Pre-Doctoral Fellows

Annika Arnold
University of Stuttgart

Annika Arnold is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, where she works with her supervisor Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn. In her doctoral thesis she explores how climate agents tell the story of climate change to an audience whose actual motives and interests are partly hidden. In doing so, she draws on the insights of cultural sociology, environmental sociology, and cultural geography. The analysis of narratives makes use of semiotic methodology and thus explores the far-reaching link between this field and cultural sociology, connecting two of Annika’s academic interests: cultural sociology and literature studies.

She received her M.A. from the University of Konstanz after having studied Sociology, German Literature, and Arts and Media Studies at the Universities of Konstanz, Germany and Oslo, Norway.

Annika has taught courses on qualitative methods as well as introductory sections on sociology. She is currently holding a dissertation scholarship by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation Germany.

Annika is a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology, to which she was invited as a Visiting Graduate Student for the academic year 2011/ 2012.

Curriculum Vitae

Grzegorz Brzozowski
The Institute of Sociology at the University of Warsaw, Poland

Grzegorz Brzozowski is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. He participated in a number of Summer Schools on the topic of religion in public life (including Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen 2010, UCSIA 2011, New School TCDS 2011). He was a Visiting researcher at Freie Universität Berlin (April-May 2012) and was a visiting graduate student at Yale University in 2013, where he was affiliated with Center for Cultural Sociology.

He works on the topic of ritual-like festive events in the contemporary Polish public sphere. His academic interests include anthropology of performance, methodologies of visual research, neo-Durkheimian sociology of religion and post-secular theories of public sphere. His recent article is: Spatiality and the Performance of Belief: The Public Square and the Collective Mourning for John Paul II (Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2013). Currently he became a member of the international research group “Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource” organized by University of Oslo.

He also works as a documentary director, graduated from Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing (2010), with a movie Today in Warsaw, Tomorrow Whatever. He participated in a number of documentary workshops (VGIK Summer School 2009), having his projects shown in Israel, Sweden and France (Cannes Short Film Corner). Since 2011, he works as an editor of Kultura Liberalna, a Polish intellectual weekly online journal, where he also published a number of articles on the role of performative religion in Polish public sphere and pop-culture.

Curriculum Vitae

Fiona Rose Greenland
University of Michigan

Fiona Rose Greenland is a PhD candidate in Sociology and Public Policy. Her research interests include cultural and scientific policy in archaeology, nationalism, and theoretical and epistemological problems in science and art studies. She is writing an article on the interplay of state institutions, national identities, and knowledge production in an excavation team based in central Italy. Collaborative projects include Responses to Alexander: Film, History and Culture Studies (2010) with Cambridge classics professor Paul Cartledge; and the March 2010 Michigan Theory Conference (Ann Arbor, MI). She has taught courses in Greek and Roman art and architecture; Roman settlements; and sociological theory. Fiona earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan, and her Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy in Classical Archaeology from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Curriculum Vitae

Aníbal Gauna-Peralta
State University of New York at Albany

Erik Hannerz
Uppsala University

Having started his undergraduate studies in sociology and social psychology at Uppsala University, Erik Hannerz completed his studies in Copenhagen and Lund with a BA in Cultural Studies on subcultural hierarchies and a MA in Sociology on the punk scene in Indonesia. From 2002 to 2004 he also worked as a research assistant for the project “Oppositional Cultures in Transitions” together with Professor Ron Eyerman.

Erik is currently a PH D candidate at Uppsala University, and his research is centered on subcultural meaning and differentiation. More specifically his work deals with how punks (re)construct and make use of a mainstream in order to authenticate their own as well as others’ behavior. Drawing from the work of the late Durkheim Hannerz argues that the meaning structures these punks enact position the boundary between the subcultural sacred and profane as either external to or internal to the subcultural. As a consequence the symbolic representations of the subcultural differ among participants due to these differences in positioning the mainstream. Erik is currently in his fourth year as a PH D candidate and will defend his thesis in the fall of 2013.

Erik is a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University, to which he was invited as a Visiting Assistant in Research in 2011. He also the co-founder and coordinator of the research seminar Cultural Space at the department of Sociology, Lund University.

Anne Lin
State University of New York at Albany

Anne Lin is a graduate student in the Sociology Ph.D. program at the State University of New York at Albany. She received her undergraduate degree at the National Taiwan University in Taiwan, where she studied international relations and gender theories. Anne’s broad range of research interests include gender and queer theory, body politics, media studies, cultural globalization and transnational interactions, and postcolonial theories. She developed deep interest in gender issues and did many research on topics concerning sex work and body politics. In addition, Anne is also a strong advocate for the Free Open Source Software (FOSS) movement.

However, Anne’s current research focuses on the transnational media and cultural flows in East Asia. She is aiming to utilize research tools in the strong program paradigm to analyze narratives and cultural symbols that travel around the East Asian region. She also hopes to delineate how countries define and redefine, draw and redraw boundaries between national and cultural borders in an age of postcoloniality and globalization, and how these efforts in interpreting culture weave into webs of meaning structures.

Brian McKernan
State University of New York at Albany

Brian McKernan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Previously, Brian received his M.A. in Sociology from Fordham University. While finishing his dissertation, Brian presently serves as a visiting instructor at Mount Holyoke College. His areas of interests include social theory and cultural sociology, particularly in relation to mass media and popular culture. Brian’s dissertation employs hermeneutical techniques to examine the moral narratives that emerge from video game coverage in different mediated social spaces during different time periods. Besides his dissertation, Brian is working on multiple empirical explorations into the cultural object of celebrity, as well as an analysis of the various ways in which non-American newspapers treat American television. In all these projects, Brian seeks to combine Cultural Sociology’s major principles with recent contributions from Communication and Media studies.

