Every year the CCA welcomes two postdoctoral associates as part of our annual research seminar. After their time at the CCA, many of our postdoctoral fellows have gone on to tenure-track jobs or to other prestigious postdoctoral positions.

Postdoctoral Associates 2019-2020

Research Seminar: The University and its Public World

Jessica Mack

Jessica Mack

Jessica Mack is a historian of Latin America whose research explores urban transformation, intellectual life and the public sphere in twentieth-century Mexico. Her current book project traces the spatial reconfiguration of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) on its midcentury campus in Mexico City. By chronicling the planning and construction of this University City, the project explains the national university’s shifting role in Mexico’s developing revolutionary state and examines the ways in which national priorities were inscribed upon intellectual and cultural life. Reshaping the space of the university both reconfigured Mexico City’s urban landscape and realigned consent and contestation in national politics. She explores the role of the university more broadly through work in the digital humanities, university archives and public history and is a contributor to the Princeton & Slavery digital history project. She holds a B.A. in History from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.

Postdoctoral Associates 2018-2019

Research Seminar: Classification

Jasmine Samara

Jasmine Samara

Jasmine Samara received a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2018 and has a J.D. from Columbia Law School.  After her year at CCA, Jasmine is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU.  She is a legal scholar and social anthropologist whose work explores debates on law, rights and identity politics in contemporary Europe. Her research and teaching focus on law and religion, the governance of minorities, gender, and the anthropology of human rights.  Her work also explores how citizens invoke, contest, or try to evade the legal regulation of minority identity as they navigate shifting lines of belonging and exclusion in the era of Greek economic crisis. 
Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller is a labor and cultural historian of the nineteenth-century with a particular focus on the development of the global entertainment industry. She is currently working on a book project adapted from her dissertation, "Capital Entertainment: Stage Work and the Origins of the U.S. Creative Economy, 1843 - 1912," which analyzes the transformation of commercial performance from a small-scale artisanal or folk practice into a staple product of global, export-oriented capitalism. Despite the glossy sheen of stardom that shapes our understanding of stage work, most performers were contingent staffers whose efforts—as the first pastime to become big business—generated exponential profits. Far from a niche interest or obscure curiosity, common understandings of stage work naturalized capitalism’s demands on all workers, even as it introduced prescient questions about talent, creativity, and individuality that persist today. Rachel's other research projects include the global reach of Americana, the legal history of the blackface minstrel show, and the theory and practice of historic house museums. She received a PhD in American Culture at the University of Michigan, and her work has been published in scholarly journals, edited collections, and popular outlets.

Postdoctoral Associates 2014-2015

Research Seminar: Totality

Andrew Moisey

Andrew Moisey

Andrew Moisey received his Ph.D. in 2014 from U.C. Berkeley in Film and Media Studies. He is an Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at Cornell University.  A photographer and a historian of photography, Andrew’s research investigates how photography became an art that deals with philosophical problems. His current book project, The Photographic World Picture, shows how four artists--one early modern and three contemporary--took pictures that reflected prevalent philosophical views of their time. It describes how Newtonian mechanics shaped Canaletto's cityscapes, how structuralism favored Bernd and Hilla Bechers' industrial typologies, and how Andreas Gursky's large-scale digital photographs describe globalization. Each development needed photography's "subjective" point of view on the ground to seem like an "objective" view of the world at large. https://arthistory.cornell.edu/andrew-moisey-0
Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013.  After his year at the CCA, Matthew accepted a fellowship at Harvard University’s Mahindra Humanities Center, then joined the faculty at Ashoka University in July 2018 after two years as a visiting scholar at Cornell University’s South Asia Program (2016-2018).

Postdoctoral Associates 2013-2014

Research Seminar: Objects & Environments

Anita Bakshi

Anita Bakshi

Anita Bakshi is an architect with a particular interest in the relationship between memory and the material world, conflict and divided cities, and commemorative structures and practices.  Following several years in architectural practice, Anita received her PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture from Cambridge University, where she was a member of the Conflict in Cities and the Contested State research groups.  After her year as a CCA Postdoctoral Fellow, Anita stayed at Rutgers.  She teaches in the Department of Landscape Architecture, offering courses on Housing and Open Space Design, Visualization, and Research Methods. She is also an affiliated lecturer for the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS) Program, teaching courses on Heritage and Planning in Divided Cities and Cultural Heritage and Community Organizing.  Her research focuses on questions of mapping and representation for contested environments.  Her book Topographies of Memory: A New Poetics of Commemoration, appeared in 2017 from Palgrave. She leads the Society & Design Lab Working Group at the CCA. https://anita-bakshi.squarespace.com
Darryl Wilkinson

Darryl Wilkinson

Darryl Wilkinson received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia. After his year at the CCA, he held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was also a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He is now an Assistant Professor of Religion at Dartmouth.  He studies the indigenous religious traditions of the Americas, focusing on two main areas: 1) the ancient Andes and 2) the colonial Southwestern United States. His work critically explores the concept of "animism," particularly as a category for framing the metaphysical commitments of indigenous peoples across the globe. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the Inka Empire, which examines how power is realized in an ancient state where mountains and rocks were treated as sentient, living actors. Wilkinson's primary methodological training is in archaeology, and is therefore grounded in the study of material and visual culture, especially the analysis of iconography, landscapes and ceramic artifacts.

