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Current Center Fellows: 2007-2008

Samy Alim

External Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

"Speech is our Hammer: Verbal Mujahidin in the Transglobal Hip Hop Umma"

Samy Alim is an Assistant Professor in UCLA's Anthropology department.His most recent books include Roc the Mic Right(Routledge, 2006), You Know My Steez(Duke, 2004) and Tha Global Cipha(Black History Museum, 2006). Research interests include language and race, global Hip Hop Culture(s), and the Muslim world.Broadly, this project explores a contemporary face of Islam, addressing questions about the relationship between spirituality, popular culture, and verbal art. In particular, I explore how Muslim Hip Hop artists, as verbal mujahidin, creatively forge linguistic links between Hip Hop texts and Islamic texts and the tensions that arise as they negotiate these seemingly incompatible, contradictory identities.

Facundo Alonso

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

Philosophy, Stanford University

"Shared Intention, Reliance, and Interpersonal Obligations"

Facundo Alonso is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Stanford.He received his Licenciatura in Economics and his Licenciatura in Political Science at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and his M. A. in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. His current research focuses on the philosophy of shared agency.Shared Intention, Reliance, and Interpersonal Obligations aims to provide a satisfactory account of the central psychological and normative aspects of shared intention and action. Alonso proposes a compromise position with regard to the relative significance of socio-psychological structures and of interpersonal obligations and rights in a proper understanding of shared intention and action. His thesis is that shared intention is constituted by complex relations of mutual reliance that ensure, under normal circumstances, the existence of important interpersonal obligations and rights.

Jeremy Braddock

External Faculty Fellow 2007-08

English, Cornell University

"The Modernist Collector and Black Modernity, 1914-1934"

Jeremy Braddock (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania 2002) is Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University. He specializes in twentieth-century American literature, with particular interests in transatlantic modernism, African American literature, forms of authorship, and visual culture.He has co-edited two collections of essays: Directed by Allen Smithee (U Minnesota P, 2002), a study of directorial pseudonyms in Hollywood; and "Paris, Modern Fiction, and the Black Atlantic," a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies (winter 2005).The Modernist Collector and Black Modernity, 1914-1934 is a study of four figures who participated in the struggle to determine the ways in which modernism would, or would not, transform cultural institutions. The project foregrounds collections of texts and objects that represented black culture together with what would become known as "high modernism," and considers these Anglo-American and African American practices in relation to the contemporary theories of Walter Benjamin for whom collecting was both a private mode of self-expression and a potentially revolutionary form of historical knowledge.

Michael Bratman

Donald Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Philosophy, Stanford University

"Shared Action, Shared Intention, Shared Valuing"

Michael E. Bratman is U. G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.He is the author of Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (1987), Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency (1999), Structures of Agency: Essays (2007) and various articles in the philosophy of action and related fields.I aim to write a book about shared agency -- about what it is to act together – and about associated phenomena of shared intention and shared valuing. My approach draws on and extends conceptual resources provided by my earlier work on what I have called the planning theory of intention.

Gerald Bruns

Marta Sutton Weeks Faculty Fellow 2007-08

English, University of Notre Dame

"Singular Poetries: The Writings of Susan Howe and Lyn Hejinian"

Gerald L. Bruns is The William P. & Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.His current interests are in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics. On the Anarchy of Poetry and Philosophy: A Guide for the Unruly is his most recent book.Professor Bruns will be working on a close study of the poetry and poetics of Susan Howe and Lyn Hejinian against the background of modernist aesthetics.

Giovanna Ceserani

Internal Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Classics, Stanford University

"Archaeologies of Magna Graecia: Scholarship at the Margins of Modern Hellenism"

Giovanna Ceserani works on the classical tradition with an emphasis on the intellectual history of classical scholarship, historiography and archaeology from the eighteenth century onwards. Now at Stanford, she has studied and taught in Italy, England and France - the countries on which most of her research focuses.My project on the history of the study of Magna Graecia – the area of ancient Greek settlement in Southern Italy – throws new light on the turn to ancient Greece crucial to humanism and the production of knowledge in the humanities over the last three centuries. Archaeology – which ranges across fields from aesthetics to material culture, from political diplomacy to institution building – offers a multidisciplinary perspective on the history of Hellenism, while the focus on Magna Graecia – a region at the margins of the modern version of the Classical ideal – questions entrenched progressivist narratives of nationalism and scientific advancement of knowledge.

