Director, Archive, Museum, Manuscript & Print Studies

Adrea Denny-Brown Andrea Denny-Brown (Department of English) studies late medieval European poetry and material culture, specializing in the way poetic motifs curate material practices and cultural notions about materiality. She has worked extensively in the archives of the Huntington Library and the British Library and has studied archival objects from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the New York Public Library, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum, and a variety of university archives, where she likes to dig up long-forgotten correspondence from the turn of the century medievalists. With generous support from a UCR IUIT grant, Denny-Brown recently collaborated with curators from the Huntington Library to fully digitize a selection of late medieval manuscripts hand-written in English for UCR students to study and research. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on archive theory, medieval manuscript studies, fashion theory, and a variety of courses that study connections between medieval literature and the decorative arts.

Professor Denny-Brown is the author of Fashioning Change: The Trope of Clothing in High- and Late-Medieval England (The Ohio State UP, 2012) and the guest editor of a double issue of Exemplaria on The Provocative Fifteenth Century. She has co-edited two books of essays: Lydgate Matters: Poetry and Material Culture in the Fifteenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and The Arma Christi in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture: With an Edition of ‘O Vernicle’ (Ashgate, 2013). She served as an editor of the journal Exemplaria: Medieval/Early Modern/Theory from 2017-2020.


Participating Faculty & Staff

Jodie Benjamin Jody Benjamin (Department of History) joined UCR’s History Department in 2015. His research focuses on the 18th and 19th-century transformations reshaping western Africa up to the early colonial period. He analyzes western Africa’s role in the rise of global cotton through attention to its material culture, consumption patterns, and fashion; thus charting the region’s integration into a global economy dominated by capitalist networks. Trained as a historian in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard, Dr. Benjamin deploys a set of interdisciplinary strategies both to map and to re-interpret Africans’ roles in shaping the contemporary world. Dr. Benjamin is currently completing a book manuscript, The Texture of Change: Clothing, Commerce, and History in Western Africa during an Atlantic Age.”

Ohio University Press. His work has been supported by the NEH, the UC Regents, UCHRI, the Hellman Fellows Fund, and the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, where he was the Ruth and Lincoln Ekstrom Fellow.

Dr. Benjamin is currently organizing a Mellon Sawyer Seminar that is titled, “Unarchiving Blackness: Why the Primacy of African and African Diaspora Studies Necessitates a Creative Reconsideration of Archives.” To be to hosted by CHASS in 2022-23, the yearlong Sawyer Seminar will bring together an international, cross-disciplinary group of scholars to explore the making of archives (both past and present) and methodological approaches to archives within the humanities that counter violence and dehumanization with ethics that can imagine thriving futures for African and Black people globally.

Heidi Brayman Heidi Brayman (Department of English) studies and teaches early modern English literature and culture (1500-1700), governed by a fascination with fragmentary evidence surviving in printed books, manuscripts, and other material objects. She is currently finishing “Soundproof: Deafness, Muteness, and Alterabilities in Early Modern England, 1485-1700,” a monograph that traces vocal silence across pre-Reformation abbeys, sign language manuals, devotional poetry, crime pamphlets, and theatrical practice.

Her first book, Reading Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy (Cambridge UP, 2005), turned from theory to archives to uncover habits and experiences of reading. The archival research for Reading Material first took her into the rare book stacks at the Huntington Library and then into another 25 rare book libraries, archives, and private collections, impressing upon her that any cultural history is, in fact, a history of particular archives. Across three co-edited volumes, she has delighted in scholarly collaboration and centered book history, reading practices, and archival questions: with Catherine Kelly, Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), with Ian Moulton, Teaching Early Modern English Literature from the Archives (MLA Options for Teaching, 2015), and with Jesse Lander and Zachary Lesser, Books in History, Books as History: New Intersections of the Material Text (Yale UP, 2016).

Her formal post-graduate training includes advanced paleography at the Folger Shakespeare Library, coursework in American Sign Language, and book production on a hand-printing press at the Bancroft Library. Dr. Brayman served as the Associate Editor of the Huntington Library Quarterly from 2008 to 2016, and she has co-chaired the USC-Huntington EMSI Renaissance Literature Seminar with Heather James since 2008.


