2014–2015 Fellows


Carla Bellamy (Associate Professor, Anthropology, Baruch College) is the author of The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place (University of California Press, 2011). Her work on the topics of religious identity, religious conflict, and religious healing in contemporary India has appeared in the International Journal of Hindu Studies, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and Nidan: International Journal for the Study of Hinduism. Bellamy is currently working on an ethnography documenting the rise of the cult of the Shani, the Hindu deity historically associated with misfortune. This project examines the ways in which contemporary urban Hindu self-perception and devotional religion have responded to the dual pressures of communalism and India’s ongoing process of economic liberalization. The recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation, PSC-CUNY, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the American Academy of Religion, Bellamy also serves as cochair of the steering committee of the Religion in South Asia Section of the American Academy of Religion.

Karen Miller (Associate Professor, History, LaGuardia Community College) received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Her book, Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism in Interwar Detroit, is forthcoming from NYU Press in December 2014. She has been a faculty fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and the Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as a visiting scholar at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan. Miller’s project for the Committee for the Study of Religion examines Christian homesteading in the Philippines’ majority-Muslim south between 1898 and the 1950s.



Jeffrey Culang is a Ph.D. candidate in Middle Eastern and Jewish history at the CUNY Graduate Center. His dissertation focuses on the interaction of law and religion in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries by tracing the transformative effects of secular liberal concepts and legal developments on conceptions of religion and religious groups in Egypt. In addition to his research, Culang serves as managing editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Kyle Francis is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the CUNY Graduate Center. His dissertation is a study of Catholic missionaries and the colonial state on French Algeria from 1830 to 1914. He has received numerous academic awards and fellowships, including a Dissertation Writing Fellowship and a Graduate Teaching Fellowship from the Graduate Center, CUNY. Francis currently teaches in the History Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His research interests include French religion and culture, European imperialism and decolonization, and the theory and history of gender and sexuality.

Saygun Gökarıksel is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. His doctoral research concerns the ethical-legal and judicial reconstructions of the communist past in Poland and Eastern Europe, with a focus on the accusations of “collaboration” with the communist-era secret service. Central to his research are the questions of violence, responsibility, loyalty, and justice that arise out of these accusations and are framed within the context of human rights, state security, and capitalist transformation. Gökarıksel’s writing has appeared in U.S., Polish, Romanian, and Turkish journals.

Yunus Dogan Telliel is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He earned a B.A. in cultural studies at Sabanci University, Istanbul. Telliel is currently completing his dissertation, which addresses the politics of religious language in secular Turkey since the early twentieth century. He is interested in how and why the “language” of religion has come to be demarcated, by both secularists and Muslim reformists, as a site and vehicle for shaping modern Muslim sensibilities. His dissertation focuses on intra-Islamic debates regarding, for example, the translatability of the Qur’an, reading the Qur’an independently of and in opposition to tradition, and the relevance of modern scientific knowledge to understanding the Qur’an. Telliel’s research has combined archival and ethnographic inquiry and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the CUNY Graduate Center. He also teaches courses on globalization, the politics of religion, and religious freedom at Lehman College.

Joanna Tice works at the intersection of political theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. Her dissertation project describes the political thought of contemporary evangelicalism as it pivots away from the Christian right. Previous projects include the study of “fundamentalist feminisms,” and analysis of the U.S. discourse around undocumented immigration. Joanna’s research has been supported by the Advanced Research Collaborative, and she is currently a Dissertation Fellow with The Mellon Committee for the Study of Religion at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has taught political theory and American politics at Brooklyn College, and currently works as a Writing Across the Curriculum Consultant at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she trains faculty in writing pedagogies. Joanna holds a B.A. in Government and Philosophy from Wesleyan University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center.


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