Institute Graduate Fellow 2017-18 and Ph.D. Candidate in History
Zachary Barr was a graduate student in the History Department studying the history of science. His dissertation argued that popularization and popular science, broadly construed as modes of interaction between credentialed experts and non-experts, were productive of knowledge in Austrian natural science from 1860 to 1934.
During his time as a 2017-2018 IFK Dissertation Research Fellow, he concentrated on two aspects of his dissertation. First, he examined popularization efforts at two biological research stations, looking at the ways in which scientists’ attempts to engage with non-expert publics influenced their research. Second, he studied science popularization and popular science in more marginal venues, focusing on the ways in which these organizations played a role in defining—if only negatively—the limits of engagement with non-experts as a form of scientific practice.
Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Director, Center for Science and Innovation Studies, University of California, Davis
Mario Biagioli visited the Institute in Fall 2017-18 to teach an 8-week graduate seminar titled "The Commons & the Public: Figuring Collaborative Knowledge Production" (KNOW 40102).
Mario Biagioli is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies (STS), and Director of the Center for Science and Innovation Studies. At the UC Davis Law School, he teaches courses on intellectual property in science, and on the history and philosophy of intellectual property. Previously, Biagioli was Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, specializing in intellectual property in science. He has also taught at UCLA, Stanford, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Science Sociales (Paris), and the University of Aberdeen (Scotland).
Nicolette I. Bruner
Assistant Professor of Instruction in Legal Studies and American Studies, Northwestern University
Nicolette I. Bruner was a IFK 2018-20 Postdoctoral Scholar whose interdisciplinary literary research focused on nonhuman personhood from the nineteenth century to the present. She received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Her book examines how the human community incorporates "thing people"—a category that includes corporations, animals, plants, artificial intelligence, and more. She teaches widely in American literature, posthumanism, biopolitics, environmental studies, and legal studies.
2019-21 Faculty Research Fellow and Assistant Professor of Medicine
Brian Callender is a recipient of the Faculty Research Grant for 2019-21. He is interested in clinical education, global health education, clinical ethics, the patient experience, and the use of graphic narrative in medicine. More specifically, he isinterested in how graphic medicine portrays the experience of illness and how comics, as a mediumand practice, can be used for self-discovery and personal knowledge formation about illness and health.
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-21
Alexander Campolo studies the history of media, technology, and science, with an interest in epistemologies of data. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and teaches widely in the history of science, philosophy, and visual culture.
Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Sociology, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Margaret Carlyle was a former Research Associate whose research focused on the production of scientific, medical, and technological knowledge in seventeenth- and eigheenth-century France and its colonies. She is particularly interested in the enterprising efforts of women and other "invisible assistants" in forging scientific careers, both outside of and within institutional settings. Margaret is currently completing two projects. The first is a cultural history of Enlightenment anatomy stemming from her doctoral thesis completed at McGill University (2013). The second is a history of obstetrical technology in early modern Europe. Margaret has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge (2013–15) and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota (2015–17).
Assistant Professor of Art History and the College, Roman Art and Archaeology
Patrick Crowley is a recipient of the Faculty Research Grant for 2018-20. Patrick R. Crowley specializes in the art and archaeology of the Roman world. In addition to traditional categories of Roman art such as sarcophagi and portraiture, his research interests include ancient aesthetics, theories of vision and representation, and phenomenological approaches to the matter of visual evidence, including the historical intersections among documentary photography, digital media, and the production of knowledge in classical archaeology. His research has been supported by the Getty Research Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. His current book project, provisionally titled “The Phantom Image: Visuality and the Supernatural in Ancient Rome,” is the first major historical study of ghosts in the art and visual culture of classical antiquity.
Jennifer P. Daly
2017-19 Postdoctoral Researcher
Jennifer P. Daly's book project at IFK explored the development of evolutionary thought beyond the boundaries of organic species change in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her central argument was that the development of evolutionary theories in this period took place across fields of inquiry—including natural history, cosmology, the human sciences, and even theology—and that this interaction was catalyzed by a cultural movement known as Romanticism. More broadly, her research engaged with the question of how scientists have adapted and transformed scientific method in response to the challenges of interpreting nature at or beyond the boundaries of observation and experiment. She received her Ph.D. in History from Stanford University and her A.B. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Harvard College.
Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology of Religion and the College
As a 2017-19 Faculty Fellow, Alireza Doostdar researched debates over the Islamization of the social sciences in Iran against the backdrop of transformations in higher education since the 1979 revolution. These debates include philosophical questions about the possibility and desirability of qualifying some sciences as "Islamic," and inquiries into the epistemological, methodological, and ethical parameters of a social science thus specified.
2017-19 Postdoctoral Researcher
Damien Droney received his PhD in anthropology from Stanford University, where his research focused on the politics of science, technology, and medicine in postcolonial Africa. While at IFK, he revised his dissertation as a book manuscript to be titled Weedy Science: The Meaning of Science in Postcolonial Ghana. The book is an ethnographic study of Ghana’s herbal medicine sector, with a focus on political projects of class, race, and nation that shape the vocation of science in West Africa.
James A. Evans
Professor; Director, Knowledge Lab; Faculty Director, Masters Program in Computational Social Sciences
James Evans' research focuses on the collective system of thinking and knowing, ranging from the distribution of attention and intuition, the origin of ideas and shared habits of reasoning to processes of agreement (and dispute), accumulation of certainty (and doubt), and the texture—novelty, ambiguity, topology—of understanding.
Institute Faculty Seed Grant 2020-21; Assistant Professor of Sociology
Marco Garrido is a recipient of the Faculty Research Grant for 2020-21. His work focuses on the relationship between the urban poor and middle class in Manila as located in slums and upper- and middle-class enclaves. and highlights the role of class in shaping urban space, social life, and politics. His project titled, "Democracy as Disorder: The Experience of Democracy in Manila and Elsewhere across the Global South," examines the link between the rise of the middle class in a set of developing countries and democratic backsliding through an ethnographic and comparative historical lens.
Guest Curator at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Supported by a grant from the France Chicago Center, Grau visited Chicago in Fall 2017 to give several lectures, including "Roman Imperial Numismatics as a Text" and "Philology: A Contemporary Method of Reading."
An alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Donatien Grau holds a doctorate from the Université Paris-Sorbonne and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Dr. Grau is the author of several books, including Tout contre Sainte-Beuve ( 2013), and Néron en Occident (2015), both reviewed in The New York Review of Books. A member of the editorial board of La Règle du Jeu and a contributing editor of Flash Art International, he has written on contemporary art, in France and internationally, for publications such as Art Press and AnOther Magazine.
Assistant Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion; also in the College
Angie Heo was a recipient of the Faculty Seed Grant for 2018-19. Her project covered sites and practices of knowledge production about North Korea among Protestant Evangelicals in South Korea. From this, she exploreed how knowledge about "secret regimes" and limited-access states give rise to various moral projects and political interventions.
Eun Young Hwang
Institute Graduate Fellow 2016-17 and Ph.D. Candidate in Divinity
Eun Young Hwang is a Ph.D candidate in the field of religious ethics at the Divinity School, working on questions about religious vision, therapeutics, evaluative practice and virtue in ordinary life as well as the methodological question of cross-cultural comparison. Relating with diverse theoretical reflections on human agency in an interdisciplinary way, his aim is to develop a method of reconstructing ancient ways of knowing, practice, and self-cultivation that can address historical understanding of ancient religious-ethical thoughts as well as our contemporary constructive interpretation.
During 2016-17 academic year as a Dissertation Researh Fellow, his research examined how Augustine, a Catholic Christian thinker in the 5th century Roman Empire and Zhi Yi, a Tiantai Buddhist thinker in the 6th century Sui China, can be set in comparison in terms of ordinary virtue, revealing similarities in envisioning ordinary virtue as a person’s effective power of constructing a holistic horizon of ordinary world-experiences.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Demetra Kasimis's research and teaching include democratic theory and the history of political thought especially in classical Athens; membership politics and migration; post-war continental political theory; and feminist theory. She is a graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in philosophy and concentrated in Hellenic Studies before receiving her PhD in political science from Northwestern University.
Associate Professor and Director of the Center of Excellence IMSErt—Interacting Minds, Societies, Environments—at Nicolaus Copernicus University
Adam Kola joined the Institute as a visiting scholar in the 2016-17 academic year to conduct research for his project, "In Praise of Academic Cafés: Why the Informal Matters in the Humanities and Science," which focused on the role of unofficial associations in scientific and academic success, as well as the problem of knowledge transfer. He conducted a workshop in the 2017-18 Comparing Practices of Knowledge workshop series, and returned to Chicago in the 2018-19 academic year to continue his research on the role of the social sphere in academic practice and methodology.
