Corey Clawson is a first-year student in the PhD program with research interests in public digital humanities, network analysis, Latin American studies, and queer literary history. He is the co-creator of https://archivepelago.org/, a project mapping the transmission of notions of sexuality and gender by mapping networks of 19th and 20th century queer writers and artists using data parsed from archival finding aids. He is the author of “Writing Saudade: Navigating Home, Homeland, and Sexuality in the Work of Gabriela Mistral and Elizabeth Bishop,” an article detailing how two poets used the Portuguese notion of saudade in their poetry and letters to explore lesbian identity upon exiling themselves from their respective countries of origin.
Erica Fugger is an oral historian and peace educator based in the New York City area. She actively works with organizations, communities, and families to implement historical documentation and dialogue initiatives.
Erica previously managed Columbia University’s Center for Oral History Archives and Oral History MA program, and served as an Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She also recently directed Washington College’s World War II public memory program, the National Home Front Project, which collaborates with communities across the United States to document and preserve civilian experiences of the war.
Erica is continuing to explore the lasting impacts of war and peace movements through doctoral work in Rutgers University-Newark’s American Studies PhD program. Her research builds upon foundations established through her MA degree in Oral History from Columbia University and her BA in History & German from Union College. Deepening her community-engaged practice, Erica currently serves as the co-director of World War 2 Peace and a graduate assistant for the Queer Newark Oral History Project.
Christelle Jasmin (she/her) is a second year American Studies doctoral student at Rutgers University-Newark. Her research utilizes a black feminist lens to investigate the theoretical and material intersections of critical animal studies and carceral studies. Prior to entering graduate school in 2020, in 2018 Christelle earned her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in Development and minor in Women’s and Gender studies. Her capstone thesis was a creative auto-theoretical piece entitled Criminal Animality: Food Justice, Prison Abolition and Black Feminisms.
After graduating, she served as the first Fellowship Director and Community-Based-Organization Liaison of the Beyond Identity Scholar-Activism Fellowship Program from 2018-2021. Housed at City College CUNY, Beyond Identity is designed to train and develop the political voices of femme-identified students of color through feminist theory and political writing. Christelle has been an invited speaker before activists and colleagues at the NYC People's Forum, undergraduate courses, and a keynote speaker at the NOVO Foundation's Grantmakers for Girls of Color Conference in 2018. Christelle typically spends her summers teaching an undergraduate course based on her research, "Introduction to Women of Color Eco-feminisms: Feminist Interventions with Other Animals and the Earth."
Currently, Christelle is working as a graduate assistant with the Humanities Action Lab. Her research interests are focused on examinations of zoological and taxidermic racial terror. Christelle is a queer first-generation Haitian American based in Brooklyn, NY who enjoys crafting, styling, and weightlifting.
Hannah Jocelyn is in her fourth year in the Rutgers-Newark American Studies PhD program, focusing on Environmental Humanities. She defended her dissertation proposal in September, 2021; it’s working title is “How Contemporary Border-Crossing Women Write to Save the World: Intercitizenship and Literary Environmentalism.” Chaired by Dr. Frances Bartkowski, her committee includes Dr. Ruth Feldstein and Dr. Jack Tchen.
Sydney Johnson is a PhD candidate in the American Studies Program. She holds a MA in Public History from American University and has collaborated with various cultural institutions such as Monument Lab and New Arts Justice, the Humanities Action Lab, and the Smithsonian Institution. Most notably she served as Curator of Exhibits for the Missouri State Museum making her the museum’s first and only curator of color in its over 100-year history. Sydney studies heritage, memory, and Black women’s economic agency in the early 20th century. Her scholarly interests also include the theory and praxis of community ownership as a means toward transformative cultural spaces. Sydney’s dissertation committee is chaired by Dr. Melissa Cooper and comprised of Drs. Beryl Satter and Mary Rizzo.
