Affiliated Postdoctoral Fellows

The Center welcomes the following post-doctoral scholars from other programs as affiliates of the CSGS. Students should view the schedule for more information on their courses crosslisted with GNSE and those they may teach in the Core.  Postdoctoral fellows are also eligible to advise B.A. and M.A. theses.

Post-doctoral scholars are listed alphabetically by school/division - Divinity, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Divinity School

M Vanderpoel

they/them/their
Teaching Fellow, Divinity School
Ph.D., History of Christianity, University of Chicago
vanderpoelensis@uchicago.edu

Vanderpoel is a scholar of premodern Christianity. Drawing on methods from cultural and intellectual history, literary studies, and contemporary theory, their work traces the connections between lived, embodied experience and intellectual and literary production. Vanderpoel’s current research connects fourteenth-century debates over the gendered dynamics of intellectual and religious authority to the period’s renewed concern with the material processes underlying sensation, cognition, and epistemology. Looking to both Latin philosophical and vernacular devotional writings, it calls attention to congruences between so-called nominalism and late-medieval theories of gender and of the body. Vanderpoel’s teaching centers on the history of Christianity from the second through sixteenth centuries; comparative study of the thought of the medieval Mediterranean world; and contemporary theorizing on gender, affect, and language.

 

Humanities

Rowan Bayne

he/him/his
Teaching Fellow in the Humanities, English and the College, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities
Ph.D., English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
rbayne@uchicago.edu

Rowan Bayne teaches and researches issues of sexuality, race, and gender in 20th- and 21st-century American culture. His book project, “On the Spectrum: Form and Difference in the Long Twentieth Century,” accounts for the spectrum as an emergent form for managing categories of person over the past century, gathering an interdisciplinary archive from narrative fiction, sexology, psychometrics, and the sociology of race. Rowan also teaches critical theory and postmodern literature, and in Spring 2021 he will offer a course on versions of “structure” in accounts of discrimination.

Beatrice Bradley

she/her/hers
Humanities Teaching Fellow, English Language and Literature
Ph.D., English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
bbradley@uchicago.edu

Beatrice Bradley’s research and teaching interests include early modern English literature, studies of gender and sexuality, classical reception, and the medical humanities. In her written work, she focuses on the close relationship between bodies, waste, and identity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poetry and drama. Her book in progress examines the emergence of sweat as a rarefied substance—coded as erotic, aesthetically pleasing, and even materially valuable—in early modern England. This project explores in particular how authors in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries made meaning out of and assigned value to human biological materials, and it argues for a more expansive valuation of excrement today.

Desiree Foerster

she/her/hers
Postdoctoral Fellow, Instructor, Cinema and Media Studies
Ph.D., Media Ecologies, University Potsdam, Germany
dfoerster@uchicago.edu
Desiree Foerster is a Post-Doc at the Department for Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago. She graduated from the Institute for Arts and Media, University of Potsdam with her PhD-thesis “Aesthetic Experience of Metabolic Processes”. Taking on the perspective of process philosophy and media-aesthetics, she investigates the impacts of pre-reflective experiences on human subjectivity. For further information please visit: http://dfoerster.org/

Caroline Heller

she/her/hers
Teaching Fellow, English Language and Literature
Ph.D., English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
hellercm@uchicago.edu

My research focuses on connecting non-canonical texts by women and minority writers of the eighteenth century and early Romantic period with our contemporary moment concerning climate change and feminism. I am also particularly interested in feminisms of the 1790s and care feminism of the late twentieth-century/early twenty-first century.

Or Porath

he/him/his
Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Ph.D., Buddhist Studies, UC Santa Barbara
orporath@uchicago.edu

Dr. Or Porath specializes in the religions of Japan, specifically the influential school of Tendai Buddhism, its doctrines and practices, and the intersection between the Buddhist worldviews and issues of gender and sexuality. His current book project, The Flower of Dharma Nature: Sexual Consecration and Amalgamation in Medieval Japanese Buddhism, examines the chigo kanjō, an institutionalized male-male sexual initiation that was doctrinally sanctioned in orthodox Buddhist teachings. Dr. Porath investigates in his work how sexual acts were sanctified and grounded in Tendai doctrinal concepts, and the manner in which they shed light on the Buddhist assimilation of local forms of worship including Shinto.

Elizabeth Tavella

she/her/hers
Humanities Teaching Fellow, Romance Languages and Literatures
Ph.D., Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago
etavella@uchicago.edu

Elizabeth Tavella’s research and teaching interests focus on comparative studies of literature and critical animal studies, and more broadly on the environmental humanities within intersectional frameworks that draw on ecofeminism, queer ecologies, disability studies, and critical race theory. Her interests also involve investigating the dynamics of race, gender, class, and species in shaping contemporary practices of food production and consumption. She is currently working on a project about reproductive justice and bodily autonomy across species that engages with a variety of sources ranging from medical treatises and legislation to literary texts.

