Candidates: Elections 2024 ASECS

Standing for: A. President

    • Name: Paola Bertucci
    • Candidate Statement:
      Paola Bertucci is a professor in the Department of History and in the History of Science and Medicine Program at Yale University. She has a secondary appointment in History of Medicine at the School of Medicine and serves as the Curator of the History of Science and Technology Division at the Yale Peabody Museum. Her research focuses on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century science and craft. She is the author of Artisanal Enlightenment: Science and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France (Yale University Press, 2017), which looks at the Enlightenment from the perspective of learned artisans and argues for the centrality of the mechanical arts in French colonial and commercial projects. Artisanal Enlightenment was awarded the 2019 Louis Gottschalk from ASECS. Her newest book, In the Land of Marvels. Science, Fabricated Realities, and Industrial Espionage in the Age of the Grand Tour (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023), explores the connections between travel accounts and the creation of fabricated realities on the printed page. She is the recipient of the 2015 Clifford prize and the 2016 Margaret Rossiter prize from the History of Science Society. She served in the editorial board of Eighteenth-Century Studies and in the Clifford and Gottschalk committees. Paola has served as ASECS’s 2nd Vice President and is currently 1st Vice President. Paola has a strong interest in bringing innovative scholarly perspectives to broader audiences in museum exhibitions. She designed two permanent galleries in the Galileo Museum in Florence (The Spectacle of Science and Science at Home). At Yale, she is working on the first History of Science and Technology Gallery (that will open in the Peabody Museum in 2024) and is the co-curator of Crafting Worldviews. Art and Science in Europe, 1500-1800 (Yale University Art Gallery, February 17-June 25, 2023) She earned her DPhil at Oxford and, before her appointment at Yale, she carried out postdoctoral work in Bologna, Florence, Paris, Stanford, and Berkeley. Her international experiences, together with her curatorial activities, have made her particularly appreciative of scholarship and initiatives that cross disciplinary or intellectual boundaries. Her own research, which mostly focuses on Europe, takes inspiration from studies of cross-cultural encounters and indigenous knowledge outside of Europe. She hopes to bring this multicultural approach to ASECS, promoting initiatives aimed at expanding and diversifying membership and outreach. She believes that, as a time of foundational transformations at a global scale, the eighteenth century offers precious opportunities to better understand the roots of systemic injustice and of critical thinking. She is committed to listening and working with members on strategies for making ASECS a space for effecting positive change, within and beyond academia. She is eager for ASECS to have a stronger media and social media presence, to establish collaborations with other societies or entities on common objectives/themes/events, to develop more inclusive practices to encourage participation and to support members’ creative experimentation.

Standing for: B. 1st Vice President

    • Name: Misty G. Anderson
    • Candidate Statement:
      Misty G. Anderson is the James R. Cox Professor and Head of English at the University of Tennessee, where she also holds courtesy appointments in the Theatre and Religious Studies departments. Anderson is the author of Imagining Methodism in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Enthusiasm, Belief, and the Borders of the Self (Johns Hopkins, 2012) and Female Playwrights and Eighteenth-Century Comedy: Negotiating Marriage on the London Stage (Palgrave, 2002), and is co-editor of the Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama and Theatre, vols. 1 and 2 (2017 and 2019), with Daniel O’Quinn and Kristina Straub. She has held fellowships at the Beinecke Library, the Lewis Walpole Library, and the Newberry Library. She edited Restoration for 13 years and has published in or reviewed for numerous journals, including ECS, ECF, ECTI, SECC, ECL, RECTR, and Modern Philology. She is one of the founders of the R/18 Collective, a dramaturg for the Clarence Brown and Red Bull Theatres, and a producer of a number of staged readings of Restoration and eighteenth-century plays. She has served ASECS as a past Board member (2016-20), member of the Executive Director search (2020-21), chair of the Women’s Caucus (2015-17), co-chair of the Masquerade Ball Committee (2013-14 and 2017-18), and co-chair of the first Women’s Caucus fundraising committee (2002), as well as in posts as chair of the MLA Restoration and 18thC, later 18thC, and Religion Literature Executive Committees and on the SEASECS board. She believes that ASECS’s future depends on recommitting to our diversity as a community of interdisciplinary scholars; to fostering new work on the global eighteenth-century; to supporting our non-tenure-track colleagues in better and new ways, and to connecting to larger public audiences and artists to communicate the value of our work. Anderson is currently ASECS’s 2nd Vice President.