Brevik Zender Heidi Brevik-Zender (Department of Comparative Literature & Languages) is a scholar of

French literature, visual media, and material culture of the long nineteenth century, and she has published widely on fashion and the body, gender, architecture, urban space, exile, and issues of modernity. Her latest projects include a forthcoming article on France and Thailand which focuses on French receptions of Thai queens’ garments and fashioned bodies from the 1860s to the 1960s, a study on gendered interior space in the nineteenth-century Parisian studio photographs of the Italian-born Countess de Castiglione, and an examination of the commodification of insurrectionary history in a contemporary Parisian menswear brand, viewed against the backdrop of Macron-era neoliberalism and the gilets jaunes (Yellow Vest) protests. Her current book, supported by a U.K. Fulbright Visiting Professor Fellowship, is on architecture and gender in late-nineteenth-century France.

Dr. Brevik-Zender is co-organizer of the Global 19th Century Workshop at UCR, which supports faculty and graduate student interdisciplinary research on all aspects of the material, cultural, intellectual, and scientific intersections of practices and formations of knowledge in the long 19th century.

  Brian Geiger is Director of the internationally-recognized Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research (CBSR) at UCR campus, where he manages a number of archive-based digitization and digital humanities projects. A major center for bibliographical studies, the CBSR contributes to the field of bibliographical studies in many ways, especially in innovating the collection and processing of data. The English Short-Title Catalog, the California Newspaper Project, and the Latin American Project are all housed at the CBSR.
Catherine Gudis (Department of History) is Pollitt Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Research and Learning and Director of the graduate program in Public History at UCR. She has worked for over twenty-five years with art and history museums, in historic preservation, and on multi-platform, place-based projects that focus on Southern California and explore how public space is privatized, landscapes are racialized, and inequalities of access are contested. She has spearheaded environmental humanities collectives; cocurated museum exhibits including Deborah Sussman Loves LA!, Geographies of Detention: From Guantánamo to the Golden Gulag, and Legacies of the California Missions; and created and co-directed the ongoing Relevancy & History Project partnership between the University of California and California State Parks, aimed to foster community engagement and more inclusive historical interpretation. She is working with UCR students and faculty on a community-based archive and historical GIS mapping project “Race in the I.E.”  Cathy has also collaborated with the Humanities Action Lab since its inception.

Professor Gudis is the author of Buyways: Billboards, Automobiles, and the American Landscape and coedited anthologies and articles on place, race, and public culture, she is working on two book projects, Framing L.A.: Public Art, History, and the Performance of Place and Skid Row, By Design: History, Community, and Activism in Downtown L.A.  She serves as a contributing editor to the Journal of American History; holds a gubernatorial appointment to the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, and serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Poverty Department and the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts. She’s held fellowships at the Getty Research Institute, Harvard University, Haynes Foundation, and Huntington Library, and is an ACLS-Mellon Society and Scholars Fellow at the Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Skid Row History Museum & Archive. She has contributed to the Museum’s digital Walk the Talk archive and to the 2020 Walk the Talk book.

AMMP-related courses taught by Professor Gudis include a new graduate seminar on community-based archives (HIST263); Preservation and the Politics of Place (HIST260); and practicum and internships in public humanities (HIST262L [Museum Studies Practicum), HIST260L [Preservation/Conservation Practicum], HIST298, and HIST398).

Randy Head Randy Head (Graduate Division; Department of History) has been studying the history of European state archives at various scales, from royal archives in Lisbon to republican archives in Amsterdam to imperial archives in Vienna, for over 20 years. His recent book, Making Archives in Early Modern Europe examines organizational strategies and the ways documents were made knowable and accessible in a comparative framework, and addresses the emergence of state-oriented archival theory in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe. Additional interests include transregional and comparative global approaches to record-making and record-keeping, and adapting recent developments in critical archival theory, such as community archiving, subaltern archiving, and records continuum model, to the comparative study of historical archives. Prof. Head teaches occasional courses that introduce students to European paleography, and welcomes proposals for independent study with graduate students considering archival thought and practice – both canonical and critical – as part of their research agendas.
Robin Katz Robin M. Katz (UCR Library) is an archivist, librarian, and educator who works to connect people to primary sources in meaningful and innovative ways. She is the Primary Source Literacy Teaching Librarian at UCR Library, a position she crafted after serving on the national joint task force that authored the Primary Source Literacy Guidelines. As part of the library’s Teaching & Learning Services department, she collaborates with faculty to create transformative learning experiences for students of all levels. Before coming to UCR, she co-created TeachArchives.org, an award-winning open educational resource based on a groundbreaking US Department of Education grant she co-directed. She is currently planning a national conference for special collections librarians and archivists on the theme of Power, Resistance, and Leadership and she regularly teaches professional development opportunities for those in her field.
Amy Kenny Amy Kenny (Department of English) received her Ph.D. in early modern literature and culture from the University of Sussex and has worked as a Research Coordinator at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, where she was the chief dramaturge for 15 productions, and taught courses on theatrical practice and Shakespearean drama.  She also conducted over 80 interviews with actors and directors on architecture, audiences, and performance, as part of an archival resource for future scholarship.

