Past Fellows 2017-2018

Photo by Bob Sacha

Joan Acocella            

Biography of Mikhail Baryshnikov

Joan Acocella is a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she reviews dance and books. Her own books include Mark Morris, Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism, and, most recently, the essay collection Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints, which won the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Acocella edited the first unexpurgated edition of The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky. At the Cullman Center she will be working on a biography of Mikhail Baryshnikov.


Sarah Bridger

Science in the Seventies: Battling for the Soul of a Profession, from the Vietnam War to Star Wars

The ACLS/NYPL Fellow

Sarah Bridger, an associate professor of history at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, is the author of Scientists at War: The Ethics of Cold War Weapons Research. The winner of several fellowships and awards, including the Allan Nevis Dissertation Prize from the Society of American Historians, Bridger will work at the Cullman Center on a book about the political, economic, and ideological battles over American science in the 1970s.


Ava Chin

37 Mott Street

The Jean Strouse Fellow

Ava Chin is an associate professor of creative nonfiction at the College of Staten Island-CUNY. Her debut memoir, Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal, won First Prize from the M.F.K. Fisher Book Awards.  Chin, who wrote the “Urban Forager” column for The New York Times, has also published her work in Marie Claire, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Saveur, and The Village Voice. She has  received Fulbright, Van Lier, and Advanced Research Collaborative fellowships. During her year at the Cullman Center, she will be working on a book about the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act laws on four generations of her family in New York’s Chinatown.


Hugh Eakin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

From Art Market to Museum: How the Avant-Garde Came to America 

The Gilder Lehrman Fellow in American History

A senior editor at The New York Review of Books and founding editor of its online magazine, NYR Daily, Hugh Eakin has reported from Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries in the Middle East, with a special interest in cultural patrimony. In addition to The New York Review, his work has appeared in The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. During his time at the Cullman Center, Eakin will work on a book about the origins of the American market for modern art.



Photo by Lucy Hogg

Blake Gopnik                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Andy Warhol: A Life as Art

Blake Gopnik is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and has been staff art critic at The Globe and MailThe Washington Post, and Newsweek, as well as critic-at-large for He holds a PhD in art history from the University of Oxford. At the Cullman Center, he will work on a biography of the legendary Pop artist Andy Warhol.



Photo by D. Stoilova

Georgi Gospodinov                                                                                                                                                                            

Untitled novel

The Physics of Sorrow, the most recent novel by the Bulgarian poet, writer, and playwright Georgi Gospodinov, won the 2016 international Jan Michalski Prize for Literature and was a finalist for the Strega Europeo and the Gregor von Rezzori awards. An animated short film based on Gospodinov’s short story Blind Vaysha was nominated for a 2017 Academy Award. During his time at the Cullman Center, Gospodinov will work on a novel about the childhood fears of different generations.



Photo by Joy Jacobs

Nellie Hermann                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

All the Missing

Nellie Hermann has published two novels, The Cure for Grief and The Season of Migration. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Glimmer Train, Blunderbuss, The Paris Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Academic Medicine -- and Freud's Blind Spot, an anthology of writing about siblings. The Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, Hermann received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2016. The novel she will be working on at the Cullman Center is tentatively titled All the Missing.


Frances Jetter                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


Frances Jetter, an illustrator and printmaker, publishes her work in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and The Nation. Her prints and artist’s books are included in the collections of The New York Public Library, the Fogg Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Library of Congress. Jetter teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York. At the Cullman Center she will be working on an illustrated history about the life of her immigrant grandfather, his labor union, and his American family in Brooklyn.


Lynn Melnick                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Lynn Melnick’s first poetry collection, If I Should Say I Have Hope, appeared in 2012, and her second, Landscape with Sex and Violence, is due out in the fall of 2017. Melnick has published poems in The American Poetry Review, The Boston Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and A Public Space. She serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. At the Cullman Center she will work on a book of poems about the refusenik population of Los Angeles in the 1980s as it relates to Jewish identity, the American dream, and our current political moment.



Photo by Emily Stinson

Melinda Moustakis                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Untitled story collection

The Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow

The first collection of short stories by Melinda Moustakis, Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories, won the Flannery O'Connor Award and was a “5 Under 35” selection of the National Book Foundation. Moustakis has published her work in American Short FictionAlaska Quarterly ReviewGranta, and elsewhere. She has received an O. Henry Prize and fellowships from the NEA and the Kenyon Review, and has been a Hodder Fellow at Princeton and a Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Residence at George Washington University. Her new story collection, which she will work on at the Cullman Center, will be set in Alaska. 



Photo by Zane Williams

Lorrie Moore                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Untitled novel

Lorrie Moore is the author of three novels and four collections of stories. The honors she has received for her work include the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Rea Award for the Short Story. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Moore is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She will be working at the Cullman Center on a new novel.



Photo by Todd France

Eyal Press                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Dirty Work

Eyal Press is the author of two books of nonfiction, Beautiful Souls and Absolute Convictions. A contributing writer for The New Yorker, Press has written for The New York Review of Books, The Nation, and other publications. He received a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. His next book, which he will work on at the Cullman Center, will examine the moral landscape of contemporary America through the stories of people who perform society’s most ethically troubling functions: its dirty work.


Martin Puchner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Rotwelsch Inheritance: Biography of a Secret Language

The Birkelund Fellow

Martin Puchner is the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, where he founded a program in theater, dance, and media. His most recent book, The Written World (forthcoming November 2017), tells the story of literature from the invention of writing to the Internet. Puchner will be working at the Cullman Center on a book about Rotwelsch, a secret language based on Yiddish, Hebrew, and German that has haunted his family for three generations. 


Magda Teter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Blood and Paper: Anti-Jewish Libels, Cultural Knowledge, and European Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow

Magda Teter, who grew up in Cold-War Poland, is Professor of History and the Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies at Fordham University. Her published work includes the books Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland and Sinners on Trial, as well as numerous articles in English, Polish, Italian, and Hebrew. Teter has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundations. At the Cullman Center she will be finishing Blood and Paper, a book on anti-Jewish libels, cultural knowledge, and diplomacy in pre-modern Europe.


Barbara Weinstein                                                                                                                                                                            

The Art of Re-Invention: An Intellectual Biography of Frank Tannenbaum

The Joanna Jackson Goldman Fellow in American History

Barbara Weinstein, Silver Professor of History at New York University and a past president of the American Historical Association, is a historian of modern Latin America. Her most recent book was The Color of Modernity: São Paulo and the Making of Race and Nation in Brazil. Weinstein’s research has been supported by the NEH, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Guggenheim Foundation. While at the Cullman Center she will be working on a book about Frank Tannenbaum, who was by turns an anarchist, a student of the Mexican Revolution, a criminologist, and a historian of race relations in the Americas.