You are here

Current Mellon Fellows

Eli Alshanetsky

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Philosophy, 2015-2017

Alshanetsky received a PhD in philosophy from New York University in 2014 and a BA in philosophy and cognitive science from UC Berkeley. Before coming to Stanford, he spent a year as a lecturer at NYU. His primary research and teaching interests are in the philosophy of mind, epistemology, and cognitive science. Alshanetsky’s project explores a nexus of issues concerning thought, expression, and self-knowledge. He is currently completing a book that investigates how we come to know our own thoughts in the process of putting them into words, and how we gain a better understanding of our own mental states by expressing them in a public medium.

Anne Austin

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

History, 2014-2016

Anne Austin received her PhD from UCLA in the Interdepartmental Archaeology Program where she focused on bioarchaeology in ancient Egypt. Through research on both texts and human remains, she reconstructs ancient Egyptian health care networks and identifies the diseases and illnesses people experienced during the New Kingdom (1550-1080 B.C.E.).

In her current research project, Contending with Illness in Ancient Egypt, she documents health and disease at Deir el-Medina—the village of the workmen who built the tombs of the pharaohs during Egypt’s New Kingdom period (1550-1080 B.C.E.)—through combining analysis of personal letters, administrative records, and medical texts with osteological research on the unpublished human remains at the site. These two data sets offer access into one of the world’s oldest health care systems, allowing us unique insight into the care and medicine used to survive in the ancient world. 

Austin led the first detailed study of human remains at an ancient Egyptian site. 


Rebekah Baglini

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Linguistics, 2015-2017

Rebekah Baglini received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2015. Baglini's research, growing out of her dissertation “Stative Predication and Semantic Ontology,” centers on lexical semantics and cross-linguistic variation.  Of special interest is the way that languages encode 'stative concepts'—a set of universal concepts relating to abstract properties realized by entities in the world, including dimension, age, speed, value, and color. Baglini was the Bloch Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America, from March 2011 to March 2013 and previously worked as a Visiting Lecturer in Linguistics at UC San Diego. Her dissertation fieldwork on Wolof in Senegal was supported by an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant.  


Heather Brink-Roby

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

English, 2016-2018

Heather-Roby studies the novel and the history of science. She received her PhD from Harvard University in English, her MPhil from University of Cambridge in history and philosophy of science, and her AB from Harvard in History and Literature; before coming to Stanford, she was a Junior Research Fellow at University of Cambridge.

Reason’s Stories: Type, Example, Paradigm explores the narratives latent in three central logical modes and considers how nineteenth-century novelists, scientists, philosophers, and social reformers used those implied structures of experience. It shows how conceptual orderings become unspoken stories that shadow and shape the spoken ones.

Willie Costello

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Philosophy, 2015-2017

Willie Costello received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 2015. Costello specializes in ancient Greek philosophy, with particular interests in ancient Greek metaphysics and Plato. His main body of research explores how ancient thinkers from the Presocratics to Aristotle sought to explain the structure and composition of ordinary objects. He is especially interested in clarifying how Plato fits into this tradition, and showing how Plato's conception of Forms was developed against this background. He is currently developing this work into a monograph, titled The causal origins of Plato's Forms: The natural philosophy of the Phaedo and its context.

Shawon Kinew

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Art History, 2016-2018

Shawon Kinew received her PhD in the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University in 2016. She was a Predoctoral Fellow in the Scholars Program at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (2015-2016) and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome from 2013-2015.

Her book project is called The Vision in Stone: Melchiorre Cafa in the World, 1636-1667.

Aileen Robinson

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Theater and Performance Studies, 2016-2018

Aileen Robinson received an Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University in 2016.  Her current project explores the contribution of theatre and magic performance to emerging practices of science communication in the nineteenth century. She investigates how theatrical performances and magic shows drew upon technological innovations and formed unique methods for disseminating scientific knowledge. She conducted archival research in Britain and the United States supported through an SSRC International Dissertation Fellowship and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.

Read a Q&A about Robinson's work. 

Luca Scholz

Postdoctoral Mellon Fellow

Digital Humanities, 2016-2018  


Luca Scholz is an historian of early modern Europe. He pursued his doctoral studies in History at the European University Institute (Florence). His research is concerned with the governance of inter-polity mobility. Before coming to Stanford, he taught for one term at the Free University of Berlin. Luca studied History and Economics in Heidelberg and Paris and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Saint Andrews and at Columbia University.

His project is called Porous Leviathans. Mapping the Politics of Mobility in Early Modernity.

Intent on transcending conventional representations of early modern states as bounded territories, Luca’s current project devises new ways of representing premodern territoriality, using digital tools to create maps that visualize political orders as regimes of movement. Applying spatial analysis to the history of free movement and its restriction, the project provides a historical perspective one of the most controversial issues of our day.