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2024-2025 Graduate Theme Fellows

Emerging Technologies

Emerging Technologies and the Human Experience will explore technological innovation and its impacts on human flourishing and futures across time. From the printing press to the internet, electricity to quantum mechanics, steam engines to AI: What can humanistic inquiry tell us about the meanings and legacies of these and other technologies? What do emerging technologies reveal about who we are – and what and who we value (and don’t)?

The Fellows

Sarah Hagaman

Department of English

Sarah Hagaman is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the English Department. She specializes in post-1945 feminist literature, and her research and teaching interests include 20th– and 21st-century portrayals of mental illness, psychiatry, and mad aesthetics. Her dissertation, The (Post)confessional Mode, traces the feminist literary reception of psychiatry in the late twentieth century, intertwining global psychiatric histories with experimental fiction, memoirs, television shows, and standup comedy. When assembling these works together, she proposes that an irreverent, parodic form of self-expression—or what she terms the postconfessional modeemerges. Her research appears in Medical Humanities—BMJ, Literature and Medicine (forthcoming), Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, and ASAP/J.

Sung Jun Han

Department of Philosophy

Sung Jun Han is a doctoral candidate in the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University, specializing in political philosophy and the intersection of AI and democracy. He is deeply engaged in researching what he calls “Madisonian Lottocracy,” a topic central to his dissertation. Jun has presented a short version of his work at the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Society meeting, as well as at the APA 2024 Eastern Division meeting.

Emily McCabe

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Emily is in her fourth year of her PhD in the Medical Engineering & Discovery Laboratory. Her research on minimally invasive surgical robots leverages variable stiffness and steerable needle technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Outside of the lab, Emily’s work seeks to improve patient education, develop professional skills in engineers, and engage more girls in STEM through K-12 outreach. Towards this year’s theme, Emily is exploring how to improve the public understanding of surgical robots.

Katrina Rbeiz

Program in Clinical Science

 Katrina Rbeiz is a Lebanese American student in the Clinical Science PhD program. Her research broadly focuses on addressing disparities in the measurement and diagnosis of serious mental illness (SMI). She hopes to use a multimethod approach to develop culturally valid assessments and interventions, as well as to identify risk (e.g., trauma, discrimination) and resilience (e.g., ethnic identity, social connections) factors in the progression of SMI, particularly for Middle Eastern and North African populations.

Hannah Ziegler

Department of Teaching & Learning

Hannah Ziegler is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Teaching & Learning. Her research interests involve designing equitable uses of learning technologies and disrupting onto-epistemic boundaries in STEM learning environments. She is particularly interested in expanding a conceptual framework that explores justice- and human-centered use of emerging technologies to transform nature-culture relations.

Explore past Graduate Fellows

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