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Montclair State Welcomes Four NEH Postdoctoral Scholars in American Studies

Posted in: Faculty News, Homepage News and Events

Collage of 4 NEH Postdoc Associates
Pictured Left to Right: Dalia Davoudi, Ryan Purcell, Michael Reinhard, and Keishla Rivera-Lopez

Montclair State University extends a warm welcome to four NEH postdoctoral scholars who will be spending 2022 teaching and researching in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Dalia Davoudi, Ryan Purcell, Michael Reinhard, and Keishla Rivera-Lopez.

Dalia Davoudi (Ph.D., English, Indiana University) has recently published work on the writer Elizabeth Stoddard in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and on the roots of contemporary Afrofuturism in Radical Teacher. As an NEH scholar, she is interested in developing new critical mediums to represent the nineteenth century, with a focus on film essays. Her book in progress, Deviant: Feminist Movements at the Margins, places nineteenth-century literature conversation with contemporary debates about feminist aesthetics, politics, and epistemologies.

Ryan Purcell’s (Ph.D., History, Cornell University) work on history and popular culture has been published in the Journal of Urban History, Rethinking History, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Hyperallergic. A member of the editorial board at the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York Graduate Center, he is working on a book about the formation of the punk and hip-hop movements in New York during the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Michael Reinhard (Ph.D., Film, UCLA) has published essays in Velvet Light Trap, Feminist Media Studies, and Intersectional Feminist Readings of Comics (Routledge, 2021). Currently, Reinhard is writing a monograph, The Diva’s Public: Celebrity, Media Activism, and the New Cultural Citizenship, which traces the history of the diva and the operatic female voice as a commodity or celebrity brand that helped to frame new forms of media as synonymous with technological and cultural progress.

Keishla Rivera-Lopez (Ph.D., American Studies, Rutgers University) is a writer, poet, and scholar. Her work-in-progress, Boricua Projects, takes a century-long look at how Puerto Rican women writers conceptualize freedom and independence in reference to their bodies and to the environments they occupy. Her dissertation won a Dean’s Dissertation Award at Rutgers, and was cited for special recognition by the Puerto Rican Studies Association and the Ford Foundation.

While at Montclair State, the postdoctoral scholars will be collaborating in a faculty seminar alongside nine current MSU faculty from various CHSS departments to renovate the curriculum in ways that can help students connect the passion they feel for issues of racial, social, and environmental justice to the intellectual development that only a university education can foster. The postdoctoral positions and seminar are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities called “Rediscovering American Democracy: Teaching Humanities in the Time of Covid” awarded to Melinda Knight and Jonathan Greenberg of English and Jeffery Strickland of History.