Current Fellows Spring 2024

Faculty Fellows

  • Tyrone Palmer

    Assistant Professor of English

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    Tyrone S. Palmer's teaching and research concerns Black critical thought, poetics, and negativity. His current book manuscript, “Felt Antagonisms: Blackness, Negativity, and the Grammars of Affect,” explores how key Black literary  texts theorize the failures of a universalist conception of affect to account for the grammars of feeling that emerge from the singularity of Blackness. Palmer’s scholarship has previously been published or is forthcoming in Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social SciencesCritical Ethnic StudiesPhilosophy TodayTOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Post-45, Discourse, and the edited volume The Affect Theory Reader II: Worldings, Tensions, Futures. In addition to his scholarly work, Palmer has published cultural criticism and poetry in a number of venues, including The New Inquiry, GawkerThe Offing, and Callaloo.
  • Victoria Pitts-Taylor

    Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Science in Society, & Sociology

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    Victoria Pitts-Taylor studies how the body is understood and modified by medicine, science and culture. Professor Pitts-Taylor is author of The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics (Duke University Press, 2016), which won the Philosophy of Science Association's Women's Caucus Prize in Feminist Phiolosophy of Science and the Robert K. Merton Book Prize from the Science, Knowledge and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association. She is also author of In the Flesh: the Cultural Politics of Body Modification (2003, Palgrave Macmillan) and Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture (2007, Rutgers University Press). She is the Editor of the two-volume Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body (2008, Greenwood Press), and Mattering: Feminism, Science, and Materialism (NYU Press, 2016). She is a past recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Advancement of the Discipline Award and a former co-editor of WSQ (Women's Studies Quarterly). She served as the first elected chair of the American Sociological Association's Section on the Body and Embodiment. Her most recent articles are published in the journals Science, Technology and Human ValuesSexualities, and Health

  • Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer

    Associate Professor of Letters

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    Professor Ponce's first book, Cervantes the Poet: The Don Quijote, Poetic Practice and the Conception of the First Modern Novel , revaluates the rise of the novel in late sixteenth-century Spain through the relationship between Lyric, Novel, and Romance in the works of Miguel de Cervantes and his contemporaries.  While the discourse of modernity has frequently turned to subjectivity as one of its central features, the Pre-Cartesian formulations of subjectivity that emerged in the eroticized pastoral culture of late sixteenth-century communities of poets invite us to reconsider the ways in which human experience was conceptualized and given literary life in this formative period of the early modern. This work addresses questions of literary genre through a dialectic of historical particularities and transhistorical forms of literary art, and takes special interest in the relationship between the mythic and the epistemic in historical, philosophical, and imaginative (or poetic) outlooks.  Her second project, A Poetry Without an Imperium, takes the poetry of sixteenth-century Sicily as a case study of the lyric at work in a langauge deprived of claims to nation or empire.  Her articles have appeared in the MLN, Romance Studies, and the Anuario de Estudios Cervantinos.


  • Lily Saint

    Assistant Professor of English

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    Lily Saint is Associate Professor of English at Wesleyan. Her book Black Cultural Life in South Africa: Reception, Apartheid, and Ethics (University of Michigan Press 2018) explores the nexus of ethics and cultural practice in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Saint is  editor with Bhakti Shringarpure of the new book series "Routledge African Writers: Intellectual Biographies, Literary Histories," and is writing the volume on J.M. Coetzee.  She co-edited a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry on "Genre in Africa" (2017) and has published articles and essays in NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, the Journal of African Cultural Studies, the Journal of the African Literature Association, Postcolonial Studies, the Journal of African Cinemas, and elsewhere. She is a regular contributor to Africa Is a Country.

    At Wesleyan, she teaches classes on global and postcolonial literature and theory, contemporary and canonical African novels, historical fiction, and ethical theory.

    Professor Saint has a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, which was awarded the Irving Howe Prize for Best Dissertation Involving Politics and Literature in 2011. She has a B.A. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Wesleyan, she taught in the English department at the University of Pittsburgh.

  • Roman Utkin

    Assistant Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies & Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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    Roman Utkin specializes in twentieth-century Russian and Russophone poetry, prose, and visual culture. He is the author of Charlottengrad: Russian Culture in Weimar Berlin (University of Wisconsin Press, 2023). Charlottengrad examines the Russian émigré and exile community that found itself in Berlin in the aftermath of the 1917 Revolution. By closely studying the intellectual output of the Russian-speaking émigrés ensconced in Berlin’s Charlottenburg neighborhood, the book reveals a picture of some of the world’s first “stateless” peoples struggling to understand their new identity as emigrants and exiles, balancing their sense of Russianness with their position in a modern, bustling Western city, and navigating their political and personal positionality toward a homeland that was no longer home. 

    Roman's recent publications include a thematic cluster of articles called "Illegal Queerness: Russian Culture and Society in the Age of Anti-LGBTQ Censorship" in The Russian Review, an essay on Vladimir Nabokov's use of disability in fiction, and a film review of the HBO documentary film Welcome to Chechnya

    A native speaker of both Tatar and Russian, Roman has served on the board of the Committee on Advocacy for Diversity and Inclusion within the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. He is also a founding member of Q*ASEEES, the Society for the Promotion of LGBTQ Studies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

    Roman was educated in Russia and the United States, earning an undergraduate degree in philology at Kazan State University (2007) and a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures at Yale University (2015). Prior to joining the Wesleyan faculty, he taught at Davidson College.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellows

Student Fellows

  • Ethan Barrett

  • Milly Berman

  • Gissel Ramirez

  • Teddy Shusterman