Bates College Fellows
Nina Hagel, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Politics
Nina Hagel received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and her BA, also in Political Science, from Johns Hopkins University. Her research investigates questions of identity politics, recognition, and resistance, with a particular focus on theories of democratic belonging. She has taught classes on modern political theory, classical theories of political economy, theories of justice, and political freedom.
Her book project considers how appealing to a “true self” may have social and political value, even if such a self does not exist. Intervening in long-standing debates in feminist theory, critical race theory, and political theory, Nina’s book responds to various critiques of authenticity appeals, and argues for a renewed appreciation of the term in political life. Through a series of engagements with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Michel Foucault, and writings from American social movements in the sixties and today, her book offers a framework for appealing to the term that departs its problematic ontological grounds and is attuned to its political risks.
Ian Shin, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in History
Ian Shin received his PhD, MPhil, and MA from Columbia University. He also holds an AB, magna cum laude, from Amherst College. A historian of the 19th- and 20th-century United States, Ian is interested in how “culture,” broadly defined, reflects but also shapes the politics of its time; his research on the politics of culture concentrates in particular on the history of U.S.-China relations and Asian American history. His dissertation, “Making ‘Chinese art’ Knowledge and Authority in the Transpacific Progressive Era,” explores how Chinese art in the United States emerged in the early twentieth century through a contested process of knowledge production, and analyzes its significance for questions of U.S. imperialism and exceptionalism during this period. As he continues to revise his dissertation into a book manuscript, Ian is excited to develop a second project on the history of empathy as a catalyst for social change in American life.
Rohan Sud, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Philosophy
Rohan Sud is a recent graduate from the philosophy department at the University of Michigan. His research lies at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of language and aims to understand what the structure of language can teach us about the world it represents. His dissertation focuses on vagueness in language and arguments that there is vagueness “in the world.” Rohan’s teaching interests also include the philosophy of religion, epistemology, and decision theory.
Hoang Vu Tran, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Education
Hoang Vu Tran’ research and teaching interests include critical race theory, whiteness, and education. Particularly, he is interested in how educational stakeholders understand race and racial subordination in the ‘colorblind’ era. He received a PhD in Education from University of California, Berkeley, MA in Education from California State University–Long Beach, and BA in History from University of California, Irvine. He completed his dissertation with the support of the University of California’s Chancellor’s and Dissertation Year fellowships.
His study, “The Betrayal of Brown v. Board of Education: How Brown’s promise is unfulfilled and what it says about the continuing problem of race in education,” examines the history of the Supreme Court’s interventions on race since Brown and the Civil Rights Era. Utilizing a critical race framework, he argues that contemporary political movements opposed to race positive policies, in and beyond education, are discursive progenies of segregationist cloaked in colorblindness. He enjoys teaching and working with students examining issues of race, policy, and the democratic promise of education.
Connecticut College Fellows
Ellen Cole Lee, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Classics
Ellen Cole Lee’s teaching and research interests include cognitive approaches to the ancient world, gender and sexuality in Latin literature, and classical reception in the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds. She completed her Ph.D. in Classical Studies at the University of Michigan, where she successfully defended her dissertation, “Lethaeus Amor: Love and Memory in Latin Elegy,” in 2015. Lee is continuing her research on Roman memory and reception through projects on the rhetorical ars memoriae and late antique centos. At Connecticut College, she is excited to be teaching courses like “Medieval Latin” and “Ancient Rome in Film.”
Lindsay Crawford, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2015-2018 in Philosophy
Lindsay Crawford received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley and her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College. Lindsay works primarily in epistemology and ethics (especially metaethics, including practical reasoning and moral psychology) and on issues at their intersection. Much of her recent work centers around a number of questions about the nature of epistemic obligation: What makes it the case that an agent ought to believe something? Can personal relationships play a role in determining what one ought to believe? Can failing to accord an appropriate degree of credibility to a speaker, in cases of testimony, constitute a way of wronging that speaker? And, if so, how should we conceive of the nature of that particular wrong?
