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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Society of Scholars - 2009/2010

Faculty Research Fellowship Award

Kiko Benitez (Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature)
Filipino Literary Selfhoods engages Tagalog, Spanish, and English texts to explore literary subjectivity as a “technology of the self” through which “selfhood” is imagined, constituted, negotiated, and transformed in the shifting forces and imperial contexts of late 19th and early 20th-century Philippines.

Margaret Laird (Assistant Professor, Art History)
Inscribed Cities: Statues, Bases, and Civic Networks in Ancient Rome examines how monuments commissioned by ex-slaves functioned as protagonists in ancient Roman cities, transforming places of display into semantically-charged sites of local histories and individual and community relationships.

Shaun Lopez (Assistant Professor, History)
Making Egypt Moral: Gender, Crime, and the Mass Media, 1920-1955 examines the relationship between the rise of the mass media and the development of a national moral discourse during a pivotal period in Egypt’s modern history, focusing specifically on domestic crime stories as engendering moral crises.

David Spafford (Assistant Professor, History)
Senses of Place in Late Medieval Japan, 1455-1555 examines Japan’s long sixteenth century of civil war and the new political localism it eventually produced. The new practices of local rule are understood to have provided the foundation from which contending warlords launched ambitious programs of reform as well as military campaigns aimed at pacifying the country. Uncovering the diverse forms of attachment to place inherited by warlords and local magnates, this study analyzes the cultural and political dynamics that made the new localism so difficult to achieve and the civil war so resistant to conclusion.

Matt Sparke (Professor, Geography)
Imaginative Geographies of Global Health asks how different understandings of the ‘global’ in ‘global health’ shape the ways in which health problems are understood and plans for intervention envisioned, suggesting how humanistic scholarship can inform the future possibilities and reflexive practice of global health.

Amanda Swarr (Assistant Professor, Women Studies)
Sex in Transition: Apartheid and the Remaking of Gender and Race explores the racialization of gender variance in apartheid and transitional South Africa, reconceptualizing apartheid as reliant on gendered disjunctures and theorizing the violent paradoxes of raced gender in contemporary South Africa.

Lynn Thomas (Associate Professor, History)
Race, Skin Lighteners, and Transnational Commerce examines the intersection of racial ideologies with capitalist commerce, imperial and transnational political processes, and desires for self-enhancement by tracking the movement of commercial skin lighteners from the United States to South Africa, and into Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Richard Watts (Associate Professor, French & Italian Studies)
Water Narratives: Imagining Global Environmental Change in the Francophone Post/Colonial World considers fundamental changes in relations to life’s most critical element over the course of the 20th century, showing how postcolonial francophonic cultural production uses the water crisis to figure the post/colonies’ tenuous place in global economic, political, and cultural spheres.

Dissertation Fellowship Awards

Amy Bhatt (Women Studies)
Social Reproduction and Transnational Migration among ‘Temporary’ Indian IT Workers explores how Indian information technology workers and their spouses living and working in the U.S. imagine and negotiate innovative life-worlds in light of transnational migration and H-1B restrictive visas.

Madhavi Murty (Communication)
Textures of Representation: Stories of Neoliberalism and the Gendered Subaltern in Postcolonial India argues that neoliberalism in India is materialized through popular figurations of the subaltern woman that give form to central tropes such as cosmopolitanism, developmentalism and modernity.

Jentery Sayers (English)
Media Ecology and Its Cultural Histories historicizes media interaction as a culturally embedded, aesthetic practice though a genealogy of the relationships between modern Anglo-American literature and sound reproduction technologies from the telegraph to the mp3 player.