Gerald Butters is a historian of film specializing in the intersection of race and gender in motion pictures. A Fulbright scholar, Butters has lectured on film in Romania, Luxembourg, France and Canada and at many American universities. His books include Black Manhood on the Silent Screen, Banned in Kansas: Motion Picture Censorship, 1915–1966, and the upcoming From Sweetback to Superfly: Race and Film Audiences in Chicago's Loop. He is editor of an anthology on Blaxploitation films. Butters received his Phd in History from the University of Kansas.


Corey Byrnes received a BA from Brown University in 2003, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge in 2005, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. His research and teaching areas include the environmental humanities; 19th-21st century Sinophone literature, film, and visual culture; animal studies; and landscape and spatial studies. He is jointly appointed in the Alice B. Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and is also a core-faculty member and Director of Graduate Studies in the Comparative Literary Studies Program. Professor Byrnes’ first book project, Fixing Landscape (Columbia University Press, 2019), won Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute’s First Book Award in 2018 and was awarded honorable mention for the American Comparative Literature Association’s 2020 Harry Levin Prize for outstanding first book in comparative literature. His second project is about “cultures of threat” and how they produce unfolding environmental and social futures between the United States and China and across the Pacific. Cultures of threat encompass forms of representation and lived practices through which an imagined future, when feared, comes to seem not only real but imminent. Unlike risk, threat describes not what is likely or unlikely to happen—the probable— but rather what could conceivably happen—the possible. It takes shape through speculative fictions of the plausible designed to create fear—and to incite action. “Cultures of Threat” theorizes the understudied mechanisms of threat in two multi-chapter case studies that reconsider the relationship between “rising China” and a global environmental imaginary in which it is treated as an existential threat.


Kelly Cutler

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Currently teaching:
Visual Communication


Scott Durham, associate professor of French, is the faculty director for the MALit program and chair of the French and Italian department at Northwestern. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in French and comparative literature since 1994, with a primary focus on 20th-century literature, film and the relationship between literature and philosophy. His scholarly publications since he completed his doctorate at Yale include Phantom Communities: The Simulacrum and the Limits of Postmodernism (Stanford University Press), Jean Genet: In the Language of the Enemy (a special number he edited for Yale French Studies) and numerous articles. He is completing work on a book with the working title The Archive and the Monad: Deleuze and the Resistance to Postmodernism.Durham earned his Phd from Yale University.


David Faller

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Currently teaching:
Global Economic Policy

David Faller has extensive experience in applying the theories of monetary economics and international trade to the solution of real-life issues arising in international business and financial markets. Having started his career as a financial markets trader in Europe, Faller has created and managed derivatives market making businesses, high frequency proprietary trading teams and provided advice on currency exposure management issues to multi-national corporations and governmental bodies in Europe, Asia and the Americas. While leading the global treasury activities of a NASDAQ listed technology company, he was responsible for opening branches in a number of emerging countries where his knowledge of cultural diversity, trade and tariff regulations and international tax regimes were critical in the country location process. He has been teaching courses on international business and capital markets to under-graduate and graduate levels students since 2003. Faller holds an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and did graduate studies at the Europa Instituut, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands, specializing in the economic and legal issues facing member states in economically and politically integrated sovereign areas.


Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch (Assistant Director, Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, Northwestern University) is a literary historian who has published articles on contemporary authors such as John Barth and John Gardner, on Henry James, and on the international aspect of American studies. Her current research focuses on the reception of classical antiquity in American culture, a topic that stems from her research during an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship at Harvard University. Her most recent publication is a chapter in American Women and Classical Myths, ed. Gregory Staley (Baylor UP, 2009) on Athena as a cultural icon in the United States. She is working on a book-length study of the enduring influence of Greek and Roman myths in American fiction and culture. Elzbieta teaches classes on 20th-century experimental East European and American fiction, global and American postmodern fiction, and American 19th-century literary culture. Foeller-Pituch earned her Phd at the University of Warsaw.


Kathreen Fontecha

Kathreen Fontecha

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Currently teaching:
Visual Communication

Kathreen Fontecha is the UI/UX Designer and Production Coordinator at the Statewide Integrated Pest Management program at University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. She has over a decade of experience as a graphic designer. She has extensive experience working on the visual design of technical information which sparked her interest in data analysis and information design. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies Information Design and Strategy program with an emphasis in Data Science and Analytics. Through this program, Fontecha was able to combine her passions and interests in information collection, analysis for patterns and trends, and presenting the information visually and effectively. Fontecha received her bachelor’s degrees in Design (Visual Communications) and English from the University of California, Davis.


