You are here

Current Center Fellows: 2010-2011

Amy Appleford

External Faculty Fellow 2010-11

English, Boston University

"Learning to Die in London, 1350-1530"

Amy Appleford received her doctorate from the University of Western Ontario in 2005 and is presently an assistant professor of English at Boston University. Her research interests include pre-modern religion and literature, legal, institutional, and urban history, and the philosophy and culture of death, medieval and modern."Learning to Die in London, 1350-1530"Dr. Appleford’s current book project, Learning to Die in London, 1350-1530, is a study of death in English literary, religious, and civic culture in the late medieval and early Reformation period. Witnessing the death of neighbor and kin was a praxis deeply rooted in early Christian culture and newly textualized in the late medieval ‘arts’ of dying. The demands and rituals of death literally built fifteenth-century London: its hospitals, schools, libraries, public art, and many of its literary and didactic texts. For poets and other cultural makers, death was a crucial resource for poetic, psychological and political analysis and expression.

Alain Bresson

Marta Sutton Weeks Faculty Fellow 2010-11

Classics, University of Chicago

"Why Coinage? An Economic Analysis of the Development of Coined Money in Ancient Greece"

Alain Bresson is Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Chicago. He is an historian of the ancient world with particular interests in the ancient economy, the Hellenistic world, and the epigraphy of Rhodes and Asia Minor."Why Coinage? An Economic Analysis of the Development of Coined Money in Ancient Greece"Why Coinage? Around 600 BCE, in Western Asia Minor, took place a development that was to have a long future: the ‘invention’ of coinage. Alain Bresson prepares a book that will propose a new explanation for the origins and development of this particular form of money.

Gordon Chang

Donald Andrews Whittier Fellow 2010-11

History, Stanford University

"China Elusive: Two-Hundred and Fifty Years of America-China Relations and the Pursuit of America's Destiny"

A professor of American history, Gordon Chang’s research focuses on the history of United States-East Asia relations and on Asian American history. He is affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, the American Studies Program, International Relations Program, and the Center for East Asian Studies. He is particularly interested in the historical connections between race and ethnicity in America and foreign relations, and explores these interconnections in his teaching and scholarship. He is a recipient of both Guggenheim and ACLS fellowships, and has been a two-time fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center."China Elusive: Two-Hundred and Fifty Years of America-China Relations and the Pursuit of America’s Destiny " I am working on a study of the long history of America-China relations. Responding to the current fascination, even obsession, with China, I see that Americans, from their earliest days, showed an inordinate amount of interest in China and believed that China was essential to the realization of a variety of conceptions of an exceptional American destiny

Max Edling

External Faculty Fellow 2010-11

History, Uppsala University, Sweden

"A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867"

Max Edling is a lecturer and researcher in History at Uppsala University in Sweden."A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867"A Hercules in the Cradle analyses the development of the federal government's capacity to raise money through taxes and loans in the period between the Revolution and the Civil War. It makes two arguments. First, that the federal government very rapidly after independence acquired the ability to finance extraordinary expenses such as war by issuing and selling term bonds. Second, that this state capacity was an important reason why the United States grew to become a regional and eventually a global Great Power.

Harris Feinsod

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

Comparative Literature, Stanford University

"Fluent Mundo: Inter-American Poetry, 1940-1973"

Harris Feinsod is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at Stanford. He earned his A.B. in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies from Brown University in 2004. His research interests include poetry and comparative poetics from the 19th to the 21st century, the historical avant-gardes in Europe and the Americas, and inter-American cultural relations. He is an assistant editor of the forthcoming edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics."Fluent Mundo: Inter-American Poetry, 1939-1973""Fluent Mundo" offers a literary-historical narrative of the relations between poets in the U.S. and Latin America in the era of cultural diplomacy, from the brief intensification of the Good Neighbor Policy at the onset of World War II to the peak of the Latin American literary boom. Arguing that poetry was hardly, in T.S. Eliot's phrase, the most "stubbornly national" art in the cultural hierarchies of the mid-twentieth century, this project instead investigates the dynamics of Octavio Paz’s claim that “despite languages and cultural differences, the Western world has only one modern poetry.” The project re-interprets major works by poets including Elizabeth Bishop (U.S.), Ernesto Cardenal (Nicaragua), Allen Ginsberg (U.S.), Pablo Neruda (Chile), Paz (Mexico), Wallace Stevens (U.S.) and William Carlos Williams (U.S.), positing that the subjective experience of hemispheric relations often underwrote their diverse projects.