James Clifford

Marta Sutton Weeks Faculty Fellow, 2007-08

History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Transitional Futures: Indigenous Cultural Politics Today"

Raised in New York City and Vermont, James Clifford attended Haverford College and Stanford before receiving his PhD in Social and Intellectual History from Harvard in 1977. For the past 28 years he has taught in the interdisciplinary History of Consciousness PhD program at U. C. Santa Cruz. His work has focused on a historical and methodological critique of anthropology, ethnography, and exoticism more generally, including travel, collecting and museographic practices.Traditional Futures: Indigenous Cultural Politics Today. The book project explores the relatively recent emergence of “indigenous” politics—articulated on local, national, regional and transnational scales. Through case studies from Native California, Melanesia and Alaska, it attempts to develop a comparative ethnographic and historical approach to complex transformations and contestations around identity, culture and history.

Babacar Fall

Humanities and International Studies Fellow 2007-08

History, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal

"History vs. Literature: Between Conflict and Convergence- Life Histories and Social and Political Change in Senegal, 1945-1968"

Professor Babacar Fall is teaching at the FASTEF - School of Education of the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Sénégal. He is the author of many publications on education and social history as well as the Coordinator of GEEP ( and Chair of SchoolnetAfrica ( research project draws on the life histories of social and political activists to highlight the role of unions in Senegal’s history from 1945 to 1968. While much of the emphasis has been on political parties, the evolution of the labor market and the role of salaried workers and unions remains understated.

Christelle Fischer Bovet

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-0

8Classics, Stanford University

"Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt"

Christelle received her License ès Lettres in History, Ancient Greek, and French at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2001) and her MA in Classics from Stanford University. She worked as a research assistant at the Fonds National Suisse and is currently a Ph.D candidate in the Classics department at Stanford. By combining the extraordinarily rich documentation of Ptolemaic Egypt with social theory, my dissertation sheds new light on how military institutions shaped power structures within villages and between local and central state institutions. The aim of this project is to explore the organization of the army, its role in society as a vehicle for land distribution, as a provider of group solidarity and social networks, and finally as a place of interaction between Greek and Egyptian culture.

Mikael Hörnqvist

External Faculty Fellow 2007-08

History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, Sweden

"Machiavelli and Justice"

Mikael Hörnqvist teaches at Uppsala University. He is the author of Machiavelli and Empire (Cambridge UP 2004) and a number of articles on Renaissance political thought. His current research deals with pre-modern, modern and postmodern conceptions of empire with a particular focus on Machiavelli, Tocqueville and contemporary debates on American global hegemony.THE INVISIBLE STATESMAN: EMPIRE, LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FROM MACHIAVELLI TO TOCQUEVILLE : The project explores a largely neglected tradition of republican and liberal thinking on justice, liberty and empire. In particular, it focuses on how justice in the thought of Niccolò Machiavelli and Alexis de Tocqueville is seen as the outcome of a successful and judicial balancing of the conflicting demands of equality, liberty and democracy on the one hand, and empire, expansion or progress on the other.

Paul Kiparsky

Violet Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Linguistics, Stanford University

"Amphichronic Linguistics"

Paul Kiparsky received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1965 and taught there until he joined Stanford's linguistics department in 1984. He is interested in how sounds and words are structured, how the meaning of words determines their syntactic properties, how languages change, and what all this tells us about the mind.Language is the only culturally transmitted system that is subject to genuinely lawlike historical processes: phonetic change is exceptionless, and some types of change are intrinsically unidirectional and irreversible. These regularities make possible such powerful tools of historical linguistics as the comparative method of linguistic reconstruction. Although we use these remarkable properties of change freely we still don't know why they hold; even their precise scope remains controversial. They have been attributed to speech production and perception, the discontinuity oflanguage transmission, and a putative innate predisposition for organizing language into particular kinds of mental structures. I propose to develop the amphichronic approach and to apply it to some central aspects of syntax and phonology that I have previously worked on extensively from the more traditional synchronic and/or historical perspectives, and for which abundant typological, historical, and acquisition data is available. In syntax, I will focus on the devices that mark grammatical relations (case and agreement inflections, word order, and their interactions). In phonology, I have chosen prosodic phonology (especially stress and quantity) and harmony systems.

