Recent Dissertations

May 2023

Caroyln Jacobs“Sanitizing Cinema: Public Health and the Regulation of American Motion Pictures, 1896-1920” Advisors: Francesco Casetti,  Charles Musser; Committee Members: Matthew Frye Jacobson, John Harley Warner

Maile Speakman: ”Tropical Connectivity: Race, Affect, and U.S. Digital Capital in Contemporary Havana”  Adivosr: Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas; Committee Members: Kathryn Dudley, Albert Laguna, Lisa Messeri

December 2022

Yuhe Faye Wang: “Bureaucratic Violence: Chinese Civil Rights, Racial Capitalism, and the Rise of Corporations” Advisors: Greta LaFleur, Mary Lui; Committee Members: Michael Denning, Inderpal Grewal

May 2022

Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn: “Veins of Repression: US and Israeli Counterinsurgency in the Americas” Advisor: Matthew Jacobson; Committee Member: Roderick Ferguson, Gary Okihiro

Kristin Hankins: “Littered Landscapes: Trash, Visual Culture, and the Rise of Punitive Environmentalism in Philadelphia” Advisors: Laura Barraclough, Laura Wexler; Committee Members: Kathryn Dudley, Mary Lui

Clara Wilson Hawken: “Am I That Easy to Forget?: The Sounds and Forms of Black Women’s Labor in the Mid-Twentieth-Century Music Industry” Advisor: Daphne Brooks; Committee Members: Michael Denning, Mary Lui

Jub Sankofa: “All Kinds of Money”: Black Women on the Move and the Policing of Urban Alley Workers, 1900-1935” Advisor: Crystal Feimster; Committee Members: Caleb Smith, Laura Wexler

December 2021

Aleshia Barajas: “Lines and Spirals: Everyday Crossings at the US-Mexico Border” Advisors: Kathryn Dudley, Albert Laguna; Committee Members: Ana Ramos-Zayas, Alicia Schmidt Camacho

Sasha Sabherwal: “Circuits of Faith: Transnational Religion, Caste, and Gender in the Punjabi Sikh Diaspora of the Pacific Northwest” Advisors:  Inderpal Grewal, Mary Lui; Committee Members: Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Zareena Grewal

May 2021

Bench Ansfield: “Born in Flames: Arson, Racial Capitalism, and the Reinsuring of the Bronx in the Late Twentieth Century” Advisors: Michael Denning, Joanne Meyerowitz; Committee Members: Daniel HoSang, Mary Lui

Mary Reynolds:Red Lives: Grassroots Radicalism and Visionary Organizing in the American Century” Advisor: Michael Denning; Committee Members: Beverly Gage, Matthew Jacobson, Priscilla Murolo (Sara Lawence College)

December 2020

Najwa Mayer: “Making Muslim Americana: Formations and Contestations in Popular Culture” Advisors: Inderpal Grewal, Zareena Grewal; Committee Members: Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Matthew Jacobson

May 2020

Andrew Dowe: “Cruising Homophobias: Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Triangulations of Empire” Advisors: Hazel Carby, Roderick Ferguson; Committee Members: Inderpal Grewal, Jafari Allen

Fadila Habchi: “Urban Imaginaries: The City and the Postcolonial Literary Imagination” Advisors: Hazel Carby, Christopher Miller; Committee Member: Inderpal Grewal

Ittai Orr: ”American Intelligences: Varieties of Mind Before IQ” Advisor: Michael Warner; Committee Members: Altschuler, Sari (Northeastern University),  Greta LaFleur, Caleb Smith

Camille Owens: “Blackness and the Human Child: Race, Prodigy, and the Logic of American Childhood” Advisor: Jacqueline Goldsby; Committee Members: Daphne Brooks, Crystal Feimster

Iliana Yami Rodriguez: ”Constructing Mexican Atlanta, 1980-2016” Advisors: Stephen Pitti, Alicia Schmidt Camacho; Committee Members: Michael Denning, Albert Laguna

Randa Tawil: ”Routes of Race: Migrations between Greater Syria, Mandate Lebanon, and the United States 1881-1945” Advisors: Inderpal Grewal, Matthew Jacobson; Committee Members: Rosie Bsheer (Harvard), Sarah Gualtieri (USC University), Inderpal Grewal

Van Truong: ”The Utopics of Migrant Melancholia: Cultures and Practices of Memory in Contemporary Migrant Life” Advisor: Hazel Carby; Committee Members: Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Michael Denning

