Margareta Ingrid Christian, Assistant Professor in Germanic Studies, comes to UChicago after serving as a Mellon postdoctoral scholar at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University. Her Princeton PhD thesis, “Horror Vacui: A Cultural History of Air around 1900,” spans multiple media, including poetry, dance, art history, and occult photography. The recipient of a dissertation completion fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation, she also studied at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin as a graduate student and at the Freie Universität Berlin after completing her BA at Harvard.

Theaster Gates joins the Visual Arts faculty as a Professor after teaching in the department and serving the University in various capacities since 2007. In his new role, Gates, the director of UChicago’s Arts and Public Life Initiative, will focus more deeply on his artistic practice and engage students in the College and the Division’s MFA program. His art exhibitions and urban revitalization efforts—which frequently overlap—have received local, national, and international attention. Drawing on his background in urban planning, sculpture, and religious studies, Gates seeks to create immersive installations and sculptures that offer pointed social critique, enabling institutional change in the process.

Timothy Harrison is a specialist in the Renaissance and early modern periods; currently an Instructor in English Language and Literature, he will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor in January 2015. His dissertation, “Forms of Sentience in Early Modernity,” examines how authors including Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton depict the feeling of being alive. After his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Toronto, Harrison completed his PhD in book history and print culture as well as in English. His article “Adamic Awakening and the Feeling of Being Alive in Paradise Lost” (Milton Studies 54, 2013) received the Milton Society of America’s Albert C. Labriola Award. He is currently coauthoring “John Donne’s Physics,” the first chapter of which appeared in the December 2013 English Literary History.

Zachary Samalin joins the English Language and Literature faculty as Assistant Professor after completing his PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he received a Mellon/ACLS dissertation completion fellowship, and his BA at Johns Hopkins. He received the CUNY faculty’s annual prize for his dissertation, “The Masses Are Revolting: Victorian Culture and the Aesthetics of Disgust.” Samalin studies how a negative emotion like disgust helped to define the modern British public sphere by reading Victorian literature alongside Enlightenment thought, social discourse, and ideas of sanitary reform. His article “Dickens, Disinterest and the Poetics of Clouded Judgment” was just published by Dickens Studies Annual (45, 2014).

Megan Sullivan, Assistant Professor in Art History, comes to UChicago from a faculty position at Tulane. After receiving her BA at Brown in comparative literature, she attended Harvard for her PhD in the history of art and architecture. At Harvard she received the Jorge Paulo Lemann Scholarship for Brazilian studies and served as assistant curator for the Latin American/Latino Art Forum in the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. In her dissertation and current book project, “Locating Abstraction: The South American Coordinates of the Avant-garde, 1945–1960,” she explores the trajectory of abstract art in Latin America. She is coeditor of A Companion to Modern and Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art, forthcoming from Wiley‐Blackwell in 2015.

Sofía Torallas Tovar is Associate Professor in Classics, where she spent the past two years as Visiting Professor, with a joint appointment in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Her dual affiliations reflect her range of research interests, including papyrus documents, social history, ancient religion, and historical linguistics. A native of Spain, she was previously a tenured researcher in the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, and her work has been widely published in journals and edited volumes in both English and Spanish. Her degrees—a BA/MA in Classical Philology with a major in Greek and a PhD in Classics—are from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Vu Tran, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts in English Language and Literature and the Committee on Creative Writing, has been teaching at UChicago since 2010. He has a PhD from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, where he was a Glenn Schaeffer Fellow in fiction. He also has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa as well as BA and MA degrees from the University of Tulsa. He was a finalist for the 2011 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature and a 2009 recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award. His short stories appear in numerous collections, and he is currently editing his first novel—tentatively titled This or Any Desert—under contract with W. W. Norton. 



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