2016 - 2017 Dietrich School Humanities Center Postdoctoral Fellows
Rhodes will join the Department of English for the upcoming academic year, 2016-2017, as a postdoctoral fellow through the Dietrich School. His research interests include medieval and Renaissance poetry, the literary history of the English Reformation, literature and the environment, and theories of labor, affect, and ecology. Professor Ryan McDermott, the organizer of the Medieval Latin Reading Group and associate professor in the Department of English, will serve as his mentor. Rhodes will conduct scholarly research on the labors of reform during his fellowship. His current book project, The Ecology of Reform, considers the intersection of poetic treatments of agrarian land and labor with reformist discourse from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries.
Mesli completed his PhD in 2015 in the Department of Comparative Literature (with a graduate certificate in Women's Studies) at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Before that, he earned a Master's degree in Classical Civilizations from the University of Caen-Basse-Normandie (France). His dissertation, entitled "In Defense of Identity Politics: A Queer Reclamation of a Radical Concept," examined the productivity of identity politics in 1970s radical feminism, women of color feminism, and sadomasochist liberation movements. His current work explores the ways that gender and sexuality have been articulated as political struggles and connected to other political movements over the course of the 20th century. He recently published "Gayle Rubin's Concept of 'Benign Sexual Variation': A Critical Concept for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality" (South Atlantic Quarterly, October 2015) as well as, with Gayle Rubin, "SM Politics, SM Communities" (Ashgate Research Companion for Gay and Lesbian Activism, 2015).
Maydanchik studies the history and theory of performance art, with a focus on postwar Russia. After receiving her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago in 2014, she was appointed Mellon-Keiter Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian Art at Amherst College (2014-2016). Her research and teaching interests focus on art’s relationship to globalization, mass media, politics, and the commodity form. She is currently preparing a manuscript, titled Creative Disruption: Contemporary Russian Performances, which concerns how post-Soviet artists used the medium of performance to address their turbulent local circumstances while also shrewdly distributing, legitimizing, and promoting their work throughout a transnational network of market and media structures. In doing so, this project sheds light on performance art’s ambivalent relationship to reproduction, institutionalization, commodification, and societal norms.