2009-2010

FACULTY FELLOWS

Y. David Chung
Associate Professor, art and design
Director, Center for Korean Studies
Helmut F. Stern Professor

Pyongyang – a drawing and video installation
North Korea exists for most people as an imaginary place, created from television clips and newspaper articles. Portrayed as a nation of uncompromising dictatorship, a land of famine, and a people ruled by an ideology whose hatred for the United States is matched in fervor only by the adoration of their deified leaders, North Korea is a country that remains a monstrous enigma to the world. Working from video and photographs from a recent trip to North Korea, the birthplace of his parents, David Chung plans to create a drawing and video installation which seeks to capture this place which lives in our minds and in our dreams.

Peter Ho Davies
Professor, English
John Rich Professor

The Great Race: a novel
"The Great Race" is a novel about the building of the transcontinental railroad, focusing on the experiences of the Chinese laborers of the Central Pacific.  Of Celtic and Chinese descent, Davies was first drawn to the material by the competition between the Chinese and the largely Irish laborers of the Union Pacific to see who could lay track faster across the country. The book will consider themes of identity, and representation and explore the early years of the Chinese-American community.

Angela Dillard
Associate Professor, Afroamerican and African studies; Residential College
John Rich Professor

James H. Meredith and the Boundaries of the American Historical Imagination
This political biography of James Meredith, the civil rights icon turned conservative Republican, attempts to situate our understanding of Meredith's “conservative turn” within broad shifts in American political culture and American historical memory from the 1960s to the present.

Valerie Kivelson
Professor, history
Steelcase Research Professorship

Desperate Magic: Witchcraft and the Lineaments of Power in Early Modern Russia
A study of witchcraft trials and belief in Russia in the 17th and 18th centuries, “Desperate Magic” demonstrates that witchcraft anxieties expressed particularly Russian concerns about serfdom and social hierarchy. This study upends traditional top-down models by revealing how power was contested, manipulated, and reproduced by people scrambling to survive in a fiercely inequitable world.

Keith Mitnick
Associate Professor, architecture
Hunting Family Faculty Fellowship

The Architecture of Unseen Things
This project will use different forms of written and visual narratives to examine the role of architecture in defining accepted notions of the “normal” and the “everyday”. By overlaying a series of conflicting accounts and representations of a single contested locale, I will consider ways in which seemingly blank and banal buildings infer a false sense of neutrality upon the institutions they accommodate.

Ryan Szpiech
Assistant professor, Romance languages; Judaic studies
Hunting Family Professor

Authorizing Apostasy: Conversion and Narrative in Medieval Polemic
This is a study of narratives of religious conversion that appeared between the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries among Christians, Muslims, and Jews of the Western Mediterranean. It considers the autobiographical form of these mini-narratives as part of a reaction to the increasing role of logic and reason in religious apologetics after the twelfth century. By comparing surviving texts from different religious groups, it analyses the connection between contrasting notions of religious conversion and identity and a common forum of inter-religious polemical writing.

Magdalena Zaborowska
Associate Professor, American culture; Afroamerican and African studies
Hunting Family Professor

Racing Borderlands: Displacement, Difference, Dialogue, and American Cultural Traffic in the Second World
This book explores the new meanings of race and ethnicity in the cultural traffic between the First and Second Worlds post-1989/91. It brings into dialogue the life stories and visual archives documenting interactions among Jewish and Slavic immigrants and African American migrants from the South in the Chene street area in Detroit with the cultural work of domesticating difference and re-visioning East European multiculturalism in theatrical, musical, publishing, and academic activities of Fundacja Pogranicz in Sejny, Poland.

Claire Zimmerman
Assistant Professor, architecture and history of art
Helmut F. Stern Professor

“Photographic Architecture" from Weimar to Cold War:
The Case of Mies van der Rohe
Claire Zimmerman is writing a book about architectural representation in the twentieth century, focusing on the translation of information about space, material, and form into two-dimensional images. The book emphasizes the significant role played by photography in the historiography of modern architecture; it also studies the recursive effects of images, which began to alter building form in subtle but far-reaching ways in the post World War II period.

