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2020 HAL Fellows

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Brandon Bark

Brandon Bark is a 5th-year PhD candidate in Classics. He received his B.A. in Classics and a minor in German language and culture from Princeton University in 2013, after which he taught and tutored Latin at a secondary school for two years. His dissertation examines the discourse surrounding the emergence of Latin as the dominant literary language of Italy in the 2nd century BCE. He is also interested in the history of early Christianity, textual criticism, book history, and Latin paleography, the latter through several advanced courses both at Stanford and at the Rare Book School.

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Cody Chun

Cody Chun is a PhD candidate in English. His dissertation considers depictions of suffering and its transcendence in contemporary fiction. He co-coordinates “The Contemporary,” a DLCL-sponsored working group on contemporary literature, philosophy, and culture, and co-directs the Stanford Poetic Media Lab, a digital humanities research collective, within the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, committed to the production and use of digital technologies for pedagogical and research ends. In addition to his research, he is currently at work building A Museum of Beautiful and Sacred Things, a digital curation of the various things that we, as individuals, experience as beautiful or sacred. He received his BA in English from the University of Puget Sound.

Jamie Fine

Jamie Fine is a third year Ph.D. candidate in Modern Thought & Literature, specializing in contemporary young adult literature, graphic narratives, and law, with a minor in Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Specifically, her research investigates how law--a subject matter routinely untaught in schools—is transposed to adolescent readers via contemporary young adult literature and graphic narratives. She holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the City College of New York, and a B.A. from Wellesley College in English and Psychology. At Stanford, she is currently a McCoy Center Ethics Fellow, co-coordinator of the Indigenous Writer’s Lecture Series, a Flip the Script educator, a 2020 PhD Pathways organizer, a Peer Learning Consultant, and is involved in multiple campus committees and initiatives at the NACC. In her (rare) spare time, she enjoys exploring California with her friends and family.

Chiara Giovanni

Chiara Giovanni is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature with a Minor in Anthropology. Her dissertation is on the subject of embodied Dominican world-making. She looks at contemporary fiction by Dominican and Dominican-American writers and conducts ethnographic fieldwork at dance academies and social dance sites in the United States and the Dominican Republic in order to examine how Dominicans envision and enact alternative pasts, presents, and futures. In her home country of the United Kingdom, Chiara received a First Class BA and MSt in Modern Languages from Magdalen College, Oxford, and is now a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow. She currently lives in Oakland, where she works part-time at a dance studio and enjoys hosting dinner parties.

Dillon Gisch

Dillon Gisch is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Classics, a member of the Stanford Archaeology Center, and a 2019–2020 Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellow at Stanford University. He is currently writing a dissertation that re-evaluates ancient Roman images of Venus that modern viewers have judged to be “bad art” by analyzing the gendered, ethnic, and sexual biases that underpin these judgments and writing counternarratives of how these images were meaningful to ancient persons in the past. He is also currently working on projects about how an ancient Roman statue acquired a distinctly modern, unruly persona that “speaks” anonymous social and political graffiti, how the narratives of museums in South Africa have changed over the past fifty years, and what place(s) ancient Egypt has occupied in the South African cultural imaginary. In the past, he has carried out research in France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and South Africa, and before he came to Stanford, he worked as Director of Antique and Modern Works on Paper at Davidson Galleries (Seattle, WA), where he research and curated exhibitions of printed American, European, and Japanese graphic art.

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Juan Esteban Plaza

Juan Esteban is a fifth year PhD student in Iberian and Latin American Cultures. His interests are literature, philosophy, film, music, visual arts, ecology, immigration, politics, gender. He Received his B.A. and an M.A. in literature in Chile, where he was born. Aside from his academic work, Juan Esteban have made music, poetry, and film experiments; he translated a book from English to Spanish about cinema, and published in on-line media platforms about cinema and ecology. When he lived in Santiago he participated in university political activities, and taught in a popular school to prepare low-income students for their early university years. During all these years of intense work within the academic environment, Juan Esteban have reflected on urgent social and political issues in his research, but has always felt that the impact that we as humanities scholars can make in the life of our communities is way too limited. Our current times need people who have received an excellent education to use it in a meaningful way. Today, when getting close to the end of his doctoral education, he is more concerned than ever with giving visibility to the issues that affect the more helpless among us, and with making arts and the humanities more accessible.

