Ph.D. Job Market Candidates

Denise Lim's picture
Areas of interest: Postcolonial sociology; African urban studies; African cultural studies; Sociology of Art; Sociology of Literature
Dissertation: Excavating Palimpsests in Ponte City

Denise Lim has extensive experience in writing, teaching, and curating scholarship on Africa for both academic and general audiences. Spanning over 14 years, Denise’s travels to southern Africa have resulted in a diverse range of interdisciplinary research projects, including HIV/AIDS prevention education in rural Malawi and South Africa, the sociopolitical construction of African literature in South African universities, the social role of multimedia art in exploring trauma and landscape in postcolonial Namibia, and the use of photography to document the embodied practices of African-initiated religious groups in Southern Africa.

Denise’s doctoral dissertation explores a Brutalist residential tower in Johannesburg called Ponte City. Originally developed as a bastion of white privilege, luxury, and global aspiration during apartheid, Ponte has since retained the mythological reputation of harboring socially deviant populations submerged in lives of crime, illicit activity, and urban decay. Collaborating with a diverse team of visual artists, urban architects, and web designers, Denise analyzes a vast collection of multimedia forms of data with which she explores the building’s rich geological, architectural, and urban heritage. These include the building’s art archive, architectural design and layout, bureaucratic documents, and material artifacts. Denise is committed to developing decolonial methods of inquiry that highlight the importance of Africanist scholarship in an increasingly globalizing world. She is also passionate about unlocking the potential that digital scholarship and data curation has in making historically-neglected scholarship accessible to the general public.


Lim, Denise and Sumayya Vally. (Forthcoming). “Diasporic Entanglements (working title)” in Conversations Across Place, edited by Nicola Brandt and Frances Whorrall-Campbell. Berlin, Germany: The Green Box.

Lim, Denise L. (Forthcoming). “The Aesthetic and Spatial Politics of Ponte City” in Designing Apartheid, edited by Federico Freschi, Farieda Nazier, and Jane Venis. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Polytechnic Press

2018. “What the Landscape Recalls: Articulating Scales of Violence in Landscape Trauma in Namibia.” ART AFRICA, February 8. 

2018. “Quiet Images of the Zionist Christian Church.” City Press, July 8, 12–12. 


Huseyin Rasit's picture
Areas of interest: Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements, State-Building, Ideologies, Middle East Studies, Political Sociology, Comparative-Historical Sociology, Social Theory

Huseyin Rasit is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and a Fellow in International Security at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School, expecting to receive his degree in May 2021. His work is centered on revolutions, state-building, and ideologies.

In his dissertation, Huseyin examines three state-building projects emerging out of the connected political crises in Syria and Iraq in the early 21st century: Kurdistan-Syria, Kurdistan-Iraq, and the Islamic State. He investigates why such widely different formations have emerged out of the same political crucible, and argues that actors’ ideological frameworks are the critical explanatory factor. The project draws upon over 40 in-depth interviews with civilians and political figures collected during fieldwork in Iraq, the United States, and Germany from 2016 to 2019, as well as a rich collection of original ideological documents.  

Huseyin’s dissertation has been funded by Smith Richardson Foundation ISS Fellowship, DAAD Research Grant, and Yale MacMillan Center International Dissertation Fellowship. It has also been awarded the International Security Fellowship by the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School. Drawing upon his dissertation data, Huseyin has published a peer-reviewed article in Globalizations and a book chapter in Kurdish Autonomy and U.S. Foreign Policy. Another article has recently received “revise and resubmit.”

In addition to his dissertation, Huseyin is currently engaged in two projects. First, he is developing a project to shift the focus from the effects of ideologies to their formation and rise to prominence. Specifically, he aims to understand under what conditions movements and groups with different political orientations - from far left to far right, revolutionary to reformist, etc.- manage to rise to prominence. Second, with Kristin Plys of University of Toronto, he is developing a comparative study of the revolutionary movements in the Global South to understand the roots of their failures and legacies.

Huseyin also attaches much importance to teaching. In addition to working as a TA at different institutions since 2011, he has taught Social Theory and Political Sociology at Yale. He has also received the Yale Certificate of College Teaching.


Rasit, Huseyin. 2020. “Competing Revolutionaries: Legitimacy and Leadership in Revolutionary Situations” – Revise and Resubmit

Rasit, Huseyin and Alexander Kolokotronis. 2020. “Decentralist Vanguards: Women’s Autonomous Power and Left Convergence in Rojava.” Globalizations 17(5):869-883.


Rasit, Huseyin. 2020. “Imperialism, Revolution, and the Desire to Lecture the Kurds: How Should We (Not) Analyze U.S.-Kurdish Relations.” Pp. 225-41 in Kurdish Autonomy and U.S. Foreign Policy: Continuity and Change, edited by V. Eccarius-Kelly and M. M. Gunter. New York: Peter Lang.


Rasit, Huseyin. 2017. “Not Another Story of Failed Liberation: Tensions in Bashur and Rojava in the Light of the Referendum,” openDemocracy


Work in Progress

Rasit, Huseyin. “An Integrated Theory of Ideology” - Article

Rasit, Huseyin and Kristin Plys. “Anti-Imperialism, Past and Future: Revolutionary Movements in the Global South” – Book Manuscript, Equal Authorship