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MemberNadia Nurhussein

My work focuses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American literature and culture, especially poetry. In my first book, Rhetorics of Literacy: The Cultivation of American Dialect Poetry (The Ohio State University Press, 2013), I argued that dialect poetry functioned in the turn-of-the-century US in surprising ways, challenging readers’ expectations of a light and entertaining subgenre. My current book project considers African American literary and cultural views of the politics of imperial Ethiopia from the 1860s to the 1930s, particularly as expressed in newspapers and magazines, reflecting an interest in periodical studies that has informed my research throughout my career.

MemberAndrew Newman

Originally from Queens, NY, I’ve been teaching at Stony Brook since 2005. I’m the author of Allegories of Encounter: Colonial Literacy and Indian Captivities (2019) and On Records: Delaware Indians, Colonists, and the Media of History and Memory (2012). As a 2019 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, I’m working on a cultural history of high school English, The High School Canon: Literature and American Life, from the Cold War to the Common Core. Please contact me at andrew.newman@stonybrook.edu.

MemberKent Navalesi

I am a PhD candidate in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I specialize in Late Antiquity with particular research interests in the religious uses of literacy in the early barbarian kingdoms. My dissertation, tentatively titled “Venantius Fortunatus and the Literary Promotion of Saints’ Cults inSixth-Century Gaul,” examines the prose hagiography of Fortunatus and the ways they engage contemporary discourses on salvation and pastoral care. I am also hoping to publish the first English translation of the heretofore untranslated Fortunatan prose lives. CV here.

MemberMegan Beckerich

I am a current MA student at the University of Chicago in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. I completed by thesis in 2018, and am continuing my Japanese language education. My thesis discussed censorship and gendered supernatural bodies in early Meiji period Japanese prints, and the influence of globalization and modernization had on the perception of such images. My interests include folklore, censorship in art, print history, Japan studies, and material culture studies. I have served on a student curatorial committee at the University of Chicago, contributing two labels to a small exhibit on the prints of Felix Buhot. Currently I am interning at the Cincinnati Art Museum as a Photography Conservation and Curation Intern. My main projects are working with Meiji period ambrotypes, and cyanotypes from the William Howard Taft diplomatic mission to Asia in 1905.

MemberJulia Verkholantsev

I am a scholar of cultural, religious and intellectual history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture. My publications and research are concerned with the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, and Rus. In research and teaching, I deal with topics that include the history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; pre-modern historical writing and historical methods; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and Russian medieval and modern literature and culture. As a medievalist, I am convinced that the mapping of pre-modern Europe into the modern East – West divide creates unnecessary gaps between fields of knowledge that are inherently interconnected and impedes a dialogue between scholars who find themselves working in artificially bounded sub-disciplines. In my research and professional service I try to remedy this situation. In my teaching, I examine medieval literary and historical topics in the context of modern society and help students see their importance in the development of contemporary culture, politics, and social norms. I focus on the study of reading strategies of imaginative texts that leads to the advanced understanding of literature as part of cultural history.