Executive Committee

atifakin july2018 61a2cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is an artist and designer and Associate Professor of Visual Arts at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. He lives and works in New York. His work examines science, nature, mobility, and politics. Through a series of activities made up of research, documentation and design, Akın’s work considers transdisciplinary issues, through a technoscientific lens, in aesthetic and political contexts.

During his studies at the Middle East Technical University, Akın was actively involved in artistic and political circles in Ankara. He practiced design, photography and video, and in graduate school, developed an interest in interaction design, cyberculture, digital humanities, semantics and semiotics. Akın became active as an artist during his years in İstanbul, and exhibited widely in Turkey and Europe, taking part in collective and international projects in a field that was seeing its first years of development and emergence. From İstanbul, Akın created connections with institutions in Germany, took classes in Berlin, and stayed close to the pioneers who practiced interaction design and digital data driven forms and interfaces in artistic and political contexts.

In 2009, his work was listed in the ‘Younger Than Jesus’ art directory project of the New Museum, published by Phaidon. That same year, Akın co-curated a seminal media art exhibition, ‘Uncharted: User Frames in Media Arts,’ and edited an accompanying book. Throughout his practice in İstanbul, he regularly collaborated with Ars Electronica in Austria, ZKM in Karlsruhe and Pixelache in Helsinki. Akın was the recipient of the 2015 apexart Franchise Program award in New York, and was the organizer of the zine project and exhibition, Apricots from Damascus, on behalf of apexart, co-produced and hosted by SALT in İstanbul. In 2016, he took part in the public programming of Olafur Eliasson’s Greenlight Project, hosted by TBA 21 in Vienna. With the same institution, he embarked on an expedition to research nuclear test sites in French Polynesia. Currently, part of his long term research-driven art project on nuclear mobility and oceanography is on display at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Singapore and Le Fresnoy Museum in France.

Since the beginning of his practice, he has been interested in manifestations of boundaries–physical, metaphorical, linguistic–that exist around science, nature and politics. In an effort to create the most effective presentations, he refused to settle into an established medium of expression, and instead, moves fluidly between various media, including photography, video, and visualization of quantitative information and programmable media. Some of his works appear as museum, gallery or public space installations, and others in screen-based formats, including online works. Most of his works and links to his online projects can be reached through http://atifakin.info.


ulla cropped 90282This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University and Director of the Rutgers Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS). A socio-cultural and visual anthropologist by training, her research and teaching focuses on transnational migration and (im)mobility in Latin America and among U.S. Latino populations. Berg is the author of Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S. (NYU Press, 2015) and co-editor of Transnational Citizenship Across the Americas (Routledge, 2014). Berg’s current research examines the effects of U.S. immigrant detention and deportation on migrant communities in Ecuador and Peru.


2d Faculty Fellows Elisabeth CampThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. She obtained her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania before coming to Rutgers in 2013. Her research focuses on thoughts and utterances that don’t fit within the standard philosophical model of the human mind as a propositional operator. In the realm of communication, this includes phenomena like metaphor, sarcasm, and slurs. In the realm of minds, it extends to maps, non-human animal cognition, imagination, and emotion. Recent publications include “Why Metaphors Make Good Insults: Perspectives, Presupposition, and Pragmatics” (Philosophical Studies, 2015) and “Wordsworth’s Prelude, Poetic Autobiography, and Narrative Constructions of the Self” (Nonsite.org, 2011).

Area of Interest: Cognitive perspectives and imagination, metaphor, sarcasm, slurs, maps, concepts, and animal cognition.

2d Faculty Fellows Lynn FestaThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, specializing in eighteenth-century British and French literature and culture. She is the author of Sentimental Figures of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France (2006) and the co-editor of The Postcolonial Enlightenment: Eighteenth-Century Colonialism and Postcolonial Theory (2009). Her new book, Fiction Without Humanity: Person, Animal, Thing in Early Enlightenment Literature and Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), offers a literary history of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century efforts to define the human. Focusing on the shifting terms in which human difference from animals, things, and machines was expressed, she argues that writers and artists treated humanity not as a known quantity to be mimetically represented, but as something that had to be called into being through literature and the arts.

Areas of Interest: Eighteenth-century British and French literature; material culture; definitions of humanity, Enlightenment discourses of human rights; animal studies; literary history of empire.