Curriculum Vitae

Nickie Michaud Wild
State University of New York at Albany

Nickie Michaud Wild is a Ph.D. candidate and instructor at the Department of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She received her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her B.A. in English and American Literature from New York University. She is currently working on her Doctoral Dissertation, which examines the evolving trends in political comedy on television during the U.S. Presidential elections from 1980-2008. It hopes to explain the changes in how prominent actors in the public sphere discuss such comedy, its increasing relevance to the language of American politics, and the transformative power of satire. Additionally, her research and teaching areas include Culture, Politics, Democracy, Domestic Violence, Mass Media, and 9/11.

Curriculum Vitae

Tanya Omeltchenko
University of Virginia

Tatiana (Tanya) Omeltchenko was born in Moscow, Russia. She received her Master of Arts in Sociology from George Mason University in 2004. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include sociological aspects of meaning-making in situations of crisis. In her doctoral dissertation she wants to explore how ordinary Americans may have constructed their political talk to restore a sense of order after September 11 and Hurricane Katrina.

Matthias Revers
State University of New York at Albany

Matthias Revers is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the State University of New York-Albany, where he started his PhD in 2008. His research clusters around US-European comparative media research, particularly focusing on news discourse and journalistic practice from a cultural sociological perspective. Other interests include citizenship discourses, media events, social drama, and sociology of humor. The basis of his dissertation is a multi-site ethnography of political journalists in the US and Germany who facilitate and construct political public spheres around state politics. After two years at the New York State Capitol he is conducting field research in Munich in 2011/12, funded by a research grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and in affiliation with Ludwig Maximilan University of Munich.

Revers is an Austrian citizen and worked as a journalist, research assistant and teaching adjunct after receiving his BA (2005) and MA (2006) at the University of Graz and before coming to the US.

Lina Rincón
State University of New York at Albany

Lina Rincón is a doctoral candidate and lecturer at the department of sociology at State University of New York at Albany. She was born in Colombia where she studied anthropology. In 2004, she received her M.S. in anthropology from University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her current research analyzes meaning making structures that allow or prevent recent migrants to successfully incorporate to American society. She is currently working on her dissertation examining forms of attachment Latin American engineers create, as a means to incorporate into middle class America. Specifically, she is working with a group of Colombian and Puerto Rican engineers who were hired by American IT companies during the 90s ‘dot com’ boom. In addition, she is collaborating with Dr. Angie Chung to create a model to study migrant liminal identities. She presented her analysis of immigration rhetoric in the CNN Lou Dobbs’ show at the CCS Annual conference in 2010.

Ian Sheinheit
State University of New York at Albany

Ian Sheinheit is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University at Albany SUNY.  His research broadly focuses on theory, media, culture and politics.  Utilizing the hermeneutical methodological techniques of textual and narrative analysis, his research illuminates the process upon which meaning is transmitted within news media texts.

Ian is interested in the ways in which Internet communication technologies (ICTs) have potentially altered the cultural and structural environment that envelops media, politics and the public sphere.  His research discusses and observes how different media formats and outlets report events, disseminate commentary, discuss and define one another and attempt to set the agenda. Further, his research focuses on how journalists, politicians and citizens are responding to the current transitions in communication technologies.

Ian is also interested in civil society, democracy, deliberation and civic engagement.

Ian is currently teaching classes at the University at Albany SUNY.

His teaching interests include Classical and Contemporary Theory, Cultural Sociology, Media and Politics, Mass Media and Political Sociology.  All of the courses he teaches are focused on fostering critical thinking and utilizing theoretical concepts to help students better understand their world and their lives.

Curriculum Vitae

Ping Wang
Fudan University

Ping Wang is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology at Fudan University. He was born in Hangzhou, a city famous for its picturesque scenery and associations with many celebrated poets and painters. He has lived in Shanghai for more than 10 years, where he received BS in social work and MA in sociology. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation on the social transition and urban poverty in mainland China, especially cultural codes and context in the urban life of ordinary residents. His interests are social stratification, cultural sociology, field methods, and NGO studies. He was the co-director for several marketing research programs and program evaluation of government programs. In addition, he is a licensed social worker with experience working with youth and families.

Jingsi Christina Wu
State University of New York at Albany

Jingsi Christina Wu is a Doctoral candidate in the joint program of Sociology and Communication at University at Albany, State University of New York. She is currently finishing her dissertation while serving as a lead research assistant on a large federally funded project that uses mixed methods to examine social interaction and leadership in online gaming environments. Her research focuses on popular culture and politics, the role of new media in civic engagement. Her dissertation examines how discussions of popular cultural contents help nurture aesthetic public spheres as an extension of the formal Habermasian public sphere, demonstrating their civic significance. Having received her B.A. from Zhejiang University, China, where she studied Journalism and Sociology, Jingsi maintains strong connection with and research interest in China. Combined with her newly developed interest in American popular culture and political communication, she is further moving into comparative media studies.

Curriculum Vitae

Previous Pre-Doctoral Fellows

Asia Friedman, Shannon Latkin Anderson, Sophia Krzys Acord, Anna Lund, Stephen Vaisey, Andrea Voyer, Mervyn Horgan, Nicolas Howe, John Dickson, Christopher Bail, Werner Binder.