Criticism & Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellows, 2014-16

David Cisneros (Communication)

Citizenship, a feeling: Affect, emotion, and immigration rhetoric
U.S. immigration and border policy are obviously emotionally charged and highly polarized issues. But, which affects and emotions structure immigration rhetoric? How do they influence the politics of citizenship and the lives of immigrants? This book explores such questions by bringing together critical theories on affect and emotion to examine contemporary discourses of immigration and citizenship. Exploring popular media artifacts, political rhetoric, and cultural discourses of immigrant activists, the book explores how affects and emotions saturate public discourses of immigration and U.S. citizenship, and the possibilities for interrupting and dis/rearticulating these emotional investments to achieve a more progressive racial democracy.


Rini Mehta (Comparative & World Literature / Religion)


Between National and Comparative: Unworlding Indian Cinema
My interest lies in developing a history and pedagogy of Indian cinema utilizing comparative methodology. My research in the next two years will be geared towards finding a common ground between differential categorization of world cinemas (using Indian cinema as a paradigm) on the one hand and the mapping of world cinema on the grid of global capitalism. Given that the history of world cinema--as an entire body of work of a composite of individual pieces--is only 120 years old, and that the production and distribution of cinema has been contingent upon a certain flow of capital and materials, it is possible to find a theoretical framework that can be used to gauge the socio-political context of all cinemas. Indian cinema is a useful paradigm because it provides the volume, history, and variations that such a project requires.