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Visiting Fellows

Neubauer Collegium Projects are often rooted in collaboration between University of Chicago faculty and experts from other institutions. These collaborations regularly involve co-taught courses, formal meetings, working group discussions, or targeted training opportunities, all in a setting that facilitates rigorous investigation. The Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellows Program brings collaborators from around the world to the University of Chicago for short- and long-term visits.

Visit the Faculty Research Projects page to learn more about the projects in which Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellows are involved.

All photos by Erielle Bakkum Photography except the photo of David Auburn, by Joe Mazza.

David Auburn

Playwright; 2017–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

David Auburn is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director. Auburn’s first play, Proof, received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and is set on the University of Chicago campus. His other plays include Lost Lake (2014), The Columnist (2012), The New York Idea (adaptation, 2010), and An Upset (2008), among others. As a Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, Auburn is completing a stage adaptation of Saul Bellow’s picaresque novel The Adventures of Augie March for a world premiere production at Court Theatre. Working in collaboration with Larry Norman (Romance Languages and Literatures) and Court Theatre Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell, Auburn is leading a new exploration of this uniquely Chicago novel on the campus that both Bellow and Auburn called their academic home.

Matt Ffytche

Director and Senior Lecturer, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex; 2018–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Matt ffytche is internationally recognized as one of the foremost historians of twentieth-century psychoanalysis, and editor of the journal Psychoanalysis and History, with a special interest in the influence of psychoanalysis on social and political thought. Previously he made an impact on the field of nineteenth-century intellectual history with his monograph on the emergence of unconscious theories of mind in the Romantic period. During his residency at the Neubauer Collegium, he will act as a principal researcher on the Outsider Writing project, collaborating with John Wilkinson (Chair for Creative Writing and Poetics, Department of English, Committee on Creative Writing) to investigate the ways in which textual material produced by those diagnosed with mental illness or identified as mentally disordered have been defined either as part of the general culture or as falling “outside,” focusing on twentieth-century works.

Rick Lowe

Professor of Art, University of Houston; 2018–19 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Rick Lowe (Professor of Art, University of Houston) is an artist whose approach to community revitalization is path-breaking: Lowe has initiated arts-driven redevelopment projects in Houston – the renowned Project Row Houses – and other cities, including the Watts House Project in Los Angeles and post­-Katrina rebuild in New Orleans. Lowe's pioneering "social sculptures" have inspired a generation of artists to explore more socially engaged forms of art-making in communities across the country and internationally. His work has been exhibited at Houston's Contemporary Arts Museum and Museum of Fine Arts; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea; and the Venice Architecture Biennale. During his residency at the Neubauer Collegium he will be developing a project tentatively titled Black Wall Street Chicago: Actualizing Hope Through Concerted Actions, a research-informed exhibition that celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the MacArthur Foundation's "Genius" awards. Inspired by the historical example of the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, OK, the project will advance new understanding of the economic standing of African-Americans and will explore ways to improve economic well-being in urban communities. This project aims to generate a collaboration among individuals, organizations, institutions, businesses, and the University of Chicago to improve conditions for people living in communities with limited opportunities.

Katie McDonough

Academic Technology Specialist, Lecturer, Stanford University; 2018–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Katie McDonough is a historian of eighteenth-century France working at the intersection of political culture and the history of science and technology (Stanford PhD, 2013). Her first book, Public Works Laboratory: Building a Province in Eighteenth-Century France, is a spatial history of the corvée, the forced labor regime used from the 1730s until the Revolution on highway construction sites. Her postdoctoral research has been on the history of geographic information in early modern reference works. She has recently extended this project to explore how digital geospatial data are modeled on the cultural assumptions and textual structures of these early modern texts. Before returning to Stanford in 2018 as a digital history specialist, she taught early modern history at Bates College and was a postdoctoral researcher in digital humanities at Western Sydney University. During her time at the Neubauer Collegium, McDonough will collaborate on the Textual Optics research project.

