I am a Ph.D. candidate working in the fields of Chinese religions and urban anthropology, specifically looking at the changing relations of ritual, space, and sensation in modern China. My dissertation project, tentatively titled Urban Temples and Ritual Affects: Daoist Masters, Local Gods, and Communal Temples in Modern Xiamen, analyzes forms of religious organization and ritual events in relation to rapid shifts in urban infrastructures to consider the ways in which ritual events shape the city and how they are in turn shaped by the city. Previously I worked as a translator at A Thousand Plateaus Art Space in Chengdu and as an English as a second language teacher at Chengdu University of Information Technology and Sichuan Engineering Technical College. I completed an M.A. in Religion and Modernity at Queen’s University based on research on Daoism in Brazil.
I am an Assistant Professor of English at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA, where I teach a mix of British literature and composition. From 2013-2016, I was a Marion L. Brittain Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. I attended graduate school at the University of Connecticut, where I specialized in early modern religious literature. I’m currently working on a book project, Writing with the Word: Imitation of Christ and Collaborative Authorship in Early Modern England.
This article examines the global African modernism of Amos Tutuola through the lens of his nonhuman folkloric creatures. Though the work of the early Nigerian novelist is often characterized as modernism’s inversion, or “traditional,” Tutuola in fact articulates a succession of surreal monsters in The Palm Wine Drinkard (1952) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) that literally embody commodities and technologies, rupturing the trite image of an insular, primitive Africa. With televisions for hands and footballs for eyes, Tutuola’s modern creatures situate West Africa as a global nexus of social relation, consumer culture, and commodity flows.
Bess Williamson is a historian of design and material culture, focusing primarily on works and influences of the last half-century. She received her PhD in American History from the University of Delaware, and holds a Masters in the History of Design and Decorative Arts from Parsons The New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is particularly interested in social and political concerns in design, including environmental, labor, justice, and rights issues as they shape and are shaped by spaces and things. Her current book project, Designing an Accessible America, traces the history of design responses to disability rights from 1945 to recent times. Her writing has appeared in Winterthur Portfolio and American Studies, with reviews in Design and Culture and Design Issues. At SAIC, Williamson teaches a range of design history courses, from introductory surveys of modern design history to graduate seminars on issues in design, politics, and technology. She is the coordinator of design history offerings in SAIC’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism.
Katrina Grant is an art historian with a background in the study of Early Modern Italy. Her research focuses on gardens and the history of landscapes, as well as the visual culture of theatre and festivals, and the connections between these two areas. Her PhD thesis (University of Melbourne, 2011) focused on the relationship between garden design and theatre in Early Modern Italy. She has published on the gardens of Lucca, history of emotions and set design, and artistic relationships between Britain and Italy in the eighteenth century. She has run the popular Melbourne Art Network website as editor and webmaster since 2010 and she is a founding editor of the online open-access art history journal emaj (emajartjournal.com). She is currently in charge of Marketing and Communications for the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ). She also has a background in educational research, including the use of new technologies for learning and assessment and worked as a Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research for several years. Her current research focuses on GIS and visualisation technologies and their potential for extending art historical research into new areas. Her main project is Digital Cartographies of the Roman Campagna, which is operating in collaboration with the British School at Rome. This project brings together historical maps with modern mapping technologies to recreate the lost landscape of the Roman Campagna, and draw together data and research from a variety of disciplines, including art and architectural history, social history, cultural geography and the history of climate and ecological change.
I am a PhD student at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, working on the history of the built environment of the Nile valley under the British Empire. Prior to moving to Edinburgh, I studied for a BA in Ancient History and History and an MA in Urban History, both at the University of Leicester. I also have an active interest in educational practices and learning technologies, and worked as an intern in the Technology Enhanced Learning team at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, in the summer of 2016. I am chair of Pubs and Publications, a blog about PhD life. My current research combines environmental, architectural and urban histories to produce a new understanding of British imperial power in the Nile valley in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This can open up new readings of the histories of empire and modernity.
Anna-Maria Sichani (Άννα-Μαρία Σιχάνη) is a Modern Greek literary scholar and a Digital Humanist. Anna-Maria is currently an Early Stage Researcher and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow affiliated with the Digital Scholarly Editing Initial Training Network (DiXiT) (EU-FP7), based at Huygens ING and a PhD Research Fellow at King’s Digital Lab. Her PhD research – currently in the final stages at the University of Ioannina (Greece) – focuses on how changes on textual mediality and communication technologies informed while radicalised editorial practices and literary activities in the Modern Greek literary field during the Sixties. She holds a BA and a MPhil in Modern Greek Philology from the University of Athens (Greece), then followed by a MA in Digital Humanities in UCL, with a dissertation on literary drafts and computational technologies. Anna-Maria’s research interests, work experience and expertise intersect the changing materialities of literary culture, textual scholarship and scholarly communication with a particular focus on their related practices, politics and economics. She has collaborated with a number of Digital Humanities projects (Transcribe Bentham, DARIAH etc) and her skills include modelling, encoding and digital publication of textual materials, data architecture and analysis.
Gabrielle Cornish is a PhD candidate in Musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her research broadly considers music and everyday life in the Soviet Union. In particular, her dissertation traces the intersections between music, technology, and the politics of “socialist modernity” after Stalinism. Her research in Russia has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Glenn Watkins Traveling Fellowship, and the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Gabrielle will be supported by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Musicology, Sounding Out!, and Slate. She has appeared as a guest to discuss Russian history, culture, and politics on NBC Nightly News, BBC World Service Television, and BBC Radio Newsday. In her free time, she performs Russian-to-English translation, does freelance graphic design, and makes loud (and soft) noises on drums.