Standing for: C. 2nd Vice President

    • Name: Elena Deanda-Comacho
    • Candidate Statement:
      I am a Professor of Spanish and Black Studies at Washington College, where I teach Spanish and early modern literature. I specialize in 18th-century pornographic literature in Europe and the Americas, and my 2022 monograph entitled Offensive to Pious Ears, just won the 2023 Prize to the Best Monograph given by the Spanish Society of 18th-Century Studies and the 2023 Prize for the Best Monograph given by the Association for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. I am the exiting president of IASECS or the Ibero American Society of 18th Century Studies, and the current LASA (Latin American Studies Association) Mexico Section co-chair. In 2023 I became the recipient of a Fulbright Global Scholar Award to collaborate with the universities of Bonn in Germany, Oviedo in Spain, and UNAM in Mexico. As a Mexican-American female professor at a small liberal arts college, my commitment lies with the empowerment of women, immigrants, and Afro-descendants. As for women, I recently co-edited a volume on women and capital reuniting women scholars from various institutions, nations, and fields on the topic of analyzing the role of women in acquiring and administrating capital. As for Latin American scholars, I manage the LASA Mexico Section, and as the Latinx Students advisor, I actively seek to cultivate a strong presence of Spanish speaking and Hispanic heritage students in the higher-ed system. With regards to the Black experience, as the Black Studies program director, I have worked in my college and outside to advance the most pressing issues of our African American students and of the Black Studies field with online seminars and lecturerships. Having been a representative in other professional associations, I envision my role as one that advocates for issues that do not seem necessarily self evident, like the need for organizational policies and funding to alleviate the extra pressures women have on the profession (daycare issues for conferences, mentoring), the need to take a clear stand against the precarization of our profession by envisaging alternative career paths through mentoring and coaching; the need to bring to the table as decision makers a new and more diverse cohort of leaders who bring innovative ideas to our association, but more importantly, in a moment with high degrees of radicalization, eskepticism, and social fracture, the need to empower 18th academics to reclaim the public sphere by purposefully becoming public scholars who, with their expertise, can impact the larger mediatic society, be it through outreach, civic engagement. or media interventions. I hope that my ideas contribute to our association.
    • Name: Chunjie Zhang
    • Candidate Statement:
      Chunjie Zhang is Associate Professor of German at the University of California, Davis, where she is also affiliated faculty in East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, and the Global Migration Center. Zhang is the author of Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism(Northwestern UP, 2017). She edited or co-edited journal issues on Aesthetics and Politics in the Wake of the Enlightenment (The Germanic Review), Goethe, Worlds, and Literatures (Seminar), and Asian German Studies (German Quarterly). Zhang also edited or co-edited books on global modernism, gender and German colonialism, and globalism. Her articles appeared in venues such as The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Critical Inquiry, Journal of the History of Ideas among others. Zhang is recipient of fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the NEH. Her scholarship in the eighteenth century reached beyond the academe: she was invited to give a lecture at the German Historical Museum on Herder and colonialism and write on Kant and the Pacific in a popular journal in Australia. She is the founder of the book series Asia, Europe, and Global Connections with Routledge and is a director-at-large of the Goethe Society North America. Zhang has served ASECS as a past member of the Aravamudan Article Prize committee (2019), chair (2021) and member (2020) of the Program Committee. She is currently serving as ASECS’s delegate (2022-2026) in the Executive Committee of the International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, a member in the Bylaws and Constitution Committee (2022), and a member of the advisory board of Eighteenth-Century Studies. For the German Studies Association, Zhang chaired the Book Prize Committee for Literature and Cultural Studies and served a member in the Committee of Institutional Transformation and Social Justice. Zhang is committed to greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in ASECS’s membership and leadership; to supporting non-tenure-track scholars and graduate student body through networking or social events at annual meetings; and to further strengthening the global perspective in eighteenth-century studies through scholarly, pedagogical, and public-facing projects and events.

