Associate Professor, Department of PhilosophyMark Alznauer is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy. He has a B.A. from St. John’s College (Annapolis) and a Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago (2008). He specializes in ethics, aesthetics, and social theory in nineteenth century European philosophy. He also has interests in the history of political philosophy, the theory of action, and the philosophy of religion. He is the author of Hegel’s Theory of Responsibility (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the former Vice President of the Hegel Society of America.
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Associate Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures; Core Faculty, Comparative Literary Studies ProgramLaura Brueck is Associate Professor of South Asian Literature and Culture in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Comparative Literary Studies Program. She specializes in modern and contemporary Hindi literature, with a particular focus on literatures of resistance, popular literatures, and translation studies. Her book, Writing Resistance: The Rhetorical Imagination of Hindi Dalit Literature, focuses on modern and contemporary Hindi Dalit literature, or resistance writing by those formerly known as “untouchables.” Her new book project considers Indian “pulp” fiction, particularly the genre of detective fiction and crime narratives. She is especially interested in the ways that the socio-political discourse of crime and criminality are reflected in twentieth century Hindi, Urdu, and English detective novels. Brueck teaches courses on South Asian literature in Hindi/Urdu, English, and in translation, Bollywood cinema, Indian epic literature, the theory and practice of translation, and South Asian civilization, with a particular focus on the modern politics of caste, class, and gender.
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Emily Maguire is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, where she specializes in the literature of the Hispanic Caribbean and its diasporas. The author of Racial Experiments in Cuban Literature and Ethnography (2011), she has published articles on contemporary Caribbean Literature, Afrocubanismo, Black internationalism, Latinx poetry, and Latin(x) American speculative literature. Her second book, Tropical Time Machines: Science Fiction in the Contemporary Hispanic Caribbean,is forthcoming from University Press of Florida in 2024.
Associate Professor, Radio/TV/Film; Associate Dean for Academic Programs, The Graduate School; Charles Deering McCormick Chair in Teaching Excellence
Miriam J. Petty is Associate Professor in Radio/TV/Film. She writes and teaches about race, stardom, performance, reception, adaptation, and genre and is especially interested in the history of African American representation in Hollywood film. Her first book, Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood (University of California Press, 2016) seeks a historical recalibration of early Hollywood film stardom, via its meditation on Black actors of the era. Could Black performers, who appeared in marginal, stereotyped roles be “movie stars?” If so, what did their stardom look like, how did it function, and to whom did it speak? The study also pays copious attention to the viewing practices of Black moviegoers, and to the politics and possibilities of Black spectatorship during this pivotal moment in early 20th century cinema history. Stealing the Show won the 2017 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Best First Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Krasna-Krausz Foundation’s 2017 Best Moving Image Book Award. Petty is currently at work on a book manuscript examining contemporary media mogul Tyler Perry’s productions and his African American audiences' nostalgic investments in such cultural forms as folktales, music, literature, and religious practice.
Associate Professor, Department of EnglishVivasvan Soni is Associate Professor in the Department of English. His book, Mourning Happiness: Narrative and the Politics of Modernity, won the MLA’s prize for a first book. It examines how novels shape the modern concept of happiness and make it unusable for politics, arguing that classical ideas of happiness are better suited to the political imagination. He is currently completing a book manuscript on The Crisis of Judgment, which traces our modern discomfort with judgment to the eighteenth century, and explains why judgment is so important to a humanistic understanding of the world. When that is complete, he hopes to work on a book about Jane Austen’s politics, and one about utopian writing.
Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies; Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of InstructionTracy Vaughn-Manley is Assistant Professor of African American Studies. Her current research examines the specific ways in which the distinctive aspects that define the Black Aesthetic quilting tradition—the assertion of individual and collective agency; the narrative aspects; and the social and historical significance of quilts—make them and the process of quilting a convenient trope for many Black women writers, specifically novelists Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Terri McMillian; poets Nikki Giovanni and Lucille Clifton: and playwright Lynn Nottage. These authors consider the connections between quilts, gender, race, culture and identity as well as the intersections between literature, history, and material culture to explore the interiority of Black life—specifically the lives of Black American women. By employing the quilt and the tradition of quilt-making as metaphors for history, community, and legacy, these authors are situating the production and preservation of American folk culture squarely in the hands of Black women.