Current Fellows Fall 2021

Faculty Fellows

  • Kaisha Esty

    Assistant Professor of African American Studies

    Center for African American St, 232

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    Kaisha Esty is a historian with expertise in race, gender and sexuality in the 19th and 20th Century United States. Her research centers on Black womanhood, intimacy, sexual autonomy and consent. Her current project is tentatively titled, Weaponizing Virtue: Black Women and the Struggle for Sexual Sovereignty. This book offers an examination of the politics of ‘feminine virtue’ in the enslaved and freed African American community.

    Before joining the faculty in the African American Studies Department at Wesleyan, Dr. Esty earned a Ph.D. in History at Rutgers University. Born and raised in London, UK, Dr. Esty holds a BA and Masters in American Studies from the University of Nottingham.

  • J. Kehaulani Kauanui

    Professor of American Studies & Anthropology

    255 High Street, 216

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  • Kerwin Kaye

    Associate Professor of Sociology; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; American Studies

    Public Affairs Center, 105

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    Kaye's work detail the models of addiction that are utilized by drug courts and their affiliated treatment programs, highlighting the mixed consequences that state-supervised treatment brings to participants. In an earlier project, he has also written about the lived realities and the changing social understandings of male prostitution.
  • Nina Hagel

    Assistant Professor of Government; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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    Nina Hagel teaches classes on contemporary political theory, the history of political thought, and feminist political theory. Her research examines questions of freedom, recognition, social power, and resistance, with a focus on democratic belonging. She is currently working on a book manuscript about notions of authenticity in contemporary political discourse and in the history of political thought. Her work has been published in Polity and theory & event and has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2018, her article "Alternative Authenticities: Thinking Transgender Without Essence" received the American Political Science Association's Susan Okin-Iris Young Award in feminist political theory.
  • Ryan Fics

    Research Fellow

    95 Pearl St. Middletown, CT 06459

Andrew W. Mellon Fellows

  • Mlondolozi Zondi

    Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

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    Mlondolozi (Mlondi) Zondi is a scholar and interdisciplinary artist whose research focuses on contemporary Black performance and art history. Currently, Mlondi is working on a book project titled Unmournable Voida study of critical artistic practices that tend to the historical conditions of anti-black violence resulting from transatlantic slavery, colonialism, and apartheid. The manuscript approaches questions of matter, mourning, and ontological absence through an engagement with revolutionary Black thought, psychoanalytic theories, art history/visual studies, and dance/performance theory. Mlondi completed a PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University (with certificates in Critical Theory, African Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies). The dissertation project received support from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Prior to attending Northwestern, Mlondi received an M.F.A in Dance as a Fulbright scholar at the University of California, Irvine; and a BA (Hons) cum laude in Cultural Studies and Performance Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. Mlondi’s work has been published in The Drama Review(TDR), ASAP Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly, and Propter Nos.  

Student Fellows

  • Zubaida Bello

  • Maren Beriss

  • Christina Lu

  • Ann Zhang