Meet the Committee (2018-2019)

The Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession (CSGSP) is now the Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Humanities (CSGSH)!

Following MLA Executive Council approval and renewal in February 2018, the CSGSP became the CSGSH with an amended charge. The Committee requested these changes to reflect the current status of the academic climate, to respond to the changing trends in the humanities, and to capture the realities of our membership body. Read more here!

As members of the CSGSH, we are appointed via nomination for a three-year period to advocate for graduate students in all aspects of their educational and professional lives.

If you’re at #MLA19, come by the Grad Lounge and say hello! Or, feel free to reach out to us at with your questions or concerns. We meet multiple times a year and welcome your input! You can also connect with us on twitter (@MLAgrads)

2018-2019 CSGSH Members:


Barbra Chin (co-chair) is a Ph.D. candidate and full-time lecturer in the Department of English at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her research explores notions of identity as they relate to nation and community, race (and mixed race), and gender in late 19th and early 20th century African American literature, particularly the writings of Nella Larsen. As a member of CSGSH, Barbra is proud to represent the HBCU graduate experience and the unique concerns that attend it.


Meredith Farmer is an Assistant Teaching Professor of English and the Center of Energy, Environment, and Sustainability at Wake Forest University. Her current project, Melville’s Leaks: Science, Materialism, and the Reconstitution of Persons, is under advance contract with Northwestern University Press. She is also at work on two editorial projects: a collection titled Rethinking Ahab: Melville and the Materialist Turn and a special issue of Leviathan on “Melville and Materialisms.” Her next project will be focused on the “American Storm Controversy,” hurricanes, and attempts to model climate change in the nineteenth century.  As a member of CSGSP she is especially passionate about work to support student and adjunct laborers, raising awareness about different kinds of public humanities projects, and developing a revised and visible set of best practices for search committees in the era of online interviews. (Twitter: @farmerm)


Kaya Forrest

Kayla Forrest is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, and she received an MA in English from North Carolina State University in 2014. She is currently a fourth-year graduate student and teaching assistant at UNC Greensboro, pursuing a PhD in early 20th century American literature. Her research is focused on Paris and how the city was a site of influence for many American writers of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Gerard Holmes

Gerard Holmes is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Maryland.  His primary academic interests center on nineteenth-century American Literature, particularly the intersections of poetry with music, natural sound, and industrial sound.  His dissertation examines Emily Dickinson’s writing from the perspective of improvisational practices in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music and poetry.  With significant professional experience in the nonprofit arts and humanities, Gerard is also interested in diversifying professional opportunities for advanced degree holders in the humanities, and bridging the gap between the academic and nonprofit humanities.


Amir Hussain

Amir Hussain is working on his PhD in Comparative Literature at Emory University. His research and teaching interests are in nineteenth century European poetry, twentieth century world poetry, cultural and critical theory, and pedagogy. He has studied abroad at Freie Universität Berlin and Universität Leipzig in Germany. Prior to his PhD program, he completed an MFA in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry and cultural studies at the University of Minnesota.


Andrés Rabinovich (co-chair) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas. His research revolves around the representation of sports in Contemporary Latin American Southern Cone with a focus on the link between sports and affect as it pertains to political agency. He was both first-year representative as well as president of the Graduate Student Association of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas. In the CSGSP, Andrés plans to use his experience in student organizations to represent graduate students across the country and to give a voice to international graduate students in North American academia. (Twitter: @AndresRabinovi2)


Kristina Reardon is the associate director of the Center for Writing at the College of the Holy Cross, where she teaches composition courses, runs the peer writing center, the Writer’s Workshop, and does faculty outreach on teaching writing. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literary and cultural studies at the University of Connecticut. Her dissertation focuses on the use of comedy in World War I era writing, and her composition work focuses on translation as a lens for student reflection on the writing process.


Niko Tracksdorf received his Ph.D. in Literatures, Cultures and Languages from the University of Connecticut in 2017. He is currently the Coordinator of the German International Engineering Program (IEP) and part-time faculty member in German at the University of Rhode Island. His research interests include interdisciplinary language teaching, intercultural competence, and online and blended learning. Working for dual degree program in German and Engineering, his research and teaching currently focus on the intersections of language and culture education and STEM.

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