Larissa Brewer-Garcia, Assistant Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, studies early modern culture in Latin America, the Caribbean, and other areas of the African diaspora. Her dissertation, “Beyond Babel: Translations of Blackness in Colonial Peru and New Granada,” examines the influence of translation on the representation of black men and women in Spanish American colonial writings. Her BA is from Columbia University and her MA and PhD are from the University of Pennsylvania. She comes to UChicago following a two-year appointment in the Princeton Society of Fellows, where she held the Cotsen postdoctoral fellowship in race and ethnicity studies. A polyglot, she has published scholarly articles in both English and Spanish, and also conducts research using French, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and the South American indigenous language Quechua.

Darby English, an expert in modern and contemporary art, returns to UChicago after serving as the Starr Director of the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program. His BA is from Williams College, while his MA and PhD are from the University of Rochester. In addition to his role as the University’s Carl Darling Buck Professor in Art History, he will continue to work as consulting curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. He is the author of How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (2007) along with numerous articles and several coauthored or edited volumes, and his second monograph, 1971: A Year in the Life of Color, is forthcoming in 2016.

Leah Feldman joins the Comparative Literature faculty as an Assistant Professor after a yearlong fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Prior to that, she was a research fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and she completed her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles; her BA is from the University of Texas at Austin. A specialist in the cultural interplay between the Turko-Persianate world and Russia (including the Soviet era), she received a Fulbright fellowship to conduct research in Azerbaijan for her dissertation, “On the Threshold of Eurasia: Intersecting Discourses of Empire and Identity in the Literature of the Russian Empire.”

Ariel Fox, Assistant Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, is a scholar of late imperial China whose work explores the way seventeenth-century literature and theater gave rise to a new economic imagination both local and global in scope. Her dissertation, “Southern Capital: Staging Commerce in Seventeenth-Century Suzhou,” laid the foundation for her current book project, “Commercial Acts: Money, Merchants, and Markets in Late Imperial Chinese Drama.” In addition to her BA studies at Columbia University and PhD from Harvard, she also held a yearlong Fulbright fellowship at Peking University and Academia Sinica as well as a Harvard-China fellowship at Soochow University.

Rachel Galvin is a scholar of poetry, modernism, and transnational literature as well as a poet and literary translator joining English Language and Literature as an Assistant Professor after a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins and an NEH/Mellon fellowship at the Newberry Library. Her first monograph, Poetry and the Press in Wartime (1936–1945), is under review; in it, she examines the relationship between poetry and journalism produced during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Her next project, “Hemispheric Poetics,” explores diasporic and bilingual poets in the Americas. Her other interests include postcolonial Latin American literary theory. She received her BA from Georgetown after a year spent at the Sorbonne in Paris, her MA from University of Texas at Austin, and her PhD from Princeton, where she won the Sidonie Clauss Memorial Dissertation Prize. She coedited the essay collection Auden at Work (2015), and her translation of Raymond Queneau’s Hitting the Streets won the 2014 Scott Moncrieff Prize.

Edgar Garcia holds a Provost Career Enhancement Postdoctoral Scholarship in English Language and Literature, after which he will join the faculty as a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor. His research focuses primarily on indigenous and Latino studies as well as American and Latin American literature; he is also interested in poetry, environmental criticism, and historical anthropology. His dissertation, “Deep Land: Hemispheric Modernisms and Indigenous Media” discusses how twentieth-century modernist writers, both Anglo and Latino, engaged with indigenous cultures in attempt to create communities that were not defined by national identity. He coedited the anthology American Literature in the World, and his writings include scholarly articles, poetry, translations, and a novella. He holds a PhD, an MA, and an MPhil from Yale; a BA in English with a focus on the Middle Ages from Berkeley; and an AA in English from Chaffey Community College in California.

Ghenwa Hayek, Assistant Professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, was on the faculty at Claremont McKenna College before coming to UChicago. Prior to that, she held a yearlong postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. She studies contemporary and nineteenth-century Arabic literature, and is also interested in colonialism, national identity, and urbanity. She recently published her first monograph, Beirut, Imagining the City: Space and Place in Lebanese Literature (2014), and is currently working on a project on Lebanese literature in the context of emigration and transnationalism. She holds a PhD and MA from Brown in comparative literature, an MA in twentieth-century literature from Leeds University in the UK, and a BA from the American University in Beirut.

Wei-cheng Lin, AM’99, PhD’06, returns to his alma mater as Associate Professor of Art History. Previously, he was on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Iowa State University. His first book, Building a Sacred Mountain: Buddhist Architecture of China’s Mount Wutai (2014), discusses the influence of architecture on the development of a tenth-century religious site. An expert in China’s medieval architecture, he also explores the country’s contemporary visual arts, as well as its cultural heritage from the early modern era onward. As a graduate student, he worked with the Field Museum’s collection of rare Japanese books and held a curatorial position at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In addition to his UChicago degrees, he holds an MA in art history from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. His BA, in video and cinema, is from National Cheng-Chi University in Taipei.

