NEPH Spring Symposium 2024 at Yale University

April 12, 2024

Boxed Lunch at Study Hotel

Site Visits Part 1

- New Haven Museum

- Yale University Art Gallery

Site Visits Part 2


- Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Dinner and Keynote by Adriane Jefferson at the New Haven Free Public Library

April 13, 2024

Welcome from Yale Public Humanities Director Matthew Frye Jacobson

Lightning Round (Current Graduate Students, 6 minute talks)

Coffee Break

Thunder Round (NEPH Alumni, 10-minute talks)

Panel 1: Cyra Levenson, Anna Reisman, Elihu Rubin

Coffee Break

Panel 2: Dicky Yangzom, Daniel HoSang, and Tara Bhat

Closing Discussion

Cocktail Hour at Study Hotel

Saturday, April 13 Program Details

Lightning Round (Current Graduate Students, 6 minute talks)

Ariel Urim Chang
Presentation Title: The Kitchen Project
Bio: Ariel Urim Chung (she/her) is an oral historian, scholar, and artist researching at the intersections of first person narratives of immigration, care, and gendered spaces. She is currently a MAGIC Grantee at Brown Institute of Media Innovation and Visiting Scholar at NYU’s A/P/A institute.

Lauren Drapala:
Presentation Title: Accessing the Fantastic: De-Privatizing the Whitney Studio’s Interiors
Bio: Lauren Drapala is a PhD Candidate in Decorative Arts, Design History & Material Culture at Bard Graduate Center in New York, NY. Lauren holds an MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked as a historic preservation professional for over a decade. She serves as a Lecturer in architectural materials conservation at Boston Architectural College, as well as managing grant programs at the Historic Preservation Education Foundation. Her dissertation research considers the remarkably intact artist-decorated interiors of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s sculpture studio in Old Westbury, NY, which were commissioned by Whitney from multiple artists in the early 1910s. The secluded nature of the studio, combined with its continued ownership by Whitney family descendants for over a century, has left these interiors largely under-recognized and understudied. With the house currently on the market for the first time ever, the spaces and the stories left untold within them are at a crucial moment for reconsideration.

Nancy Escalante
Presentation Title: “Community Counter-Archiving: U.S. Central American Approaches to Historical Memory”
Bio: Nancy Escalante is a 4th year PhD candidate in American Studies. She received her BA and MA in History from the California State University, Los Angeles. Escalante has held archival and curatorial fellowships at the Getty Research Institute, the National Museum of American History through the Smithsonian Latino Center, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. She is interested in exhibition curation and was the curator of “Empire and Resistance: Transisthmian Views of Central America”––on view at the Sterling Memorial Library’s Hanke Gallery during Spring 2023. Escalante’s dissertation, “She is the First of Many”: The María Guardado Collective and Intergenerational Counter-Archiving by U.S. Central Americans in Los Angeles,” illuminates how diasporic Central Americans transmit historical memory through community-based approaches that are difficult to capture within conventional archival representations and practices.

Chayce Kenny:
Presentation Title: Reimagining Aesthetic Urban Greenspace: Possibilities for Cultivation Without Control and Stewardship Without Ownership
Bio: Chayce is a doctoral student in the Global Urban Studies program at Rutgers University. Their work focuses on the historical development of exploitation of the environment, how this has led to alienation of disempowered and displaced populations from nature, and an imagining of possibilities for facilitating agential relationships and preservation of natural heritage in urban settings. While heavily interdisciplinary, their work grounds itself on the environmental philosophy and the histories of human-nature relationships and ideas of ownership and economic exploitation of such. With an eye towards justice and equity, Chayce’s work is based on the commitment to the idea of sanctity of people, nature, and their relationship, and seeks to understand why this has been lost, and what we might do to reinvigorate it.

