David Scott (Opening Keynote) is a professor in the anthropology department at Columbia University. He is currently working on a book project, “Stuart Hall’s Voice: Style, Dialogue, and the Ethos of Receptive Generosity.” For a more detailed bio click here.

Sibylle Fischer (Closing Keynote) is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature at New York University. Her most recent work is Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (Duke UP, 2004). For a more detailed bio click here.


Tanya Agathocleous (Respondent) is a professor in the English department at Hunter College. Her most recent publication is Urban Realism and the Cosmopolitan Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2011). For a more detailed bio click here.

Ashna Ali is a fourth year doctoral student in CUNY Graduate Center’s Comparative Literature Program, interested in American Studies, critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, Italian studies, the migrant narrative, film studies, trauma studies, posthumanism and genre theory. She is originally from Bangladesh, was raised in Italy, and has been in the U.S. for nine years.

Hilarie Ashton (Respondent) is an English PhD student at CUNY Grad Center; her focus is comp/rhet. She received her 200 hour yoga teaching certification from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, where she teaches community classes. Hilarie received her MA from New York University and her BA from Williams College.

Kesi Amandla Augustine is a second year English PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of New York University. Her research interests in 20th century African American literature include critical race theory, (failed) subjectivities, and contemporary young adult literature. Kesi Augustine’s work has appeared in the Huffington Post and USA TODAY. She publicly advocates for, and teaches literature and writing to, under-served minority students in New York City. 

Lauren Bailey: I am a first-year doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center in the English program. I am interested in the representations of women in 18th and 19th century British texts, and my primary focus is the Victorian period.

Emily T. Bauman is full-time on the faculty of the Liberal Studies Program at New York University. She has published in postcolonial theory and American Studies, including the iconography of presidential biography and Intelligent Design. She is currently at work on a book about the figure of the angel in postwar American culture.

Herman Bennett (Preludes Roundtable) is a professor in the History program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His most recent publication is Colonial Blackness: A History of Afro-Mexico (Indian UP, 2009). For a more detailed bio click here.

Jacqueline Brown (Respondent) is a professor in the anthropology department at Hunter College. Her most recent publication is Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail: Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool (Princeton UP, 2005). For a more detailed bio click here.

Kandice Chuh (Preludes Roundtable) is a professor in the English program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently finishing a book project on The Difference Aesthetics Makes: U.S. Minority Discourse Post-Identity. For a more detailed bio click here.

Tova Cooper is an Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of South Florida, Tampa. She has a book forthcoming with Rutgers University Press, titled The Autobiography of Citizenship: New-Citizen Education as Literature and Politics. Tova is also writing a novel called Underwater Subdivision. She lives with the Poet-Lawyerate Stan Apps and has two wonderful boys

Annmarie Drury (Respondent) is an assistant professor in the English department at Queens College. For a more detailed bio click here.

Duncan Faherty (Preludes Roundtable) is a professor in the English program at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. His most recent publication is Remodeling the Nation: The Architecture of American Identity, 1776-1858 (U of New England P, 2007). For a more detailed bio click here.

Paul Fess (Respondent) is a doctoral candidate specializing in American literature, sound studies, and African American literature. He is currently working on his dissertation, which explores  the ways in which sound both regulated enslaved persons lives and provided an important tool for resistance. This project focuses on a distinction within sound between music as structure and noise as resistance by comparing three different political spaces: the plantation, the parade, and the abolitionist political rally.

Donatella Galella is a PhD Candidate in Theatre at The Graduate Center. Her dissertation is a critical history of Arena Stage, the pioneering regional theatre of Washington, D.C., and she argues that by studying this national institution, we can better understand struggles over capital, race, and U.S. identity. She has taught theatre at Eugene Lang College and Baruch College, speech at Brooklyn College, and English at Hostos Community College.

Ian Green: I am currently a second-year student in CUNY Graduate Center’s doctoral program for literature, with a particular concentration on Early American literature. My research focuses upon Atlantic literatures of capitalist exchange and evangelical faith traditions. I earned a Master’s Degree in American Literature from New York University, with a research focus on Herman Melville and American philosophical traditions of pessimism.

Jeremy Glick (Respondent) is a professor in the English department at Hunter College. For a more detailed bio click here.

Timothy Griffiths is a Ph.D. student in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY and a teaching fellow at Brooklyn College, CUNY. His areas of research include queer theory, ecology, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, African-American literature, and black.queer intersectionality. His current projects include work on Samuel Delany’s utopia; Charles Johnson’s Black Atlantic temporal aesthetics; and Herman Melville’s interventions in queer posthumanism. His most recent article, “‘O’er Pathless Rocks’: Wordsworth, Landscape Aesthetics, and Queer Ecology,” is forthcoming in ISLE.

Anjuli I. Gunaratne is a PhD student at Princeton University’s English Department. She is currently working on a dissertation that studies how literatures of decolonization in the Caribbean and South Asia critique and resist the hegemonic language practices of the Human Rights regime and International Law.

Paul Hebert is a second year English PhD student at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He specializes in 19th century American literature, focusing on issues of identity production, transnationalism and revolution.

Kristina Huang is an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellow at the Graduate Center of CUNY. She studies English literature and is currently working on her dissertation, entitled “Toward a Black Enlightenment: Inquiry and Slavery in the Long Eighteenth-Century.” Her research interests include Anglophone literature of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century, Race, Atlantic History, and the African Diaspora. Kristina received the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) Archival Research Award in Africana Studies earlier this year. Prior to becoming a Writing Fellow at Baruch College for 2013-2014, she taught English literature at City College. Kristina Huang’s work has appeared in Small Axe Salon and Social Text Journal online.