Damian Vergara Bracamontes: ”The Administration of Illegality and Mexican Migrant Life” Advisor: Alicia Schmidt Camacho; Committee Members: Michael Denning, Albert Laguna, Stephen Pitti

Alexia Williams: ”Black Revolutionary Saints: Roman Catholicism & The U.S. Racial Imagination” Advisor: Daphne Brooks; Committee Members: Kathryn Lofton, Sally Promey

December 2019

Lucy Caplan: “The Operatic Kaleidoscope: Opera and African American Culture 1873-1932” Advisor: Daphne Brooks; Committee Members: Jonathan Holloway, Carol Oja (Harvard)

Lee (Lili) Johnson: “Family Production: Technologies of Asian American Family Formation” Advisor: Mary Lui; Committee Members: Vanessa Agard-Jones, Kathryn Dudley, Laura Wexler

Sebastián Pérez: “Beyond Borinquen: The Afterlives of Puerto Rican Nationalism in Diaspora, 1980 to the Present” Advisor: Alicia Schmidt Camacho; Committee Members: Albert Laguna, Stephen Pitti  

Courtney Sato: “Crossroads of the Pacific: Entanglements of Pan-Asianism, Anticonialism,and Internationalism, 1918-1939” Advisor: Mary Lui; Committee Members: Michael Denning, Wai Chee Dimock, Inderpal Grewal

Aaron Sweeney: “Blacks in the Citadel: Black Writers and Poets in Mainstream Publishing, 1945-1981” Advisor: Elizabeth Alexander; Committee Members: Anthony Foy (Swarthmore College), Jacqueline Goldsby, Amy Hungerford  

May 2019

Jorge CuellarNeoliberal Soils: Land, Society, and Everyday Life in Postwar El Salvador” Advisor: Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Michael Denning; Committee Members: Stephen Pitti

Molly Greene: “Deluge: On the Female Animal” Advisor: Sally Promey; Committee Members: Kathryn Lofton, Joanna Radin

Lauren Meyer: “Defending Black Womanhood: African American Women Lawyers and the Emergence of a Black Feminist Jurisprudence” Advisors: Crystal Feimster, Glenda Gilmore; Committee Members: Jonathan Holloway, Joanne Meyerowitz

Danya Pilgrim: “Gastronomic Alchemy: How Black Philadelphia Caterers Transformed Taste into Capital, 1790 to 1925” Advisors: Glenda Gilmore, Ed Rugemer; Committee Members: Daphne Brooks, Crystal Feimster

Pedro Regalado: “Reimagining Metropolis: Latina/os and the Making of New York” Advisors: Joanne Meyerowitz, Stephen Pitti; Committee Members: Laura Barraclough, Nathan Connolly (John Hopkins University)

Claire Schwartz: “A Sidelong Glance: Art, Archives, and Visions of Blackness in the Postmodern City”  Advisors: Kobena Mercer; Committee Member: Anthony Reed, Elizabeth Alexander

December 2018

Susie An: “Sovereign Beauty and Biopower in Post-Cold War South Korea, 1987-Present” Advisors: Mary Lui, Laura Wexler; Committee Member: Alicia Schmidt Camacho

Devin McGeehan Muchmore: “The Business of Sex: A Queer History of Pornography and Commercial Culture in 1970s America.” Advisors: Joanne Meyerowitz; Committee Members: Jean-Christophe Agnew, George Chauncey

Ila Tyagi: ”Extending the Eye: The American Oil Industry in Moving Images” Advisors: Charles Musser, Katie Trumpener; Committee Member: Paul Sabin

May 2018

Bainbridge, Danielle: “Refinements of Cruelty: Enslavement, Enfreakment, and the Performance Archive” Advisor: Joseph Roach; Committee Members: Daphne Brooks, Jafari Allen

Anya Montiel: “Intertwined Intermediaries: Fundamental Issues in Twentieth-Century Native American Art” Advisor: Ned Blackhawk; Committee Members: Jean-Christophe Agnew, Ned Cooke

Joseph Plaster: “Street Family: Queer Performativity in San Francisco’s Tenderloin” Advisor: Kathryn Dudley; Committee Members: Jean-Christophe Agnew, Joseph Roach

