Maria Belodubrovskaya, Associate Professor in Cinema and Media Studies, studies Soviet film aesthetics. She was previously on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she received her PhD, and she holds an MA from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinema (VGIK), Moscow. She is the author of Not According to Plan: Filmmaking under Stalin (Cornell, 2017); her next project explores Stalinist propaganda.

In “Beyond Montage: Film Aesthetics and Propaganda under Stalin,” her work in progress, Belodubrovskaya examines all extant Soviet films made between 1938 and 1952 and details their distinctive qualities, demonstrating that they constitute a cinematic tradition that belongs within the broader international discourse. Once that book is complete, she will work on a study of Soviet filmmakers’ contributions to classic Hollywood moviemaking. Her first book, which will soon be translated into Russian, explores Stalin’s relative lack of influence over Soviet filmmaking—beyond his insistence on the excellence of the end product—and the industry’s failure to flourish. Her work has been supported by several competitive awards, including a Mellon/ACLS dissertation completion fellowship and a yearlong postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Noel Blanco Mourelle, Assistant Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, works at the intersection of epistemology, theology, and politics, with particular focus on the “Art” of Ramon Llull. His PhD is from Columbia, where his scholarship was supported by several writing fellowships. His MA is from École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), and his BA is from Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He was previously on the faculty at William and Mary and his first book is tentatively titled “Learning Machines.”

In his “Art,” Llull sought to document a system containing all the world’s knowledge, using logical techniques that have led many to consider him the progenitor of contemporary computation. This thirteenth-century text had a significant impact on the creation of new institutions of knowledge throughout medieval and early modern Europe. In his current book project, Blanco Mourelle traces the “Art”'s influence, particularly in the Spanish royal court, where it was used to justify programs of imperialist expansion and conversion to Christianity. More broadly, his research examines religious conversion, political theology, and the history of the book, as these issues played out in the religiously and culturally diverse region surrounding the Mediterranean.

Professor of Practice in the Arts Suzanne Buffam has been teaching in English and Creative Writing since 2017, and previously from 2006 to 2012. Before returning to UChicago, she taught at the University of Iowa, where she received her MFA. She also holds an MA in English Literature from Concordia University, Montreal. Her latest collection, A Pillow Book (Canarium Books/House of Anansi, 2016), was named one of the year’s ten best poetry books by the New York Times.

Buffam’s previous books are The Irrationalist (Canarium, 2010), which was a finalist for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize, and Past Imperfect (House of Anansi, 2005), which won Canada’s 2006 Gerald Lampert Award and was named a Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail. Her writing has been supported by fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Jeannette Heian Ballard Writers’ Trust, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A Pillow Book takes its inspiration from The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon, a collection of writings by a courtier in eleventh-century Japan. Buffam’s version is an extended meditation on insomnia and anxiety, rendered in lists, micro-essays, philosophical observations, and other experiments with genre. The New York Times called it “fearful, funny and bracingly intelligent” in its engagement with the original.

Assistant Professor Alexis Chema has been teaching in English Language and Literature since 2015. Her PhD is from Yale and her MA and BA are from Georgetown. In her scholarship, she explores Romantic-era poetic responses to the democratization of the public sphere, and her first book is tentatively titled “Fascinating Graces: Poetry and the Arts of Communication.”

In “Fascinating Graces,” Chema explores the rise of mass readership in the eighteenth century as new social groups throughout Europe and its colonies gained literacy and access to print media. She focuses on the way that certain poets—often women—used their work to reach diverse audiences and remain meaningful for readers despite differences in context and cultural background. She explored some of these ideas in “‘A Tongue in Every Star’: Anna Letitia Barbauld’s Poetics of Influence” (Essays in Romanticism 23.2, 2016). Her other project-in-progress is a study of “miscellaneousness” as an organizing principle in bibliographic formats (such as commonplace books, almanacs, albums, annuals, and periodicals). She argues that the growing prominence of the miscellany in the late eighteenth century led to modern ideas of genre, which sees categorization as flexible and interpretable rather than rigidly defined.

Allyson Ettinger, Assistant Professor in Linguistics, is a computational linguist trained in cognitive neuroscience who studies language processing in humans and artificial intelligence systems. She was awarded a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation and received her PhD from the University of Maryland–College Park. She also holds a BA from Brandeis and a graduate certificate from the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. During the 2018–19 academic year she served as a research assistant professor at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

Ettinger’s work seeks to improve both the understanding of language processing in humans and the engineering of natural language processing systems (of which ubiquitous products like Siri and the Amazon Echo are just two prominent examples). Her background includes expertise in theoretical and experimental linguistics, psycholinguistic modeling, and machine learning. She uses this diverse scholarly toolkit to apply more traditional research methods from linguistics and cognitive science to emergent fields within computation and computer science, building connections between those two disciplinary domains.

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, Assistant Professor in Creative Writing and English, comes to UChicago from Virginia Commonwealth University. Ferreira holds MFAs in literary translation and creative nonfiction from the University of Iowa and is a recipient of the Rona Jaffe prize. Her most recent book is Don’t Come Back (Ohio State, 2017), a collection of linked essays, experimental translations, and reinterpreted Colombian myths. It was a finalist in Essay Press’s Open Book Contest and Foreword Review’s INDIES awards and received Dzanc’s 2016 book prize.

Ferreira’s other publications include the short story and essay collection Drown/Sever/Sing (Anomalous Press, 2015), and her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translations have appeared in PEN America / Guernica, Chicago Review, Brevity, Arts and Letters, Fourth Genre, The Sunday Rumpus, The Believer, Bellingham Review, and elsewhere. Her work has received two Pushcart Prize nominations, a Best of the Net award, and the Discovered Voices award from The Iron Horse Review. She is currently editing the anthology The Great American Essay, forthcoming from Mad Creek Books in March 2020, and is also a contributing editor for the Journal of Speculative Nonfiction.

Assistant Professor in Art History Tamara Golan studies the visual and material culture of late medieval and early modern northern Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands, 1300–1550). Her PhD is from Johns Hopkins, where she received a fellowship from the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies to complete her dissertation, “Hans Fries and Niklaus Manuel: Evidence, Inquiry, and Knowledge in Swiss Painting (1430–1530).” Her MA is from Tufts and her BA is from the University of San Francisco.

Golan’s work has been further supported by a Samuel H. Kress predoctoral fellowship, facilitating research at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, and a predoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Art History Institute (Kunsthistorisches Institut) in Florence. Her other scholarly interests include the intersections of art, science, and the law; paradigms of expertise; artistic fraud and deception; and questions of materiality. Her most recent publication is “ut experiri et scire posset: Pictorial Evidence and Judicial Inquiry in Hans Fries’ Kleiner Johannes Altar” in The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War, eds. Georges Martyn, Vanessa Paumen, and Stefan Huygebaert (Springer, 2018).

Julie Iromuanya, Assistant Professor in Creative Writing and English, was previously on the faculty of the University of Arizona, the University of Tampa, and Northeastern Illinois University. Her novel, Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House, 2015), was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature (now 9 Mobile Prize for Literature), and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction. She has published numerous short stories as well as articles and book chapters; her recent scholarly work has appeared in Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism and Callaloo: A Journal of African American Arts and Letters, and the forthcoming Afropolitan Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury, 2020).  Her PhD is from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she received a teaching award and was a presidential fellow.

Iromuanya’s critical work and creative writing are both concerned with migration, particularly communities of African immigrants in the United States. She is interested in exploring the nexus between African Anglophone and African American literature, which highlights longstanding intersectional issues of race, economics, gender, and citizenship. Her creative work has been supported by numerous awards: the inaugural Herbert W. Martin fellowship in creative writing at the University of Dayton, a Jane Tinkham Broughton fiction fellowship at Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Bread Loaf Bakeless/Camargo France fellowship, a Brown Foundation fellowship at the Dora Maar House, a Fiction Fellowship at the Kimbilio Writers Retreat, a Jan Michalski fellowship at “The Treehouses,” and the Eternal Vada fellowship. She was also a Tennessee Williams scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and has held fellowships and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Ragdale Foundation, Villa Lena, and Villa Ruffieux. Her current book project is a novel tentatively titled “A Season of Light.”

