Faculty Fellows

Heather Steffen

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a scholar of 20th- and 21st-century U.S. literature and culture whose research investigates how concepts of labor, learning, and public service are produced through the interplay between rhetorical practices and material conditions in American universities. Her book project, Useful Work: Imagining Academic Labor in the American University, examines how professors, teacher-scholars, and para-academics theorize academic labor in critical and narrative writing. The book identifies four models of academic labor operating in faculty discourse since the emergence of the modern American university—professional, unionist, vocational, and entrepreneurial—and explores how the tensions between these models influence key debates in higher education, such as those surrounding academic freedom, casualization, or graduate education. Before coming to Rutgers, Heather earned a Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, taught as a lecturer in the Writing Program at UC Santa Barbara, and researched metrics and measurement in higher education as an NEH-funded postdoctoral scholar in UCSB’s English Department and Chicano Studies Institute.

Jessica Mack

Jessica Mack headshotThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.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.

Nora Devlin

Nora Devlin headshotThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is an advanced doctoral student in the PhD in Higher Education program at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Nora's research interests deal with justice and organizational/governance structures in universities, specifically in the realm of higher education law. Her dissertation examines faculty First Amendment cases brought against their (public) university employers. Nora researches the current caselaw on faculty free speech cases which reflects a split among the federal circuits, only some of which recognize the free speech rights of public university faculty. Her research seeks to map and theorize this landscape while offering practical recommendations for faculty, faculty organizers, and university leaders.

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 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.