MidCareer Faculty Research Award
The MidCareer Faculty Research Awards represent a critical investment in the future of CLA. With this fund, the College recognizes and invests in the next generation of faculty who are poised to lead CLA as it pursues greater heights of excellence and who are engaging in new lines of research and creative activity that will shape their fields and the intersection of fields.
Associate Professor | Political Science
The Stability of Nuclear Thinking
This book project examines the way in which the United States has organized its nuclear arsenal and thinks about the utility of its nuclear weapons. It provides a) a theoretical account of the circumstances in which states shift the role nuclear weapons play in their grand strategy; b) provides a novel history of U.S. nuclear thinking and posture drawing on multi-archival research and policymaker interviews; c) illustrates the connections between U.S. nuclear policy and broader U.S. foreign policy goals, demonstrating the extent to which they are interconnected; d) places U.S. nuclear thinking in a comparative context, demonstrating and explaining the distinctiveness of U.S. nuclear thinking.
Associate Professor | English
The Missing Are Considered Dead
The Missing Are Considered Dead will be a hybrid-genre collection of work connected to questions of justice and mourning in the wake of Sri Lanka's quarter-century-long civil war. The collection will explore forms suited to post-war Sri Lankan civil society’s inventive strategies of coded and collective storytelling, which offer an evolving, subversive reply to the brutal crushing of dissent and the dissemination of fascist propaganda from the majority Sinhala-dominated Sri Lankan state and separatist minority Tamil militants. With this project, the range of my work to interweave fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will be expanded. I aim to reclaim and rename some of the histories erased by the war and its aftermath, while also documenting individual and community responses to surveillance, censorship, and militarization.
Associate Professor | Communication Studies
Transforming Traumatized Organizations: A Relational Approach to Disorganizing Systemic Violence
Research demonstrates that people can resolve personal and collective traumas, and organizations can support people in that process. Even so, scholars rarely consider how organizations themselves experience trauma and can transform it. This book project, Transforming Traumatized Organizations, takes up that work. Using feminist new materialist theory, it shows that abusive patterns characteristic of relationships when one or both people have unresolved trauma also appear in organizational practices. Said differently, unresolved trauma gets built into organizational processes. As that happens, organizations perpetuate white supremacy, misogyny, anti-queerness, and related violence. To build this argument, each book chapter focuses on one common response to trauma, for example freezing, perfectionism, or avoidance of uncertainty. I show not only how each one manifests in organizational processes, but also how organizations can shift these patterns. Using higher education as a case study, I detail principles for creating more fully relational, trauma-informed organizations across sectors.
Associate Professor | Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
Twenty-First Century Silent Film Culture
Twenty-First Century Silent Film Culture tracks the global resurgence and energetic proliferation of silent film community and spectatorship amid the renaissance of archival rediscoveries, digitization of inaccessible celluloid prints, and rapidly transforming audience demographics. Open-ended, in-person interviews with participants at a range of silent film events will be conducted. Close readings of restored films with excerpts from these interviews, feminist data analysis, and theorization of the curatorial logics that shape silent film culture today will be interwoven. Beyond the publication of a book, this project will also involve local and international silent film curating via The Twin Cities Silent Film Project (sponsored by the IAS Imagine Fund), Ritrovato in Minneapolis, and Giornate del Cinema Muto. I am committed to democratizing access to silent film through screenings with live music and public, educational components that explore the radical politics, social experimentation, and surreal imagination of silent-era filmmaking and its resonances today.
Associate Professor | Art
Seeing The Invisible
In 2017 I received a Grant-in-Aid award for a project called Painted Lady. It had its roots in a historical artifact, an original self-portrait of an unknown African-American woman, circa 1950, found on eBay. It served as the genesis for a series of large-scale paintings intended to provoke questions of the American future by reconsidering the past in light of the (then) political present. My current project is an extension of the former in that it involves gathering images and narratives of unknown/unsung Black painters, seeking to explore the generational connection of art and how it was an important means of expression, despite those works being largely unseen. This project involves visits to locations where Black artists are known locally, but not widely, including interviewing people, doing sketches of the artists’ works and surroundings, and finally completing my own body of artwork inspired by theirs.