AGHI offers a range of support for graduate students. Graduate Research Fellowships award one semester of funding to advanced graduate students working on a range of fields across the humanities and humanistic social sciences. During the Spring semester, Fellows carry on their research while meeting regularly with AGHI board members and affiliate faculty to share and discuss their work. The PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies (IHS), meanwhile, is a new doctoral program, funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. IHS students working at the intersection of two disciplines craft their own PhD, one that combines the insights, faculty support, and results of this unique interdisciplinary research.

To learn more about these opportunities and how to apply, see our Graduate Opportunities page.

2024–2025 Graduate Research Fellows

We are excited to welcome five new scholars as the incoming 2024–25 cohort of AGHI graduate research fellows. Full info about individual fellows’ bios and projects below.

To see our past graduate research fellows, visit our Alumni page.

Ella Gonzalez

Ella Gonzalez

Research Interests: Art and archaeology of Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean world, women, gender, and sexuality studies, the historiography of art history, classical reception, cultural heritage, museum ethics

Mengqi An

Mengqi An

Mengqi (Mercy) An is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Thought and Literature at Johns Hopkins University. Her research spans Chinese-Sinophone literature, Russian-Russophone literature, ecocriticism, modernity and modernism, and borderland studies. Her dissertation project, titled “Between Nature and Cultures: Literature of Manchuria in Chinese and Russian Languages, 1910s-1940s,” examines writings in and about Manchuria (Northeast China) during a period of cultural clashes and unprecedented human impact on nature. She is particularly interested in the interplay between discourses, knowledge, and aesthetics related to the natural environment as played out in literary texts. Her research troubles many boundaries, including those of nation-states, geography, material-discourse, and human-nonhuman.

Yanneck Wiegers

Yanneck Wiegers

Primarily a Latinist, my research interest lies in the poetics and aesthetics of Latin literature. In my dissertation, I try to develop a fresh perspective on the production of Latin poetry. Under the notion of “Poetic Labor”, I examine the nature of the poets’ creative activity and their self-conception of it as it pertains to the ontologies of materiality, agency, and the body.

Before coming to Johns Hopkins, I completed a BA/BS in Latin and Biology at the University of Osnabrück, an MA in Classics at Leipzig University, and also studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy.

Besides, I never lost my love for the sciences and continue to study the history of scientific thought in classical antiquity and beyond, where I am interested in the history of biology (esp. Genetics) from the Pre-Socratics to today.

I teach courses in Latin and Ancient Greek at all levels, seminars on the history of science like “Ancient Genetics” & “History of Biology”, as well as more public-facing classes like “What is a Classic?” or “Framing Revolutionaries – From Rome to Disney.”


Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies (IHS) Students


Hannah Haegeland

Hannah Haegeland

BA, History and English Literature, Concordia College

MA, South Asia, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

Email: [email protected]

Biography: Hannah Haegeland is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies Program, working between the Department of the History of Science and Technology and the Department of Political Science. She researches military science and technologies in twentieth-century Asia. From 2011-2022 she held research and teaching positions related to the history and security of southern Asia in Albuquerque, Washington, D.C., Seattle, New Delhi, and Kathmandu.

Project: Hannah’s project works to recover some of the silences in Global South nuclear histories. When scientific knowledge and technologies developed in one time, geography, market, language, community, political and strategic environment migrate to other spaces, the ways individuals, institutions, and states interact with them can change, along with the actual character of those technologies and science. The nature of that interaction has a lot to do with how key strategic, bureaucratic, and technical actors want to use the science and technology. Hannah’s research will complicate universalist, deterministic scholarship by studying how and why key stakeholders engage with nuclear science and technologies differently or the same in distinct contexts over time.


Rui Zhe Goh

Goh Rui Zhe

BA in Philosophy, Yale-NUS College

Email: [email protected]

Biography: Rui Zhe is a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies, working at the intersection between philosophy of mind and perception science. He is fascinated by the temporal nature of experience, and his research explores how the human mind segments the continuous flow of perceptual input into the discrete events that we experience.

Project: In daily life, there are moments in which we seem to hear silence, such as when we listen to the quiet night, or when an exhilarating orchestral performance ends abruptly. However, these experiences of silence are puzzling because they seem to be characterized by the absence of sound—what could we possibly be hearing, if not sound? In his current project, Rui Zhe uses empirical and philosophical tools to investigate the nature of silence perception. To date, he has discovered empirical evidence showing that the auditory system segments moments of silence into discrete perceptual events. Building on these experimental findings, Rui Zhe is now exploring the possibility that experiences of silence are the result of the auditory system segmenting empty periods of time into discrete units. In the words of the playwright Tom Stoppard, silence may be “the sound of time passing”.


Jennifer Marks (brown-haired woman) standing in front of ancient Aegean archeological site.

Jennifer Marks

BA, Anthropology and Classical Civilization, Beloit College
MPH, International Health, Boston University School of Public Health
MA, Museum Studies certificate (Classical Archeology), Tufts University
MA, Ancient Greek & Roman Studies, Brandeis University

Email: [email protected]

Biography: Jennifer is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, working between Classics and Near Eastern Studies.  She holds degrees in Anthropology and Classical Civilization from Beloit College, International Public Health from Boston University, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies from Brandeis University, and a Museum Studies certificate from Tufts University.  Her research interests include the archaeology and material culture of the Aegean Bronze Age, particularly Minoan/Mycenaean textile craft production and specialization, metallurgy, and early Minoan mortuary practices, in addition to the application of ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology to ancient crafting techniques.

Project: Jennifer’s project aims to access the lived experiences and creative work of women who labored in the textile industries of the Bronze Age Aegean and Ancient Near East, by newly foregrounding the ways in which their biographies – as migrants, mothers, and craftspersons – embodied connections between these two regions.  Drawing together two areas of the ancient world, her research, diachronic in scope, will culminate in a close study of workgroups of women from western Anatolia who migrated to Greece with their children as textile laborers for the Mycenaean palace at Pylos.


Marshall Meyer

Marshall Meyer

BA, Occidental College
Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture

Email: [email protected]

Biography: Marshall Meyer is a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies at Johns Hopkins University, working between the departments of Comparative Thought and Literature and Modern Languages and Literatures. He received his bachelor’s degree in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture at Occidental College, where he wrote a thesis on the reception of Greek tragedy by key German idealist philosophers. His research interests include psychoanalysis, particularly the Ljubljana Lacanian School and transcendental materialism; German idealism, particularly Hegel; Marxist theory; twentieth-century European philosophy and theory; contemporary literature, film/television, and popular music; and current topics in aesthetic theory, such as autonomy, form, and critique.

Project; Marshall situates his work as part of an ongoing effort, inaugurated more than thirty years ago by Slavoj Žižek and members of his circle, to read the German idealist canon through the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis (and vice versa). At the same time, he remains keenly interested in the many new practices of reading that have proliferated in the humanities in the twenty-first century, and it is the aim of his research to bring these two concerns into dialogue. How would Lacan or Hegel, with their shared emphasis on the subject’s mediation, respond to a trending practice like postcritique, with its belief in an immediate relationship between reader and text? And are the thinkers just mentioned only good for critiquing existing practices of reading, or is there sufficient material in their work to advance a positive theory of aesthetics? These are among the questions that occupy him.



John Shannon

John Lafe Shannon

BA, Sociology, Saint Xavier University
MA, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago

Email: [email protected]

Biography: John is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies Program, working between Near Eastern Studies and Earth and Planetary Sciences. He holds degrees in Sociology from Saint Xavier University and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. His research interests are the archaeology of Arabia, geoarchaeology, and the archaeology of trade and exchange.

Project: John’s research focuses on chlorite vessels that were carved by the peoples of Arabia and Iran during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Despite their ubiquity in the archaeological records of civilizations surrounding the Persian/Arabian Gulf, it remains unknown where the stone for these vessels originated. By linking chlorite vessels to geological sources, John seeks to extrapolate the trade networks within which these vessels were produced and distributed.


Shengshuang Wang

Shengshuang Wang

BA, Chinese Language and Literature, Nanjing University
MA, Comparative Literature, Renmin University of China

Email: [email protected]

Biography: Shengshuang holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Nanjing University, and she received her master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Renmin University of China. In 2019 she was accepted into the German section at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she is studying in the Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies Program to combine her interests in German studies and Sinology.

Project: Her research focuses on the influences of German literature and philosophy on Chinese modernity, especially on Chinese intellectual and political movements in the 20th century. Shengshuang also continues her investigations on the contemporary German writer W. G. Sebald, especially the theme of repetition in his works.