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Fellows: 2004-2005

Sandra Barnes

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

"Culture in Motion: Coastal West Africa, 1760-1860"

Sandra T. Barnes, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, is President of the African Studies Association and Founding Director of Penn's African Studies Center.She is the author of three books, numerous articles, and most recently an expanded, edition of Africa's Ogun: Old World and New, an interdisciplinary study of West African religious culture and its continuing vitality in diaspora. Her book, Patrons and Power won the Amaury Talbot Prize for best book on Africa awarded by the Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Current research focuses on pre-colonial social and cultural life along West Africa's Guinea Coast and post-colonial popular culture.Barnes' book, "Culture in Motion: Coastal West Africa, 1760 - 1860," describes how people created cultures of belonging in West Africa amidst movement and upheaval during the period from c. 1760 to 1860 - a time when the slave trade reached its zenith and then declined. It challenges notions of indigenous parochialness by showing ways the social world handled cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity long before people were brought together in the diaspora to the New World.

Margaret Cohen

Internal Faculty Fellow 2005-06

French & Italian, Stanford University

"The Novel and Seafaring"

Margaret Cohen will be directing Stanford's Center for the Study of the Novel beginning in the Fall of 2004. New to Stanford as of Fall 2003, she was formerly a Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University.Cohen has written Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution and The Sentimental Education of the Novel, and was awarded the MLA's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione prize in French and Francophone literature. In addition, Cohen coedited The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel with Carolyn Dever, and Spectacles of Realism: Body, Gender, Genre with Christopher Prendergast. She edited and translated Sophie Cottin's best-selling novel of 1799, Claire d'Albe, and has edited a new edition of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary.Her current research interests involve rethinking the literature and culture of modernity from the vantage point of its waterways. A part of that project is a book she is now writing on how the history and representation of open ocean travel informed the development of the modern novel; the working title is "The Novel and the Sea."From the advent of open ocean travel at the turn of the 16th century, seafaring helped define an emerging global world and participated in the development of modern science, technology, capitalism, and imperialism. An immense body of maritime writing developed across the early modern and modern eras, whose major works were rapidly translated into the European languages of the Atlantic world to be used instrumentally by governments and professionals and enthusiastically consumed by armchair readers.The non-fictional genres of this international literature included manuals on the mariner's craft and narratives of exploration, battle, shipwreck, piracy, and shipboard life. These genres edged imaginary voyage narratives and sensational pirates, biographies, and shaded into the novel, as is indicated by the maritime subject matter of seminal works in the trans-Atlantic literary tradition. During her residence at the Stanford Humanities Center, Cohen proposes to complete a book on how maritime writings have informed the novel, and beyond that, what the novel owes to forms of thought and representation deriving from the history of open ocean adventuring, transport, commerce, and battle.

John Felstiner

Internal Faculty Fellow 1983-84, 2004-05

English, Stanford University

"So Much Depends: Poetry and Environmental Urgency"

John has held Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEH, and NEA fellowships. In 1972 he published The Lies of Art: Max Beerbohm's Parody and Caricature. Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu won the California Commonwealth Club Gold Medal. His book on the German-speaking Jewish poet, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew, was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award and the MLA's James Russell Lowell prize, and won the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism.He has edited a Norton anthology of American Jewish literature and Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan. This anthology won the Modern Language Association, American Translators Association, and PEN West translation prizes, and was runner-up for American PEN's translation award, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize, and the British Society of Authors Schlegel-Tieck prize. Felstiner's commitment is to Jewish Studies and to the practical, interpretive, and theoretical implications of literary translation.For his current project, on poetry and environmental awareness, he has worked at the Yaddo, MacDowell, Millay, Djerassi, and Mesa Refuge artists colonies. This is Prof. Felstiner's third fellowship year at the Center.The tension between a human focus and nonhuman nature, emerging in western poetry from the beginning and erupting during the Romantic movement, forms the premise and endpoint of Felstiner's book. In ""So Much Depends: Poetry and Environmental Urgency,"" he shows how the poetry of nature and the nature of poetry have shaped one another for centuries, and how since 1960 or so, environmental and ecologic awareness give that interaction new force - a force rooted in long tradition. Since ecology touches every human concern, a host of historical, social, cultural, ethical, economic, scientific, technological, and political urgencies are stirring a revolution of consciousness. Within it, this book demonstrates how poetry matters essentially. The challenge this book poses, both conceptual and writerly, is to identify (without imposing) a spectrum of increasing ecologic awareness over the last 150 years. During 2004-05 Felstiner intends to complete and then rework the whole manuscript.

