Society of Scholars

scholars discussing a topic around the main Simpson Center conference room table

The Society of Scholars is an intellectual community of humanists of diverse generations, academic ranks, and departmental affiliations who contribute to and learn from one another’s work. Each year, approximately eight faculty and three dissertation research fellowships support members of the Society of Scholars. Scholars in year-long residence at the University of Washington may be invited to participate as well. The group meets biweekly throughout the year to discuss their research in progress. 

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Cohort Archives

2024 - 2025 Society of Scholars

Oya Rose Aktaş
Doctoral Candidate
History
Danya Al-Saleh
Assistant Professor
Jackson School of International Studies
M. Aziz
Assistant Professor
American Ethnic Studies
Jennifer Baez
Assistant Professor
Art History / School of Art + Art History + Design
Jacob Beckert
Doctoral Candidate
Department of History
Bianca Dang
Assistant Professor
History
Diana Flores Ruíz
Assistant Professor
Cinema & Media Studies
Ungsan Kim
Assistant Professor
Asian Languages and Culture
Josh Reid
Associate Professor
American Indian Studies
Kyle J. Trembley
Doctoral Candidate
Anthropology
JohnMorgan Baker
Doctoral Candidate
English
Andreas P. Bassett stands in front of a large shrubbery while wearing a dark jacket blue shirt and tie.
Doctoral Candidate
English
Anne Duncan
Doctoral Candidate
English
Kathleen Escarcha
Doctoral Candidate
English
medium close-up of Yandong. He is on the left of the frame in a black t-shirt looking at the camera. To the right is a light flare form the setting sun, while the background shows buildings and a park.
Doctoral Candidate
Cinema & Media Studies
Eric Villiers
Doctoral Candidate
School of Drama

2023 - 2024 Society of Scholars Fellow

Or Vallah looks at the camera, smiling while wearing a long-sleeved top and sitting in front of a wall with vines.

Or Vallah (she/her/hers)

Doctoral Candidate

"I live in hell and paint its pictures": Bringing a Disability Studies Perspective to Early Modern Art-Making

This dissertation focuses on sixteenth-century Italy to expose the role of artists’ embodied experiences in shaping art as a profession and its role in creating artists' shared identity. This project draws on disability studies and affect theory, arguing that centering the artist’s body and its transformation through its interaction with art-making technologies will produce new knowledge about the profession of art as an identity category and about art-making as a way of being and becoming. It will center the artists’ engagement with their bodyminds – a term used in disability studies to resist the Western traditions of mind-body dualism – as reflected from visual and written sources concerned with art-making, focusing on the artists' fear of impairments as a concern of losing their sense of identity. By exploring wide-ranging images and textual representations of artmaking, this research shows how the ideology of ability impacted the shaping of the artists’ professional identity, promoting a model of hyper-ability reflected in the idealism of extreme productivity and intellectual capabilities.