Graduate Students

Jonathan Basile

Education: BA, English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Major Interests: Deconstruction, Modernist Literature, Irony, Science and Technology Studies, Evolutionary Theory

Working Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek

Publications: Tar for Mortar: "The Library of Babel" and the Dream of Totality (book), "Misreading Generalised Writing: From Foucault to Speculative Realism and New Materialism", Oxford Literary Review, 40(1), pp. 20–37

Jacqui Brown

Education: BA, Political Science with an Art History concentration, Columbia University, 2007.

Major Interests: Caribbean literature, history, and philosophy; Art and Film; Trauma and labor; fugitivity and marronage; opacity and camouflage; Afro-Pessimism; anticolonial and queer theories; Black theology and faith; and Black love

Natalie Catasús


M.A. Visual & Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, 2015
M.F.A. Writing (Poetry), California College of the Arts, 2015
B.A. (Hons.) Literature / Spanish Language & Culture, New College of Florida, 2011

Major Interests: Cuban and Caribbean literature and visual culture; postcolonial theory; poetry and poetics; oral history; migration studies; trauma and memory studies; pedagogy

Working Languages: English, Spanish, French

Select Publications: Flight, Volumes Volumes Press (2017); Poems in Tupelo Quarterly (2017), VOLT (2016), Denver Quarterly (2015), and Jai-Alai Magazine (2013)

Amir Hussain

Dissertation Research Exchange, Freie Universität Berlin
DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Intensive Language Study, Universität Leipzig
M.F.A. Creative Writing, Related Area in Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota
B.A. Environmental Studies and English Writing, Minor in Geology, University of Pittsburgh
Major Interests:
Nineteenth and twentieth century poetry, comparative poetics, historical materialism, cultural theory
Working Languages:
English, German, Russian 
Select Poetry Publications:
“Great Blue Whale,” “Questions from a Child,” “The Giant Fish,” Prism Review (2019); “Seagulls,” Grist (2017); “Meditation on Amber,” “The Wharf Boy,” Mizna (2015); “After Hours,” Fugue (2013); “Toasts,” Water~Stone Review (2012); “Hour Poem,” Faultline: Journal of Arts and Letters (2011); “Night Poem,” Beloit Poetry Journal (2010)
Dissertation Project:
My dissertation, “Poetries of the Past: Constellating Tensions in Oscar Wilde, Muriel Rukeyser, and Bertolt Brecht,” is a comparative study of poetry that crosses national and linguistic borders. I analyze the tensions of “lyrical ballads” (William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads) as a form of modern poetry that articulates the experiences of the socially marginalized and I investigate the place of this mixed form as modernist poetry. Drawing influence from Wilhelm Dilthey’s view that poetry in modern times is one of multiple modes of interpreting experience and of “viewing the world” (Poetry and Experience), my project is interested in proliferating the ways in which lyrical ballads can be approached and understood. I therefore combine close reading with historical interpretation as well as the analysis of English and German languages in poetry in order to develop a multifaceted and comparative reading of modern lyrical ballads.

Tiara Jackson

Education: B.A. Psychology and Multicultural Trauma, Mills College '15

Major Interests: Black Feminists Theory and Psychoanalysis. Black spirituality, performance, and cultural production as an insistence on everyday living despite the looming presence of Black Death.

Working Languages: English, French, Spanish

Andrew Kaplan

MA English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
BA (Hons.) English, State University of New York at Oswego

Major Interests:
Black Expressive Culture, Afropessimism, Radical Black Feminism, Black & Political Theology, Continental Philosophy (of Religion), Agamben, (Lacanian) Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, Literary Modernisms, Film & TV, (Black) Anarchist Theory

Project Description:
My project posits and develops “the Black messianic” as a paradigm of allegorical and liturgical reading that excavates the politico-theological signatures of Blackness and anti-Blackness in modernity. Such reading aspires to speculatively build a way for non-Black people to iterably practice a kenosis of their desire for Humanity and the World in fidelity to the Black radical demand for abolishing both in the name of gratuitous messianic freedom. I have developed this project in published and forthcoming work on Afropessimism and theoretical engagements with the Apostle Paul, Frantz Fanon and non-philosophy, Richard Wright's novella "The Man Who Lived Underground," Alex Garland's film Annihilation, and the streaming series Black Mirror.

Working Languages:
English, French


Notes Toward (Inhabiting) the Black Messianic in Afro-pessimism's Apocalyptic Thought, The Comparatist Vol. 43 (2019): 68-89.

The Apocalyptic Tabula Rasa of Black Messianic Invention: Black Faith and Pure Means in Fanonism’s Insurrectionist Christo-Fiction, Oraxiom: A Journal of Non-Philosophy Vol. 1.1 (2020): 105-121.

Global Anthropogenesis and the Black Messianic Animal, or Relation’s Ban of Contact with the Ruptured Flesh of the Earth, The New Polis (2020).

Richard Wright’s Anagrammatical Allegory of Liturgical Reading, or Inhabiting the Black Messianic in "The Man Who Lived Underground,” Political Theology 22:4 (2021): 279-295.

Joe Larios

M.A. Philosophy, Louisiana State University
A.B. Modern Culture & Media, Brown University

Major Interests:
Environmental ethics and politics, eco-phenomenology, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism

Working Languages:
English, Spanish, French, German

"Bringing Levinas Down to Earth: A Jonasian Reading of the Face," Environmental Philosophy 15.2 (2018): 295-316.
"Levinas and the Problem of Predation: From Fraternity to Kinship." SubStance 48.1 (2019): 26-41.
“Levinas and the Primacy of the Human.” Ethics and the Environment 24, no. 2 (2019): 1-22.