   

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Yanina Arnold
Slavic languages and literatures
Sylvia “Duffy” Engle Graduate Student Fellow

Law and Literature in Late Imperial Russia, 1864-1917
Yanina Arnold’s dissertation examines the interaction between legal culture and literature in late imperial Russia and its lasting impact on Russian attitudes toward legal practices. She will explore the representation of legal culture by Russian writers, journalists, and legal professionals. Among other things, she will investigate how the literary activities of Russia’s “literary lawyers” contributed to their professional self-fashioning. Her dissertation project will include the translation from the memoir The Book of Death by Sergei Andreevsky (1847-1918).

Christopher Coltrin
history of art
Mary Fair Croushore Graduate Student Fellow

Destruction or Deliverance? The Politics of Catastrophe in the Art of John Martin
Christopher Coltrin’s dissertation analyzes the political associations of a series of apocalyptic themed paintings produced in England during the 1820s by the painters John Martin, Francis Danby, and David Roberts. Specifically, he will be investigating how these paintings may have encouraged progressive political reforms—including universal suffrage, a progressive structure of taxation, and land re-distribution—as a means of obtaining deliverance from impending divine destruction.

Christopher Davis
comparative literature
James A. Winn Graduate Student Fellow

Performing the Text: Troubadour Manuscripts and Vernacular Poetic Identity
For his study of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century troubadours of southern France, Christopher Davis uses thirteenth-century manuscript anthologies of troubadour song, or chansonniers, to explore the tensions between oral and textual models of poetic authority during this period. In particular, he is focusing on the influence of the Latin commentary tradition on representations of vernacular authorship and on the status of Occitan as a prestige vernacular for poetic composition.

Ari Friedlander
English language and literature
A. Bartlett Giamatti Graduate Student Fellow

Sex, Crimes, and Sex Crimes: Private Sins and Communal Concerns in Early Modern England
This project analyzes sexualized depictions of the poor and the criminal in early modern English popular pamphlets, and their impact on dramatic representations of nation, class and community formation. As mutually reaffirming markers of social unsuitability, crime and incontinent sexuality helped define the boundaries of English society at a local communal level, and as a growing national and economic power.
 

Daniel Hershenzon
history
Mary Ives Hunting and David D. Hunting, Sr., Graduate Student Fellow

Moving People, Moving Goods: Captivity and Ransom in the Early-Modern Western Mediterranean
This project examines the captivity, enslavement, and ransom of Habsburg and Ottoman subjects in the early-modern Western Mediterranean and the ways in which the movements of these enslaved captives across the sea were negotiated and defined in royal and religious bureaucracies.

Guillermo Salas
anthropology
Mary Ives Hunting and David D. Hunting, Sr., Graduate Student Fellow

Religious Change and Ideologies of Social Distinction in the Southern Peruvian Andes
At the heart of this project is the diversity of the ideologies of social differentiation in the regional society of Cuzco, in the Southern Peruvian Andes. Paying attention to everyday life as well as well as evangelical conversions in Quechua communities, Salas aims to explain how different ideologies of social differentiation coexist, legitimizing and reproducing social hierarchies across cultural differences.

  

VISITING SCHOLARS

Jean Hebrard
Norman Freehling Visiting Professor

Jean M. Hébrard has worked for many years on the cultural history of south-west Europe focusing on the history of writing (scribal and personal practices). He participated in the large-scale enquiries on the history of reading and writing carried out in France in the 1980s and the 1990s and published numerous articles and books in this field (particularly Discours sur la lecture, 1880-2000, Paris, Fayard, 2000 with Anne-Marie Chartier). Recently he has extended his research area to the colonial world of Iberian and French Empires (particularly Brazil and Saint-Domingue). Professeur associé at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales , and visiting professor at the University of Michigan, he is a member of the Centre de Recherche sur le Brésil Contemporain (EHESS) and of the Centre international de recherche sur les Esclavages (CNRS).

 

The outside evaluators for the faculty fellowship selection process were Katherine Bergeron (music, Brown University), Charles Stewart (anthropology, University College, London) and Haiping Yan (theatre, film and dance, Cornell University). Helping to select the graduate student fellows were Piotr Michalowski (Near Eastern studies) and Elizabeth Sears (history of art).