Ayodh Kamath is a student in the PhD in architecture program at PennDesign. He is interested in researching the relationship between information, material and energy flows in architectural design, building construction and the environment. Ayodh is a partner at Kamath Design Studio, New Delhi, India: an architectural, urban planning and environmental design practice. He enjoys the challenge and rewards of working with natural and reclaimed materials and mixing manual and digital design and construction techniques. Ayodh has worked on architectural and public art projects as well as taught at universities in India and the United States.
Luna Sarti is a 3 rd -year graduate student in the Italian Studies program of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research addresses the post- human attempts to rewrite animal subjectivity and vegetable living, with a special focus on literature and cinema. She is also interested in issues related to the representation of the Italian landscape, particularly regarding the complex relationships between the aesthetics of tourism and the exploitation of material sites. In preparation for her dissertation, she is working on a project of waterly reading that addresses the nature and depiction of water in the arts and in the sciences, focusing on three important sites in Italy: the Tiber river, the Arno river, and the Venice lagoon. Her focus is on the differences associated with the aesthetic reproduction of the water flows and the biology of the actual water, its contents, its mistreatment, its course of movement and other elements that remain on the margins of representation and that are ‘hidden’ in both visual and literary representations but reemerge in the sciences.
Alexis is a doctoral candidate in the History and Sociology of Science. Her work focuses on the materiality of deep time in the Arctic, asking how scientific and artistic understandings come together when ice is used to peer far into the past, or to guard things long into the future. To do this, she examines the changing ‘optics of the Arctic’ in Western art and science from the nineteenth century to today: What was once conceived of a flat, one-dimensional space of distant exploration has transformed into a deep, temporally and physically dynamic region, essential to the geophysics of the globe. Originally from New Zealand, Alexis arrived in the US on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2011. After completing an MA at The New School for Social Research Alexis came to Penn, where her interest in environmental history, science and technology studies, and recent debates about our new epoch—the Anthropocene—led her to the frozen north. In October 2017, she is taking part expeditionary residency program, The Arctic Circle, where she will spend two weeks sailing the high north with artists and scientists on a 100-year-old barquentine tall ship.
Nicole is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She investigates historical and ethnographic moments when issues of human and animal health meet. She is currently writing a dissertation that uses the history of animal nutrition science and the animal feed industry to understand current political debates about human, animal, and environmental health. Her dissertation will trace these intricacies found in American food systems, and how these systems rely on and transform non-human bodies and landscapes. You can connect with Nicole's work via Twitter @welkjoerger and through her website: welkjoerger.wordpress.com.
Ana Alonso SAS'18 is currently a senior studying linguistics and environmental studies. Her primary research interests are in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and language revitalization, and she has worked on the Flathead Indian Reservation (FIR) for the past three years. Her main involvement in language revitalization has been through game development. Ana works with Native Teaching Aids, an Indigenous media company based on the FIR, and has designed games for the Confederated Salish and Little Shell Band of Chippewa. At PPEH she hopes to advocate for integrating TEK into environmental academic discourse at Penn.
Alex Anderson (C’18, G’18) is majoring and submatriculating in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory. His interests include philosophy of language, data-driven literary studies, and interdisciplinary areas of research within the humanities. Over the summer he received a fellowship from the Price Lab for Digital Humanities to work on DataRefuge’s storytelling initiative, and as a PPEH Fellow he will continue and expand his research, as well as spend time on the Eastwick Oral History Project. He is committed to the public humanities, transdisciplinary knowledge-production, and collaborative approaches to dealing with the challenges of the Anthropocene.
Seung-Hyun Chung (C’18) is an English major researching the entanglement of environmental and climate justice with discourses on racism, colonialism, and capitalism. Particularly, he is interested in the thought-process toward the “other” — identities, bodies, and natural resources historically and presently appropriated — that has shaped the ecological unconscious and the contested advent of the Anthropocene. As a film and theatre-maker, he wishes to explore this topic through creative methods in which praxis and performance are critical elements of research and public engagement. He hopes to create a theatrical-filmic performance in which the environment itself becomes a presence instead of a mere background.
Sabrina Elkassas is an Undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Earth and Environmental Science with a concentration in Geology. She is also on the Pre-medicine track. She is currently working on her thesis that aims to bridge a gap between medicine and geology. Using already isolated strains of chemosynthetic bacteria, as well as cultivation of natural samples from deep sea vents, she is investigating how these bacteria can be used for bioremediation of the physical and chemical health hazards of asbestos.
Carlos Price-Sanchez is a Philadelphia poet majoring and submatriculating in English and Creative Writing, as well as minoring in Environmental Science. His work deals with the ecology of aesthetics, focusing on the ways in which felicitous poetic-space interacts with built environments (waste lines, landfills, filled in streams), organic bodies (both human and nonhuman), and global identity politics. He is currently working on a collaborative poetic mapping of the buried stream beds surrounding Philadelphia. He hopes to examine how our interactions with suppressed ancient landscape disseminate into problems of socioeconomic segregation, as well as explore the utility of the poetic as a prosthesis for contending with the ramifications of living within “risk space
Sam Sanders (C’18) is a senior studying German in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Interested in German language, German literature, politics, he wants to examine the interface between German and American energy and climate politics. While studying in Freie Universität Berlin last semester, he began to research possible disparities between citizen energy groups in the two countries, specifically rural electric cooperatives, and looks forward to honing his research and exploring new aspects of the Environmental Humanities with PPEH this year.
Emma Singer is an Urban Studies major and undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is conducting research for her senior thesis on Philadelphia's recent investments in bicycle infrastructure. Her work will touch on issues of urban mobility, sustainability, and equity. Through these lenses she hopes to incorporate ideas on the right to the city, the creative class, and racialized mobility.