Meet the New Fellows of 2017

The New York Institute for the Humanities is delighted to announce this year's new fellows.

For more detailed biographies of each new fellow, please visit their individual fellow pages.


Brent Hayes Edwards is a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, and the Director of the Scholars-in-Residence Program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. He is the author of Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2017) and The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Harvard University Press, 2003), as well as co-editor of the collection Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia University Press, 2004), and editor of scholarly editions of classic works by Frederick Douglass, Joseph Conrad, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Claude McKay. From 2001-2011, Edwards served as co-editor of the journal Social Text. His translations include Michel Leiris’s Phantom Africa (Seagull Books, 2017), which won a 2012 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, as well as work by Edouard Glissant, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Sony Labou Tansi, and Monchoachi. Edwards was a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow.  


Joshua Jelly-Schapiro Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is a geographer and writer whose books include Island People: The Caribbean and the World (Knopf, 2016) and Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (California, 2016), which he co-edited with Rebecca Solnit and which received the Municipal Art Society's Brendan Gill Prize in 2017. His work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The Nation, Transition, Artforum, The Guardian, and The Believer, among others. He earned his PhD in Geography at UC-Berkeley, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, where he also teaches journalism.


Rhonda Garelick is the author of Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History (Random House, 2014); Electric Salome: Loie Fuller's Performance of Modernism (Princeton University Press, 2007); and Rising Star: Dandyism, Gender, and Performance in the Fin de Siecle (Princeton University Press, 1998). She is also co-editor of Fabulous Harlequin: ORLAN and the Patchwork Self (University of Nebraska Press, 2010). She is Professor of Performing Arts and English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is also the founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium. Garelick has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the NEH, the Getty Research Institute, the Dedalus Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Whiting Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature and French from Yale University.  Her cultural criticism has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Brooklyn Rail, and Salon, among other publications. 



Zoë Pagnamenta is a literary agent. She founded her eponymous agency in New York in May, 2008. Previously, she was the director of the New York office of the London-based Peters, Fraser & Dunlop, and an agent at The Wylie Agency in both New York and London.  Born in the US, but raised in the UK, Zoë has lived in New York since 1995 and represents a range of distinguished clients from both sides of the Atlantic, with a particular interest in serious nonfiction. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh and the Universita degli Studi di Siena, where she studied history, she has been a member of the Brooklyn Borough Literary Council, the board of the Young Vic in America, and is now on the advisory board to the Cundill History Prize at McGill University.  Her authors have won Bancroft, Ondaatje, Samuel Johnson and Pulitzer Prizes, Cullman Center and Guggenheim Fellowships, PEN and Whiting Awards.  


Kim Phillips-Fein is a historian and associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.  Her B.A. is from the University of Chicago (1997) and her Ph.D. from Columbia University (2005). She is the author of two books, Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal (W.W. Norton, 2009) and Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (Metropolitan Books, 2017).  She has been a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and she is currently a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her reviews and writings have appeared in The Nation, The Baffler, Bookforum, the Journal of American History and many other publications.



Ben Ratliff is the author of four books, including Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016); The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music (Times Books, 2008); and Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).  He was a pop and jazz critic at the New York Times from 1996 to 2016, and has written for other publications including Esquire, The New York Review of Books, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork.  He teaches cultural criticism at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.