She has published articles on dramaturgy, the performance of laughter, the senses, and disease in Shakespeare. She is on the Editorial Board of Shakespeare Bulletin and co-editor of The Hare, a peer-reviewed, online academic journal of untimely reviews. She recently published her first monograph with Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science, and Medicine entitled Humoral Wombs on the Shakespearean Stage and is currently working on a project about performing disability on the early modern stage.


Links to Archives Dr. Kenny works with:

Matthew King Matthew King (Department of Religion) is a scholar of Transnational Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He also currently serves as Director of Asian Studies. He is interested in the social history of knowledge along the Tibet-Mongol interface during the late-and post-imperial periods. From that perspective, he explores the Eurasianist circulation of science, nationalism, and the humanities as well as Indo-Tibetan and Qing imperial knowledge and knowledge traditions. He has contributed chapters to several volumes dedicated to Buddhism in Inner Asia. His articles appear in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, History and Anthropology, Himalaya, The Journal of Religion and Violence, The Oxford Handbooks in Religion, Rocznik Orientalistyczny, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. His most recent book is Ocean of Milk, Ocean of Blood: A Mongolian Monk in the Ruins of the Qing Empire (2019) and is published by Columbia University Press. Dr. King is the organizer of the Transcultural Archives working group at the Center for Ideas and Society 2021-22.
Aleca Le Blanc Aleca Le Blanc (Department of the History of Art) is a scholar of modernism, specializing in Latin American art and architecture with a focus on Brazil. Her scholarship addresses paradigms of abstraction, institutional histories, and global modernisms. She is currently at work on a book about that period entitled, Concrete and Steel: Artists in Industrial Brazil, in which she considers how a young avant-garde generation in Brazil’s cosmopolitan centers reimagined their relationship to the rapidly modernizing society in which they found themselves. She has been conducting archival research in Latin America for the past two decades, in public and private institutions as well in artists’ garages and under their beds, most recently in Rio de Janeiro as a Fulbright Fellow at the Escola Superior Desenho Industrial. Le Blanc was co-curator of Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, an exhibition at the Getty Museum in September 2017, which built on her curatorial work for Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-1970s, at the LA County Museum of Art in 2004. She has lectured at the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Pinacoteca in São Paulo, the Universität Zürich, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Chicago, among other venues. Before joining the faculty at UC Riverside, she was the Managing Editor of the Getty Research Journal, a peer-reviewed scholarly publication.

Links to archives Dr. Le Blanc works with:

Carla Mazzio Carla Mazzio (Department of English) specializes in early modern European literature in relation to the history of the book, the history of science and medicine, technology and material culture, and literacy, orality, and the history of speech “pathologies.” She is the author, with Bradin Cormack, of Book Use, Book Theory: 1500-1700, on the relationship between material features of early printed books, forms of the book “use,” and ways of thinking in, around, through, and about books in early modernity. This book, linked here, was developed out of a special exhibition at the University of Chicago and was designed as both a classroom text and as a scholarly contribution to debates in the history of the book.

She has spent most of her career working in the archives in the history of science and medicine at the Huntington Library, as well as the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Houghton and Countway Medical Libraries in Cambridge and Boston, the British Library and Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London, and The Venerable English College in Rome. She is the author of The Inarticulate Renaissance: Language Trouble in an Age of Eloquence; editor of Shakespeare and Science, and co-editor of The Body in Parts: Fantasies of Corporality in Early Modern Europe and Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Her current projects, The Trouble with Numbers: The Drama of Mathematics in Early Modernity and Histories of the Future, c. 1600: On Shakespeare and Thinking Ahead consider, especially, the politics and material histories of quantification in early modern literature and culture.

Her graduate seminars such as “Anatomy, Analysis and the Archive” will be offered in future years to combine a focus on book history, archive theory, and the history of literature and medicine, but all of her graduate seminars on early modern culture introduce students to central aspects of research, book history, and principles of archival curation and can be further adjusted to fulfill requirements for an AMMP seminar.

