Current Graduate Students

You are here


  GIULIA ANDREONI       Email:  


Giulia Andreoni a native of Rome, received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Sapienza University of Rome in Modern Languages and Literatures (English, Italian, Spanish), with a specialization in Shakespearean criticism. Her prime focus is on the Renaissance and early modern comparative literature with special attention to questions of intertextuality, emblem studies, and the relation between word and images.


  AMBER BAL     Email:





Andy Leonel Barrientos-Gómez completed a dual master’s in Hispanic and Brazilian Literature at the University of New Mexico. Andy is developing his interests around the intersections of Brazilian and Mexican cultural and literary production, specifically concerning its influence and response to social and political transformation. Other areas of interest include contemporary Brazilian critical theories and the dialogue between Brazilian and Mexican visual culture and Neoliberalism.

  MARTINA BRONER       Email:


Martina Broner works on Latin American film studies, media theory, and environmental humanities. Engaging film, photography, and virtual reality, her research understands nature as media, focusing on various territories of the Amazon rainforest to address questions of reciprocity between the material and the symbolic in the context of environmental crisis.


 SAMUEL CARTER         Email:


Sam Carter researches the relationship between sound and the literary text in the Southern Cone during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Along with this broader focus on sound studies and Latin America, his work also engages questions regarding media theory and the digital humanities.


 CONALL CASH       Email:


My research interests are in post-war French philosophy, particularly phenomenology, Marxism, and the philosophy of history, and in questions of selfhood, freedom, and temporality in modern literature and cinema. My dissertation explores the idea of the practice of the self in works by Merleau-Ponty, Beckett, Flaubert, and Godard. I have recently published articles on the work of Martin Hägglund (in b2o) and on the political philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and Lefort (in Rue Descartes).




My research is broadly deployed within the fields of postcolonial studies, Indigenous studies, and environmental humanities. I am particularly interested in the settler-colonial relationship between France and its (ex) colonies in the Pacific through the concept of "nuclearism" -- that is, how the mastery, control, and possession of nuclear power for France forged a very specific settler-colonial tie with Oceania at large. I am also looking at the way trauma, particularly environmental trauma, is signified in the process and gets incorporated in the Indigenous response and resistance to imperialism. Part of my project seeks to reevaluate the role of nuclearism as well as settler-colonialism in the current environmental predicament, and how Indigenous critiques, practices, and epistemologies constitute timely and necessary forms of answers.




Mary Jane Dempsey completed her BA in History and International Relations at The College of New Jersey, while also conducting research at the Università per Stranieri di Siena and Spring Hill College (SHC) Italy Center in Bologna.  She earned her MSc in History of International Relations at the London School of Economics, where she focused on migration politics, conflict studies and conceptions of national identity. She received the Humanities Centre of Research Fellowship from the University of Warwick in 2017. While at Cornell, Mary Jane intends to further develop her knowledge of  postcolonial, feminist and memory studies.








  ELISE FINIELZ      Email:





Jackqueline Frost is a PhD candidate in Romance Studies (French) at Cornell University. She is currently a visiting scholar in Philosophy (LLCP) at Université Paris 8 and was a 2017-2018 Luigi Einaudi Research Fellow at the Cornell Institute for European Studies. Her dissertation, “The Past of Future Life: Anti-colonialism, Antifascism and the Socio-Poetics of Historical Time,” explores mid-century francophone engagements with the philosophy of history through poetic, theatrical and theoretical experiments that reimagined the relationship between politics and temporality. Broadly, Jackqueline is interested in the relationship between poetics and social emancipation, anti-colonial and third-world Marxism, the figure of the peripheral intellectual, and the political contours of tragedy. With Jorge Lefevre Tavárez (University of Chicago), she is currently working on the reception of francophone anti-colonial theory in 1960s Cuba and has begun a second book project on Tricontinental cultural politics in France and the UK. She lives in Paris and can be reached at jackqueline.frost[at]




Alexander holds a Master’s degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Oxford, where he focused on olvido (forgetfulness and oblivion) in the works of Borges. He comes to Cornell to continue developing his research interests in twentieth century and contemporary Latin American literature, hoping to continue investigating on memory and olvido, presence and absence, and how such olvido might be a positive and necessary part of rewriting the past. His other interests include the intersections of philosophy and Latin American literature, especially its intersections with German existentialism and classical Greek philosophy.    





  RICHARD GIBBS      Email:


Richard Gibbs received bachelor's degrees in Latin and Classical Civilizations, as well as a master's degree in French Literature, from Florida State University. His project concerns the presence of alchemical thought in French Renaissance and baroque literature, as well as its influence on theories of artistic creation and conceptions of form.


