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Humanities Institute at Stony Brook Staff



Kathleen Wilson,  Director

Kathleen Wilson is Professor of History and Cultural Analysis and Theory at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; Acting Director of the Humanities Institute; and First Vice-President of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. She publishes on the themes of British culture and empire, including The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture and Imperialism in England, 1715-1785 (1995), which won prizes from the Royal Historical Society and the North American Conference on British Studies; The Island Race:  Englishness Empire and Gender in the Eighteenth Century (2003); and (as editor) A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire 1660-1840 (2004). She is currently at finishing a book entitled "Strolling Players of Empire: Theatre, Culture and Modernity in the English Provinces" (Cambridge) that explores the politics of theatrical and social performance and colonial rule in sites that range across the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. Recent articles based on this research include ‘The Performance of Freedom: Maroons and the Colonial Order in 18th Century Jamaica and the Atlantic Sound’ (WMQ, Jan 2012) which won the Heizer Prize for best article from the American Society of Ethnohistory; and ‘Re-thinking the Colonial State:  Family, Gender and Governmentality in British Frontiers,’ (AHR, Dec 2011). Future and in-progress projects include books on English Admirals, Jane Austen, and the radical 1790s. In addition to being a series editor of Critical Perspectives on Empire for Cambridge University Press, she has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Huntington Library, among others. In her term as Director of HISB (which begins in June 2014) Wilson will institute yearly themes that address prominent issues in historical, social and cultural investigation and critique. In 2014/15, that theme is Q/T/F, organized by Acting Directors and Professors Lisa Diedrich (Gender and Women’s Studies) and Victorian Hesford (Cultural Analysis and Theory and Women’s Studies). 2015/16’s theme will be: Critical Visions of Race and Empire from the Postcolonial and Postracial Age.

Wilson lives in New York City with her husband, daughter and poodle.


Olivia Mattis, Assistant Director

Olivia Mattis holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Yale University.  As a musicologist specializing in musical modernism, she won an NEH Fellowship, a Paul Sacher Foundation Fellowship and an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Sousa Mendes Foundation, devoted to Holocaust remembrance. 

Mattis is co-editor (with James H. Rubin) of Rival Sisters, Art and Music at the Birth of Modernism, 1815-1915 (Ashgate, 2014).  This book originated in a conference of the same name hosted by the Humanities Institute in March of 2011.  Lydia Goehr of Columbia University has termed this volume "an elegant collection of essays written with breadth and insight."

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Ann L. Berrios, Administrator, Web Developer

Ann L. Berrios has worked at Stony Brook University in various administrative capacities since 1983. Ms. Berrios graduated as an Art History major from Barnard College (1977) and received her MALS from Stony Brook in 1992. 

As Administrative Coordinator, Ms. Berrios has been welcoming Humanities Institute guests, keeping its accounts balanced and webpage updated since 2007.

Ms. Berrios' writings have been published in The New York Times, Brevity and Open Salon. She is a photographer and web developer/designer who lives with her family (pets and human) in Stony Brook, New York.


Connor Pitetti, Graduate Research Assistant

Connor Pitetti is a doctoral candidate in the English department at Stony Brook University, where he teaches courses on fiction and poetry. He is writing a dissertation which focuses on literary and cinematic eschatological narratives of the 20th and 21st centuries, and particularly on the figures of the zombie and post-apocalyptic city. The project explores the challenges narratives of life "after the end" pose to apocalyptic conceptions of the subject and of the nature of our relationships to space (urban spaces, rural spaces, and the spaces of narrative).

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