Current Fellows Spring 2018

Faculty Fellows

Andrew Curran

William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities

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    • Professor Andrew Curran is a specialist of the French eighteenth century with interests in the history of race, the history of medicine, and the Enightenment philosophe Denis Diderot. At Wesleyan, Curran is the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities and a member of Wesleyan University’s Romance Languages and Literatures department. His major publications include an edited volume (Faces of Monstrosity in Eighteenth-Century Thought in Eighteenth-Century Life) and two books: Sublime Disorder: Physical Monstrosity in Diderot’s Universe (Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, 2001) and, more recently, The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2011 / paper 2013). The Anatomy of Blackness is forthcoming in a French translation from Classiques Garnier. Elected a Fellow in the history of medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine in 2010, Curran has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture (declined), and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He was also the co-winner of the James L. Clifford prize for the best article in eighteenth-century studies in 2011 on the history of albinism. Most recently, Curran received a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholars award (2016). Curran has served on the editorial board of Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture and is presently on the board of Critical Philosophy of Race and Diderot Studies. He is currently completing an intellectual biography of Denis Diderot for Other Press.

      Professor Curran completed his Ph.D. in French literature at New York University in 1996. He taught at Union College in Schenectady, New York, for two years before coming to Wesleyan. He has also directed the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris on two occasions. At Wesleyan, he teaches a variety of classes on French thought and culture from 1600-1900. 

      Wesleyan portrait of Andrew  Curran
William Vijay Pinch
Professor of History
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    • Pinch's teaching and research focus mainly on the history of South Asia as well as themes in historiography, world/global history (including questions of scale, depth, and time), and microhistory. He is currently director of the South Asia Studies certificate at Wesleyan. He also serves as associate editor for the journal History and Theory and as treasurer of the American Institute of Indian Studies, which is headquartered in Chicago and New Delhi.

      Wesleyan portrait of William R. Pinch

Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer

Assistant Professor of Letters

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    • Wesleyan portrait of Gabrielle Piedad Ponce-Hegenauer
Ying Jia Tan

Assitant Professor of History

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    • Ying Jia Tan's research focuses on the history of energy in Modern China. He is currently working on a book about the history of electrical power industries in China between 1927 and 1963. The project analyzes the energy politics behind three decades of war and revolution.

      Ying Jia Tan is a historian of science and technology with allied interests in environmental history and the history of cartography. Prior to joining academia, he was the defense and public health correspondent for a Chinese language daily in Singapore.

      Wesleyan portrait of Ying Jia  Tan

Andrew W. Mellon Fellows

Axelle Karera

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

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    • Wesleyan portrait of Axelle  Karera

Visiting Fellows

Stephanie Kosak

Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University

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    • I am a historian of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain and the British Atlantic world, and I’m especially interested in material and visual culture, print and ephemera, and politics in the early modern period. I received my PhD from Indiana University in 2013, and I was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of the Material Text in the History Department at the University of California, Los Angeles.

      I am currently finishing my first book, titled Royal Subjects: Mass Media and the Reinvention of Reverence in England, 1649-1760. This work explores how images of the monarchy, with the unprecedented explosion of print and engraving from the later seventeenth century, transformed the exercise of state power during the birth of a consumer society and the emergence of representative politics. It explores how visual print culture was central to political practices and understandings of sovereignty in the later Stuart and early Hanoverian periods, and it argues that the political longevity of the British monarchy is at least partly explained by its early accommodation within cultures of consumerism that materialized affective relations between subjects and sovereigns. It also asks how historians might use popular visual images to make arguments about the past that we cannot make through textual sources alone.

      I have started research on a second project on the materiality and mediation of loss in the eighteenth-century Anglo-Atlantic world. This book examines shifts in understandings and representations of lost property and people as a consequence of state and imperial expansion. It questions how print culture mediated anxieties about dispossession and disaster, and in so doing, provides scholars with an important source for recapturing the everyday materiality of a now lost past.

      Finally, I have written on gender, the body, and medicine in eighteenth-century London. I’m also finishing an article on the Charleston portrait painter, Jeremiah Theus, and the representation of dress in his artworks.

      Stephanie Koscak

Samuel J. Garcia

Visiting Fellow in the Center for the Humanities

Athmeya Jayaram

Visiting Fellow in the Center for the Humanities


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    • Larry S. McGrath's research and teaching address the history of modern Europe and the Atlantic world. He received his PhD in Intellectual History from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University. His publications explore the cultural resonances of religion, philosophy, nationalism, and the human sciences from the late eighteenth century to the present. Larry is currently transforming his doctoral dissertation into a book, Making Spirit Matter: Neurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France. When he’s not backpacking or playing ultimate frisbee, Larry also spends his time working on two projects: the first examines intellectual ambassadors in international relations around World War I; the second uncovers the history of brain education in France, Germany, and America.

Student Fellows

William Freudenheim

Yao Ong

James Reston

Juntai Shen