Alumni Profiles

Amanda Barton
Amanda Barton

I have lived in the Midwest my whole life. I am excited to move to the New England area to further myself at Brandeis University. In three words, I would describe myself as curious, eccentric, and vivacious.

I received my undergraduate degree in art history at Southern Methodist University. Ever since I was born on All Hallows' Eve, I have always been interested in the mysterious esoteric philosophy in religion, history, and art. More specifically, I am interested in the idiosyncrasies of how ancient esoteric wisdom has affected history throughout time. I desire to study further of this phenomenon by looking into the tricksters within mythology. I would also love to investigate how ancient religious rituals affected society on many levels in Egypt, Greece, Rome, and in Mesopotamia.

On the other spectrum of my interests, I enjoy architecture. I am currently in the process of writing a book about a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was built for a man in wheelchair, while arguing how this house embodies Transcendentalism philosophy and emphasizes how and why Wright is an American architect. This why I strongly feel the MACH program is an appropriate fit for me to pursue.

Andrew Bethke ’14

Home: Fresno, California

Academic Background:

  • California State University, Fresno, BA in History, 2011

  • San Francisco State University, MA in History, 2013

  • Brandeis University, MA in Comparative Humanities, 2014

  • University of Minnesota, PhD in History, starting Fall 2015

MACH Area of Study: My primary areas of study while at Brandeis were theories of justice and obligation, and the history and ontology of the British Empire.

MACH Capstone Project: “Imperial Ontology: Exploring a Form/Content Divide of the High British Empire”

Current Role: As of fall 2015, I will be working on my PhD in history at the University of Minnesota.

How MACH Helped: MACH was very helpful in expanding my intellectual horizons, in addition to honing my thoughts on issues I had been interested in before, but unable to study in any depth. The MACH faculty was tremendously helpful in this respect, particularly Raj Sampath.

Matthew Chernick
Matthew Chernick

I received my BA, magna cum laude, from Brandeis University with a triple major in Film, Television, and Interactive Media with Highest Honors, European Cultural Studies with Highest Honors and Classical Studies, with minors in History and English Literature. My senior thesis, Mad Scene at the Movie Palace: The Twilight of Opera, the Birth of Film, and the Revolution of Culture, received the Dorothy Blumenfeld Moyer Memorial Award from the Division of Humanities. I was also the recipient of the Esther Goldman Prize for Excellence in Classical Languages and Literatures.

Katerina Daley
Katerina Daley

My name is Katerina Daley. I've lived my whole life in various towns in Massachusetts, with most of that time spent in Cambridge, and grew up as part of a very close-knit Greek family.

I completed my undergraduate degree here at Brandeis with a major in English and a minor in Creative Writing. My main areas of interest in literature are the American and British modes of Modernism, as well as film criticism and gender and queer theory.

In addition to this strong foundation in and passion for literature, I have always held an interest in Classical languages, especially Latin. My research as part of the MACH program will be focused on finding a nexus of most of these areas of interest, particularly concerning the prevalence of the Classics within the realm of the Irish Modernists.

Ben Davis
Ben Davis

The opportunity to work closely with the professors and instructors I’ve developed close relationships with at Brandeis drew me to enter the MACH program. I am interested in the intersection of work, everyday life, and culture, particularly in the United States, Scandinavia, and Japan. I hope that my work will provide practical understanding about some of the most unique peoples and cultures in our world.

Micah Isser
Micah Isser

I, Micah Isser, am a proud native of Rhode Island, love fresh bread and hate the taste of mint. I have been participating in competitive Slam poetry on-and-off for the past seven years.

My primary areas of interest include Pragmatist metaphysics, Gordon Allport and Carl Roger's psychology, Nineteenth-Century Romantic poetry, and the short stories of J.L. Borges. Through these authors, there are two central questions that I am currently looking into: a) How is the quality of 'Sincerity' communicated through language? and b) What does it mean to know another person?

Eve Litvak
Eve Litvak

As a first-generation born American, I grew up subconsciously grappling with different notions of identity. Coming to Brandeis as an undergraduate student, I unintentionally found myself on the International & Global Studies track via the European Cultural Studies and Russian Studies Programs. Minoring in Italian, Legal, and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies provided a multitude of lenses to gain new perspective from which inquiries could be formed.

Continuing at Brandeis with the MACH program, I am excited to officially study the theories of multi-lingual translations, interpretations, and cross-cultural impacts of global masterworks. I am hoping that literary study will help explain nationalistic sentiment, processes of democratization, and modernization through the intersection of politics and culture.

Tao Zhang ’14

Tao ZhangHome: Kunming, Yunnan Province, China (Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan, I lived and worked there for more than 12 years. My hometown is Qujing, which is to the northeast of Kunming, 90 minutes drive from Kunming.)

Academic Background:

  • Hainan University, BA in English, 1999

  • Yunnan University, MA in Communications, 2007

  • Brandeis University, MA in Comparative Humanities, 2014

  • Bowling Green State University, PhD in Communication, expected 2018

MACH Area of Study: I was interested in diverse areas of study. As an international student who was away from academia for quite a few years after graduation, I felt an urgent need to acquire a solid foundation for my PhD studies, especially in the US, where the education system is totally different... So I joined the MACH program as a bridge in the service of my future PhD program. Besides the required seminar, I took courses from Judaic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Translation Theory.

MACH Capstone Project: “Kafka's The Trial: Another Transformation”

Current Role: I am in the PhD program of Communication, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

How MACH Helped: I have to say all these courses have contributed a lot to my current interdisciplinary program in Communication. When seeing the names and related theories in the readings, I feel really grateful for those courses I took at Brandeis because they have proven to be so relevant and have laid the needed foundation for me. Additionally, almost all the Brandeis professors had their PhDs from first-tier universities worldwide... The thoughtful and loving services provided by Brandeis, the diverse cultural background of students, and various academic activities have all together left with me a memorable time here. I appreciate the respect I get from people when I say I am a Brandeis alumna. I am proud of having been a Brandeis student.