Staff

Hilary Strang

Hilary Strang

Director, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities
Senior Lecturer, Humanities and Affiliate Faculty, Department of English, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
hstrang@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Classics 406

I’m the director of MAPH and a senior lecturer in the Humanities. I started at MAPH as a preceptor, when I was doing my Ph.D. in English here at Chicago, and I’ve worked full-time for MAPH in various capacities since 2009. My BA (from Brown) and my MA (from Carnegie Mellon) are in cultural studies and critical theory. My teaching and research focuses mainly on questions about collective life and living together under emergent and contemporary capitalist biopolitics, as well as what life might be beyond or other than those arrangements. I teach classes, for the English department and for the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, about the nineteenth-century British novel and about post-1960s science fiction. My current research is on utopia, intimacy and relationality in the feminist SF of the 1970s and 1980s. I’ve advised MAPH theses on zombies, femininity and artificial intelligence, Jamaica Kincaid, George Eliot, and a wide range of other topics (which capture something of the amazing intellectual diversity and curiosity of MAPH students!). I also teach literature and theory in a wonderful free college-credit humanities program for adults called the Odyssey Project. Other parts of my life involve gardening, raising chickens, patting cats, despairing over my beloved Chicago Bulls, hosting a science fiction podcast, and riding the CTA.

Maren Robinson

Maren Robinson

Associate Director
marenr@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Classics 117 • 773.834.1203

I am the Associate Director of MAPH. I hold a B.A. in English Literature from Montana State University and an MA from MAPH where I wrote an original play and a thesis length paper on using Virginia Woolf and Peter Brook to examine gender, space and performativity. My interests include dramaturgy, new play development and the civic role of performance. I toured with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and was an artistic intern at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.  In my spare time, I teach dramaturgy and script analysis at another four-year university, and work as a dramaturg for many Chicago theaters, especially TimeLine Theatre where I am a company member and resident dramaturg, and Lifeline Theatre where I am an ensemble member. I am happy to discuss MAPH, give recommendations for current dance and theater productions, trade knitting patterns, or talk about where to find pockets of nature in the city.  Outside of MAPH and the theater you can find me taking photographs of birds, architecture and Chicago coyotes.

Annie Williams

Annie Williams

Program Manager
aewilliams@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers
773.834.1201

I'm MAPH's Program Manager. I received my BA in English and Classics from the College of the Holy Cross, where I played violin in the chamber orchestra and read a lot of Iris Murdoch. I then received my MA from MAPH, where I further developed my interest in feminist and critical race theory, and broadened my understanding of British and Irish modernism in an American context. My thesis explored affective atmospheres in Virginia Woolf's "Kew Gardens," Mrs. Dalloway, and Between the Acts. I have also worked as a MAPH mentor and as a communications coordinator at Brown University. Come chat with me about Rhode Island, reality TV, and why I named my cat after Susan Sontag.

Jeff McMahon

Jeff McMahon

Writing Advisor
jmcmahon@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his
Classics 409

I teach critical writing to incoming graduate students in the humanities and scientific writing to outgoing graduate students in the sciences. I’ve also taught journalism, arts criticism and creative non-fiction as a lecturer for the Committee on Creative Writing, and I’ve taught Advanced Academic and Professional Writing as a lector for the University Writing Program. When I'm not teaching writing, I'm usually doing it. I write about climate change for Forbes, and I’ve written in the past for daily newspapers, alternative weeklies, magazines, journals and online innovators. I completed the MAPH program myself in 2002. Along with other MAPH alumni, I founded Contrary Magazine, a literary journal that celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2018.

Office Hours: bit.ly/JeffOfficeHours

Carlie

Carlie Robbins

Mentor
clrobbins@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I completed MAPH in 2020 and received my BA in history from Princeton University in 2014. At Princeton, I studied theater and English in addition to history, and much of my independent work focused on examining popular, fictionalized accounts of historical events. After graduation, I spent several years working at a law firm but ultimately decided against law school. I have also worked as a receptionist, insurance claims coordinator, marketing assistant at the University of Chicago Press, and children’s lead at a bookstore. My academic interests include cultural studies, bestsellers, gender and genre, and children’s literature. I wrote my MA thesis on the way in which female-led detective novels engaged with societal concerns over ‘surplus women’ in interwar Britain. Outside of work, I enjoy reading psychological thrillers, re-watching the Avengers films, and taking photos of my dogs. 

