My name is Yasmeen Chism and I am a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Performance Studies. Before entering the Ph.D. program, I received a MA degree in Performance Studies (NYU), a MA in Women’s and Gender Studies (University of Louisville), and a BA in both African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies (UNC-Greensboro). My dissertation, “Tracing Black Movements: Chor[e]ographing Black Dis/placements in North Carolina’s Piedmont,” combines Black feminist theories, performance studies, American studies, radical archival assemblage, and visual analysis. It is through the combination of these fields that I can critically interrogate four different iterations of black displacement, or as I have termed it dis/placement, that occurred throughout North Carolina’s piedmont region. Through regional comparative work, I demonstrate that black dis/placement has commonalities regardless of their location. As a recipient of NYU’s Public Humanities Initiative, I am working as an archivist and research coordinator for the Black Gotham Experience. My interest in tracing Black movements and telling the stories of those who have been left out of the archive acts as a great compliment to the incredible work of Black Gotham Experience. Through the projects that I will be involved with, I plan to deepen my archival training and contribute to ongoing conversations about the Black diaspora.
I’m a proud Brooklynite and Ph.D. Candidate in the German Department. My dissertation unpacks the motifs of race and gender in German-language world literature against the political backdrop of the early 20th century. Through the Public Humanities initiative here at NYU, I am interning at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) where I will be training in museum education, curation, and direct work with visitors. I hope to deepen the connection between museum practice and humanities scholarship so that the public has greater access to academic knowledge. As an education advocate and debate coach at Brooklyn Technical High School, bringing academic education to K-12 students is especially important to me as a way to support more equitable learning for all.
I’m a seventh-year doctoral student in English and American Literature at NYU. My dissertation investigates the intersections of land, labor, and literature in the American Progressive Era (1890-1929) to build an ecospheric critique of technocratic environmentalism rooted in agrarian, indigenous, and diasporic cultural practices and fieldwork. I am series editor of The Liberty Hyde Bailey Library (Comstock-Cornell UP) and I maintain the website for The Liberty Hyde Bailey Project. My poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Antioch Review, Atlanta Review, Commonweal Magazine, and elsewhere. I worked for four years at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in Michigan, and this year I will be a Museum Education Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York, focusing on museum education and curatorial work.
Jonathan B. Schmidt-Swartz
I am a doctoral candidate in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies focusing on Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. My primary research interests and dissertation focus broadly on the intersection of ancient scribal culture, critical theory, and kingship. More specifically, my dissertation aims to trace the intellectual history and historiography of kingship as attested in the Hebrew Bible in more concrete terms, namely, by determining how scribes reinterpreted sources they inherited.
Through NYU’s Public Humanities Initiative in Doctoral Education, I am fortunate to be working at the Modern Language Association (MLA) this academic year. I am working collaboratively on several projects for the annual events that the MLA organizes and for the implementation of strategic initiatives within the organization. In addition to broadening my professional network and concrete skillset, over the course of my time at the MLA, I hope to develop a deeper understanding of the changing landscape of the humanities in higher education, from the level of larger structural trends across universities to individual courses and interactions with students. I also aim to have my professional experience at the MLA strengthen my academic work as I forge practical connections to contexts larger than the academy.
I’m a sixth year Ph.D. candidate in the department of history. My research and writing center closely on the intersections of technology, ecology, and social conflict related to urbanization in Brazil. I am broadly interested in how actors within these relationships—under the framework of historical political ecology—develop and transform built environments throughout the Americas. Ultimately, my research seeks ways to dismantle historical patterns of socio-environmental inequality and exclusion. I’m also a professional translator, most often in the Latin American arts. As a Public Humanities fellow, I’ll be collaborating with the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation to organize an exhibition and related publication. I’m looking forward to combining my research skills with my love of the visual arts to produce an article as part of this publication.