Charlotte Fonrobert

Internal Faculty Fellow 2004-05

Religious Studies, Stanford University

"Rabbinic Maps of Urban Identities: The Eruv, Mixed Neighborhoods and Symbolic Boundaries"

Charlotte Fonrobert is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford, and specializes in Judaism, particularly talmudic literature and the construction of gender in this literature. Her current work focuses on the cultural strategies the talmudic rabbis employ to construct their identity as the only valid Jewish identity and on the parallel rabbinic strategies of delegitimizing Jewish cultural alternatives. She is the author of Menstrual Purity: Rabbinic and Christian Reconstructions of Biblical Gender. She completed her graduate training at the Graduate Theological Union.Fonrobert's project, "Rabbinic Maps of Urban Identities: The Eruv, Mixed Neighborhoods and Symbolic Boundaries," intends to analyze the symbolic valence and the cultural significance of a system of Jewish ritual practices, designated by the umbrella term eruv. These practices establish a symbolic unification of a residential community for the purposes of observing the Sabbath. The eruv will be analyzed as a non-territorial strategy of inscribing collective identity into geographical space in general and urban space in particular. This project will form the central part of a book on rabbinic strategies of inscribing Jewish collective identity into the geo-political and cultural space controlled by others. The plan for the book is to map various spatial frameworks and their boundaries imagined by the rabbis. Fonrobert envisions finishing a rough draft of the book by the end of the 2004-05 academic year.

Estelle Freedman

Internal Faculty Fellow 1985-86, 2004-05

History, Stanford University

"The Politics of Rape: Race, Gender, and Social Change in the U.S., 1870-1980"

Estelle Freedman is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. history at Stanford, where she has taught since 1976. She is the recipient of three campus teaching awards and the Roelker Award for graduate mentorship from the American Historical Association.Her publications include two award-winning books on the history of women's prison reform in the U.S. -- Their Sisters' Keepers: Women's Prison Reform in America, 1830-1930, and Maternal Justice: Miriam Van Waters and the Female Reform Tradition -- as well as two synthetic accounts -- Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (with John D'Emilio) and No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.Building on her previous studies of sexuality, crime, and feminism, Freedman's next book, "The Politics of Rape: Gender, Race, and Social Change in America, 1970-1970," will explore how social movements redefined sexual violence in the U.S. from the 1870s to the 1970s. It will illuminate the complex historical legacies that continue to inform social policy concerning sexual violence. Freedman is interested in the changing cultural meanings and legal status of rape in the United States, and in how the treatment of rape illuminates power relationships based on sexuality, gender, and race. In particular, she explores social movements that attempted to redefine rape. These include late nineteenth-century women's rights and free love advocates, Progressive-era opponents of lynching, and left-wing and liberal groups from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s that defended black men accused of rape. Her study will provide the political pre-history for the revival of feminist anti-rape campaigns in the 1970s.

