Graduate Student Affiliates
Carolina Alvarado, Department of English
Carolina Alvarado joined the English department in 2010. Her dissertation focuses on the role of editors and publishers in shaping popular conceptions of region and regional identity in the early 20th century. More broadly, she works on 19th and 20th century American literature, with particular interest in the novel, regional studies, editorial theory and textual criticism. Carolina received a dual B.A. in English and Religion from Brooklyn College (CUNY) in 2008.
Kimberly Bain, Department of English
Kimberly Bain joined the Department of English at Princeton University in 2015. Her most pressing intellectual interests include: transnational American literature and the literatures and cultures of the Global South (with a particular focus on Hong Kong, the Caribbean, and India). More broadly, her interests have consolidated around questions of diaspora, structural power, resistance, embodiment, trauma, and subjectivity as a character and as a reader in narratives of postcolonialism and enslavement. She also makes frequent forays into media studies, digital humanities, and machine aesthetics.
Olivier Burtin, Department of History
Olivier Burtin is a graduate student in the History Department. He is writing a dissertation on the American Legion and veterans' politics after the Second World War. More broadly, he is interested in U.S political, social, and cultural history in the twentieth century. He is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris (France), where he received his Masters’ Degree in History in 2011.
Jessica Cooper, Department of Anthropology
Jessica Cooper is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. Her dissertation examines the systems of evidence and ethics practiced in two mental health courts in Northern California. Mental health courts are novel criminal courtrooms that aspire to move criminal offenders with psychiatric diagnoses out of jails and into community mental health programs that are provided and overseen by the courtroom. In ethnographically documenting the practices of everyday life in two mental health courts and the clinics with which they collaborate, the dissertation explores how social relationships oriented around care between courtroom professionals and offenders both are influenced by and direct criminal justice reform. Jessica holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.
Brittney Edmonds, Department of English
Brittney Edmonds joined the Department of English in 2010. Before coming to Princeton, Brittney earned her B.A. from Cornell University in English and American Studies. At Cornell, Brittney was a Meinig Family Cornell National Scholar and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. At Princeton, Brittney specializes in African-American literature, with a deep focus on contemporary literatures. She is currently writing a dissertation entitled, Consuming Blackness: Black Postmodernity and the Crisis of Inheritance, which examines African-American literary history in light of the changing vicissitudes of the market. Brittney is a graduate affiliate in the Program in American Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Center for African American Studies. Her research interests include 20th and 21st Century African American literature, African-American literary history, histories and theories of capitalism, Marxism, black feminisms, and queer theory.
She is also the co-founder of the Black Queer Sexuality Studies Collective at Princeton University, an organization which aims to increase the visibility of black sexuality studies in the academy and to provide productive and welcoming spaces for junior scholars to share their work amongst an engaged and critically attentive audience. The Collective hosts an annual conference on black sexuality each year. Past keynote speakers have included Professors Kara Keeling, Shane Vogel, Salamishah Tillet, and Saidiya Hartman.
Justin Fowler, School of Architecture
Justin Fowler is a PhD candidate at the Princeton School of Architecture and a founding editor ofManifest, a journal of American architecture and urbanism. He received his Master of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and previously studied Government and the History of Art and Architecture at the College of William and Mary. He is the editor of Evolutionary Infrastructures by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi (Harvard GSD, 2013), an assistant editor of Invention/Transformation: Strategies for the Qattara/Jimi Oases in Al Ain (Harvard GSD, 2010) and his writing has appeared in Volume, Pidgin, Speciale Z Journal,Thresholds, PIN-UP, Domus, Conditions, and Topos, along with book chapters in Material Design: Informing Architecture by Materiality (Birkhauser, 2010), and Aircraft Carrier: American Ideas and Israeli Architectures after 1973 (Hatje Cantz, 2012). He has worked as a designer for Dick van Gameren Architecten in the Netherlands, Somatic Collaborative in Cambridge, and managed research and editorial projects at the Columbia University Lab for Architectural Broadcasting (C-Lab) in New York. He also served as managing editor for C-Lab issues ofVolume magazine and co-directed think tank research for the GSAPP/Audi Experiments in Motion initiative.