Assistant Professor in Political Science
Matthew Landauer received the Faculty Seed Grant for 2016-17. His project, "Expert Advice and Democratic Politics" researched the historical dimensions of the problem faced by democracies that refer to expert authorities to make good decisions about policy issues.
Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Zhiying Ma is a recipient of the Faculty Seed Grant for 2019-20. Her project, titled “Translating the Global, Assembling the Social:The (Re-)Emergence of Community Mental Health in China,” examines community mental health (CMH) as globally influenced formations of knowledge in contemporary China. She is a cultural and medical anthropologist and a scholar of disability studies. Her work in general examines how cultural, politico-economic, and technological factors shape the design and implementation of social policies, and how national policies and global development initiatives in turn impact health in/equity, vulnerability, and rights, with a focus on contemporary China.
Institute Graduate Fellow 2017-18 and Ph.D. Candidate in Art History
Meekyung studied pre-modern Islamic art, to which she also brought an interest in late medieval and early modern European scientific images. Her dissertation, "Geometric Medicine: aniconism and Arab painting," expanded the history of Islamic art by interrogating the role of diagrams and aniconic schema in medieval manuscript culture. Her research encompassed patrimonial claims to classical learning, theorizations of the ideal human body, and the appropriate means of obtaining and transmitting knowledge. Furthermore, the rapid spread of diagrammatic forms in the Arabic-speaking world had far-ranging implications for medieval arts of the book. Ornament and design served an epistemological function as artists translated the heuristics of logic, rhetoric, and mathematic proofs into visual demonstrations by means of geometry.
Professor of Comparative Human Development
Dario Maestripieri's research interests include the evolution of human behavior and the relationship between science and literature.
Assistant Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles
Alex Mazzaferro was a 2019-20 Postdoctoral Researcher. He is a scholar of early American literature working at the intersection of the history of science and the history of political thought. His current book project offers a new account of the English colonization of the Americas informed by the early modern prohibition on "innovation," once a pejorative synonym for rebellion. The book argues that the assertion of Euro-Christian sovereignty in the New World served to rehabilitate the idea of human-led change by generating an empirical approach to political knowledge modeled on natural science. Alex earned his Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University in 2017 and recently held a postdoctoral fellowship at the American Philosophical Society.
John P. McCormick
Professor of Political Science
John McCormick was a recipient of the Faculty Seed Grand for 2018-19. His project, titled “The People’s Prince: Machiavelli, Leadership, and Liberty,” explored a citizenry’s endeavor to identify and elevate to positions of authority, the pest leaders; and conversely, attempts by potential leaders to discern and shape the preferences of citizen. McCormick argued that the author who most perspicaciously interrogated this relationship between leadership and citizenship is Niccolo Machiavelli.
2016-18 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Rank of Instructor
Stuart M. McManus is an historian of global empire with a particular focus on Latin America and Iberian Asia. He received his PhD in history from Harvard in 2016. His first book project, “Empire of Eloquence: Humanism and Iberian Global Expansion,” argues that the classical rhetorical tradition was a key technology of empire and evangelization in the early modern Americas and Asia that can be only understood fully by taking a global perspective. At the Institute, he taught courses on Mexico and the Iberian world. In the summer of 2018, Stuart joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong as Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern Global History.
Institute Graduate Fellow 2018-19 and Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Human Development
Sanja Miklin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development, where she studies suicide and discourse(s) about suicide drawing on theories and methods from anthropology, sociology and psychology. Miklin’s dissertation, titled “Suicidology and the Contemporary Production of Knowledge about Suicide,” uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the ways in which different stakeholders and knowledge practices interact as they attempt to define suicide both as an epistemic object and as a specific kind of problem.
Institute Faculty Seed Grant Recipient 2019-2020 and Associate Professor of English
Benjamin Morgan is a recipient of the Faculty Seed Grant for 2019-20. His project, titled “Climate Change Culture: A Prehistory,” examines the ways in which imaginative literature and literary writing have created distinctive forms of knowledge about anthropogenic impacts on the natural world. His research and teaching focus on literature, science, and aesthetics in the Victorian period and early twentieth century.
Institute Graduate Fellow 2018-19 and Ph.D. Candidate in CHSS
Parysa Mostajir is a Ph.D. candidate studying Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science. She has degrees in Archaeology and Anthropology, Sociology, and Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, the University of Chicago, and Kings College London, and has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Department of Philosophy. In her dissertation, Mostajir explores the relationship between art and science as distinct practices, the relationship between the intellectual and the aesthetic as strands of experience, and more broadly, the relationship between knowledge and other ways of engaging with the world. By demonstrating a variety of human problems that are insuperable by intellectual means, her dissertation establishes the centrality of artistic activities in living ethically and democratically, and simultaneously challenges science and rationality’s excessive authority in determining societal directions and shared understandings of reality.
