and experience in North America. Since 2001 Dr. Daro has been teaching courses on the history and theory of modern architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superiéure d'Architecture Paris Malaquais and in 2008 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Her work has already contributed significantly to the fields of art history, architecture, music and communication studies. She is working on a critical study of architectural acoustics, which was the synthesis of her doctoral research on the relationship between sound and architecture in the latter half of the twentieth century. Dr. Daro is currently involved in a project on Muzak as a commercial industry and its role as an agent for the conditioning of public and private space. She has worked extensively as an archivist, architectural journalist and curator of art and architectural exhibitions.
Jean-François Gauvin completed his MA and PhD at Harvard in the History of Science. He also holds an MA in the History of Geophysics and a BSc in Mathematical Physics from the Université de Montréal. His doctoral dissertation concentrated on how natural philosophy in seventeenth-century France was influenced by the material culture of science. Under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Dew, Dr. Gauvin is taking his doctoral research a step further and is investigating the involvement of the French artisanal community in the manufacture of scientific instruments. His multidisciplinary approach draws upon anthropology, art history, historical archaeology, the history of science, and engineering. Dr. Gauvin has worked as a curator of the scientific collections at the Stewart Museum in Montreal and at Harvard's Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. He conducts his research in six foreign languages.
Mark Algee-Hewitt received his MA from the University of Western Ontario, and his PhD from New York University in the Department of English. His doctoral dissertation explored the history of the sublime in eighteenth-century literature through the study of word clusters in over 3000 texts. He also has extensive training in computer science and statistics. Under the supervision of Professors Tom Mole (English) and Andrew Piper (German), he is exploring the potential today's digital resources have to provide a new understanding of the socio-cultural, political and literary transformations that took place during the eighteenth century. Dr. Algee-Hewitt's use of McGill's computer-assisted textual analysis resources reflects the Faculty's emphasis on digital research in the humanities. He is also working closely with the Interacting with Print research group at McGill as he explores the role print played in these transformations. Dr. Algee-Hewitt has extensive experience teaching literature and critical theory at both New York and Rutgers Universities.