Sean Fraga, Department of History
Sean Fraga is a doctoral candidate in the History Department. His academic interests include human geography, waterways and bodies of water, movement and transportation networks, race, indigeneity, and settler colonialism—all considered within the broader frame of the cultural history of the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century United States, particularly the U.S. West. Fraga received his B.A. in American Studies from Yale College in 2010. His hometown is Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Alfredo Garcia, Department of Sociology
Alfredo entered the department of sociology in 2011. Prior to arriving, he obtained a B.S. from Duke University and a MTS (Masters in Theological Studies) degree from Harvard Divinity School. His dissertation, “The Walls of Wynwood: Art and Change in the Global Neighborhood,” analyzes the way in which currents of global cultural consumption shape small neighborhoods. The main question of the project, in its simplest form, is: how do the arts contribute to neighborhood change? The dissertation, however, shapes this question around recent trends in global wealth inequality—especially the increase in the number and wealth of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs)—and current writings on cultural consumption in cities—particularly the emphasis that cities place on arts and culture for economic investment. In a world where the new global elites increasingly, and relatively easily, span the globe for their cultural consumption, how are particular neighborhoods shaped? Alfredo also freelances for the online magazine, Religion&Politics, and is a former writer for the Religion News Service.
Brian Gingrich, Department of English
"Brian Gingrich (B.A. Southwestern University; M.A. German Studies, Stanford University) studies modern literature from America and Europe, and he’s also interested in American cinema, Freud, aesthetics, notions of realism, and narrative style. His dissertation focuses on the concept of narrative pace in modern fiction: its crafting, its indeterminateness, its spatial and temporal composition, and its ultimate correspondence to what we try to understand, socially, as the pace of modern life."
Julia Grummitt, Department of History
Julia Grummitt is a graduate student in the History Department. She studies 19th-century North America with a specific interest in visual and material culture. Her work places landscape painting, cartographic practice and representations of Native American/First Nations peoples into dialogue with histories of territorial sovereignty, treaty making, and the continental expansion of the United States.
Before coming to Princeton, Julia received her M.A. in History from Trent University (Peterborough, Canada) where her thesis about Camilo José Vergara's repeat photography in post-industrial American cities was awarded the President's Medal in the Master of Arts. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts with Combined Honours in the History of Science & Technology and Canadian Studies from the University of King's College and Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada), where she received the University Medal in Canadian Studies.
Casey Hedstrom, Department of History
Casey N. Hedstrom is a graduate student in the Department of History, where she studies the cultural, intellectual, and political history of the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her dissertation project examines the Civil War pension system, a sprawling and contested federal program that raised – and raises – questions about the nature of disability, work, welfare, and the reach of the state in late nineteenth century America. She is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the City University of New York, Brooklyn College.
Kurt Karandy, Department of Religion
Working in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, my research and writing focus on the popular culture of multiculturalism in the post-Civil Rights era. I'm also interested in transnationalism, performance, religion, and the category of race in US political culture.
One whose bookshelves are lined with as many TV season box sets as academic monographs, I will likely write my dissertation on sitcoms.
Janet Kong-Chow, Department of English
Janet Kong-Chow is a graduate student in the English department. Her interests include contemporary African-American literature, racial identity formation (and fluidity), transnationalism and diaspora, collective memory, violence and trauma, cultural commodification, and visuality. She received her B.A. in English and History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013.
Ashley Lazevnick, Department of Art and Archaeology
Ashley Lazevnick is a PhD candidate in Art & Archaeology, where she studies early 20th-century American art. Her dissertation Precisionism in the Long 1920s, reconsiders the American Precisionist movement by investigating the term “precision” in art criticism, poetry, philosophy, and science in the 1920s and 1930s. Ashley received a B.A. in Art History and English from Colgate University in 2010 and an M.A. in the history of art from Williams College in 2012. She currently holds the Wyeth Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C.
Benjamin Lindquist, Department of History
Benjamin Lindquist began working on a Ph.D. in the History Department in 2015. Before coming to Princeton, he studied studio art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA) and Yale University’s School of Art (MFA) and taught art history and art theory at Butler University and Purdue University.