Clara Mejía Orta
Presentation Title: Essential NOT Disposable: Oral Histories of Meatpacking Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Bio: Clara Mejía Orta is a PhD candidate at Yale University, her dissertation “La Planta: Latine Worker Survival in U.S. Slaughterhouses” centers the voices of Latine workers and organizers who contest immigration enforcement and anti-immigrant laws via workplace organizing. During the COVID-19 Pandemic Clara collected testimonios from meatpacking workers to center and highlight their perspectives. Clara was a labor organizer for UFCW Local 770 prior to starting grad school.

Sylvia Ryerson
Presentation Title: Calls from Home
Bio: Sylvia Ryerson (she/her) is a multimedia artist, organizer, and PhD student in American Studies at Yale University, with a concentration in the Public Humanities. Her dissertation focuses on carceral expansion and modes of resistance to it in Central Appalachia, and she has co-produced numerous community-based participatory media projects working with movements for a just transition from fossil fuel extraction, the abolition of the prison industrial complex, and migrant justice. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Docs in Action Film Fund through Working Films to produce and direct her film CALLS FROM HOME, which won the Jack Spadaro Documentary Award for best nonfiction film or television presentation on Appalachia or its people from the Appalachian Studies Association. Her media & written work has appeared in the New York Times, American Quarterly, the Boston Review, NPR’s Here & Now and The Takeaway, the BBC, the Marshall Project, and other outlets. She is a founding member of the Racial Capitalism and the Carceral State (RCCS) Working Group at Yale, and of the Building Community Not Prisons (BCNP) coalition currently working to stop the construction of a proposed 1,400-bed new federal prison in Letcher County, Kentucky.

Miguel Ángel Blanco Martínez
Co-Presentation Title: Deliveristas: Mapping Immigrant Workers’ Rights in New York
Bio: Miguel Ángel Blanco Martínez is a Ph.D. Candidate and Teaching Fellow in Latin American and Iberian Cultures (LAIC) and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) at Columbia University. He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Translation-Interpreting and Humanities (Universidad Pablo de Olavide), and a GEMMA Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies (Universidad de Oviedo and Utrecht University). His research interests focus on feminist, queer, and memory arts and activism in contemporary Spain.

Mónica Ramírez Bernal
Co-Presentation Title: Deliveristas: Mapping Immigrant Workers’ Rights in New York
Bio: Mónica Ramírez Bernal is a doctoral candidate and teaching fellow in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University (New York City), for which she was awarded a Fulbright-García Robles scholarship. She is the author of the book “The Ocean as Landscape. Pageant of the Pacific: the mural maps of Miguel Covarrubias” (UNAM, 2018). Her work has been published in national and international academic journals such as Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (UNAM), Investigaciones Geográficas (IGG, UNAM) and Latin American & Latinx Visual Culture. Her research focuses on the history of transpacific imaginaries and the creative possibilities of artistic and scientific cartographies.

Thunder Round (NEPH Alumni, 10-minute talks)

Omanjana Goswami
Presentation Title: From Newark to Washington DC: Taking the leap from science to policy
Bio: Omanjana Goswami is an Interdisciplinary Scientist with the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC. She conducts research on the practices and policies of the current US agricultural model, anthropogenic contaminants, nutrient cycles, and negative impacts on natural resources and human health. Through her research she advocates for implementable policy implications that create equitable and regenerative agricultural systems. Before joining UCS, Omanjana was a Staff Scientist at the Center for Food Safety where she researched the environmental and human health implications of pesticide application in our food systems. She was also a NOAA Knauss Science Policy Fellow (2019-2020) in the office of former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii). While in Congress, Dr. Goswami worked on policy issues related to environmental protection, marine conservation, coral reef preservation, and contaminants. Omanjana holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from Rutgers University, New Jersey. During her PhD she was a research assistant for Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience and a NYC Panel on Climate Change Fellow in the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency (Equity Workgroup). She also has an M.S. in Applied Chemistry and B.Sc. in Chemistry from universities in India.

Chris Pandza
Presentation Title: Reimagining interview archives with artificial intelligence
Bio: Chris Pandza is an oral historian and designer whose practice focuses on developing artificial intelligence techniques to make oral history collections more accessible, equitable, and interesting. He currently leads digital exhibitions for several large oral history projects at the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, including the Elders Project and the Obama Presidency Oral History.