Angela Fontes is vice president in the Economics, Justice, and Society Department, and director of the Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-making (BEAD) program at NORC at the University of Chicago. At NORC, Fontes oversees research focused on household finance and investor decision-making, with a specific focus on the financial well-being of African American and Hispanic/Latino families. Using both traditional economic methods, as well as methods from behavioral science and marketing, Fontes delivers actionable insights for a diverse set of stakeholders.

A nationally-recognized expert in household finance, Fontes is regularly quoted in national and trade press and is a frequent speaker on topics related to financial wellbeing. She is the Principal Investigator on several projects, including work with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct investor protection research, and NORC’s ongoing collaboration with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Her research can be found in journals such as the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, and Financial Counseling and Planning.

Prior to NORC, Fontes worked in business and market research consulting with Chamberlain Research Consultants and Leo Burnett. She is adjunct faculty at Northwestern University where she was recently awarded a Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award. At Northwestern, Fontes teaches graduate courses in behavioral economics and public policy, and program evaluation. Fontes is incoming President of the American Council on Consumer Interests, and on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Side Housing Center. Fontes holds a PhD in consumer behavior and family economics with a minor in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®).


Dilip Gaonkar

Dilip Gaonkar

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Dilip Gaonkar is a professor of culture and communication and the director of the Center for Global Culture and Communication. He also directs the Center for Transcultural Studies, an independent scholarly research network concerned with global issues. Gaonkar has two sets of scholarly interests: the intellectual tradition of rhetoric with both its ancient roots and its contemporary mutations and global modernities and their impact on the political. He is currently the executive editor of the journal Public Culture, and he has written and lectured widely on rhetoric, globalization, democracy, and the media. In addition to his work for the Department of Communications Studies, Gaonkar also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of African American studies, an affiliate faculty member in the graduate program in Screen Cultures in Asian Studies, and a senior affiliate fellow at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, India.


Jay Grossman

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Jay Grossman teaches and writes about eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature and culture, especially Emerson and Whitman, the history of the book, and the history of sexuality. He is the author of Reconstituting the American Renaissance: Emerson, Whitman, and the Politics of Representation, and co-editor of Breaking Bounds: Whitman and American Cultural Studies. A portion of his current work on the literary critic and political activist F. O. Matthiessen was published as "The Canon in the Closet: Matthiessen's Whitman, Whitman's Matthiessen" in American Literature; another, on the sexual and textual intersections between Whitman, Matthiessen, and T. S. Eliot, is forthcoming in a collection of essays from the Leaves of Grass 150th Anniversary Conference. Grossman received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Reginald (Reggie) Jackson is currently Senior Learning Engineer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Integrated Marketing Communications Program and Northwestern IT’s Teaching & Learning Technologies department. In this role, he consults with faculty in the design and development of courses as well as the use of technology and teaching strategies. Prior to joining Northwestern, he was an Academic Technology Analyst at University of Chicago. Before coming to higher education, he held positions as a corporate trainer and instructional designer primarily in the banking industry. He also teaches for Roosevelt University's Graduate Program in Training and Development. Reggie holds a doctorate degree in Adult Education from National-Louis University, master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Instructional Design and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola University.


Gregory Kuhn currently is director of government management consulting at Sikich LLP and was assistant director for public management and training at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies. Kuhn has more than 28 years of combined governmental, consulting and higher education experience. He was the inaugural faculty director of the MPPA program and continues to be program adviser and lecturer. His primary teaching areas include public policy, leadership, public administration and budgeting. He also served as an instructor/lecturer for Northern Illinois University’s public administration program, and he has earned teaching awards at both NIU and SCS. Kuhn earned an MPA and PhD in public administration, public policy and organizational theory from Northern Illinois University.


Reba-Anna Lee

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Currently teaching:
Instructional Design