Nathan

Nathan Smith

Mentor
smithnr@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I graduated from MAPH in 2020 and from Bard College in 2009. During the MAPH year, I took mostly English courses and wrote my thesis about environmental activist print media. At Bard, I studied anthropology and philosophy, and my field research was about state-sponsored tourism propaganda and tourism's effects on traditional musical performances in island Southeast Asia, where I spent some formative years growing up. For the ten years between degrees, I worked in the fine art world, native landscape design, and activist journalism--while attempting to maintain a creative practice in writing, painting, and sewing. I spend most of my time outside of work doing those things and trying to learn more about the history and ecology of Chicago. 

Antonia

Antonia Stefanescu

Mentor
aastefanescu@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I was a BA/MA student last year, which means I got my bachelors degree the same year I completed MAPH. As an undergraduate, I studied philosophy and human rights. But during MAPH, I had the opportunity to make my studies much more interdisciplinary! I took classes in everything from anthropology to art history to gender and sexuality studies. For my thesis, I embarked on a holistic exploration of smartphones with the end goal of encouraging individuals that they are agents, not merely tool-users. Outside of class, I taught at City Elementary (in Hyde Park), worked in the Reynolds club (on campus), and, occasionally, journeyed downtown to dance with my friends.

Rowan

Rowan Bayne

Preceptor
rbayne@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I received my PhD in English from the University of Chicago. My dissertation studied the spectrum as a form for managing difference—especially of sexuality, race, and gender—in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The project reads across aesthetic form (narrative fiction, visual art) and an interdisciplinary archive drawn from sexology, psychometric testing, and sociological methods. More broadly, my teaching and research engage with C20/21 American literature and culture, gender, sexuality, race, critical theory, and intersections between the humanities and social sciences. 

While at Chicago, I’ve also been a teaching consultant with the Chicago Center for Teaching, and previously I’ve taught humanities and communications at a polytechnic, an art school, a community center, and in university writing centers. I also ran a municipal political office for a few years in Alberta, Canada, where I’m originally from.  

I love wandering around to see Chicago architecture, baking mediocre loaves, sharing pictures of my cat, and very slowly learning to play the piano. 

Amos.jpg

Amos Browne

Preceptor
browne@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I started working as a preceptor for the MAPH program in 2016, and have since completed a PhD in Philosophy here at the University of Chicago. My dissertation was concerned with the ways in which we make sense of the attitudes and actions of others, and was shaped by a particular interest in the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. To date my teaching has focused on topics related to this in the philosophy of mind and action.  

I'm originally from England, and received a BA in Classics from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, I enjoy culinary projects, amateur photography, and cycling around Chicago. For the past few years I've also been an active member of the University's Iyengar Yoga Club.

Office Hours

Cosette

Cosette Bruhns

Preceptor
cbruhns@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I received my PhD in Italian Literature in 2020 in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. My primary area of research and teaching is in 13th-16th century Italian visual culture, particularly in the intersection of images and text, theories of affect, emotion, and materiality, and the relationship between representation and technology. My broader research interests focus on medieval representations of race and digital humanities scholarship.

My teaching experience at the University of Chicago includes multiple years as an Instructor of writing in the Humanities and Art History Cores, several terms as a Lecturer in Italian language courses, and two quarters as the coordinator of the University of Chicago’s Study Abroad Program in Rome, Italy. I have also served on the University of Chicago’s Graduate Diversity Advisory Board; I am committed to creating an inclusive learning environment and happy to share resources on diversity initiatives at the university.  I am excited to work with MAPH students on a range of interdisciplinary projects across languages and cultures.

Before coming to Chicago I received a BA in philosophy from the New School in New York, with an emphasis in German Romanticism and modern art. Prior to that I pursued a career as a professional ballerina and studied the cello. When not writing, I spend time at the movies and hang with my cat, Elle; I also love checking out public murals while hunting for the perfect tacos in Pilsen.

