Staff

Malynne Sternstein

Director

Malynne Sternstein is Associate Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Chicago, Associate in Cinema and Media Studies, Affiliate in Germanic Studies, and Chair of the Fundamentals Program in the College. Author of The Will to Chance, a study of the Czech historical avant-gardes, Czechs of Chicagoland, a photographic history, articles and lectures on such topics as iconic language, gender and citizenship, Kafka's fleshly laughter, the folded discourse of monstrosity, the anaesthetics of kitsch, surrealism as a modus vivendi, Lacan's oblative anxiety, the sexualized child in horror film, the power of architectural spoliation, among others, this particular Sternstein is invested in art, literature, film and politics as and through dialectics.  She is sustained by the work of Vladimir Nabokov and reads him against main tendencies of "confrontation," either with the man or his narrators, instead upsetting product-oriented readings with ones that focus on process, game, and play.  Her recent work is on modes of horror, social anxiety, and the legal-literary discourses of hooliganism.  Her current book project argues that French, and other "western," liberal left critique of Czech New Wave cinema and socialist realpolitik of the 1950s to 60s are best understood as operations of ressentiment.

Hilary Strang

Deputy Director

Hilary Strang

Hilary Strang is MAPH's Deputy Director and Lecturer in the Department of English. She has degrees in cultural studies and critical theory from Brown University and Carnegie Mellon, and a Ph.D. in English from Chicago. Her research interests include nineteenth century British literature, the novel, radical culture, science fiction and Marxism. She has published on Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and biopolitics. Her current research is on unemployment as a biopolitical category in the mid-Victorian novel. Hilary also teaches literature in The Odyssey Project, a college-credit liberal arts program for low-income adults.

 
 

Maren Robinson

Associate Director

Associate Director Maren Robinson holds a B.A. in English Literature from Montana State University. She graduated from MAPH in 2003 where she wrote an original play and a thesis length paper using Virginia Woolf and Peter Brook to examine gender, space and theatrical creation, a version of which was published in the Center for Classic Theater Review. Her interests include renaissance drama, dramaturgy, performance studies and new play development. Maren toured with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and was an artistic intern at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.  In her spare time, Maren teaches dramaturgy and script analysis at another four-year university, and works as a dramaturg for many Chicago theaters, especially TimeLine Theatre where she is a company member and resident dramaturg and Lifeline Theatre where she is an ensemble member. She is happy to discuss MAPH, give recommendations for current dance and theater productions, trade knitting patterns, or talk about Yellowstone National Park.

marenr@uchicago.edu

 

Jane Bohnsack

Program Manager

Jane Bohnsack is MAPH’s Program Manager. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio where she spent much of her childhood as a pre-professional ballet student. Ultimately deciding not to pursue a dance career, Jane moved to Chicago in 2007. She received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University and she has a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University. In her spare time, Jane still dances, enjoys reading genre fiction, and is learning how to powerlift.

jbohnsack@uchicago.edu

 

Jeff McMahon

Writing Advisor

Jeff McMahon helps MAPH students adapt their writing to the particular demands of graduate school, and he teaches journalism courses as a lecturer for the Committee on Creative Writing. He writes about the environment and green technology for Forbes. He has been a reporter and columnist for daily newspapers, alternative weeklies, and innovators in online journalism including The New York Times Company's Lifewire syndicate. He is a founding editor, along with other MAPH alumni, of Contrary magazine. He completed MAPH in 2002.

 
 

Brent Fergusson

Mentor

Brent received his B.A in Philosophy from Boston University in 2007 and has lived in Hyde Park since late 2008. After spending a few years working in a local coffee shop, he got a degree in veterinary technology and worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician in an animal hospital downtown. During his MAPH year, he took Writing and English classes, and he wrote a thesis on the construction of animal pain in Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. When he is not on campus he can be found at a local park or museum loving on his kids, Lily and Jason.

brentfg@uchicago.edu


T Lacy

Mentor

Teniya J Lacy (she goes by T) graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA in 2013. While at Western, she majored in English with an emphasis in African American Literature and received a minor in music. T worked for the Writing Center in Western, tutored college Music Theory and high school English.  She enjoys teaching, reading, spending time with her cat Milo, and binge-watching Netflix. After she graduated, T worked at a plasma donation company. In August of 2015, T moved to Hyde Park to start MAPH. She wrote her thesis on motherhood in Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison, and graduated in June of 2016. When T is not barefoot in the MAPH lounge/office, she’s probably teaching, reading, or hanging out with friends. 

