Pembroke Center

Hannah Frydman

Shauna M. Stark ’76, P ’10 Postdoctoral Fellow


Hannah Frydmanthe Shauna M. Stark ’76, P ’10 Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Frydman is now an assistant professor of French in the Department of French and Italian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

“It was a really wonderful, productive year for me and one that I know will continue to reverberate in my work and through the relationships I made.” 

As the 2020-21 Shauna M. Stark ’76, P ’10 Postdoctoral Fellow, Hannah Frydman spent her year in residence at the Pembroke Center in a way that exemplifies the highest goals of the postdoctoral program. She rose to the challenge of teaching virtually during the pandemic and led an exciting (and fully subscribed) undergraduate course, “Sex and Money: The History of Paris since 1750.” That course developed students’ analytical, critical, and creative skills as they engaged with questions about women’s bodies, women’s economic power, and efforts to regulate women through public morality campaigns. At the same time, she advanced her research on the social and cultural history of modern France, and in particular on the role of mass media in creating moral, economic, and political constraints for women. She brought her perspective and expertise to bear on questions the scholarly community of the Pembroke Seminar “Narrating Debt” explored together, and found both her research and her experience of a learning community enlarged by that experience.

Of the Pembroke Seminar, Dr. Frydman said, “I was struck by how engaged everyone was and how the intergenerational aspect of the seminar worked, with all participants, from the undergraduates to the emeritus professors, being comfortable to think out loud and bring their incredibly wide-ranging ideas to the table. I’ve participated in several other research seminars, but there’s something special about the open-endedness of the Pembroke Seminar, which allows for an intellectual curiosity unbounded by preconceived ideas about where the year’s theme would (or should) lead. It ended up taking me in directions I did not foresee when I applied for the fellowship, in part because the collective readings we did oriented me in new and fruitful directions and led me to approach my research from new angles.”

In collaboration with Pembroke Center postdoctoral fellows Nicolás Sánchez-Rodríguez and Sa Whitley, Dr. Frydman convened top scholars for a two-day April 2021 virtual symposium, “Unsettling Accounts: Intersectional Approaches to the Politics of Debt.” This well-attended symposium examined how debt operates as a mode of social control and discipline across axes of race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and ability. Public events like this one serve the broader community by driving scholarly discourse forward and creating new knowledge.