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Áine Josephine Tyrrell

Áine Josephine Tyrrell is a fifth year Ph.D. Candidate at the Stanford Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Drama Studies from  Trinity College Dublin. Her research explores the intersection between counter-terrorist policy and immigration, on how the War on Terror has impacted communities of colour in the U.S,  U.K., and France. As an artist, she devices and directs and performs work intent on critiquing contemporary politics. Alongside her Ph.D., Áine has worked across the private- and public-sectors in roles ranging from business consultancy and communications with the United Nations’ World Food Programme to design thinking and innovation in the luxury fashion sector. Áine will be graduating Stanford in June 2020 and is excited to explore career opportunities in the Bay Area. 

Robert Xu

Robert Xu is thrilled to be a part of the HAL 2020 cohort. As a PhD candidate in linguistics at Stanford, his research focuses on speech variation as a powerful meaning-making tool in social interactions. His dissertation project examines the linguistic performances that bring certain social types into prominence in Beijing. He is excited to seek out different path ways to apply his knowledge and analytical skills, and to continue exploring his broad interests in human behavior.

Chris smiling at the camera

Chris Golde: HAL Program Director

Chris Golde has worked over 25 years in graduate education, as a student, faculty member, administrator, advocate, researcher, and scholar. Currently, she is a career educator working with PhD students and postdoctoral scholars, at Stanford Career Education at Stanford University. She also co-principal investigator on the new AAU PhD Education Initiative; the mission of  which is to promote more student-centered doctoral education at AAU universities by making diverse PhD career pathways visible, valued, and viable. Before joining BEAM, she spent 9 years as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education in the VPGE office at Stanford. Before returning to Stanford, she was a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching working on the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a PhD in education and an MA in sociology, both from Stanford University. 

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Michelle Mengsu Chang: HAL Fellow, 2020 & HAL Program Coordinator, 2019 - 2020

Michelle Mengsu Chang is a PhD candidate in the History Department. She studies totalitarianism in the 20th century, with particular interest in the interface between state and individual under totalitarianism, and ways in which economic organization and material culture influence political consciousness and identity. Her dissertation explores the transformation of everyday life and the contestation between political ideology and economic changes in China during the late 1970s and early 80s. Michelle received her B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and an M.A. from Yale University. After graduating from Yale, she worked as a research associate at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, Germany. Michelle was born in Harbin in northeastern China, and has lived in the former Soviet Union, Australia, and Canada before studying in the United States. She moonlights as a photographer. 

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Tim S. Jones, II: HAL Program Coordinator, 2019 - 2020

Tim S. Jones, II is a producer, activist, and multi-disciplinary artist. He holds bachelor degrees in English Literature and Drama from Morehouse College. He ​also ​received his MFA in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University​. ​His research interests include ​various intersections of ​trauma, ​narrative medicine, ​sexuality, performance ethnography, critical race theory, shame, memory, and ​surveillance​​. Tim has trained at the Ailey School, Shanghai Theater Academy, the British American Drama Academy, Spelman Dance Theater, and Earl Mosley's Institute of the Arts. During his time at Columbia University, he worked at Sleep No More, New York Live Arts, and New York Theater Workshop. From 2015-2019 Tim worked as the Arts Director of Cooperative Arts High where he lead the arts program, community partnerships, ran a leadership mentoring program for at-risk young men of color, and occasionally taught a course called Facing History and Ourselves. He consistently is interested in interrogating​ cultural competency, programming and engagement initiatives, as well as the complexities surrounding representation of people of color on and off stage/screen.