2015 Summer Institute Participants

Jenny Anger

jenny-anger Jenny Anger is professor of art history at Grinnell College, where she has taught since earning her Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture at Brown University in 1997. Anger’s specialty is twentieth-century European art history and theory. Her first book, Paul Klee and the Decorative in Modern Art (Cambridge University Press, 2004) situates Klee’s art within the problematic of the decorative as it was articulated and contested especially in the early years of the twentieth century. Anger’s second book, Metaphors of Modernism: Der Sturm and the Société Anonyme, is expected to appear in 2016. The book argues for the unacknowledged centrality of metaphor in modern art through its exploration of four recurrent metaphors—piano, water, glass, and home—that shape the realm of possibility of art in the two titular organizations: Herwarth Walden’s Der Sturm in Berlin (1910-32) and Marcel Duchamp and Katherine Dreier’s Société Anonyme in New York (1920-50).


Tim Arner

Tim Arner Tim Arner specializes in medieval literature. His research and teaching interests include the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, the influence of classical texts on Middle English poetry, and the intersections between fourteenth- and fifteenth-century literature and politics. He has published articles on Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale” and Troilus and Criseyde, and he has presented papers on Lucan, Chaucer, Lydgate, Spenser, and Shakespeare. Recently, Tim collaborated with a group of students to produce The Grinnell Beowulfa translation and critical edition of the Old English poem. Tim is currently working on his first book project, Trojan Wars: Genre and the Politics of Authorship in Late Medieval and Early Modern England, which examines the rewriting of the Troy legend in England from Chaucer to Shakespeare. He received his B.A. from The American University (2000) and his M.A. (2002) and Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University (2006). You can find more of Dr. Arner’s work at http://thegrinnellpost.com.


Shanna Benjamin

Benjamin, ShannaShanna Greene Benjamin, assistant professor of English at Grinnell College, has published on African American literature and black women’s literary history in MELUS, African American Review, Studies in American Fiction, and PMLA. A specialist in African American literature and culture, Professor Benjamin teaches surveys in African American literature and nineteenth-century American literature, seminars on neo-slave narratives and black women writers, and Mellon Mays workshops on preparing for the professoriate. She graduated from Johnson C. Smith University and received her M.A. in Afro-American Studies and Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Benjamin is currently working on a biography of her graduate adviser and Norton Anthology of African American Literature co-editor, Nellie Y. McKay.



Sarah Bond

sarahbond Sarah Bond is an assistant professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Iowa. Professor Bond is a digital humanist and teaches courses on Roman Civilization, Late Antique Latin, Latin historiography, Roman history, and Greek and Latin epigraphy. Her research focuses primarily on Roman law, commerce, marginal peoples, and the formation of voluntary associations during the period called Late Antiquity (200-700 CE). She works extensively with material culture to reconstruct the lives of “ordinary” working Romans and is currently finishing a book for the University of Michigan Press on unseemly tradesmen in the Roman Mediterranean (45 BCE-565 CE). Professor Bond holds a a B.A. in Classics and History with a Classical Archaeology minor from the University of Virginia and a, M.A. and Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  For more information on Dr. Bond’s work, visit her website: https://sarahemilybond.wordpress.com


Diana Fritz Cates

Diana Cates Dr. Cates is the departmental chair of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on religious ethics and moral psychology.  She works primarily within the Aristotelian-Thomistic moral tradition on the nature of the self, the structure of virtue, the relationship between virtue and natural law, particular virtues such as love and compassion, the internal causes of moral evil, the structure of emotion, particular emotions such as anger and hatred, the role of emotions in the moral life, and the way the religious imagination can influence the cultivation of virtue and the deliberate formation of moral emotions.



Mariola Espinosa

mariola espinosaMariola Espinosa is Associate Professor in the University of Iowa Department of History, and she holds an adjunct appointment in the Yale University School of Medicine. She is a specialist on the history of medicine and public health in the Caribbean.  Her first book, Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, (University of Chicago Press 2009), is the story of how the devastating power of yellow fever dramatically transformed and defined the relationship between Cuba and the United States.  Currently she is working a manuscript on how medical understandings of fever shaped the modern Caribbean.  She is also the recipient of the University of Iowa May Brodbeck Humanities Fellowship for the year 2015-2016.  For more information about Dr. Espinosa’s work, please visit her website:  http://myweb.uiowa.edu/mespinosa/


Sylvea Hollis

HollisSylvea Hollis is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include African American social and cultural history, US Welfare State, and public history. Sylvea’s dissertation is a cultural history of the African American insurance movement in the Jim Crow South. It reconsiders how ideas about race, gender, and risk management shaped black community life. Sylvea also has experience in the areas of civic engagement and the public humanities. She is a team member on the History Department’s Humanities Story Corps (HSC) program. HSC is a digital online project that uses the art of storytelling to illustrate the value of the humanities in everyday life. Before coming to Iowa she worked at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, interned at the National Museum of American History, and the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation (Dutch Caribbean). Sylvea received a M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY-Oneonta) and a B.A. from the University of Montevallo.