Tina Post: “Deadpan Aesthetics in Black Expressive Culture” Advisor: Joseph Roach; Committee Members: Elizabeth Alexander, Daphne Brooks, Kathryn Lofton

December 2017

Melissa Castillo-Garsow: “A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture” Advisor: Alicia Schmidt Camacho; Committee Members: Albert Laguna, Stephen Pitti, Robert Stepto

Juliet Nebolon: “Settler Militarism: World War II in Hawai‘i and the Making of Transpacific Empire” Advisor: Mary Lui; Committee Members: Inderpal Grewal, Matthew Jacobson, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui   

May 2017

Michael Amico: “The Union of the Two Henrys” Advisors: Laura Wexler, Alexander Nemerov; Committee Member: Edward Cooke

Jalylah Burrell: “Capacity for Laughter: Toward a Black Feminist Theory of Humor” Advisor: Daphne Brooks, Crystal Feimster; Committee Member: GerShun Avilez

Sigma Colon: “Watershed Colonialism and Popular Geographies of North American Rivers” Advisor: Michael Denning; Committee Members: Alicia Schmidt-Camacho, Katherine Morrissey

Rebecca Jacobs: “Manufacturing Green: The Reindustrialization of Brooklyn’s Waterfront”
Advisor: Kathryn Dudley; Committee Members: Jean-Christophe Agnew, Dolores Hayden, Karen Hébert

Michelle Morgan: “Material Possessions: Race, Materiality, and the Limits of the Human in American Culture, 1820-1940” Advisor: Sally Promey; Committee Members: Matthew Jacobson, Kathryn Lofton

Kaneesha Parsard: “Improper Dwelling: Space, Sexuality, and Colonial Modernity in the British West Indies, 1838-1962” Advisor: Inderpal Grewal; Committee Members: Hazel Carby, Erica James

Andrew Seal: “The Common Man: An Intellectual History of the New Middle Class, 1880-1950” Advisor: Jean-Christophe Agnew; Committee Members: Michael Denning, Joanne Meyerwitz

Heather Vermeulen: “Archival Ecologies, Queer Kin-aesthetics: Thomas Thistlewood & the Plantation Grotesque” Advisors: Hazel Carby, Saidiya Hartman; Committee Member: Kobena Mercer

December 2016

Annie Berke: “”You Just Type”: Women Television Writers in 1950s America” Advisors: Charles Musser, J.D. Connor; Committee Members: Ronald Gregg, Laura Wexler  

Melanie Chambliss:”History in the Making: Black Archives and the Shaping of African American History” Advisor: Jonathan Holloway; Committee Members: Elizabeth Alexander, Jacqueline Goldsby

Khalil Johnson: “The Education of Black and Indigenous People in the United States and Abroad, 1730-1980.” Advisor: Glenda Gilmore; Committee Members: Ned Blackhawk, Alicia Schmidt Camacho, K. Tsianina Lomawaima

Lauren Tilton:”In Local Hands: Participatory Media in the 1960s”  Advisor: Laura Wexler; Committee Members: Kathryn Dudley, Matthew Jacobson, Charlie Musser      

Quan Tran:”Anchoring Boat People’s History and Memory: Refugee Identity, Community and Cultural Formations in the Vietnamese Diaspora” Advisors: Mary Lui; Alicia Schmidt Camacho; Committee Members: Kathryn Dudley and Ben Kiernan     

June 2016

Betsy Beasley: “At Your Service: Houston and the Preservation of U.S. Global Power, 1945-2008.” Advisor: Glenda Gilmore; Committee Members: Mary Lui, Jean-Christophe Agnew, and Jenifer Van Vleck

Andrew Hannon: “Acting Out: Performative Politics in the Age of the New Left and the Counterculture” Advisor: Michael Denning; Committee Members: Crystal Feimster, Matthew Jacobson    

December 2015

Talya Zemach-Bersin: “Imperial Pedagogies: Education for American Globalism, 1898-1950” Advisor:   Mathew Jacobson; Committee Members: Kathryn Dudley, Glenda Gilmore

Alison Kanosky: “Living Insecurity: Defense, Incarceration, and Community Destabilization” Advisor: Kathryn Dudley; Committee Members: Jean Christophe Agnew, Matthew Jacobson

Alice Moore: “When Can We Be American?: Texas Germans and the Identity Project” Advisor: Laura Wexler Committee Members: Mathew Jacobson, Alexander Nemerov


Past Dissertations