Lela Graybill

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

Art and Art History, Stanford University

"Vulnerable Bodies: Violent Spectacle in Early Post-Enlightenment Europe"

Lela Graybill is a doctoral student in the department of Art and Art History. She received her B.A. in Art History from the University of California at Irvine, and her M.A. in Art History from Stanford University. She is currently writing her dissertation, which examines the emergence of a new phenomenology of violence following the Enlightenment. Graybill's dissertation examines the emergence of new conditions of violent experience after the Enlightenment. While torture and execution were gradually withdrawn from view throughout the long eighteenth century, horrifying spectacles multiplied in painting and print, drawing and even wax. Graybill argues that it is not simply that images of violence found greater visibility in the modern world, but rather that modes of representing violence were so altered as to create for the spectator a singular experience of what may also be regarded as a form of violation, one that occurs in the time of viewing. Where the Old Regime contextualized scenes of corporeal suffering within a religious and political order, violent spectacle of the post-enlightenment moment appealed to the cult of the individual. Direct corporeal address - prominent, visually descriptive presentations of violated and vulnerable bodies - supplanted a more distanced socio-political paradigm for viewing scenes of violence. This spectacularization of violence describes an alteration in the texture of the display of atrocity in the modern world: a trajectory in which visual culture moved away from anxious scenes of pain and suffering towards a phenomenology of sensation and shock.Contextualizing this shift through an examination of Enlightenment debates and new technologies of violence, Graybill will trace three sites of visual production that illuminate the spectacularization of violence in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Considerations of salon painting, the fait divers, and an emerging display culture establish the centrality of spectatorial violence to experiences of selfhood in the wake of the Enlightenment.

Charles Griswold

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

Philosophy, Boston University

"Philosophy and our Discontents: On Reconciling with Imperfection"

Charles Griswold is Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair at Boston University. Prior to 1991, he taught at Howard University, and has also held appointments as Olmsted Visiting Professor in Ethics at Yale, and Professeur invité à l'Université de Paris. His Self-knowledge in Plato's Phaedrus won the American Philosophical Association's Franklin J. Matchette Prize.His second book was an edited work, Platonic Writings, Platonic Readings, and his third is Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment.Griswold has also published on a number of other figures, such as Hobbes, Hegel, Fichte, Gadamer; on themes such as the nature of happiness, liberalism, and perfectionism; on the American Enlightenment, including on the problem of slavery; and on the symbolism of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.He has been awarded a number of grants and Fellowships, including from the NEH, the National Humanities Center, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.Griswold's current book project, tentatively entitled ""Philosophy and our Discontents: on Reconciling with Imperfection,"" offers a philosophical exploration of that ancient and ever pressing issue. Themes of particular importance will include embodiment (in particular, our finitude, physical vulnerability, and the vagaries of the senses and emotions); our nature as social animals (often compared unfavorably to ideals of self-sufficiency, needlessness, and rationality); and political life. Would reconciling with an imperfect world amount to Stoic resignation, reasoned acceptance, joyful affirmation, or some combination thereof? The book will attempt to offer an answer. Griswold expects to have finished his book by August 2005.

Akhil Gupta

Internal Faculty fellow 2004-05

Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford University

"Reincarnating Social Theory"

Akhil Gupta is Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University. His current work focuses on the implications of reincarnation for social theory. Another book project looks at the role of representation and everyday practices in the constitution of states, based on ethnographic research on developmental bureaucracies in north India.He is also working on an edited reader on the anthropology of the state. Gupta's entire post-secondary education was in various departments of engineering, first in mechanical engineering and then culminating in a Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems at Stanford. His first teaching position was at the University of Washington in Seattle in the School of International Studies.In his project, Gupta takes the fact that beliefs in reincarnation are widely accepted in all parts of South Asia to conduct a thought experiment: Would a serious engagement with reincarnation cause a fundamental rethinking of that which is taken-for-granted in cultural, social, and political theory? The planned volume employs reincarnation to rethink and fundamentally question a particular subject area.His year at SHC would be used to write the remaining two chapters and the introduction, and to revise the book so that it achieves a coherence and unity. In the process of doing fieldwork in the Gangetic plains of India, Gupta observed just how ubiquitous were narratives of rebirth. Reincarnation was so much a part of the "common-sense" of the populace that it rarely invited surprise or astonishment.Although his interests in this project are primarily theoretical, he will draw upon some of the reincarnation narratives that he collected during fieldwork, as well as an extensive literature on reincarnation narratives published in magazines and books. In emphasizing reincarnation as a ""social fact,"" Gupta is concerned not with whether reincarnation stories are "really" true or not, but on the fact that people act as if they were true, that is, that they are socially consequential. Gupta's project investigates the implications of a comparative ontology for (western) social and cultural theory. He wishes to use reincarnation to open up a fresh set of questions for existing theoretical positions.

Margaret Lavinia Anderson

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

History, University of California, Berkeley

"The Armenia Genocide: A German Story"

Margaret Lavinia Anderson is Professor of History at the University of California-Berkeley. Educated at William and Mary, Swarthmore College, and Brown, she taught at Swarthmore before coming to Berkeley. She has written on various aspects of 19th and early 20th century German politics and as well as on the Catholic religious revival in 19th century Europe.Her most recent book is Practicing Democracy. Elections and Political Culture in Imperial Germany.Anderson's project examines the relationship between Germany, the Ottoman Empire, and that empire's Armenians in an age of imperialism, total war, and genocide. The controversy within Germany between the rival claims of humanity and reason of state illuminates a key moment in the "democratization" of foreign policy, when the unprecedented efforts of groups competing to determine Germany's stance towards the Turks threatened the government's traditional monopoly over foreign policy and forced its leaders to seek ways to influence their own public, short of entering the public square itself. By returning the "Eastern Question" to its central position in Europe's long 19th century, she hopes to expand our understanding of Europe's own horizons; to explore the relationship between Germany's authoritarian institutions and its open society during the Great War and beyond; and to deepen our understanding of factors enabling genocide and the hard choices of people torn between patriotism and wider circles of obligation. Ultimately, she hopes that by bridging the gap between domestic politics and foreign-military policy, the book that emerges will allow a richer, more sophisticated understanding German political culture and pose questions about the possible relation between morality and policy choices that are still very much with us.

Barnabas Malnay

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

Political Science, Stanford University

"Supranationalism and Identity Layering in Spanish Catalonia"

Barnabas Malnay is a PhD student in Stanford's Political Science Department. He holds an M.A. in Political Science from Stanford, and a M.Phil. in Social Theory from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He has been awarded a Humane Studies Fellowship by the Institute for Humane Studies, a New Democracy Fellowship by the Institute of International Studies, and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and a British Chevening Award.Malnay's research focuses on questions related to identity layering and supranational identity politics. He is seeking an explanation as to why some people have come to identify with larger-than-national political units, such as their continent or their religion comprising the population of several countries; what, if anything, about such supranational identification is historically novel; and when do supranational identities complement, and when do they eclipse, national and ethnic identities. Malnay intends to argue that due both to the increased facility of communication and interaction across large distances and to the commitment to the - nominally - horizontal organization of individuals (as opposed to their mere subjection), the transaction costs of the coordination of individuals across national boundaries have been gradually decreasing, which has fueled the perception that the formation of larger-that-national ""imagined communities"" is now possible.

Christine McBride

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

English, Stanford University

"From Story to Style: Interlevel Dialogism in Literary Impressionist Narratives by Henry James"

Christine McBride is a Ph.D. candidate in English literature at Stanford. She is currently at work on a dissertation which theorizes disavowal in narrative, through the lens of Henry James's ""romantic"" tales and impressionist novels. Her fields of interest include narrative theory, modernism, Victorian fiction and modern American poetry.The prospect of material and epistemological ""possession"" propels the story-line in a majority of Henry James's narratives from the middle and late phases (1888-1903), yet James's work remains divided, formally, between offering a sober critique of the acquisitive impulse and a vicarious indulgence of that impulse. ""From Story to Style"" argues that, in James's ""romantic"" and impressionist fictions of this period, the axiological and ontological instability which accords to possession reflects James's own artistic struggle to disavow the novel's complicity with bourgeois consumption.

Christopher Morris

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

History, University of Texas at Arlington

"A Big Muddy River Runs Through It: An Environment History of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Its Peoples Since 1500"

Christopher Morris was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, before attending the University of Florida, from which he took his doctorate. At present he lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, historian Stephanie Cole, and their two children. He is a member of the History Department at the University of Texas at Arlington.Morris's project, "A Big Muddy River Runs Through It," examines the relationship between people and environment in the Mississippi Valley below the Ohio River over the last 500 years, from precontact hunter-gatherer bands and chiefdoms to present-day industrial and even post-industrial (i.e. casino gambling, tourism) society. The valley's rich environment, the way in which agriculture was forced upon it, the subsequent legacy of environmental poverty, and the recent efforts to come to grips with that legacy, provide the book's primary themes.

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

History, Stanford University

"Constructing Authority: Actual and Representational Ascendancy in the Astur Kingdom"

Teresa Nava-Vaughn is a PhD candidate in the department of History at Stanford University. Her current work examines the complex mechanisms for building identity and legitimacy and the evolution of kingship ideology in the early medieval Astur kingdom. Nava-Vaughn's dissertation, on which she is working this year at the Humanities Center, explores Asturian textual, architectural, and archaeological sources and compares these with similar materials from other kingdoms developing alongside the Carolingian empire.Nava-Vaughn holds a M.A in History from Stanford University and a B.A. in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Maryland, College Park.Nava-Vaughn's dissertation tells the story of the Asturian kingship, from the beginning of the kingdom until its fusion with the Kingdom of León. As a historical enterprise, her project is partly empirical and recuperative, contributing to knowledge of a specific era and clarifying a previously obscured intersection of secular and sacred authority in early medieval Spain. It is an analysis of how the earliest Asturian kings built a kingdom and how the last restructured their history that became a foundation for later ideas of Spanish royal power - ideas that culminated with the expansion of Spain into the New World. Nava-Vaughn's goal in exploring a wide variety of source genres is to gain a deeper understanding of the evolution of kingship ideology and how it was perceived and presented. By exploring models created for other developing kingdoms outside Spain, the major contribution of her dissertation will be in drawing larger conclusions about early medieval kingship and representations of power relevant beyond the small community of historians of medieval Spain.Last year Nava-Vaughn completed a stay as a Visiting Scholar at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid, where she analyzed the specific changes in the written sources and archaeological sites pertinent to her investigation. I am now in the writing phase of her dissertation, which she plans to complete by June 2005.

Brad Pasanek

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

English, Stanford University

"The Mind is a Figure of Speech: A Database of Eighteenth Century Metaphors of Mind"

Brad Pasanek is a fifth-year graduate student in the English department at Stanford University. He is interested in the uses of figurative language in eighteenth-century literature and philosophy of mind. Brad spends much of his time searching electronic collections of literature for figures of speech. His dissertation is about ""metaphors of mind"" in literature and philosophy and describes the eighteenth-century careers of certain tropes and pictures.Before studying at Stanford, Brad taught high school in Hoboken, New York City, and Pittsburgh. Some time before that he was a college student at the University of Chicago.Brad is writing a history of the way people talked about the mind in the eighteenth-century England, trying to expand the usual philosophical histories (which cover Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and maybe Reid) to include second- and third-string philosophers, poets, essayists, novelists, etc. He is not strictly interested in who got what right when or which attempts were most philosophically rigorous, but rather what was said, what seemed believable, how theories get put together, taken apart, overturned, and renovated; what ordinary people seemed to think about the mind; what was written about the mind in competing literary genres; how philosophical systems get reduced to metaphors and catchphrases, misunderstood, and proliferated.

Harsha Ram

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of California at Berkeley

"The Peripheral Avant-garde: Futurist Movements in Russia and the Caucus"

