Staff

Hilary Strang

Hilary Strang

Director, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities
Associate Senior Instructional Professor, Humanities, Affiliate Faculty, Department of English and 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

Annie Williams

Manager of Student Affairs
aewilliams@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers
773.834.4349

I'm MAPH's Manager of Student Affairs. 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, pop music, reality TV (I've seen every episode of Love Island UK), and my two sweet cats.

Ariel

Ariel Sowers

Program Coordinator
ajsowers@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers
773.834.1201

I am MAPH’s Program Coordinator. I received my BA in English with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Texas, San Antonio. I graduated from MAPH in 2018, and I primarily studied feminist science fiction. I wrote my thesis on non-embodied gendered artificial intelligence in science fiction. Some of my favorite SF is about cyborgs, and AI-- to name a few. I am also a first generation, non-traditional student, and a Ronald McNair scholar, so please feel free to come chat with me about being first gen or just adjusting to life here at UChicago. I have previously worked as a Starbucks barista, a peer mentor while in college, a bookseller, and an editorial assistant to an academic journal in robotics. Outside of MAPH, I enjoy spending time with friends (and their pets), helicopter parenting my houseplants, tinkering with my Abuelita’s enchilada recipe, and baking surprisingly impressive peach tarts. 

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

Jake Alden

Jake Alden

Mentor
jwalden1@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: they/them/theirs

I completed MAPH in 2021 and received my BA from Purdue University in 2017. Before pursuing graduate studies, I taught history at the high school level, and later worked in higher education student affairs. My MAPH thesis focused on the late medieval reception of the Middle Irish narrative known as The Book of Invasions, and the ways in which that text figures gender, gendered expectations, and cultural hybridity. On the whole, my academic interests tend to center on medieval and Irish texts, and the way such works frame gender, sexuality, and race. In my free time, I love to bike, hike, read and write horror, and play and design tabletop games.

Hayden Bunker

Hayden Bunker

Mentor
hbunker@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: they/them/theirs and he/him/his

I graduated from MAPH’s two-year language option in 2021 with a focus on Spanish language and literature, performance, and—inadvertently but happily!—science fiction. My thesis culminated in an experimental video art project exploring internet psychology and the affective experience of virtual environments. I earned my B.A. in English from Reed College before working as an EFL instructor in Taiwan during the 2017-18 academic year. Despite enjoying the wonderful city of Chicago, I’m a proud Vermonter at heart with a real love for cows, fields, and forests. My personal and academic interests overlap so thoroughly that I’m always eager to think and learn and speculate about anything mentioned above, as well as modernist poetry, translation theory, pedagogy, video games, biopolitics, and coffee.

Logan Ward

Logan Ward

Mentor
loganbw@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: he/him/his and they/them/theirs

I finished MAPH in 2021 and I spent the program thinking a lot about lyrical nonfiction and racial melancholia. This mostly happened via my zoom fishbowl. I wrote my thesis because I was sad; in the process, it became something about the landscape of melancholia and its presence as a peculiar, time-bending, rhythm in the lives of black cultural objects. In 2020, I finished a bachelor’s in African-American Studies at Howard University (where I was less sad but still listening to Drake). Or, I am still listening to Drake, which I mention for no other reason than that his songs slap and I am a product of modernity. I am really into my cat Apollo—an ever-hungry tuxedo cat with tiger stripes, for the white women in the room—as well as Spotify playlists, syringe-exchange programs, A$AP Rocky’s teeth, murder mysteries, nature teas, Miss Slay-Z, a good book, and cheap Merlot. I love to read or do anything that makes the being-in-the-world make sense. Also, whales.

Rowan

Rowan Bayne

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

I received my PhD in English from the University of Chicago. My teaching and research engage with 20th/21st-century U.S. literature and culture, queer and trans studies, race, feminism, critical theory, disability, and intersections of the humanities and social sciences. My dissertation studied the spectrum as a form for managing difference across narrative, visual art, and an interdisciplinary archive drawn from sexology, psychometrics, and sociology.