James Ferguson

Ellen Andrews Wright Fellow 2010-11

Anthropology, Stanford University

"Rationalities of Poverty and Social Assistance: Mapping New Conceptual and Discursive Constructions in Southern Africa"

James Ferguson’s research has been conducted in Lesotho and Zambia, and has engaged a broad range of theoretical and ethnographic issues. A central theme running through it has been a concern with the political, broadly conceived, and with the relation between specific social and cultural processes and the abstract narratives of “development” and “modernization” through which such processes have so often been known and understood. He is now beginning a new research project in South Africa, exploring the emergence of new problematics of poverty and social policy under conditions of neoliberalism."Rationalities of Poverty and Social Assistance: Mapping New Conceptual and Discursive Constructions in Southern Africa"The purpose of the study is to explore the ways that questions of poverty, unemployment, and social assistance are being discussed, conceived, and addressed by policy-makers and would-be policy-makers in southern Africa. In the context of economic restructuring, important new ways of thinking about poverty and social assistance are appearing, which I hope to show have important implications for a range of theoretical and political discussions around issues of neoliberalism, governmentality, and "the social".

Lori Flores

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

History, Stanford University

"Other Californias: Tracing Mexican American Lives, Civil Rights Activism, and the Coming of the Chicano Movement to Salinas Valley, 1945-1970"

A doctoral candidate in Stanford University’s Department of History, Lori Flores received her undergraduate degree from Yale University. Her published articles in Mexican American labor and gender history have garnered the W. Turrentine Jackson Prize and international reprinting. Flores’s other honors include a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship and Stanford’s Centennial Teaching Award."Other Californias: Tracing Mexican American Lives, Civil Rights Activism, and the Coming of the Chicano Movement to the Salinas Valley, 1945-1970"Flores’s dissertation, tentatively titled “Other Californias: Tracing Mexican American Lives, Civil Rights Activism, and the Coming of the Chicano Movement to the Salinas Valley, 1945-1970,” chronicles the efforts of Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants to mobilize politically in the agricultural hub of Salinas, California. Covering topics including labor, race relations, intraethnic conflict, and immigration, this project reveals how ethnic community organizing evolved differently in this rural space and in turn changed the course of Mexican-origin people’s struggles for civil rights in postwar California.

Daniel Hackbarth

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

Art and Art History, Stanford University

"Media as Medium: Raoul Hausmann, 1886-1971"

Daniel Hackbarth is a doctoral candidate in Art History at Stanford. He received his BA from Grinnell College and has also studied at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany and the Free University in Berlin. His research examines the intersection of aesthetics and technology in the historical avant-garde."Media as Medium: Raoul Hausmann, 1886 – 1971"Hackbarth’s dissertation focuses on the work of Raoul Hausmann, an artist associated with several avant-garde movements—including German Expressionism, Berlin Dada, and International Constructivism—arguing that his writings and montage-based art constitute a significant early media theory. Media as Medium examines how Hausmann’s work probed the very conditions within which artistic and technological media operate, manifesting radical new modes of perception and subjectivity as he struggled to formulate a coherent world view amidst continuing upheaval in aesthetics, the natural sciences, and German society.

Gavin Jones

Violet Andrews Whittier Fellow 2010-11

English, Stanford University

"Forms of Failure: American Literature and the Emotional Life of Class"

Gavin Jones is the author of two books: Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America (1999), and American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature (2008). He has recently edited a new edition of a neglected classic: Sylvester Judd’s novel, Margaret (1845)."Forms of Failure: American Literature and the Emotional Life of Class"This is an exploration of how American writers responded to the atmosphere of financial panic, downturn, and depression that dominated nineteenth-century society—not by reflecting thematically its economic conditions but by finding new literary forms to voice the nebulous feelings of financial anxiety and social failure.

William Leidy

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University

"Bringing a New Word to the World Through Charismatic Scandal"

William Leidy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford. He received BAs in Russian and Chemistry from the University of Rochester in 2004. In addition to his current project on scandal in literature, his research interests include Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, early Soviet literature, interwar Polish literature, and satire."Bringing a New Word to the World Through Charismatic Scandal"Leidy’s dissertation considers scandal’s role in literature and society through three main texts—Aleksandr Griboedov’s Woe from Wit, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Idiot, and Witold Gombrowicz’s Ferdydurke. Each of these texts features a charismatic central figure who tries to bring a new word to society by provocatively challenging the status quo, recalling the origin of the word “scandal”—the New Testament concept of skandalon, frequently linked with the actions of Jesus Christ. Emphasis is placed on the interaction between the speaker and society and the reception of scandal.

