Our Staff

The Rikfind Center Arts & Humanities Faculty Seminar was created by Mikhal Dekel, Emily Greble, and Andras Kisery in 2014. The goal of the Interdisciplinary Rifkind Faculty Seminar is to enhance scholarly life on campus; create a greater sense of community among the faculty; expose students to the breadth of their professors’ research and creative activities; raise the public profile of research in the Humanities and Arts at The City College of New York (CCNY); encourage interdisciplinary collaboration; and develop new research opportunities for Humanities and Arts faculty.


MIKHAL DEKEL (Center Director)

Mikhal Dekel is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at CCNY and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the recipient of various awards, including fellowships from the NEH, the Mellon Foundation and the Lady Davis Foundation at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her book Tehran Children: A Refugee Odyssey (W.W. Norton, 2019) will appear in 2019. She is also the author of The Universal Jew: Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment (Northwestern University Press, 2011) and Oedipus in Kishinev (Bialik Institute Press, 2014), and has published articles, translations, and blogs in numerous venues, including the Journal of Comparative Literature, English Literary History, and Callaloo.


RENEE PHILIPPI (Center Administrator)

Renee Philippi is a professional theatre director and writer and the Artistic Director of Concrete Temple Theatre. She holds a B.A. in Theatre with a Political Science minor from the University of Michigan; an M.A. in Creative Writing from CCNY; and an M.F.A. in Theatre/ Directing from Brooklyn College. Concrete Temple stages original productions. It has had an extended run Off-Broadway, and was featured at many venues, including Dixon Place in New York City; The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard; St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn; and Bard College’s SummerScape. Concrete Temple has also led free theater workshops for organizations like Sirovich Senior Center and YAI AutismCenter.



ANDRÁS KISÉRY is Associate Professor of English at CUNY. His articles on early modern English literature, political culture, and the material text have appeared in edited collections and in journals like European Journal of English Studies, Philological Quarterly, and English Literary History, among others. He is author of Hamlet’s Moment: Drama and Political Knowledge in Early Modern England (OUP, 2016) and co-editor of Formal Matters: Reading the Materials of English Renaissance Literature (Manchester UP, 2013), as well as of Worlds of Hungarian Writing: National Literature as Intercultural Exchange (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2016). He is currently working on two longer projects, one on early modern English literature and the English and European book trade, and another on the birth of media studies in Weimar-era European scholarship.


ANDREAS KILLEN is Professor of History at CCNY and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the UCLA Humanities Center, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and has published widely on German history, the history of psychiatry and the human sciences, and film history. His book HomoCinematicus: Science, Motion Pictures, and the Making of Modern Germany (University of Pennsylvania Press) will appear in 2017, and he is currently working on a new book project titled The Cold War Brain: Sciences and Fictions of the Mind in the 1950s.


ANNA INDYCH-LÓPEZ works to investigate Latin American and U.S. modernisms as well as Latinx and U.S.-Mexico borderlands contemporary art, focusing on trans-American exchanges, the polemics of realisms, and public space.  Her book on Judith F. Baca, which will be published in the fall of 2018 by The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and The University of Minnesota Press, probes the public artist’s aesthetic strategies to activate the contested socio-political, spatial, and racial histories of Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s. Her new project investigates the ways in which urban spatial representations and interventions born out of Mexico City impact the lives of those who inhabit, visit, consume, view, and produce it, expanding on some of the themes in her first books:  Muralism without Walls: Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927-40 (2009) and Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art (2011; co-authored with Leah Dickerman for the exhibition of the same name at The Museum of Modern Art, New York).


JERRY M. CARLSON is a specialist in narrative theory, global independent film, and the cinemas of the Americas, Professor Carlson is Chair of CCNY’s Department of Media & Communication Arts and a member of the doctoral faculties of French, Film Studies and Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is also an active producer, director, and writer with eleven Emmy Awards. As a Senior Producer for City University Television (CUNY-TV), he created and produces the series City Cinematheque about film history and Nueva York (in Spanish) about the Latino cultures of New York City. He was educated at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Chicago (A.M. & Ph.D.).




JEANETTE HUANG is a Brooklyn based freelance designer with a background in fashion and multimedia design. She spent her early college years at CCNY.


A Special Thank You to OUr Rifkind Center Fellows


STEWART SINCLAIR is a writer, editor and communications professional whose reportage, essays and narrative nonfiction has been featured in Guernica, Creative Nonfiction, The Morning News and elsewhere. He is an MFA candidate in creative writing at CCNY.


AURORA SORIANO is an English Literature MA candidate at CCNY, as well as an Edward C. and Ruth P. Mack Graduate Fellow and a recipient of the Sydney and Helen Jacoff Scholarship. She is currently lucky to spend her time outside of school still surrounded by books, as she is a manager at Book Culture.