Ashley Gaddy is a Black Southern Educator, Scholar-Activist and Researcher. Ashley received her Bachelor’s in Communication Studies and Master’s in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is currently a doctoral candidate at George Mason University in the Cultural Studies PhD Program. Ashley’s areas of interest include Social Justice Education, Empowerment, Social Change and Authentic Leadership. The power of Black Women’s bodies and the happenings of 2020 inspired her project “Reproducing Through 2020: Reproductive Liberation Strategies of Black Women Welfare Recipients in Washington, DC during Floyd, Trump and Covid-19”. Ashley is also a Dog Mom to Bobo and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Associate Professor of Arabic
Nathaniel Greenberg is an Associate Professor of Arabic in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at George Mason University. A comparatist by training with a background in literature, his research looks at the history and aesthetics of soft power technology in the modern Middle East and North Africa. His most recent book How Information Warfare Shaped the Arab Spring: The Politics of Narrative in Tunisia and Egypt (Edinburgh 2019) offered a first-person account of the opening weeks of protest in Cairo, in 2011, and examined the rhetorical disparity between opposing parties as the battle to define the Arab Spring unfolded. As a CHR fellow he will be focusing on an earlier revolutionary period with a project titled “Salvaged Archives: The Social Photography of Kamil al-Chadirji and the Image of Revolt in Iraq (1920-1958).
Annie is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies. Her research examines the aesthetics of transnational social movements via visual and narrative appropriations of mass culture in contemporary protests. Her dissertation, “Visual Resistance and Political Be/longing: The Politics of Mass Cultural Symbols in Sites of Protest” examines how citizens imagine their cultural and national be/longing (both an existing belonging to and a longing for inclusion) and the ways that mass culture facilitates democratic participation while also challenging hegemonic neoliberal frameworks that consistently work to silence vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Assistant Professor in the Global Affairs Program
Niklas Hultin is Assistant Professor in the Global Affairs Program. With a background in both law and anthropology, Professor Hultin’s research interests focus on human rights, political culture, and the politics of information in West Africa. As a CHR Faculty Fellow, Professor Hultin will work on his book manuscript preliminary titled Human Rights and Autocracy: The Gambia under Yahya Jammeh, 1994-2017. Drawing on Professor Hultin’s two decades of research in the Gambia, the book explores how the language of human rights shapes and sustains dissent when up against an autocratic leader who literally pledged to rule for a billion years.
Historian of US Political and Cultural Life
Sam Lebovic historian of U.S. political and cultural life, and is particularly interested in the ways that information and ideas circulate – and don’t circulate – through the U.S. public sphere. Studying this problem has led to work in a variety of fields: the history of civil liberties; media history; American Political Development; intellectual history; political economy; the history of U.S. foreign relations and national security. He is the author of the Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America (Harvard, 2016), which provides a revisionist account of America’s free press in the era of corporate consolidation and state secrecy, and which won the Ellis Hawley prize in political history from the Organization of American Historians and the Paul Murphy Prize in civil liberties from the America Society for Legal History. He has recently finished a book on the political history of cultural globalization in the years after World War II (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2021). As a fellow at CHR, he will be writing the first narrative history of the Espionage Act. Under contract with Basic Books, the book uses the history of this controversial law to explore the censorship of anti-war dissent and the rise of U.S. state secrecy over the past century. His writing on history, media, and politics has appeared in a number of leading scholarly journals, as well as such publications as the Boston Review, the LA Review of Books, the Boston Globe, Politico, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Dissent.
Associate Professor of English
Jessica Scarlata is an associate professor of English and film and media studies and the director of the FAMS minor in CHSS. Her work addresses the intersection of visual culture with contested geographies, national memory, incarceration, and state-of-emergency discourses. Her book, Rethinking Occupied Ireland: Gender and Incarceration in Contemporary Irish Cinema (Syracuse University Press, 2014), studies films that explore Irish history from the perspective of those marginalized within or ejected from Irish and British national narratives, offering a chance to reevaluate what constitutes political cinema and political resistance. She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Geographies of Irish Visual Culture that looks at film, video, television, and photography made in or about Northern Ireland after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. This project seeks out works that deliberately or haphazardly open Irish history up to a wider global history of oppression, occupation, and emergency legislation. She is interested in the representation of contested spaces, places, and memories in the North, particularly in works that dissent from dominant narratives of the Troubles by inviting associations to other contested sites/sites of contest within and beyond Ireland and the UK. Her main focus in teaching is world cinema, particularly that of postcolonial nations, and her courses have covered Third Cinema and its legacy, multiculturalism and migration, and geographies of violence, all from a wide range of national/cultural contexts.