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Current Center Fellows: 2008-2009

Rachel Ahern

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2008-09

Classics, Stanford University

"The Rhetoric of Homeric Speech"

Rachel Ahern is a doctoral candidate in Classics at Stanford.She received her A.B. in Classics from Harvard University and her M.St in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature from Oxford University. Along with her primary focus on Greek epic and rhetoric, her research interests include Greek lyric, Roman epic, and literary translation.The Rhetoric of Homeric Speech reconsiders prevailing accounts of the origins of rhetoric in Greece by positing the existence of a consistent rhetorical awareness within the direct speeches of Homer’s Iliad, based on the fact that these speeches exhibit many of the techniques that characterize rhetoric as it is later defined and systematized by Aristotle. By demonstrating a relationship between rhetorical theory and poetic representation of speech, this project probes the permeability of genre and of boundaries between prose and poetry, between literature and societal practice, in ancient Greece.

Arto Anttila

Internal Faculty Fellow 2008-09

Linguistics, Stanford University

"Choice and Chance: Rhythm in Language

Arto Anttila is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Stanford and Adjunct Professor (dosentti) of General Linguistics at the University of Helsinki.His research focuses on the sound systems of natural languages, language variation, and the structure of Finnish and English.This project connects two independent hypotheses about language and its use. The first hypothesis is that rhythm plays an important role in shaping linguistic expressions; the second hypothesis is that the grammar of a language is a flexible system characterized by variation that involves choices among competing alternative expressions. The goal of the project is to show how rhythm and variation together shape the structure of both speech and writing, drawing on evidence from two unrelated languages, English and Finnish.

Martin Berger

External Faculty Fellow 2008-09

History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Civil Rights and Photography: The White Struggle over Black Agency"

Martin Berger (Ph.D. Yale, American Studies) is Professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz.He is the author of two books: Man Made: Thomas Eakins and the Construction of Gilded Age Manhood (California of California Press, 2000) and Sight Unseen: Whiteness and American Visual Culture (University of California Press, 2005), the latter of which won the John C. Cawelti Award from the American Culture Association.Civil Rights Photography: The White Struggle Over Black Agency illustrates how the most iconic, and frequently reproduced, photographs of Civil Rights preserved many of the racial inequalities against which African Americans struggled. The argument is not that the photographs contained vestiges of older racial values that had yet to ebb away, but that their success in generating northern white sympathy for blacks was predicated on the reactionary views on race that the images reproduced. By examining the creation and circulation of Civil Rights photographs—and by situating them in relation to other “liberal” white depictions of blacks—the book illuminates how the disparate reactions of progressive and reactionary whites to scenes of black victimization have long masked a racial investment in inequality that virtually all whites shared.

Megan Bryson

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2008-09

Religious Studies, Stanford University

"The Domestication of Baijie Shengfei: Gender and Ethnicity in Chinese Religion"

Megan Bryson is a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies.She received her B.A. in Religious Studies and Chinese from the University of Oregon and is currently writing a dissertation on gender and ethnicity in the religion of China’s Bai ethnic group. For 2008-2009 she is also a graduate dissertation fellow at the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research.The Domestication of Baijie Shengfei: Gender and Ethnicity in Chinese Religion follows the transformations of the goddess Baijie from her first appearance as a Buddhist figure during the Dali Kingdom (937-1253) to her current identity as a legendary chaste widow worshipped as a tutelary deity. This dissertation focuses on the issues of Buddhism, ethnicity, and gender in the cult of Baijie as they relate to the theme of domestication, namely, how the Bai turned imports from the Chinese interior – such as Buddhism and the chastity cult – into expressions of their ethnic identity as represented by Baijie.

Terry Castle

Internal Faculty Fellow 2008-09, 1986-87

English, Stanford University

"Rococophilia- British Modernism and the Eighteenth Century"

Terry Castle specializes in the early British novel, the literature of the First World War, the history of British modernism, gay and lesbian writing and literature and the visual arts. She has published eight books and writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Atlantic, New Republic, and other well-known journals. Rococophilia describes the 'rococophile' turn taken in British taste following the Great War---the widespread popular revival of interest in the literature, art, and culture of the eighteenth century. Via the work of Woolf, the Sitwells, Wyndham Lewis, T.S. Eliot, and other talismanic postwar figures, I hope to show the shaping role of this 'rococophilia' in the evolution of British modernism and how eighteenth-century styles and attitudes--artistic, intellectual, and psychological-- facilitated a kind of 'deep reflection' on the war and its devastations.

Guoqiang Dong

Humanities and International Studies Fellow 2008-09History, Nanjing University, China"The Cultural Revolution at Nanjing University as Social History"

Professor Guoqiang Dong received his Ph.D in 2002 from Nanjing University. His doctoral dissertation was “Modern Chinese Liberalist Intellectuals and their Political Trends—1910-1930.” He currently teaches courses concerning modern Chinese history at Nanjing University and the Hopkins Nanjing Center, and focuses his research on the Chinese Cultural Revolution.The forthcoming book The Cultural Revolution at Nanjing University as Social History will chronologically analyze important incidents that occurred at Nanjing University during 1966-1976, which can show us in greater detail what the Cultural Revolution meant to ordinary people and how they chose to play or were forced to play a role in it. I believe this new dimension should offer a deeper understanding of the Cultural Revolution as a whole, as well as help to explain the structural flaws of the Stalinist-Maoist political model.

Johanna Drucker

Digital Humanities Fellow 2008-09

Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

"Diagramming Interpretation"

Johanna Drucker is known for her publications on the history of visual forms in graphic design, experimental poetics, and art. Her most recent book publication, a collaboration with Emily McVarish, is Graphic Design History (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008). SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing (Chicago, 2008) is forthcoming. She has just been appointed to the Breslauer Chair at UCLA.Diagramming Interpretation: The information visualizations in the form of interactive maps, timelines, and other data displays integrated into digital humanities depend on software based in quantitative and empirical methods that are at odds with the humanistic idea of interpretation as rhetorical, historical, and performative. I propose to study the history of diagrams through a critical framework appropriate to the design challenges for creating the subjective, inflected, and annotated processes central to humanistic inquiry.

Dan Edelstein

Internal Faculty Fellow 2008-09

French & Italian, Stanford University

"The Genesis of Enlightenment"

Dan Edelstein is an assistant professor of French at Stanford. His book, The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism in Eighteenth-Century France, 1699-1794, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. His current project is a critical reassessment of Horkheimer and Adorno's claims about the Enlightenment, mythology, and twentieth-century ideologies. This project reassess the controversial relationship between Enlightenment thought, modern mythology, and totalitarian ideologies, famously suggested by Horkheimer and Adorno in their Dialectic of Enlightenment. While disputing their fundamental claims, I suggest that the philosophes’ desire to “naturalize” their arguments often resulted in the production of counter-mythologies, some of which persisted into the twentieth century.

Jan Estep

Art Department, University of Minnesota

Jan Estep is an artist, writer and trained philosopher. She works on a range of creative projects, including text-centric images, scripted narrative video, and critical essays about art, many of which investigate the function and power of language. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches art and critical theory.Conceptualized as a book, Searching for Ludwig Wittgenstein: A word is worth 1/1000 of an image will explore Ludwig Wittgenstein’s arguments about the centrality of language to the human experience, which in turn will be used to investigate the relationship between language and art. Against the backdrop of Wittgenstein’s texts I want to show the deep connections between the aesthetic/visual and the linguistic/conceptual.

