Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows
In recent years, Bowdoin College has been fortunate to create positions for a number of postdoctoral teaching fellows.
These fellowships are connected to a variety of programs, including the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, endowed positions such as the Doherty postdoctoral fellowships in marine biology, and grant-funded positions, such as the National Science Foundation-funded Mathematics and Climate Research Network position. In 2011-12, we welcomed the first cohort of postdocs in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Postdoctoral fellows form an important part of our faculty, allowing Bowdoin to offer exciting new classes in emerging fields or new sub-disciplines, as well as creating important connections to graduate programs and advisors for many of our students contemplating graduate study. The Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs works closely with academic departments and programs to provide support for our postdoctoral fellows by fostering research, mentoring teaching, and helping them prepare for academic employment following their time at Bowdoin.
Jennifer Baca, B.A. (Stanford), Ph.D. (California-Berkeley), CFD Postdoctoral Fellow in Latin American Studies
A human geographer focusing on the politics of forestry in Chile from the Cold War to the present. In both her teaching and research, she explores the imbrications of social inequalities with the environment. Her book manuscript, Liberating Forestry: Forestry Workers, Participatory Politics, and the Chilean Nation, examines how forestry practices in the Southern Andes articulated with the political consciousness of blue-collar forestry workers and their changing place in the Chilean nation across socialism, dictatorship, and democracy. She is currently developing a project that investigates the connections between the resurgence of widespread demands for deepening Chilean democracy and critiques of Chile's private forest industry. This project will examine the role of forestry knowledge production in ongoing forestry conflicts. Courses taught: LAS 2535/ENVS 2535 - Environmental Politics of Latin America; LAS 2536/ENVS 2536 - Chile: Democracy and the Environment; LAS 2537/ENVS 2537- Political Ecology: Global Inequality, Social (In)justices, and the Environment.
Matthew Goldmark, B.A. (Maryland), M.A., Ph.D. (Pennsylvania), Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Spanish
A scholar of colonial Latin American studies with an emphasis on Iberian empire, Andean texts, and gender and sexuality studies. His research interests include colonial formations of gender and sexuality, Indigenous cultural productions, U.S. Latina/o studies, and relations between European colonialisms in the early Americas. His current book project, Bad Examples: The Troubled Futures of Kinship in Colonial Spanish America, explores the role of non-biological theories of reproduction in disputes over inheritance and authority in 16th- and 17th-century Spanish America. His research has appeared in Colonial Latin American Review and GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.
Derisa Grant, B.A. (Harvard), M.A. (Chicago), Ph.D. (Stanford), CFD Postdoctoral Fellow in Education and Cinema Studies
An interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on depictions of teachers in popular culture. Specifically, she explores changes in the genre of schooling films, as well as as the role of movies in shaping the profesional expectations of K-12 teachers. She is presently developing a project on media representations of culturally responsive pedagogy. (Appointment effective January 1, 2017.)
Sarah Kingston, B.A. (William and Mary), M.S. (College of Charleston), Ph.D. (Maryland), Doherty Marine Biology Postdoctoral Scholar
A molecular ecologist studying gene flow across species boundaries as well as changing selective pressures associated with climate change. She utilizes natural population variation to link genotype and phenotype and has conducted research on many different taxa, from cetaceans to birds to molluscs. Currently, she is focusing on marine calcifiers in the Gulf of Maine and their adaptive potential in the face of ocean acidification. Her work on dolphin phylogenetics has appeared in BMC Evolutionary Biology and Journal of Heredity. Her hybrid zone work has appeared in the journals Evolutionary Ecology and Ecology and Evolution. Ongoing research leverages the genomic gradient across the blue mussel hybrid zone (Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus) in the Gulf of Maine to link genetic variation with variance in calcification rates in response to lower pH, higher temperatures, and reduced food availability. She teaches Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution (BIOL 2330 / ENVS 2233) in the newly founded Bowdoin Marine Science Semester.
