"Materia has been a key academic discussion setting to help me think through my investigative interests and methodological frameworks. Its interdisciplinary character has provided me with an enriching exposal to a variety of possibilities of approaching theories of material phenomena and corporeal life, and to think of literature, feminism and cultural theory in a cross-fertilized manner between 'humanities', social and natural sciences. Participating in Materia’s discussions has helped me question my own research around the relationship between humans, place, nature and movement, widening it to also include interactions with inorganic objects and nonhuman organisms.
At the same time, it has sparked my curiosity on the interplay between meaning and matter. The heterogeneous and though-provoking community of scholars that compose Materia has hardly failed to provide novel accounts to inquire about matter through unexplored perspectives and practices, which altogether inspires an ensembled and cut-across graduate students and faculty critical debate about new materialist’s potentialities and limitations"
Laura Menéndez Gorina, PhD Candidate in Iberian and Latin American Cultures
"I originally came to Materia because the topics of their meetings intrigued me. It was refreshing to see things like computers, language, and cryptocurrencies be presented from a humanist perspective. Scholar they invited from Stanford and other institutions sparked thoughtful, critical, and yet very productive discussions pointing towards culture and materiality. After enrolling in Materia, I found myself revisiting subjects from my own area of specialization (modern Chinese literature) with new attentiveness to the role of materials within narratives. I ultimately decided that this would be a productive perspective to inject into my dissertation project. As the project develops, the readings and discussions from Materia serve as invaluable resources for the construction of my framework. In particular, our meetings in which we discussed post-humanist theory and the role of dust in detective stories resonated with elements of my work, and my project as a whole is stronger thanks to their inspiration.
While the subject matter of Materia has been valuable to my research, so has the scholarly network that it cultivates. Previously, my interaction with graduate students outside my department was rather limited. However, since joining Materia, I have been introduced to numerous colleagues from DLCL and other departments with whom I share similar scholarly interests. It has helped me become part of a larger intellectual community where I can find support, resource recommendations, and new perspectives in approaching my research. Thanks to the interdisciplinary exchanges fostered by Materia, I find myself more readily able to articulate my research and arguments to scholars outside my field"
Melissa Anne Hosek, PhD student in East Asian Languages and Cultures.