Muir College Writing Program

Instructor Biographies

Winter 2018


Michael Berman is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UC San Diego and holds an M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the complex relationship between empathy and alienation in contemporary Japan.

Jennifer Carter completed an MA in Liberal Arts & Sciences, focusing her research on gender, popular culture, sociology, ethnic, and LGBTQ studies. She also holds a BA in English Literature and Women's Studies and is a German-English translator. In addition, Jennifer has taught for several college campuses and her writing has appeared in various publications, which culminated in the founding of The California Journal of Women Writers

Maria Celleri is a PhD candidate in Ethnic Studies. She has a master's degrees in Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and Latin American Literature. Her research interests include: critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, and critical geography and urban studies. She enjoys being an educator and social justice activist.

Stephanie Fairchild, Ph.D. Program, History. Stephanie’s research interests include labor and community organizing as well changing economic and immigration patterns in the twentieth century. Her dissertation explores the history of the Justice for Janitors campaign in the context of neoliberal restructuring and its effects.

Amy Forrest, completed an MFA in the Program in Writing (Fiction) in 2012. She has taught for Muir Writing since 2011 and has taught MCWP 40, 50 and 125. In addition to written analysis, Amy's academic and creative interests include immigration, humor theory, and the social, medical, and historical management of mental illness.

Gibran Guido, Ph.D. Candidate, Literature. Gibran Guido is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. He completed his M.A. program in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. As a doctoral student, his dissertion focuses particular attention to the ways pain, trauma and HIV/AIDS has come to impact the lives of young gay men of color and formulate a sensibility of consciousness-raising. He is the co-editor of Queer in Aztlan: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella, 2014) and co-editor of Fathers, Fathering, and Fatherhood: Queer Chicano/Mexicano Desire and Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan, in progress). 

Melinda Guillen, is a Ph.D. Candidate in Visual Arts in the Art History, Theory, and Criticism Program and holds an MA in Curatorial Studies from University of Southern California. Melinda's dissertation research is focused on radical feminism in post-war American Conceptual Art from 1966-1980. Her other research areas include socially engaged art, feminist and critical theory, public art, urbanism and land use, and social movements. 

Matthew Howland, Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology. Matthew is an archaeologist whose research focuses on Israel and Jordan during the Iron Age. He studies the role of trade in the development of social complexity by using digital techniques and microscopic investigation of ancient ceramics.

Alex Kershaw, Ph.D. Program, Visual Arts. Alex’s research focuses on the dialectic between the camera and the subjects/objects it transforms through practices of representation. The written component of his dissertation uses ethnographic methods in a comparative study of the way cameras instigate the production of theatrical time through the practices of photographers and their subjects in photographic events.

Sarah Klein, Ph.D. Canndidate, Communication. Sarah Klein recently completed a Ph.D. in Communication and Science Studies from UCSD. She studies experimental practices as performances in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. She is interested in how methods move through time and space, and in staging collaborations as a way to understand and expand how methods work.

Gidi Loza Torre, Ph.D. Candidate, Literature. Estefani (Gidi) Loza Torre is a poet, editor and translator who is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at UC San Diego. She specializes in Poetry, Creative Writing and 20th and 21th Century American Literature. 

Jennifer Marchisotto, Ph.D. Candidate, Literature. Jennifer Marchisotto is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature and English. Her research focuses on narratives of mental disability and women in 20th century Irish and Caribbean literature. Her dissertation specifically looks at how fictional and factual histories are interwoven in modernist literature.

Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D. Program, Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Elizabeth specializes in American art of the 1960s and 70s.

Michael Morshed writes crime novels around bringing opportunities to the disenfranchised. He also created and writes for a website ( that tells narrative and analytical stories about soccer.

Laurie Nies, Ph.D. Literature.  Laurie’s interests include Native American and Indigenous studies, early U.S. literature and culture, and post-colonial studies. Recent research has focused on 18th century and early 19th century women who appropriate “popular” literary genres to craft narratives that critique America’s political views and subvert ethnic stereotyping.

Crystal R. Perez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Literature at UCSD. Her dissertation work focuses on 20th-century Latinx/Chicanx cultural production with an emphasis on Los Angeles. Her broader research interests include race, place, gender, and class.

Vincent Pham, Ph.D. Program, Visual Arts. Vince is an art historian whose work and research focus on the visual culture surrounding portraiture in the long eighteenth century in Britain. Recent ideas that have been of interest include the sociability of portraiture, social practices within art spaces, and the experience of viewing in the eighteenth century. 

Mallory Pickett is a freelance journalist. Her writing, mostly on science and technology, has been published in The New York Times Magazine, WIRED, and many other publications. She holds a masters degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and a masters and bachelors in chemistry from UC San Diego. 

Kelly Silva, Ph.D program, History.  Kelly is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History and is currently working on her thesis, "To Heal the Wounds of Empire: Government Physicians, the Winnebago, and the Development of Federal Indian Health Care Policy in the Nineteenth Century."

Haydee Smith, Ph.D. Program, Literature. Haydee Smith is a scholar of queer theory, disability studies, and memoirs. She is currently earning her PhD in Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on intersectional identity formations and the autobiographical representations of divas, femmes, disability, and queer sexuality in contemporary popular culture, modernist literature and women's films.

Jonathon Walton is a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication Department at UCSD. Jonathon analyzes games as sociotechnical systems, looking specifically at the conceptual, social, and material infrastructure that allows "serious games" to make sense and be able to operate as forces for change in the world. He previously spent 7 years in the foreign policy world, where he studied Chinese policing and social policy.

Michael Witte is an art historian, theorist, and translator, currently earning his PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). His research lies at the intersection of literature and the visual arts, juxtaposing the histories of aesthetic theory with the development of late 19th and 20th century modernisms.