Marcelle Medford, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Sociology
Marcelle Medford received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago in 2016. As a scholar of immigration, race and ethnicity, Marcelle’s research investigates how groups use cultural meanings to produce inter and intra ethnic social boundaries. With support from the Social Science Research Council and The Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture, she completed her dissertation The Culture of Distance: Rethinking Black Ethnic Relations. This work draws on three years of ethnographic data from Jamaican immigrant entrepreneurial and leisure organizations in the Midwest. Marcelle finds that rather than acting to establish boundaries between themselves and African Americans, the most salient boundaries produced through these immigrants’ cultural practices are those of competing Jamaican nationalisms between immigrants of different generations and political ideologies. This work forces us to address how cultural practices relate to how we have traditionally thought about identity among immigrants.
Marcelle is a trained ethnographer who teaches students qualitative methods and provides them with hands-on field experience by hiring them to collect data for her ongoing research projects. Beyond the classroom, she is a committed mentor in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. This fall, Marcelle will be teaching a course on contemporary urban immigration at Connecticut College.
Middlebury College Fellows
Erica Morrell, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Sociology-Anthropology
Erica Morrell earned her PhD in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan. She holds a BA in Sociology from Boston University. Her research regards how different types of knowledge and knowledge-holders clash and come together to shape socio-political change, why, and with what impacts. Her dissertation, “The Politics of Urban Food Policy: Knowledge, Power and the (Trans)Formation of American Governance,” explores battles over expertise and influence specifically in relation to food (re)localization. Erica has also examined these issues in the context of intellectual property rights in agriculture, research involving human subjects, and environmental impact assessments. Additionally, Erica has written for the popular national magazine Urban Farm, and she spent several years working and volunteering with housing insecure populations, at a major food non-profit, and on rural and urban farms. At Middlebury College, Erica will further develop her dissertation research and launch a new project concerned with the emerging “first food” movement, which challenges food systems inequities affecting infant nutrition, particularly in minority and lower-income communities. Erica is excited to teach Sociology and contribute to Middlebury’s Food Studies and Privilege & Poverty areas, and she looks forward to engaging across the bucolic campus on these and other issues.
Daniel Rodriguez-Navas, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Philosophy
Daniel Rodríguez-Navas was awarded a PhD degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2016. Before coming to the U.S. for his doctoral studies, he received an MA in Philosophy (Panthéon-Sorbonne and Paris-Sorbonne), a Magistère in Contemporary Philosophy (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris-Sorbonne, and École Normale Supérieure), and a BA in Philosophy and Logic (Panthéon-Sorbonne and Paris-Sorbonne). He has worked as a lecturer at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Daniel’s philosophical interests center around the normative dimension of human existence, on human behavior insofar as norms apply to it. His doctoral dissertation, The Ethical Views of Michel Foucault, focuses on Foucault’s attempt to account for the normative force of ethical claims without relying in a teleological conception of human being.
A passionate pedagogue, Daniel has taught a number of courses on ethics, the history of philosophy, the intersection of ethics and aesthetics and, most recently, on philosophy and film. Both in his research and in his teaching, he draws from ‘continental,’ ‘analytic,’ and ‘non-mainstream’ sources alike.
Williams College Fellows
Kailani Polzak, C3-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018 in Art History
Kailani Polzak received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 and received a BA with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007. She specializes in European visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is particularly interested in the pictorial politics of race and colonialism in Oceania. Her dissertation, Inscribed Distances: Picturing Human Difference and Scientific Discovery Between Europe and Oceania focused on English, French, and Russian exploratory voyages in the Pacific in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and how the printed works resulting from these voyages were marshaled in arguments on the origins of human difference. Kailani is interested in how these works manifest encounters between differing ideologies and aesthetics and also reveal the gaps between imagistic theories of race and picture making practices.
To complement her research and writing in the United States, she has conducted research abroad in France, Germany, England, Aotearoa – New Zealand, and Australia with the support of fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the Georges Lurcy Foundation. Kailani looks forward to joining the Art Department at Williams College where she will work on turning her dissertation into a book manuscript. In Fall 2016, Kailani will be teaching a seminar on the relationship between the origins of aesthetics and the origins of racial theories in the eighteenth century.
C3 Postdoctoral Fellowships