Current Kling Fellows

Aaliyah Allen, Class of 2023
Major(s): American Culture Studies
Minor(s): Music, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Mentor(s): Zachary Manditch-Prottas
Project Title: Femcees and Identity: Interrogating Black Women’s Representation in Contemporary Mainstream Rap
Project Description: Black feminist scholars and cultural theorists have defined hegemonic stereotypes assigned to Black women and shown the value of studying Black female artists to illuminate truths about white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Today social media has allowed Black women artists greater agency and visibility which has changed the way they engage with hegemonic stereotypes. This project explores these changes by examining the “Queen Niggerati (QN,)” a collection of Black female artists who produce Black and American culture through their representations of Black womanhood by leveraging their access to social media and its centrality to the music industry. Using Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat as case studies, I conduct textual, sonic, and visual analyses of their social media, audio-visual discographies, and media reception to demonstrate how Megan and Doja negotiate performances of Black womanhood through their representational politics, complicate hegemonic images of Black womanhood, and explore the limitations of their representations.

Mary Rose Bell, Class of 2024
Major(s): English & Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology
Mentor(s): Robert Milder
Project Title: Entangled Narratives and the Development of Self
Project Description: My project will investigate the entangled relationship between fictional narrative and self-narrative, specifically literary representations of the self and identity construction. I will be focusing on Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical and semi-autobiographical work as a helpful framework, studying her narrative representations of the self as they relate to consciousness, perception, and manic-depressive illness.


Julia Cleary, Class of 2024
Major(s): Political Science
Minor(s): Religion and Politics, Legal Studies
Mentor(s): Amy Gais
Project Title: Racial Bias in Voir Dire
Project Description: My current project focuses on the evolution of jury standards in the United States legal system, and the effectiveness of each court change at advancing racial equity in the criminal justice system.

Kayla Harrington, Class of 2024
Major(s): Psychological and Brain Sciences
Minor(s): Legal Studies
Mentor(s): Lori Markson
Project Title: Black Girlhood and Education
Project Description: My project looks at two distinct periods: (1) the legal duration of slavery in America, 1619-1865 and (2) the last 30 years, 1990-2020. I want to look at the adultification and sexualization of Black girls during the first period as a means to compare the treatment of Black girlhood in the present day. Specifically, I will focus on the education realm and the way that young Black girls are spoken of compared to their white counterparts. What phrases and terms are used to describe Black girls? What are the social, political, and economic repercussions of this?

Jack Grimes, Class of 2023
Major(s): Philosophy and Political Science
Minor(s): Writing
Mentor(s): André Fischer
Project Title: Out with the “Homosexual Peace Party”: A Transformation of German Masculinity as Seen through WWI Literature
Project Description: During the 1907 Eulenburg Scandal, many German government/military officials were outed as homosexual, which led to a national and international discussion. Around the world, Germans were stereotyped as homosexuals. As a result, the German government at the time was considered homosexual—feminine, pacifist, incompetent. Homosexuality was equated with specific German political beliefs. This project examines the ways in which masculinity changed in Germany during World War I and argues that the masculine ideal moved away from the decorated, aristocratic Prussian officer and toward a figure like solider and philosopher Ernst Jünger as a response to Eulenburg. This project puts the scandal’s ideologies in conversation with Jünger’s Storm of Steel and a text that inspired it, Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, to highlight a change in accepted masculinity caused by the scandal. 

Matthew Layden, Class of 2023
Major(s): History
Mentor(s): Lori Watt
Project Title: Diagnosing the International Interest In Spain 1936-9: Orwell and Beyond
Project Description: The Spanish Civil War began when the military mounted a coup d’etat against the legitimate Second Republic in July of 1936, plunging Spain into a three-year conflict that pitted the fascist rebel forces against an uneasy coalition of republicans, communists, and anarchists. While the war did not directly result in the general European conflict that would start in 1939, the civil war garnered enormous international attention as a battleground of political ideologies. The loyalist war effort was aided immensely by international volunteers, many of whom were leftists. One of these was the author George Orwell, who wrote the memoir Homage to Catalonia about his experience in the P.O.U.M., an anti-Stalinist communist militia group. In this article I will diagnose the unprecedented international interest in the Spanish Civil War among Orwell and other foreign  leftists, charting why they came, why they fought, and what they believed in.

Hechen Liu, Class of 2023
Major(s): Anthropology and East Asian Studies
Mentor(s): Zhao Ma and Bret Gustafson
Project Title: The Model Worker System and the Loss of Honor: A Case Study into the Private Lives of Retired Socialist Workers in Yangpu, Shanghai
Project Description: The model worker system in socialist countries is a non-material compensation model that rewarded workers with honor based on their contribution, efficiency, and political morale. The system eventually started to collapse from the late 1970s to the early 1990s because world-wide socialist countries were on the brink of economic crisis. While studies of post-socialism have analyzed the impact of economic and institutional reforms on culture, everyday life, and the loss of working-class identity, little research has focused on the model worker system and the implications of its collapse to workers’ private lives. By conducting oral histories in a workers’ village in Shanghai, China, I seek to understand the impact of the implementation of the system and workers’ ambivalent and complicated sentiments toward it during economic reforms in the 1980s. This research will deepen our understanding of post-socialism and further the academic debates on this term as well as the particular experience of elderly Chinese working class today.