Jenna Lay

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

English, Stanford University

"They Will Not Be Penned Up in Any Cloister: Nuns, Recusants, and the Development of Protestant Literary History"

Jenna Lay is a Ph.D. candidate in English. She received her B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is currently writing a dissertation on early seventeenth-century Catholic Englishwomen. Her related interests include early modern women’s writing and the literary intersections among gender, religion, and politics.“They Wil Not Be Penned Up in Any Cloister”: Nuns, Recusants, and the Development of Protestant Literary History examines Catholic women and their influence on the literature of early modern England over a period of approximately fifty-five years: from the establishment of the first new English continental convent in 1598 to the publication of Richard Crashaw's Carmen Deo Nostro in 1652. By examining the ideological concepts—including chastity, enclosure, obedience, and education—that were central to depictions of female monasticism in literature and in the writings of nuns and recusant women, Lay reveals how female Catholicism continued to shape English culture long after the break with Rome.

Benjamin Lazier

External Faculty Fellow 2007-08

History, Reed College

"The New Organicism: A History of Earth and Artifact in Twentieth-Century Thought"

Benjamin Lazier is Assistant Professor of History and Humanities at Reed College, where he teaches in the fields of European intellectual history, the history of religion, the history of social action movements, and the history of technology. He is also the author of a book, Redemption Through Sin: Judaism and Heresy in Twentieth-Century Thought (forthcoming, Princeton UP).European thought of the twentieth century has taken as one of its prevailing themes the modern reign of the artifactual over the natural. My project focuses on one of the more curious reactions to this displacement of the grown by the made: the revival of teleology, the idea that natural organisms are endowed with will, autonomy and purpose. In jurisprudence, philosophy, political theory and bioethics, I aim to demonstrate how we have reimagined natural objects available for human manipulation as subjects, as agents that make claims upon human action.

Steven Lee

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University

"Cold War Multiculturalism: The Clash of American and Soviet Models of Difference"

Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in Stanford's Modern Thought and Literature program. In 2001-02 he was among the inaugural group of Fulbright students to be sent to the Central Asian Republics, where he compared Soviet Korean and Korean American literatures and histories. A graduate of Amherst College, for 2007-08 he is also recipient of a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship."Cold War Multiculturalism" traces the interactions of American and Soviet conceptualizations of difference, focusing on how socialist internationalism shaped ethnic literatures and liberal pluralism in the U.S. Examining Jewish American, African American, and Asian American literatures from the 1910s through the 1990s, it seeks to understand how particularism gained currency in post-war America--in part as a counter to the Soviet "friendship of peoples."

Miriam Leonard

External Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Classics, University College London

"Greeks, Jews, and the Enlightenment"

Miriam Leonard teaches Classics at University College London. Her research explores the intellectual history of classics in modern European thought from Hegel to Derrida. She is author of Athens in Paris (OUP, 2005) and co-editor of Laughing with Medusa: classical myth and feminist thought (OUP, 2006).Greeks, Jews and the Enlightenment investigates how an opposition between Hebraism and Hellenism was central to the engagement with the past in post-Enlightenment Europe. With a specific focus on Germany, it argues that this antithesis played a crucial role in the development of Classics as a discipline and reveals how the figures of the ‘Greek’ and the ‘Jew’ have been integral to the construction of modernity.

Carol Loeb Shloss

Ellen Andrews Wright Faculty Fellow 2007-08

English, Stanford University

"Treason's Child: Mary de Rachewiltz and the Real Estate of Ezra Pound"

Carol Loeb Shloss is currently Acting Professor of English at Stanford University. Educated at Swarthmore, Harvard and Brandeis, she has held previous positions at Wesleyan University, West Chester University and the University of Pennsylvania. She has received previous fellowships from the Wesleyan Center for the Humanities, The Bunting Institute of Harvard University, the Center for Documentary Photography at Duke, the Alice Paul Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the Center for the Cross Cultural Study of Women at Oxford University, the Harry Ransom Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. She has also received awards from the NEH and in 1995 was a Pew Fellow in the Arts in Creative Non-Fiction Writing.This project is a biography of Mary de Rachewiltz, poet, translator and the only daughter of the American poet, Ezra Pound. It explores the intricacies of Pound’s family relationships and the effects of international geopolitics on the lives of those surrounding them, especially leading up to and following his indictment for treason in 1943.

