2006-2007

group fellows 06-07

Howard Markel - John Rich Professor

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Professor of History of Medicine and of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases

The Anatomy of Addiction: A Cultural, Social and Medical History of Addiction in the United States, 1900 to the Present

Markel hopes to write a book that takes a broad, engaging and scholarly look at the humanistic, medical, cultural, and popular understanding of addiction and addicts in twentieth-century America. He will focus not only on the well known substances of abuse such as heroin, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine but also on many other addictive behaviors (e.g., excessive sexual or gambling activity, overeating, etc.) that researchers have heretofore given inadequate historical or even clinical, weight.

Click here for Professor Markel's interview on NPR's 'All Things Considered' of Thursday 10/26/06

Khaled Mattawa - Hunting Family Professor

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Assistant Professor of English (Creative Writing)

Amorisco and A Typography of Strangers

Mattawa aims to complete two books. Amorisco is a book of poems in which he has set himself some specific challenges. Some of the works will be pure lyric poems of, at most, twenty lines, inspired by the “lyric distillation and conceptual density of Antonio Machado, Saadi Youssef, and Rainer Maria Rilke.” Other, longer, poems will “range freely among pressing questions and unresolved episodes.” He will also work on A Typography of Strangers, a study of three postcolonial poets: Rabindranath Tagore, Derek Walcott and Mahmoud Darwish.

Christi Merrill - Michigan Faculty Fellow

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Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Languages and Cultures

Memory with an Active Verb: Lessons in Translating Hindi

Merrill’s project of literary nonfiction grew out of her work as a Hindi translator. She has organized her book as a series of short meditations and vignettes, each of which focuses on a particular Hindi word or phrase with no exact equivalent in English. The entries are arranged in rough chronological order so that a personal narrative begins to emerge, one that asks questions about the ways individuals (especially Americans) might best translate concepts such as justice and dignity into daily life as lived across borders of language and culture.

James Robson - Helmut F. Stern Professor

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Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures

Inside Asian Images: Religious Icons in the Context of Local and Ritual Practice

This project concerns a collection of small religious statuettes from Hunan province in south-central China. Rather than focusing on external aesthetics, Robson is looking inside the images and analyzing items placed in a small cavity carved in the back—including desiccated insects, medicine, paper money, talismans, and most importantly a short text with a wealth of historical information (identity of the deity, name of the patron who requested the image, and the reasons for its consecration)—in order to understand their function in contemporary Chinese popular religion and Daoist ritual.

Andrew Shryock - Charles P. Brauer Faculty Fellow

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Associate Professor of Anthropology

Welcome and Trespass: The Politics of Hospitality in Jordan and Beyond

Shryock will spend next year studying hospitality as a framework for politics, morality, and history. Most of his attention will be focused on Jordan, where hospitality is an important aspect of local and national identities. He will also look at how “Arab hospitality” has figured, historically, in transregional moral discourses of citizenship, political boundaries, and the rights of Others.

Jamie Tappenden - Michigan Faculty Fellow

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Associate Professor of Philosophy

Riemann and Frege: A Study in the Emergence of Contemporary Logic and Mathematics

Tappenden is concerned with the nineteenth-century emergence of contemporary styles of mathematical reasoning, with special focus on the “descriptive” style for presenting mathematical structures in Bernhard Riemann’s work and the effect this had on the emergence of modern logic in Gottlob Frege. Key to these developments is a different conception of how we identify the basic elements of a mathematical subject. Previously it had been taken for granted that the basic elements of a mathematical problem were the familiar operations like addition and multiplication. Riemann introduced the idea that identifying the basic features of a problem could be a crucial part of the problem itself.

Patricia Yaeger - A. Bartlett Giamatti Faculty Fellow

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Professor of English

Luminous Trash: America in an Age of Conspicuous Destruction

Yaeger is investigating the social status of rubbish in modern and postmodern literary and visual cultures. She is particularly interested in trash that becomes anthropomorphic in post-apocalyptic film and fiction, in radiant trash in ethnic literatures, and in the speed-up of clutter in a world beset with serial commodification, as well as American acts of multi-national waste and destruction. What do visual and literary cultures tell us about America’s at-home and overseas contributions to environmental racism? In a world of programmed obsolescence, she says, it comes as no surprise that trash or rubbish becomes an important topic within postwar literary and visual arts. What is surprising is how luminously trash is represented; the way rubbish gleams.

