Current Graduate Students

Current Cluster Fellows and Research Fellows

Note that prior to 2009, graduate students admitted to SHC all entered through the History Department. Since then, the SHC program has expanded to welcome students through all the humanities and social science departments.

profile picKevin Baker | Cluster Fellow

(History, entered 2011) Kevin received a BA in History and Political Science and an MA in History from Georgia State University. He is interested in the interplay of the information sciences and projects for post-colonial development.

Main advisor: Ken Alder

Savina Balasubramanian | Graduate Affiliateprofile pic

(Sociology, entered 2010)

profile picJessica Biddlestone | Graduate Affiliate

(History, entered 2015)


profile picColin Bos | Cluster Fellow

(History, entered 2016) Colin Bos specializes in the history of medicine and West African intellectual history. He is interested in the role of textuality and orality in healing cultures, the interaction between biomedicine and traditional medicine, contests over the ownership of medical knowledge, and the history of West African ideas about science, medicine, and disease.

Main Advisor: Helen Tilley

profile picMichael Caldwell | Graduate Affiliate

(Chemistry, entered 2013)

profile picBeatrice Choi | Graduate Affiliate

(Rhetoric, entered 2012)

profile picCecilio Cooper | Graduate Affiliate

(African American Studies, entered 2012)

profile picBonnie Ernst  | Cluster Fellow

(History, entered 2011)  Bonnie has a BA in History from the University of Chicago, and her topics of interest include the social and cultural history of shifts in criminal justice systems.

Main advisor: Michael Sherry

Photo of Mallory FalinMallory Fallin | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2015)

Main advisor: Steven Epstein

profile picMary Beth Finch | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2006)

Photo of Chelsea FraizerChelsea Frazier  | Cluster Fellow

(African American Studies, entered 2013). Chelsea holds an MA from Purdue University in American Studies and a BA from Barnard College in Women’s Studies. Chelsea’s interests include black feminist theory, ecological criticism, and Afro-futurism. Her work lies at the intersection of black feminist literary theory and political ecology.

Main Advisor: Michelle Wright

profile picXirui Gong | Graduate Affiliate

(Chemistry, entered 2013)

photo of guistiJoseph Guisti | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2010). Joseph has a BA from UCLA, where he majored in Sociology with a minor in Society and Genetics. Joseph’s interests include the sociology of knowledge, addiction, the sociology of health and illness, and organizations and institutions. The working title of his dissertation is "Crónica, progresiva y mortal: Producing knowledge about addiction treatment in Mexico City."

Main Advisor: Carol Heimer


profile picMelanie Hall | Graduate Affiliate

(History, entered 2015)

profile picAustin Jenkins | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2016) Austin holds a B.S. in the sociology of law, criminology, and deviance from the University of Minnesota. He is interested in the development of disease notions of addiction in the American nineteenth century and their reconfiguration in contemporary forms of legally-coerced substance abuse treatment.

Main Advisor: Carol Heimer

photo of jonesE. Bennett Jones | Cluster Fellow

(History, entered 2014). Bennett received a BFA in fiber and material studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as an MA in museum studies from the University of Florida. Her interests include natural history, visual culture, and animal studies. Her dissertation, "The Indians Say: Settler Colonialism and the Scientific Study of Animals in America, 1722 to 1860," explores the use of storytelling in early American natural history. 

Main Advisors: Susan Pearson and Lydia Barnett

profile picMatthew June | Graduate Affiliate

(History, entered 2013)  Matt June received a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in History from San Diego State University. His interests include policy-making, political development, and the regulation of psychoactive pharmaceuticals. His dissertation has the provisional title, "Users and Abusers: From Protecting Consumers to Policing Prescriptions to the 'War on Drugs.'"

Main advisor: Michael Allen

profile picMarcel Knudsen | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2011)

profile picGemma Mangione | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2009)

profile picSakhile Matlhare | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2012)

photo of menonAlka Menon  | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2011). Alka received a BA in Biology from Cornell University. Her interests include the intersections of gender, race, and class in relation to health, as well as the politics of sexuality.