Brian Ferneyhough

Internal Faculty Fellow 2008-09

Music, Stanford University

"As If The Time Were Now"

Rhonda Goodman

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2008-09

Art and Art History, Stanford University

"The Visual Culture of Slave Auctions in Ninteenth-Century North America"

Rhonda Goodman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Art & Art History Department, with a joint doctorate in Humanities. She worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation as Director of Education - Woodlawn Plantation, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey. She completed her undergraduate at Williams College (English), and her masters at Villanova University (History), and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.My project examines the visual culture of slave auctions in the southern United States during the nineteenth century. Through close readings of architecture, artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and popular prints, my project demonstrates how the visual presentation of the selling of slaves conveys the struggle for power, control, and ownership throughout the 1800s, particularly during the antebellum period. I argue that these buildings and objects reveal that slave auctions were actually staged spectacles where the presentation of bodies for sale was a strategic move to brand slaves as property, and as such, I show how the public performance illustrates competing issues at play for Americans while they worked to maintain an economic order that depended on slave labor.

John Hatcher

Marta Sutton Weeks Faculty Fellow 2008-09History, University of Cambridge"The Origins of Evolution of England's Economic and Social Exceptionalism"

John Hatcher is Professor of Economic and Social History at Cambridge University, and specializes on medieval and early modern England. His recent publications include Modelling the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2001), Understanding the Population History of England, 1450-1750, Past & Present (2003) and The Black Death: A Personal History (Perseus, 2008).‘When’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ England became the first country to experience an “industrial revolution” is a matter of perennial interest, yet many crucial aspects of this process remain contentious. I am seeking to throw some new light on the subject by examining the nature of long-term economic and social development in England, and elsewhere, during the period from c.1300-c.1850.

Margaret Jackson

External Faculty Fellow 2008-09

Art and Art History, University of Miami

"Configuring Narrative: Pictorial Notation in Moche Art of Peru"

Margaret A. Jackson is an Art Historian whose research focuses on the ancient art and cultures of the Andes, with particular emphasis on the imagery and iconography of the Moche of Perú. Additional research interests include the visual cultures of ancient Mesoamerica and systems of visual communication. She completed her Ph.D. in Pre-Columbian Art History at the University of California Los Angeles. She is the Vice-President of the Association for Latin American Art and an active member of CAA. Most recently, she published a co-edited volume, titled Invasion and Transformation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Images of the Conquest of Mexico (2008). A new book, Moche Art and Visual Culture in Ancient Peru (University of New Mexico Press), is expected December 2008.The Moche of ancient Peru represent an indigenous American group that developed an elaborate, systematized iconographic tradition, whose signs had well understood meanings but whose visual constructs were not alphabetic. My research investigates Moche art as a mixed pictography or semasiography analogous to other New World traditions, in an effort to place Moche visual communication within larger discourses related to narrative, alternative notation and pictorial literacy.

Jonathan Kramnick

External Faculty Fellow 2008-09

English, Rutgers University

"Problems of Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Philosophy"

Jonathan Kramnick is an associate professor in the English Department at Rutgers University. He is interested in literature, philosophy and science and is the author of Making the English Canon: Print Capitalism and the Cultural Past, 1700-1770 (1999) and the recently completed Actions and Causes: Problems of Agency from Rochester to Richardson.The project examines how philosophers, poets, and novelists wrote about consciousness during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. I'm particularly interested in the problems posed by materialism. How can physical matter be the locus of thought and experience? What role if any does mind have in the causal order of the world?

Joshua Landy

Internal Faculty Fellow 1999-00, 2008-09

French & Italian, Stanford University

"Fictions of the Self: First-Person Novels in the Anti-Rousseauist Tradition"

Yen-Ling Liu

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2008-09

Music, Stanford University

"Music for the People, Music for the Future: Monumentality as Expressive and Formal Ideal in the Symphonic Poems of Franz Liszt"

