Faculty Fellows

Asher Ghertner

I am an interdisciplinary geographer interested in the technologies and tactics through which mass displacement is conceived, justified and enacted. My research uses the contemporary politics of urban renewal in India to challenge conventional theories of economic transition, city planning, and political rule. I taught for two years at the London School of Economics before joining Rutgers in 2012. I am the current Graduate Program Director in Geography and served as the Director of the South Asian Studies Program at Rutgers from 2013-2020.  I am the author or editor of three books and have published widely on subaltern urbanism, environmental politics, aesthetic governmentality, property, and the uses and limits of gentrification theory. Faculty Page

Trinidad Rico

Dr Rico is also Senior Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of University College London and currently serving in the Executive Committee of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies. Dr Rico's areas of research in critical heritage studies include risk, Islamic materiality, ethnography and the vernacularization of heritage discourses and expertise and heritage ethics. Her current research projects focus on the mobilization of Islamic values in the Arabian Peninsula and the study of heritage and secrecy in South America. She is co-editor of Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula (Ashgate, 2014) and Heritage Keywords: Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage (University Press of Colorado, 2015); as well as author of Constructing Destruction: Heritage Narratives in the Tsunami City (UCL Institute of Archaeology Critical Cultural Heritage Series, Routledge 2016). She is also founding editor of the series Heritage Studies in the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan) and editor of the first volume of the series, The Making of Islamic Heritage: Muslim Pasts and Heritage Presents (2017). Faculty Page

Mary Rizzo

Mary Rizzo earned a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her research and teaching centers on 20th century American cultural and urban history; public history theory, methods and practice; and, digital humanities. She is the author of two books. The most recent, Come and Be Shocked: Baltimore Beyond John Waters and The Wire (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020) examines how Baltimore has been represented in popular culture since the 1950s. Including both well-known depictions like The Wire and Hairspray alongside less-remembered examples such as the TV show Roc or the poetry magazine Chicory, the book analyzes the political economy and racial implications of cultural representation, showing how artists and city leaders battled over the image of the city. It was awarded the 2021 Arline Custer Memorial Award from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference for its use of diverse archival sources. Through this research she rediscovered Chicory, which published the unedited poetry of working-class African American residents of Baltimore from 1966-1983. In 1969, the Baltimore Afro American newspaper called it, “the most authentic microphone of Black people talking ever devised.” In partnership with cultural, arts, and youth organizations in Baltimore, she founded the Chicory Revitalization Project, which uses the magazine to catalyze conversations about race, social justice, and place with youth in Baltimore. The Project has digitized the magazine, runs...

Sean Silver

I teach the literature and culture of the British Restoration and eighteenth century. Related interests include complex systems, the history of science, the origins of the museum, cognitive studies, and the history of ideas and craft practices. I am the author of The Mind Is a Collection, which traces the history of our most prevalent mental models. The book is the exhibit catalogue of a virtual museum, www.mindisacollection.org, which I hope you will visit. I am now working on a cultural history of complexity, a particularly modern way of thinking about the world. These interests find their way into my classroom. Two courses which I particularly enjoy teaching are a seminar on museums and literature, in which students become curators of literary objects, and a class I call “Reading With Your Laptop,” in which students learn the rudiments of the programming language “R,” and apply their new skills to unpack literary texts.. Faculty Page

Samah Selim

Samah Selim received her BA in English Literature from Barnard College in 1986 and her PhD from the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University in 1997.  She has taught at Columbia University, Princeton University, the University of Aix-en-Provence and the American University in Cairo, and she is co-director of the literature module of the Berlin-based postdoctoral research program, Europe in the Middle East; the Middle East in Europe. Her research focuses mainly on modern Arabic Literature in Egypt and the Levant, with a particular interest in narrative genres like the novel and short story; comparative theories of fiction, and the politics of translation practice in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Her most recent book, Popular Fiction, Translation and the Nadha in Egypt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) is on the cultural and literary politics surrounding the translation of the novel into Arabic at the beginning of the twentieth century. She is currently working on a literary biography of the Lebanese novelist and journalist Niqula al-Haddad. Dr. Selim is also an award-winning literary translator. She is the recipient of the Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation (2009), the University of Arkansas Translation of Arabic Literature Award (2012) and the National Endowment for the Arts Translation Grant (2018). She is currently working on an English translation of Jordanian author Ghalib Halasa’s 1987 novel Sultana. Faculty Page

Diane Wong

Diane Wong is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. She is also an affiliate faculty of Global Urban Studies, American Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies. Previously, she was Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in American Politics and M.A. in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration from the Department of Government at Cornell University. Currently, she is a faculty fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice and the Center for Cultural Analysis. Her research and teaching interests include American politics, race and ethnicity, critical urban studies, comparative immigration, gender and sexuality, cultural and media studies, and community rooted research. Her current book project, You Can’t Evict A Movement: Intergenerational Activism and Housing Justice in New York City, focuses on intergenerational resistance to gentrification in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Her work draws from a combination of methods including ethnography, participatory mapping, archival research, augmented reality, and oral history interviews. Her second book, Contemporary Asian American Activism: Movement Moments and New Visions in the 21st Century, examines a diverse range of issues from sex work decriminalization to abolition, deportation to decolonization, affirmative action to intergenerational memory. Diane is also currently co-guest editor of a...