Mark Minch de Leon Mark Minch-de Leon (Department of English) is a scholar of Indigenous Studies in the Department of English. His research concerns the history of collecting practices and archive-formation in relation to California Indians and the use of these archives and collections by California Indian peoples in revitalization projects and for anti-colonial work. Attending to the vast array of materials that includes the traffic in body parts derived from genocidal campaigns; the archeological collections formed in conjunction with the development of the state; the proliferation of texts, recordings, and images and the mountain of “artifacts” gathered as part of ethnographic survey projects, Minch-de Leon engages anticolonial California Indian Studies and Critical University Studies to show how the various crises in institutional knowledge formations spurred by the student and anti-colonial movements led to a moral repugnance with the archive and collections and the (false) sense that the critical multicultural university is the beneficent site of reparative justice. This has developed into repatriation politics which slips incessantly into professionalized forms of conservation and has become a site of the revitalization of institutional research and the reproduction of colonial value in the ongoing ethical project of humanizing the savage (both settler and Native).


Kristoffer Neville Kristoffer Neville (Department of the History of Art) is a specialist in the arts of the 16th-18th centuries, primarily in northern Europe. In addition to the conventionally recognized media – painting, sculpture, and architecture – he believes that printed materials of all kinds are an essential part of early modern visual culture. This includes not only the engravings and woodcuts by famous artists that have long been appreciated, but also the study of books, pamphlets, and albums as meaningful aesthetic objects rather than simply as carriers for text, emphasizing the embeddedness and mobility of printed images and texts within other works. In addition to his extensive research on art, architecture, and aesthetics, Dr. Neville’s graduate teaching is based in collections in the Los Angeles area and emphasizes engagement with objects, collections, and the people who assemble and maintain them.
Padma Rangarajan Padma Rangarajan (Department of English) works on nineteenth-century literature, focusing on the literature of empire; British-India relations; and colonial epistemologies. She is the author of Imperial Babel: Translation, Exoticism, and the Long Nineteenth Century (Fordham UP, 2014), and is currently at work on a second book, Thug Life: The British Empire and the Birth of Terrorism. Her interests include colonial lexicons, antiquarianism, and cartography. She has a forthcoming essay in Romantic Circles on the sonic history of “Tipu’s Tiger,” the instrument/revenge automata in the Victorian & Albert Museum, which can be seen here: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O61949/tippoos-tiger-mechanical-organ-unknown/
Fuson Wang Fuson Wang (Department of English) specializes in British Romantic literature and the medical humanities. Having received undergraduate degrees in both mathematics and English literature, Fuson tends to approach literary studies with a consciously interdisciplinary orientation. His current book project, a literary-historical account of smallpox vaccination, contends that the disease’s eventual eradication in 1980 was as much a triumph of the literary imagination as it was an achievement of medical Enlightenment science. Using archival materials from the Huntington Library in San Marino, the project reconstructs the medico-literary culture that made such discovery possible. His work has appeared in various venues, including European Romantic Review, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Women’s Writing, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction.


Cherry Williams Cherry Williams (UCR Special Collections) is the Director of Distinctive Collections, at the University of California Riverside. Previously, she was the Curator of Manuscripts, at The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington. While at IU, she served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the IU School of Library and Information Science where she taught three graduate seminars yearly on the History of the Book to 1450 and an Introduction to Manuscript Studies. In addition, she served as an Adjunct Core Faculty member of MEST (Medieval Studies Institute). Prior to that, she was the Special Collections Librarian for the Sciences, at the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, History and Special Collections for the Sciences. During this time, she also served as the Associate Director for Special Projects, in the UCLA Department of Information Studies.

She received her MLIS from the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA, an AM in Humanities with a focus in art history from the University of Chicago and a Certificate of Proficiency in the Specialized Area History of Medieval & Early Modern Books & Manuscripts awarded Rare Book School, Charlottesville, VA. She also has a BS in Nursing and certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Currently, in her role as Director of Distinctive Collections, she and the Departmental team are actively pursuing collections development strategies that seek to engage in the best of DEI practices which are subsequently reflected in our outreach, exhibition, and community engagement activities.

Susan Zieger Susan Zieger (Department of English) specializes in nineteenth-century British and related literatures and cultures, with an emphasis on media studies and the history of technology. Zieger’s work on ephemera and logistics intersects with AMMP’s critical interests. Her book,  The Mediated Mind: Affect, Ephemera, and Consumerism in the Nineteenth Century (Fordham University Press, 2018), contends that our twenty-first-century moment of digital media saturation was formed through nineteenth-century encounters with printed ephemera. As media material designed to be disposable, and yet collected and preserved, ephemera problematizes the archive. Zieger is currently researching Logistical Life, a cultural history of the rise of logistics and its relationship to modern consumption, from 1750 to the present. With Nicole Starosielski and Matt Hockenberry, she is editing the volume Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media, forthcoming from Duke University Press. Her contribution to the volume, about bills of lading, uses this business ephemera to interpret the logistical dimension of the Middle Passage.
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