Lauren GoodladThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is professor of English and was interim director of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory in 2008-9 before becoming director in August 2009. She has a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, a Masters in English from NYU, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. A specialist in Victorian literature and culture, Goodlad also has research and teaching interests in gothic genres; critical, feminist, postcolonial and political theory; cultural studies; and literature in relation to contemporary understandings of liberalism, globalization, internationalism, and development. She is a member of the Advisory Boards for Victorian Literature and Culture and Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, a member of the Editorial Board for Victoriographies, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Dickens Society, and (beginning July 2011) a member of the PMLA Advisory Committee.  From 2006 to 2012 she was a member of the Executive Council for NAVSA, the Victorianist Review Editor for Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (RaVoN), and Co-Head of the Victorian Editorial Board for NINES. In 2010 she was named a University Scholar and in Fall 2013 she began a two-year position as Provost Fellow for Undergraduate Education.

Goodlad is the author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty and Transnational Experience (Oxford, forthcoming 2015) and Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and Governance in a Liberal Society (Johns Hopkins, 2003); co-editor of Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s (Duke UP, 2013); co-editor of The Ends of History, a Summer 2013 special issue of Victorian Studies; co-editor of Goth: Undead Subculture (Duke, 2007); co-editor of States of Welfare, a 2011 special issue of Occasion; of Comparative Human Rights, a 2010 special issue of the Journal of Human Rights; and of "Victorian Internationalisms," a 2007 special issue of RaVoN. Her articles and reviews have been published in journals such as American Literary HistoryCultural CritiqueELHGenreMLQNineteenth-Century LiteratureVictorian Literature and Culture, and Victorian Studies. Excerpts of her forthcoming book, The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic, have appeared in venues such as Literature CompassPMLANovel: A Forum on Fiction, and The Politics of Gender in Anthony Trollope’s Novels (Ashgate, 2009). Goodlad is also the the author of an essay, originally titled "Madmen Yourself," which appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and has since been reprinted in The McGraw Hill Reader. Her essay, "Liberalism and Literature," is forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literature and Cultureand she has a chapter on "Internationalisms" forthcoming in the Blackwell Companion to the Novel.

Allan Punzalan IsaacAllan Punzalan Isaac specializes in Asian American, comparative ethnic and postcolonial aspects of contemporary American literary and cultural studies. His book American Tropics: Articulating Filipino America (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) is the recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies Cultural Studies Book Award. In 2003-2004, he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at DeLaSalle University-Taft in Manila, Philippines. He received his BA from Williams College and his PhD in Comparative Literature from NYU. He teaches a broad range of courses in theory and literature, Asian American Studies, critical race theory, law and literature, and comparative race studies.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Associate Professor English at Rutgers University. Douglas Jones works on (African) American literatures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, drama and performance studies, and cultural histories of slavery in British North America and the US. His current research agenda is mainly concerned with the foundations and forms of democratic individuality in American thought, especially Frederick Douglass’ elaborations that emerged from his absorption of slave culture and Transcendentalism. As an editor, Professor Jones is in the midst of two projects: a special issue of Modern Drama called “Slavery’s Reinventions” that will offer accountings of the ubiquity of slavery in drama and theatre of the long twentieth century; and a co-edited volume tentatively titled “Time Signatures” that will consider the many ways in which (racialized) performance keeps time and theorizes temporality.

Professor Jones is the author of The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan, 2014), which traces how proslavery thought shaped the development of several performance and literary cultures of the free antebellum north, including early blackface minstrelsy, reform melodrama, and abolitionist discourse. His articles and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Early American Literature, J19: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Theatre Survey, TDR/The Drama Review, and ESQ: A Journal of The American Renaissance, among other scholarly journals, as well as in a wide range of edited collections. He serves on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Theatre Research (2016-2019).

Jeffrey LawrenceThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. research and teaching focus on 20th- and 21st-century American literature and culture and Latin American/Hemispheric Studies.  His first book, Anxieties of Experience: The Literatures of the Americas from Whitman to Bolaño (Oxford, 2018), offers a new interpretation of US and Latin American literature from the nineteenth century to the present. Revisiting longstanding debates in the hemisphere about whether the source of authority for New World literature derives from an author's first-hand contact with American places and peoples or from a creative (mis)reading of existing traditions, the book charts a widening gap in how modern US and Latin American writers defined their literary authority. In the process, it traces the development of two distinct literary strains in the Americas: the "US literature of experience" and the "Latin American literature of the reader." Reinterpreting a range of canonical works from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grassto Roberto Bolaño's 2666, Anxieties of Experience shows how this hemispheric literary divide fueled a series of anxieties, misunderstandings, and "misencounters" between US and Latin American authors. In the wake of recent calls to rethink the "common grounds" approach to literature across the Americas, the book advocates a comparative approach that highlights the distinct logics of production and legitimation in the US and Latin American literary fields. Anxieties of Experience closes by exploring the convergence of the literature of experience and the literature of the reader in the first decades of the twenty-first century, arguing that the post-Bolaño moment has produced the strongest signs of a truly reciprocal literature of the Americas in more than a hundred years.