Standing for: D. Member-at-Large 1

    • Name: Olivia Sabee
    • Candidate Statement:
      Olivia Sabee is Associate Professor and Chair of Dance at Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA), where she also serves on the committees on Comparative Literature and Interpretation Theory and contributes courses to French and Francophone Studies. She is the author of Theories of Ballet in the Age of the Encyclopédie (Oxford Studies in the Enlightenment, 2022) and has published essays in journals including Eighteenth-Century Studies, French Studies, Dance Chronicle, and Danza e ricerca. She is a current Mellon New Directions Fellow (2023-2026). She has been a member of ASECS since 2015 and has served on the travel awards committee (2022) and is currently on the advisory board for Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. She previously served as Secretary of the Dance Studies Association (2020-2022) and also sits on advisory boards for Dance Chronicle and AIRDanza Review. She believes ASECS to be an important site for the fostering of both disciplinary and interdisciplinary connections between scholars. She is especially committed to facilitating participation in the organization by scholars working in traditionally underrepresented fields and to continuing to cultivate ASECS as a space of inquiry for scholars working on the global eighteenth century.
    • Name: Jason Shaffer
    • Candidate Statement:
      Jason Shaffer is Professor of English (and a former department Chair) at the United State Naval Academy. He is the author of Performing Patriotism: National Identity in the Colonial and Revolutionary American Theatre (University of Pennsylvania, 2007). He has published in, among other venues, Theatre Survey, Early American Literature, Comparative Drama, and Common Place, along with essays or chapters in several edited volumes and reference works. He is affiliated with the Theatre and Performance Studies Caucus (TaPS), and ASECS has been his primary scholarly home since attending his first conference in 2001. As an interdisciplinary scholar with a strong record of collaborating across fields and someone who has also presented at theater studies, history, and early American studies conferences, he feels strongly that the future of ASECS lies in multidisciplinary outreach and in encouraging the presentation and publication of scholarship on material originating (or circulating) outside the British metropole.

Standing for: E. Member-at-Large 2

    • Name: Brian Cowan
    • Candidate Statement:
      Brian Cowan is Associate Professor of History at McGill University in Montréal, Canada. His publications include The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse, (Yale, 2005); The State Trial of Doctor Henry Sacheverell, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); and as a member of the Multigraph Collective, Interacting with Print: Elements of Reading in an Era of Print Saturation, (Chicago, 2018). He has edited The Cultural History of Fame in the Age of Enlightenment, (Bloomsbury, forthcoming) and, with Scott Sowerby, The State Trials and the Politics of Justice in Later Stuart England, (Boydell, 2021). He is currently President of the Board of Directors for the international Groupement d’Intérêt Scientifique (GIS) devoted to ‘sociability in the long eighteenth century’, which recently launched DIGIT.EN.S, the online encyclopedia of British sociability in the long eighteenth century: He has served as a member of the editorial board for Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2008-11) and was co-editor, with Elizabeth Elbourne, of the Journal of British Studies (2010-15). He has been an active member of both ASECS and the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (CSECS) for most of the twenty-first century. He is committed to bringing an international perspective to the study of the global eighteenth century, and to rethinking the role of scholarly societies in a fast-changing environment.
    • Name: Andrew Graciano
    • Candidate Statement:
      Andrew Graciano is Professor of Art History (and Medical Humanities and Culture) at the University of South Carolina. He is particularly interested in the relationships among art, science, economics, society, and politics in the Age of Enlightenment in Europe and elsewhere. It is for this reason that the scope of his research goes beyond that of traditional art history and incorporates other histories, including especially those of medicine and natural philosophy (science in its broadest sense). The interdisciplinary methodology of Graciano’s research reflects his academic up-bringing, having worked closely with Professor Christopher Johns (Vanderbilt, Art History) and Professor Karen Parshall (U. of Virginia, History and Mathematics). Specific research interests include: the history of anatomical study in artistic training; the Felix Meritis Maatschappij (Happiness through Merit Society) of Amsterdam; Charles Howard Hodges and Dutch official portraiture in the early 19th century; Africa and the Middle East in European ‘Orientalist’ paintings; and artistic representations of nascent national identity in 19th-century Puerto Rico. Graciano is currently Vice Chair of the Latino Hispanic Faculty Caucus here at USC, and served (2018-2022) as Chair of the University Faculty Advisory Committee (a Faculty Senate Committee), which liaises between the Provost’s Office and the Faculty on matters of policy. He has been co-leader of the Mid-Career Faculty Development Program (2021-present), which has gone so well that the Provost’s Office wants him and his co-lead partner to take it university-wide in 2024-2025. He has served as Director of Graduate Studies for 13 years (2009-2021, 2023-present) and was Associate Director (Associate Chair) of SVAD for 10 years (2011-2021), and now chair for the to-be-renamed SVAD DEI Committee. An active ASECS member, he served for two years on the Program Committee (including as Program Committee Chair), and served as a member and then chair of the Jam Pot Committee.