2023-24 Graduate Student Mentors (GSMs)

Emily Anne Foster (she/her) (eaf2161@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Emily is a Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and holds an M.A. and an M.Phil. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to arriving at Columbia, she graduated from Stanford University with an M.A. in English Education, and from Cornell University with a B.A. in English Literature, summa cum laude.

Emily’s teaching and research has focused primarily on 19th century British and Global  literature and culture. More broadly, her teaching and research interests include the history of the novel; genre and sub-genre studies; post-colonial studies; science fiction literature; the dynamics of serialization both in 19th century novels and in 21st century TV serials and series; the advantages and limitations of  digital humanities; and reception theory, including the Victorians’ reception and adaptation of plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and other early modern dramatists.

At Columbia, Emily has taught “Literary Texts, Critical Methods,” five semesters of University Writing, and has served as a teaching assistant for “Explaining the Supernatural” with Professor Dustin Stewart and “The 19th Century British Novel” with Professor Sharon Marcus. At Sarah Lawrence College, she’s developed and taught courses including “Science Fiction and the Victorian Novel,” “Reading Serially: What Watching TV Tells Us About the Victorian Novel,” and “The Global 19th Century Novel.” Emily also taught high school English as part of her Stanford M.A. in English Education, and, for most of her time at Columbia, she has assisted Columbia undergraduates and graduate students with their writing projects as a consultant at Columbia’s Writing Center.

Her dissertation explores dynamics of novelistic closure by examining texts left unfinished by 19th century authors, and what has been done to continue them. These continuations include stand-alone sequels, as well as continuations written either by the original author or by a later imitator-continuator, including authorized and unauthorized sequels, works of fanfiction, and adaptations, including 20th and 21st century movie or television adaptations of novels by Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Brontë, and Charles Dickens. Her dissertation uses digital humanities, together with more low-tech and traditional methods of literary analysis, to evaluate these unfinished texts alongside their continuations. Emily has authored and co-authored articles published in journals including Dickens Studies Annual, the LA Review of Books, Public Books, and Politics/Letters.   

Outside of academics, Emily likes baking, reading trashy novels, and watching improv comedy. She dislikes mosquitos, flip flops (not on other people, just personally), and train delays. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Ilan, and their two cats, Prickles and Moo. 

Bandar Alsaeed (ba2395@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Bandar Alsaeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. His research interests center upon the intersection between histories of colonialism, revolution, nationalism, and labor migration in the Persian Gulf region. He is currently writing his dissertation on the construction of the concept of the noncitizen or “foreigner” in Kuwait and Bahrain, with a specific emphasis on the role of British colonial governance of pearl-divers in the late nineteenth century. When not submerged in dissertation writing, Bandar has served as a teaching assistant for multiple courses at Columbia, including Introduction to Islamic Civilization, Theory and Culture, Palestinian and Israeli Politics, and Introduction to Political Philosophy. In Spring 2023, he designed and taught his own course based on his dissertation research, entitled Re-framing the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, which sought to critically assess the merit of the criteria and themes often deployed to produce knowledge on this region. He is also a contributing member of an independent Cairo-based organization for online learning and collaborative research, the Institute for De-Colonising Theory. 

Prior to arriving to Columbia for his doctorate, Bandar received degrees in political theory, history, and conflict resolution and pursued freelance work as a creative writer. Fluent in English and Arabic, he enjoys learning languages and is currently honing his skills in Farsi and Spanish. Outside of academia, he is an unrepentant Manchester United fan, a keen beachgoer, and a grateful reader of Latin American literature.

Sarah Hedgecock (smh2259@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Sarah Hedgecock is a PhD candidate in Columbia’s Religion department, specializing in American evangelicalism. Before Columbia, she earned a BA in Anthropology at Princeton, and in between she spent a few years working in journalism in New York. She is currently writing a dissertation on evangelical girlhood from the Cold War through the present, with a focus on the understudied role of nostalgia in American evangelical practice. Her research has involved sifting through archives as well as interviewing current-day evangelical girls across the U.S.

Outside of her academic work, Sarah loves to bake, sew clothing, and read for fun (as opposed to reading for work). She also likes to overanalyze whatever reality dating show she’s watching at the moment.

