Participant information is also available in our program: wholeWorldsProgram

About the Presenters

Hadji Bakara is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. His dissertation explores the interwoven development of international writers’ organizations and human rights activism from the end of WWI to the “breakthrough” of the human rights movement in South America’s Southern Cone in the 1970s. The project, entitled “The Utopians: Literary Networks and the Pursuit of Human Right, 1919-1985” tracks the decades long merger of international advocacy for writers and cultural producers, beginning with the formation of PEN International in 1921, with the quest for a universal compact of world citizenship and protection under international law.

Ingrid Becker is currently a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. Her interests include 20th century British and American literature, especially poetry and poetics, the implications of aesthetic projects mobilized in the service of political ones, and patterns of institutionalization and resistance within and around literary movements.

Anastatia Curley holds a B.A. in English from Yale University and an M.A. in Irish Studies from Boston College. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia. Her research interests include the history of the Anglophone novel and the relationships among aesthetics, national traditions, and globalization.

Tyler Easterbrook is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He took his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature in 2013. He is interested in interdisciplinary theoretical research on the intersections of literature, science, logic, and philosophy.

Matthew Hubbell is a doctoral candidate in the department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.  He has received an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His interests include the role of gesture, performance, and the body in film; French cinema of the Nouvelle Vague and post-Nouvelle Vague generations; and cinematic figurations of history.

Thomas Johnson is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. His research explores relations between poetic, mathematical, and scientific discourses. He is currently engaged in drawing from neo-cybernetics to think through practices of 20th and 21st century American poetry.

Pelin Kivrak is a Ph.D. student at Yale University. She has a B.A. in Literature, cum laude, from Harvard University, where she was recommended for high honors in the field.  Her honors Thesis was entitled, “ ‘Displacement, Travails, Redemption, Success’: Searching for the Traditional Immigration Paradigm in the Works of Aleksandar Hemon.”

Rebecca Ariel Porte is a Ph.D. candidate in English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her critical writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in PN Review, the Boston Review, the Contemporary Poetry Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Primary Stein (an anthology).

Orlando Reade is a second-year Ph.D. student and Arthur P. Morgan Fellow in the Department of English at Princeton University. He studied for a B.A. in English Literature at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and for an MRes in Renaissance Studies at the Center for Editing Lives and Letters, at the University of London. At Princeton, he organizes the Graduate Contemporary Poetry Colloquium.

Nami Shin is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at Rutgers University. Her dissertation, “Contingent Intimacies: Multi-local Migration and Contemporary Narrative,” examines how late twentieth-century migratory patterns have reshaped the novel’s social imagination. Her conference paper is part of the dissertation’s second chapter, which traces the relationship between narrative form and spaces of intimacy in Aleksandar Hemon’s novel Nowhere Man.

Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan is a doctoral candidate in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned her M.A. She has written for scholarly, mainstream, and ethnic publications including the San Jose Mercury News,, Public Books, Women & Performance, and the South Asian Review. Ragini was Editor of India Currents magazine from 2007-2009 and has written a regular column for the publication since 2001. Her editorials and feature essays have been recognized with awards from New America Media, the California Journalism Awards, and the Aspen Institute. Ragini previously studied at Duke University, from which she graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa with a BA in Literature.

Maggie Taft is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation on Danish Modern furniture traces the furniture in its Danish and American contexts in order to analyze the interrelationship between politics of consumption and discourses of modernism during the early years of the Cold War. This project, entitled “Making Danish Modern, 1945-1960,” has been supported by fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American-Scandinavia Foundation, and, currently, an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Beyond the dissertation, her mid-century focus has included work on postwar American art criticism, exhibiting architecture and design, and László Moholy-Nagy and the New Bauhaus in Chicago. A former co-editor in chief of the Chicago Art Journal and an exhibition reviews editor for Design and Culture, her writing and reviews have appeared in Design and Culture, The Point, The Journal of Design History, Artforum, Tezte Zur Kunst, and Chicago Makes Modern (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Chris Westcott is a PhD candidate in English at Johns Hopkins University. He earned B.A.s in English and philosophy from Columbia University. His dissertation is on North American poetry and left political culture from 1960 to the present.