Michael Kowal, B.A. (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), M.A., Ph.D. candidate (Massachusetts-Amherst), Fellow in Digital and Computational Studies
A scholar of politics and computational social science. His research focuses on role of social and political networks, text, and public opinion in American politics. His dissertation examined the role of corporate trade association networks on the decision of firms to engage in political giving and lobbying. His research on campaign finance networks has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science and his work on the press event networks in the United States Senate has appeared in the journal Social Networks. Currently, his research projects include influence networks in the Senate, representation of minorities in the speech patterns of Members of Congress, campaign event networks, and the effect of ideological primary challengers on roll-call voting for Members of Congress. Course taught: DCS 2016 / GOV 2081 - Campaign Data in the Twenty-first Century
Michelle Lee, B.A., M.A. (California-Santa Cruz), Ph.D. (California-Los Angeles), CFD Postdoctoral Fellow in Romance Languages and Literatures
A scholar of nineteenth-century French literature and culture. Her research examines how "hexagonal" literary production is in conversation with global and imperial networks to which France belongs. Her book manuscript, Imagination, Mimesis and Style: Nineteenth-Century French Travel Writing, Photography and Realism studies how the development on nineteenth-century French realism was indebted to the ideas put forth in travel writing and discourses of Orientalism.
Angel Daniel Matos, B.A., M.A. (Puerto Rico-Mayaguez), M.A., Ph.D. (Notre Dame), CFD Postdoctoral Fellow in English
A scholar of young adult literature and queer studies. His research focuses on the intersections of affect, narrative, and queerness in contemporary literature, film, and television. In his book manuscript, Feeling Infinite: Affect, Genre, and Narrative in Young Adult Queer Literature, he discusses how contemporary young adult novels with gay themes encapsulate an enduring change in terms of how queerness is (or can be) read, perceived, and experienced. He is currently developing a project in which he explores representations of queer domesticity in film and television.
Alison J. Miller, B.A. (Northern Illinois), M.A., Ph.D. (Kansas), Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History and Asian Studies
A scholar of Japanese art and visual culture. Her research focuses on issues of gender, modernity, and class in two-dimensional works of the nineteenth and twentieth century. Her current project examines images of Empress Teimei (1884-1951) in prints, paintings, and photography, and engages with the larger cultural impact of the Imperial Family in Japanese culture. She also maintains research interests in the Buddhist arts of Japan and Museum Studies.
Rita Safariants, B.A. (Washington), M.Phil. & Ph.D. (Yale), Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Russian
A scholar of Russian film, literature and popular culture. Her research interests focus on the collaborative interconnections between late Soviet counterculture and government regulation. Her book manuscript, Rock-n-Roll and Soviet Cinema: A Soundtrack to the Collapse of the Eternal State, explores the symbiotic interplay between popular music and the late Soviet film industry. Her most recent research project examines the role of the KGB in the creation of two semiofficial organizations, the Leningrad Rock Club and the Moscow Rock Laboratory, which challenge the traditionally held assumption that late Soviet unofficial popular culture always existed in direct confrontation to the Communist State.
Sebastian Daniel Urli, B.A. (Pontificia Catholic University of Argentina), M.A., Ph.D. (Pittsburgh)
His dissertation addresses the self-figuration process of Argentinean writers Jorge Luis Borges, Cesar Fernandez Moreno and Juan Gelman. The principal aim analyzed the paradox of a "lyric I" who portrays himself as constantly fragmentary, yet underlines his status as an author by using autobiographical reference and remarks about his poetic practice and its limits. His main areas of research are twentieth-century and contemporary Latin American poetry and poetics as well as Southern Cone literatures of the same period. He is also particularly interested in literary theory and its connection with philosophy, aesthetics, representation of violence, translation studies and theories of the image.
Jonathan Vertanen, B.A. (Taylor), M.A. (Missouri), Ph.D. (Yale), Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy
A scholar of metaphysics, philosophy of language, and early modern philosophy. His dissertation defends an account of what it is for certain facts, properties, and things to be more fundamental or basic than other facts, properties, and things (as some have thought that, e.g., physical facts and things are more fundamental than, say, economic facts and things). While some philosophers have proposed to regiment this sort of talk of relative fundamentality using the notion of grounding or metaphysical explanation, he argues instead that it should be understood in terms of the Aristotelian notion of a real definition, and proposes to reduce matters about what grounds and depends on what to matters involving definitions.