Mellon-Morgridge Professors

With generous support from the Mellon Foundation and John P. and Tashia Morgridge, our program supports up to four rotating professorships in the humanities as Mellon-Morgridge Professors (MMPs). By supporting current faculty, Constellations aims to redirect a portion of each professor’s time and energy toward building better and more innovative humanities classes.

Prof. Giuliana Chamedes was selected as the new Mellon-Morgridge Professor of the Humanities in 2020. Starting in the 2020-21 academic year, she will develop a new Constellation on Fascism, including teaching “History 366: From Fascism to Today” this fall.

Dr. Chamedes is a member of the Department of History, who specializes in international and global history with a focus on the place of Europe in the wider world. Her first book, A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe is the first comprehensive history of the Vatican’s agenda to defeat the forces of secular liberalism and communism through international law, cultural diplomacy, and a marriage of convenience with authoritarian and right-wing rulers. She is currently working on her second book project, Failed Globalists: Economic Justice, Decolonization, and the Decline of the European Welfare State, 1973-1993, which examines the emergence of a radically new way of conceptualizing state-economy relations.

Prof. Frédéric Neyrat is a member of the English Department with expertise in the environmental humanities and contemporary theory. He developed our Planetary Humanities Constellation.

Dr. Neyrat is the author of several books, including The Unconstructable Earth: An Ecology of Separation, and Atopias: Manifesto for a Radical Existentialism. Dr. Neyrat recently launched Alienocene, an electronic journal that gathers texts, sounds, and images seeking to reshape the relationship between the human and the inhuman, the terrestrial and the extraterrestrial, the near and the distant, what is familiar to us and what persists in remaining – despite everything – alien.

Prof. Jenell Johnson has been a Mellon-Morgridge Professor since 2017, establishing our Health & Inequality Constellation.

Dr. Johnson’s work is recognized internationally for reshaping our understanding of science and medicine in the field of Rhetoric and Communications, as well as in Science and Technology Studies. Much of her work looks closely at issues related to how we understand the meaning of neuroscience, psychiatry, and mental disability. These interests are best illustrated in her first book American Lobotomy, and the edited collection The Neuroscientific Turn, a collection of essays from humanists and scientists reflecting on the growth of the “neuro-disciplines.” Johnson is the director of UW-Madison’s Disability Studies Initiative. She leads a double life as a cartoonist and has recently published a comic anthology entitled Graphic Reproduction.

Prof. Ortiz-Robles is a leader in the emerging field of Animal Studies in which he created one of our first Constellations.

Dr. Ortiz-Robles home department is English, but his wide-ranging intellectual interests have allowed him to forge strong connections across the UW-Madison campus. His Constellation aspires to build off the success of his Borghesi-Mellon workshop in Animal Studies and create a hub for scholarship and research focused on representation, rights, and animal-human relations. He has an extensive publication record that includes his book Literature and Animal Studies, which asks “Why do animals talk in literature?”