Mitchell S. Jackson, Assistant Professor in Creative Writing and English, is a prolific writer whose short stories, creative nonfiction, journalism, and critical essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Paris Review, The Guardian, Time magazine, and elsewhere. His novel The Residue Years (Bloomsbury, 2013) won a Whiting Award and was designated an Editors’ Choice and Paperback Row Pick by the New York Times Book Review; his essay collection Survival Math: Notes on an American Family (Scribner, 2019) was also a NYTBR Editors’ Choice. Jackson holds an MFA from New York University and will spend the 2019–20 academic year as a fellow of the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center. He has previously held a PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Bearing Witness Fellowship, a TED Foundation Senior Fellowship, and a nonfiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

Jackson’s writing grapples with questions of race and masculinity, as well as social justice, particularly the need for criminal-justice reform. Beyond the awards mentioned above, The Residue Years won The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award, and the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction. It was also accompanied by a documentary, which he produced, and he is the creative director of a short film to complement Survival Math. His other public work includes a 2016 TED conference talk entitled “Should Blackness Exist?” in addition to numerous podcast appearances and interviews.

Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor Catriona MacLeod joins Germanic Studies after two decades at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of German and an award-winning teacher. A scholar of the literature, visual art, and culture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Germany, she is the author of Embodying Ambiguity: Androgyny and Aesthetics from Winckelmann to Keller (Wayne State, 1998) and Fugitive Objects: Sculpture and Literature in the German Nineteenth Century (Northwestern, 2013), which was awarded the Jean Pierre Barricelli Prize for best book in Romanticism studies. She is also senior editor of the journal Word & Image. She received an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship and summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities to work on her next book, “Romantic Scraps: Cutouts, Collages, and Inkblots.” Her PhD is from Harvard and her MA is from the University of Glasgow.

The “Romantic Scraps” project looks at the material collage work of Romantic authors and visual artists: cutting, gluing, staining, and repurposing paper and creating ink blot poems. Prominent authors like Hans Christian Andersen used these techniques to create picture books and other forms of hybrid print culture, but they have received little attention from scholars of literature and art history. MacLeod’s other publications include the coedited volumes Un/Translatables: New Maps for Germanic Literatures (Northwestern, 2016), Efficacité/Efficacy: How to Do Things with Words and Images? (Rodopi, 2011), and Elective Affinities: Testing Word and Image Relationships (Rodopi, 2009).

Daniel Moerner, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, received his MPhil from Cambridge and PhD from Yale, with the dissertation “Spinoza’s Metaphysics of Ideas: Deflating Necessity and Causation Through the Identity of Intellect and Will.” He studies early modern philosophy through Kant, and his other research interests include ancient philosophy, early analytic philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, contemporary metaphysics, and philosophy of action.

A specialist in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy, particularly the work of Benedict Spinoza, Moerner has sought to understand how much of Spinoza’s Ethics is an expression of adequate knowledge according to Spinoza’s own definition. He is developing this project through a number of papers that will culminate in a book, arguing that surprisingly little of the Ethics expresses adequate knowledge. He also has a background in computer science, maintaining proficiency in several scripting languages and expertise in Linux.

Noémie Ndiaye, Assistant Professor in English Language and Literature, will soon publish her first book, “Racecraft: Early Modern Repertoires of Blackness,” which argues that racializing stage performances in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries helped create and enforce the cultural notions of race that persist today. She was previously on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon and studied at the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and the Sorbonne before completing her PhD in theatre at Columbia. Originally from France, she also trained as a professional actor at Le Cours Simon in Paris.

Ndiaye’s work dissects the stagecraft used in early modern theater and performance culture to represent and racialize Africans and Afro-descendants across borders in early modern England, France, and Spain. It argues that, from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the beginning of the eighteenth century, the cosmetic, vocal, and kinetic techniques of racial impersonation used by white actors, amateurs, and enthusiasts to represent black characters effected ideological work by fostering new habits of mind among spectators across Europe. Her doctoral dissertation—on which her forthcoming book is based—won the Shakespeare Association of America’s J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Award for 2018. Her research has been published in Early Theatre, Renaissance Drama, and will soon appear in English Literary Renaissance, American Historical Review, and several edited collections.