Professor Lawrence is currently at work on a second book project, tentatively titled "Culture in Movement: US Literature, Social Movements, and Political Thought after 1945.” In the context of an increasing emphasis on literary institutions in the scholarship on post-45 American literature, the book argues that social movements rather than institutional networks have been the principle engine of formal and thematic innovations in American literature after 1945. It reads major literary texts from the 1950s forward in relation to the historical development of the counterculture, Civil Rights, Black Power, women’s liberation, anti-Vietnam, Chicanx, conservative, gay rights, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter movements.

Professor Lawrence's work has appeared in or is forthcoming from American Literary HistoryTwentieth-Century Literature, Variaciones BorgesThe IC Scientific Journal of Information and CommunicationPensamiento de los confinesTropics of Meta, and The Huffington Post. His translation of Andrés Neuman’s How to Travel Without Seeing appeared in 2016.  He is also a founding contributor to the online blog of literary reviews El Roommate: colectivo de lectores.

2e Past Directors Meredith McGillThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is an Associate Professor of English. She is the author of American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1837-1853 (2003), a study of nineteenth-century American resistance to tight control over intellectual property. She has edited two collections of essays: The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange (2008), in which a variety of scholars model ways of understanding nineteenth-century poetry within a transatlantic frame and Taking Liberties with the Author (2013), which explores the persistence of the author as a shaping force in literary criticism. Her overview of the last thirty-five years of scholarship on book history and intellectual property can be found in Book History, Volume 16 (2013). She is currently completing a study of poetry and mass-culture in the antebellum U.S. Her research and teaching interests include nineteenth-century American literature, the history of the book in American culture, American poetry and poetics, law and literature, literary theory, and media history.

Tamara SearsThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Associate Professor of Art History at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the art and architectural history of South Asia, with a particular focus on the Indian subcontinent. Her first book, Worldly Gurus and Spiritual Kings: Architecture and Asceticism in Medieval India (Yale University Press, 2014), received the PROSE award in Architecture and Urban Planning. She is currently completing a second book that examines the relationships among architecture, environmental history, and travel on local, regional, and global scales. A third book project, on architectural revivalism and rhetorics of secularism in twentieth century temple architecture, is currently underway.  Her essays have appeared in well over a dozen volumes and journals, including The Art Bulletin, Ars Orientalis, and Archives of Asian Art. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from Fulbright, the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the National Humanities Center, Dumbarton Oaks, and the Clark Art Institute. 


Jane SharpA professor in the Department of Art History, at Rutgers, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. also acts as Research Curator of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, at the Zimmerli Art Museum. She teaches 20th and 21st century European art (including Russian, Central and Eastern European). Her research focuses on the historical Russian avant-garde and Soviet era unofficial art. Her book, Russian Modernism between East and West: Natal’ia Goncharova and the Moscow Avant-Garde, 1905-14 (Cambridge University Press, 2006) won the 2007 Robert Motherwell Prize from the Dedalus Art Foundation.

Since arriving at Rutgers in 1999, she has curated over 12 exhibitions at the Zimmerli, accompanied by a variety of publications on Soviet unofficial art. She recently published Thinking Pictures: The Visual Field of Moscow Conceptualism, the catalogue for her exhibition drawn from the Dodge Collection held at the Zimmerli Art Museum (September 6-December 31, 2016); it received honorable mention for an Alfred H. Barr award presented by the College Art Association. She is currently completing a book manuscript on abstract painting in Moscow during the Thaw.

2d Faculty Fellows Abigail ZitinThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. joined the English Department at Rutgers University as an Assistant Professor in 2013. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago and was the 2014–15 Carol G. Lederer Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University. The relation between art and the aesthetic is at the heart of her current book project, Hogarth and the History of Form, which takes the artist’s 1753 manifesto The Analysis of Beauty as an invitation to consider how the version of philosophical aesthetics that originated in eighteenth-century Britain might have developed differently had it theorized beauty from a practitioner’s point of view. Her essays on Hogarth’s practical formalism have appeared in Eighteenth-Century Studies, ELH, and differences.

Areas of Interest: Eighteenth-century Britain, aesthetics, beauty, and formalism.