Main advisor: Steve Epstein

profile picJessica Meyer | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2012)

jamie morse picJaimie Morse  | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2009). Jaimie Morse is a PhD candidate in Sociology and Presidential Fellow at Northwestern. Her dissertation traces the history and use of medical evidence to document political and sexual violence as a means of human rights advocacy since the 1970s. Morse was a Fulbright Scholar in Malawi and received an MA in Public Health from UCLA.

Main advisor: Steven Epstein

profile picSaheli Nath | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2013)

profile picAlexandra Neame

(Political Science, entered 2009). Lexi Neame is a PhD candidate in Political Theory, and holds a B.A and M.Phil from the University of Queensland. She has written on political concepts in popular representations of genetics, and the historical entanglement of representative democracy with techniques of quantification and statistics. Her dissertation, Truth in The Milieu of Politics: Knowledge, Authority and Democratic Freedom, explores how factual truth becomes authoritative in politics and, conversely, how truth's many others -- lies, conspiracy theories and propaganda -- are named as such.

Main advisor: Mary G. Dietz. 

Photo of Kellie OwensKellie Owens | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2010) Kellie Owens’ research interests include the sociology of science, medicine, and technology. Her dissertation examines knowledge production and risk management practices in medicine, with a focus on American childbirth. In other projects, she has explored: the construction of expertise and evidence in complementary and alternative medicine; how scientists perceive the importance of racial diversity in university laboratories.

Advisor: Steven Epstein

photo of plaissAdam Plaiss | Cluster Fellow

(History, entered 2009). Adam has a BA from Indiana, Bloomington, and an MA in History from the University of Delaware. He works on late 19th and early 20th century US history, with a focus on infrastructure development.

Main advisor: Ken Alder 

profile picSandra Racek | Cluster Fellow

(Art History, entered 2014). Sandra received her MA from University College London in the History of Art and a BA from Fordham University. She is interested in medical imagery form the early modern period in Europe. 

profile picAditi Raghavan | Graduate Affiliate

(MTS, entered 2008)

photo of rayzbergMargarita Rayzberg  | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2010). Margarita has a BS in International Business from Northeastern University and an MA in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown. Her work unites science and technology studies with the sociology of markets.

Main advisor: Steven Epstein

profile picBenjamin Riggs | Cluster Fellow

(Screen Cultures, entered 2016). Ben earned a BA in Media Arts at the University of New Mexico and an MA in Communication and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. A former high school science teacher, he is interested in playful experiences with science across different media, particularly narrative entertainment media, and the formation of youth science cultures.

Main advisor: Jake Smith

profile picChristopher Robertson | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2013)

profile picThomas Rousse  | Cluster Fellow

(MTS and Law School, entered 2013). Tommy earned a MA in Media, Technology, and Games at the University of Copenhagen, and a BA from Northwestern University in American Studies. He is studying mass media network technology as refracted through the American legal system.

photo of tolmanArielle Tolman  | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology and Law School, entered 2013). Ari received a BA from Wesleyan in Sociology and Neuroscience, and has more recently conducted research for the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is studying the intersection of legal rights and public health in the US and abroad.

Main advisor: Carol Heimer

photo of tubiOmri Tubi  | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2015)

Main advisor: Wendy Espeland

profile picStefan Volger | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2012) Stefan is a PhD candidate in sociology and is currently completing work on his dissertation "Ruling Sexuality: Law, Expertise, and the Making of Sexual Knowledge." His interests involve sexuality, gender, law, and the politics of science and knowledge.

Main Advisor: Steve Epstein

Photo of Rachel WallnerRachel Wallner  | Cluster Fellow

(History, entered 2015). Rachel studies discourse on science and the formation of academic disciplines in twentieth-century China.  Her research currently focuses on the politics of Chinese geographic knowledge production during the Second World War.  She is interested in changing notions of the natural environment, global and local intellectual networks, and the transition to socialism.

Main advisor: Peter Carroll

profile picChristine Wood | Graduate Affiliate

(Sociology, entered 2005)

profile picChristina Young | Graduate Affiliate

(Clinical Psychology, entered 2011)

photo of yungVincent Yung  | Cluster Fellow

(Sociology, entered 2012) received a BA in Sociology and BS in Genetics and Plant Biology from UC Berkeley. His interests lie at the intersection of laboratory research, knowledge commodification, and higher education.

Main advisor: Jeremy Freese