Kelly Josephs (Respondent) is an assistant professor in the English department at York College. Her most recent publication is  Disturbers of the Peace: Representations of Insanity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature (U of Virginia P, 2013). For a more detailed bio click here.

Matthew Knip is a student in the Ph.D. program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College, where he teaches courses in nineteenth-century American literature and literary theory and criticism. His research interests include heterotopias of anti-oedipal organization and orgiastic/dionysian ecstasis, including eighteenth-century piracy.

Jarvis C. McInnis is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he studies African American and African Diaspora literature and culture. He is currently at work on a dissertation entitled, “The Black South Reconsidered: Modernity, Internationalism, and Diaspora.” His research has been funded by the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.

Elena C. Munoz is a second year graduate student at Rutgers University. She is working towards her M.A. in Art History with a concentration in Latin American Art; she is specifically interested in the intersection of Spanish and African visual cultures in the Caribbean. She received her B.A. from Fordham University in 2009.

Maryam Parhizkar is an MA candidate in the Liberal Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, concentrating in American Studies. Her current interests explore the ways in which experimentation in American music is informed by poetics, performance practices, race and politics. Also a poet and violist by musical training, she has taught in public school programs, freelanced throughout New York City, and worked as an arts administrator for several years, and is managing editor of Litmus Press.

Melissa Phruksachart (Respondent) is a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at Brooklyn College. Her dissertation constructs and analyzes an archive of Asian/American performance on U.S. television in order to apprehend the racial legacy of the Cold War beyond the black/white, north/south binaries of traditional civil rights historiography.

Conor Tomas Reed has been a student, educator, and activist in the City University of New York since 2006. Conor’s work focuses on 20th and 21st century Africana social movement literatures and freedom schools.

Robert Reid-Pharr (Preludes Roundtable) is a professor in the English program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His most recent publication is Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual (NYU P, 2007). For a more detailed bio click here.

Justin Rogers-Cooper is an Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, where he also teaches urban studies courses. He received his Ph.D from the CUNY Graduate Center with an American Studies certificate in 2011. His current research considers the American cultural response to transatlantic practices of crowd violence in the long nineteenth century, with an emphasis on the 1877 General Strike.

Danica Savonick (Respondent) is a second year Ph.D. student in English at The Graduate Center, focusing on cultural studies, literary theory, critical university studies, and twentieth-century and contemporary literature.

Marshall Smith is a Ph.D. candidate at Tulane University in New Orleans specializing in French Studies. His research interests include race formation during the Enlightenment Period, cross-cultural encounters in the Americas, “Frenchness” and “otherness”, comparative Francophone Caribbean and African-American Literature as well as the intersections of Postcolonial and Queer Theory.

Evelyn Soto is a first-year doctoral student in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fontaine and Mellon Mays fellow. Her research interests include nineteenth-century American literature, maritime literature, and colonial and postcolonial studies.

Tristan Striker is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at the CUNY Graduate Center and is currently teaching at FIT. When he is not writing or preparing his lessons, Tristan likes to watch cheesy action movies and listen to electronic music. His research focuses on the history, memory, and the manifestations of the slave trade and the middle passage in African American and African diasporic literature.

Wendy Tronrud is a doctoral candidate in American Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaches at Queens College. She holds a Masters in Teaching Literature from Bard College and taught high school in NYC for a number of years. Her interests include transhistorical American poetry, nineteenth century American Literature, aesthetics and slavery studies.

Frances Tran is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the English program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation is titled “Animate Impossibilities: on Racialization, Knowledge Politics, and Alternative Humanities.” It examines Asian American studies as an exemplary knowledge formation through which we might approach and challenge violent forms of racialization that persist in the academy in a putatively “post-race” era. Her primary research interests engage questions on aesthetics, knowledge politics, and social justice. Frances received the Dean K. Harrison Award in 2012 and is a Mellon doctoral fellow on the Committee on Globalization and Social Change. She teaches courses on composition, literature, place, and memory at Queens College

Tao Wei: I am a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University, writing my dissertation on Metropole, Colony, and the Moving Encounters of Henry Laurens in the Atlantic World, 1744-1784. My interest mainly focuses on 18th century South Carolina and British Atlantic world.

Jalaine N. Lindsley Weller is a fourth semester graduate student in the Master’s of English and American Literature program at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her research interests engage questions related to understandings of race in an arguably post-racial world, the proximity of utopian and dystopian realities, and the legacy of slavocracy in nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American literature. Her current research focuses on representations of the Atlantic space in contemporary narratives of slavery from the 1960s to present day. In addition to her own studies, Jalaine teaches First-Year Composition and serves as the treasurer of her university’s Graduate Student English Association.

Alexandre White: I am a Graduate Student and Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow within the Sociology Department of Boston University.  In 2012 I completed my Masters Degree from the London School of Economics where I was advised directly by Paul Gilroy. My Master’s dissertation titled Alterity by Disease: the Reestablishment of bio-racial separation in South Africa through HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Co-infection examines the relationships between Colonial oppression, biopower, and systemic race and class inequalities in South Africa and contrasts the technologies of Apartheid with the effects of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis to form a new dynamic of racialised oppression. My current research explores ways in which chronic diseases, most specifically HIV/AIDS augment the lived experience and the position of the minority or racialised persons within post-colonial and racially fragmented States. My dissertation will focus on how HIV/AIDS augments existing social formations of inequality, re-affirming modernist constructions of social fragmentation.


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