Dylan Maya-Tudor, Class of 2024
Major(s): International Affairs and Latin American Studies
Mentor(s): Steven Hirsch
Project Title: Revolutionary Solidarity and Cross-Continental Connectivities: Vietnam and Latin America in the Cold War
Project Description: Vietnam’s solidarity with Latin American revolutionaries during the Cold War has been largely overlooked. My research seeks to redress this oversight by analyzing Vietnam’s relationship with various guerrilla organizations including Colombia’s FARC and El Salvador’s FMLN as well as successful revolutionary movements like Nicaragua’s Sandinistas. It will also examine the close revolutionary cooperation between Vietnam and Cuba. In particular, it will highlight Cuba’s role as a conduit for Vietnamese arms and supplies and as a staging area for PAVN training courses.

Ranen Miao, Class of 2023
Major(s): Political Science and Sociology
Minor(s): Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Mentor(s): Cynthia Feliciano
Project Title: Intimate Racial Discrimination from Queer Men of Color: Racial Erotics in the 21st Century
Project Description: Queer people of color often experience different forms of racialized sexual discrimination, including stereotyping, sexual exclusion, and fetishization, that impact their mental health and self-esteem. Furthermore, societal stereotyping often imposes conflicting “desirable” or “undesirable” traits upon certain racial minority groups, creating tension between different oppressive generalizations. However, there is a lack of research in how queer people of color engage in race-based discrimination in the intimate sphere. By analyzing interviews with college-aged queer people of color, this paper explores the ways that young queer men of color experience, engage in, and resist racialized sexual and dating discrimination.

Omaer Naeem, Class of 2024
Major(s): International Affairs
Minor(s): South Asian Languages & Civilizations and Asian American Studies
Mentor(s): Shefali Chandra
Project Title: TBD
Project Description: My project will explore what the Pakistani state defines as Sufi, the relationship
between both the created identity and the state at large, and the space Sufis occupy in
popular Pakistani culture & consciousness, contemporarily. I intend on learning about the
role Sufis have played in Pakistan since its creation in 1947 and what Jinnah had
envisioned for Sufis.


Nash Overfield, Class of 2024
Major(s): African and African American Studies
Minor(s): Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Mentor(s): Timothy Parsons
Project Title: Pan-Africanism and Organized Labor
Project Description: My project will examine the historical connections between Pan-Africanism and
organized labor. My project will cover the period from the First Pan-African Congress in 1919 to
the mid-60’s as African nations gained independence, with most of my research focusing on the
latter years. I will specifically be researching the individuals who were major Pan-African and
labor leaders and see how their involvement in both influenced them and how the influences of
the two movements affected each other.

Jordan Rivera, Class of 2023
Major(s): History
Minor(s): Writing
Mentor(s): Raven Maragh-Lloyd
Project Title: The Acceleration of Cultural Appropriation Through TikTok
Project Description: The recent success of the social media platform TikTok has created an environment in which the process of cultural appropriation is accelerating rapidly. This appropriation process has led to a phenomenon where digital “Gen-Z culture” is becoming an altered, white-washed version of Black culture. An example of the consequences of this is the 2021 strike Black creators held to protest cultural appropriation on TikTok. The Black creators refused to create a dance to a new hit song after a white creator was featured on the Tonight Show using their dances for their economic gain with no credit given to the original creators. I will use this situation in combination with a Critical Technocultural Discourse Analysis (CTDA) of TikTok to examine the phenomenon in which the platform’s technical features uniquely enable the packaging of cultural content, and by extension, expedites the flywheel of cultural appropriation.

Violet Walker, Class of 2024
Major(s): English Literature and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Mentor(s): TBD
Project Title: The Transgender Body: Theory and Literature
Project Description: Given the difficulty black and trans people each individually have when attempting to align themselves under hegemonic white, cis standards of gender performance, embodiment, and beauty, my project seeks to analyze how black trans people construct their bodies against and in relation to hegemonic bodily discourses. Because of the conspicuous and direct ways in which TikTokers reference, imitate, or otherwise interact with the work of other creators, I plan to answer this research question by studying the sorts of TikToks black trans creators make and how they interact with the work of other creators.

Chloe West, Class of 2023
Major(s): History
Minor(s): Legal Studies, Religion and Politics
Mentor(s): Mark Pegg
Project Title: The Tudor Myth: Sixteenth-Century Memories of the Wars of the Roses
Project Description: England underwent a number of cultural and intellectual changes in the sixteenth century. The English Renaissance and the efforts of the Tudor Dynasty greatly impacted the ways in which people thought about history such as the Wars of the Roses. These shifts began at a time when England began to establish its popular memory of these civil wars. Henry VII was influenced by such changes as seen in his creation of the Tudor Myth and the narrative that he spun about the wars and his family’s role. As the new movements evolved, so did the way people remembered the wars. Henry’s propaganda permeated popular culture in England which was apparent in the works of artists, playwrights, and historians who all held biases in favor of the Tudors. This article seeks to build off of the current scholarship of historiography in England by also examining the evolution of the way people wrote about the wars within the wider historical context.