Welcome, 2017-2018 Postdoc and Graduate Fellows!

The Futures Initiative delighted to welcome several new members of our team in 2017-2018:

Frances Tran, Postdoctoral Fellow and Interim Associate Director
Frances Tran is a Post-Doctoral Fellow and the Interim Associate Director for the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research draws on Asian American and multiethnic science and speculative fictions for the insights they provide into new modes of sensing, un-learning, and becoming that articulate pedagogies and practices for critiquing persisting forms of institutionalized racism. Engaging the speculative as variously a literary genre, research method, and critical practice, her scholarship strives to create space for realizing “other” humanities attuned to the continuing materiality of racial difference and social inequality. Tran earned her Ph.D. in English and a certificate in American Studies from the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Tran will be a key program leader and will take on the leadership duties of Director of Administration and Programs Katina Rogers while she is out on parental leave.

Kashema Hutchinson, Graduate Fellow
Kashema Hutchinson is a doctoral student in Urban Education at the Graduate Center, and is a 2016-2018 HASTAC Scholar. Her research interests include culturally relevant pedagogy and non-traditional practices of teaching and learning such as cogenerative dialogue and the sociopolitical implications of zero tolerance policies in schools, especially the school-to-prison pipeline. Being heavily influenced by hip hop culture, Hutchinson creates infographics as educational tools that bridge various concepts with rap music.

Hutchinson’s work will focus on communications and the undergraduate Leadership and Peer Mentoring Program.

Christina Katopodis, Graduate Fellow and Research Assistant
Christina Katopodis is a doctoral candidate in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY and a Futures Initiative Fellow. Her research investigates the influences of sound and sonic vibration on American Transcendentalism and Pragmatism, attending to deep listening in the nonhuman environment of 19th Century America. Katopodis received a research grant from the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society to view the Ellen Tucker Emerson Music Collection at the Concord Public Library and a Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant to record sounds at Walden Pond and build a website that maps Walden’s soundscape. She recently joined the New Media Lab community at the GC to complete this project. Concurrently, Katopodis is writing and presenting work on: nonhuman music in Henry David Thoreau’s writings; Emerson and feminist philosophy; and pragmatic listening in the works of Margaret Fuller.

Katopodis will serve as Founding Director Cathy Davidson’s research assistant on all matters related to Davidson’s forthcoming book, The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux (Basic Books, September 2017).

The Futures Initiative would also like to thank Danica Savonick for her outstanding work as a Graduate Fellow and Research Assistant from the program’s founding in 2014 through summer 2017. With the support of The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Grant, the Woodrow Wilson 2017 Women’s Studies Fellowship, and the AAC&U K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, Savonick will be focusing on completing her dissertation in 2017-2018.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309