Francisco (Cisco) Lopez

Education: B.A. in Philosophy and English, Florida International University (2018). Certificate in Exile Studies, Florida International University (2018).

Major Interests: deconstruction, cultural studies, phenomenology, embodiment, postcolonial theory, affect theory

Working Languages: English, Spanish, French

Isabelle Meyer-Ensass

Education: M.A. Literature in a World Context, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Major Interests:
Deconstruction (i.e. Blanchot and Nancy), gender ontology (i.e. genderqueerness), aesthetics, visual- and performance studies (i.e. drag, fashion and photography), psychoanalysis, 19th-20th century German- and French Literature, trauma and disability

Working Languages:
English, German, French

Dez Miller


B.A. French and Creative Writing, New York University, 2011
M.S.W. (Health Policy), Washington University in St. Louis, 2016
M.F.A. Writing (Fiction), Boston University, 2019

Major Interests: eco-criticism and ecological theories, queer theory, postcolonialism, questions of relatedness and kinship, contemporary literature, late Victorian literature

Working Languages: English, French, Spanish

Brendan Moore

Education: B.A. (Hons.), French and English, Coe College

Major Interests: Psychoanalysis, feminist theory, queer theory, Francophone literature, 19th and 20th century French literature, literatures of the Americas, HIV/AIDS and literatures of disease and contamination.

Working Languages: French, Spanish

Rachael Orbeta 

Education: B.A. in English, Florida International University (2019).

Major Interests: Cultural studies, phenomenology, postcolonial theory, Latinx literature, women and gender studies, feminist theory

Working Languages: English, Spanish, French

Eric Flohr Reynolds


M.A. Philosophy, New School for Social Research, 2014
B.A. Philosophy, George Mason University, 2012

Major Interests: 19th and 20th Century Continental Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Critical Theory, Psychoanalysis, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism, Technology and Media Theory, the Ethics of Aesthetics and the Aesthetics of Ethics

Working Languages: English, German

Meike Robaard 

M.A. North American Studies, University of Groningen (The Netherlands), 2021
B.A. American Studies, University of Groningen (The Netherlands), 2019
Honors degree (B.A.) in Philosophy, University of Groningen, 2019

Major Interests: critical theory, posthumanism, biopolitics, 19C and 20C literature, philosophy & visual culture, science and technology studies, feminist theory, cyborgs/robots/monsters, embodiment, women and gender studies, materiality, text/texture/textile

Working Languages: English, French, German, Dutch

“Cyborg Incorporated: Mechanics, Aesthetics, and Cyborg Narrativity in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and eXistenZ.” LLIDS: Language, Literature and Interdisciplinary Studies. 3.2: “Body, Mind, and the Posthuman: A Corollary to Postmodern Thought” (2020): 18-46.

Melinda Robb

Education: BA (Hons.) English and Contemporary Studies, University of King’s College (2010); Certificate from Psychoanalytic Core Program, Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute (2018)

Major Interests: 20th and 21st century theory and literature; queer theory; queer/women’s memoir; autotheory; psychoanalysis (clinical and theoretical); literatures of the Americas; world literatures; modernism; feminist theory

Thesis Project & Title: “Because I Said So: Idiomatic Insistence and Queer, Feminist Refusal in Woolf, Philip, Nelson, and Lispector”

Working Languages: French, Spanish, German

Violeta Ruiz Espigares

Education: B.A. Philosophy/German, Grinnell College, 2015.

Major Interests: Psychoanalysis and deconstruction; Early Modern Spanish literature, religion, and surveillance, especially the figure of the marrano and secrets; and the element of blood and its effects in law, philosophy, and literature. 

Working Languages: Spanish, French, German, Latin

Agnes Sastre-Rivera

Education: BA, English Literature with a Certification in Women and Gender Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, 2020.

Major Interests: Puerto Rican and Lesser Antillean Literature, decolonial theory, poetry and non-fiction, trauma and memory studies, creative writing, queer/cuir and gender studies, intersectional feminism, and national discourses.

Working Languages: English, Spanish

Select Publications:

“The Negotiations of a Puerto Rican in (Trans)It: An Exploration of the Journey Through Spaces and Those In-between in lo terciario/ the tertiary by Raquel Salas Rivera.” Caribbean Without Borders: Voices of Change and Resistance. Accepted for publication on July 10, 2020.

“Christian Doctrine, Homosexuality, and Trauma in H. Nigel Thomas' Return to Arcadia.” 2020 Caribbean Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Accepted for publication on June 27, 2020.

“La Labor De Nombrar La Nostalgia: sobre La Distancia es un Lugar de Amanda Hernandez.” Low-Fi Ardentía- Revista De Poesía, 28 Apr. 2020, 

“Lo Absurdo de Ser Una Colonia En El Siglo XXI: La Exploración Del Valor En lo terciario/the tertiary De Raquel Salas Rivera.” Cruce: Crítica Sociocultural Contemporánea, 10 May 2019, pp. 43–47.

Federica Signorini


B.A. (Hons) English Literature and American Studies, University of Manchester (UK), 2014
M.A. Post-1900 Literature, Theory and Culture, University of Manchester (UK), 2015

Major Interests:

Contemporary and Twentieth-Century literature, photography and visual art in Europe and Latin America produced by women. Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, Political Theory, Feminist Studies and Queer Theory.

Working Languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian