ACLS Fellows

The ACLS Fellowship Program awards fellowships to individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences. Institutions and individuals contribute to the ACLS Fellowship Program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Council's college and university Associates, and former Fellows and individual friends of ACLS.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Lorraine V. Aragon
Lorraine V. Aragon  |  Abstract
The global expansion of copyright law threatens conventional legal assumptions about individual originality and exclusive property rights, as well as common conceptions of static and homogenous tradition. Based on long-term fieldwork in Indonesia, this project investigates property law and custom as alternate rubrics that guide artists in Southeast Asia. Whereas copyright law focuses on original product, commercial productivity, and ownership rights, traditional artists focus on expressive or ritual process, community continuity, and social relationships. Indonesia’s sui generis copyright provisions, which award the state copyright to traditional cultural expressions, clearly conflict with existing approaches. Indigenous producers who create drama, music, dance, carving, and textiles assert personal authority and expertise, yet acknowledge collaborative contributions and ancestral traditions. Indonesian artists’ frequent refusal of authorship and proprietary claims to shared cultural knowledge prompts new analyses of how creativity and customary arts commons can work within, and beyond, the framework of copyright law.

Adjunct Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  -  Partial Enclosures: Copyright, Creativity, and Traditional Cultural Expressions in Southeast Asia

Virag Molnar
Virag Molnar  |  Abstract
The project explores how radical nationalist civil society organizations have played a decisive role in the reconstitution of national identity in postsocialist Hungary. Civic groups have been instrumental in reinvigorating the lexicon of radical nationalism that was widespread in the late nineteenth century and again in the 1930s. Ethnographic case studies of specific organizations (media, heritage tourism, national rock bands, and foreign currency mortgage debtor groups among them) show how this seemingly anachronistic symbolic repertoire has found new resonance in Hungarian public life, contributing to the right-wing radicalization of politics. More generally, the project highlights how exclusionary rhetoric penetrates mainstream political discourse by reconfiguring the boundaries between publics and politics.

Associate Professor, Sociology, The New School  -  Civil Society and the Return of Radical Nationalism in Postsocialist Hungary

Christopher Ball
Christopher Ball  |  Abstract
This project investigates the relationships between language practices and the meanings of the riverscape among indigenous peoples of Amazonia. It focuses on how Wauja people in Brazil’s Xingu Indigenous Park use language to talk about places in their territory, to perform ritual connections to ancestral, spirit, and animal beings who share their spaces, and to make political claims in defense of their land to state and non-state actors who threaten its integrity. The research brings together audiovisual digital recording and analysis of narrative discourses with fieldwork-based ethnography and collaborative digital GIS mapping. Indigenous epistemologies of place emphasize connections between moments of speaking, what linguistic anthropologists call “interdiscursivity,” as constitutive of territory. This perspective informs the project’s approach to the ways that people relate to their environment and the ways that they relate their environment to one another.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Notre Dame  -  Language and Riverscape in Indigenous Brazil: Mapping Cosmology and Politics of Place

Fabien Montcher
Fabien Montcher  |  Abstract
This project explores how early modern scholarship contributed to the foundation of modern state politics between the late Renaissance and the Enlightenment. From the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth century, scholars devised, through a broad social spectrum of learned collaborations, new forms of expertise and institutions specialized in the transnational communication of political information. This project is a social history of ideas that builds on political theory, intellectual history, and the study of libraries, paperwork, and information. It seeks to incorporate the history of both the Spanish and Portuguese Empires into the larger history of the “Republic of Letters” by examining the interconnected configuration of polycentric state information systems and early modern communities of knowledge.

Visiting Assistant Professor, History, Saint Louis University  -  Scholarship and the Making of Politics in Early Modern Empires: The Iberian Routes of the Republic of Letters

Tyler Bickford
Tyler Bickford  |  Abstract
This project explores the dramatic expansion in the “tween” music industry over the last generation. It focuses on the decade from 2001-2011, a moment that brought together corporate investments in children’s music, new channels for media distribution, and changing conceptions of child audiences. It explores a range of examples, from teen superstars Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to TV-based acts Hannah Montana and High School Musical, and retread pop brands like Kidz Bop. Supplementing close readings of musical and visual texts with interviews with musicians and ethnographic research with child audiences, this project argues for the importance of children’s culture to core questions in the humanities about identity politics, consumer culture, and the changing structure of the public sphere.

Assistant Professor, English, University of Pittsburgh  -  Tween Pop: Children's Music and the Public Sphere

Amy M. Mooney
Amy M. Mooney  |  Abstract
This project examines the role portraiture plays in fostering social change in the United States from the 1890s through the 1950s, an era of class, ethnic, and racial tension. Considering visual campaigns that portrayed African Americans and immigrants with the hope of achieving social equality, the study addresses how the portrait elicited empathy, expecting subjects and viewers alike to form progressive relationships through the contemplation of noteworthy likenesses. Incorporated into conduct manuals and exhibitions, the portrait visualized cultural capital, promising citizenship, equality, and even happiness to those who adopted the specified codes. Further, for many progressive agencies and individuals, the portrait fostered a sense of mutual obligation, bridging the gap between self and society. However, neither artists and authors nor audiences wholly adopted proscriptive literature or a singular mode of presentation. Instead, their negotiations result in a compelling narrative on modern subjectivity and the formation of collective identities.

Associate Professor, Art and Art History, Columbia College Chicago  -  Portraits of Noteworthy Character: Negotiating a Collective American Identity

Andrea F. Bohlman
Andrea F. Bohlman  |  Abstract
This project illuminates the intersection of creativity and materiality across three vibrant amateur sound recording networks in twentieth-century East Central Europe: reel-to-reel recordings in the 1950s, homemade records in the 1960s and 1970s, and cassette tapes in the 1980s. Responding to the material losses of World War II and the constraints of state socialism in Poland, untrained recordists took recourse to sound media to command agency. Amateurs embraced the impermanence of these flimsy and malleable materials in order to create places for music in everyday life. Their work issues a challenge to the assumption that recording is a tangible means to counter sound’s ephemerality and exposes the importance of aural culture under communism.

Assistant Professor, Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  -  Fragile Sound, Quiet History: Music and Unofficial Media in Communist Poland

John K. Moore
John K. Moore  |  Abstract
“His Majesty’s Prosecutor v. José Soller, Mulatto Pilgrim” is a previously unedited and unpublished legal case from 1693-4, the final days of the Hapsburg Spanish empire, that illuminates the discrimination people of black African descent could face—that Soller did face—while attempting to cross the rigid lines of estate and caste. This project, which will take the form of a bilingual edition and study, is the first to treat these criminal proceedings comprehensively and reveals how Soller’s hybrid identity as a mulatto and pilgrim—two types of liminal figures in and of themselves—made him a double threat in the eyes of the authorities in baroque Spain. This critical presentation of the prosecution against José Soller is significant as an example of the lived experience of black Africans and their descendants in the early modern transatlantic Iberian world.

Associate Professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Alabama at Birmingham  -  “His Majesty’s Prosecutor v. José Soller, Mulatto Pilgrim, for Impersonating a Priest and Other Crimes”: A Study, Critical Edition, and Translation

Timothy Scott Brown
Timothy Scott Brown  |  Abstract
The Greening of Cold War Germany examines the rise of environmental social movements in the two halves of divided Germany from the upheaval of 1968 through the fall of the Berlin Wall and its aftermath. Situating the development of Green politics in East and West Germany in transnational and global context, the study charts the rise of a new politics drawing on scientific and spiritual perspectives, following out of, and transforming, the political impulse of 1968.

Professor, History, Northeastern University  -  The Greening of Cold War Germany: Environmentalism and Social Movements across the Wall and Beyond, 1968-1989

Mithi Mukherjee
Mithi Mukherjee  |  Abstract
The Asian Jurist is the first comprehensive book-length project on the life and work of Radhabinod Pal, arguably the most important Asian jurist of the twentieth century. Pal won worldwide attention with his lone dissenting judgment in the Tokyo Trials of 1946, held by the victorious powers of the Second World War to try Japanese wartime leaders. In this dissenting opinion Pal mounted the most significant legal challenge from the colonized world to the very foundation of existing international law grounded in empire. This project locates Pal’s counter-discourse of international law within the long history of anticolonialism and Pan-Asianism, and highlights the critical role non-western thinkers have played in the history of international law.

Associate Professor, History, University of Colorado Boulder  -  The Asian Jurist and the Empire: Radhabinod Pal, Anticolonialism, and the Counter-Discourse of International Law

Megan Bryson
Megan Bryson  |  Abstract
The Dali kingdom from 937-1253 in what is now southwest China was a hub in a religious network extending to the neighboring regions of Song China, Tibet, India, and Southeast Asia. Esoteric (or Tantric) Buddhism was a politico-religious system that these regions had in common. This project shows how Buddhism circulated beyond the confines of regional traditions by tracing how esoteric Buddhist texts, images, and objects entered the Dali kingdom. It uses network theory to understand both the documented networks that consist of textual, visual, and archaeological records and the ways in which Dali-kingdom Buddhists represented the networks that brought these materials to the region. It argues that these two kinds of networks must be mapped in relation to each other to understand esoteric Buddhism in transregional perspective.

Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville  -  Esoteric Networks: Transregional Buddhism in the Dali Kingdom

Christina Neilson
Christina Neilson  |  Abstract
This project focuses on sculptures that could come to life, and the role of artists as animators. For centuries, Christian theologians had defended images because they educated the illiterate, but the danger of idolatry was never far away. It was especially present in sculpture, made to resemble human bodies. The chief question this study addresses is this: in making religious sculpture, how did artists face the challenge of creating a statue that was both true-to-life and pointed beyond itself to the thing represented? This dual role was especially important in the case of religious subjects because of the threat of idol worship, and particularly charged for wooden sculpture because wood was believed to operate like a human body with blood (sap), skin (bark), and a complexion.

Assistant Professor, Art, Oberlin College  -  Living Devotion: Animating Sculpture in Early Modern Europe

Sinem Arcak Casale
Sinem Arcak Casale  |  Abstract
The Shii Safavids of Iran and the Sunni Ottomans of Turkey, two of the most powerful early modern courts, developed a complex relationship in which tenuous peace alternated with bloody conflict. This is the first book-length study of this relationship from the perspective of visual culture. The project’s broad periodic scope and its emphasis on the countless diplomatic gifts exchanged show that it was not just the wars fought and treaties signed that defined diplomacy and political interaction in the early modern Islamic world, but that objects actively shaped interactions by forming, strengthening, and even breaking ties. Exploring Ottoman-Safavid gift exchange also encourages a fresh consideration of significant political concepts such as masculinity, sovereignty, and imperial and religious identity.

Assistant Professor, Art History, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities  -  Courtly Encounters in War and Peace: Ottoman-Safavid Gift Exchange, 1501-1660

Becky M. Nicolaides
Becky M. Nicolaides  |  Abstract
This project explores the relationship between the suburban environment and patterns of social and civic engagement over the past half century. With a majority of people in the United States now living in the suburbs, it is imperative that the changing forces that have shaped the possibilities for democratic community experience in these places be understood. This study provides a comprehensive social history of suburban life from 1945-2000, considering the many ways that social diversification has revised the experiences and meanings of suburban living. It uses the Los Angeles suburbs as case studies to probe themes of race, class, immigration, gender, children, family, the human lifecycle, and the built environment. Attentive to the broad influences of metropolitan political economy and globalization, the study examines the uneven ways these forces operated in everyday suburban life, revealing how social and civic life were at once unleashed and constrained by the new suburbia.

Affiliated Scholar, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, University of Southern California  -  On the Ground in Suburbia: A Chronicle of Social and Civic Transformation in Los Angeles Since 1945

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun  |  Abstract
Discriminating Data—a monograph and series of digital projects—investigates the persistence and transformation of categories of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the era of network analytics. Analyzing the ways in which allegedly neutral machine learning algorithms merge methods to target individuals with those designed to group users into neighborhoods based on similar likes and dislikes, this project both reveals the assumptions underlying these algorithms and creates methods to desegregate them. By doing so, it produces a practice and theory of networked actions-as-speech that explores our potential as characters in a universe of unfolding dramas called “big data.”

Professor, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University  -  Discriminating Data: Neighborhoods, Individuals, Proxies

Patrick J. O'Banion
Patrick J. O'Banion  |  Abstract
This social and religious history of the Castilian town of Deza explores the period between the coerced baptisms of Spain’s Muslims (or Moriscos) early in the sixteenth century and their expulsion a century later. Historians typically view Moriscos as homogenous, disempowered, and passive, but the example of the small town of Deza demonstrates their striking social, economic, and political power. Instead of a passive and homogeneous minority, these Moriscos were variegated and active. This project considers both the town’s internal conflicts and the external pressures from inquisitors, bishops, and kings, emphasizing the importance of local context in assessing the possibilities and limits of negotiated communal life at the dawn of modernity.

Associate Professor, History and Geography, Lindenwood University  -  Deza and Its Moriscos: Faith and Community in Early Modern Spain

Amy Rose Deal
Amy Rose Deal  |  Abstract
The way human beings talk about beliefs has been the object of intense study by both linguists and philosophers. Belief reports in English come in several distinct varieties, raising the prospect that there may be more than one basic way of holding a belief. This project brings new, cross-linguistic evidence to bear on the study of belief reports. Informed by original fieldwork, it focuses on an in-depth study of belief reports in an under-studied, non-Western language: Nez Perce. The comparison of belief reports in English and in Nez Perce allows for an initial assessment of linguistic diversity in this area. The results expand the scope of cross-linguistic semantic research while contributing to the documentation of an endangered language.

Assistant Professor, Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley  -  Reporting Belief in the Nez Perce Language

Vanessa Ogle
Vanessa Ogle  |  Abstract
The mid-twentieth century can be viewed easily as a period in which the nation state attained its greatest importance yet, in Europe and beyond. The welfare state, decolonization, Keynesianism, economic planning, and development politics in the third world were all forms of state building and nation making. This project seeks to counter this state-based narrative by highlighting the simultaneous emergence of a peripheral and extraterritorial order. Tax havens and offshore financial centers, free trade or Special Economic Zones, flags of convenience shipping registries, and offshore money markets formed islands of free-market capitalism that would become foundational for today’s global economy as it emerged from the 1970s and 1980s. The project focuses on British, German, French, American, and Swiss government involvements with archipelago capitalism, as well as the roles of private actors and international organizations, ranging from Europe to the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia.

Assistant Professor, History, University of Pennsylvania  -  Archipelago Capitalism: Tax Havens, Offshore Money, and the Shadow Economy, 1920s-1980s

Asa Eger
Asa Eger  |  Abstract
Western civilization survey courses still follow an entrenched assumption: “Western” culture manifested in the great classical cities of the Greek and Roman periods in the Mediterranean and when they declined, achievements in art, economics, and social organization transferred to medieval Europe. However, post-Roman Islamic cities played a crucial role in shaping both European and Islamic cultures. This project is a study of Antioch, the most significant city of the eastern Mediterranean, but also the least understood. It focuses on Antioch’s built environment and the city’s evolution by integrating material evidence from museums worldwide, archival sources, and newer archaeological and text-based studies to present an interdisciplinary narrative about the city after the Roman period. Studying the afterlife of Roman Antioch can erase the ideological disassociations of modern Western societies with their Islamic pasts and create real links that better show the gradual fluidity of urban and social transformations.

Associate Professor, History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro  -  Islamic Antioch: A History of a Medieval City from the Fifth to Fifteenth Centuries

Carol J. Oja
Carol J. Oja  |  Abstract
In the decades immediately after World War II, African-American virtuosos of classical music joined the battle for civil rights by challenging racial segregation in the largely white world of concert performance. This study probes their collective experiences, confronting racial silences in existing histories of the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic. Chosen for their diverse professional odysseys, the project focuses on the singers Marian Anderson, Reri Grist, Robert McFerrin, Leontyne Price, and William Warfield, and the conductor Everett Lee, Jr. While New York City is the study’s primary site, because of the impact of European exile and the artistic validation and political pressure that resulted from international tours with the State Department, its scope is global.

Professor, Music and American Studies, Harvard University  -  Black Virtuosos and Civil Rights: Racial Desegregation of the Concert Hall and Opera Stage after World War II

Dyan H. Elliott
Dyan H. Elliott  |  Abstract
In a Christian context, to scandalize is to occasion sin in another. In the Middle Ages, church law and custom argued for concealing clerical misdemeanors that gave rise to scandal, especially sexual ones. This study examines the impact of the church’s scandal-averse policies on medieval clerical culture through the lenses of gender and sexuality. From a theological standpoint, same-sex sexual relations were considered especially heinous, but relations between males were not as disruptive to ecclesiastical culture as were heterosexual encounters. As a result, evidence for same-sex relationships was likely to be suppressed and the perpetrators were rarely persecuted. The unremitting discipline of clerical celibacy, in conjunction with the longue durée of canon law, has continued to foster the coercive culture of pederasty and has permitted these conditions to persist into the present.

Professor, History, Northwestern University  -  Sexual Scandal and the Medieval Clergy

Ana Hedberg Olenina
Ana Hedberg Olenina  |  Abstract
In the nineteenth century, neurophysiology introduced techniques for detecting somatic signs of psychological experiences. This project shows how new scientific discourses penetrated a broader cultural sphere, generating wide interest in the question of how the body reflects affective and cognitive processes. Scientific modes of recording, representing, and interpreting body movement as “expressive” found use in multiple cultural domains. Based on archival materials, this study charts avenues by which psychophysiology reached the arts and evaluates institutional practices and political trends that promoted interdisciplinary engagements. By mapping the emergence of what this project calls “psychomotor aesthetics,” this study reveals how psychophysiology transformed film acting techniques, prompted the Russian and American film industries’ inquiries into spectators’ physical reactions, and spurred literary scholars to investigate poets’ articulations.

Visiting Scholar, Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture, Arizona State University  -  Psychomotor Aesthetics: Perspectives on Expressive Movement and Affect in Russian and American Modernity, 1910s-1920s

Nicole Rachelle Fleetwood
Nicole Rachelle Fleetwood  |  Abstract
This project is a study of prison art and visual culture in the United States. Focusing on the past four decades, the era of mass incarceration, it examines a range of visual art and practices emerging inside prisons and about prison life, including photography, painting, miniatures, collages, and collaborative works with arts organizations and non-incarcerated artists. Carceral Aesthetics uncovers the creative labor, practices, and art of millions behind bars in the United States and emphasizes the importance of visual expression between incarcerated people and their intimate and social networks as practices of belonging and care. Moreover, the focus on visual arts and culture by incarcerated people contributes to a greater understanding of how imprisonment, especially mass incarceration, shapes family relations, public culture, and notions of democracy and freedom in the contemporary era.

ACLS/New York Public Library Fellow
Associate Professor, American Studies, Rutgers University-New Brunswick  -  Carceral Aesthetics: Prison Art and Public Culture

Jann C. Pasler
Jann C. Pasler  |  Abstract
This project deconstructs the aims, processes, and colonial agendas of music ethnographers in the French empire by analyzing long forgotten contributions to comparative musicology in North Africa, equatorial Africa, and Indochina. It exposes how settlers, indigenous musicians, and local administrators co-created colonial knowledge, promoting certain indigenous traditions over others in the service of political purposes through scores, recordings, and radio. Building on the work and methodologies of historians, anthropologists, linguists, race theorists, and ethnomusicologists, the project lays the foundations for a new field of inquiry by teasing out Europeans’ complex relationship to colonial culture and music’s role in the negotiation of dynamic national identities, which are still relevant today.

Professor, Music, University of California, San Diego  -  Sounding the French Empire: Colonial Ethnographies of Music and New Media, 1860-1960

Jennifer Fleissner
Jennifer Fleissner  |  Abstract
This project offers an alternative history of the category of the will, one that can explain its centrality to the literature, philosophy, and psychology of the nineteenth century. The familiar sense of will as indicating only the rational agency of the liberal subject, it argues, derives from reactions against an older sense of the will as the site of deeply embodied human struggles with the idea of freedom itself. Beginning in theology, these notions become medicalized in eighteenth-century vitalist writings, emerging in nineteenth-century literature as "maladies of the will," such as obsession, willfulness, habit, and inertia. This project aims to revivify the novel's critical potential by taking such symptoms seriously and reading them as posing living questions, both political and ontological, about the status and meaning of human freedom.

Associate Professor, English, Indiana University Bloomington  -  Maladies of the Will: The American Novel and the Symptomatology of Modernity

Samuel Perry
Samuel Perry  |  Abstract
Bringing together the fields of Japanese literature and history, From Across the Genkai Sea contributes to an emerging body of work on Japanese culture that has brought into relief Japan’s deep connections to the Korean War. Challenging the myth of a postwar period, the project sheds light on how the Korean War was experienced affectively by different communities in Japan: members of the divided ethnic Korean community, the ideologically split Communist Party, women in “camp town” communities, as well as repatriated colonialists. By making memoirs, fiction, propaganda, and poetry written by these marginal groups central to this moment in history, this study offers a fresh portrait of the newly democratized nation, when older narratives of class, gender, and ethnicity were reconstituted to render the Korean conflict “someone else’s war” in Japan’s postwar imagination.

Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, Brown University  -  From across the Genkai Sea: Japanese Literature and the Korean War

Elizabeth A. Foster
Elizabeth A. Foster  |  Abstract
Decolonizing Faith crosses borders between France and its sub-Saharan African colonies to delve into the complexity of Catholic positions on the future of French Africa before and just after independence, from 1945 until 1965. It draws on evidence from French missionaries in Africa and their superiors in France, African Catholic students in France destined to become leaders in their home countries, African Catholic intellectuals, young African clergymen, Vatican officials, and French and African lay activists. Linking European history, African history, and religious studies, this project provides a new history of late colonialism, decolonization, and mid-century Catholic reform.

Assistant Professor, History, Tufts University  -  Decolonizing Faith: Catholics and the End of French Empire in Sub-Saharan Africa

Derek Peterson
Derek Peterson  |  Abstract
This project traces the genealogy of populist activism in postcolonial Uganda. In the 1950s decolonization led minorities to organize to defend their cultural heritage from the enfolding weight of African majority government. In the late 1960s and 1970s these campaigners were made enemies of the state, and populists had to find new registers in which to work. Some became museum curators, collecting objects that anchored people to their past. Others became subversives, organizing oppositional movements that challenged the integrity of the Ugandan state. These campaigners built upon an infrastructure that minorities had authored in an earlier time. Their activism helps to illuminate the logic of dissent under the dictatorship of Idi Amin.

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow
Professor, History, and Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  The Infrastructure of Dissent in Postcolonial Uganda

Victoria S. Frede
Victoria S. Frede  |  Abstract
No social institution is more important in contemporary Russia than friendship. Russians view it as key to both personal flourishing and to politics. This project traces the origins of the Russian friendship cult to the mid-eighteenth century, when Russia's political elites discovered the philosophy of sentimentalism and when autocracy was routinized as a modern state form. Most historical studies of friendship hinge on a normative definition—an affective connection between two equals. This project takes the opposite approach, starting with the practices of historical agents to ask how and when they referred to one another as friend. In the late eighteenth century, these invocations became essential affective tools, intended to tie the nobility to the court; in the early nineteenth century, they became essential tools of opposition.

Associate Professor, History, University of California, Berkeley  -  Elective Affinities: Friendship in Russia, 1750-1840

Brian A. Porter-Szucs
Brian A. Porter-Szucs  |  Abstract
The sudden emergence in postcommunist Eastern Europe of supply-side economics, austerity policies, and neoliberalism is puzzling. Although few members of the opposition advocated such ideas in the 1980s, after winning power in 1989 virtually every economic advisor warned that no other model was conceivable. This project searches for the origins of these economic theories among professional economists in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s by examining economics textbooks, internal government reports on economic policy, and speeches from mid-level politicians. It focuses not on the higher levels of economic theory but rather on the day-to-day work of those who were struggling to understand and improve Poland’s economy. Ultimately, understanding the Cold War origins of neoliberalism will help expose the assumptions underpinning the economic debates of today.

Professor, History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Supply-Side Socialism: The Foundations of Neoliberalism in Communist Poland

Heidi Gengenbach
Heidi Gengenbach  |  Abstract
This project draws on archives, oral interviews, and mixed-methods dietary assessment to explore 500 years of interaction between rural foodways and anti-hunger interventions in one of the most nutritionally challenged countries in the world. Set in Cheringoma, in Sofala Province, Mozambique, the study highlights the historical coproduction of hunger as a measurable bodily affliction and a gendered state of social ill-being, involving agrarian communities with their own ideas about food sufficiency and dearth, and waves of African, Asian, European, and American outsiders who have increasingly marginalized rural women’s alimentary expertise. While demonstrating the policy relevance of both deep historical research and the gendered knowledge of the agrarian poor, Recipes for Disaster? also moves the voices of rural women to the forefront of the discussion about ending hunger in Africa.

Assistant Professor, History, University of Massachusetts Boston  -  Recipes for Disaster? Hunger Relief and Changing Rural Foodways in Mozambique

Allison Pugh
Allison Pugh  |  Abstract
This project investigates the intersections of “complex families” (families with more than two involved parents) and their schools, workplaces, and other institutions, which are often structured as if family means “two married parents and children in one household.” It focuses on two ways in which these parents and children “do family”: how they sort out matters of discipline, money, and other issues internally, and how they interpret and explain their family situations to themselves and others in light of external contradictions. Relying upon a novel approach to ethnographic observation, the project analyzes how people and institutions negotiate the cultural mismatch in different socio-legal contexts, arguing that their intersection exemplifies the clash between two neoliberal trends, romantic reflexive individualism and increasing rationalization.

Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Virginia  -  On the Cutting Edge of Intimacy: Children, Parents, and Institutions Negotiating Cultural Change

Joy Gordon
Joy Gordon  |  Abstract
The United Nations Security Council is called upon with great regularity to respond to warfare, massacres, and human rights violations. Its legitimacy as a central institution of global governance is seemingly beyond question. But in recent years there have been increasing challenges to its credibility. Accusations were made that the Council’s actions in the early 1990s overstepped its authority, and even violated international humanitarian law. In the last few years, European courts have effectively invalidated Security Council measures because they were judged to have violated fundamental principles of human rights. This project explores the tension between the Council’s mandate to address threats to peace and security and the issues of accountability, credibility, and legitimacy.

Professor, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago  -  Perfect Injustice: The United Nations Security Council and the Question of Legitimacy

Tahera Qutbuddin
Tahera Qutbuddin  |  Abstract
In the seventh and eighth centuries CE, oration was a crucial piece of the Arabian literary landscape, reigning supreme as its preeminent genre of prose. An integral component of pre-Islamic and early Islamic leadership, it also had significant political, military, and religious functions. Moreover, oratory’s themes and aesthetics had enormous influence on subsequent artistic prose. Although little has come forth on the subject due to substantial challenges posed by an archaic lexicon, a vast array of sources, and the sticky question of dating, an approach sensitive to its oral underpinnings meaningfully delineates key parameters of the genre. By analyzing the texts and contexts of the earliest Arabic speeches and sermons, this project constructs the first comprehensive theory of classical Arabic oratory.

Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago  -  Classical Arabic Oratory: Religion, Politics, and Orality-Based Aesthetics of Public Address in the Early Islamic World

Neve Gordon
Neve Gordon  |  Abstract
This project examines the history and politics of human shielding, which refers to the transformation of civilians into a technology of warfare through their deployment to deter attacks on military sites. Human shielding is a growing phenomenon related to the increasing “weaponization” of human bodies and the fact that urban settings have become common sites for conflicts. The project has two major objectives: 1) to offer a historical-legal investigation of human shielding; and 2) to identify and theorize the various forms of human shielding currently being used in contemporary theaters of violence. Taken together, this project will expose the military and ethical functions of the legal category of human shield, improve our understanding of the diverse contexts in which human shields appear today, and demonstrate how the conception of human shields shapes our perceptions of violence.

Professor, Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev  -  The History and Politics of Human Shields

Lindsay V. Reckson
Lindsay V. Reckson  |  Abstract
Realist Ecstasy revises linear narratives of secularization by recovering a series of ecstatic performances in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American and African-American realisms. From feminist frenzies to Native American ghost dances and storefront church revivals, realism confronts the ecstatic body as an object of fascination, transforming spiritual experience into the material of realist description. By mobilizing the idioms of ecstatic religion to account for and imagine new modes of social affiliation, realism presents turn-of-the-century experience as a version of being beside oneself: caught up in the communicable realities of modernization as well as in the bodily and affective repertoires of religion, race, gender, and sexuality.

Assistant Professor, English, Haverford College  -  Realist Ecstasy: Religion, Race, and Performance in American Literature

Yogita Goyal
Yogita Goyal  |  Abstract
Slavery and the Transnational Reinvention of Form traces contemporary ideas of the global to the Atlantic slave narrative, in order to rethink race and racial formation in a global frame. To understand forms of freedom and bondage today—from unlawful detention to sex trafficking, debt bondage, genocide, and coerced migration—this project reads a vast range of contemporary literature, showing how the literary forms used to tell these stories derive from the antebellum genre of the slave narrative. Exploring the ethics and aesthetics of globalism, the project foregrounds alternative conceptions of human rights, showing that the revival and proliferation of slave narratives offers not just a chance to rethink the legacy of slavery itself, but also to assess its ongoing relation to empire, race, and capital.

Associate Professor, English and African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Slavery and the Transnational Reinvention of Form

Ariel Rogers
Ariel Rogers  |  Abstract
This project responds to the widespread idea that the migration of movies to small, mobile screens has dramatically transformed, or even undermined, cinema. It explores various ways in which screens were used in the United States in the 1930s, the height of the classical Hollywood era, in contradistinction to which claims about the radical novelty of contemporary cinema are often tacitly made. Even then, screens of all sizes proliferated within and beyond the movie theater, from the movie set to the home. In examining the historically specific formations of space structured by the proliferating screens of the 1930s, the project illuminates the complex relationship between contemporary and earlier screen practice, framing transformations in cinematic space as a longstanding part of film history.

Assistant Professor, Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University  -  Screens and the Cinematic Apparatus in 1930s Hollywood and Beyond

Bruce Grant
Bruce Grant  |  Abstract
As scholars of the Muslim world have long known, satire has had a robust and varied role in social life across a broadly drawn community of believers, calling the sanctimonious, satraps, and sinners of all stripes to recognize themselves in archly cast caricatures. This satire was most often and most effectively directed by Muslims themselves from within their own communities. One of the best known examples of this tradition from the Eurasian world was the popular, long-running Azerbaijani-language magazine, Molla Nasreddin. The Donkey Wars tracks the life and times of this journal in order to cast light on local responses to authoritarianism and rapid social change some 100 years ago in an often overlooked corner of the Muslim world, as well as to testify to the enduring relevance of satire as an expression of competing social forces today.

Professor, Anthropology, New York University  -  The Donkey Wars: Satire, Free Speech, and Political Imagination in the Muslim Caucasus

Nina Rowe
Nina Rowe  |  Abstract
In the cities of Bavaria and Austria between 1330 and 1430, it was fashionable to own illustrated Weltchroniken (world chronicles). These books present biblical and ancient history as a seamless narrative, told in Middle High German verse and augmented with images that feature unusual iconographies and experimental styles. Yet this genre has been largely overlooked, as art historians who work on this late-medieval German region have focused instead on art used in Christian devotion. This project examines picture and text in twenty-two Weltchronik manuscripts to reveal how this new type of book registered preoccupations and aspirations of late-medieval lay audiences, drives otherwise difficult to discern in the artworks that survive from the period. Case studies focus on the themes of political ambition, religious skepticism, and eventually the impact of printing on social ideals in the urban sphere.

Associate Professor, Art History and Music, Fordham University  -  The World in a Book: Weltchroniken and Society at the End of the Middle Ages

Christopher Grasso
Christopher Grasso  |  Abstract
The American dialogue about religious skepticism and faith was crucial to the development of American culture between the American Revolution and the Civil War. It shaped and was shaped by struggles over the place of religion in politics in the Revolutionary era; by different visions of knowledge and education in an “enlightened” society; by reformers’ reconsiderations of the relation of the individual to society in an era of economic transformation, territorial expansion, and social change; and by the making and eventual unmaking of nationalisms in the United States. Although the standard historical narratives stress the dominance of evangelicalism in the period, the debate between skepticism and faith affected more lives than might be expected.

Professor, History, College of William & Mary  -  Skepticism and American Faith: From the Revolution to the Civil War

Kristina Sessa
Kristina Sessa  |  Abstract
This project explores the relationship among war, environmental crisis, and the formation of Christian institutions in late antiquity from 350-700 CE. Focusing on the western regions of the late Roman Empire (Italy, North Africa, Spain, Gaul, and Britain), the project examines how a series of catastrophic events and periods of instability shaped the development of churches and monasteries both culturally and materially. It argues that war and other crises, such as famine, epidemic, and population displacement, created new cultural and physical conditions in which Christian leaders and laypeople developed some of the Western church's most important practices, institutions, and spaces, from rules governing monastic hospitality to the exercise of episcopal authority and the establishment of hospitals. The project thus offers a new narrative of Christianization by approaching it as a process driven not only by emerging discourses of power and identity, but also by events and developments in the material world.

Associate Professor, History, The Ohio State University  -  The Church at War in Late Antiquity, 350-700 CE

Gerardo Gutierrez
Gerardo Gutierrez  |  Abstract
This project studies the creation of indigenous “títulos primordiales,” a type of documentation developed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in colonial Mexico that told an archaized narrative of the origins of a community. Using the Lienzos de Chiepetlan, six large-format painted documents from the Nahua community of Chiepetlan, Guerrero, Mexico, it addresses how local Nahua groups remembered and represented their histories to two distinct audiences: local villagers and Spanish authorities. This corpus of local documents, which Nahua communities used to assert their legal claim to land and defend local agency, provides an alternative interpretation of the past that contests official metanarratives promoted by either the Aztec Empire or the Spanish colonial regime. This project approaches these documents in a way that highlights indigenous intentionality and consciousness, place-making as a social practice, historical memory, and the constant becoming of the indigenous communities.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder  -  “And Moctezuma became angry when we left Mexico...”: Nahua Migrations to Eastern Guerrero, Contested Landscapes, and Place-Making as Represented in the Lienzos de Chiepetlan

Yüksel Sezgin
Yüksel Sezgin  |  Abstract
Public discourse on shari‘a is increasingly polarized on the question of whether or not it is compatible with democratic norms and institutions. Both positions are largely based on ideological assumptions and lack empirical support. In this environment, it becomes increasingly difficult for ordinary citizens and scholars to distinguish between fact and myth and engage in intellectual debate about the alleged incompatibility of shari‘a with basic human rights and the rule of law. Of fifty countries that formally apply shari‘a (especially with respect to family law) within their legal systems, four are liberal democracies—Israel, India, Greece and Ghana. This project examines the complex relationship between democracy and shari‘a by comparing what aspects of Islamic law these four countries targeted for reform, what challenges they encountered in the process, and to what extent they succeeded in rendering religious laws compatible with constitutionalism and basic human and women’s rights.

Assistant Professor, Political Science, Syracuse University  -  Muslim Family Laws, Human Rights, and Democracy

Waïl S. Hassan
Waïl S. Hassan  |  Abstract
If Orientalism represents a discourse of Western mastery over the Orient, what happens when it migrates to the developing world? What are, for example, the contours of Brazilian Orientalism? If not driven by imperial or foreign policy imperatives, what are its ideological investments? This project addresses these questions by analyzing the representation of Arabs in Brazil in literary works by Arab immigrant, Brazilian, and Arab-descended Brazilian writers, as well as in popular culture forms such as the telenovela, carnival parades, and popular music. The project argues that while Euro-American Orientalism is based on dualities, such as self/other, East/West, and colonizer/colonized, Brazilian Orientalism has a tertiary structure that defines the country’s cultural identity in relation both to the Arab-Islamic world and to Euro-American Orientalism.

Professor, Comparative and World Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  -  Arab Brazil: Literature, Culture, and Orientalism in the Racial Democracy

Jenny Sharpe
Jenny Sharpe  |  Abstract
Immaterial Archives derives from Caribbean art and literature a philosophy of history that contends with archival loss. The artists, poets, and fiction writers of this study embrace spirits, non-verbal sounds, visions, and dreamscapes as creative responses to archival gaps and absences. They not only contend with the problem of addressing a history of slavery and post-slavery but also deploy ephemeral phenomena for establishing new channels of connection with the past. Caribbean arts of the imagination transform our understanding of archival materials—whether they are written records, sound recordings, or computer files—through an inclusion of intangible and invisible evidence. This move represents less a desire to return to the wholeness of a reconstructed past than the necessity to envisage a transformative future.

Professor, English, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Immaterial Archives: Lost Pasts, Salvaged Futures

John Hay
John Hay  |  Abstract
Bringing together epic and lyric poems, fictional tales, travel accounts, and scientific texts, this study reveals that US authors who enthusiastically celebrated the myths of primeval wilderness and virgin land also frequently resorted to speculations about the annihilation of civilizations, past and future. By examining such postapocalyptic fantasies, A New World in Ruins recovers an antebellum rhetoric untethered to claims for historical exceptionalism—a patriotic rhetoric that celebrates America while denying the United States a unique position outside of world history.

Assistant Professor, English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas  -  A New World in Ruins: Postapocalyptic Fantasies in Antebellum American Literature

Kristel Smentek
Kristel Smentek  |  Abstract
Enlightenment thinkers bequeathed to posterity a conception of European art as rooted in Greco-Roman antiquity and Renaissance naturalism. Art from China, historically construed as radically other by sinologists and art historians, would seem to have no place in this construct. This project argues that it does. Taking eighteenth-century France as its focus, it contrasts the denunciation of Chinese art by critics to the ubiquity of Chinese and Chinese-inspired objects in French collections. It examines how French artists and consumers negotiated the alluring and unsettling aspects of China and its visual and material culture, and it analyzes the mechanisms by which it became difficult for historians to imagine Chinese objects had any role in shaping European speculation about art.

Associate Professor, Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  -  Objects of Encounter: China in Eighteenth-Century France

Larisa Jasarevic
Larisa Jasarevic  |  Abstract
This project explores beekeeping in Bosnia, where local apicultures are oriented toward medicinal hive products and blend api-science, commercial technologies, and traditional lore. Bosnian beekeepers travel where the tarmac ends: up mountains and into forests and valleys emptied out by economic out-migration and the wars of the 1990s. In pursuit of “clean natures,” apiaries are gently repurposing former combat zones and thriving in the new wilderness, on the periphery of formal politics, and contingent on personal negotiations over access to land across ethno-national difference. While bee products are valued in apitherapy, folk, and Islamic medicine, technological particularities are deeply connected to the beekeepers’ contemplative tendencies, some of whom draw on Islamic textual sources and metaphysical insights. Whereas social thought has lately turned to the ontologies of multispecies encounters and to speculations on new metaphysics, this ethnography attends to the natural worlds where reflective and citational practices undermine key (post)humanist analytics.

Senior Lecturer, Global Studies, University of Chicago  -  Post-War Natures and Contemplative Apicultures: Beekeeping in Bosnia

Julia Staffel
Julia Staffel  |  Abstract
In order to get around in the world, people need to reason about it, and people get around better if they reason better. This project advances a new view of what reasoning is, and what makes reasoning better or worse. Integrating empirical research in cognitive science and theoretical research in epistemology, the proposed theory diverges from philosophical orthodoxy in several ways: it claims that not all reasoning is conscious; it shows that reasoning involves degrees of confidence; and it expands formal models of ideal rationality to make them suitable for evaluating non-ideal human thinking.

Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis  -  Unsettled Thoughts: Reasoning, Uncertainty, and Epistemology

Ari Joskowicz
Ari Joskowicz  |  Abstract
This project traces the entanglement of Jewish and Romani (Gypsy) history in the twentieth and early twenty-first century, from the killing fields of Hitler’s Europe and the postwar creation of archives and debates over reparations to contemporary Holocaust memorials. It seeks to understand how Jewish archives became central repositories of Romani narratives of suffering and how Jewish scholarship and the model of the Holocaust have shaped understandings of the Romani Holocaust. Paying equal attention to the relations between Roma and Jews in camps and ghettos of the World War II and to their complex interactions in the decades since, this project offers a new relational approach to the Nazi genocide and its aftermath.

Assistant Professor, Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University  -  Jews and Roma in the Shadow of Genocide

Rebecca Stein
Rebecca Stein  |  Abstract
This project investigates the impact of digital camera technologies on the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories. Based on ethnographic research with a range of Israeli institutional actors, from the military to the human rights community, it studies the degree to which new camera technologies and networked photo sharing practices are altering the ways that Israeli military rule is practiced, represented, documented, and prosecuted, and how the viral visibility of military rule is affecting how mainstream Jewish Israelis understand themselves as an occupying power. Through archival research, this project also tracks the history of the Israeli military’s relationship to photographic technologies as tools of control, surveillance, and documentation as well as the history of the mainstream Israeli media’s relationship to the visual archive of occupation. It explores the ways that new technologies, changing practices of seeing, and new visual fields are recalibrating the terms of Israeli sovereignty.

Associate Professor, Anthropology, Duke University  -  Captured: How the Digital Camera Has Changed the Israeli Occupation

Robin Judd
Robin Judd  |  Abstract
This project tells a transnational story of desire, identity, and community in the wake of extraordinary violence and trauma by exploring the complicated romantic relationships among liberated Jews, Allied victors, and both defeated and victorious European civilians within post-Nazi Europe. To understand this transnational history, it investigates an understudied population, the 4,500 Jewish women in postwar Europe and North Africa who married American, British, and Canadian military personnel. This study, the first sustained history of Jewish military brides from 1943-1955, argues that Jewish civilian-military marriages served as touchstones around issues concerning multiple displacement, instrumentality, gender, national power, and religion.

Associate Professor, History, The Ohio State University  -  Love at the Zero Hour: Jewish Brides, Solider Husbands, and Strategies for Reconstruction, 1943-1955

Noelle Stout
Noelle Stout  |  Abstract
This project explores how the 2007 US mortgage crash has altered the cultural and moral significance of debt. Drawing on archival and ethnographic work in California’s Sacramento Valley, a region devastated by foreclosures, this book analyzes confrontations between homeowners facing foreclosure and the bank employees adjudicating their appeals for assistance. Placing these protracted dramas within a historical context, this project indicates how the unraveling of US mortgage markets has unexpectedly recast financial transactions as social obligations, entailing mutuality and aid. It argues that this nascent view of the sociality of debt potentially undermines the ethos of late capitalist financial markets.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, New York University  -  Bound by Default: Homeowners, Lenders, and the Enduring Debts of the American Foreclosure Crisis

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton
Kathryn Kerby-Fulton  |  Abstract
Medieval Interiorities and Modern Readers recovers sophisticated early reading practices for understanding the self. The Middle Ages is one of the most candid of literary periods on this subject. Endlessly analyzing the self with forensic accuracy (and with remarkable parallels to modern mapping of the brain), medieval writers and glossators probed the mind via classical, Arabic, and biblical models. Using these, plus a range of other epistemologies, they probed cognition, meditation, contemplation, and visionary experience. This project examines material still largely untapped for the study of interiorities to uncover evidence of reading practices in medieval manuscript and archival sources: poetic, satirical, mystical, and autobiographical works written, redacted, and annotated by scribes and other readers.

Professor, English, University of Notre Dame  -  Medieval Interiorities and Modern Readers: Recovering Medieval Reading Practices for Understanding the Self

Daniel Ludwig Sutherland
Daniel Ludwig Sutherland  |  Abstract
The nature of mathematical knowledge—how one knows mathematical truths and the implications for what kinds of things one is capable of knowing—has greatly influenced how humans understand themselves. Can mathematical demonstrations, such as geometrical proofs, give us knowledge that is certain and is of necessary and universal truths, or is that mistaken? If they can, how? Kant’s answer is that they can and his explanation of how this is the case shaped all of his philosophy, including his metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. This project presents a unified account of Kant’s theory of mathematical knowledge, one that will inform investigations into all of Kant’s philosophy.

Associate Professor, Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago  -  Kant's Philosophy and the Question of Mathematical Knowledge

Robert Kugler
Robert Kugler  |  Abstract
This interdisciplinary study of Jewish legal petitions from second-century BCE Herakleopolis, Egypt upends the conception that the Jewish population of the Herakleopolite nome assimilated to the Greek cultural context and drew largely on Greek law. Instead, close analysis of the petitions demonstrates that the Greek rulers of Egypt allowed Jews the politeuma, an organization through which ethnic groups could resolve disputes according to their ancestral norms. This project blends Jewish studies and papyrology to demonstrate that Jewish litigants were legal pluralists, calling equally on Greek, Egyptian, and Jewish law. Egyptian Jews thus prove to be a more culturally pluralistic people than has been imagined.

Professor, Religious Studies and Classics, Lewis & Clark College  -  Discovering Legal Pluralism: Toward a New Understanding of the Jews of Hellenistic Egypt

Candacy A. Taylor
Candacy A. Taylor  |  Abstract
Being black and traveling away from home during the Jim Crow era involved extensive planning, faith, and a guide called the “Negro Motorist Green Book.” Victor H. Green, an African-American postal worker, published this roadside companion from 1936 to 1966. It listed hotels, restaurants, barbershops, nightclubs, tailors, garages, and real estate offices that served African Americans. Automobile travel symbolized freedom in the United States and the Green Book was a powerful tool to persevere and literally move forward in the face of racism. The project analyzes twenty-one editions of the book, develops a comprehensive map, and documents remaining Green Book properties and related ephemera such as menus, ledgers, and marketing materials. The fact that these buildings remain as physical evidence of racial integration is an opportunity to reexamine and contextualize the troubled history of segregation, integration, black migration, and the rise of the black leisure class in the United States.

Independent Scholar  -  Sites of Sanctuary: The Negro Motorist Green Book

Fabio Lanza
Fabio Lanza  |  Abstract
Revolution in the Quotidian is a history of Maoist urban space at the street level. With the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the ordinary, the mundane, and the urban were identified as the privileged sites of state intervention, and “socialist city construction” became a tool for communist leaders to implement radical changes in how people worked, produced, and lived. Through analyzing the transformations of the Haidian District in Beijing from the early 1950s to the early 1980s, this project traces how both government planners and mass movements used urban space and everyday practice to achieve political change. It illustrates how a unique—but largely unplanned—socialist space was produced by the interplays and struggles between living beings and abstract forces, and between the state and ordinary people.

supported in part by the Frederic E. Wakeman, Jr. Fund for Chinese History
Associate Professor, History and East Asian Studies, University of Arizona  -  Revolution In the Quotidian: A History of Maoist Urban Space, 1953-1983

Valerie Traub
Valerie Traub  |  Abstract
This project demonstrates that, as the sixteenth century drew toward a close, various scientific discourses in Western Europe created the possibility for a style of reasoning that today goes by the name of the normal. Close readings of natural history illustration, anatomical plates, costume books, and voyage illustrations from the late medieval period to the late seventeenth century show how they collectively provided a spatial idiom that was appropriated by cartographers for their images of human figures on country, continent, and world maps. Such ethnographic maps were widely produced and disseminated across Europe and as far away as China. The result of their circulation was a paradigmatic shift in the evaluation of material and cognitive life, whereby a medieval style of reasoning governed by appeals to nature was absorbed into and gradually superseded by a modern reasoning based on norms.

