Our Current Fellows
Thomas Gibson (fall 2023)
Professor Gibson’s first field research project concerned the relationship between the Buid, an indigenous people inhabiting the highlands of Mindoro, Philippines, and the Christian Filipino settlers from neighboring islands (1986). This study inspired his next field research project, a study of the formation of predatory states among the Makassar of South Sulawesi, Indonesia (2005). He then turned his attention to the shifting relationships among social, political, and religious centers of authority in Southeast Asia from 1300 to 2000 (2007). In a final monograph on the Makassar, he will examine the political ontology of life cycle rituals, Islamic devotional practices, and mass schooling. In 2009, he helped to organize a comparative study of ten egalitarian societies in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which resulted in volume he co-edited (2011). Between 2009 and 2016, he participated in a series of workshops on comparative Austronesian studies that resulted in a special issue of a journal he co-edited with Ku Kun-hui of the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan (2019). These last two studies led to his current project concerning the rise of the indigenous peoples’ movement as a global phenomenon. He will complete a monograph on the topic during his time as Humanities Center Fellow in Fall, 2023. For publications, click here.
Conā Marshall (spring 2024)
Assistant Professor, Religion and Classics
Conā Marshall centers her research on public religious rhetoric, with publications exploring religious rhetoric in hip hop, stand-up comedy, and preaching. As a fellow, Conā will complete her manuscript, Ain’t I a Preacher?: Black Women’s Preaching Rhetoric, which addresses the rhetorical choices (Bible translation, genderless God, LGBTQ inclusion…) made by Black women during the preaching moment. The title, like the content of the manuscript, attempts to intervene American Christian and gender politics. It takes its inspiration from Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman,” speech which disrupted the 1851 Women’s Convention itinerary in Akron, Ohio, demanding Black women’s being (ontology) and action (agency) be considered in American women’s fight for equality. While Black women make up 80% of the Black church, they are underrepresented in positions of pastoral authority. Conā analyzes rhetoric of Black women who have these positions of authority to engage their contributions to the Black church, Black communities and the discipline of Religious Studies. If Martin Luther King, a Baptist minister, used religious rhetoric to call the American government to task concerning racial injustices, what about the women who were preaching alongside him, who gave Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. the language of, “I Had A Dream?” Martin Luther King is lauded as an American hero, and taught across disciplines—imagine if the world heard and engaged Black women’s preaching. Conā also has a beautiful wife and they are "pawrents" to a 14-year old Maltese Shih Tzu named Princess and 13-year old Bombay cat named Spade.
Mizin Shin (fall 2023)
Assistant Professor of Instruction, Art & Art History
Born and raised in South Korea, Mizin Shin is a US-based visual artist. Leading numerous printmaking workshops with a number of art organizations, Shin focuses on both traditional and contemporary printmaking practices to promote a multidisciplinary approach to the medium. Shin's work has been shown nationally and internationally at institutions across the United States, Belgium, Spain, the UK, India, and South Korea in exhibitions including Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia, International Print Center New York: New Prints, Wheaton Biennial: Printmaking Reimagined, and Screenprint Biennial. She is a 2022 fellow of the Civitella Ranieri artist residency in Italy. Shin graduated from Hong-ik University with a B.F.A in Printmaking and received her M.F.A from State University of New York at Buffalo. Shin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at University of Rochester and a co-founder of Mirabo Press in Buffalo, NY. She has served as a board member of the Mid America Print Council and vice president of the Print Club of Rochester from 2020-22.
Stewart Weaver (spring 2024)
Stewart Weaver is a Professor of History at the University of Rochester. Over the years his work has ranged over various subjects in modern political and cultural history. His first two books, John Fielden and the Politics of Popular Radicalism (Oxford 1987) and The Hammonds: A Marriage in History (Stanford 1997) reflected his early interest in British industrial and social reform. Lately his interests have turned toward environmental and natural history and the history of exploration. He is co-author of the prize-winning Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes (Yale 2008) and author of Exploration: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2016). In 2019 he won an Andrew Carnegie Senior Scholars Fellowship to support his on-going work on the history of climate change in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India. With Tatyana Bakhmetyeva he has recently joined an international project on the glacial regions of the Pamir Mountains in Central Asia. He teaches widely in modern British, British colonial, environmental, and modern European history. He will use his time at the Humanities Center to complete a book in progress on earth science and polar exploration in the age of sail.
External Postdoctoral Fellows
“Thinking against Catastrophe: A Concept in Twentieth-Century European Thought"
Jonathon Catlin is a modern European intellectual historian who will join the Humanities Center as a postdoctoral associate in September 2023, after earning his PhD in History and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton. His dissertation is a history of the concept of catastrophe in twentieth-century European thought, from the First World War to climate change, with a focus on German and Jewish thinkers including the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Jonathon’s research has been supported by a Fulbright Research Grant to Germany, where he was a visiting researcher at Berlin’s Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, and, most recently, by the Berlin Program at Freie Universität Berlin. His work has been published in History and Theory, Memory Studies, Radical Philosophy, Antisemitism Studies, and edited volumes about Zygmunt Bauman and environmental apocalypse. He has also written on topics including Holocaust memory, the Covid pandemic, and representations of climate catastrophe for a number of popular venues, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Seminar, HuffPost, The Point, The Spectator, and the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog, where he is a contributing editor. Jonathon holds a BA in Jewish Studies and Fundamentals: Issues and Texts from the University of Chicago and an MA in Philosophy from KU Leuven in Belgium.
"Animal House: Space, Species, and Subjectivity in the United States"
Richard Fadok is an anthropologist of design and multispecies ethnographer. He is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he holds dual appointments with the Wolf Humanities Center and the Department of Anthropology. He received his doctorate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; his master’s degree in Biomedicine, Bioscience, and Society from the London School of Economics; and two bachelor’s degrees in Neuroscience and Science, Technology, and Society from Brown University. His writings have appeared in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Domus, Noema, Platypus, Nature Remade: Engineering Life, Envisioning Worlds (University of Chicago Press), and Teaching and Learning Anthropology. During his fellowship with the Humanities Center at the University of Rochester, Richard will be working on two ethnographic projects about contemporary ecological design in the United States. The first, Lifelike, explores how the design practice of biomimicry signals a shift in the relationships between nature, labor, and capital. Animal House, the second, examines the confluence of space, power, and species in built environments designed for urban wildlife. Together, his work asks how climate change and other environmental crises are altering the meaning of design.