Nina Sanders

Curator, Writer, Artist, and Cultural Consultant; 2018–19 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke) is a curator, writer, beadwork artist, and cultural consultant. She has worked for institutions like the School for Advanced Research, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, where she curated and created finding guides for over 250 historic Crow photographs for the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archive. Most recently Nina curated an exhibition of Contemporary Native American art at the Coe Foundation for the Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sanders has written for the Smithsonian, First American Art Magazine, and Native American Art Magazine. She is currently collaborating with Neubauer Collegium Curator Dieter Roelstraete on Counting Coup: For the Women, a gallery exhibition scheduled for April 2020 that emerges from the Neubauer Collegium's Open Fields project.

Anna Seastrand

Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota; 2017–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Anna Seastrand's work broadly addresses the relationships between visual, oral, and written texts in South Asian art, with particular focus on physical and notional landscapes, pilgrimage, and performance. Her book in progress, The Kinesthetic Temple, foregrounds movement as central to understanding mural painting in early modern south Indian temples. Seastrand earned her PhD with Distinction from Columbia University in 2013 and currently serves as Assistant Professor of South Asian Art at the University of Minnesota. During her residency at the Neubauer Collegium, she is collaborating on the Interwoven project. 

Alaka Wali

Curator and Applied Cultural Research Director, The Field Museum; 2015–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Alaka Wali is curator of North American Anthropology in the Science and Education Division of The Field Museum and Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University. She was the founding director of the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change from 1995- 2010. She currently curates the sizeable North American collection which includes a contemporary urban collection. Her research sites include urban Chicago and the forests of the Peruvian Amazon. Her current work concerns the relationship between art-making and the capacity for social resilience. She has curated over 10 exhibits for The Field Museum. As a Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, she is collaborating with Justin Richland and Jessica Stockholder on the project Open Fields: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Very Idea of a Natural History.

Zhao Wei

Research Fellow, Capital Normal University, Beijing, 2017–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Zhao Wei is a postdoctoral fellow at Capital Normal University, Beijing, specializing in modern Chinese literature and digital humanities. The first scholar who used the digital humanities method to explore the narration patterns in large-scale modern Chinese novels, she developed the technique of extracting “relationship data” from multivolume modern Chinese texts to analyze hundreds of characters and networks. This research was the subject of her dissertation, Novel, Information and Revolution: Social Network and Historical Narration in Trilogy of Great Wave (2016). She earned her PhD in Comparative Literature at Tsinghua University and served as a visiting fellow at Cornell University in 2012-2013. Currently she is working on several modern and contemporary Chinese literature projects. One of these projects, Moyan’s Full Texts Corpus and Modern Chinese Literature Text Mining, aims to design and construct the first all-in-one modern Chinese writers corpus and analytic interface, which will help researchers to reorient their understanding of the modern Chinese novel from the quantitative and computational perspective. During her stay at the Neubauer Collegium, she is collaborating with the Textual Optics research team and serving as a principal researcher for a major Chinese-language project at the Textual Optics Lab.

Susanne Wengle

Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Notre Dame and concurrent faculty at Notre Dame's Keough School for Global Affairs; 2017–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Susanne Wengle is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Notre Dame and concurrent faculty at Notre Dame's Keough School for Global Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley, and was a post-Doc at the University of Chicago between 2011 and 2014. Her past research examines how the political economy of market institutions in post-Soviet Russia, hence what “politics” make them possible, but also how their effects change the political conditions in which they were formulated. The empirical focus of her current project is agriculture and food production in Russia and the US. She works on a project on agricultural sustainability that examines sustainability is a relational learning process that evolves differently across polities and regulatory contexts. As a Visiting Fellow she will be conducting research for the Sustainable Agriculture as Relational Learning Process project at the Neubauer Collegium.

Samson Young

Composer and Media Artist; 2018–2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Samson Young is a highly regarded composer and media artist based in Hong Kong. Holding a PhD in Music Composition from Princeton University, Young was selected to represent Hong Kong at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 and was recently commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. He has held multiple solo exhibitions worldwide, including M+ Pavilion, Hong Kong; Manchester International Festival; Goethe-Institute, Hong Kong and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan. He has participated in multiple group exhibitions and festivals and has been the recipient of several prizes, including the 2015 BMW Art Journey Award, Artist of the Year (Hong Kong Development Council), Prix Ars Electronica, and the Bloomberg Emerging Artist Award.