Born in New Delhi, India, Harsha Ram was educated on four continents - chiefly Australia - all the while in search of a fifth, the lost Atlantis of literature.Books and alphabets have provided him fragmentary maps, and foreign tongues have revealed the partial transparencies of local knowledge and the more uncanny intensities of articulated sound. Fascinated by literature and poetry from a young age, Ram seeks to trace genealogies of poetic forms and aesthetic paradigms against the shaping and dissolving forces of history.Educated in Comparative Literature at Yale University and currently teaching Russian and other literatures at the University of California at Berkeley, Ram is the author of The Imperial Sublime: A Russian Poetics of Empire. He is currently working on a study of the interaction between Russian and Georgian poets, intellectuals and artists during the revolutionary and early Soviet periods (1915-1930).Ram's project, "The Periphgeral Avant-garde: Modernism and Revolution in Tbilisi, Georgia, 1916-1930," is a book-length comparative study of the modernist movements in literature and the visual arts that flourished in the aftermath of the Russian revolution of 1917 in Transcaucasia, a boundary region located between Russia and the Islamic Near East. The avant-garde artistic movements of the region, centered around the Georgian capital Tbilisi, arose from the cross-fertilization that occurred between Russian writers and artists visiting the region and local Georgian intellectuals who were seeking to respond to the challenges posed by imported models of artistic practice and political change. Even as Ram's research focuses on some of the most highly experimental writing ever written, it will also address the two larger contexts that make the case of the Transcaucasian avant-gardes particularly instructive: revolutionary socialism and the legacies of nineteenth-century colonialism.

Mary Rose

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

Linguistics, Stanford University

"Mining the Golden Years: How Elders' Speech Informs Sociolinguistic Theory"

Mary Rose is a PhD candidate in the Linguistics Department at Stanford. She is from Virginia, and she studies linguistic variation, a.k.a. dialects, in spoken and signed languages, language and gender, discourses of medicine and science, and the structure of American Sign Language. Her project at the Center this year investigates the social meaning of dialect features among older people (or "senior citizens") in rural Wisconsin. She holds a Master's degree in linguistics from Gallaudet University.What if we viewed the way older people talk as representative of a lifetime's accumulation of linguistic experience, rather than as a relic of history? Rose's dissertation, "Language, Place and Identity in Later Life," is an ethnographic study of the social meaning of linguistic variation among elders in a small, rural community. During several months' fieldwork at the Senior Center in a small Wisconsin town, Rose interviewed 45 people aged 66 to100, retired farmers and farmers' wives, businessmen, homemakers, teachers, and cheese factory workers. The rich interview and field data she collected allows her to pursue three aims in her dissertation: 1) to describe the dialect of a previously unstudied region; 2) to show how the complex social dynamics of rural areas, often ignored in sociolinguistic research, influence language change; and 3) to show how our theories about social meaning and linguistic practice become more complex when older people become the focus.

Greg Shaya

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

History, College of Wooster

"Revisiting the Spectacle of the Scaffold: The Public Execution in France, 1800-1939"

Greg Shaya is an assistant professor of history at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, where he has taught since 2001. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan.He is completing a book manuscript, Mayhem for Moderns: Sensationalism and Public Emotion in France, c. 1900, which examines the cultural forms and political functions of the reporting of crime and catastrophe in the burgeoning mass press of France at the turn of the twentieth century. His current research project explores the publicity of execution in nineteenth and twentieth-century France.For his project, "Revisiting the Spectacle of the Scaffold: The Public Execution in france, 1800-1939," Shaya's central research questions are these: Why did the public execution last so much later in France than in the rest of Western Europe? And what should we take from these portraits of the execution crowd? What do they say about broader anxieties regarding the public? He approaches these questions through a series of sources: parliamentary debates, the reporting of public execution and the crowd in the press, execution songs and broadsides, literary accounts and police memoirs of executions, the recommendations of jurists and criminal anthropologists, photographs and films of real and imagined executions, and the extensive state archives on capital punishment. Shaya aims to examine these sources from the early nineteenth-century reforms of public punishment (in 1832) down to the privatization of the execution (in 1939) in order to explain the significance of the public execution and the public execution debate to French politics and culture.