Evan Reibsome
Presentation Title: Bridging the Gap Between Veterans and Civilians: A Public Humanities Model
Bio: Dr. Evan Reibsome is an Assistant Professor of English at Louisiana State University Shreveport, where he runs a Master of Liberal Arts program and teaches courses on writing, research, and U.S. literature, with concentrations in antiwar literature, 19th century martial rhetoric, and contemporary spectacles of war. He is also the Director of the Veterans Empathy Project, which provides a platform for veterans and military families to share their stories.

Lauren Tilton
Presentation Title: Distant Viewing with Museums
Bio: Lauren Tilton is the E. Claiborne Robins Professor of Liberal Arts in the Department of Rhetoric & Communication Studies and directs the Distant Viewing Lab at the University of Richmond. Her research focuses on analyzing, developing, and applying computational methods to study visual culture. Her work has been featured in Digital Humanities Quarterly, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, and Journal of Cultural Analytics, and her most recent book Distant Viewing: Analyzing Images at Scale (The MIT Press) is open access. She directs and is the incoming President of The Association for Computers and the Humanities.

Panel 1

Cyra Levenson
Bio: During a career spanning 25 years and 5 museums, Levenson is dedicated to making museums dynamic learning environments. She leads the Guggenheim’s education and public engagement in partnership with the museum’s international network. In previous roles she established a community arts center at the Cleveland Museum of Art, created a partnership between Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution, and has published on creativity, cognition and public humanities practice. She is a graduate of Teachers College.

Anna Reisman
Bio: Dr. Anna Reisman is a professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. She is director of the Program for Humanities in Medicine and the Internal Medicine Residency Writers’ Workshop, and co-director of the Program for Art in Public Spaces.

Her clinical work is at VA Connecticut, where she sees primary care patients and teaches medical and nurse practitioner residents. She is a founder and co-director of VA Writes, a national virtual reflective writing workshop series for clinical and nonclinical VA staff. She also teaches op-ed writing and personal essay writing to students, trainees, and faculty at Yale, the VA, and elsewhere.

Dr. Reisman’s essays have been published widely, including in the New York Times, Slate, the Atlantic, and the New England Journal of Medicine. She plays flute with the Yale Medical Symphony and the Nu Haven Kapelye, a local klezmer group.

Elihu Rubin
Bio: Elihu Rubin is associate professor of architecture, urbanism, and American studies at Yale. He earned a Master of City Planning and a PhD in History of Architecture and Urbanism from the University of California, Berkeley. Rubin directs the Yale Urban Media Project (YUMP!), a New Haven-based public scholarship initiative, and serves as Director of Advocacy and Planning at the Yale Urban Design Workshop. He is the author of Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape, which received Best Book awards from the Urban History Association and the Society for American City and Regional Planning History.

Panel 2

Dicky Yangzom
Bio: Dicky Yangzom is a design sociologist and the co-founder of Matter Studios. She is also a principal design researcher at Wondros where she works with social impact leaders to build more humanistic, innovative, and strategic solutions. She teaches Introduction to Public Humanities at Yale.

Daniel HoSang 
Bio: Daniel Martinez HoSang is Professor of American Studies at Yale University and holds secondary appointments in the Department of Political Science and in the Yale School of Medicine Section of the History of Medicine. He is an interdisciplinary scholar of racial formation and racism in politics, culture, and the law. His current research includes a collaborative investigation into the history and afterlives of Eugenics research at Yale documented through the Anti-Eugenics Collective at Yale. His most recent book is A Wider Type of Freedom: How Struggles for Racial Justice Liberate Everyone (University of California Press, 2021).

Tara Bhat
Bio: Tara Bhat is a third-year undergraduate student at Yale University studying political science. She is a research assistant for Professor HoSang and has been doing archival work and helping with other projects for the Anti-Eugenics Collective at Yale for the past two years.