Staff

Hilary Strang

Hilary Strang

Director, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities
Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature
hstrang@uchicago.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Classics 406

I’m the director of MAPH and a 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, the Bachelor franchise, 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 help MAPH students adapt their writing to the particular demands of graduate school. I know a bit about those demands because I completed MAPH myself in 2002, and I've been advising MAPHers ever since. I’ve also taught journalism, arts criticism and creative non-fiction as a lecturer for the Committee on Creative Writing and Advanced Academic and Professional Writing as a lector for the University Writing Program. When I'm not teaching writing, I'm often writing. I write about climate change for Forbes, and I’ve written in the past for several daily newspapers, alternative weeklies, magazines, journals and online innovators. Along with other MAPH alumni, I founded Contrary Magazine, a literary journal that is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

Office Hours: bit.ly/JeffOfficeHours

Manisha Banga

Manisha Banga

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

I received a master's degree from MAPH in 2018 and bachelors’ degrees in English and Classical Culture from the University of Georgia in 2017. I study very old and very new things and rarely manage to write poetry that does not reference ancient gods, witches, or sea creatures. My previous roles have included senior editor of a literary magazine, volunteer for a sexual assault hotline, ESL tutor, banquet hall server, and teaching assistant. My research has centered on contemporary adaptation of ancient Greek myth, which culminated into a MAPH thesis about queerness, hybridity, and postcolonial identity in Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red. I am perpetually lost; please do not ask me for directions to places.

Eirik Jervern Berger

Eirik Jerven Berger

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

I came to MAPH in 2017 interested in Cinema and Media Studies and Cultural Policy, and ended up taking classes in Cinema and Media Studies, Cultural Policy, Sociology, and Anthropology. During my MAPH year I presented papers at the 20th Annual Chicago Ethnography Conference, the 1st Annual Conference for Humanities Research by Graduate Students, and MAPH’s Works-in-Progress Conference. In addition to writing a thesis-length paper during MAPH, I also co-produced a documentary film with a group of University of Chicago filmmakers. Prior to MAPH I attended North Park University (in Chicago) where I majored in Media Studies and Sociology, played college football, and helped create and teach a course on Gender, Media, and Sports. I was born and raised in Oslo, Norway, where I grew up playing football (the American kind), skiing, running track, and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am always open to talking about the different ways martial arts and sports intersects with philosophy, media, health, and gender. 

Elena Santini

Elena Santini

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

I completed MAPH in 2018 and received my BA from the College of William & Mary in French & Francophone Literature in 2014. As an undergraduate, I tutored and was a teaching assistant for beginning Italian, and spent as many semesters as I was allowed studying abroad. I then spent the years before coming to MAPH waiting tables, scribing for emergency room doctors, and taking part-time classes to fill in what I perceived to be woefully large gaps in my science knowledge. During my MAPH year, I pursued courses mostly in French literature, Italian literature, and music, with an ultimate thesis encompassing all three on Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème and its source texts. Outside of MAPH, you can generally find me knitting and falling progressively more in love with the city of Chicago, as well as eternally searching for the best restaurant patio in the city.

Rowan Bayne

Rowan Bayne

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

I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of English. Before coming to Chicago, I did MA and BA degrees at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, focused mainly in cultural studies and critical theory. I also ran a municipal political office for a few years. In addition to teaching in the English department, I’ve taught at a polytechnic college, an art school, and a community center, and tutored in university writing centers. I also work as a Teaching Consultant with the Chicago Center for Teaching. My dissertation conducts a genealogy of the spectrum as a form of differentiation in American culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. The case studies explore emergent representations of continuous or gradated identity categories across aesthetic and social-scientific texts, examining flashpoints in modes of classifying sexuality, race, gender, and ability.  

Lately, I’ve been trying to learn piano and improve my spoken French. I like to jog by the lake and show pictures of my cat. I’m still searching for the best Chicago pizza.  

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

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

I enjoy walking with my dog Blixa on the lakeshore paths, running, and binge-watching Stranger Things. When I can, I take advantage of the many excellent music and food venues in Chicago. I am getting back into yoga - at the instigation of preceptor Amos. I also aspire to keep my house plants alive. Before moving here, I was a lawyer in Australia.

I have a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. My research interests are in contemporary Anglophone literature, postcolonial studies, the bildungsroman, melodrama, human rights, and gender and sexuality.

Savannah Esquivel

Savannah Esquivel

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

I am a PhD candidate in art history, and my research focuses on the art and architecture of colonial Latin America, with an emphasis on sixteenth-century Mexico and Spain. My dissertation examines the murals painted in the mendicant monasteries built in the wake of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. I am particularly interested in non-representational modes of painting, grisaille, Christian image theory, and the lived experience of Christian devotion at the monasteries. 

I have a master's degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and bachelor's degrees in art history and religious studies from the University of Iowa. When I am not writing in front of a big window, I enjoy running, exploring urban flora and fauna, and making pizza with my son. 

Claire

Claire Kirwin

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

I'm currently finishing up my PhD in Philosophy, which is about the nature of the first-person perspective and whether value is real (it is). I also have philosophical interests in aesthetics and the philosophy of art, Plato, and post-Kantian German philosophy, especially Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Outside of philosophical topics, I've enjoyed working with MAPH students on projects ranging from the representation of ghosts in Japanese art history to the liminal time in the work of Virginia Woolf. When I'm not working, I like learning about perfume and interesting smells, and trying to master impressive-looking yoga arm balances. 

Sarah.jpg

Sarah Kunjummen

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

I'm a PhD candidate in the English department, 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 dissertation, “Technocratic Evolution: Experimental Naturalism and American Biopower around 1900,” assesses the impact of evolutionary science and the technologies of industrial capitalism on modern American culture and the politics of nature.  My current writing projects include a literary and cultural history of the microorganism from the late nineteenth century to the present and an essay on the biopolitics of classical American pragmatism. My broader research interests are in science and technology studies, biopolitical theory, critical theory, and the history of philosophy. I was born in Szczecin, Poland, but can probably be best described as a Californian. Before coming to Chicago, I earned a BA in philosophy and history from the University of California, Berkeley. My favorite author is Marcel Proust, my favorite filmmaker is Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and the only sport I halfway play is tennis. I go to the movies as much as possible.

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.

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 gendered and racialized affects embedded in “blue.” I am a long-time volunteer in the curatorial department at the Chicago History Museum, and I enjoy sewing, succulent propagation, and Windy City Soul Club.