Past Postdoctoral Associates Fellows 2018-2019

Rachel Miller

Rachel MillerRachel 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.

Jasmine Samara

Photo Samara cbfd8Jasmine Samara is a legal scholar and anthropologist whose work explores the regulation of identity through law, the governance of religious minorities, gender, and critical approaches to rights. She received her PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University and has a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Her ethnographic research in northern Greece explores debates on distinctive policies governing Muslim minority citizens in contemporary Greece, analyzing the legal stakes of this classification and ways in which it is contested and evaded.