David Lummus

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

French & Italian, Stanford University

"Boccaccio's Human Mythology: Myth and Humanism in the Works of Giovanni Boccaccio"

Liisa Malkki

Internal Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford University

Liisa Malkki has worked on issues of genocide and political violence, mass displacement and exile, memory and history, in East and Central Africa. Her current research centres on the transnational politics of humanitarianism; she has conducted anthropological field research with medical professionals of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). More generally, her interests include: religion and secularism; internationalism and one worldism; art and visuality; and child research.Figuring the Human, Moralizing World Order begins with an historical excavation of three "ways of world-making" past (internationalism, one worldism, and Cold War logics). It then traces how these older visions still shape the current politics of humanitarianism and the political imagination of peace and "world order".

Kristin Monroe

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford University

"Mobile Citizens: Space, Power, and the Remaking of Beirut"

Jessica Payette

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-0

8Music, Stanford University

"Seismographic Screams: 'Erwartung's' Reverberations through Twentieth-Century Culture"

Faviola Rivera-Castro

Humanities and International Studies Fellow 2007-08

Philosophy, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

"Toleration, Secularization, and Citizenship in Mexican Liberalism"

Professor Rivera-Castro's research interests include the History of Modern Moral and Political Philosophy (Hume, Kant, Liberalism, and Social Contract Theory); Contemporary political philosophy (Liberalism,Citizenship, and Global Justice).Toleration, Secularization, and Citizenship in Mexican liberalism is a study in the relation between ideal theory and non-ideal conditions.

Richard Roberts

Donald Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow 2007-08

History, Stanford University

"Colonialism, the Rule of Law, and Bargains of Collaboration: An African Life Astride the Transition to Colonialism in French West Africa, 1879-1918"

Richard Roberts is Professor of History and Director of the Center for African Studies at Stanford University. His PhD is from the University of Toronto and has been teaching at Stanford since 1980. He has published widely on French West African history including economic history, the end of slavery, and household conflicts as seen in court cases.My project examines Faama Mademba Sy, a post-and-telegraph clerk, who was appointed an African king by the French, abused power, and was subject to a colonial legal hearing on his actions. On one level, this is a micro-social history of a relatively obscure part of a far-flung colonial world that on another level raises important new ways of understanding colonialism and the competing logics of different regimes of power and authority during the transitional phases of the implantation of colonialism. Intermediaries like Mademba made colonialism possible.

Natalie Rouland

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

English, Stanford University

"'These Confusions of Lewd Tongues:' Linguistic Diversity in Early Modern England, 1509-1625"

Christopher Rovee

Internal Faculty Fellow 2007-08

English, Stanford University

"Disposed to Critique: Waste and the Lyric from Wordsworth to Wilde"

Rovee is Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University. He is the author of Imagining the Gallery: The Social Body of British Romanticism. He is especially interested in the social meanings of decay and deterioration, and is currently working on three projects related to this: a book on refuse and art; a creative biography of William Morris; and a study of ruins and the picturesque in early photographic discourse.Waste and the Lyric considers the value of the aesthetic in an overproductive nineteenth century. Examining the rampant association of art with refuse in Victorian Britain, the study focuses special attention on the lyric, which serves as a crux in debates about the place of art in an age of common-sensical utilitarianism.

Michael Shanks

Violet Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow 2007-08

Classics, Stanford University

"Making Material Culture"

Michael Shanks is the Omar and Althea Dwyer Hoskins Professor of Classical Archaeology at Stanford. His research interests include the history of archaeological engagements with the past, and design in Graeco-Roman antiquity. Making material culture: archaeological case studies in the history and theory of design.

Ema Vyroubalova

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2007-08

English, Stanford University