Institute Faculty Research Fellow 2019-21 and Associate Professor and Chair of the Slavic Department
William Nickell is a cultural historian specializing in mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century Russia, with particular interest in the 1840s, turn-of-the century, and 1930s-40s. His project, “The Production of Knowledge in the USSR,” examines the production of public knowledge within the Soviet Union. William aims to analyze the organization of science and information under Marxist regimes and explore connections between these and Soviet academic successes.
Institute Faculty Seed Grant Recipient 2020-21 and Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature
Julie Orlemanski is the author of "Symptomatic Subjects: Bodies, Medicine, and Causality in the Literature of Late Medieval England," and her research interests span fictionality, the Song of Songs, disability studies and the history of the body, semantic and historical approaches to narratology, and the secularization thesis or so-called disenchantment of the world. Her project, "Who Has Fiction? Modernity, Fictionality, and the Middle Ages” provides a critical history of how fiction has been theorized through narratives of periodization and historical difference and develop conceptual tools for the study of pre-modern fictionality.
Assistant Professor of Early Modern European History and the College
Ada Palmer's research on intellectual history, or the history of ideas, is her way of exploring how history and thought shape each other over time.
Visiting Senior Research Associate
Pamela Paresky is the Director of the Aspen Center for Human Development, and serves a diverse clientele through her consulting practice, Multigenerational Consulting Services, LLC. She is also a Senior Scholar at the Network Contagion Research Institute.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Thomas Pashby is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy. He specializes in philosophy of physics with a particular interest in the interaction of physics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of science.
Institute Graduate Fellow 2016-17 and Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science
Bogdan Popescu recieved his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 2018, studying comparative politics, historical political economy, and geo-statistical methods in the Department of Political Science. His research revolves around imperial legacies, corruption, and perceptions about corruption and public opinion.
As a Dissertation Research Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year, Bogdan investigated the Ottoman legacy on popular trust and perceptions about the incidence of corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Dondena Centre at Boconni University, Italy.
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-21
Thomas Patrick Pringle is a media theorist drawing on documentary studies, environmental sociology, and environmental and computer history. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University.
Amgen Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Benoit Roux leads the Roux Group, a cohort of postdoctoral and doctoral students at the University of Chicago; they use theoretical and computational methods to advance their understanding of the structure, dynamics and function of biological macromolecular systems at the atomic level.
Isaiah Lorado Wilner
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-21
Isaiah Lorado Wilner is a historian of knowledge who specializes in cultural and intellectual history, cultural theory, media and material culture, the history of human science, and the environmental humanities. He is the author of a work of media history, The Man Time Forgot (HarperCollins, 2006), the editor of Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas (Yale, 2018), and a recipient of the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians.
Assistant Professor of English
Zachary Samalin was a recipient of the Faculty Seed Grant for 2018-19. His project was titled “Theories of the Nineteenth Century.” Samalin sought to produce a genealogical account of the formation of psychoanalytic and Marxist theory. Additionally, Samalin’s project gave an account of how and why the historical terrain of the nineteenth century has figured so centrally in the project of critical theory in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology, Lewis University
Elizabeth Sartell was a 2018-19 Graduate Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the Divinity School where she studied Islamic Studies. She received her M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2013. Her research aims to reveal the intertwining nature of various knowledge traditions in the medieval Islamic world through an analysis of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s cosmogonic theory. She has a particular focus on medieval Arabic philosophy, Islamic mysticism, and Jewish mysticism. Sartell aims to integrate mystical and philosophical traditions in scholarly research in order to provide new insight into the relationship between mysticism and science in the medieval period.
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-21
Yan Slobodkin is a historian of modern Europe, with a focus on French colonial and transnational history. He received his Ph.D. in history from Stanford University and his B.A. in history and French from Oberlin College.
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-21
Joe Stadolnik studies the literature and culture of late-medieval England (1300-1530). At the University of Chicago, he has taught in the Reading Cultures sequence of the Humanities core, and has offered seminars on medieval English literature and manuscript studies.
Institute Graduate Fellow 2019-20
Paride Stortini is a PhD candidate in History of Religions at the Divinity School, University of Chicago.