Benjamin has received fellowships from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the American Society of Church History, the Strong National Museum of Play, and Creative Time. He was an Al Held Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and a Fulbright Research Scholar in Zurich, Switzerland. He has presented over a dozen papers, both nationally and internationally, on the sensory and visual culture of American religion.
His publications include “Mutable Materiality: Illustrations in Kenneth Taylor’s Children’s Bibles,”Material Religion, Volume 10, Issue 3 (September 2014) and “Testimony of the Senses: Latter-day Saints and the Civilized Soundscape," Western Historical Quarterly, Volume 46, Issue 1 (Spring 2015). The latter won the Western History Association’s Bert M. Fireman Prize.
Jane Manners, Department of History
Jane Manners is a graduate student in the history department. She is interested in 19th century U.S. legal history, and is writing her dissertation on the legal and political aftermath of the Great New York Fire of 1835. She has an undergraduate degree and a J.D. from Harvard, and has tried her hand at teaching, journalism, philanthropy, and politics.
Caleb Maskell, Department of Religion
Caleb Maskell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion. His dissertation, "The Kingdom of God and the Transformation of American Religious Imagination, 1830-1877" tells the story of the way that the discourse of the Kingdom of God moved from the margins to the mainstream of American religious life, becoming a lingua franca for describing widely diverse visions of the American religious future. He earned a bachelors degree in Fundamentals from the University of Chicago in 2000 and a masters degree from Yale Divinity School in 2004. Before coming to Princeton, he was the Associate Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale.
Kijan Bloomfield Maxam, Department of Religion
Kijan Bloomfield Maxam is a graduate student in the Department of Religion. She is in the Religion, Ethics, and Politics subfield. Kijan graduated from Bowdoin College with a AB in Religion and Africana Studies and earned her MA in International & Transcultural Studies, with an emphasis on educational development from Columbia University. Her research interests include Caribbean Philosophy, African Diaspora Studies,and Gender and Religion. Her current project focuses on religion and social change in the Caribbean from the late 19th century to the present.
Vladimir Enrique Medenica, Department of Politics
Vladimir Enrique Medenica is a PhD candidate in Politics and Social Policy, a joint degree program offered by the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, at Princeton University. Working at the intersection of political behavior, race/ethnic politics, interest group politics, and public policy, his research focuses on studying the strategies that groups that represent minority interests use to appeal to majority opinion in order to achieve political victories. Vladimir is currently the Marion Levy Fellow in Social Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School and a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow.
Wangui M. Muigai, Department of History of Science
Wangui is a graduate student in the history of science program with broad interests in race and medicine, history of childhood, and American cultural history. Her research focuses on medical and public health ideas about mortality at the turn of the twentieth century. She received her A.B. in History and Science from Harvard in 2009.
Heath Pearson, Department of Anthropology
Heath Pearson is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department and a graduate student affiliate of the Center for African American Studies and the American Studies Program. He is currently undertaking ethnographic fieldwork in a county on the East Coast with four prisons, exploring what happens over time to local institutions and organizations after prisons become the main employer for residents. His most recent article, “The Prickly Skin of White Supremacy,” explores the co-constitution of race and place in Huntington, Indiana, and the many ways racialized violence lingers in the land throughout multiple generations. He was a Lassen Fellow in the Program for Latin American Studies in 2013-14, the recipient of an AMS summer research prize in 2014, and a recipient of a Center for Health & Wellbeing summer research prize in 2015. Currently, in addition to fieldwork, he is co-organizing the American Studies Graduate Student Conference, “Life & Law in Rural America: Cows, Cars and Criminals.” He also spends a great deal of time listening to music.
Emily Prifogle, Department of History
Emily incorporates her legal and policy backgrounds into the study of twentieth century American history. Her dissertation prospectus, “Views from the Midwest: Rural Communities, Law, and Nation in the Twentieth Century,” examines local government structures in rural Midwestern communities in an effort to make “the rural” legible in new ways to historians as well as legal scholars. Emily is also interested in public history, narrative, and micro-history projects. Her previous work has focused on recovering marginalized voices within twentieth century social movements, including the civil rights and women’s rights movements.
