Postdoctoral Fellows

Liliana Carrizo received her PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018. Her dissertation, “Exiled Nostalgia and Musical Remembrance: Songs of Grief, Joy, and Tragedy among Iraqi Jews,” examines the private song of Iraqi Jews, wherein individuals draw from a well of musical resources associated with their pasts—including Arab, Jewish, and Muslim modal practices—in crafting biographical songs of migration and cultural exile. Based on two-and-a-half years of fieldwork and archival research, her current book project considers how the intertextuality of musical sound allows exiled Iraqis a means for accessing powerful, multi-sensorial memories of past experiences, places, and emotions—ones that are crucial to their self-conceptions in the present day. Not only do these private songs demonstrate a remarkable Judeo-Arab musical synthesis, they also serve as an archive of memory, migration, and interreligious engagement. Carrizo received her BA in Music from Williams College, and an MM in Musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been supported by the American Association of University Women, the Fulbright program, the American Academic Research Institute in Iraq, and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, among others.

Javiela Evangelista is an Assistant Professor in the African American Studies Department at New York City College of Technology, one of the campuses of the City University of New York (CUNY). Her research focuses on nationalism, racialization, citizenship, and human rights in the Caribbean and the African Diaspora. At the Mahindra Humanities Center, she will continue to work on her book, an ethnographic analysis of the largest case of mass statelessness in the western hemisphere today, the modern day denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. Evangelista's book project has been supported by a Faculty Fellowship at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center, CUNY and the Professional Staff Congress-CUNY Foundation for archival research at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland and Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain. Currently, she is a Faculty Affiliate with the Immigration Initiative at Harvard University. For the American Anthropological Association (AAA), Evangelista serves as one of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) observers and as a member of the Declaration of Human Rights Draft Committee. She also enjoys her role as a mentor with the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, led by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Evangelista received her PhD in Anthropology from the Graduate Center, CUNY and her MA from the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University.

Hollyamber Kennedy received her PhD in Architectural History and Theory from Columbia University in 2019. She also holds an MA in Modern Art, Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University’s Department of Art History and Archeology. Kennedy’s current book project charts a comparative spatial, architectural, and landscape history of forced migration and ethno-nationalist violence in the German colonial empire, tracing the introduction of a racialized politics of land in the languages of German architectural modernism. Her study examines the entanglements between the land practices of the little-known German project of internal colonization, administered by the Prussian Settlement Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture in partitioned Poland between 1886 and 1918, and the resettlement and land-clearance policies of German Namibia, both during and immediately following the Herero and Nama wars of resistance. Her research has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Society of Architectural Historians, the DAAD, the Social Science Research Council, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Kennedy’s writing has been published by the University of Chicago Press, Kunstpalais Erlangen, The Avery Review, Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press, and Grey Room.

Pelin Kivrak received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2019. Her dissertation, “Imperfect Cosmopolitans: Representations of Responsibility and Hospitality in Contemporary Near Eastern Literatures, Film and Arts,” brings into question cosmopolitanism’s central moral imperative, hospitality, and examines representations of host-guest interactions in fictional and re-converted domestic spaces. The project attempts not only to shift the ancient concept’s focus away from the abstract cosmos to the personal interior, but also to dissociate cosmopolitanism from the loci that it has traditionally been associated with: Western philosophy, privileged classes, and academic discourse. Her current research considers artistic representations of migration and mobility from an interdisciplinary perspective by focusing on the history of European diasporas and refugee camps in the Middle East during World War II. In addition to her academic work in contemporary literatures and arts, she was a member of the creative team in Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence in 2011-12 and worked as a graduate research fellow at the Yale Center for British Art in 2018-19. She holds a BA degree in Literature from Harvard University.

Andreea S. Micu is a performance practitioner and teacher and holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Her research examines the intersection of aesthetics, migration, and contemporary anti-austerity activism in the south of Europe in the aftermath of the 2008 European economic crisis. Her book manuscript, currently titled The Performative Commons: Squatting and Aesthetics in the Austere City, looks at how urban working classes use performance and aesthetic production to imagine alternatives to neoliberalism and (re)build the urban commons in Madrid, Rome, and Athens, where she has conducted extensive ethnographic research. Micu’s work has been published in venues such as Performance Philosophy, pARTicipatory Urbanisms, and the upcoming Art & Housing Struggles anthology by Intellect. Her teaching interests include performance ethnography, arts activism, Marxist feminism, and critical urban studies.

Brian Van Wyck received his PhD in History from Michigan State University in 2019. His book project, currently titled Turkish Teachers and Imams in Postwar Germany: Race, Islam, and Belonging, examines two groups tasked with seeing to the education and spiritual needs of West Germany’s largest immigrant population. The policies, practices, and debates surrounding the hiring, supervision, and activities of relatively small numbers of teachers and imams are used in the project as a lens to offer insight into what a broad spectrum of state and civil society stakeholders in both countries believed they knew about Turkish Germans, what differentiated them from the German majority or Turks in Turkey proper, and what interventions were made necessary by that difference. His broader research explores intersecting histories of knowledge, race, and migration in Europe and the Middle East. Van Wyck received a BA in History from Williams College and a MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright, and the Free University Berlin Program, among others, and his work has appeared in Geschichte und Gesellschaft.

Interdisciplinary Dissertation Completion Fellows

Yi Lu is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Harvard University. A historian of modern China, he is interested in the nexus of information, authority, and memory. His dissertation, “The Dustbin of History: Archival Politics in Modern China,” traces the history of official records in twentieth-century China as they were transformed from state secrets to street collectibles to scholarly resources. Blending historical, ethnographic, and digital methods, the project studies bureaucratic governance as a material practice and reflects on the praxis and ethics of history. A second project will explore epistolary exchanges and social networks in socialist China.

Akif Ercihan Yerlioğlu is a PhD candidate in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He is interested mainly in the fields of history of medicine and social history of healing practices in the early modern era. In his dissertation project, he is working on the Ottoman medical discourse of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially the novel ideas and practices that were categorized as tıbb-ı cedid (“new medicine”). He follows a comprehensive approach analyzing the medical texts of early modern Ottoman scholars and the interactions between the state and physicians in the medical marketplace. Before joining the Mahindra Humanities Center, his research has previously been supported by Gerda Henkel Stiftung, American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT), and Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations.