Co-Principle Investigators


Christian Howard
Co-PI for Seasons 1&2 (Fall 2017 – Spring 2019)

In May 2019, Christian completed her PhD in English at the University of Virginia, where she has also received a Graduate Certificate in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation, titled “Reimagining Ethics through World Literature,” reconceptualizes world literature through advancements in digital humanities and explores how we can ethically connect to one another through online spaces. Christian was also the project manager for the 2017-18 Praxis Team. For more information, visit her website:

Ankita Chakrabarti
Co-PI for Season 2 (Fall 2018 – Spring 2019)

Ankita is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Virginia. Her research involves exploring conceptions of space and spatiality in contemporary global anglophone novels, particularly works that question and complicate national political structures and trajectories. As a Praxis Fellow for 2017-18, she worked on UVA Reveal, an augmented reality project that challenges our surface knowledge of everyday objects and locations by unveiling layers of otherwise hidden stories, histories and questions.

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Samantha Wallace
Co-PI for Season 1 (Fall 2017 – Spring 2018)

Samantha is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Virginia. She completed her undergraduate degree in English and Classics at Colorado College in 2011, and then a post-baccalaureate degree in Classics at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2012. Her current research concerns questions of experimental form and the novel, with a focus on American contemporary “composite” novels. Before coming to the University of Virginia she was involved with art education at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and open-access publishing with PLOS, San Francisco.


Guest Speakers


Erin Bartnett
Erin graduated from the University of Virginia with her Masters in Modern and Contemporary English Literature. Before graduate school, Erin helped develop and teach creative writing programs for middle school and high school students at The Telling Room, a non-profit writing center in Portland, Maine.  She now works in publishing at Denise Shannon Literary Agency, and also works as a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Brooklyn with her best friend and a lot of books.
Twitter: @erinkbart


Olivia Milroy
Olivia Milroy has a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University and an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary English Literature from the University of Virginia. For three years, she taught literature, rhetoric, and creative writing to middle and high schoolers at a classical school in Northern Virginia. Currently she is a PhD student at Cornell University studying 19th and 20th century world anglophone poetry and narrative theory. This semester she is teaching a first-year writing seminar called “The Mystery in the Story.” She enjoys making cocktails and hanging out with her neurotic dog, Albion.


Sarah Rodriguez
Sarah Rodriguez has a B.A. in English from Florida International University and an M.A. in English from the University of Virginia. She has taught middle and high school English in private schools for seven years, first in her native Miami and subsequently in Charlottesville. Currently, she teaches 7th Grade World Literature and 8th Grade Ancient and Medieval Literature.


Brandon Walsh
Brandon Walsh is Head of Graduate Programs in the Scholars’ Lab in the University of Virginia Library. Prior to that, he was Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow in the Washington and Lee University Library. He received his PhD and MA from the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he also held fellowships in the Scholars’ Lab. He works at the intersections of modern and contemporary literature and culture, sound studies, and digital humanities. His dissertation was on sound recordings in and out of modernist literature, though these days he also thinks a lot about digital text analysis, open access publishing and resources, and digital pedagogy. More at


Lã Linh Chi
Linh Chi is a third year student at the University of Languages and International Studies in Vietnam, majoring in English translation and interpretation. She was once a volunteer of the World Scholar’s Cup – Global Round Hanoi 2017. She also works in a student club which offers free Vietnamese lessons to foreigners in Hanoi.


Brandon Butler
Brandon Butler is the first Director of Information Policy at the University of Virginia Library. He provides guidance and education to the Library and its user community on intellectual property and related issues, and advocates on the Library’s behalf at the federal, state, local, and campus level. Butler is the author or co-author of a range of articles, book chapters, guides, and presentations about copyright, with a focus on libraries and the fair use doctrine. Before coming to UVA, Brandon taught copyright and supervised student attorneys in the IP Law Clinic at American University, and advocated for research libraries around the country at the Association of Research Libraries. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2008.


Susan Stanford Friedman
Susan Stanford Friedman teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the departments of English and Gender and Women’s Studies. She has written widely in the fields of modernist studies, feminist studies, narrative theory, migration studies, and world literature. Her most recent book is Planetary Modernisms: Provocations on Modernity Across Time. Her edited book, Contemporary Revolutions: Turning Back to the Future in 21st-Century Literature and Art is forthcoming in the fall, 2018, and she is at work on a book entitled Sisters of Scheherazade: Religion, Diaspora, and Muslim Women’s Writing. She co-founded the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing in 2006 and directed the Institute for Research in the Humanities from 2007-2017. Her work has been translated into ten languages.


Nao Yazawa
Nao Yazawa is a Japanese manga-ka, or Manga Artist, and one of the creators of Wedding Peach, which was released as an anime series of the same name. Her other notable works include Moon and Blood, Mother Teresa, and Shinku-Chitai (or The Isolated Zone). Yazawa currently teaches manga drawing (in English and Japanese) at Manga School Nakano International near Tokyo, Japan. Visit her website at:
*Photo credit Miguel “MiG” Martinez
A.D. Carson
A.D. Carson is a performance artist and educator from Decatur, Illinois. His work focuses on race, literature, history, and rhetorical performances, and has been featured by Complex, Forbes, The Guardian, NPR’s All Things Considered, OkayPlayer, Time, and XXL among others. His most recent project is Sleepwalking 2. This work extends from his doctoral dissertation, which he submitted in rap album form, Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes & Revolutions. These and other projects are available to stream/download free from Carson is currently assistant professor in Hip-Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia.


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Nathan Rostron
Nathan Rostron is the Editor and Marketing Director of Restless Books. Previously, as an online literary editor, he helped to launch Bookish, an innovative book discovery startup. Prior to that, as an editor at Little, Brown and Company, he edited several award winners and New York Times bestsellers. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Nathan holds a BA in English from Pomona College and a Masters in English and Creative Writing from the University of Texas at Austin.


Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of non-fiction, a collection of essays and eight novels. His most recent book is The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016). His books have won many prizes and he holds four honorary doctorates. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno and Venice film festivals. He is married to the writer Deborah Baker and divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa and Kolkata. In 2018 the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honor, was conferred on Amitav Ghosh. He was the first English-language writer to receive the award. In 2019 Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the most important global thinkers of the preceding decade.


*Photo credit Scott La Rockwell
Favianna Rodriguez
Favianna Rodriguez is an transdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and activist based in Oakland, California. Her work and collaborative initiatives address migration, economic inequality, gender justice, and ecology. Favianna leads art interventions around the U.S. at the intersection of art, social justice and cultural equity. She is the Executive Director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that empowers artists to dream big, disrupt the status quo, and envision a truly just world rooted in shared humanity. In 2016, she received the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship for her work around mass incarceration. In 2017, she was awarded an Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity for work around racial justice and climate change. Recently she has been organizing with artists in the entertainment industry to build an intersectional artist power movement.


Isha Mangalmurti
Isha Mangalmurti is an independent animation filmmaker and illustrator from India. She has always been intrigued by the local indigenous stories around her, and she explores ways of telling these in her work: through short films, illustrations, and comics. She has developed a keen interest in telling non-fiction stories and uses a variety of traditional and digital techniques to do so. She is the director of the short film “Beyond Borders” and is a partner at Ghost Animation.


Kalp Sanghvi
Kalp Sanghvi is an animator and visual designer from Calcutta, and he is the co-founder and partner at Ghost Animation. He is interested in creating animated content with unique universes, especially the peculiar that has the ability to instigate thought and imagination. He has been working toward creating indigenous storytelling with local flavor to connect with the audience. He is the co-director of the short film “Wade.”


Upamanyu Bhattacharyya
Upamanyu Bhattacharyya is an animation director, pre-production artist, and illustrator based in Kolkata, India. He is the co-director of the short film “Wade.” He is a founding partner of the Ghost Animation Collective and has worked on multiple title sequences, music videos, documentaries, live action, and animated feature and short films.