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NEPH 2016


Second Annual N​ortheast Public Humanities Consortium Conference 

April 22-23,2016 

John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University



 We love Twitter: the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #neph16.  Use freely!

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage in the ground-floor Lecture Room.  The Center is located at 357 Benefit Street and there is ample free street parking on Williams Street between Benefit and Thayer Streets.  The Center will cover all food and beverages save dinner on April 23 (on that night, the Center will provide drinks and dessert; attendees can purchase dinner from a food truck that will come to the Center parking lot).


Friday, April 22, 2016
Opening Session: Participant-led Burning Questions about doing the public humanities (submitted via email prior to conference or day of).
Moderator: Susan Smulyan, Director, John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage.


Wine and Cheese Reception


Saturday, April 23, 2016
Location: Small Point Café, 230 Westminster Street. 
Walk 1 block to gallery.
Exhibition Tour: “Moments: Images from the Umbrella Movement”
Location: URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery, 80 Washington Street.
Bus transportation from the URI Gallery to the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities.

Session 1: Consortium Member Presentations (20 min presentations, 10 min for questions).

10:00–10:30: University of Massachusetts Boston 

10:30–11:00: The Graduate Center, CUNY

11:00–11:30: Columbia University 

11:30–12:00: Lehigh University
12:00–12:30: Rutgers University-Newark
Working Lunch on the NEPH: Where are we? Where are we going?

Session 2: Consortium Member Presentations (20 min presentations, 10 min for questions).  

2:00–2:30: Bard Graduate Center
2:30–3:00: Yale University
3:00–3:30: Tufts University
3:30–4:00: Harvard University 
Wrap-up and closing. 
Moderator: Matthew Jacobson, Co-director of Public Humanities, Yale University.
5:00pm Wine & Cheese Reception


Attendees can purchase dinner from one of Providence’s best loved food trucks in the Center parking lot. Drinks and dessert provided!

To volunteer to take notes, visit here
For conference notes, visit here.


Mario Alvarez is a current student at Columbia’s Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) program. His thesis work is centered on the experiences of recent Columbia College activists, particularly those who worked on issues of racial inequality.
Pablo Baeza is a Chilean-American graduate student currently enrolled at Columbia University’s Oral History MA program, working on a multimedia project about the lives of Latina immigrant activists in the New York migrant justice movement. In addition to being an activist, a practicing oral historian, and an ethnographer, Pablo is also a poet and an avid lover of long walks.
Marisa Angell Brown is Assistant Director of Programs at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University.
Leah Burgin is an MA student at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University.
Lucy Caplan is a third-year graduate student in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale, where she earned the additional M.A. concentration in Public Humanities. At Yale, she co-organizes both the Public Humanities Working Group and the Digital Humanities Working Group.
Yenna Chan is a PhD candidate in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center. Her dissertation examines public dialogue on urban redevelopment and its circulation in urbanism exhibitions, public media, and popular culture of the late sixties and early seventies.
Mary Marshall Clark is Director, Columbia Center for Oral History Research; co-director, Oral History Master of Arts.
Anna Duensing is a student at Yale University.
Sarah Dylla is a second year MA student in Brown’s Public Humanities program and the Curatorial Fellow for Exhibitions at the John Hay Library.
Kevin Escudero is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies and in Fall 2017 will begin his appointment as Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University.
Jose Falconi, Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor of History of Art and Architecture.
Elizabeth Francis is Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent affiliate of the NEH that seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement throughout the state. Elizabeth is a PhD alumna of American Studies at Brown and a Community Fellow at the Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
Mary C. Foltz is an Assistant Professor of English at Lehigh University.
Tyler French Tyler is an MA candidate in Public Humanities at Brown. He is interested in community-based arts programming, funding, and advocacy.
Erica Fugger is a New York-based oral historian whose focus lies in examining the personal narratives underpinning peace activism and social movements. Erica currently serves as President of the Columbia Oral History Alumni Association and Project Coordinator of the Oral History M.A. program at Columbia University, of which she is a recent graduate.
Ivan Gaskell is Professor of Cultural History and Museum Studies at Bard Graduate Center. His most recent book (with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Sara Schechner, and Sarah Carter) is Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (2015).
Andrew Dyrli Hermeling, a student at Lehigh University, researches the multi-cultural political environment in the 18th-century trans-Appalachian West. Specifically, I am interested in uncovering the political voices of 18th-century Native Americans as they negotiated their places within expanding North American empires.
Christine Hill is a PhD candidate in the History Department at Lehigh University. She is currently working on her dissertation entitled “ ‘Physicians of the Soul,’ ‘Physicians of the Body’: Religious and Medical Discourse of Health and the Body in Puritan New England, 1660 to 1730.”
Matthew Jacobson is professor of American Studies, African American Studies, and History at Yale, and current acting co-director of the Public Humanities program there.  In addition to his scholarly writing, in recent years he has moved into documentary work, including a web-based project at www.historianseye.org and a forthcoming film, A Long Way from Home:  The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation.
Alison Kanosky has a PhD in American Studies from Yale with Public Humanities Certificate, now postdoc at Lehigh in Digital Humanities.
Mark Krasovic is Mark is an assistant professor of history and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark and interim director of the Clement A. Price Institute.

Steve Lubar is Professor of American Studies at Brown University and the former director of the John Nicholas Brown Center.

Brenda Martinez is an MA student in the English Department at Lehigh, interested in Africana/ Latin@ Literature and Public Humanities. I also work in the Office of Multicultural Affairs as the Assistant Director for L.U.S.S.I, a program that caters to first-generation college students.
Monica Martinez is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University and Faculty fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities.
Najwa Mayer is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Yale University, with a dissertation invested in Ethnic Studies and focusing on the representational/activist work of contemporary popular Islams.  She served as one of the founding chairs of the graduate student colloquium in Public Humanities at Yale and is currently a Wurtele Grauduate Gallery Teacher at Yale University Art Gallery. 
Kaitlin McClure is a second-year master’s student at Bard Graduate Center who is interested in oral history and Islamic art, and is an aspiring potter whose work is informed by her research. Some of her projects include: putting together a map of important community and historic sites of the Lower East Side/East Village for CityLore, and helping with the New York Public Library’s Community Oral History Project. 
Seth Moglen is Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University.  He is actively engaged in Public Humanities projects associated with South Side Initiative and is at work on a book entitled “Bethlehem: American Utopia, American Tragedy.”
Cheryl Nixon serves as the Chair of the English Department at UMass Boston; inspired by NEPH, we have created a new public humanities collaborative on campus. My own public humanities work centers on a partnership with the Boston Public Library that features rare books courses and exhibitions. 
Kara Noto is an MA student at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University.
Diane O’Donoghue is currently a Senior Fellow for the Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts. Last year, I developed the Initiatives in the Public Humanities program at Tisch, after finishing as chair of the Department of Visual and Critical Studies.
Monica Pelayo is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she also serves as the Director of the Public History Track in the History Master’s program. As a public historian, she has offered her services to the Bracero History Project, the Studio for Southern California History, the Breed Street Shul, and most recently to the Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the isolation and abuse of people detained in U.S. civil immigration detention.
Benji de la Piedra is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Oral History M.A. Program, where he worked on a literary approach to the craft of oral history interviewing as a means of investigating the complexity of American identities. In September, Benji and Mario Alvarez will initiate a project to record the long and diverse life histories of current graduate students at Columbia, which they believe will help students and administrators engage in a restorative campus-wide conversation about experiences of belonging and exclusion at the university.
Evan Reibsome is a Ph. D. candidate at Lehigh University whose dissertation explores nineteenth- and twentieth-century antiwar American literature.
Karin Roffman is a Research Associate in Public Humanities, Yale University.
Katina Rogers is Deputy Director of the Futures Initiative and HASTAC@CUNY, dedicated to advancing equity and innovation in higher education. Her work focuses on many aspects of higher education reform, including scholarly communication practices, professionalization and career development, public scholarship, and advocacy for fair labor policies.
Sasha Sabherwal is a first year PhD student in American Studies at Yale University.
Courtney Sato is a third year PhD student in American Studies at Yale.
Susan Smulyan is Professor, Department of American Studies, at Brown University and the Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
Amy Starecheski is the Associate Director of the Oral History MA Program at Columbia University. She received a PhD in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center and her book, Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City, is forthcoming this fall from the University of Chicago Press.

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard is a PhD student in American Studies and Public Humanities at Brown University. Her interests include aesthetics, the built environment, and the politics of the body.

Lauren Tilton is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Yale University focusing on participatory media in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. She is co-director of Photogrammar and co-author of Humanities Data in R (Springer, 2015).
Pilar Vicuña is the Administrator of the Cultural Agents Initiative and Pre-Texts. She holds a MA in Latinamerican Studies from Universidad de Chile and currently is a Visiting Scholar in Romances Languages and Literature Department at Harvard University.

Laura Wexler is Professor of American Studies, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Film & Media Studies at Yale University, where I am also Acting Co-chair of Public Humanities, and Principle Investigator of the Photogrammar Project. I work on the history of photography.

Catherine Whalen is Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center. Her research and teaching interests focus American material culture studies, the history and theory of collecting, and object-based cultural nationalism. She is the founding director of the Bard Graduate Center Craft, Art, and Design Oral History Project.Catherine Whalen, Bard Graduate Center.
Inge Zwart is a Dutch first-year student in the Public Humanities program at Brown focusing on contested histories, cultural exchange and social justice in the public sphere.