Yen-Ling Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Stanford University specializing in nineteenth-century symphonic music and musical aesthetics. She received her Bachelor’s degree in music performance from National Taiwan Normal University (1996) and a Master’s degree in music theory from National Taiwan University (2002), with a thesis on set theory and atonal music. Her dissertation (“Music for the People, Music for the Future: Monumentality as Expressive and Formal Ideal in the Symphonic Poems of Franz Liszt”) examines issues of form, musical meaning, and communication in Liszt’s symphonic poems.“Music for the People, Music for the Future: Monumentality as Expressive and Formal Ideal in the Symphonic Poems of Franz Liszt” examines the symphonic poems of Franz Liszt as an embodiment of Liszt’s ideal of a “New Weimar” culture which celebrated the legacy of Weimar Classicism created by Goethe and Schiller. A second legacy was that of Beethoven’s symphonies, yet because Liszt placed an emphasis on conveying specific messages through an experimental treatment of musical form, he attempted to transcend the Beethovenian model, which had become an unrivaled paradigm for most symphonic composers after Beethoven. This dissertation explores the way Liszt bridged these two legacies in achieving music’s immediacy through monumental expressions and direct formal communication.

Munkh-Erdene Lkhamsuren

Humanities and International Studies Fellow 2008-09

Cultural Anthropology, National University of Mongolia

"The Emnity of Independence: Ethnic and National Identities in Mongolia (An Institutionalist Analysys)"

Munkh-Erdene Lhamsuren is a Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, National University of Mongolia. His PhD is from Hokkaido University, Japan. He is especially interested in collective identity, ethnicity, nation and nationalism.“Enmity of Independency: Ethnic and National Identities in Mongolia” explores the dynamics of the emergence, formation and continuity of Mongolian national, ethnic, and sub-ethnic identities.

Yair Mintzker

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2008-09

History, Stanford University

"The Defortification of the German City"

Yair is a Ph.D. Candidate in the history department at Stanford. He received his M.A. in history cum laude magna from Tel-Aviv University and is currently writing a dissertation on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Germany. Yair’s broad interests include intellectual, cultural, and political history of Modern and Early Modern Europe. The Defortification of the German City, 1750-1850 tells the story of the metamorphosis of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German cities from walled to defortified places. By using a wealth of original sources, the dissertation discusses one of the most significant moments in the emergence of the modern city: the dramatic—and often traumatic—demolition of the city’s centuries-old physical boundaries and the creation of the open city.

Dina Moyal

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2008-09

History, Stanford University

"Did Law Matter? Law, State, and Individual in the Soviet Union, 1953-1985"

Dina Moyal is a PhD candidate in the History Department at Stanford specializing in Soviet history. She received her Bachelor of Law degree from Tel Aviv University in Israel where she also studied towards an M.A. in history. Dina is currently writing her dissertation on the Soviet legal system under Khrushchev and Brezhnev.My work explores the way Soviet legal institutions participated in building and sustaining communism in the Soviet Union. It presents judges, advocates, state prosecutors and Soviet legal scholars as active agents in shaping Soviet political values, norms and practices. As an interdisciplinary project that stands at the crossroads of history and legal studies it sheds new light on the role of law in totalitarian regimes and the connection between law and politics in any given society.

Alon Rachamimov

External Faculty Fellow 2008-09

History, Tel Aviv University

"Islands of Men: Shifting Gender Boundaries in World War I Internment Camps"

Alon Rachamimov is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Tel Aviv University. He received his Ph.D. in 2000 from Columbia University. His book POWs and the Great War (2002) was awarded the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History and his article "The Disruptive Comforts of Drag" appeared in the April 2006 issue of the American Historical Review.Islands of Men is a project devoted to understanding the complex links between warfare and gender roles. It looks at what until recently had been a neglected subject i.e. wartime masculinities, and examines it in the context of the watershed event that was World War I. By focusing on everyday life in captivity it intersects with the study of theater, sports, sexuality and arts and crafts. This project makes extensive use not only of written sources, but also of photographic images, recorded interviews and artifacts.

Judith Richardson

Internal Faculty Fellow 2008-09

English, Stanford University

"Vegetable Matters: Plant Life and Nineteenth-Century American Culture"

Judith Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Stanford University. The author of Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley (Harvard UP 2003), her research and teaching interests include nineteenth-century American literature, American women writers, place, and the literature of cities.Resurrecting a series of cultural discourses that clustered around discrete vegetative types and tropes, this project uncovers a thoroughgoing, organic, specifically vegetative paradigm at the heart of U.S. culture, through which issues of nationhood, culture, personhood, and environment were predominantly imagined and negotiated.

Stephanie Shaw

External Faculty Fellow 2008-09

History, Ohio State University

"Slave Migrations, Generations, and Antebellum Eras"

Stephanie Shaw’s teaching and research interests center around African-American, Women’s, and Labor history. Her published work includes studies of the family, work, and community lives of black professional women during the segregation era; elderly former slaves during the Great Depression; and aspects of slave family life. She has just completed a book manuscript on W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk, and she is currently completing a study of antebellum slavery.Slave Migrations, Generations, and Antebellum Eras: This study combines three chronologies—the life course, the development of the nation as a slave society, and the geographical expansion of the country—in order to examine antebellum slavery from the perspective of the slaves. Centering the movement of slaves, both those in the slave trade and those moving with their owners as the nation expanded, this study demonstrates that slavery, slave families, and slave communities changed dramatically and repeatedly over the course of the nineteenth century with consequences that reached into every aspect of slave life.

Jason Stanyek

External Faculty Fellow 2008-09

Music, New York University

"Around the World Goes Around: Performing Brazilian Music and Dance in the United States"

Jason Stanyek is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at New York University and in 2007-2008 he served as Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University. He has published on subjects ranging from Pan-African jazz to Brazilian hip hop and as a musician has a number of recordings and film soundtracks to his credit.This ethnographic project explores the sonic and kinesthetic politics of Brazilian performance in the United States. Drawing on data collected during extended fieldwork in Brazilian communities in a number of major U.S. cities, I consider how performances of Brazilian music and dance coalesce around divergent imaginings of brasilidade (“Brazilianness”) and how these imaginings resonate within the shifting demographic terrains of the United States in the early 21st-century.

Kenneth Taylor

Violet Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow 2008-09

Philosophy, Stanford University

"Toward A Natural History of Normativity"

Ken Taylor is the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. His work lies at the intersection of the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind, with an occasional foray into the history of philosophy. He is the author of many books and articles, including Truth and Meaning, Reference and the Rational Mind, and Referring to the World.Kenneth Taylor spent his year at the Center completing a draft of a book that purports to plumb the depths of the distinctively human capacity to be governed and guided by norms. InToward a Natural History of Normativity, he defends an account of the nature of normativity and of the human capacity for what he calls normative or rational self-management.

Lela Urquhart

Geballe Dissertation Fellow 2008-09

Classics, Stanford University

"Greek Religion and Indigenours Society in the Archaic Western Mediterranean: Impacts, Interactions, and Religious Integration"

Lela Urquhart is a Ph.D. candidate in the Classics department and the Archaeology Center. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2002. Her dissertation is a comparative study of the impact of Greek and Phoenician religious practices in the ancient Western Mediterranean. Lela has conducted archaeological fieldwork in North Carolina, Crete, Israel and Sicily, and was an assistant director of the Monte Polizzo Archaeological Project in 2007 and 2008.This dissertation assesses the impact of ancient colonization on the religious practices of indigenous groups in the Western Mediterranean from the 8th-5th centuries BCE. It is also a study of how religious changes can enable new and differentiated levels of political and social integration, particularly in colonial contexts.

Caroline Winterer

Internal Faculty Fellow 2008-09

History, Stanford University

"Americans and Monarchy in the Age of Democracy"

Caroline Winterer is Professor in the Department of History at Stanford. She specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American intellectual and cultural history. She is the author of The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 (2007) and The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910 (2002; pb. 2004). Americans and Monarchy in the Age of Democracy (1800-1900): I will be doing the research for a book on how Americans in the 19th century—the so-called “age of democracy”—in fact had on-going relationships with monarchies around the globe. The project will look at Americans and monarchy as a series of political, cultural, intellectual, and artistic questions.