Jacqueline Victor

she/her/hers
Humanities Teaching Fellow, Romance Languages and Literatures
Ph.D., Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago
jgvictor@uchicago.edu

I study medieval (primarily Old French) romance narratives that feature adventuring female protagonists. The medieval romance genre - which gave us the enduring figures of the knight and the lady - has often been understood and defined through the figure of the wandering knight. I show, however, that models for female adventure are in fact numerous in medieval literature, and that they served as sites for the interrogation and transformation of the knightly model. I am thus most interested in gender in the Middle Ages, as well as the relationship of gender to protagonism, adventure, and narrative subjectivity. Similarly, I am interested in the depiction of gender (and gender transgressions) in Saints' Lives, and how this intersects with the figure of the female protagonist in more secular genres such as romance.

 

Social Sciences

Amit Anshumali

he/him/his
Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Sociology, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences
Ph.D., Development Sociology, Cornell University
anshumali@uchicago.edu

I am a quantitatively trained development sociologist with research interests that lie at the intersection of gender, labor, migration and health. In my dissertation, I examined the effects of men’s off-farm employment on women’s economic roles in rural India, as mediated by class, caste, and education. I love mentoring students both academically and professionally.

Misha Appeltova

she/her/hers
Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, History
Ph.D., History, University of Chicago
appeltova@uchicago.edu

I am a historian of gender, sexuality, and the body in 20th century Europe. My current book project focuses on the gendered body culture in Czechoslovakia in the period between the Prague Spring and the collapse of communism in 1989, exploring the ways in which the growth of consumerism and support for the nuclear family led to the mobilization of essentialized notions of gender. By examining the beauty industry, abti-obesity discourses and dieting practices, it illuminates how essentialized notions of gender were mobilized in the name of socialist modernity and familial stability, and demonstrates that phenomena commonly associated with Western consumer societies developed in the East. Drawing on a variety of primary sources, ranging from archival documents, expert journals, popular magazines, to oral history and personal documents, the project argues that these changes were driven by medical experts and the population, rather than the Communist Party.

Jordan Bimm

he/him/his
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Rank of Instructor, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
Ph.D., Science & Technology Studies (STS), York University
jordanbimm@uchicago.edu

Jordan Bimm is a historian of science, technology, and medicine, focused on the human and biological problems of spaceflight. His work on the early history of aerospace medicine in the Cold War investigates how women, LGBTQ people, and racial minorities were excluded from America's astronaut corps through the medicalized construction of an ideal spacefaring body assumed to be white, straight, and male. His research tracks the nearly-forgotten stories of non-white, non-male space medicine test-subjects used to furnish biomedical data to scientists, and also the mis-gendering of celebrity space animals popularized in media. He has been a NASA History Fellow, and currently holds a Guggenheim Fellowship at the National Air and Space Museum. Most recently, he was a SSRHC Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University.

Emily R. Bock

she/her/hers
Social Science Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Critical Race Theory
Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Chicago
erbock@uchicago.edu

Emily R. Bock is a cultural anthropologist whose research is situated at the intersection of black studies, queer theory, performance studies, ethnography, and ethics. Their current book project explores the contemporary ballroom scene, an underground, predominantly black, queer performance community, in Chicago and New York, and considers how people strive to imagine and secure existence beyond mere survival within an ordinary haunted by anti-black and anti-queer violences. This research tracks the practices for living that emerge from performances and presentations that experiment with and against normative US practices and values and asks how these practices elaborate an alternative narrative arc and structure to the American dream. They teach courses in gender and sexuality studies and black studies.

Jennifer Caputo

she/her/hers
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Demography and Economics of Aging Program, Sociology
Ph.D., Sociology, Indiana University
caputoj@uchicago.edu

Jennifer Caputo’s research explores how social structures and roles, such as family, work, and gender, shape and reproduce inequalities in health and longevity across the life course. Her dissertation examined how gendered patterns in contemporary young adults’ transitions to adulthood were related to several measures of psychological distress. Her current projects focus on how characteristics of relationships between older parents and their adult children, especially sharing a household, affect parents’ well-being. Before joining the University of Chicago, she worked on an interdisciplinary research team investigating gender gaps in health and survival at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany.