Maria Anna Mariani, Assistant Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, explores questions of memory in twentieth-century Italian and European literature, with a particular interest in first-person writing. Her 2012 book Sull’autobiografia contemporanea (On Contemporary Autobiography): Nathalie Sarraute, Elias Canetti, Alice Munro, Primo Levi offers a theory of the autobiographical genre based on the dialectic between memory and narrative. Mariani’s PhD, in theory of literature, is from the University of Siena, where she also completed her BA, and her MA is from Foreigners University of Siena. She is also a creative writer whose personal essays detail her experiences teaching Italian at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Korea, where she was on the faculty before coming to UChicago. She is also the coauthor of an Italian-language anthology of literature and literary history designed for high school students, LiberaMente (2010).

Archaeologist James Osborne joins the faculty of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Oriental Institute as an Assistant Professor. His BA, in ancient Near Eastern studies, is from the University of Toronto, while his master’s and doctoral degrees, in archaeology of the Levant, are from Harvard. He also has a certificate from the Turkish language school at Ankara University in Turkey. He is a specialist in the Bronze and Iron Ages of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East and author of the dissertation “Spatial Analysis and Political Authority in the Iron Age Kingdom of Patina, Turkey.” He has held postdoctoral fellowships at Brown’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Johns Hopkins, and the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology at SUNY Buffalo.

Susanne Paulus, Assistant Professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Oriental Institute, is an expert in Near Eastern philology and Assyriology with a background in archaeology. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Münster in Germany, where she received a “best dissertation” prize from the faculty for her work on Babylonian inscriptions and graduated summa cum laude. Her dissertation was published in Germany in 2014, and she has also coedited two German books. Her research explores the history of the ancient Near East through the lens of its social practices, legal systems, and economy. While her scholarship is primarily in the languages Akkadian and Sumerian, she also has competency in Egyptian (Middle, Neo, and Coptic), Elamite, Hittite, Hurrian, Greek, Latin, Ugaritic, and Urartian.

Hervé Reculeau, Assistant Professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Oriental Institute, explores the geography and environment of ancient landscapes, with a focus on Mesopotamia during the second millennium. His BA is from the Sorbonne and his graduate degrees, both in Assyriology, are from the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. He comes to UChicago after teaching appointments at the Sorbonne, Freie Univesität Berlin, and the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. He also held a long-term postdoctoral position at the Freie Univesität’s TOPOI excellence cluster focused on ancient civilizations, which resulted in his first monograph, Climate, Environment and Agriculture in Assyria in the 2nd Half of the 2nd Millennium BCE (2011).

Victoria Saramago, Assistant Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, studies twentieth- and twenty-first-century Brazilian literature. Her dissertation is titled “Mimetic Materialities: Spatial Representation in Latin American Mid-20th-Century Regionalist Fiction.” Saramago’s BA and MA are from Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and her PhD, in Iberian and Latin American cultures, is from Stanford. She also attended a summer seminar at Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory. In addition to her scholarly work, she has published a dozen short stories and a novel in Portuguese and also edited a fiction anthology.

Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky returns to Cinema and Media Studies, where she was previously a postdoctoral scholar, as an Assistant Professor. In the intervening years, she was on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Massachusetts Boston. A scholar of Latin American cinema from the early twentieth century, she is currently working on her first book manuscript, “The Aesthetic of Labor: The Process Genre and Latin American Political Cinema.” She completed her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and her MA and PhD at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received several writing awards, including the Edward Lozano Memorial Dissertation Prize from the Center for Latin American Studies. In addition to studying film, she also has a background in filmmaking—writing, codirecting, and coproducing the PBS documentary Stealing Home: The Case of Contemporary Cuban Baseball.

Olga Solovieva, Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature, was a postdoctoral scholar in UChicago’s John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought. She has also held teaching positions at Yale, Smith College, and Georgia Tech. Her first book project, “Christ’s Subversive Body,” examines the rhetorical usages that the religious notion of Christ’s body has offered at some critical junctures in the history of Western civilization. Her current book projects, “The Russian Kurosawa” and “Thomas Mann’s Russia,” address the reception of Russian literature in the East and West, and her other research interests include media and performance studies as well as the history of rhetoric. Her MA, in German and Russian literature, is from the Freie Universität Berlin and her PhD, in comparative literature and film studies, is from Yale, where she received a student writing award. As a graduate student, she also received the Grand Marnier Award for Film Criticism from New York’s Lincoln Center.

John Wee, previously a Provost Career Enhancement Postdoctoral Scholar and Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) and the Oriental Institute, joins both as an Assistant Professor. An expert in the scientific, medical, and mathematical traditions of ancient Mesopotamia and Greece, he has several journal articles and a forthcoming monograph, Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary, as well as an edited volume of essays, The Comparable Body: Imagination and Analogy in Ancient Anatomy and Physiology. He holds an MA in classical history and an MDiv from Trinity International University in Illinois. His PhD is from Yale, where he was designated the Samuel K. Bushnell fellow and awarded the William J. Horwitz Prize for his dissertation. He also did postgraduate work in Assyriology at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany. 

Tyler Williams joins the faculty of South Asian Languages and Civilizations as Assistant Professor following a yearlong postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation, “From Sacred Sound to Sacred Book: A History of Writing in Hindi,” traces how writing created new community networks; his next book project, “Account Books and Holy Books: Merchant Religious and Literary Culture in Early Modern India,” examines records from Indian merchant communities to explore the relationship between the region’s economy and its religious cultures. He also coedited a forthcoming edition titled Texts and Traditions in Early Modern North India. A Hindi scholar, he holds a BA from Berkley, MPhil and MA degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and a PhD from Columbia University.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN ZICH


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