Postdoctoral Fellows Program

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The Mellon Kaplan Postdoctoral HERE Program: Humanities Education, Research, & Engagement

The Kaplan Humanities Institute is home to the Mellon Kaplan HERE Program, a Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences postdoctoral initiative that brings together emerging scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines in the humanities.

HERE postdoctoral fellows play an integral role in the Institute and across Northwestern:

Humanities Education: Fellows develop and teach undergraduate courses and deliver public lectures.

Research: As scholars at the outset of their academic careers, Fellows bring fresh perspectives on cutting edge research to Northwestern. Via weekly colloquia, they engage with Kaplan Faculty Fellows from fields across the humanities and have the opportunity to present their research to receive interdisciplinary feedback on their projects.

Engagement: Within the Kaplan Institute and other departments and programs, Fellows organize campus events (symposia, screenings, performances, etc.), serve on planning committees, and engage in public cultural and scholarly exchanges in Chicago.

Mellon Kaplan HERE fellowships are two-year residencies at the Kaplan Humanities Institute. Fields of study selected for the fellowship reflect emergent areas at Northwestern or areas that bridge between disciplines. Each fellow is selected by an interdisciplinary search committee and jointly appointed within the Kaplan Institute and their disciplinary “home” department. Fellows receive mentorship both within their field and also within the larger university community. 

Funding for the Mellon Kaplan HERE Program is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

2016-2017 HERE Postdoctoral Fellows

Hi‘ilei HobartHi‘ilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart

Ph.D. in Food Studies, New York University

Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies
In residence: September 2016-August 2018

Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a joint appointment in the Kaplan Institute, Program in Science in Human Culture, and Asian American Studies. Her work looks at the points of intersection between foodscapes and indigeneity. Hiʻilei’s doctoral dissertation applies the framework of Settler Colonialism to food culture, and shows how taste qualities and food temperature index territorial power in Hawaiʻi. She is especially interested in the history of commodity ice and refrigeration in the Pacific, the development of new technology in the nineteenth century, the affective registers of comfort and home-making, and indigenous embodiment and environmental knowledge. Before joining Northwestern, Hiʻilei taught a number of undergraduate classes at NYU where she developed syllabi on topics including critical food studies, material culture, and cuisine. She has recently published on frozen meat, localism and ‘Local’ food in Hawai‘i, and guest edited for the journal Food, Culture, and Society.

Elizabeth SchwallElizabeth Schwall

Ph.D. in History, Columbia University

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies
In residence: September 2016-August 2018

Elizabeth Schwall is delighted to join Northwestern as a postdoctoral fellow. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching combines History and Dance Studies to examine politics and the social relations of class, race, gender, and sexuality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her book manuscript, Dancing with the Revolution: Cuban Dance, State, and Nation, is a social and cultural history of staged dance performance in twentieth-century Cuba. Her broader research interests include modern Brazilian and Mexican History, Latin American performance, Cold War cultural diplomacy, and the histories of migration and community building through art. Her book reviews have appeared in Dance Research Journal, New West Indian Guide/ Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, and Cuban Studies (forthcoming). She has written entries to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, as well as pieces on current Cuban dance developments for Cuban Art News. She has taken many dance classes over her years of travel and research. She encourages students studying abroad to contact her for tips on dance classes in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, or Santiago, Chile.

Daniel SnelsonDaniel Snelson

Ph.D. in English, University of Pennsylvania

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities
In residence: September 2015-August 2017

Danny Snelson began a two-year residency in fall 2015 as our first Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Humanities, with a joint appointment in the Kaplan Institute and the English Department. His research and teaching blend a study of poetry and poetics with work on digital and network cultures, material text studies, and media theory. His dissertation, “Variable Format: Media Poetics and the Little Database” moves away from “big data” analysis to consider relatively small online collections of digital objects, particularly noting ways that print, sound, and cinema work within the new media context of twentieth-century art and literature. Danny teaches courses that engage in digital cultures from a humanities perspective and contribute scholarly expertise to general digital humanities initiatives. His course, "Print-on-Demand Poetry: Making Books After the Internet," examines the emergence of innovative forms of writing under the influence of digital networks, inviting students to experiment with Print-on-Demand in a series of collaborative and independent scholarly projects. Visit Danny's website here.