Norman Yoffee - Steelcase Research Professor and Helmut F. Stern Professor

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Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Anthropology

Winds of Desolation: A History and Archaeology of the Mesopotamian City of Kish

Norman Yoffee’s research is now split in three directions. They are, from most specific to most general: the history of Mesopotamia, especially in the Old Babylonian period (ca. 2000–1600 BC), the history and archaeology of the city of Kish (Mesopotamia) from ca. 3200 BC–300 AD, and the evolution of the earliest cities, states and civilizations. The second project, focusing on the city of Kish, will comprise Yoffee’s research as the Helmut F. Stern Professor in the Institute for the Humanities, 2006–07.

Diana Bullen - Mary Ives Hunting and David D. Hunting, Sr., Graduate Student Fellow

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History of Art

The Visual Culture of the Central Italian Foundling Hospital, 1400-1600

Diana Bullen is pursuing an interdisciplinary study that explores the status of the abandoned child in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy in the context of the visual culture of charity. Focusing on the institutional environment of foundling hospital, she will study how images constructed ideas about charity toward children, how the display and visibility of both ritual acts and images played a crucial role in charitable administration, and how manipulations of the urban fabric worked to negotiate the places of charity in the early modern Italian city.

Claire Decoteau - Michigan Graduate Student Fellow

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Sociology

The Diseased Body Politic and the Corporeality of HIV/AIDS in South Africa

HIV/AIDS engulfed South Africa in its most vulnerable moment – during the period of transition from apartheid to a capitalist democracy. The struggle against HIV/AIDS takes place in a context in which multiple healing systems–bio-medical science, various forms of “traditional” healing, faith-based approaches–compete for the authority necessary to impose their understanding of the disease and the body over the public sphere. This competition is inseparable from South Africa’s recent neo-liberal economic restructuring and the growing power of the international pharmaceutical industry. On the ground, people with HIV/AIDS are struggling against poverty and access to basic services (including health care), while simultaneously negotiating multiple (and sometimes) contradictory health systems. This research focuses on the various healing methods South Africans are utilizing to treat HIV/AIDS and the effects that the combination of these methods has on peoples’ conceptualizations of health, sexuality and their bodies.

Philip Duker - James A. Winn Graduate Student Fellow

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Music Theory

Diving into Mnemosyne’s Waters: Exploring the Depths of Memory and Musical Experience

Because music is an art that unfolds in time, the possibility for it to be more than a series of fleeting, disconnected moments hinges on a listener’s memory. Duker’s research explores how this seemingly straightforward capacity is understood from diverse disciplinary perspectives, and how each view can highlight different aspects of musical experience.

Kim Greenwell - Michigan Graduate Student Fellow

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Sociology

Between Nation, Empire and Colony: Unsettling Events and English-Canadian Identity in the Nineteenth-century British Empire

Greenwell is looking anew at the place of white settler colonies within the nineteenth-century British Empire. With a focus on Canada, she is examining the inherently comparative, narrative processes by which English-Canadians constructed their sense of identity in relation to a complex set of “others” and in response to key events elsewhere in the Empire. Ultimately she argues that the dynamics of identity-formation in such contexts challenge overly simplistic accounts of white racial privilege and compel a rethinking of how we study national, imperial and colonial projects, and the interrelations among the three, more broadly.

Edin Hajdarpasic - Michigan Graduate Student Fellow

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History

Beyond ‘Nation vs. Empire’: Reform, Social Movements and the Search for Justice in Late Ottoman Bosnia

Hajdarpasic is studying the emergence of disparate movements that sought to effect political reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the late Ottoman period, an era that is usually described as the awakening of Balkan nations. By viewing the national undertakings alongside the demands for radical social change, he aims to arrive both at a contextualized analysis of the political transformations that reshaped the Ottoman Balkans in the nineteenth century and at a nuanced exploration of different local understandings of reform and social justice.

Andrew Highsmith - Michigan Graduate Student Fellow

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History

America Is a Thousand Flints: Race, Class and the End of the American Dream in Flint, Michigan

Highsmith is exploring the spatial and structural barriers to racial equality and class fairness in the Flint, Michigan, metropolitan region from World War II to the present. With chapters on housing, urban renewal, schools, suburbanization, tax policies and deindustrialization, his dissertation traces the complex metropolitan contestation between and among the labor and civil rights movements, General Motors, white homeowners and civic elites for control over Flint’s postwar development. In the end, he hopes to show that the roots of urban crises in Flint and Genesee County can be traced back to the postwar triumphs of pro-growth policies that fostered uneven consumer abundance, suburban sprawl, capital decentralization and rigid racial segregation at the expense of social and economic justice.