Mellon Postdoctoral Associates 2014-2016

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows

Avram Alpert

Avram Alpert

Avram Alpert (2014-2016) received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. After spending two years as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers, Avi has won fellowships from Fulbright Commission of Brazil, the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, and the Sauve Foundation at McGill University.  Avi is currently a lecturer in the Writing Program at Princeton University.  With Rit Premnath, he is co-editor of Shifter Magazine. With Meleko Mokgosi and Anthea Behm, he is co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program at Jack Shainman Gallery. And with Danny Snelson and Mashinka Firunts, he is a member of the academic-artist collective, Research Service.  Avi’s first book, Global Origins of the Modern Self, from Montaigne to Suzuki was published with SUNY Press in 2019. A second book, Spectral Illuminations: A Literary History of Global Buddhism is under review. And a third book, Against Greatness: The Case for the Good-Enough Life is under contract with Princeton University Press. http://www.avramalpert.com

Fellows 2017-2018

Research Seminar: Medical Humanities Postdoctoral Associates

Jeanette Samyn

Jeanette Samyn

Jeanette Samyn received her PhD in English from Indiana University.  As an academic researcher, Jeanette’s teaching and research interests span British literature, theory, and the environmental and medical humanities, with a focus on environmental theory and nineteenth-century (especially Victorian) literature and science.  Jeanette is a doula serving birthing persons and their families in New York City. 
Todd Carmody

Todd Carmody

Todd Carmody is a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Newberry Library Library.  He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.  Aside from the CCA, he has held appointments at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, the Freie Universität Berlin, and Hamilton College.  Todd’s research and teaching spans nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture, with a focus on African American literature and critical theory. My research interests include the sociology of literature and culture, disability studies and the medical humanities, the environmental humanities, transnational American studies, documentary poetics, media studies.  Todd’s first book, Work Requirements: Race, Disability, and Reform, is forthcoming from Duke University Press.

Fellows 2016-2017

Research Seminar: Medical Humanities

Colin Williamson

Colin Williamson

Colin Williamson is an Assistant Professor of Film and Screen Studies at Pace University. He received his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Harvard University. His research focuses primarily on aesthetics and visual education in the proto- and early-cinema periods. He is the author of Hidden in Plain Sight: An Archaeology of Magic and the Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2015) and has published articles in Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Leonardo, and The Moving Image. Areas of Interest: Nineteenth-century visual culture, proto-cinema, American film history, animation, the history of science and technology, film aesthetics, and visual education.
Daniel Villegas-Vélez

Daniel Villegas-Vélez

Daniel Villegas-Vélez received his PhD in Historical Musicology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016.  He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Husserl Archives at KU Leuven in Belgium, a position he took up after his year at the CCA.  Daniel’s work bridges continental philosophy, sound studies, musicology, and decolonial thought through a reconsideration of mimesis as performance. Addressing the aesthetic politics of sonorous performance and musical thought, his research focuses on the role of mimesis in seventeenth-century theories of the affections and contemporary affect theory; baroque political theology and critiques of sovereignty; and the role of decoloniality in Latin-American aesthetics of barroco and neobarroco. Daniel is working on a manuscript entitled Orpheus' Dorsal Turn: Mimetology and Myth in Early Opera, and accompanying articles that argue for a new way of understanding musical aesthetics, where musical performance is a mimetic practice that produces and inscribes sociopolitical values, while participating of the creation of distinctions between magic and science, nature and culture, Europe and its others.
Jocelyn Rodal

Jocelyn Rodal

Jocelyn Rodal received her Ph.D. in English from U.C. Berkeley in 2016, where she earned the Benjamin and Barbara Kurtz Dissertation Prize and served as the Jeffrey Berg Fellow at the Townsend Center for the Humanities. After her appointment as a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers University's Center for Cultural Analysis, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State’s Center for Humanities and Information. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Princeton University, where she is at work on a book manuscript titled Modernism’s Mathematics: From Form to Formalism. The book examines the shared intellectual history of literary and mathematical modernism: a common attempt to rethink foundational axioms, a common ambivalence toward growing abstraction, and a common interest in and anxiety about form. Examining authors such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf, the book traces how modernist math stood at the origin of modernist form—form that, in turn, engendered formalism in literary studies.

Fellows 2015-2016

Research Seminar: Archipelagoes

Jeremy DeAngelo

Jeremy DeAngelo

Jeremy DeAngelo received his PhD in Medieval Studies in 2013 from the University of Connecticut.  After his year at the CCA, he was a visiting professor at Carleton College.  He is currently an adjunct professor of English at North Central University. His research interests include, among other subjects, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Irish literature, and the interactions between them. In 2018, Jeremy published Outlawry, Liminality, and Sanctity in the Literature of the Early Medieval North Atlantic (Amsterdam University Press
Thomas P. Leppard

Thomas P. Leppard

Thomas Leppard received his PhD in Archeology from Brown University in 2013.  Since his year at the CCA, he has been a Renfrew Fellow in Archeology at the University of Cambridge.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Florida State University.  Thomas studies the transition from non-hierarchical to hierarchical human communities, the pathways along which this transition was achieved, and variability in forms of Holocene social organization. His research addresses the (somewhat counter-intuitive) emergence of social complexity in environments which might be expected to discourage such emergence.