Chris Carloy

Chris Carloy

Preceptor
ccarloy@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I received my PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2018 with a dissertation titled "'True 3D': The Form, concept, and Experience of Three-Dimensionality in 1990s Videogames." My research focuses on videogame history and theory; theories of space and place; genre history and theory; reception; and phenomenology - and I am committed to interdisciplinary work that places videogames within longer traditions of art, media, and architecture. I received my BA from Baylor University in 2006 and my MA in Cinema and Media Studies from UCLA in 2009. 

I spend my free time wandering the Art Institute of Chicago and the city's many parks; taking and posting photographs; listening to and playing music; watching college football and basketball, US Women's soccer, and the Cubs; and trying to get cheap tickets to the Opera. Also, you can ask me about good food in Chicago - I've spent a decade eating my way across the city. 

Darrel Chia

Darrel Chia

Preceptor
dkchia@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

Outside, I enjoy strolling with my dog, running along the lakeshore, and visiting state parks. Inside, I enjoy visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory and tinkering with house plants (even as they take over my apartment). When I can, I take advantage of the many excellent music and food venues around Chicago. Before moving here, I was a lawyer in Australia. I have a Ph.D. in English, with a dissertation examining how a set of early 20th century literary texts reimagine diplomacy in ways departing from its officially mandated form as an emanation of state reason - via ethics, publics, and economics. My research and teaching interests are in global Anglophone literature, postcolonial studies, the Bildungsroman, recessive action, rights and citizenship, race, and gender and sexuality.

Matt Hubbell

Matt Hubbell

Preceptor
mhubbell@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. My dissertation, Acting After the New Wave: The Political Aesthetics of Performance in France, 1968-1981, focuses on performance, gesture, and the body across the films of the ‘70s, looking at things like the conceptualization of spontaneity in improvised performance practices and political action, the ways in which the Women’s Liberation Movement affected how actresses conceived of the labor of acting, and the use of historical reenactment to think about how traces of the past survive in the present. My broader research interests include theories of affect and emotion, the relationship of images to historiography, the transnational circulation of cinematic forms (especially in the 1960s and ‘70s), and the history of modernist aesthetics across mediums. Before coming to Chicago, I lived in New York, Philadelphia, and Wisconsin. When not academically occupied, I like to spend my time listening to music, attempting to garden, aimlessly roaming the city, and binge-washing trashy teen melodramas.  

Bill Hutchison

Bill Hutchison

Preceptor
hutch@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I earned a BA in English and Philosophy at the University of New Mexico, and completed MAPH and a PhD in the English department at University of Chicago. I wrote my MA thesis on the way in which hands serve as a permeable boundary between humanity and animality in The Island of Doctor Moreau. My dissertation, Love Among the Robots, examined how the prospect of non-biological consciousnesses in technology and culture affects related notions of intimacy, kinship, and personhood. My broader research interests include science and technology studies, theories and practices of kinship, theories of the non-human, cultural studies, and critical theory. I’ve taught classes on literature, culture, and technology to undergraduates, art students, high school students, and adults in the Odyssey Project, a free, college-credit humanities program. I love angsty Scandinavian crime dramas, sentimental science fiction, and aimless tinkering. I live with two great dogs, Violet and Juniper, and a cat again soon, I hope.

Sarah.jpg

Sarah Kunjummen

Preceptor
kunjummen@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I received my PhD in English in 2019, and I work on sixteenth and seventeenth-century British literature, with particular interests in poetry, religion, classical reception and the digital humanities. My dissertation research argues that the trope of co-extension in three-dimensional space played a distinctive role in the depictions of intimacy offered in the work of seventeenth-century thinkers such as John Milton, Thomas Browne and Margaret Cavendish, texts which provide distinctive accounts of what, for an early modern subject, might be disappointing about life in the body, while paradoxically affirming its centrality for the constitution of sociable selves.

