Kaplan Scholars Instructors

Learn more about the Kaplan Humanities Scholars Program.

Mira Balberg | Kaplan Scholars Instructor; Department of Religious Studies

Mira Balberg
  • Mira Balberg (Ph.D. Stanford) specializes in ancient Mediterranean religions, with a focus on early Judaism . She is the author of Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (University of California Press, 2014) and ofGateway to Rabbinic Literature  (The Open University of Israel Press, 2013). Others topics on which she has published include questions of personhood in rabbinic literature, the human body and its changing cultural meanings in ancient Jewish texts, and the production of knowledge in late antiquity. She is particularly interested in the ways in which the Jewish Literature composed in the Hellenistic and Roman era interprets and transforms biblical institutions, concepts, and values, often through dialogue and interaction with Greek, Roman, and early Christian cultures. She is currently working on a book exploring the transformation of sacrifice in early rabbinic literature. 

Harris Feinsod | Kaplan Scholars Instructor; Departments of English

Harris Feinsod
  • Harris Feinsod (A.B., Brown, Ph.D., Stanford) teaches 20th and 21st century US and Latin American literature and culture. His research focuses on comparative poetics and the history of poetry in English and Spanish, modernism and the historical avant-gardes in Europe and the Americas, transnational literary studies (especially hemispheric literary and cultural relations), oceanic studies, and the inter-ethnic and postmodern cultures of the US "new west.” Formerly, he was Geballe Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center (2010-11), College Fellow at Northwestern (2011-12), and Mellon Fellow at the Harry Ransom Center (summer, 2012). In 2015-16, he is the Early Career Fellow in residence at the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center. His writing has appeared in American Literary History, American QuarterlyArcadeCentro, Chicago ReviewTelos, and the 4th edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012), for which he served as an assistant editor.

Susan Manning | Kaplan Scholars Instructor; Departments of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies

Susan Manning
  • Susan Manning is a Professor of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies at Northwestern and an internationally recognized historian of modern dance whose writings have been translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Polish. She is the author of Ecstasy and the Demon: the Dances of Mary Wigman (1993, 2nd ed 2006) and Modern Dance, Negro Dance: Race in Motion (2004), curator of Danses noires/blanche Amerique (2008), and coeditor of New German Dance Studies (2012). She served as dramaturg for Reggie Wilson's Moses(es) and has published a cluster of essays on the work in the spring 2015 edition of TDR: The Drama Review

Barbara Newman | Kaplan Scholars Instructor; Department of English

Barbara Newman
  • Barbara Newman (Ph.D. Yale) is known for her work on medieval religious culture, allegorical poetry, and women's spirituality. She teaches courses on Chaucer, Arthurian literature, medieval women writers, the Bible as literature, medieval autobiography, and Christian mysticism.  Her most recent book, Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular against the Sacred, was published by Notre Dame in 2013.  In Making Love in the Twelfth Century, to appear in 2016, she explores a remarkable set of Latin love letters that may have been exchanged by Abelard and Heloise.  She has also written and edited many books on Hildegard of Bingen and other medieval holy women. 

Amy Stanley | Kaplan Scholars Instructor; Department of History

Amy Stanley
  • Amy Stanley (Ph.D. Harvard, 2007) specializes in the history of early modern and modern Japan, with a particular interest in how common people contributed to Japan’s economic, political, and social transformation in the mid-nineteenth century. Her first book, Selling Women: Prostitution, Markets, and the Household in Early Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2012), explained how the growing business of selling sex reconfigured women’s places in the household, the marketplace, and the Tokugawa state. Professor Stanley has also written articles on education for geisha in the 1870’s and early modern peasants’ practices of settling adultery cases. Her new project investigates a Japanese woman’s experience of urban migration, service work, and social mobility in the context of global early modernity. A recipient of the WCAS Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2012, she offers lecture courses on pre-20th century Japan and seminars on various aspects of women’s/gender history, Asian history, and archival research.

Alejandra Uslenghi | Kaplan Scholars Instructor; Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Alejandra Uslenghi
  • Alejandra Uslenghi holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University (2007) and a M.A. in Liberal Studies from New School for Social Research (2003). She specializes in nineteenth and twentieth-century Latin American literature, with an emphasis on visual culture. She is working on a book manuscript titled "Images of Modernity: Latin American Culture at Universal Exhibitions" which examines literary discourses of modernization in turn-of-the century Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, concurrently with the development of modern urban culture and the introduction of new technologies for the visual construction of the social. Within this framework, she explores how the differential character of modernity in Latin America can be analyzed through the design, architecture, contents and discourse of universal expositions. She uses Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project as one of her conceptual tools in historicizing how these forms of visualization came to actively shape the discourses on landscape and national identity, subjectivity and technology, spectacle and urban experience in Latin America within this comparative and emerging global context.