Matthew Johnson

workshop-10-MDJ Matthew Johnson is Chair of East Asian Studies and Assistant Professor of History at Grinnell College.  His teaching and research focus on political communication and propaganda; official and unofficial media in China; China and East Asia in global context; and the historical geography of culture. He is a director of The PRC History Group (prchistory.org, H-PRC) and has edited several books and journals. His wider interests include international higher education partnerships, policy, leadership, and the future of liberal education. For more information about his work, visit China’s iGeneration – Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-First Century and Visualizing Modern China.



Nick Kelly

Nicholas M Kelly is a doctoral candidate and Ballard-Seashore Fellow at the University of Iowa. His dissertation, “The Freedom of Information Hacked: Console Cowboys, Computer Wizards, and Personal Freedom in the Digital Age,” examines depictions of computer hackers in fiction and popular culture, showing how such depictions are both influenced by and influence real-life computer hackers and also serve to lay bare collective hopes and anxieties regarding electronic communications networks. In the spring of 2015, Nicholas taught “Heroes and Villains in Cyberspace”, a course on computer hacking and cybersecurity in contemporary literature, and is soon teaching a course on the similarities between the encoding/decoding of digital information and the practices of literary analysis. His larger research interests examine the intersections and feedback loops between technology and culture, particularly in regards to digital media, 20th/21st-century literature, and science fiction. A tech enthusiast and firm believer in the DIY ethos of learning about technology in a hands-on way, when Nicholas is not reading or writing about computer hackers, he can often be found poking at a Linux terminal, assembling (or  disassembling) computer hardware, or showing his students how to run encrypted operating systems off USB Thumb Drives. Follow him on twitter @newreadia.


Mark Laver

Laver Mark Mark Laver is a saxophonist, ethnomusicologist, and Assistant Professor of Music at Grinnell College, where he directs the jazz band and teaches classes on jazz and popular music. Laver’s research focuses on the intersections among jazz, improvisation, and neoliberal capitalism. In addition to Jazz Sells, other recent publications include his critique of the Jazz at Lincoln Center – Starwood Hotels sponsorship arrangement that resulted in J@LC Doha, “Freedom of Choice: Jazz, Neoliberalism, and the Lincoln Center” (Popular Music and Society 38), and “Improvise!TM: Improvisation and the Aesthetics of Neoliberalism” (Critical Studies in Improvisation 9), an interrogation of improvisation-based business management consultancy. This second article was part of a special issue of Critical Studies in Improvisation on “Ethics and the Improvising Business,” of which Laver served as co-editor. He is currently working on a new edited volume with Dr. Ajay Heble (University of Guelph) called Improvisation and Music Education: Beyond the Classroom, forthcoming with Routledge.


Cynthia Laborde

Laborde_2014Cynthia Laborde is a 5th year PhD candidate in French & Italian at the University of Iowa. Her dissertation is titled: “Health, Intimacy, and Identity in French Language Autobiographical Comic Books”. Cynthia was born and raised in Paris, France. She attended undergraduate in Besançon, France: DEUG de Lettres Modernes, Licence de Français Langue Étrangère. She holds a Master’s in French Literature at the University of Wyoming and a Master’s in French-English Translation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her scholarly interests: pedagogy, 19th, 20th and 21th Century French-Language Literature, Graphic Literature, and Translation. Awards: Ellbogen Outstanding Graduate Assistant Teaching Award (2008), Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award (2008), The Benhamou Graduate Scholarship in French (2010), Ballard-Seashore fellowship (2014-2015). For more information about Cynthia Laborde’s work, visit her website: cynthialaborde.wordpress.com


Carolyn Lewis

Lewis%20photoCarolyn Herbst Lewis is an assistant professor of history at Grinnell College. She is the author of Prescription for Heterosexuality: Sexual Citizenship in the Cold War Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010) and has been a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Association of University Women, a Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship, and the Judith Lee Ridge Article Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians. She was a co-founder of the scholarly blog, Nursing Clio, and has been working on a history of Joseph DeLee and the Chicago Maternity Center.



