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.

2017-2018 HERE Postdoctoral Fellows

Sarah DimickSarah Dimick

Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities

Sarah Dimick is a Postdoctoral Fellow with a joint appointment in the Department of English and the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. Her work is located at the intersection of climate science and global Anglophone literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries. Her current project, Climatic Arrhythmias: Global Warming, Literary Form, and Environmental Time, examines how literature both documents and responds to the disrupted temporal ecologies of the Anthropocene. Sarah’s articles are forthcoming in Mosaic and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, and her discussion of the challenges of animating climatic research for a public audience can be found in the environmental humanities journal Edge Effects. In her broader research and teaching, she engages a variety of ecocritical approaches, including environmental justice, postcolonial and feminist environmentalisms, animal studies, petroaesthetics, and theories of the environmental future.

Hi‘ilei HobartHi‘ilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart

Ph.D. in Food Studies, New York University

Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies

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.

Kaneesha Cherelle ParsardKaneesha Cherelle Parsard

Ph.D. in American Studies and African American Studies, and the Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Race Studies

Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard is the Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Race Studies, and holds affiliations with the Kaplan Institute, the Department of African American Studies, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. Her expertise lies in examining Caribbean literary and visual cultures through feminist approaches to the legacies of African slavery and Indian indentureship. Her first book project, Improper Dwelling, uses analysis of British West Indian literary and visual cultures as well as archival materials to examine how British colonial housing and planning sought to manage and separate African and Indian labor populations in the period between emancipation and independence. Kaneesha's research has been supported by the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council of Learned Societies and her writing is published in American Quarterly and the volume Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought.

Elizabeth SchwallElizabeth Schwall

Ph.D. in History, Columbia University

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies

Elizabeth Schwall received her Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Columbia University in 2016. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching combines History and Dance Studies to shed new light on the physical movements that animated daily life, politics, and intellectual inquiry in the region. Her book manuscript, Political Moves: Dance and Power in Revolutionary Cuba, examines dance as revolutionary politics, labor, and leisure in Cuba from 1930 to 1990. Her broader research interests include Brazilian history, Latin American performance, Cold War cultural diplomacy, and the histories of migration and community building through art. Essays accepted for publication will appear in the Hispanic American Historical Review and two edited volumes. Her book reviews and encyclopedic entries have appeared in Dance Research Journal, Cuban Studies, New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, and the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography. 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.