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.

2f Executive Committee William GalperinThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers, where he specializes in the literature and culture of the British Romantic period. He is the author of Revision and Authority in Wordsworth (1989), The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism (Johns Hopkins, 1993), and The Historical Austen (2002). His new book, The History of Missed Opportunities: British Romanticism and the Emergence of the Everyday, will be published by Stanford University Press in 2017. He is the recipient of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research, as well as of awards from the ACLS, the NEH, and the Howard Foundation.

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).

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.

2f Executive Committee Sarah NovacichThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. specializes in medieval literature. An Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University, her research interests include medieval drama, poetry and poetics, gender studies, archival theory, visual culture, and travel literature. Her first book, Shaping the Archive in Late Medieval England: History, Poetry, and Performance (forthcoming) examines how episodes of sacred history–in particular, the loss of Eden, the flood, and the Harrowing of Hell–illuminate the risks and pleasures of archival process. Her current research considers how poetic form might be understood to influence bodies and events in the world. She has published in a number of journals, including Exemplaria, New Medieval Literatures, and Philological Quarterly.

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.

Zervigon pic 51a19 99363This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a Professor in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University. He specializes in the history of photography and concentrates his scholarship on the interaction between photographs, film, and fine art. His first book, John Heartfield and the Agitated Image: Photography, Persuasion, and the Rise of Avant-Garde Photomontage (2012), uses the case of Heartfield to propose that photography’s sudden ubiquity in illustrated magazines, postcards, and posters produced an unsettling transformation of visual culture that artists felt compelled to address. His current book project, “Die Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung -- The Workers' Illustrated Magazine," 1921-1938: Germany's Other Avant-Garde, expands this discussion beyond Heartfield to the mass-circulation magazine in which he published his most famous pictures. He has co-edited Photography and Its Origins (2015), a collection that reflects the medium's beginnings in critical and historiographical terms, and he is co-editing Photography in Doubt, an anthology investigating photography's history as a fraught and contested means of representation. In 2008, he co-founded "The Developing Room,” one of the working groups here at the Center for Cultural Analysis. This group promotes interdisciplinary dialogue among members of the Rutgers community whose research and teaching engages with the histories, theories, and practices of photography.

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.