  BRANDON GREER      Email:


Brandon Greer received his B.A. in French from New York University in 2016. His interests focus on the intersection of literature and philosophy in the modern novel, particularly in relation to the dissolution of narrative, problems of mimesis, and the nature of subjectivity. His other interests include theories of literary history and periodization, continental philosophy (aesthetics, phenomenology, and the French reception of the German philosophical tradition), trauma theory, and the philosophical ramifications of the Holocaust.







Eliana received her BA in Anthropology from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her research interests include contemporary Latin American literature and visual art, gender studies, and environmental humanities. Before coming to Cornell, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. 




Nicholas Huelster is a PhD candidate in the Department of Romance Studies with a specialization in French Literature at Cornell. Before Cornell, he studied French and Francophone Studies, Humanities, Media and Cultural Studies and had a concentration in Critical Theory at Macalester College in his hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota. His research interests include Arthur Rimbaud, 19th century French poetry, and literary theory. He is also interested in Montaigne, Poe, Baudelaire, Joyce, Proust, Lacan, Cixous, critical theory and French film. 


  HANNAH HUGHES      Email:


Hannah Hughes earned her B.A. in French and International Relations, and her M.A. in Translation Studies at Kent State University. Now a doctoral candidate at Cornell University’s Department of Romance Studies, she is pursuing research centered on the racialization and gendering of affect in the contemporary French context. Such a project seeks to explore dysphoric feelings like disgust, fear, and paranoia as they shape debates on citizenship and belonging in France where colorblind ideology would reject the political relevance of such feelings. Her work engages diverse voices across literature, cinema, and popular culture of the twenty-first century to discover modes of resistance to dominant paradigms of feeling.


  CRISTINA HUNG     Email:


Cristina Hung comes from a Taiwanese family that immigrated to Chile. She received her B.A. in Spanish and French from New York University and her M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. She is currently writing her dissertation on empathy in contemporary Southern Cone literature and film, focusing on issues of violence and on the shift from empathy to the opposite spectrum of feelings, such as apathy, aversion, and hatred. Cristina’s other research interests include aesthetics, postcolonial studies, trauma studies, German cinema, and Chinese popular culture. She is also passionate about language teaching and hopes to develop a Spanish-Chinese translation and language learning digital platform in the future.


   MAGDALA JEUDY     Email:


Magdala Lissa Jeudy’s interests are situated at the intersection of medicine and nineteenth-century French literature. Her research focuses on the ways in which narrative, particularly in the naturalist novel, complicates the binary categories of the normal and pathological prescribed by the medical apparatus, thereby subverting theories of the body, medical practices, and philosophy. The theorists informing her research include Georges Canguilhem, and Michel Foucault. Her interests include the examination of naturalist narratives disruption of  medical constructs of gender and race.


 EMILY KANE     Email:







 JOHN KENNEDY     Email:


John Kennedy studies the intersections between migration and borders through the filmic discourses of Mexican, Mexican-American, and U.S.-/Central American directors who consider human mobilities, traumatic memories, and exilic violences. He holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual graduate concentration in Latin American Studies and Global Studies. He is currently in post-production on a documentary entitled Suchiate, and his work has been featured in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue




Research interests: philosophy; colonial, imperial, and Atlantic history; genocide studies.


  CHENYUN LI      Email:


Chenyun received her MA degree in Hispanic Literature from Peking University, China, where her focus was on Spanish Golden Age poetry, especially of Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561-1627). At Cornell, she will further develop her interests in early modern Spain, particularly probing into the symbiosis of poetics, authorial identity, and conceptualization of language within Spanish philological and intellectual history. Chenyun spends her spare time translating into Chinese Spanish modern poems. Montse es su heterónimo favorito. In her spare time, Chenyun translates Spanish modern poems into Chinese.


   STEPHANIE LOPEZ      Email:












  KELLY MOORE      Email:



  EBTISAM MURSI       Email:


Interests include: Early Modern Spanish Literature--Mediterranean Studies--Spanish/Arabic Early Modern Travel Literature--Digital Humanities.





  MATÍAS OVIEDO      Email:


I hold a Licenciatura in Modern Literature from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, where I focused on contemporary literature from the Southern Cone. My broader research interests revolve around critical theory, materiality, environmental approaches to literature, and the links between aesthetics and politics.  More specifically, my current research project deals with contemporary Latin American literature, wherein I take into consideration both its material form and its relation to the environment. 


  ROMAIN PASQUER      Email:





After a B.A in Literature and Arts at Paris Diderot-Paris 7 University and an M.A in Gender studies at Paris 8 University, I am currently in my second year of Ph.D. at Paris 8 University, and as you can see here at Cornell as a Visiting Student and Teaching Assistant in French Studies.
Interested in Literature, Philosophy, Feminist and Queer studies, Postmodern critical thought, and Posthuman Imaginary, I mostly focus my research on the influences of Imaginary and Mythologies upon Queer political practices.

