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Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows

Overview  |  How to Apply  | Fellows

The NEH Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows have organized into three thematic clusters that direct special seminars for the wider university community. These seminars bring together faculty, staff, and graduate students from across the various schools on campus to use collaborative humanities lenses and approaches to address pressing Environmental, Global, and Urban issues of our time. Please join us monthly at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.

Members of the  Environmental Humanities Seminar  engage in lively interdisciplinary discussions about how people think about, represent, interact with, and change/are changed by their environments. Our invited speakers, works-in-progress talks, excursions, films, and reading groups provide a forum to discuss the history and culture of ecological sensibility, environmental management, climate change, and environmental justice, among other topics. We invite those interested in the environmental humanities to bring their interests, expertise, curiosity, and questions to our community.  

Members of the Global Humanities Seminar center their work on the humanistic study of the implications of global movements of people, goods, and ideas. Our scholarly programming particularly focuses on dislocation, belonging, and citizenship issues. Although we ground our intellectual pursuits within disciplinary leanings—such as History, Anthropology, Modern Languages & Literatures, and Cultural Studies—the implications of our seminar are deeply transdisciplinary and take a bottom-up approach to examine matters of race, ethnicity, migration, gender & sexuality, and other pursuits. 

The Urban Humanities Seminar offers a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue on and collaborative approaches to the study of the past, present, and future of cities and their inhabitants, viewed through the lens of spatial justice. Situated at the intersection of humanities, urban planning and design, and civic engagement, our discussions consider how the stories that are told about cities reveal spatial relations and social inequities—and how, by examining the cultural, economic, political, gendered, and racialized memories embedded in these stories, we might collectively work toward a more just future. We invite those interested in the interplay between people and the urban environment to share ideas and projects, especially as they concern: the ability of arts and literature to reflect and shape affective and cognitive relationships to the urban environment; identity and the experience of place; issues of inclusion and exclusion in cities as they pertain to in/visibility, belonging, livability, mobility, migration and movement, place attachment and place making. 

Global Humanities

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woman with paper in hand

Lidiana de Moraes, Ph.D.

Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latinx Studies
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

Lidiana de Moraes holds a Ph.D. in Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic Studies, from the University of Miami.
Her research focuses on postcolonial and decolonialliterary connections among contemporary African and Afro-Brazilian female writers, examining how they construct a collective, feminist perspective of the Black Atlantic.
Among other research interests, Lidiana explores different perspectives of social justice in Latin American and Lusophone contexts through the lenses of cultural production.

Elvira Aballi Morell, Ph.D.

Department of Spanish & Portuguese
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

I specialize in Afro-Hispanic and LatinX literature and culture. My Ph.D. is from Vanderbilt University, and my study focuses on the Afro-Cuban religious male confraternity of the Abakua Society, described by many as
“African masonry,” which dates to the time of the transatlantic slave trade. I study the political repercussions of its ethos and how the Abakua Society’s colonial legacies have shaped contemporary cultural production and
practices in Cuban and LatinX artistic expressions, and what those voices tell us about society and sociopolitical boundaries.

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Jesus Ruiz, Ph.D.

Program in American Studies
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

My research interests—situated at the intersections of Caribbean & Latin American History, the African Diaspora, and the Digital Humanities--focus on Afro-Latin America, Revolutionary Haiti, and Migration in the Americas. My PhD is from Tulane University, and my first book is a new political history of the Haitian Revolution in which I argue that Haiti is at the heart of a transimperial tradition in the Atlantic world in which royalism and monarchical thought were at the center of Black politics. My research also progresses on two tracks: I'm interested in how Race and processes of racialization are key to understanding what causes people to seek refuge beyond their own borders and, moreover, how anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and myths about "mestizaje" contribute not only to the forced dispossession of peoples across the Americas, but also to their sense of belonging and citizenship in their nations. 


Environmental Humanities

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Man in baseball cap

Eric Gurevitch, Ph.D.

Department of Asian Studies
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

James Pilgrim, Ph.D.

Department of History of Art and Architecture
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

Eric Moses Gurevitch holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago,
and is a historian of science focusing on medieval and early modern South Asia.

His research aims to tell a more global history of science in which unexpected voices, practices and events come to stand alongside more standard narratives.


At Vanderbilt, he teaches Environmental Humanities and is affiliated with the Asian Studies Program.

James Pilgrim (Colby College, BA; Williams College, MA; Johns Hopkins, Ph.D.) is an historian of early modern European art with a particular interest in cultural representations of the environment. His research has been supported by the Renaissance Society of America, the New York Public Library, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) and appeared in the Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, Grey Room, and Renaissance Quarterly. Combining art history, ecocriticism, and environmental history, his current book project, “Jacopo Bassano: Art, Agriculture, and the Environment in Renaissance Italy,” situates the work of this important sixteenth-century Italian painter within a context of aggressive agricultural expansion on the Venetian mainland."

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Matthew Plishka, Ph.D.

Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latinx Studies
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow


Matthew Plishka holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pittsburgh with specializations in Environmental and Latin American/Caribbean History along with the Digital Humanities. Dr. Plishka works at the intersection of social and environmental history to examine how marginalized communities navigate ecological crises. His book project, tentatively titled  “Cycles of Crisis and Adaptation: A Multispecies Political Ecology of Late-Colonial Jamaica, 1870-1960,” explores how Afro-Jamaican smallholders navigated a series of economic and ecological crises, particularly the banana-crop killing fungus known as Panama Disease. He uses the framework of multispecies political ecology to examine the spread of Panama Disease on the island and the ways that smallholders, planters, and colonial officials responded to the disease. His teaching interests include Environmental History, Latin American and Caribbean History, World History, and Environmental Justice.


Urban Humanities


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smiling woman

Lee Ann Custer, Ph.D.

Department of History of Art and Architecture
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

Ana Luiza Morais Soares, Ph.D.

Department of Anthropology
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow

Lee Ann Custer, she/her(s), received her Ph.D. and M.A. in history of art from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.A. in history of art and architecture from Harvard University. As an art historian, she specializes in the art, architecture, and urbanism of the United States. Her concerns as a scholar and a teacher focus on the ways in which images mediate ideas of place and space in order to ask whose experiences they fortify and whose they omit. Her work has been supported by the Smithsonian, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the New York Public Library, among others. Her current book project considers the socio-spatial politics of urban air and its depiction in New York City from 1880 to 1940.

I am a historical anthropologist studying Indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon focusing on urbanity, law, migration, gender, citizenship, and racial and ethnic inequality. I received my PhD in anthropology from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and I analyze these important aspects of Brazilian society through the lenses of gendered and racialized child labor and circulation practices in urban spaces.

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Anna Tybinko, Ph.D.

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
2022-2025 Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow


Anna Tybinko was the John Hope Franklin Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Franklin Humanities Institute’s From Slavery to Freedom Lab at Duke University where she also received her doctorate in Romance Studies. She specializes in Migration and Border Studies in the Iberian world. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Council for European Studies, the Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies for her research on questions of race, racialization, and urban borderlands in contemporary Spain.