Andrew Ollett, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, is the author of Language of the Snakes: Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India (California, 2017) and is currently working on an edition and translation of the romance Līlāvaī, to be published by Harvard University Press in the Murty Classical Library of India. He holds an MPhil from Oxford and a PhD from Columbia and was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Ollett’s scholarship is concerned with the literary and intellectual traditions of South Asia across several languages, including Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsha, and Kannada, within the first millennium CE. He is interested in the “question of language”: the decision to use certain languages for certain purposes, the range of languages available to particular writers, and language’s role in cultural production and change. His other ongoing projects include a book on the development of manuscript literacy in South Asia, a book on context dependency in South Asian philosophies of language, and a coedited edition and translation of The Way of the Poet-King—a ninth-century manual of poetics written in Kannada—supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is also preparing an edition, translation, and study of the Mirror of Ornaments, the only surviving work of poetics in the Prakrit language.

Assistant Professor in Philosophy Ginger Schultheis works in epistemology and philosophy of language. She completed PhD at MIT, with the dissertation “Belief and Evidence,” and was previously a Bersoff Faculty Fellow at NYU. Her latest publication is “Living on the Edge: Against Epistemic Permissivism” (Mind, July 2018).

In epistemology, she mostly works on the nature of rational belief. Specifically, she is interested in the relationship between belief and credence, whether epistemic rationality is permissive, whether human beings can choose to believe things at will, and whether having imprecise credences can be rational. In the philosophy of language, she mainly works in formal semantics, especially the semantics of modals and conditionals.

Hoda El Shakry, Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature, studies twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, film, and criticism—across both Arabic and French—from North Africa and the Middle East, with an emphasis on the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. She is the author of The Literary Qurʾan: Narrative Ethics in the Maghreb (Fordham, 2019) and was previously on the Penn State faculty and a faculty fellow at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her PhD is from UCLA.

The Literary Qurʾan, which received the 2018 Helen Tartar book subvention award of the American Comparative Literature Association, examines the influence of Qurʾanic textual, hermeneutical, and philosophical traditions on Arabophone and Francophone fiction from the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco). Her current book project is a critical history of twentieth-century Maghrebi cultural journals, looking at how these publications transform the conceptual and historical frameworks through which print culture is periodized, theorized, and archived.

El Shakry is the MLA Delegate Assembly representative for the Global Arab and Arab American Forum and served on the Forum on Arabic Literature and Culture from 2015 to 2019. She is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Modern Literature and on the Advisory Board of the African Feminist Initiative. Her interdisciplinary scholarship explores aesthetic theory, Islamic philosophy, and comparative literary criticism, as well as gender and sexuality.

Stephanie Soileau, AB’98, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts in Creative Writing and English, holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, Stanford, and the University of Southern Maine. Her collection of short stories—a series of narratives centered on characters struggling with economic uncertainty in Southern Louisiana, titled Last One Out Shut Off the Lights—is forthcoming next summer from Little, Brown & Co.

Soileau’s work has also appeared in Glimmer Train, Oxford American, Ecotone, Tin House, StoryQuarterly, New Stories from the South, and other journals and anthologies, and has been supported by fellowships from the Wallace Stegner Fellowship Program at Stanford University (where she was a Truman Capote fellow), the Camargo Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is currently writing her first novel, about oil, land rights, and the disappearing Louisiana coast.

Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature Kris Trujillo holds a PhD in rhetoric and critical theory from University of California, Berkeley, an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and a BA from Harvard College. A scholar of medieval Christianity, Latinx literature, and queer theory, he explores the lasting cultural legacy of the Middle Ages, as in his forthcoming book, “Jubilee of the Heart: How Monastic Song Became Mystical Poetics.” He was previously on the faculty at Fordham.

Trujillo’s research is situated at the intersection of religious studies, literary studies, and the study of gender and sexuality. His work interrogates the affective, embodied, erotic, and communal aspects of the devotional practices that structure the production of theology, theory, and literature. “Jubilee of the Heart” combines readings of premodern theological texts with modern theories of practice, performativity, and ritualization in order to provide an account of the relationship between mystical poetry, the monastic practice of singing the Psalms, and the desire for God. His next project, “Queer Theory against the Apophatic: Mysticism, Medieval History, and the Latinx Response to the AIDS Crisis,” investigates how queer Latinx theorists, writers, and artists retooled medieval Christian mysticism in response to anti-gay religious rhetoric during the early decades of the AIDS pandemic.