lacyt@uchicago.edu


Annie Williams

Mentor

Annie received her B.A. in English and Classics from the College of the Holy Cross in 2015, where she played violin in the chamber orchestra and read a lot of Iris Murdoch. While in MAPH, Annie further developed her interests in feminist and critical race theory, and broadened her understanding of British and Irish modernism in an American context. She wrote her thesis on affective atmospheres in Virginia Woolf’s “Kew Gardens,” Mrs. Dalloway and Between the Acts. Outside of coursework, she attended the 20th and 21st Century Workshop, lectures by Sianne Ngai and Bhanu Kapil, and a weekly Finnegans Wake reading group. In her free time, Annie enjoys salt and vinegar potato chips, walks by the lake and petting dogs that aren’t hers. 

aewilliams@uchicago.edu

 

Dustin Brown

Preceptor

Dustin Brown is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature, where he works on the literatures and cultures of nineteenth-century Britain.  Currently, he is completing a dissertation on the aesthetic and ideological valences of “personality” in Victorian literature and sciences of mind. The project reads novels, poems, articles and monographs to track the strange and surprising ways that forms of psychic individuality marked by incoherence, ambivalence and depressive withdrawal perform legitimating functions in the stories the Victorians told themselves about imperial domination and classsociety. His quasi-research interests include vernacular avant-gardes in our own moment (e.g. heavy metal subcultures, trolling communities on twitter), genre fiction/TV, and the evolving language of neoliberalism.    

dustin@uchicago.edu 


Darrel Chia

Preceptor

Darrel Chia is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Chicago, where he is working on a dissertation titled "Forms of Diplomacy: Figuring Ethical Life in 20th Century Imperial Publics". The dissertation explores developments in thinking about empire, world democracy, and transnational publics, from the turn of the century, to the Paris Peace Conference, through a variety of literary and intellectual sources. He is also interested in travel-writing and ethnography, the regulation of gender and sexuality, literary modernism, and nationalism. He received his LL.B. and B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Murdoch University in 2000, and his B.A. (Hons) in English from The Australian National University in 2004. Prior to undertaking studies at the University of Chicago, he practiced for a number of years as an Australian lawyer specializing in contract law and commercial transactions. He enjoys walking his dog around the parks and lakeshore paths of Hyde Park.

dkchia@uchicago.edu

 

Agnes Malinowska

Preceptor

Agnes Malinowska is a Ph.D. candidate in the Committee on Social Thought, where she is working on a dissertation (tentatively) titled Technocratic Evolution: Scientific Rationality and the Human Animal in Darwin’s American Modernity. Her project examines turn-of-the-century American literature, social theory, and popular journalism to gauge changing attitudes about nature, nonhuman animals, and the human body in light of two concurrent historical developments: The impact of evolutionary theory and the rise of technological modernity in America. The dissertation analyzes conceptions of the organic and technological environment at this period in conjunction with contemporary debates in Animal Studies and Posthumanist theory. In her free time, she enjoys UChicago’s Animal Studies workshop, dabbling in cheese making and other kinds of fermentation, learning to garden, regimented movie watching, audiobooks, and spending time with friends and family. Prior to beginning graduate work, she received a B.A. in Philosophy and History from the University of California, Berkeley.
 
 

Tristan Schweiger

Preceptor

Tristan Schweiger received his PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2015, where he studied the literature of the British long eighteenth century. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in English and Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is completing his dissertation, "Planters, Mariners, Nabobs, and Squires: Masculine Typology and Imperial Ideology, 1719-1817," which assesses the intersection of gender and empire in texts spanning Robinson Crusoe to Rob Roy. His broader research interests include historicism, postcolonialism, political philosophy, gender theory, and economics. Before coming to the University of Chicago, Tristan worked as a newspaper reporter, covering state and local politics at a series of publications on the East Coast.

tschweiger@uchicago.edu

 

Megan Tusler

Preceptor

Megan Tusler received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2015, where she has taught courses in the American novel and photography, girlhood and American literature, and literary culture in Los Angeles. Her undergraduate degrees from Mills College are in English with a creative writing focus and Ethnic Studies, focusing on literature and race. Her dissertation, American Snapshot: Urban Realism from New Deal to Great Society, argues that minor and counter-culture movements in the 20th century United States produce unique forms of realism in response to social crisis, particularly through the mode of the photo-text. The project evaluates photographs, poetry, novels, short fiction, public documents, and documentary and narrative films. In addition to precepting, she also works as a teaching consultant for the Chicago Center for Teaching mentoring fellow graduate teachers. When not writing, she volunteers for Sit, Stay, Read, a literacy program that brings dogs into elementary school classrooms and Girls Rock! Chicago, a girls’ empowerment rock and roll camp. She enjoys sewing, true crime television and Windy City Soul Club.

tusler@uchicago.edu