Previously, as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, I majored in Greek and Latin, as well as English with a creative writing focus, and I'm always happy to talk about very old or very new poems! I also enjoy skating very badly on the Midway Ice Rink, exploring the world of Chicago thrifting and perfecting my no-knead bread.

Agnes Malinowska

Agnes Malinowska

Preceptor
amalinowska@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I started working as a preceptor at MAPH in 2014 and have since received my PhD from the Committee on Social Thought here at Chicago. My academic research centers on twentieth-century American literature, global modernisms, fictions of capital, and the cultural history of science in America. I also have budding interests in migration studies, Asian-American studies, Chicago school sociology, and muckraking narratives. My dissertation, Technocratic Evolution, locates a turn-of-the-century genre of experimental naturalism that drew on post-Darwinian social theory to imagine an American modernity outside of hegemonic political narratives surrounding gender, race, capital, and empire. The project likewise reads naturalism as a biopolitical literature invested in the distribution of organic life in the domain of value and utility. Current projects include a cultural history of the microorganism and an essay on the relationship between California race politics and America’s transpacific capitalist expansion around 1900. Before coming to Chicago, I earned a BA in philosophy and history from the University of California, Berkeley. Even before that, I was born in Poland, spent much of my childhood in Canada, but can probably be best described as a Californian. These days, I go to the movies as much as possible and travel frequently to California to visit family.

Tristan Schweiger

Tristan Schweiger

Preceptor
tschweiger@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his

I received my Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago in 2015. My research focuses on Atlantic literature of the long eighteenth century. I hold a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in English and Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. My dissertation, "Planters, Mariners, Nabobs, and Squires: Masculine Types and Imperial Ideology, 1719-1817," assesses the intersection of gender and empire in texts spanning Robinson Crusoe to Rob Roy. I have recently published on slavery and ideologies of property in eighteenth-century Caribbean literature. My broader research interests include historicism, postcolonialism, Marxism, and gender theory. Before coming to the University of Chicago, I worked as a reporter, covering state and local politics at a series of newspapers on the East Coast. Outside of my teaching and scholarship, I enjoy running on the lake trail (when it's not winter), cooking, exploring Chicago's restaurant scene, and airplanes. I am also the co-host of the podcast "Better Read than Dead: Literature from a Left Perspective."

Maggie Taft

Maggie Taft

Preceptor
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I received my PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago in 2014. My art historical interests primarily collect in two areas: modern design and Chicago’s art and design history. I’ve also written about contemporary art for publications like ArtforumThe PointTexte Zur Kunste, and The New Art Examiner. After finishing my dissertation, “Making Danish Modern, 1945-1960,” I spent two years teaching interdisciplinary theory and method at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2016, I returned to Chicago to open the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute, a community-based writing center in Ukrainian Village. So far, the space has provided writing workshops, seminars, and residencies for practicing artists and designers.

I published Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now (University of Chicago Press) in 2018, and am currently at work on two new projects. The first, based on my dissertation, is a book, The Chieftain and the Chair: Danish Design in Postwar America. The second involves work as curator for the new Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, an institution with a storied collection but no current exhibition space.

I love to discuss writing strategies, explore Chicago’s archives, watch the NBA, and go for urban hikes.

Megan Tusler

Megan Tusler

Preceptor
tusler@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I received my PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2015, where I have taught courses in the American novel and photography, girlhood and American literature, and literary culture in Los Angeles. My undergraduate degrees from Mills College are in English and Ethnic Studies. My dissertation, “American Snapshot: Urban Space and the Minor Archive,” argues that minor and counter-culture movements in the 20th century US produce new versions of archiving in response to social crisis, particularly through the mode of the photo-text. My current monograph, “On Other Loathing,” explores race, misanthropy, and negative affect in the ethnic American novel. I also have two current essay projects; one is a literary genealogy of the kitchenette apartment in American urban space and the other a piece on the western and liberal sentimentality in the 1950s. I have also volunteered in the curatorial department at the Chicago History Museum and been a Newberry Library fellow. I enjoy sewing, succulent propagation, and Windy City Soul Club, and am the co-host of the literature podcast “Better Read than Dead.”