If you would like to connect with Sydney about her work and experiences feel free to reach out or learn more about her via LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/sajhistory/
Colleen Gutwein O'Neal
Colleen Gutwein O'Neal
Colleen Gutwein O’Neal is a photographer, curator, and educator from the Northeastern United States. O’Neal’s work explores the human experience through personal engagement, using photography to build lasting relationships within her community. Her seminal work, The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project, pays tribute to and immortalizes through photographs, ninety-plus artists within the Newark arts community from 2013 - 2018. The project acknowledges the industrial and photographic history of Newark by incorporating the use of Jem Jr. film cameras manufactured in the city in the 1940s, resulting in ethereal portraits of the artists and ever-changing landscape of the city they inhabit. The project has been supported through grants from the Puffin Foundation, 2013, Newark Arts, 2018, crowdfunding, and a mural commission by Four Corners Public Art in the phase two initiative “Community Building Through Public Art.”
Naturally extending from her photographic work, O’Neal curates contemporary art exhibitions inspired by the artists she has worked with. Her collaborative curatorial approach promotes a collective exploration of socially conscious themes and creates access to, and space for, conceptual and experimental art works. Exhibiting her own work regularly since 2004, O’Neal has been included in Hycide and Nowhere magazines, as well as the permanent collection in the Newark Public Library. Her book, The Camera I Always Wanted, part of the Plume House of Prayer series published by Shine Portrait Studio Press in 2019, is included in the permanent collection at the Thomas J. Watson Library – Metropolitan Museum of Art. O’Neal is currently an adjunct professor of photography, studio art, and contemporary art in the Arts, Culture, and Media department at Rutgers University Newark. She has been a volunteer at Index Art Center, a nonprofit gallery in downtown Newark, since 2006, a community partner at Shine Portrait Studio in Express Newark since 2017, and a committee member of EcoArt Salon, an initiative of the Price Institute of Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers Newark, since 2020.
She is currently earning her master’s degree in American Studies, Public Humanities track, at Rutgers University, Newark where she is working as a researcher in residence at Express Newark as part of her master’s thesis. O’Neal seeks to continue to the PhD program in American Studies at Rutgers and is currently in the ideation and planning phases of her prospective project, The Newark Ghost Map, chronicling arts culture, and mapping artists’ spaces that are no longer visible or physically accessible, but still discoverable through adaptive archiving and mapping strategies.
Crystal Robinson is a second-year master’s student in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. Her broader research interests include racial identity, representation of race and gender in popular culture, and cultural organizing. In addition to her studies, she also serves on the EcoArt Salon committee aiding in the planning of monthly gatherings focused on EcoArt and the environment. She received her BA in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Kean University in 2020 and is currently working with the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University-Newark as an assistant in the communications department.
Erin R. Santana
Erin R. Santana
Erin R. Santana is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark whose dissertation, "Silencing the Classroom: Ocean Hill-Brownsville and the Production of the History of Education," analyzes the relationship between collective memory and public education with a focus on movements for community control, Black Power, and Third World Liberation. Erin is working with Professors Ruth Feldstein, Beryl Satter, and Charles Payne on this project.
Erin has spent the past fifteen years working at museums, historic sites, and New York City public schools to engage learners of all ages in radical history-telling and history-making. After wearing many hats in the NYC Department of Education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator, Erin channeled her rage at having been taught nothing about the history of the NYC public school system into her academic work studying the role of history-telling in struggles for educational justice. Erin published a formal rant about her experiences as a NYC Teaching Fellow in the 2017 collection, “Inside Our Schools: Teachers on the Failure and Future of Education Reform.” A virtual history teach-in Erin created with student activists can be seen at: https://integratenyc.org/teachin.
Soili Smith is a writer and 5th year PhD candidate in American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. Her dissertation work applies Marxist, postcolonial, and Indigenous conceptual frames to critically theorize state and cultural representations of refuge in Canada. The dissertation committee is chaired by Sadia Abbas, Director of the Center for European Studies in New Brunswick, and professor in the English Department at RU-N. Her creative work has appeared in Ideas and Futures, Joyland, Minola Review, and elsewhere. She welcomes any questions about the program prospective students might have.
Victoria Timpanaro: "I am a part time PHD student in the Media Studies program. This year I am wrapping up my coursework. My fields of study are Women & Gender Studies and Digital Public Humanities with a background in Media Studies. My proposed thesis will look at the evolution of the representation of women in horror, science fiction and fantasy cinema, going from the damsel in distress to the female superhero."