Postdoctoral Associates 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 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.