2020-2021 Graduate Research Fellowships Awarded

July 17, 2020

The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities is pleased to announce a stellar and disciplinarily diverse new cohort of graduate research fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year. Congratulations to the six fellows, and welcome to PPEH!


Santiago Cunial is currently a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he works on political incentives towards energy transitions in developing countries, with a focus on Latin America. His research aims to explain how electoral incentives and macroeconomic contexts affect the adoption of policies that aim to decarbonize the electricity sector. Before coming to UPenn, he did an MA in Political Science at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and a BA in Political Science at Universidad de Buenos Aires, both in Argentina. In Argentina, Santiago did research on health politics and worked for several national and international agencies.

Santiago Cunial
Sherif Ismail

Sherif H. Ismail is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at Penn. His current research is about the Anthropocene, literary form, and the contemporary temporal imaginary. His published work appeared in Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies and Philological Encounters.

Davy Knittle (he/they) is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in English. His research interests are situated at the intersection of queer and trans theory, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation project focuses on literature by queer and trans writers that negotiates competing approaches to the future of New York in city planning, social movements, and environmental advocacy from 1950 to the present. Davy’s critical work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay StudiesWSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Planning Perspectives. He is a reviews editor at Jacket2 and curates the City Planning Poetics series at the Kelly Writers House. 

Davy Knittle
Jane Robbins Mize

Jane Robbins Mize is a poet, literary scholar, and experimental publisher in Philadelphia. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and material culture. Her dissertation examines the intersections of colonialism, industrialism, and the cultural imagination of water in the early-twentieth-century United States. Jane Robbins previously worked as an assistant editor at PublicAffairs Books and as an editorial intern at The Paris Review and Prestel Publishing. She grew up in Athens, Georgia and received her BA in English and Latin from the University of Texas at Austin.

Miranda Mote is an artist, architect, and historian of North American landscapes. She writes histories of places as they are informed by belief and imagination. Her dissertation entitled “Reading and Writing a Garden, the Materials of a Garden in Germantown, PA (1683–1719)”, is focused on the understudied influence of Francis D. Pastorius, his garden and writing about his garden, plants, and bees. It will reconstruct the layers of meaning of his garden by transcribing and analyzing his garden journal and botanical poetry. This account will also document many aspects of early German-American garden culture in colonial Pennsylvania.

Miranda Mote
Pooja Nayak

Pooja Nayak is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and South Asia Studies at Penn. She works on the politics of value-making in zones of biodiversity and industrial closure. She is also interested in the plural genealogies of regional environmentalisms, especially in nature writing and environmental thought in the Kannada language. Prior to coming to Penn, she has worked as a reporter, editor, and documentary film-maker in India.