Professor, English and Women's Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Mapping Embodiment in the Early Modern West: Anatomy, Cartography, and the Prehistory of Normality

Rebecca Maloy
Rebecca Maloy  |  Abstract
Medieval Christian worship on the Iberian peninsula was structured by the rich rituals and music of the Old Hispanic rite. Sung in Honor of Sacrifice is a detailed study of one type of Old Hispanic chant: the offertory or sacrificium. By showing how the sacrificium texts draw on specific traditions of biblical exegesis and how the melodies respond to textual syntax and meaning, this project situates these chants within the intellectual culture that produced them, presents new evidence about the oral transmission of plainchant, and establishes a new basis for assessing the relationship among the different western chant traditions. Though focused on the Iberia, the project has broader implications for understanding the intersection among medieval liturgy, the arts, and intellectual life.

Associate Professor, Musicology, University of Colorado Boulder  -  Sung in Honor of Sacrifice: Text, Melody, and Exegesis in the Iberian Offertory

Marc Van De Mieroop
Marc Van De Mieroop  |  Abstract
How could ancient Hebrew and Greek traditions emerge in the first millennium BCE in the shadow of the Babylonian literate culture that had dominated the eastern Mediterranean world for millennia before? This project aims to answer this crucial question in the intellectual history of the region from the perspective of cosmopolitanism and vernacularization. Instead of presenting Babylonian literate culture as a metropolitan creation imitated in the periphery, the project analyzes it as something intellectuals from all over the Near East sustained, making it truly cosmopolitan. The project also investigates how in the first millennium multiple literate cultures, including Hebrew and Greek, developed out of this cosmopolis, not by borrowing elements, but rather through a more subtle and creative process that led to vernacular cultures.

Professor, History, Columbia University  -  Babylonian Cosmopolitanism and the Birth of Greek and Hebrew Literate Traditions

Lerone A. Martin
Lerone A. Martin  |  Abstract
J. Edgar Hoover’s Stained Glass Window chronicles how the religious culture of the FBI and its collaborations with clergy, faith communities, and parachurch organizations shaped Christian America. Specifically, the FBI under Hoover helped construct and legitimize popular notions of Christian America through its practice of religious devotion, deployment of religious rhetoric, and partnerships with the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, organizations such as the National Religious Broadcasters and the Ku Klux Klan. Moreover, Hoover’s FBI also teamed up with noted religious broadcasters including Billy Graham, Norman Vincent Peale, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, and Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux. Indeed, the Bureau’s relationship to religion was not limited to counterintelligence and surveillance; rather, the FBI was also a dynamic religious authenticator and collaborator. In the end, the project reveals that Hoover’s FBI was a significant force in molding Christian America during the twentieth century.

Assistant Professor, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis  -  J. Edgar Hoover’s Stained Glass Window: The FBI and Christian America

Lori J. Walters
Lori J. Walters  |  Abstract
This study assesses the significance of Christine de Pizan’s supervision of her own exceptionally prolific scriptorium, which produced 54 manuscripts devoted exclusively to her own texts. It focuses on her workshop's 1414 tour de force, the Queen's Manuscript. Besides authoring the collection’s 30 texts, de Pizan transcribed some or all of them in her own hand and oversaw the execution of the collection’s extensive iconographic cycle. Her direction of production from text to completed book allowed her to exercise maximum control over the construction of her own public image. Indeed her genius was to have grasped the necessity of controlling the means of production to ensure that her voice be heard as she intended. Exploiting her position of authority to address matters crucial to the proper functioning of the French body politic, de Pizan became the first non-religious female public intellectual.

Professor, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Florida State University  -  The Female Creator: Christine de Pizan and Her Books

Daniel Wallace Maze
Daniel Wallace Maze  |  Abstract
This project employs cross-disciplinary methods on a wide range of primary sources to offer a comprehensive history of the Bellini and their workshop, answering longstanding questions and presenting new ones to frame future research. In the 1420s, the painter Jacopo Bellini introduced into Venice the new Renaissance style emerging in artistic centers such as Florence and Padua. Jacopo’s younger half-brother Giovanni profoundly influenced Western art through his mastery of color and atmosphere. Jacopo’s son Gentile became the first de facto official painter of the Republic, which dispatched him to the court of Sultan Mehmet II, whose celebrated portrait in the National Gallery in London is attributed to Gentile. This project provides a rich body of research on Venice’s most important family of artists to enable scholars to assess more accurately the contribution of the Bellini to the Italian Renaissance and of Venetian Renaissance art to the history of Western culture.

Independent Scholar  -  The Bellini Workshop

David Gordon White
David Gordon White  |  Abstract
The project comprises a historical study of comparative demonology working from the hypothesis that a common demonological vernacular has been shared among populations stretching from East Asia to northern Europe. Drawing upon ancient and medieval literary and iconographic sources, as well as modern folklore and ethnography, the project focuses on the following themes: 1) the spread of mythologies of winged harpy-type demonesses; 2) the spread of demonological ritual technologies; 3) the mythology and morphology of the nightmare as a shared cultural construct; 4) the common structure of demonic pantheons across much of Europe and Asia; and 5) common narratives and rituals concerning human encounters with daimons, i.e., the local denizens of forests, fountains, springs, and wells in Europe and Asia.

Professor, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara  -  European Demonology Viewed from the East

Mary Kate McGowan
Mary Kate McGowan  |  Abstract
Speech can constitute (and not merely cause) harm. Speech constitutes harm when it enacts norms that prescribe harmful actions. Suppose, for example, that a CEO enacts a discriminatory hiring policy by saying, “From now on we do not hire women.” This utterance constitutes the harm of discrimination because it enacts a company policy prescribing a discriminatory hiring practice. In this case, the policy is enacted via an exercise of speaker authority. Just Words argues that there is another, non-authoritative, ubiquitous, and yet hidden manner in which speech enacts norms. Identifying this mechanism highlights important but previously overlooked potential constitutive connections between speech and harm. This project investigates the social, moral, political, and legal consequences of this phenomenon; explores contested categories of speech (such as pornography and racist hate speech); and presents ways to remedy the harms in question.

Professor, Philosophy, Wellesley College  -  Just Words: Speech and the Constitution of Harm