H+U+D Welcomes Junior Fellows and Dissertation Fellows for 2020-21

The Mellon Humanities, Urbanism and Design Initiative at Penn (H+U+D) is pleased to announce the arrival of its two Junior Fellows and two Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for the 2020-21 academic year.

H+U+D Junior Fellows

Dr. Tyeshia Redden and Dr. Syantani Chatterjee have been named H+U+D Junior Fellows for 2020-21. They were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants from the humanities and design disciplines. In keeping with the mission of H+U+D to bring together scholars and students to explore cities at the intersection of the humanities and design, Dr. Redden, a scholar of race studies and housing policy, is being hosted by the School of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Chatterjee, an anthropologist, is hosted by the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Both Junior Fellows will participate in the H+U+D Faculty Colloquium and teach interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in their academic host departments in Spring 2020.

  • Tyeshia Redden

Ty Redden joins the Mellon H+U+D Initiative from Gettysburg College, where she was Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. She is a graduate of Savannah State University and the University of Florida, having earned a Ph.D. in Design, Construction & Planning with specializations in race studies and housing policy. Her research explores development-forced displacement driven by mega-sporting events. Ty is a frequent presenter at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Urban Affairs annual conferences, and is co-author of “Building the Foundation for Arnstein’s Ladder: Community Empowerment through a Participatory Neighborhood Narrative Process” in the forthcoming volume, Learning from Arnstein’s Ladder: From Citizen Participation to Public Engagement (co-edited by M. Lauria and C. Slotterback). She is appointed in the Department of Africana Studies (School of Arts and Sciences).

  • Syantani Chatterjee

Syantani Chatterjee, who recently completed her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University, is an anthropologist specializing in questions of urban citizenship and belonging in India. Her book project, which builds on her dissertation, examines the social worlds of the residents of Shivaji Nagar (Mumbai), also known as “Bombay’s Gas Chamber.” Her interest in exposure, and embodiment is reflected in her earlier field research among commercial gestational surrogates in India. In her award-winning Master’s Thesis at Columbia University, Caste in a New Mold: The rematerializing of caste in the biomedical universe of commercial surrogacy in India, she studied the emergence of new configurations of caste, and the endurance of earlier forms of the same in contemporary India, from within biomedical practices and discourses. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Chatterjee worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Associated Press and CNN.  Her scholarship has received generous support from the American Institute for Indian Studies, Columbia University’s Lindt Dissertation Fellowship, and other endowments. Her publications appear in the International Journal of Labor and Working Class History, and PoLAR. She is appointed in the Department of Landscape Architecture (Weitzman School of Design).

H+U+D Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellows

This fall, the initiative is also delighted to welcome two Doctoral Dissertation Fellows, Rui Castro and Aaron Bartels-Swindells. They will participate in the H+U+D Faculty Colloquium while advancing their own dissertation projects.

  • Rui Castro

Rui Castro is completing his Ph.D. in architecture at the Weitzman School of Design. His research explores the history of architecture after World War II, and its intersection with politics, media, and the arts.

His dissertation, titled Transgressive Transparency. Dan Graham, Art/Architecture, and the Challenge of a Pluralist Public Sphere, examines the work of the American artist Dan Graham from 1964 to today. Rui holds an architecture degree from ULPorto, a Masters in Planning and Design of the Urban Environment from UPorto, and a D.E.A. in Architecture from Madrid Polytechnic University. Before coming to Penn he taught and lectured in architecture and worked as an architect in Portugal and Spain.

  • Aaron Bartels-Swindells

Aaron Bartels-Swindells is a PhD candidate in the English Department. He specialises in postcolonial studies, and his work addresses the significance of colonialism and imperialism in Anglophone literatures of Sub-Saharan Africa.

His dissertation in progress examines the development of realist fiction in South Africa in relation to the projects of segregation and apartheid. He received an M.A. (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and an M.Phil. in Criticism and Culture from the University of Cambridge. Prior to coming to Penn, he was a Fox International Fellow in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. His work has appeared in Representations and African Identities.