I’ve also worked with the Chicago Center for Teaching and previously taught humanities and communications at a polytechnic, an art school, a community center, and in university writing centers. Before coming to Chicago, I ran a municipal political office in Alberta (Treaty 6), Canada, where I grew up. I enjoy beaches, cats, and wandering around the city on foot. I am a member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

Alia Goehr

Alia Breitwieser Goehr

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

After completing a BA in Chinese at Reed College and living in Taiwan for several years, I came to the University of Chicago, where I received a PhD in Comparative Literature in 2021. My dissertation, “The Genius of Form: Jin Shengtan’s (1608–1661) Transformative Literary Program,” reframes a historically important early modern Chinese literary project as a philosophical and soteriological endeavor. In so doing, my work questions the disciplinary lines that modern scholarship has drawn among literature, philosophy, and religion. My current research recovers the social and philosophical motivations undergirding Ming- and Qing-dynasty works of Chinese literature and literary criticism to illuminate a contentious field of moral-philosophical debate in which thinkers drew on such diverse intellectual resources as Neo-Confucianism, Buddhist doctrines and practices, vernacular fiction, drama, and classical prose (to list only a few) to articulate innovative social and cultural possibilities. My teaching invites students from diverse academic backgrounds to approach literary history as intellectual history, to reflect on what was at stake in each historical work of writing as a mode of world-making. In the spaces between research and teaching, I enjoy pattern drafting and sewing and hiking among the mountains and deserts of the southwestern US. I also aspire to ultra-distance trail running.

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.

Alexandra

Alexandra Fraser

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

I received my PhD in Art History from the University of Michigan in 2018. I’m also a graduate of MAPH, which I completed in 2009. My teaching and research focus on topics in nineteenth- and early-twentieth century art and design, mainly questions about intimate, decorative spaces of domestic life and what they can tell us about shifts in private experience and the challenges of its representation under conditions of mass modernity. Before coming to teach in MAPH, I taught experimental courses in Art and Design History at University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and Beloit College. I’ve also worked in contemporary art museums such as MCA—Chicago and The Power Plant Contemporary in Toronto. More recently, I’ve been working on curatorial projects in smaller design collections across the Midwest, in institutions with rich holdings that have been simply and too frequently overlooked.

Currently, my research falls into two areas: nineteenth-century decorative arts in a trans-European context; and mid-twentieth century collecting in the industrial Midwest. These gather around two umbrella projects. The first is a book manuscript emerging from my dissertation, with the working title Wallpaper and Window: The Interior and Social Experience in Fin-de-Siècle Art and Architecture. The second is a nascent “biography” of home art collections as told through the rise and transformation of Detroit, a project that explores the “livability” of European modernism under the social and economic evolution of the industrial Midwest. 

Before moving to Chicago the first time, I lived in Vancouver, BC, and grew up on a farm in central Ontario. I love to talk about really great writing, take extraordinarily long city walks, listen to Canadian talk radio, and tirelessly comb Chicago’s vintage furniture stores.

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

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 wonderful tiny cat called Harriet. I am a member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

Sarah.jpg

Sarah Kunjummen

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

I received my PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2019, and have taught classes on ideas of freedom and agency in early modern Europe, on women's representation of the divine, and on early modern lyric. My undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan are in English and Classical Languages, and my work focuses 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 created by seventeenth-century thinkers such as John Milton, Thomas Browne and Margaret Cavendish. These writers 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 creation of sociable selves. Recent work of mine includes an essay on the trends in the study of early modern women's writing, in the journal Criticism, and translations of George Herbert's Neo-Latin and Greek verse in a forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of his work. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring Chicago thrift stores, skating on the Midway ice rink, and perfecting my no-knead bread recipe. I am a member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

Jessica Landau

Jessica Landau

Preceptor
Jlandau1@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I received my PhD in Art History with a minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While trained as an art historian, I also consider myself an environmental humanist, as my research and teaching are often interdisciplinary and draw from art history, indigenous critical theory, museum studies, and environmental studies. I am a specialist in 19thand 20th century American art, particularly representations of North American megafauna and wilderness.  I look at diverse material culture, including painting, taxidermy, museum dioramas, photography, and more, to understand the ways in which these images rely on settler colonial and masculinist tropes that are still present in contemporary conservation discourse in the United States. Before joining MAPH, I taught at the University of Pittsburgh, National Louis University, and Eastern Illinois. I’ve also worked in multiple roles at several museums, including as an Assistant Curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Executive Director of the Midwest Museum of Natural History, and Associate Curator of the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY.