James Sheehan

Internal Faculty Fellow 2004-05

History, Stanford University

"The Monopoly of Violence: War and the State in Twentieth Century Europe"

James J. Sheehan is Dickason Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University. He was written widely on modern German history; his most recent book is on German art museums in the nineteenth century. He is now writing a study of the changing relationship of war and the European state since 1900. Sheehan received his A.B. from Stanford and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.Sheehan's project, entitled "The Monopoly of Violence: War and the State in Twentieth-Century Europe," proceeds from the assumption that states were best defined and understood in terms of their claim to monopolize legitimate violence, and especially their claim to the right to wage war, the most concentrated and significant form of political violence. He intends to trace the changing meaning of these claims for the history of European states from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Sheehan argues that in 1900, the state's monopoly of violence was the most important source and expression of its existence; a state was, above all else, a set of institutions with the right and the capacity to wage war. In 2003, this is no longer the case. European states may still have the formal capacity and legal right to make war, but that is not what makes them states. The ways in which states justify their power now has other sources and different goals.

Peter Vargyas

External Faculty Fellow 2004-05

Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Pecs

"Before Coinage: Money, Prices, and Economy in the Ancient Near East"

Peter Vargyas is professor of ancient history and presently head of Department of Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Pecs, Hungary. He has written extensively on economic history of ancient Mesopotamia and Ugarit.Vargyas' current work examines the role of silver in the ancient Near East, based on both written and archaeological sources, which will be the subject of a forthcoming book with the working title "Before Coinage: A History of Money in the Ancient Near East." A comparison of archaeological and textual materials will result in a new understanding of the role of money and market in Mesopotamia and Egypt and challenges both the substantivist approach of Polanyi and his followers and Rostovtceff's thesis of ancient capitalism.

Brett Whalen

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

History, Stanford University

"Salvation History and the Division of Christendom, 1050-1300"

Brett Whalen was born in Montpelier, Vermont. His fascination with the Middle Ages began at the Children's Library with a book on Charlemagne and The Hobbit. Catholic school also left its stamp upon his intellectual interests. The University of Vermont, where he took his BA and MA, opened the door to the doctoral program at Stanford, located in the more salubrious climate of California. Bookish by nature, he also enjoys hiking, camping and traveling, particularly with his wife, Malissa.Whalen's dissertation, tentatively entitled "Salvation History and the Division of Christendom (1050-1300)," argues that Latin Christians understood the religious division between themselves and the Greeks in much more sophisticated and ambivalent terms than simple dislike. His research examines how Western clerical authors interpreted the divergence between the churches as a part of God's historical dispensation for human redemption. Church figures presented the division of Christendom and its foreseen apocalyptic reunion as part of a divine plan for history, one which prioritized the authority of the Roman church and religion of its Western followers. Whalen's approach to the problem of Latin and Greek difference takes us away from the narrow topic of their institutional schism and raises questions of religious identity that are usually associated with normative Christian attitudes toward heretics, Jews and Muslims. Sources for this project include works of Latin exegesis (i.e. biblical commentaries), theology and hagiography, chronicles, papal correspondence, apocalyptic commentaries, prophecies and anti-Greek polemics.

Erica Yao

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2004-05

Art and Art History, Stanford University

"Systems of Display at the Qing Dynasty Court: Visual Culture in Eighteenth-Century China"

Erica Yao is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford, studying display and visual culture at the imperial palace in eighteenth-century China. Her other research interests include: programs of collecting and cataloguing as well as cross-cultural exchange, particularly as witnessed in Chinese imperial commissions.Yao's dissertation project examines how eighteenth-century emperors and courtiers of China designed their surroundings to substantiate aspects of their imperium. Through three case studies, she explores how the overt display of imperial objects was purposefully contrived by cultural politics - a practice distinct from previous Chinese traditions of concealing imperial treasures for safekeeping. Because objects were not viewed in isolation but rather formed a system that generated meaning through juxtaposition and presentation, Yao's project considers the cultural and intellectual apparatuses, as well as the political and material economies, that governed environments for display at the imperial palace. Yao examines the production, presentation, and practice of the ideological display and staging of empire and culture. Her approach to researching systems of display is grounded in the ways objects were ideologically understood in the mid-Qing court. Unpacking this aspect of visual culture, which resulted from the hybridization of native, peripheral, and foreign cultures by the imperial center and which affected current tastes and production, consequently provides a more nuanced understanding of cultural practices during the Qing dynasty.