Lindsay Mattock

mattockLindsay Mattock is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. She completed her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences.   She also holds a MLIS with a concentration in Archives, Preservation and Records Management and a BA in Film Studies. Her professional experience as a video-technician and training in filmmaking and photography have shaped her academic interest in the preservation of visual media and visual culture.  Mattock has taught in the areas of digital preservation, preservation management, archival representation, and moving image archives.  Her recent research connects these areas of interest, investigating the development of archival practices developed within non-profit media organizations, including media arts centers and media collectives.  This research reframes these maker-spaces as archives, critiquing professional archival practices and suggests new frameworks for the preservation and archivization of audiovisual media. For more information on Dr. Mattock’s work, visit her profile: http://slis.grad.uiowa.edu/research-profiles/mattock-lindsay


Judith Pascoe

pascoeJudith Pascoe is a Professor of English at the University of Iowa. She teaches classes on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and culture. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and a Fulbright Japan Lecturing Award, she has written about theatrical self-representation in the 1790s (Romantic Theatricality [Cornell UP, 1996]) and about romantic-era collectors (The Hummingbird Cabinet [Cornell UP, 2006]). Her most recent book, The Sarah Siddons Audio Files: Romanticism and the Lost Voice (U of Michigan P, 2011), focuses on Sarah Siddons’s voice and the acoustic transformation of the romantic theatre. She is currently writing about Japanese adaptations of Wuthering Heights. For more information about Dr. Pascoe’s work, visit her website: http://www.judithpascoe.com/



Mirzam Perez

mirzam_perezMirzam Perez is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Grinnell College. She used GIS to map processions and festivals in XVII century Spain her most recent book, The Comedia of Virginity: Mary and the Politics of Seventeenth-Century Spanish TheaterShe is currently working on The Politics of Feast and Space: Academic Festival Books and the Rise of Institutional Power in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America. This past Spring semester she designed a class assignment using  NVIVO for textual analysis of Don Quixote. She is planning to develop a website with OMEKA for her seminar “Designing Empire: Plazas, Power and Urban Planning in Habsburg Spain and its colonies”.



Sarah Purcell

Purcell-pp2 Sarah Purcell is Professor of History and Director of the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights at Grinnell College.  After graduating from Grinnell, she earned graduate degrees from Brown University. Purcell is author or co-author of five books including Sealed with Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Meaning in Revolutionary America (2002).  She is currently working on a book titled Spectacle of Grief: Public Funerals and the Politics of U.S. Civil War Memory, which includes the use of GIS to map spectacle funeral processions.  She has a research and teaching interest in the Digital Humanities, and she has worked with Grinnell students on a variety of digital projects including GIS mapping, TimeMap, social network analysis, app development, and social media use for public history.



Katie Wetzel

Wetzel, Katie Katie E. Wetzel is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Iowa, studying nineteenth-century literature and ecocriticism. She holds an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Kansas. Her work primarily engages with the intersections between social movements from the nineteenth century and representations of urban landscapes, but she is also interested in contemporary pedagogy, trauma studies, and social justice. Katie has taught both composition and literature courses, but currently teaches first-year Rhetoric at the University of Iowa. Her courses involve service-learning, the digital humanities, and collaborative student learning.



Eric Zimmer

Zimmer_GHS_Photo Eric Zimmer is a doctoral candidate and Dean’s Graduate Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Iowa. His dissertation, “Red Earth Nation: Environment and Sovereignty in Modern Meskwaki History,” explores the ways in which the unique land ownership of the Meskwaki Nation, Iowa’s only resident American Indian community, has allowed the tribe to carve a uniquely sovereign space in the paradigms of state/tribal and federal/tribal relations since 1857. Deeply invested in publicly-engaged scholarship, Eric works with a number of public and digital history organizations, including the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, the UI History Corps, and the Black Hills Knowledge Network, and is active in several public history projects in Iowa and his home state, South Dakota. His essays and reviews have appeared in or are forthcoming from the Annals of Iowa, South Dakota History, Native American and Indigenous Studies, the American Indian Quarterly, the Rapid City Journal, and the Indian Country Today Media Network. For more information about Eric’s work, visit his website: www.ericzimmerhistory.com