Who Is VitA?

Voices in the Anthropocene grew from a collective of graduate students at The Ohio State University. Today, members work within academia broadly as educators and researchers at the university and secondary level. 

Members include:

A light skinned woman with curly brown hair and green rimmed glasses

Dr. Mercedes Chavez

Lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Studies at The Ohio State University

Ph.D. English with specialization in Film Studies,  The Ohio State University, 2021
A.M. University of Chicago, 2009
B.A. The Ohio State University, 2007

Mercedes Chavez is a lecturer in Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University and recent PhD graduate in English with a specialization in Film Studies. Her research began in film as an English undergraduate at Ohio State and later refined in the Master of Arts Program in Humanities at the University of Chicago. Her MA thesis, “Wassup Haters: Waxing Reflexive in Larry Clarke’s Wassup Rockers,” interrogates independent filmmaker Clarke’s use of reflexive, ethnographic techniques in conjunction with the sexualization of underage Latinx youth. Her current research builds on the relationship between reality and racial, gendered, sexual, and transnational sensory images through the film aesthetic under the framework of the Anthropocene. Her book project, Origin Stories: Transnational Cinemas and Slow Aesthetics at the Dawn of the Anthropocene, brings together film aesthetics and the environmental humanities in an exploration of contemporary transnational cinemas of the hemispheric Americas using decolonial Latinx, feminist and queer methodologies. Mercedes' interdisciplinary work garnered a university-wide fellowship from the Ohio State Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme during its inaugural 2019-2020 academic year. Her work has appeared in Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism and at the Wexner Center for the Arts blog.

Dr. Katelyn Hartke

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme Language and Literature Teacher at GEMS World Academy, Chicago

Ph.D. English, The Ohio State University, 2022

M.A. The Ohio State University, 2017

Kate Hartke received her PhD in English at The Ohio State University in 2022. She is interested in twentieth-century transnational literature, modernism, colonial and postcolonial women authors, poetry, and the environmental humanities. More specifically, Kate is interested in the way transnational women authors negotiate their regional and cosmopolitan identities in and through their work. She is also interested in the overlap in the calls for new modes of meaning-making and art-making in both the Modernist movement and Anthropocene scholarship.

Dr. Jordan Lovejoy

Visiting Professor of American Studies and ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ph.D. English,  The Ohio State University, 2021
M.A. The Ohio State University, 2017

Dr. Jordan Lovejoy is currently a Visiting Professor of American Studies and ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also held an American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow and Postdoctoral Associate at the Liberal Arts Engagement Hub with the University of Minnesota from 2021-2022. Dr. Lovejoy is a folklorist who studies environmental storytelling in Appalachia. Her ethnographic fieldwork explores the storytelling and memorialization of a 2001 flood in southern West Virginia, and her research examines what literary and vernacular flood stories reveal about how people negotiate their beliefs and activism in relation to climate change and social and environmental justice. Dr. Lovejoy’s scholarship centers the storytelling of those who historically experience the combined effects of social oppression and environmental destruction to amplify the diverse perspectives and creative activism of people who are imagining and building livability in their places despite intersecting crises.
Dr. Lovejoy has also worked with several community engagement programs like the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts Survey and Planning Project, Ohio State’s Ohio Field Schools project, and with the Wyoming East High School theater program.
Dr. Lovejoy has a PhD in English with an interdisciplinary specialization in folklore and an MA in English from The Ohio State University, and she received her BA in English, Spanish, and Women’s & Gender Studies from West Virginia University.

Dr. Preeti Singh

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages program at Dartmouth College

Ph.D. English, The Ohio State University, 2022
M.Phil. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2014
M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2012
BA (Hons.) English. University of Delhi, 2010

Dr. Preeti Singh is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages program at Dartmouth College. During her Ph.D. studies in the Department of English at Ohio State University, she held graduate fellowships with the 2021-22 Global Arts + Humanities Team as well as at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. She researches and teaches postcolonial literature and theory, US Empire studies, and critical and cultural theory with a focus on twentieth and twenty-first-century writings from South Asia and its diaspora. Her book project examines literary representations of states of exception in the decolonization era and their relevance for the theorization of contemporary social and political crisis. She is particularly invested in discourses of development and infrastructure in literary and cultural narratives from the Global South. 

At Ohio State, she taught courses on ‘Planetary Solidarities in Environmental Literature’ and 'The City as Protagonist: Representations of Urbanity in Literature and Culture" that explore the intersection of environmental and urban crisis with themes of race, migration, gentrification, and colonialism. Her interdisciplinary research has been supported by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and the Gordon P.K. Chu Memorial Fellowship. Preeti's academic work has appeared in South Asian Review, The International Journal of Comic Art, the Journal of Drama Studies, Strange Horizons, and Raiot Magazine.