Connected Academics task force convenes to draft proposal for Doctoral Program in Public Humanities

Posted in News Story

Throughout the semester, Professor Ricardo Ortiz will lead a task force of Georgetown humanities faculty and graduate students as they develop a proposal for a doctoral program in the Public Humanities.

The Task Force



Ricardo Ortiz is Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University and Interim Faculty Leader of the Connected Academics Project at Georgetown for AY 2016-17. Prof. Ortiz specializes in US Latinx Literary and Cultural Studies, and has also worked in the fields of American Studies, Latin American Studies, Comparative Literature, Queer Studies and Critical Theory. He has also served as Director of Graduate Studies for Georgetown’s English MA Program from 2008 to 2014, as well as on a variety of boards and committees for the Modern Language Association and the American Studies Association over the past decade.


Michael Połczyński defended his Doctoral thesis on Early Modern East European/Ottoman frontiers at Georgetown University in 2016. Michael is leading efforts to create a digital gazetteer of Ottoman places, and is working on several publications on digital tools and methods for historians as well as a critical edition of the 1558 Risâle-i Tatar-i Leh that was prepared by Polish-Lithuanian Muslims for Süleymân the Lawgiver. 

Robynn Stilwell


Robynn Stilwell (Performing Arts, Film & Media Studies) is a musicologist whose research interests center on music and media. Publications include essays on Beethoven and cinematic violence, musical form in Jane Austen, rockabilly and “white trash”, figure skating, French film musicals, psychoanalytic film theory and music, and the boundaries between sound and music in the cinematic soundscape. Her current project is a historical and analytical study of audiovisual modality in television.



Erika B. Seamon, Ph.D. is the Director of the American Studies Program at Georgetown University, and an Associate Teaching Professor.  She received The Faculty Excellence Award for Georgetown College in 2015, awarded by the College Academic Council to one professor based upon student nominations.  As a student-centered professor, and a Doyle Faculty Fellow, Dr. Seamon continually develops new pedagogical approaches for bringing students of diverse perspectives together to engage with the colliding narratives of our nation’s past and present.  Her research interests explore the intersections of American culture, religion, and gender.  In her book, Interfaith Marriage in America, Dr. Seamon thinks critically about how the slow disintegration of cultural barriers to intermarriage destabilized national and transnational religious traditions and narratives, at different historical moments.  Prior to joining the Georgetown community, Dr. Seamon was a partner at Kuczmarski Innovation and taught at the University of Chicago.

Justin Quam

Justin Quam is a Ph.D student in the Department of German at Georgetown University. He received his BA in Political Science from Yale University in 2010; since graduation, he has taught English in Austria and worked at the German International School in Portland, Oregon. His interest in language learning stems from the twelve summers he spent teaching German at Waldsee, an immersion language program in northern Minnesota. Justin’s primary interests include second language acquisition, systemic functional linguistics, and foreign language curriculum development. 

Kathryn Temple