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Simpson Center for the Humanities

2011-2012 Society of Scholars

2011-2012 Society of Scholars


John Findlay

Professor, History

The Mobilized West, 1940-2000: An Overview of the Modern American West

The Mobilized West, 1940-2000: An Overview of the Modern American West, is organized around analyses of three types of mobilization: the pronounced regional effects of the nation’s gearing up for World War Two and the Cold War; the in-migration and re-migration of diverse peoples around the West; and the emergence of distinctive political movements, many of which exerted substantial influence on the rest of the U.S.

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MariaElena Garcia

Associate Professor, Comparative History of Ideas and Jackson School of International Studies

Transnational Guinea Pigs: Animals, Development and Ethics in the Andes

Transnational Guinea Pigs: Animals, Development and Ethics in the Andes examines the cultural and social consequences of the commercialization of guinea pigs in the Andean region. This multi-sited and multispecies ethnography examines the intersections of development, tourism, and gender in the changing relations between humans and other animals in the Andes.

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David Giles

Dissertator, Anthropology

Carrots Without Borders: Food (Not Bombs) and Ethnography on the Ground in the Global City

Carrots Without Borders explores the political-economic terrains of waste and abjection in global cities like Seattle, and the counter-cultural logics which emerge from them. It examines the organization of the overlapping, decentralised networks of Food Not Bombs, a movement of autonomous groups around the globe which procure food that would otherwise have been thrown away by local markets, distribute it for free in public places, and in the process challenge the social, political, and economic disparities in their societies.

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Zev Handel

Associate Professor, Asian Languages & Literature

Chinese Characters and the Development of Writing in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam: A Linguistic-Comparative Study

Chinese Characters and the Development of Writing in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam explores the linguistic factors that motivated and constrained the adaptation of Chinese characters in the written languages of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, and considers the interaction of these linguistic factors with cultural factors in shaping the spread of writing and literacy across East Asia.

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Michael Honey

Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Tacoma

Sharecropper’s Troubadour: The Narrative, Songs, and Poetry of John Handcox

Sharecropper’s Troubadour will focus on one of the most remarkable interracial movements of the Great Depression, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU), as told through the oral history of John Handcox, a largely unlettered and mostly unknown African-American from Arkansas who was one of the most important black working-class singers and poets of the twentieth century. Social movement history notes the importance of music and mass singing for organizing. This book will convey how and why, as it helps to place the music of labor and civil rights movements into the canon of African-American music.

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Sunila Kale

Assistant Professor, Jackson School of International Studies

The State in Fragments

The State in Fragments addresses the contours of the state in postcolonial India. It focuses in particular on the way the discursive creation of a unified, homogenous, and modern nation-state was challenged by the uneven material production of the state at local and provincial levels. The empirical focus of its research is the hallmark of modernity: the electric grid.

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Sonal Khullar

Assistant Professor, Art History

Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Labor, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990

Worldly Affiliations charts a distinctive trajectory of modernism in the visual arts in South Asia spanning the late colonial and postcolonial periods. It shows how artists in India conceived a national modernism in dialogue with developments in Euro-American contexts at the same time as they articulated grounds for divergence from those developments because of the history of colonialism in the subcontinent.

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Jessie Kindig

Dissertator, History

Telling War Stories: The Korean War, Remembered Forgetting, and American Empire

Telling War Stories examines how the Korean War has become, in America, remembered only as a “forgotten war.” In exploring the different ways of telling stories about the Korean War, this project investigates the processes by which American warfare and the violence of American empire are culturally obscured and normalized.

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Victoria Lawson

Professor, Geography

Reframing Poverty: What Role for Middle Classes?

This project develops a relational approach to poverty, exploring links between contemporary capitalist crisis and cultural productions of poverty. Drawing on comparative research across the Americas (Argentina, the U.S., and Canada), the project explores middle-class productions of poverty in relation to social, political, and economic shifts set in motion by projects of nation-building and governance, neoliberal globalization, geographies of racialized capitalism, as well as concrete struggles over resources such as urban space, social services, and food provisioning.

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Margaret O'Mara

Assistant Professor, History

Landscapes of Wealth: Instant Cities, Global Suburbs, and the Environmental Future

Landscapes of Wealth explores how and why the North American suburb has gone global, and the environmental consequences of this exportation of suburban built environments. Through historically-grounded case studies of cities in the United States, China, and India, this study shows how a blend of deeply rooted local institutions and extraordinarily footloose international capital are reshaping cityscapes over time and across continents.

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Andrew Stone

Dissertator, History

Growing Up Soviet? The “Orphans of Stalin's Revolution” and Understanding the Soviet Self

This project examines issues of memory, self-understanding, and subjectivity among Soviet orphans who grew up under Stalinism. In particular, it focuses on the experience of growing up in a Soviet children's home, the discursive environment that sought to create “new Soviet people,” how these orphans understood themselves in relation to this discourse, and how this understanding changed over time.

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James Tweedie

Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature

Mannerist Cinema: Film, New Media, and the Late Twentieth Century

Mannerist Cinema: Film, New Media, and the Late Twentieth Century asks what happens when film, once the paragon of newness and modernity, becomes an old medium. Focusing on the 1980s and 1990s, it explores the relationship between recent cinema and various traditional and emerging media, including the book, the painting, the television screen, and the analog videotape.

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