Dr. Simchi Cohen earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work stands at the intersection of film studies, twentieth-century Jewish American literature, Yiddish literature, and contemporary American popular culture, and is particularly invested in images of the monstrous, the uncanny, and the living dead. Her research considers the influence Jewish history and culture have had on the production of American popular horror culture, and the way in which the zombie functions as the thread that pulls Jewish literature and American popular culture together.
In developing her own work, she has integrated a variety of genres dealing with popular culture in the many courses she has taught, expanding the breadth of the literary field to include supernatural films, television episodes, and comic books. Simchi’s publications similarly reflect the interdisciplinarity of her work, as well as her engagement with texts in a variety of media and languages. She has published articles in journals such as Horror Studies and Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, exploring issues of biopolitics and autoimmunity, memory, history, and the archive. She also currently serves as an editor and coordinator at Jura Gentium Cinema.
2013-14 Visiting Fellow: Dr. Elliot Panek
Dr. Elliot Panek earned his MA in Media studies from the University of Texas and his PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan. His research examines the uses and effects of new media from sociological and psychological perspectives, using interviews, surveys, and experiments to understand how entertainment and social media affect our individual and collective lives. He has published articles on complex narratives, social media and narcissism, parental restriction of media use, and self-control as it relates to media choice. Coverage of his research has been featured on Time.com, the Chicago Tribune, and the Huffington Post.
2012-13 Visiting Fellow: Dr. Lydia Pyne
Dr. Lydia Pyne holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from Arizona State University as well as MA/MS degrees in Anthropology and History and Philosophy of Science from University of Texas at Austin and Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the history of science, the intellectual history of paleoanthropology and archaeology, as well as literary nonfiction.
2011-12 Visiting Fellow: Dr. Saeed Hydaralli
Dr. Saeed Hydaralli holds a PhD in Sociology from York University. His current research is focused on an examination of the relationship between the multiple sensations concentrated in and released by the city and urban health and livability. He is also an Editorial Board Member of the Culture of Cities book series with Intellect Press. Dr. Hydaralli has previously taught at OCAD University and the University of Guelph-Humber, both located in Toronto. He has also been a Project Researcher with the Culture of Cities Centre, City Life and Well-Being: The GreyZone of Health and Illness, where he consistently brought to bear his extensive training in social theory and qualitative research methods.
2010-2011 Visiting Fellow: Dr. Michael Fortner
Michael Javen Fortner earned his PhD from Harvard University’s Program in Government and Social Policy. He is a former doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, and an affiliate of The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. His work studies the intersection of American political development and political philosophy – particularly in the areas of race, ethnicity, and class. His dissertation, “Must Difference Divide?: The Institutional Roots of Racial Politics,” compares the development of racial politics in London and New York City.
2009-10 Visiting Fellow: Dr. Dan Moscovici
Dan Moscovici was the Great Works Symposium Visiting Fellow in Energy for 2009-2010 and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Planning. Prior to this, he was a full-time interdisciplinary professor at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. There he developed and taught courses in sustainability, environmental policy, energy development, and natural resource management. His focus is both domestic and international. His professional experiences inform his academic training. He completed his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Planning (2009). Prior to this, for five years, he worked for CITGO Petroleum (a wholly owned subsidiary of Petrol de Venezuela S.A.), as a Marketing Pricing Analyst. During his employment, he received an MBA from Villanova University in International/Environmental Management (2003) and an MS from the University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Studies (2005). His Bachelor’s degree was from Lehigh University in Natural Resource Economics (2000).
Dan’s research is focused on land synergies surrounding energy projects and natural resource management. He has active projects in the Northern Forest of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Adirondacks regarding impacts of land preservation. Other research interests include research with students in Costa Rica to study effects of hydrological projects on the environment and society and also the impact from eco-tourism on sustainability on the island of Dominica.
2008-09 Visiting Fellow: Dr. Kevin Egan
Kevin Egan was the 2008-09 Visiting Fellow in the Great Works Symposium. He is currently teaching as an adjunct professor at Drexel, both in the Honors College and department of History and Politics. He is also teaching as a visiting instructor via Virginia Tech’s Online Master’s Program (OLMA).
Kevin received his PhD in Political Science from Penn State in 2007. Before that, he received his Master’s from Virginia Tech and his Bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster. While working on his dissertation, which examined the role of rights in structuring democratic citizenship for marginalized sexual identities, he was awarded the Penn State Alumni Association's Outstanding Dissertation Award. His research has been published in such journals as Contemporary Political Theory and New Political Science, and his research and teaching interests span a wide array of topics, including democratic theory, international relations theory, and the relationship between politics and music, among others.
2007-08 Visiting Fellow: Dr. James Schafer
Dr. James Schafer received his B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan in 1996. After working as a laboratory technician for two years, he matriculated to Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his Ph.D. in the History of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Schafer’s research reflects his interests in the social, political, and economic history of American medicine and health care. His research has been supported by fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Drexel University College of Medicine Archives and Special Collections.