Maliha Chishti

she/her/hers
Lecturer, Harris School of Public Policy
Ph.D., OISE, University of Toronto
mchishti@uchicago.edu

Maliha Chishti is a postcolonial feminist researcher and aid practitioner in the field of gender and post-conflict peacebuilding. As the former Director of the Hague Appeal for Peace at the United Nations, Maliha helped initiate the historic Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Her publications and research areas include gender, the war on terror and peacebuilding in Muslim-majority contexts. She teaches Introduction to Peacebuilding, Women, Development and Politics and Women, Peace and Security.

Iris Clever

she/her/hers
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Rank of Instructor, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
Ph.D., History, University of California, Los Angeles
clever@uchicago.edu

I am a historian of science, technology, and the body. Much of my work is concerned with the quantification of bodies, the human experience of measurement practices, and the role bodies and technologies play in defining the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity in science. My current work contributes to a deeper understanding of the precarious nature of classifications of bodies. It aims to show why classifications that seem “natural” reproduce biased assumptions about race and sex. With concrete historical case studies and insights from critical gender, race, and science studies, I make visible how scientists worked to transcend classifications from the human context of knowledge production.

Rebecca Ewert

she/her/hers
Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, Gender and Sexuality Studies & Sociology
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago
rgewert@uchicago.edu

Rebecca Ewert is a sociologist specializing in disaster, inequality, gender, and qualitative methods. Her book manuscript, Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: The Social Inequalities of Disaster Recovery, qualitatively examines how people recover economically and emotionally from a megafire disaster – and how social statuses such as class, gender, race, and age provide people with disparate resources to aid in the recovery process. Rebecca’s research has received awards from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Environment and Technology Division, as well as from the American Sociological Association Section on Mental Health. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2021. Learn more about Rebecca’s teaching and research at rebeccaewert.com

Cate Fugazzola

she/her/hers
Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Sociology, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago
cfugazzola@uchicago.edu

Cate Fugazzola is MAPSS Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology. Her interests include social movements, gender and sexuality studies, transnational sociology, and qualitative research methods. Her book project, “What’s in a Name? Language, Culture, and Tongzhi Strategies for Social Change,” focuses on sexual identity organizing in the People’s Republic of China, and examines strategies for social change in a political context that precludes avenues for direct political engagement. Her research is based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and rhetorical analysis of online content.

Tori Gross

she/her/hers
Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Anthropology, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences
Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University
torigross@uchicago.edu

Tori Gross is Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Anthropology at the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University and her research interests include the politics of affect and emotion, gendered performances of status, and negotiations of parastate sovereignty in the context of India’s young democracy. Tori's first book manuscript examines the relationships between populist reason, anxious articulations of masculinity, and competitive intercaste violence in contemporary South India. She teaches courses on power and resistance, status and performance, and processes of collective self making.

Lara Janson

she/they
Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, Sociology
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago
jansonla@uchicago.edu

A sociologist and feminist scholar specializing in gender, law, and qualitative methods, Lara is interested in researching and teaching about intersections of inequality. Her book manuscript, Neutralizing Title IX: Hyperlegal Consciousness on College Campuses in the Age of #MeToo, examines how college campuses adjudicate sexual assault complaints, with particular emphasis on the competing legal jurisdictions at play. Lara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where she is currently a postdoctoral fellow teaching in sociology and the social sciences division.

Amy Krauss

she/her/hers
Postdoctoral Instructor, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights
Ph.D., Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
akrauss@uchicago.edu

Amy Krauss’s research interests include feminist, queer, and critical race theory, ethnography, and histories of the body in law and medicine. Her current book project examines feminist practices of care and solidarity across rivaling state jurisdictions of abortion rights and criminalization in Mexico.  She teaches courses on human rights and reproductive justice movements in Latin America and the U.S., and on the politics of representation in ethnographic and literary depictions of social suffering.

Allie Locking

she/her/hers
Harper-Schmidt Collegiate Fellow, History
Ph.D., Medieval European History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
locking@uchicago.edu

Allie Locking is a historian of medieval Europe, focusing on the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Her research interests include examining how medieval conceptions of gender and gender roles shaped ideas about the practice and performance of secular lordship and religious reform. She teaches all three courses in the History of European Civilization Core each year as part of her postdoctoral position.