Larry Murphy is emeritus professor of the History of Christianity at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University. His research and publications have focused upon various dimensions of African American religious history, leadership, and devotional practices. They include, among others, Sojourner Truth: A Biography, African American Faith in America, Down by the Riverside: Readings in African American Religion, (with Gordon Melton and Gary Ward) The Encyclopedia of African American Religions, and “Piety and Liberation: An Historical Exploration of African American Religion and Social Justice,” in Iva E. Carruthers, et.al., eds., Blow the Trumpet in Zion. He served as Director of PhD Studies at Garrett-Evangelical; as an historical consultant to the Blackside, Inc., multimedia project “This Far By Faith,” a six-part television series on the role of the black church and other African American faith communities in American history; as historical consultant, script consultant, and on the production team for the video “Where Everyday Is Sunday,” on the history and social witness of African American Churches in Chicago; and in his work as oral historian of African American religion, he and his research team have amassed an extensive collection of audio and videotape material, along with supportive documents and photographs. He is a long-standing member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, an international organization of scholars and researchers. He received his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union/University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. David Noffs has spent over 10 years as an Instructional Technologist and Designer in the Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence at Columbia College Chicago where he oversaw the development of online interactive tools and the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS’s). In this capacity, he supervised the installation of a campus-wide Moodle (Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) LMS in 2008 and development of training programs for students, faculty and staff. Noffs’ work grew to include not only teaching faculty and staff ways to use technology in the classroom, but also oversight of the creation of faculty led virtual learning communities, and non-stop facilitated online courses for faculty and staff development. In addition, he helped develop and teach workshops for mobile app development, online coursework development (instructional design), grade book design, portfolio design, and an array of online teaching tools, including integration of social media into virtual learning communities. Noffs joined Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in 2015. His doctoral dissertation in Adult and Continuing Education from National Louis University is entitled, Resonating Frequencies of a Virtual Learning Community: An Ethnographic Case Study of Online Faculty Development at Columbia College Chicago. Noffs also teaches courses in Sound Design, Web Design and iOS, C# and C++ Programming at Columbia’s department of Interactive Arts and Media.


My work centers on aesthetics and political affect. Specifically, I look at how, at the macro level, the moving-image work is expressive of larger social and economic shifts, while at the micro level, it registers and calibrates our affective relationship to everyday life. The moving-image objects I study range from postwar and contemporary art cinemas, to postwar auteurs, to contemporary television. In my first book, The Cinema of Economic Miracles, I proposed a new way of looking at the Italian art cinema of the 1960s, in light of both the profound spatial changes wrought by the economic miracle and the emergence of new social subjects. In ‘Breaking Bad’ and Cinematic Television, I perform a granular analysis of the series’ visual style in order to explore the ways in which it opens up to an allegorical examination of everyday life in neoliberal America. In the early 2000’s, I coauthored, with Richard Cante, a series of essays on gay pornography, which used the films to track the evolution of the post-Stonewall gay male subject in the wake of urban decay and renewal, globalization, and the rise of neoliberalism. Currently I’m beginning to explore the video essay (as critical intervention): I’ve just completed my first video essays, one of which is an accompaniment to my book on Breaking Bad.


Domietta Torlasco works at the intersection of film theory and practice. After receiving a PhD from the department of Rhetoric and Film Studies at Berkeley, she completed an MFA in Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 2003 to 2007 she was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow and a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

Torlasco’s research and teaching interests include critical theory, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory, as well as Italian and French cinema, the SF and noir genres, and time-based media arts. She is the author of three books: The Time of the Crime: Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis, Italian Film (Stanford University Press, 2008), The Heretical Archive: Digital Memory at the End of Film (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), and The Rhythm of Images: Cinema Beyond Measure (University of Minnesota Press, 2021). Her video essays, which explore questions of domestic labor, borders, surveillance, and debt, have screened at national and international venues, including the Galerie Campagne Première in Berlin, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.



Felicity Vabulas

Felicity Vabulas

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Currently teaching:
International Institutions

Felicity Vabulas is a political scientist whose research focuses on international organizations, international political economy, international law, human rights and foreign policy. She is also a post-doctoral lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy where she has taught classes in political economy, American political institutions, international organizations and writing for public policy. She also helped lead the Harris School’s international policy practicums to Jordan and Israel, Turkey, Cambodia and Rwanda and Madagascar. Vabulas has ongoing research projects that focus on the effects of foreign lobbying on US foreign policy, the implications of suspensions from international organizations and the increasing use of informal international organizations such as the various G-groups. She has worked as a consultant at Accenture and researcher for the Central Intelligence Agency. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago.


Ivy Wilson teaches courses on the comparative literatures of the black diaspora and U.S. literary studies with a particular emphasis on African American culture. His forthcoming book, Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Nationalism (Oxford UP), interrogates how the figurations and tropes of blackness were used to produce the social equations that regulated the cultural meanings of U.S. citizenship and traces how African American intellectuals manipulated the field of aesthetics as a means to enter into political discourse about the forms of subjectivity and national belonging. Along with recent articles in ESQ, Arizona Quarterly, and PMLA, his other work in U.S. literary studies includes two forthcoming edited books on the nineteenth-century poets James Monroe Whitfield and Albery Allson Whitman. His current research interests focus on the solubility of nationalism in relationship to theories of the diaspora, global economies of culture, and circuits of the super-national and sub-national. Wilson has a Phd in african american studies and english from Yale University.


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