As a former college soccer player, I’m a huge English Premier League fan – especially West Ham United (Come on You Irons!). I also enjoy spending any time I can outdoors with my dogs, hiking, backpacking, biking, snowshoeing, and canoeing around the Midwest.

Agnes Malinowska

Agnes Malinowska

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

I received my PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. My teaching and research centers on American modernism and the culture of modernity, gender and sexuality studies, nonhuman studies, and the history of social science. My dissertation at Chicago studied the way that turn-of-the-century naturalist literature looked to post-Darwinian social theory to imagine an American modernity outside of hegemonic political narratives surrounding gender, race, capital, and empire. Currently, I enjoy thinking and writing about the cultural history of microorganisms, reproductive politics around 1900, and forms of intimacy and care outside of the bourgeois family. I am also a proud member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

Helina

Helina Mazza-Hilway

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

After earning an MAT at Bard College and an MA in Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, I received my PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. My dissertation, Writ(h)ing Subjecthood: Toward a Feminine Grotesque in Modern Japanese Literature, examines modern subjectivity in the works of three early twentieth century women writers, and argues that these writers employed a strategy I term the ‘feminine grotesque’--as generative as it was abject and aberrant-- within the written negotiations of their emergent subjecthood. My other research interests include trauma & resilience, spiritualism, non-human selfhood, genre fiction & minor literatures, readership, and low theory. I’ve taught writing at a range of levels (secondary school through post-graduate) for over a decade, and relish opportunities to talk with others about language, rhetoric, and writing as communication. In my life outside of the university, I love making things, hiking, and grazing my way across the mom & pop markets of the northwest suburbs. 

Leah Pires

Leah Pires

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

I am an art historian and curator whose work focuses on the politics of representation in modern and contemporary art. My current book project, Finessing the Frame, looks at the intersection of art and politics in New York circa 1980. It shows how, amidst the birth of postmodernism, Louise Lawler and her contemporaries reimagined critique as a tactic that must come from within power structures themselves—a move that I call finesse. This project reflects my broader investment in questions of gender, race, and subjectivity in modern and contemporary art. My parallel work as a curator and critic brings this historical research into the present. I have curated exhibitions at the Museum Reinickendorf in Berlin, Shanaynay in Paris, the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, and Miguel Abreu Gallery in New York, and my writing on contemporary art has appeared in Triple Canopy4 ColumnsArt in America, and numerous museum catalogues.

Collaborating with artists on public projects is an important part of my practice. For example, I am a member of Coop Fund, an experimental cooperative funding platform, and I co-founded Museums Outside/In, a series of art workshops for incarcerated men and women taught at the Rikers Island Jail by artist-educators from the Studio Museum in Harlem and El Museo del Barrio. My work has been supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from Brown University’s Pembroke Center and a Public Humanities fellowship from Humanities New York. I earned a PhD in Art History from Columbia University and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program. Before joining the University of Chicago, I taught art history and theory at Bennington College, Brown University, Columbia University, and Providence College. 

Andrew Pitel

Andrew Pitel

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

I received my PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in August 2021, and before that earned a B.A. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. My research interests are broadly in the history of theoretical philosophy from the late medieval period to the history of analytic philosophy, including especially early modern philosophy and German idealism. My dissertation was on the Kantian doctrine that we do not know things as they are in themselves, which I think of as part of a longer tradition of skepticism about the knowability of substance in medieval and early modern thought.

I am currently working on projects on the knowability of substance in Locke and Kant; on the relation between Kant’s conception of transcendental philosophy and the longer medieval tradition of transcendental thought; and on the Kantian claim that there are certain “pure concepts” we all possess simply by having the capacity for conceptual thought. I have taught philosophy here at UChicago, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in Chicago Public Schools, and am excited to work with MAPH students interested in most any area of philosophy as well as on a wide array of interdisciplinary projects. I am a member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

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 the lake trail (when it's not winter), cooking, exploring Chicago's restaurant scene, ships, and airplanes. I am the co-host of the podcast Better Read than Dead: Literature from a Left Perspective. And I am a proud member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

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 comparative ethnic literature, the American novel and photography, and literary culture and urbanism. 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 am currently at work on two 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 in the Ayer Collection of American Indian Studies. I enjoy sewing, thrift shopping, and Windy City Soul Club, and am the co-host of the podcast “Better Read than Dead: Literature from a Left Perspective.” I am a member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.