CLA to Host Humanities Without Walls Career Diversity Workshop, Send 6 Fellows

The University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts (CLA) will host the 2023 Career Diversity Workshop, organized in partnership with the Humanities Without Walls Consortium and the Institute for Advanced Study. The two-week, immersive career-diversity experience provides tools, values exercises, and space for 25 PhD students in the humanities to imagine their professional futures.

Six CLA graduate students will participate as fellows in the 2023 cohort. They join participants from 19 other schools from across the United States to engage in a series of workshop sessions, panel discussions, informational interviews, and site visits around the Twin Cities.

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Harsha Anantharaman (Geography, Environment & Society)

Harsha Anantharaman a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, Environment & Society. His research focuses on the political economy of waste in contemporary urban India, as well as the sociocultural politics that underpin the ongoing transformations to social and economic worlds grounded in the material discards produced in cities. Before joining the graduate program in 2017, Anantharaman worked as an activist-researcher in multiple organizations that were active in this space.

Liz Calhoun (Geography, Environment & Society)

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Liz Calhoun is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, Environment & Society and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. She holds an MA in critical gender studies from Central European University and a BA in history from UC Berkeley. Her academic interests are broadly within the interdisciplinary clusters of critical technology studies, critical race theory, and critical policing studies as well as the subfields of political and urban geography.

Her dissertation project examines the rise of crime risk forecasting software used by municipal police departments in the US and asks how such technocratic reforms attempt to reshape the purview of policing (towards maintaining the status quo) in response to activist-led campaigns for defunding and police abolition. Political contestations around this software reveal the ways that divergent understandings of risk and contending visions for addressing harm index, mediate, or transform the spatial scale of how political community is experienced and defined.

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Sabrina Fluegel (Hispanic Linguistics)

Sabrina Fluegel is a PhD candidate and graduate instructor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies. She studies Hispanic linguistics with a focus on understanding the language used in media representing social and cultural issues. She also operates her own digital media production business, working as a social media manager for several advocacy projects including the BIPOC Foodways Alliance and Alce su voz. Sabrina's research publications and media productions share the common theme of challenging media representations to produce more diverse, equitable, and inclusive language representations of historically marginalized communities and to challenge mainstream US relations through discourse.

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Morgan Graham (English)

Morgan Graham is an English PhD candidate. Her dissertation is about nineteenth-century novelist and poet Thomas Hardy and the contributions his wife, Florence, made to the biography he wrote about himself. Graham’s research on (auto)biography and women’s writing has been supported by the Women’s History Institute at Historic Hudson Valley and an Early Career PhD Merit Grant at the University of Minnesota. Graham is managing editor of Pleiades: Literature in Context and assistant director of the Walter Nathan Literary Initiatives in the University of Minnesota creative writing program. She regularly contributes work to venues like Chicago Review of Books and has published award-winning scholarship in Shakespeare Bulletin and Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring.

Arif Hayat Nairang

Arif Hayat Nairang (Sociocultural Anthropology)

Arif Hayat Nairang is a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology in the Department of Anthropology. His dissertation research explores how play and humor in everyday life give shape to a politics of survival in a situation of heterogeneous crises that includes political violence, land loss, and environmental change in the villages of South Kashmir in the Kashmir valley in India. Currently, he is a Doctoral Dissertation Fellow with Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation and is writing his dissertation.

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Pawan Sharma (Asian & Middle Eastern Studies)

Pawan Sharma is a PhD candidate in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern studies working on visual media practices. He is a researcher working on the space politics of popular South Asian cinema. He is a passionate photographer and filmmaker and has been in visual media production for the past 12 years. His films have been recognized by the Directorate of film festivals and screened at the International Film Festival of India 2016 and Berlinale Film Festival 2016. His fiction films and documentaries have been recognized by the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and have been screened at various international platforms.

Currently, he is working on a photo series representing the South-Asian and African migration and movement through material objects in the Minnesota urban spaces, for which he has been awarded Institute for Advanced Study’s Interdisciplinary Collaboration funding for 2020 and he is serving as a convener for an international visual media collaboration called “Memory, Movement, Montage,” which will engage participants across Asia, Europe, and North America.

By Amanda Haugen, Communications Specialist, Office of Institutional Advancement at the University of Minnesota. This story was originally published on March 15, 2023.