PCI Current Students and Alumni

Margaret Bostrom
Department of English
Research Interests:My dissertation focuses on theories of embodiment articulated in women’s novels and the writings of women of color feminists during the Reagan era. Broadly framed, this work is concerned with how competing conceptions of health and wellbeing relate to processes of political transformation. Using an intersectional, historicist, and materialist approach, I analyze key strands of U.S. literature and culture throughout the 1970s and 1980s in order to explore the differential effects of early neoliberalism on women’s bodies.

William Conable
Department of English
Research Interests: My interest in the Politics, Culture, and Identity Specialization stems from the interdisciplinary nature of my research in American literature and racialization in American culture. I am drawn to methods of inquiry that seek to understand identity constructions in terms of temporality, history, and place. In particular, I am interested in the mutually constitutive relationship between literary/cultural artifacts and identity as both influenced by and influential in the making of histories/ideologies.

Jessica Crandall
Department of Political Science
Research Interests: My research specializes in the politics of erasure and its sites of negotiation. I am particularly interested in memory and trauma and what it means to evoke and enact these concepts as modes of identification and theorization of intersectional experience

Lyndsey Deaton
Department of Architecture
Research Interests: My dissertation seeks to understand how urban youth establish community identity, participation, and belonging in neoliberal landscapes. By collecting stories and observing youth’s daily experience, I anticipate finding relationships between neoliberal patterns of urban development and a decline in neighborhood community cohesion.

Dustin Ellis
Department of Political Science
Research Interests: My research interests are at the intersection of immigration, race, and power politics. Assemblage theory, genealogy, and ethnography are some of the methodological influences that inform my current research on the relationship between human bodies in immigration detention centers specifically, and immigration policies generally.

Lisa Fink
Department of Environmental Studies
Research Interests: I apply the methods of cultural studies to interpret environmental justice issues, especially environmental racism. In this, I explore issues of identity and difference as they relate to power and social justice, particularly how those relations are explored in cultural forms, such as contemporary poetry, art installations, and film.

Katherine Huber
Department of English
Research Interests: My interest in postcolonial ecocriticism stems from my work on educational tall ships in the Caribbean, where I witnessed how the history of colonialism continues to adversely affect particular populations. Through research and teaching, I hope to enhance our understanding of how structures of power intersect with the material environment in literary representations.

Abigail Johnson
Department of English
Research Interests: I study the connections between phenomenology, affect, and understandings of embodiment (especially race and ability) in early modern literature. I argue that early moderns’ discourses and representations of embodied affect reveal their notions of the relationship between self and the world, the potential for and significance of individuals’ action, and practices that constitute what Foucault calls “the care of the self,” all of which entail political ends.

Michael Magee
Department of Political Science
Research Interests:My research concerns the development, articulation, and deployment of ideas and political identities over time. Specifically, I am interested in the contingent and creative ways that discourses of citizen virtue and assessments of the market have intertwined throughout American history.

Malori Musselman
Department of Political Science
Research Interests: My dissertation project focuses on everyday resistance to the mechanic partnering of evangelical Christianity and capitalist domination in the United States. I employ interpretive methodologies to join together environmental political theory’s new materialist strains with lived religion and political culture scholarship to investigate how materials and environments are mobilized not as inert and passive matters distinct from culture and meaning-making, but rather as co-creative political partners in a shared world.

Carmel Ohman
Department of English
Research Interests:I have a strong interdisciplinary interest in how representations of race and the environment perpetuate and disrupt longstanding patterns of oppression in the United States. My research and teaching interests lie primarily at the intersections of twentieth-century American literature, ecocritcism, and race and ethnic studies.

Megan Reynolds
Department of English
Research Interests: Megan is interested in contemporary American and Jewish literature and trauma studies. She examines larger questions about identity, both individual and cultural, and its connection with trauma.

Leslie Selcer
Department of English
Research Interests: My research specializations include theory and praxis, American pop culture and literature, and feminist studies. I aspire to produce interdisciplinary approaches to intersectional pedagogy and activism by critically interpreting discourse in contemporary American politics, literature, digital culture, and media.

Sarah Stach
Department of Political Science
Research Interests: My research is concerned with understanding power as circulatory and fundamentally unstable. I’m interested in the moments of destabilization in patterns of power and domination, how actors destabilize certain power dynamics, and what this destabilization looks like, particularly in a post-colonial context.

Jiesha Stephens
Department of English
Research Interests: African American Literature, Afro-Latinx Literature, Visual Culture Studies, and Women of Color Feminisms. My research focuses on instances of resistance, reclamation, and refusal by women of color in literature and visual culture.

Ricardo Valencia
Media Studies
Research Interests: My research interests are at the intersections of strategic communications, race, cultural studies and political economy. My research probes strategic communications and media as fields that can engage in social struggle and promote change, and that are not only terrains of professional and corporate practices.


April Anson
PhD, Department of English, 2019
Research Interests:My dissertation focuses on how environmental and racial politics intersect in concepts of white possession in 19th century American literary form. My project explores the genealogy of white possession and the implications of private property, sovereignty, and settler colonialism for contemporary social and environmental justice movements.

Angela Rovak
PhD, Department of English, 2019
Research Interests: My dissertation proposal is on twentieth century black women’s novels and representations of reproductive science and medicine. My research connects the fields of African American literature, feminist science studies, and black feminism to highlight black women’s contestations of dominant representation of black motherhood and reproduction in the twentieth century.

Danielle Seid
PhD, Department of English, 2017

Lisa Beard
PhD, Political Science, 2016
Current Position: Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of California, Riverside.

I am continually struck by the PCI faculty’s and graduate students’ skillful and generative engagement across interdisciplinary lines. In PCI-related seminars across many departments, I found not only the theories and methodologies I needed for my research but also the multidisciplinary intellectual community I needed as a scholar and a person. PCI faculty have provided invaluable mentorship as I developed my dissertation research on political identification and intersectional antiracist politics. I found my home on campus when I discovered this community’s deep commitment to centering questions of power, oppression, and resistance in their teaching and research.” – Lisa Beard