Dr. Erin Gray is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in African American Studies at UC Irvine. Specializing in the intersections of politics, aesthetics, and critical theory, her current research focuses on gendered racial formations within and against the photographic history of global white supremacy. Mobilizing black feminist theory, Marxist critical theory, affect studies, and psychoanalytic and new materialist currents in visual and performance studies, her current book project theorizes the lynching photograph as a dialectical object and moving image that illuminates anti-black terror’s constitutive relationship to racial capitalism and U.S empire. Dr. Gray has published articles on feminist poetics in Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory and The International Feminist Journal of Politics. Her writing on U.S. lynching culture has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and her analyses of policing and the Black Lives Matter movement have been published in Mute and Truthout. She has articles on Cold War-era black left feminist anti-lynching defense campaigns and contemporary black cinematic praxis forthcoming in The Black Scholar and The Journal of Global Slavery.
Dr. SA Smythe completed their Ph.D. in history of consciousness (with emphases in literature and feminist studies) from UC Santa Cruz and will continue postdoctoral research here at UCI with Lilith Mahmud, Associate Professor in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies.
SA’s research interests include Black poetics, dispossession, créolité, meticciato, postcoloniality and decoloniality in Europe and Africa, cultural memory in the African diaspora, queer aesthetics, the Black Mediterranean, testimony, and the so-called “refugee and migration crisis.” At UCI, Smythe will develop their book manuscript, Crisis and the Canon: Shifting Representation Regimes in the Black Mediterranean. The book focuses on representations of blackness, femininity, and mobility in Italophone writings from 1985 to 2015. SA was awarded the prestigious UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Dr. Phillip Tran (Department of Otolaryngology) investigates non-invasive methods for the treatment of neurological disorders. He works with Dr. Fan-Gang Zeng in the UCI Center for Hearing Research on transcranial electric stimulation of deep structures within the head. Phillip is developing a computational model to optimize the stimulation parameters to target the auditory nerve and cortex to suppress tinnitus. He is also working with surgeons to evaluate at the effectiveness of using novel electrode designs and placement.
Phillip received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Sydney where he developed a finite element model of the human head to study the current conduction pathways resulting from cochlear implant stimulation. Phillip is an active board member of the UCI Postdoctoral Scholar Association, recently updating the PDA website and adding valuable information for incoming postdocs about living in Irvine. He also contributes his graphic design skills to creating PDA materials.
Dr. Sandra Harvey researches the production of race and gender through surveillance technologies originating in colonialism and chattel slavery. She has been awarded as a 2017-18 UCI Chancellor’s Advance Postdoctoral Fellow in Criminology, Law and Society. Her book manuscript, Passing for Free, Passing for Sovereign: Blackness and the Formation of the Nation, traces narratives of race/gender passing within science, settler colonial law, conceptual art, and Enlightenment philosophy. It contextualizes accusations of race/gender passing in the U.S. as rooted in 19th-century surveillance of fugitive slaves. In this way, she asks after the assumptions about blackness that emerge in the passing regime and how these might influence contemporary notions of freedom, sovereignty, the nation, and the citizen.
Sandra received her Ph.D. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her research has been supported by the UC Consortium for Black Studies in California and the UCSC Center for Science and Justice. Her UCI mentors are Dr. Sora Han (Criminology, Law and Society) and Dr. Jared Sexton (African American Studies).
Dr. Carey Y. L. Huh works with A. Prof Sunil Sandhi in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior. She is studying how circuits in the brain are affected by sensory challenges such as visual deprivation during development, and how neural dysfunctions can be restored in adulthood. A better understanding of this topic is key to finding a cure for visual disorders such as amblyopia. To study neural responses at various levels of the visual system, she is currently employing in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, a powerful technique that allows monitoring of activity in hundreds of neurons simultaneously.
Carey was recently awarded a Pediatric Ophthalmology Career Starter Grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, “A Masonic Charity”, sponsored by Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. Before UCI, she held postdoc positions at UC Berkeley with Prof. Dennis Levi and Stanford University with Prof. Shaul Hestrin. Carey’s goal is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the link between neural activity and behavior to gain insights into both how a normal brain works and what goes awry when disease strikes.