Humanities faculty fellows will explore ‘Histories’ for 2023-24

The Humanities Center’s faculty fellows for 2023-24 represent a wide range of disciplinary and intellectual expertise. They will engage in conversations during next year’s colloquia around the core theme of “Histories.”

Learn more about their work here. The 2023-24 faculty fellows:

Michelle Granshaw: Associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Theatre Arts. Her book, “Irish on the Move: Performing Mobility in American Variety Theatre” (University of Iowa Press, 2019) was named a finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award. She is currently working on her second book, “The Fight for Desegregation: Race, Freedom, and the Theatre after the Civil War.”

Sahar Hosseini: Assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Her scholarship focuses on the built environment and material culture of the pre-modern Muslim world, particularly positioning the Persianate societies at the intersection of global flows, local practices, and the natural context of each region. Her current book project, “Zayanderud and its City: Reading the Riverine Landscapes of Seventeenth-century Isfahan” explores entanglements of the natural and the cultural in the 17th-century urban developments that transformed Isfahan after its selection as the capital of Persia in 1598.

Bridget Keown: Teaching assistant professor in the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, where she leads the Gender and Science Initiative. She also serves as the programming director for the Research, Ethics and Society Initiative of Pitt Research. Her own research focuses on the history of trauma diagnoses, specifically the development of “shell shock” and other war-related traumas during the First World War. She is completing her first manuscript, “She Was Sure She Was in Hell: Women and War Trauma, 1914-1935,” which examines the narratives and experiences of British and Irish women who experienced trauma symptoms as the result of the First World War, and how gendered notions of citizenship, service, and suffering affected their ability to access care.

Dan Wang: Assistant professor of musicology in the Music Department, and affiliated faculty with GSWS and the Film & Media Studies Program. His first book project makes the case that personhood is an aesthetically learned form — and not just a legal, moral or political category, say — essential to an enculturation in the West, and details the structures, metaforms, textures, and rhythms of this personhood in audiovisual case studies that extend from European opera since the Enlightenment to cinema and DIY video production in the present.

Xiqiao Wang: Assistant professor in the Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric program. Xiqiao’s research is grounded in an interdisciplinary framework informed by socio-cultural theories of literacy, translingualism and literacy mobility theories. Her research has examined the changing forms and functions of composition in the broader context of global migration, multilingual and multimodal writing processes across formal, informal, and digital contexts, and best practices in designing translingual and multimodal pedagogy to support diverse learners.

Molly Warsh: Associate professor of history and (since 2021) the editor of the Journal of Early Modern History. Among other publications, she is the author of “American Baroque: Pearls and the Nature of Empire 1492-1700,” which was published by the Omohundro Institute with the University of North Carolina Press in 2018. As a Humanities Center Fellow, she will be working on her ongoing book project, titled “Servants of the Seasons,” a wide-ranging consideration of the history and significance of seasonal labor and itinerancy in the early modern Atlantic world.

2023-2024 Co-Teaching fellows

The incoming co-teaching fellows will be working to develop and co-teach an interdisciplinary new course on “Writing Robots.” Learn more about them here. "Writing Robots" aims to explore the theoretical and technical approaches to natural language generation in writing. It will provide an interdisciplinary experience for students, combining the strengths of the English department and the School of Computing and Information.

Annette Vee: Associate professor of English and director of the Composition Program, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, digital composition, materiality, and literacy. She is the author of “Coding Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing Writing” (MIT Press, 2017), and has published on computer programming, blockchain technologies, intellectual property, and AI-based text generators. Her Humanities Center-sponsored teaching collaboration with Matt Burton draws on her research for her current book project, “Automating Writing from Automata to AI,” which examines why and how humans have sought to automate writing across history.

Matthew Burton: Teaching assistant professor in the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship at the School of Computing and Information. His research focuses on the digital humanities, scholarly communication, and computing education. He teaches design, data science, and computer programming in the Master's of Library and Information Science program at Pitt.