Current Graduate Students

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  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.





 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.

  ALIX CHOINET     Email:

Alix Choinet received a license (European B.A. equivalent) in Anglophone Studies from Université Rennes 2 (France). She also earned a master's in Anglophone Studies and teaching English as a second language from ISFEC (France) and a master's in Comparative Literature from Université Rennes 2. Her master's thesis "From Nothingness to Excess : Explorations and Retranscriptions of Trauma in Post-Terrorist Attack Literature" combines narratology and psychoanalysis to look at literature's relationship to history and trauma, and questions the transitive turn in contemporary theory. Other research interests include ecocriticism, whiteness, masculinity and inequality in late-20th century and contemporary French literature. She has worked as a French teacher in the UK for senior high-school students, an English teacher in France after passing the CAPES, and has acted as an interpreter for public and academic events.



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:

Elise Finielz is currently pursuing her PhD at Cornell University in the department of Romance Studies, specializing in French Caribbean literature along with postcolonial studies. At the intersection of Sociology of Literature, Literary History, Poetics and Textual Analysis, her research focuses on women writers from the Francophone Caribbean, their access to the literary field and their contribution to Caribbean literature of French expression and the postcolonial canon. Women literary creation is analyzed in its social context of production as the site of a subjective and gendered experience intersecting with a collective history.



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.


  LU HAN        Email:




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. 

Nick Huelster


Nicholas Huelster is a PhD candidate in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell with a specialization in French Literature. 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. He also studied in Paris at the Centre Parisien d'Études Critiques and with the Collège International de Philosophie. He is currently writing a dissertation that investigates the resonance between the skeptical writings of Montaigne and the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. He also researches and has taught 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.





   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:





  TEDDY KELLOGG     Email:



  JOHN KENNEDY     Email:




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


  CHENYUN LI      Email:

Chenyun Li (Montse) received her M.A. 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). Now a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University's Department of Romance Studies, Montse probes into the symbiosis of luxury and violence in the sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Spanish prose and poetry, asking how such intertwinement reveals the nature of early modern empire and the forming baroque style. Montse is also interested in the materiality of language, the cross-pollination between genres and media, and the embodiment that happens in both writing and reading. In her spare time, Montse translates into Chinese Spanish modern poems.


   STEPHANIE LOPEZ      Email:









  KELLY MOORE      Email:


André Nascimento

  ANDRÉ NASCIMENTO         Email:

André Nascimento is a Ph.D. student of Spanish in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell and a fellow in the Latin American Studies Program. André’s primary field is post-dictatorial Southern Cone literature and his research interests include radical democracy, populism, political philosophy, and protest literature. He received a Dual Master Degree in Hispanic Literature and Portuguese/Brazilian Cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. Prior to graduate school, André served as an interpreter for state and private agencies such as the Brazilian Ministry of Oil and Gas, UN Women, UNASUR, among others. 


  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:




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. 


  SALMA REBHI     Email:


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 writer, editor, and a PhD Candidate in Romance Studies at Cornell University. Prior to Cornell, he received his BA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico (2013), where he focused on the notion of violence and spectacle in Caribbean prose. His current project examines the different theories and concepts of the construction of a self-image, focusing primarily on paranoia, personal writing, and the limits of the Latin American autobiographical genre between the 20th and the 21st century. Authors of significant research interest include: Ricardo Piglia, Mariana Enríquez, Ernesto Sabato, Silvina Ocampo, Virgilio Piñera, Guillermo Rosales, Marta Aponte Alsina, Pedro Cabiya, 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.


  RICCARDO SAMÀ      Email:








  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.