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Muir College Writing Program

Instructor Biographies

Fall 2021


Steven Beardsley is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Literature department. He got his Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing & Spanish from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After getting his B.A. he taught English abroad for two years to Spanish speakers in Mexico and Ecuador. Right now, he is specializing in Filipino & Filipinx American Literature from a Queer Diasporic Decolonial framework. His current research explores the connections between Queer Filipinx American Literature & Literature by Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines.

Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres is a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History, Theory, and Criticism in the UCSD Department of Visual Arts specializing in modern and contemporary Asian art. Over her professional career she has curated over thirty exhibitions and worked on numerous arts initiatives with museums, artists and cultural institutions. She is passionate about public art and the ways that technology can make the visual arts more accessible.

Michael Berman holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCSD and an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago. His dissertation, Heart of a heartless world: Compassion, alienation, and the formation of liberal secularism in contemporary Japan, was awarded the Jean Fort Dissertation Prize at UCSD, given to “a Ph.D. recipient of unusual intellectual breadth whose doctoral research has met the highest standards of academic excellence and may make a significant contribution on an issue of humanitarian or public concern.” He is currently finishing up his first book manuscript and is engaged in ongoing research on world peace and on listening in prisons.

Kathleen Bryan, M.A. in English and American Literature from UCSD, is still reading, studying and teaching about race and class in America through its literature, more relevant than ever since writing my thesis on those themes in the novels of William Faulkner.

Andrea Carter holds a PhD in Education with a focus on feminist pedagogy and student resistance and has taught at a variety of colleges and universities. She has participated in the National Writing Project, the NCTE, and the AERA. She recently published her first in a series of young adult murder mystery novels. Her most recent work was published in the San Diego Poetry Annual, 14 Hills and The Big Windows Review.

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

Eunchong Cho is a Ph.D student in the Sociology department. He holds a bachelor's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He also has a Master's degree in Peace and Global Governance from Kyunghee University's Graduate Institute of Peace Studies. His research focuses on social movements and political sociology. He examines two different collective actions among young South Korean people - a housing rights movement based on human rights and a backlash against feminism and liberal politics among young men in their twenties. He is also the founder of Media Noon, a non-profit media organization, and produces several documentaries about social minorities in South Korea.

Melinda Guillen is a writer, curator, and Ph.D. Candidate in Art History, Theory, and Criticism in the UCSD Department of Visual Arts. Her dissertation, tentatively titled, "Don't Need You: Conceptual Art, Feminism, and Estrangement" focuses on the work of curator Lucy R. Lippard and artists Lee Lozano and Adrian Piper during the 1960's and 1970's. She specializes in Postwar American Contemporary Art and Feminist Theory. She has also published essays and presented on panels in other areas including socially engaged art criticism, art & technology, urban studies, social movements, DIY culture, and humor as a critical device.

Angelo Haidaris is a graduate student in Communication Studies and Science Studies, with a B.A. in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Cruz. His research interests include: histories of surveillance and security technologies, histories of the body,  and queer, trans-, and feminist scholarship. Angelo’s current work examines the use of measurement, photography, and organizational systems in the late 19th and early 20th century and its role in the official identification and documentation of so-called deviant subjects.

Erik Homenick is a PhD candidate in Literature. His scholarly interests include representations of monstrosity in literature and films as well as the narrative/semiotic potential of music in films. Erik's doctoral dissertation will focus on the outstanding narrative importance of music, especially by the composer Akira Ifukube, in Godzilla films. Erik also holds an M.A. in French and has taught the language at various institutions of higher learning, including UC San Diego and San Diego State University.

Jinhyuk Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. He obtained a BA in Sociology from the University of Toronto, Canada. Building upon the experience of living in multiple countries, including Romania, Canada, and finally the US, he pursues the sociological research interests in immigration, citizenship, race and ethnicity, and nationalism. His current work focuses on how the national identity has been discursively and institutionally constructed, and eventually produced diverse societal outcomes. Particularly, he looks at how South Korean-ness (i.e., what it means to be South Korean citizens) has been historically defined, and has influenced various policies, politics, and even daily social interactions in South Korea. 

Trung T. Le was a lecturer of British and American literature at the University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi. He is completing his doctoral studies at University of California, San Diego. His current research focuses on migrating subjects of irony in the literature and history of Vietnamese refugees.

Elizabeth Miller has a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from UC San Diego and an M.A. in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. She has worked for a number of arts initiatives, non-profit organizations, and museums over her graduate and professional career, and she has been teaching and tutoring writing since 2005, when she first gained employment as an undergraduate writing tutor at Arizona State University's Learning Resource Center. Her dissertation, “The U.S. Imagination of Maya Ruins—Critical Reflections on American Art and Architecture 1839-1972,” unpacks historical treatments of indigenous America by addressing various examples of Anglo-American cultural production that draw upon ancient Mesoamerican architecture. Elizabeth's research focuses on the intersections between geography, art, and politics, and her interests include 19th and 20th century art of the Americas, focusing on works of fine arts and architecture that have contributed to the mythologies of the broadly American landscape.

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.

Katie Murray is a fifth-year Literature Ph.D. candidate, novelist, and adjunct English professor. Her academic publications focus on nineteenth-century gender, contemporary domestic violence, and bibliotherapy. 

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.

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. 

Kelly Silva recently completed her PhD in History from the University of California San Diego. Her dissertation, "To Serve and To Heal: Native Peoples, Government Physicians, and the Rise of a Federal Indian Health Care System, 1832-1883," charts the origins, expansion, and bureaucratization of a federal Indian health care system throughout the nineteenth century. She is currently researching and writing about medical interactions between the Ho-Chunk and U.S. army surgeons during the Black Hawk War of 1832.

Haydee Smith is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Literature Department and specializes in LGBTQ+ memoirs and media, Disability Studies, and how personal narratives propel social justice communities and movements.  She has published about Pop Cultural icons like Xena: Warrior Princess and is currently negotiating a détente with her cat about to whom the couch belongs.  

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.

Felicity Yin is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History, Theory, and Criticism in the Visual Arts Department. She has taught courses on non-Western art. She also has been researching and presenting on topics focusing on the intersections between art, media culture, and politics in 20th century China.