Deirdre Lyons

she/her/hers
Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
Ph.D., History, University of Chicago
dtl412@uchicago.edu

Dr. Lyons is a historian working on slavery and its afterlives in the Caribbean. Specializing in the French Antilles, her work examines how gender, race, and family shaped slavery, abolition, and emancipation over the course of the nineteenth century. Drawing on two years of archival research in France, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, her current book project analyzes slavery and abolition in the French Antilles. It argues that enslaved and freed persons, colonial authorities, slaveholders, and abolitionists perceived, experienced, and contested the transition from slavery to freedom through a multivalent concept she calls family politics. Referring to discourses about, policies regarding, and practices of, intimacy, love, and power within networks of kinship, co-residence, and marriage, family politics emphasizes the ways in which formerly enslaved persons, abolitionists, and colonial elites perceived the family as the site on which political power and social order should be constructed in the absence of slavery. This framework invites several new considerations of the history of slavery and its afterlives in the Caribbean more broadly and the French Antilles in particular. Dr. Lyons received her PhD in History from the University of Chicago, where she continues to teach courses that familiarize students with critical race and gender studies, the history of colonization and decolonization in the Atlantic world, slavery and its afterlives in the Americas, and social theory. She is currently working on her manuscript and preparing an article on enslaved women’s freedom suits in early-nineteenth-century Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Naama Maor

she/her/hers
Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, History
Ph.D., History, University of Chicago
naamam@uchicago.edu

Naama Maor specializes in the legal and social history of the United States. Her work examines the relationship between social policy and criminal justice reform, uncovering the interconnected origins of the welfare state and the carceral state. Maor explores how ideas about gender, sexuality, race, and class shaped public regulation of family life. As a teaching fellow, Maor teaches courses on the carceral state, childhood, and human rights. Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., Maor was a broadcast news journalist and spent a year working at a reformatory for boys.

Amy Leia McLachlan

she/her/hers
Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, Global Studies
Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Chicago
amclachlan@uchicago.edu

Amy Leia McLachlan is a cultural anthropologist whose work considers the ethics, politics, and transformative potential of relations to and through plant life. Her research since 2006 with Uitoto communities of the Colombian Amazon traces the history of extractive botanical economies as vectors of radically conflicting dreams about livable futures. Her current book project, Cultivating Futures: Kinwork and Cosmopoesis in an Amazonian Plant World, draws on apprenticeship with Uitoto migrant curers, rainforest cultivators, and urban conjurers to consider what it means to continue projects of world-making as the conditions of that making are continuously undone. A second project, on the ethics of surrogation, pursues questions of intersubjectivity and transformation in post-traumatic formations across intimate and ecological registers. Her interests include gender and kinship, magic and curing, trauma and the temporalities of the symptom, poetics and translation, and politics of the sensory.

Parysa Mostajir

she/her/hers
Teaching Fellow, Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science
Ph.D., Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, University of Chicago
parysa@uchicago.edu

Parysa Mostajir is a Teaching Fellow in Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science and the College. She works within the pragmatist tradition of philosophy, and her research focuses on the role of lived experience in structuring human practices like science, art, and democracy. One of her current projects seeks to show that scientific research is influenced by social and political values while arguing that scientific knowledge is nevertheless objective. Another is examining how the arts can serve as a democratic technology by communicating lived experiences between diversely situated citizens. She teaches on the history and philosophy of science, including feminist epistemology, values in science, and diversified histories of science. She is setting up a multi-author academic blog devoted to diversifying syllabi in the history of ideas, and would love to hear from students who are interested in contributing.

Chao Wang

he/him/his
Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences, History and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights
Ph.D., History, University of Chicago
alecwang@uchicago.edu

Chao (Alec) Wang is a social and cultural historian of twentieth-century China and a scholar of disability studies. His work in general examines how bodily variability shapes the boundary of community-based inclusion, and how changing notions about “disability” in relation to labor, gender and social entitlement impact the design and implementation of policies that attempt to institutionalize people with impairments. His current book project, tentatively entitled Disabled but Useful: the Blind in China, 1900-1945, examines different social welfare responses to the livelihood problem of blind people in a formative period of commercial and industrial expansion in China. Taking a journey through the urban lives of blind songstresses, musicians, fortunetellers and beggars as they intersected with entertainment culture, philanthropic activism, municipal reform and welfare legislation, the manuscript explores questions such as how blindness constituted gendered experiences in working places and perceived vulnerabilities of the body, as well as how the institutionalization of disability (canfei) through social welfare measures created new demarcations of social citizenship.

Ella Wilhoit

she/her/hers
Earl S. Johnson Instructor of Anthropology, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences
Ph.D., Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Northwestern University
wilhoit@uchicago.edu

Ella Wilhoit is an Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Anthropology. Her research interests include gender, sexuality and embodied experience in cross-cultural context; labor and kinship in late capitalism; governmentality and statecraft as gendered processes; and the applications of Anthropological methodologies to understanding gendered ‘anxiety’ and identity in the US today. Ella is currently working on her first book manuscript on gendered labor and statecraft in the Andes. Her next project builds upon her interest in gendered experiences of rural life, but moves to the US south to examine rural narratives of political subjectivity and risk, focusing specifically on notions of masculinity and men’s tales of fear and empowerment. Ella teaches Gender, Sex and Culture and the Anthropology of the Body among other courses.