SSD Welcomes 9 New Faculty
August 11, 2022 (last updated on September 20, 2022)
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of History
Assistant Professor beginning July 1, 2023
As a historian of modern Japan and East Asia, Yuting Dong is interested in questions on colonialism, history of labor and expertise, and environmental history. She is currently working on a second project that examines the commodification and politicization of air in Japan’s colonial empire. Dong earned her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 2021. She joins the university from the Harvard Academy, where she conducted research as an Academy Scholar.
Associate Professor, Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity
Eve Ewing draws upon empirical evidence, archival sources, and artistic production to construct a critical imaginary theorizing Black life in the United States at the intersections of history and possibility, with a particular interest in the lives of young people and in schools as sites of ideological production. Her book Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018 and received the Outstanding Ethnography in Education Book Award from the University of Pennsylvania as well as the O.L. Davis Jr. Outstanding Book Award from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum. Ewing also writes in other genres for broad audiences; she is author of the poetry collections Electric Arches and 1919, the novel for young readers Maya and the Robot, and the Ironheart and Champions series for Marvel Comics. She earned her PhD in Education from Harvard University in 2016, and was previously appointed to the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice before joining the Division of the Social Sciences.
Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Human Development
Chiara Galli’s research interests include: international migration, migration and asylum policy, law and society, children and youth studies, and qualitative research methods. Her book project is an ethnographic study examining Central American unaccompanied minors’ experiences as they navigate applications for asylum and other forms of humanitarian immigration relief in the U.S., with the help of immigration attorneys. She earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles in 2020.
Assistant Professor, Department of History
Aaron Jakes’ research and teaching interests include modern Middle East and South Asia, global environmental history, and the historical geography of capitalism. His first book project, published with Stanford University Press in summer 2020, is entitled Egypt’s Occupation: Colonial Economism and the Crises of Capitalism. It explores both the political economy of the Egyptian state and the role of political-economic thought in the struggle over British rule following the occupation of 1882. Jakes joins the university from the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College, where he was an Assistant Professor of History. He earned his PhD from New York University’s joint program in History and Middle Eastern Studies in 2015.
Marshall Field IV Professor, Department of Psychology
A leader in the study of happiness, psychological well-being, the experience of a meaningful life and cultural psychology, Oishi’s research program is distinctive in its methodological range and ingenuity as well as its broad theoretical reach. Currently, he is focused on the effects of economic inequality and residential mobility on the well-being of individuals and communities. His work has been recognized by major awards, including the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award for Advancing Cultural Psychology, awarded by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He also recently received a Templeton Foundation Grand Challenges Grant. Oishi earned his bachelor’s degree from International Christian University in Tokyo, his master’s from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Oishi joins the university from the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 2004.
Assistant Professor, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics
Kirill Ponomarev’s research interests lie broadly in econometrics, with current research focusing on partial identification and efficient estimation. He earned his PhD in Economics from University of California Los Angeles in 2022.
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Anthropology
Assistant Professor starting July 1, 2023
Kamala Russell’s research focuses on speakers of the Śhehrēt Modern South Arabian language, located in the Dhofar mountains of the Sultanate of Oman. She is particularly interested in questions of space and ethics as they pertain to face-to-face interaction, with broader interests in the Arab grammatical tradition, co-speech gesture, psychoanalysis, and the linguistics of contact and change, all of which constitute interesting challenges to linguistic and semiotic theory. Russell earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley in 2021.
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of History
Assistant Professor starting July 1, 2024
Thuto Thipe’s research focuses on social and legal history of 19th and 20th century South Africa. Her manuscript in progress, Black Freehold: Landownership in Alexandra Township, tells the story of the history of land ownership in Alexandra Township, near Johannesburg, from its founding in 1912 to 1979 when the state had stripped black land owners of their freehold land ownership and forced removals had largely displaced Alexandra residents. Thipe earned her PhD in History and African American Studies from Yale University in 2020.
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Linda Zhao’s research centers on networks and neighborhoods, especially in how they relate to inequality and intergroup dynamics in three substantive areas: immigrant integration, policing, and health. She analyzes networks and longitudinal data using a wide range of quantitative and computational methods, such as agent-based models, marginal structural models, and statistical network models. Some examples of her recent work include a study on the origins of ethnic homophily in adolescent friendship networks, a study on the implications of neighborhood-level inequality for mortality, and a study on the relationship between officer networks and police misconduct. Zhao earned her PhD in Sociology from Harvard University in 2020, and is joining the university from the Cornell Population Center, where she served as a Frank H.T. Rhodes Postdoctoral Fellow.