Kristina Luce - Sylvia “Duffy” Engle Graduate Student Fellow

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Architecture

Revolutions in Parallel: The Rise and Fall of Drawing Within Architectural Design

Luce’s dissertation is a historical and comparative analysis of two ways in which architecture can be visually conceived and rendered. The first one involves the ascendancy of drawing within architectural design that developed during the Renaissance and remained ascendant for centuries. The second, which spells the likely passing away for drawing’s ascendancy, is the shift to computer-based design procedures of today.

Marti Lybeck - Michigan Graduate Student Fellow

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History

Gender, Sexuality and Belonging: Female Homosexuality in Germany, 1890–1933

Lybeck’s dissertation uses female homosexuality as a focal point for tracing changes in the intimate lives of women in Germany over a half-century of rapid social change and intellectual ferment. Using archival records, autobiographies, ephemeral publications and literary sources, she documents the lives and interactions of several groups of women, including an early group of women university students, women civil servants and participants in the lesbian sexual subcultures of the twenties. Whether historical figures adopted the word “lesbian” to describe themselves or not, they were increasingly required to respond to the new concept of homosexuality as a medical category.

David Henry Hwang

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In residence, January 2007

Playwright, New York City

Internationally acclaimed playwright David Hwang has produced several award-winning works, including FOB (Fresh Off the Boat, 1978),Family Devotions (1981), The House of Sleeping Beauties (1983), As the Crow Flies (1986), and M. Butterfly (1988), which won the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Tony Award for Best Play of the Year. Hwang is known for plays that are politically conscious, often focusing on the tensions related to immigration, and the balance of conventions, traditions, and values between East and West. A graduate of Stanford University, Hwang also wrote the screenplay for the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet.  He also collaborated with U-M composer Bright Sheng on The Silver River, and comes to Ann Arbor in in connection with a production of that work (January 20, 2007).

Bob Mankoff

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In residence, March 5 – April 6, 2007

Cartoon Editor, The New Yorker
Paula and Edwin Sidman Fellow in the Arts

Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker and president of The Cartoon Bank, is one of the nation’s leading commentators on the role of humor in American politics, business, and life.  He edited The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker (Black Dog & Leventhal); the best-selling coffee table book for holiday 2004, featuring all 68,647 cartoons ever published in The New Yorker since its debut in 1925.  He describes this as the “golden age of humor,” where humor helps build personal connections in business and personal relationships. 

In 1991, he took out a small business loan and started The Cartoon Bank, a business devoted to licensing cartoons for use in newsletters, textbooks, magazines and other media. The Cartoon Bank initially licensed material that was not published by The New Yorker.  In 1997, The New Yorker purchased The Cartoon Bank from Mankoff, giving The Cartoon Bank access to all cartoons published in the magazine over the past eight decades. 

Charles Stewart

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In residence, March 5 – April 6, 2007

Anthropology, University College London

Charles Stewart  is a socio-cultural anthropologist who has conducted long-term ethnographic field research on the Greek island of Naxos, and shorter periods of fieldwork in Thessaloniki, Athens and the Greek-speaking enclaves of southern Italy.  His main research interests are religion (especially syncretism), nationalism and perceptions of the past in Greece and cross-culturally.  He has recently edited volumes on anthropological approaches to dreaming, the ethnographic study of historicity, and creolization in historical, ethnographic and theoretical perspective.  He is presently writing a book on dreaming and historical consciousness in Greece, which draws on ethnographic data collected in mountain Naxos and historical sources. He studied English and Classics at Brandeis University and earned his D. Phil. in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. 

Sekou Sundiata

In residence January 7- 21, 2007

Poet and Performance Artist
Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts

Sekou Sundiata who appeared at UMS as both a solo theater performer and a front man for his band in 2003, returns with his new work, the 51st (dream) state. (Saturday, January 20, 8 pm). This candid, yet lyrical, contemplation of America’s national identity and its guiding mythologies is both hopeful and questioning. The work features next-generation jazz musicians and vocalists with new music composed by Ani DiFranco, Graham Haynes, and others.

Sundiata says, “Living in the aftermath of 9/11, I feel an urgent and renewed engagement with what it means to be an American. But that engagement is a troubling one because of a longstanding estrangement between American civic ideals and American civic practice. This project is my response to this reality. I take it as a civic responsibility to think about these things out loud, in the ritualized forum of theater and public dialogue.”

The work, which grew in part out of his 2003 Ann Arbor residency and through sustained relationships with members of the U-M community and Detroit-based partners, unites art and civic dialogue through songs, poems, monologues, and video. The 51st (dream) state explores how America defines itself in a new era characterized by unprecedented global influence and power, and what it means to be both a citizen and an individual in a deeply complex, hyper-kinetic society.