School of Humanities welcomes four postdoctoral fellowsThree UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows and one UCI ADVANCE Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Humanities faculty mentors
We are thrilled to welcome three UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows and one UCI ADVANCE Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow to work with our faculty mentors in the Departments of African American Studies, Film and Media Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies.
Dr. Gray earned her Ph.D. in history of consciousness (feminist studies and visual studies emphases) from UC Santa Cruz
Faculty mentor: Bridget Cooks, professor and chair, Department of African American Studies
Research summary: Dr. Erin Gray specializes in the intersections of politics, aesthetics, and critical theory. Her current research focuses on gendered racial formations within the photographic history of global white supremacy. Dr. Gray’s book, Laughing at Meat and Fury: A Materialist Critique of U.S. Lynching Culture, focuses on the emergence and recession of the image of lynching in moments of political and economic crisis throughout the long twentieth century. Mobilizing black feminist theory, Marxist critical theory, affect studies, and psychoanalysis, the manuscript analyzes photographs circulated in Communist Party USA pamphlets, the mid-century popular press, a modernist photography exhibition, L.A. assemblage art, post-revolutionary Cuban cinema, and twenty-first century social practice. Theorizing an altered historical and political genealogy of white supremacist violence, the book troubles the end-of-lynching discourse that accompanied the ascendance of racial liberalism in the 1940s; where racial liberalism figures lynching as an affront to the U.S. justice system and proffers a triumphant narrative of the law's containment of extra-legal mob murder, Laughing at Meat and Fury theorizes lynching as an allegory for the present – as a belligerent image that illuminates the imbrication of vigilante violence and liberal law-and-order.
Dr. Harvey earned her Ph.D. in politics (feminist Studies & history of consciousness emphases) from UC Santa Cruz
Faculty mentors: Jared Sexton, associate professor, Department of African American Studies, and Sora Han, assistant professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society
Research summary: Dr. Harvey researches the production of race and gender through surveillance technologies originating in colonialism and chattel slavery. Her book manuscript, Passing for Free, Passing for Sovereign: Blackness and the Formation of the Nation, traces narratives of race/gender passing within science, settler colonial law, conceptual art, and Enlightenment philosophy.
Dr. Lau earned his Ph.D. in gender studies from UCLA
Faculty mentor: Fatimah Tobing Rony, professor, Department of Film and Media Studies
Research summary: Dr. Lau's work theorizes transgender through postcolonial, queer of color, and historical materialist theorizations of time and historicism that push against and suggest alternatives to purely linear temporalities, situating trans within traditions of temporal critique, and affective histories of non-normative embodiment.
Dr. Smythe completed their Ph.D. in history of consciousness (literature and feminist studies emphasis) from UC Santa Cruz
Faculty mentor: Lilith Mahmud, associate professor, UCI Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies
Research summary: Dr. Smythe's research interests include créolité, meticciato, Black poetics, dispossession, postcoloniality and decoloniality in Europe, cultural memory in the African diaspora, queer aesthetics, the Black Mediterranean, narratology, and testimony. At UCI, Smythe will develop their book manuscript, Crisis and the Canon: Shifting Representation Regimes in the Black Mediterranean, which focuses on representations of blackness, femininity, and mobility in Italophone writings from 1985 to 2015.