Leslie Ribovich, Department of Religion
Leslie Ribovich entered the Religion Department in the Religion in the Americas subfield in 2011. Her interests include the relationship of church and state in the United States, contemporary character education programs, the history of teaching morality in schools, gender, virtue theory, and religion in the public sphere. She received a BA, cum laude, in Religion and English from Barnard College, earning distinction on both senior theses. Her Religion senior thesis was on the universalizing of moral values in the public sphere among thinkers in the character education and New Atheist movements. Leslie is also a recipient of the Beinecke Scholarship.
Rebecca Rosen, Department of English
Rebecca Rosen joined the English Department in 2010. She studies early American literature, with particular interests in women's manuscript writing, autobiography, captivity narratives and slave narratives, Native American literature and history, and elegiac forms.
Ezelle Sanford, History of Science Program
Ezelle Sanford III is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University’s Program in the History of Science. Working at the intersection of history, black studies, and anthropology, he studies race, medicine, and public health from the 19th century to the present. Specifically, his research interests trace the role of black medical professionals, the institution of the black hospital, contemporary health policy, and health activism. His dissertation project, “A Source of Pride, A Vision of Progress” proposes to uncover the complex inter- and intra-racial social relationships within and surrounding the Homer G. Phillips hospital of St. Louis, MO, while providing new insights for writing institutional history.
Kimia Shahi, Department of Art and Archaeology
Kimia Shahi is a graduate student in the Department of Art & Archaeology. She studies the history of American art with a focus on landscape and geography in the 19th and 20th centuries. Kimia is particularly interested in maps and cartography and their historical intersections with the visual arts in relation to national and cultural identity. Related interests include the roles of vision and representation in cross-cultural exchange and encounter, spatial history, globalism, environmental and ecological history and theory, as well as contemporary art and artists that address these and similar themes. Kimia received an A.B. in art history from Dartmouth College in 2009, followed by an M.A. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 2012. Last year, she was the recipient of Princeton's George S. Heyer Graduate Fellowship in American/Modern Art History. This year, she joins the Princeton University Art Museum as a McCrindle Intern in the department of American art, where she will work on the upcoming exhibition Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (2018).
Irene Elizabeth Stroud, Department of Religion
Beth Stroud entered the PhD program in the Department of Religion, specializing in Religion in the Americas, in 2010. She holds an S.T.M. from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College. She is interested in the history of liberal American Protestantism, especially the fissures and contradictions between academic theology, religious social action, and everyday lay religious practice. She also has a strong interest in African-American religion and cities. While completing her S.T.M., she worked as a research assistant on Faith on the Avenue, Dr. Katie Day's ongoing study of nearly 100 congregations on a single city street in Philadelphia.
Joel Suarez, Department of History
Joel Suarez is a PhD candidate in the history department. His dissertation, “Work and the American Moral Imagination,” examines the values ascribed to work in the wake of its transformation in the latter half of the twentieth century. With an emphasis on social critics, novelists, the poor, and the working class, he explores how contending visions of the good life were challenged and reconstituted amid changes wrought by deindustrialization and the ascent of low-wage service sector work.
Sarah Town, Department of Music
Sarah Town is a PhD candidate in musicology, having completed a Masters in musicology at City College of New York, and a BA in history, Portuguese, and Latin American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her background and research interests span Latin American and North American topics including North American and Cuban jazz and popular dance music; Cuban documentary film; the presence of folklore in the popular and avant-garde; diasporic musics and transnational collaborations; and Afro-futurism. Sarah has presented her research at conferences and events in the United States and Mexico, and at Princeton co-coordinated the 2013-14 Musicology Colloquium Series and has precepted for Black Popular Music Cultures, Sounds in and Out of Africa (Music of Africa), and Introduction to Music. Besides her academic work, Sarah performs and teaches a variety of popular music and dance forms, from Brazilian capoeira and maracatu to Cuban salsa and Latin jazz. Her dissertation focuses on the aesthetic economy of Cuban dance culture in New York City.