Chris Klippenstein (cpk2126@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Chris Klippenstein is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she works on Renaissance drama. Her dissertation argues for a more capacious understanding of early modern 'neighbourship' that includes nonhuman entities, such as fairies and animals. Chris's academic theatre reviews have appeared in the journals Shakespeare and Shakespeare Bulletin; her essay on the white nationalist implications of Shakespearean pronunciation across the long twentieth century is forthcoming in a collection from Edinburgh University Press. In April 2023, Chris was a speaker on the NextGenPlen panel of the Shakespeare Association of America.

Beyond her primary work on drama, Chris has trained in medieval paleography (the study of ancient handwriting) at Columbia, and in early modern paleography as a Mellon Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, where she spent a month learning to read and transcribe sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English secretary hands. (Chris often reassures her students that her training in paleography means their handwriting will always be legible to her.) Her broader research interests include theatre, film, critical race studies, medieval literature, and philology. At Columbia, Chris has taught "University Writing" and "Literary Texts and Critical Methods," and been a teaching assistant for "Shakespeare II" with Dr. Alan Stewart and "Queer Literature, Culture, and Theory" with Dr. Jack Halberstam; she has also worked as a consultant at the Writing Centre. Chris can often be found playing around at Columbia's Makerspace in the Engineering building, but her newest hobby is archery.

Lauren Moseley (lm3391@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Lauren is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She grew up in Tampa, FL and graduated from Williams College in 2016 with a double major in Arabic studies and chemistry. At Columbia, Lauren’s PhD dissertation explores how ocean models and ocean observations combine to expand our understanding of oxygen and carbon uptake and circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. Her research has taken her to new and exciting places, ranging from her office at the snake-infested Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a two-month research cruise. Lauren is also passionate about advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the geosciences, and has served in a variety of leadership roles within her department and the Columbia Climate School at large to further this mission.

When not in her office or on a ship, Lauren loves to bake, play tennis, and travel. She is also a scholar of the Real Housewives franchise. 

Lauren Horst (leh2164@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Lauren Horst is a PhD candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, specializing in twentieth- and twenty-first century postcolonial literature. Before starting her PhD program, Lauren graduated summa cum laude from New York University Abu Dhabi. Her research interests include postcolonial literature and theory, the history and theory of the novel, political economy, and political ecology. She is finishing her dissertation, which looks at how four authors use the form of the novel to reimagine the discourse of development (and later, of sustainable development) from the perspective of the formerly colonized and economically marginalized. At Columbia, she has taught a total of five sections of University Writing, one discussion section of “Literary Texts, Critical Methods,” and has been a TA for two courses in the Department of Slavic Languages. She has also been a fellow with the Center for Teaching and Learning. 

Outside of academic life, Lauren enjoys yoga, playing soccer, and taking long, meandering walks through the North Woods at Central Park. She is an avid morning person, and feels strange on any day that she wakes up past six or seven in the morning.

Anna Waller (aw3006@columbia.edu)
Graduate Student Mentor, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Facilitator, CUSP Columbia Journey Seminar

Anna Waller is a PhD Candidate in Theatre and Performance hailing from Sacramento, CA. She specializes in twentieth-century dance history. Before deciding to pursue graduate school, she graduated from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon with a double major in Comparative Literature and Dance. After graduating, Anna spent several years in Seattle, where she performed and taught dance, wrote dance reviews, and edited the online dance journal SeattleDances

At Columbia, Anna is writing a dissertation on Mass Performance and the Dancing Chorus Between the Wars, 1918-1939, which addresses a shared fascination with mass aesthetics and aesthetic formations of community across disparate political ideologies in the United States, Germany, and the Soviet Union. She is interested in how people create utopian and/or dystopian unity through shared movement experiences on and off stage. She loves sifting through archival materials and has gotten to do dissertation research at archives in New York City and Washington, DC, as well as in Germany. Beyond theatre and performance, her interests extend to medical humanities and social histories of the moving body. She has taught four semesters of University Writing and TA’ed for theatre courses at Columbia and Barnard. Always looking to make academia a more supportive place for students at all levels, Anna has been a GSAS Fellow at the Center for Student Advising and currently works as a consultant at the GSAS Dissertation Writing Studio. 

To balance out her academic pursuits, Anna enjoys cooking, garment sewing, and walking through the city. You’ll also catch her at all kinds of theatre, dance, and music shows.


Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


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