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Faculty and Speakers

The Project Team faculty will facilitate discussions, site visits, and take care of workshop logistics.


Visiting Scholars will present and discuss their scholarship on select days of the workshop and, in two cases, lead us on tours.  

Project Team Faculty

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Karen Miller, PhD

Karen Miller teaches history and American studies at LaGuardia Community College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit. She co-edited Prehistories of the War: A Critical Genealogy with Yumi Lee. Her article “Agents of the Settler State: Incarcerated Filipino Workers, Conjugal Migration, and Indigenous Dispossession” is forthcoming in American Quarterly. Professor Miller has been a coordinator or mentor for a number of NEH workshops with the following themes: “Border Lands, Border Waters,” “Global Cities,” “The Meanings of War: Its Technologies and Aftermaths,” and “Bridging Historias.”


Christopher Schmidt, PhD

Christopher Schmidt teaches English and Liberal Studies at LaGuardia Community College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of The Poetics of Waste: Queer Excess in Stein, Ashbery, Schuyler, and Goldsmith, and the poetry collection The Next in Line. His recent research is on Brazilian environments and visual cultures, including the ecologies of landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx; Vik Muniz and the aesthetics of poverty; and artist Maria Tereza Alves’s site-specific research on transatlantic ballast plants, Seeds of Change. His writings have appeared in Fence, Bookforum, Boston Review, Massachusetts Review, Tin House, Postmodern Culture, ArtMargins, SubStance and Arizona Quarterly, among other venues. He has been a Co-PI on two previous NEH grants, “Global Cities: Cosmopolis and Diaspora” and “Border Lands, Border Waters.”

Visiting Faculty

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Andrew Lipman

Andrew Lipman is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College in New York City. His research interests include the Atlantic World, early America, Native Americans, violence, technology, and the environment.  His first book, The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast, won the Bancroft Prize in American History. He is presently completing a book manuscript titled The Life and Times of Squanto.

Lipman’s work has appeared in Common-place, Early American Studies, Reviews in American History, and The William and Mary Quarterly and he’s contributed pieces to Slate and TIME. His research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society, The Huntington Library, The International Seminar in the History of the Atlantic World at Harvard, John Carter Brown Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, and the New-York Historical Society. He has also consulted exhibits and programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the Museum of the City of New York, and N-YHS, and served as a consultant for television series including Finding Your Roots (PBS), Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC), and Frontiersmen (History Channel). He is an elected fellow of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tschen

Jack Tchen is a historian, curator, and writer devoted to anti-racist, anti-colonialist democratic participatory storytelling, scholarship, and opening up archives, museums, organizations, and classroom spaces to the stories and realities of those excluded and deemed “unfit” in master narratives. Professor Tchen has been honored to be the Inaugural Clement A Price Chair of Public History & Humanities at Rutgers University – Newark and Director of the Clement Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture & the Modern Experience, since Fall 2018. 


Most recently, he is engaged with global warming crisis, eco justice, and the deep history of the region, founding the Public History Project (PHP), funded by the Ford Foundation. And he has been appointed onto the New York City Panel on Climate Change dealing with the 31-county regional estuarial impacts we are all facing. He has been supporting Munsee Lunaape bands with their Homeland efforts reconstructing their language, maps, place names, and stories. The PHP is reframing the history of the estuarial region starting with the triple foundational histories of dispossession, extractivism, and enslavement (work emerging from serving as a Commissioner on the NYC Mayor’s Commission on Monuments.) His ongoing series of work on eugenics in the New York City region surfaces how patrician elites fashioned a tested, measured, sorted tiered hierarchic system of “fit” European-descended “Nordics” on top, and the rankings of the great majority of “unfit” below–resulting in the Immigration Act of 1924 and practices of sterilization and incarceration all still impacting US political culture to this day. He is working with faculty from the University College London in their 2020-2021 work on coming to terms with eugenics in London and NYC – for the 100th commemoration of The Second International Eugenics Conference held at the American Museum of Natural History in 1921, NYC. 


He served as the senior historian for a New-York Historical Society exhibition on the impact of Chinese Exclusion Laws on the formation of the US and also senior advisor for the two-hour “American Experience” PBS documentary on the “Chinese Exclusion Act.” His most recent book – Yellow Peril: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (2014) is a critical archival study of images, excerpts and essays on the history and contemporary impact of paranoia and xenophobia. In 1996, he founded the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific /American) Studies Program and Institute, and research collections, New York University, NYU where he worked closely with Jack G. Shaheen and brought in his research collection on anti-Arab representations in television and Hollywood. In 1980, he co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America.

Marita Sturken

Marita Sturken is the author of Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering (University of California Press, 1997), Thelma & Louise (British Film Institute Modern Classics series, 2000; reissued in 2020), Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (with Lisa Cartwright, Oxford University Press, Third Edition 2018), and Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism From Oklahoma City to Ground Zero (Duke University Press, 2007), which won the 2007-2008 Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award from the Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University.

Her most recent book, Terrorism in American Memory: Memorials, Museums, and Architecture in the Post-9/11 Era (New York University Press, 2022), examines the role of memory in shaping the post-9/11 era, and how the nationalistic project of 9/11 memory has given way to the challenging memory activism of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice at the end of this era. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Czech, and Hebrew. In 2023 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Angus Gillespie


Angus Gillespie is Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. A Fulbright professor and a New York Times best-selling author, he has written on subjects ranging from skyscrapers to superhighways. Gillespie is the author of Port Newark and the Origins of Container Shipping (2022), Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels (2011), and Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center (1999). He is also coauthor of Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike

The header image is by Alice Austen, circa 1910. Courtesy of The Snug Harbor Cultural Center. 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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