Using the concept of "Queeratopia" I try to build from the encounter between Michel Foucault's Heterotopia, Donna Haraway's Cyborg, Virginie Despentes' MutantEs and many Witches, I study the different kinds of Temporalities, Utopia and Futurities that Queers, Trans*, Powerful Femmes and other deviants inject into the Heteronormativity to dismantle it through their very existences, bodies, arts, and thoughts.




Gianluca Pulsoni holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University La Sapienza in Rome. His MA-thesis is a study of Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi's cinema and exhibitions, read as historic(al) documents as well as a possible anthropology of memory, through the notions of "historiophoty" (H. White) and "social frameworks of memory" (M. Halbwachs). Gianluca has experience working with digital companies and publishing houses as editor and translator, and he is a contributing writer to the Italian newspaper, Il manifesto -- its cultural pages and weekly, Alias. 

headshot of Amanda Recupero


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Romance Studies Department, where I study the relationship between crisis and subjectivity in twentieth-century Italian literature. My dissertation, Bodies in Crisis: Italian Modernity and the Traumatic Encounter with Technology, rereads modernist texts by authors such as Marinetti, D'Annunzio, and Pirandello, paying attention to how different bodies engage with and respond to modern machinery, especially those which automate reproduction. Drawing on the insights of trauma theory in its literary and clinical forms, I argue that the body testifies to psychological crisis and trauma through verbal and physical manifestations. Muteness, excessive speech, fixed expressions and paralysis are but a few examples. This reading offers a new way of understanding the effects of modernity on the individual and conceptions of a viable body for the modern subject in Italy.




Félix Miguel Rosario Ortiz is a third-year Ph.D. student in Romance Studies. Prior to Cornell, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico (2013), where he focused on the notion of spectacle in Caribbean prose. His current project examines the triumph of urbanity in Cuban fiction along with the symbolic metabolization of insularism as an existentialist element in Caribbean poetry between 1940 and 1970. Authors of significant research interest include: Virgilio Piñera, Roque Dalton, Calvert Casey, José María Lima, Fayad Jamís, among others.




Penelope Rosenstock-Murav is a PhD candidate in Romance Studies - French with a minor in Cognitive Science at Cornell University. Her dissertation seeks to explore new ways of thinking the mind and language through forms and formulations of recursion in Renaissance and baroque poetry and theater, cognitive science, and French theory. She received a Master 1 in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 in 2015 and graduated from the University of Chicago in 2013.




Arturo Ruiz Mautino received his BA and Licenciatura in Hispanic Literature from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (2017), where he focused on the connections between the essays of Jorge Luis Borges and reader-response theory. He is currently working on a theoretical framework for analyzing contemporary fiction of the Southern Cone and Spain, especially dealing with the intersection of literary genres, metafiction, and the fantastic. He is also interested in drama theory, contemporary aesthetics, and distant reading.





  NORA SIENA     Email:



  SARENA TIEN     Email:


Sarena Tien received her BA in French from Randolph-Macon College and is an alumna of The Teaching Assistant Program in France and City Year DC. Her current field of inquiry explores questions of women's resistance in Francophone African and Asian literature and cinema. Other research interests include the intersections of race, gender, and identity and how issues of patriarchy, colonialism, and exophony inform the work of women writers.





  LIA TURTAS      Email:


Lia Turtas is a Ph.D. candidate in Italian Studies working across cinema, literature and philosophy. She received her M.A. degree in Visual Arts and Aesthetics from the Istituto Universitario di Architettura (IUAV) in Venice, Italy, and also holds degrees in Classics, and Arts Criticism and Management. At Cornell, she is completing a dissertation that reinterprets the history of Italian cinema from a posthumanist perspective, stemming from an innovative encounter between the nonhumanities, Italian thought, and archival research.

  Emily Vasquez Enriquez headshot



Emily Celeste holds a Licenciatura in Hispanic Literature from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico, and an M.A. in Spanish from The University of Texas at El Paso. Focused on the Guatemala-Mexico and the Mexico-United States borderlands, her research investigates the intersections between border and migration studies and the environmental humanities. Broadly, Emily's interests span queries regarding the weaponization of built and natural environments against migrants, the damage to the environment created by bordering practices and structures, questions of ecopolitics in transnational settings, the conflicting relationships between border communities with border ecologies, and the destabilization of ontological divides that take place against the backdrop of border demarcations.  She grounds these questions in 20th and 21st century Mexican, Latinx, and Central American film and literature.