These fellows are Pitt faculty members awarded time released from teaching in order to advance work on their books while in dialog with other fellows and the larger Humanities Center community.
Meet our 2020-2021 Pitt Faculty Fellows!
Erin Anderson is an audio producer, documentary artist, and Assistant Professor in the Writing Program, where she teaches courses in narrative audio production and multimedia nonfiction for the undergraduate and MFA programs. She is the creator/producer of Our Time Is Up, winner of a Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award. Her audio stories have been featured on KCRW’s UnFictional, WHYY’s The Pulse, and the podcast Serendipity. Her multimedia and installation-based artworks have appeared at a variety of venues, including the Jack Straw New Media Gallery in Seattle and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. She is currently at work on a documentary podcast series with The New York Times, scheduled for release later this year. Erin earned her PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
Keisha N. Blain (Ph.D., Princeton University) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and President of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). Her research interests include Black internationalism, radical politics, and global feminisms. Blain is the author of the multi-prize-winning book, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018); and co-editor of three books: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016). Blain is now working on a new book project, East Unites with West: Black Women, Japan, and Visions of Afro-Asian Solidarity (under contract, University of Pennsylvania Press). The book centers on the ideas and activism of a group of Black American women during the early to mid-twentieth century who worked to build collaborations with Japanese activists in the struggle for civil and human rights.
Gabriella Lukacs (Ph.D. Duke University) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a media anthropologist whose research focuses on Japan and Hungary. She is the author of two books. Scripted Affects, Branded Selves: Television, Subjectivity, and Capitalism in 1990s Japan (Duke University Press 2010) analyzes a new genre of primetime serials called “trendy drama” as post-signification television. Invisibility by Design: Women and Work in Japan’s Digital Economy (Duke University Press 2020) examines how venture capitalists built the digital economy in Japan by harnessing young women’s pursuit of DIY careers. Her other publications appeared in Cultural Anthropology, Positions: Asia Critique, Boundary2, and the International Journal of Cultural Studies. She is currently working on a third book titled From Counterpublics to Commons: Media Activism in Populist Hungary. By analyzing such examples of leftist media activism as independent theater, counter-billboard campaigns, street art, political vlogs, and Internet memes, this project explores women's labor in building new cultural, social, and political commons in Hungary.
Patrick McKelvey (PhD, Brown University) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh who researches at the intersection of theatre and performance studies, critical disability studies, queer studies, and U.S. cultural history. Dr. McKelvey’s current book project offers a new history of disability and performance in the modern U.S. Performance Requirements argues that in the second half of the twentieth century, a seemingly unlikely ensemble of historical actors — rehabilitation professionals, deaf teachers, policymakers, arts administrators, disability activists, queer artists, and religious leaders — began championing theatrical performance as a potential route to employment, and economic justice, for disabled Americans. During this same period, disabled artists and their allies mobilized performance to challenge work as a social and moral obligation of citizenship. Drawing upon previously unexplored archives of art, activism, and policy, Performance Requirements unearths an eclectic repertoire of performance practices, institutions, and initiatives that centered work as either an aspiration or a problem for disability politics. While primarily focusing on developments between 1950 and 1990, this book also demonstrates how histories of work continue to galvanize disability performance cultures in the historical present. Research toward Performance Requirements has received recognition and support from the Schlesinger Library, the American Studies Association, the American Society for Theatre Research, the American Theatre and Drama Society, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Committee for LGBT History. McKelvey has published essays in Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (forthcoming) and Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford UP). He is also beginning work on a second book project, The Gospel According to Berkeley: Disability, Performance, and American Religion.
Shaun Myers (Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park) is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on African diasporic literature and culture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, especially black aesthetics, transit and transnationalism, and black feminist literary histories. Her current book project, Black Anaesthetics: African American Literature Beyond Man, traces posthumanism’s disavowed genealogies in African American literature of the post–civil rights era. The book argues that writers such as Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, and Andrea Lee have used techniques of illegible blackness to trouble humanism’s racialized fictions of Man. Offering an aesthetic theory and a cultural history, the book tracks modes of blackness that defy perception, opening up space to think the human anew. Myers is also working on a second project examining the art of black transit in the face of suspended freedom. Her work has appeared in American Literary History, Souls, and African and Black Diaspora. Her study of contemporary black women’s writing and travel as formations of black feminist geographies will appear in African American Literature in Transition: 1980-1990.
See past fellows: