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NEPH 2017


Third Annual N​ortheastern Public Humanities Consortium Conference 

April 28-29,2017 

Clement A. Price Institute, Rutgers University-Newark University



 We love Twitter: the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #neph17.  Use freely!



Friday, April 28, 2016

Location: University Club, Paul Robeson Campus Center, 2nd floor, 350 Martin Luther King Blvd.

3:30-5:00pm Wine, cheese, and welcomes


Graduate student lightning presentations
  • Maggie Unverzagt Goddard (Brown)
  • Ana Robles (RU-N)
  • Kristin Hankins (Yale)
  • Evan Reibsome (Lehigh)
  • Naomi Extra (RU-N)
  • Jake Colavolpe (Yale)
  • Inge Zwart (Brown)


Saturday, April 23, 2016


  Morning location: Express Newark in the Hahne’s Building, 633 Broad Street  
8:00-8:00am Breakfast, Shine Portrait Gallery, Studio 319 
9:00-9:45am Tour of Express Newark & Hahne’s Building 

Breakout sessions

  • Public humanities curriculum (Mary Rizzo)
  • Advocacy (Seth Moglen)
  • White paper & Critical discourses (Matt Jacobson/Diane O’Donoghue) 
  • Consortial collaborations (Cheryl Nixon)
  Afternoon location: 15 Washington Street, 2nd floor  
Working Lunch on the NEPHC White Paper 

Notes from breakout sessions, into ideas for shared projects

4:00-5:00pm Wrap-up and closing, right into…
5:30pm Dinner



Mario Alvarez is an oral historian and recent graduate of Columbia’s Oral History Masters Program, receiving his degree in February 2017.

Salonee Bhaman is PhD Student in the History Department at Yale University. She is primarily interested in questions surrounding mobility, gender, sexuality and activism in urban space.

Amy Bogansky is a PhD candidate at Bard Graduate Center, where she is writing her dissertation on trade networks and the material culture of the Atlantic slave trade. Her focus is on trade goods such as cotton and dyestuffs and the nature of the negotiations between factors and local traders. She is also Project Manager for Gallery Installations and Rotations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jake Colavolpe is an undergraduate at Yale University in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. He is interested in the politics of space, tensions between the public and private, and the role of post-humanism in art.

Jim Egan is the Senior Fellow at Brown’s John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and Professor in the English department at Brown University.

Naomi Extra is a freelance writer, poet, and doctoral student in American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, where she also works on the Queer Newark Oral History Project. She is also a Cave Canem Fellow and contributing writer to the publication Weird Sister. You can find some of her writings in The Feminist WireDay OneBitch, and Racialicious.

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard is a PhD student in American Studies and Public Humanities at Brown University. She has a background in education and exhibition development, and her research explores the materiality of memory, the body, and the built environment.

Kristin Hankins is a PhD student in the American Studies department at Yale. Her primary research interests include: urban history, ethnography, and public art. She has also worked as a program, project, and exhibition coordinator at a non-profit public art organization in Philadelphia, and much of her research explores intersections of public art and urban change in Philadelphia. 

Kaysi Holman is the Director of Programs and Administration for the CUNY Humanities Alliance

Matthew Frye Jacobson is professor of American Studies and History and acting co-director of Public Humanities at Yale. Author of The Historian’s Eye: Meditations on Photography, History, and the American Present (forthcoming).

Alex Japha is a digital archivist with Lehigh University Libraries Special Collections and a history masters student.

Mark Krasovic is assistant professor of history and American Studies and interim director of the Clement A. Price Institute at Rutgers University-Newark.

Cyra Levenson, Director of Education and Academic Affairs at the Cleveland Museum of Art, oversees the interpretation of the collection, ensuring that the museum’s programs foster active, meaningful engagement with art and the surrounding community.

Julia Maserjian is the Digital Scholarship Manager at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Lehigh. She works with students and faculty who employ digital tools and technologies in interrogating or disseminating their research.

Seth Moglen is Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University, where he also teaches in the Africana Studies and American Studies Programs. He was founding co-director of the South Side Initiative, a project of democratic university-community collaboration in the city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Cheryl Nixon is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at UMass Boston, where she has led humanities-focused programming centering on partnerships with area libraries, including the Boston Public Library. Inspired by NEPH, our UMass Boston humanities group launched a new annual “Phillis Wheatley Day” on campus.

After serving as a department chair at Tufts (Visual and Critical Studies) and as a Tisch Faculty Fellow, Diane O’Donoghue was appointed Senior Fellow for the Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life in 2015. This semester (SP 2017) she is also Adjunct Professor of Public Humanities at Brown.

Benji de la Piedra graduated OHMA February 2016, attended NEPH last year to workshop project design for an oral history project about the life histories and university experiences of graduate students (w/ Mario Alvarez). That was an incredibly generative workshop so I would like to give the group an update on our progress and gather a new round of feedback as we consider next phases of the work.

Evan Reibsome is a PhD candidate in the English department at Lehigh University. His dissertation explores 19th- and 20th-century American antiwar literature.

Emily Reilly is a performing artist and creative producer. She is the Director of Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center. MFA, Yale School of Drama, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

Mary Rizzo is Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in History and Associate Director of Public & Digital Humanities Initiatives in the Graduate Program in American Studies, RU-N, which recently launched a Public Humanities MA track. She currently focuses her energy on inclusive public history practice through activities like the Telling Untold Histories unConference.

Ana Robles is a MA student in American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, where she leads the effort to digitize the Samuel Berg photography collection.

Karin Roffman is a Research Associate in Public Humanities at Yale University.

Sasha Sabherwal is a PhD student in American Studies at Yale University. She is the co-coordinator of the Public Humanities Working Group and a participant of the Ethnography and Oral History Initiative at Yale.

Robyn Schroeder is a post-doctoral research fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, where she also serves as Director of Graduate Studies to the M.A. program in Public Humanities. Her research interests are in constitutional history and public scholarship.

Susan Smulyan is a Professor of American Studies and the Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University. Susan is a cultural historian with an interest in pop culture and social practice art.

Rob Snyder is a professor of Journalism and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. His most recent book is Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York.

Laura Wexler is Professor of American Studies, Film & Media Studies, and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Yale University, where she also co-directs the Public Humanities Program along with Matt Jacobson. As a historian of photography, she is interested in the myriad ways that photographs mediate all kinds of communication with the public.

Catherine Whalen is Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center in New York City. She specializes in American Material Culture Studies

Roberta Wollons is professor of history at UMass Boston.

Inge Zwart is a graduating master student of Public Humanities at Brown University, working on questions of collective memory and intersections of social justice and public humanities. At the moment, she is finishing her final project on the representation of Dutch colonialism and slavery in museums in the Caribbean and the Netherlands and works on the Day of Public Humanities with Robyn Schroeder and Jim McGrath.