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Provost announces new Postdoctoral Scholars

USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett announced the incoming cohort of the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars in the Humanities on May 9.

Established last fall, the program aims to strengthen an array of humanities disciplines across the university.

Selected from more than 750 applicants in 14 fields, the scholars will join USC in August and represent an “excellent and diverse group of accomplished thinkers who will invigorate discussion within and across many fields,” Garrett wrote in the announcement to faculty and staff.

The Postdoctoral Scholars are:

Bradford Bouley, a doctoral candidate at Stanford University, is expected to receive his Ph.D. in history. He specializes in early modern Europe, with a focus on religious and scientific developments, especially as they relate to contemporary understanding of the human body. While at USC, he plans to turn his dissertation, Dissecting the Holy: Anatomy and Sanctity in Early Modern Italy, into a manuscript for publication.

Lauren Jennings, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, is expected to receive her Ph.D. in historical musicology. Her research focuses on the intersection of music and literature in 14th-century Italy, as reflected in her dissertation, Tracing Voices: Song as Literature in Late Medieval Italy. At USC, she will continue her work on the material life of 14th-century Italian song in both notated and un-notated sources, aiming to subvert the conventional separation of poetry and music and to demonstrate how the literary identity of song texts is central to the musical and cultural significance of this repertoire.

Anastasia Kayiatos, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality from the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, is expected to receive her Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literature. Her research interests concern gender, sexuality and the body in Russia from the 19th century to the present. She also has developed a second field in queer and feminist theory, as well as a specialization in deaf and disability studies. She plans to turn her dissertation, Suggestive Gestures: Toward a Queer Socialist Aesthetic, into a book manuscript on silent performances of sexual difference in the Soviet Union.

Bryan W. Roberts, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, is expected to receive his Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science. His research interests bridge questions of traditional philosophy and the constraints of modern physics, as reflected in his dissertation, Time and Ontology: A Study in the Foundations of Quantum Theory. At USC, he plans to expand on his dissertation for publication through further investigation of the connection between time and ontology when relativity is considered, and the exploration of the broader question of human ability to measure “time might” (time strength or power).

Julianne Werlin, a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, is expected to receive her Ph.D. in English. Her research interests include early modern literature, politics and intellectual history, as well as contemporary poetry and the history of utopian and science fiction. During her time at USC, Werlin plans to turn her dissertation, The Impossible Probable: Modeling Utopia in Early Modern England, into a book. She also plans to begin a second book project on the poetics of war.

Gaoheng Zhang received his Ph.D. in Italian studies from New York University in 2011. His work draws on theoretical works in cinema, mobility, and gender and masculinity studies, as well as the analysis of Italian notions of national identity, class, migration, colonialism and East-West relations through the lens of cinematic constructions. His current book project, The Culture of Chinese Immigration to Italy (2000-2010): Identity, Media, Entrepreneurship, and Diplomacy, investigates how identities of Chinese immigrants in Italy were constructed and contested in the media by Italians and the immigrants themselves between 2000 and 2010. He plans to analyze the impact that international diplomacy and Chinese entrepreneurship in Italy have had on the immigrants’ racial and gendered identity negotiations.

According to Garrett, three Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars from last year’s cohort have secured tenure-track faculty positions after just one year of postdoctoral fellowship.

Tracy McMullen will join the Department of Music at Bowdoin College as an assistant professor this fall. Nathan Perl-Rosenthal will join the Department of History at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor this fall. Julia Sun-Joo Lee will join the Department of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as an assistant professor in fall 2013.

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