Heather Love

External Faculty Fellow 2010-11

English, University of Pennsylvania

"The Stigma Archive"

Heather Love is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches courses in modernism and modernity, gender studies, film, disability, affect studies, sociology and literature, and critical theory. She is the author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (Harvard, 2007)."The Stigma Archive"This project considers the source materials for Erving Goffman’s 1963 sociological classic, Stigma: On the Management of Spoiled Identity. In formulating his general theory of social stigma, Goffman drew on a remarkably literary archive; rereading these novels, biographies, and memoirs, I approach Stigma as a methodological case study, focusing on its use of comparison, abstraction, and exemplarity in order to reflect on the challenges and possibilities of comparative studies of social exclusion.

Cecilia Méndez

External Faculty Fellow 2010-11

History, University of California, Santa Barbara

"The Wars Within: Civil Strife, National Imaginings, and the Rural Basis of the Peruvian State"

Cecilia Méndez is a Peruvian historian specialized in the social and political history of the Andean region from the late eighteenth century to the present. Her work calls the attention to the importance of the period in defining modern conceptions nationhood, ethnicity, and race. Currently she is working on a book dealing with civil wars and the role of the army and local governance in the construction of the state. "The Wars Within: Civil Strife, National Imaginings, and the Rural Basis of the Peruvian State"On the surface, Peru is an unlikely country in which to explore the interplay between civil war, state-making and national imaginings; however, The Wars Within proposes a reappraisal of Peru's nineteenth century political history by looking at the "wars within," or Peru's nineteenth century civil wars. It sets forth to examine the social and political fabric of the nineteenth-century state in Peru by looking at six historical conjunctures that witnessed civil war and massive popular mobilizations nationwide.

Natalie Phillips

Affiliated Fellow 2010-11

English, Stanford University

"Distraction: Dramas of Attention in Eighteenth-Century Literature, 1747-1818"

Natalie Phillips is a postdoctoral fellow in the English department at Stanford. She received her B.A. in English from Duke University. Her dissertation traced a literary history of the state of mind we now call distraction in the eighteenth century. She specializes in British literature between 1700 and 1830, with particular emphasis on the novel. Her related interests include cognitive approaches to literature, the history of science, and intersections of race, gender, and sexuality."Attention and Reading: A Cognitive Approach to Literary Focus"First, I'll be working on my first book, Distraction: Problems of Attention in Eighteenth-Century Literature. Second, I'll be continuing my work with Franco Moretti and the Lucas Center for Brain Imaging at Stanford to complete an fMRI study investigating neural differences between different levels of attention in fiction reading. Finally, I'll be working on a few articles in the history of reading, eighteenth-century studies, and cognitive approaches to literature, with a side project on the Enlightenment history of race.

Giorgio Riello

External Faculty Fellow 2010-11

History, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

"Global Cotton: Why an Asian Fabric Made Europe Rich, 1000-1800"

Giorgio Riello is Associate Professor in Global History at the University of Warwick (UK). Giorgio has written on early modern textiles, dress and fashion in Europe and Asia. He is the author of A Foot in the Past (OUP, 2006) and currently directs the Pasold Research Fund."Global Cotton: Why an Asian Fabric Made Europe Rich, 1000-1800"My project considers the role of cottons in the cultural and economic development of Europe and Asia since the Middle Ages. Cottons transformed the world we live in today: they industrialised Europe and became the first item to be traded globally. I argue that Europe’s road to cultural development and economic growth can only be understood by analysing a set of global forces and processes such as Asian technologies, African labour, and American raw materials and consumer markets that transformed manufacturing and consumption on a global scale.

Courtney Roby

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

Classics, Stanford University

"The Encounter of Knowledge: Technical Edphrasis from Alexandria to Rome"

Courtney Roby is a doctoral candidate in the Classics department, and has a B.A. in Mathematics and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She studies the social and literary context of ancient scientific activities, particularly mechanical technology; she is also preparing a new project on the Roman architect Vitruvius."The Encounter of Knowledge: Technical Ekphrasis from Alexandria to Rome"Courtney’s dissertation project, “The Encounter of Knowledge: Technical Ekphrasis Between Alexandria and Rome,” analyzes descriptions of machines in ancient literature. These texts, which span many different literary genres, are revealing evidence for the changing cultural role played by mechanical technology, and provoke new questions about the creative relationship between text and object.

Karen Sanchez-Eppler

Marta Sutton Weeks Faculty Fellow 2010-11

American Studies, English, Amherst College

"The Unpublished Republic: Manuscript Cultures of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century U.S."

Karen Sánchez-Eppler is professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College. Author of Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body (1993) and Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (2005) she is a founding co-editor of The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, member of the board of governors of The Emily Dickinson Museum and founding faculty advisor to Amherst’s Center for Community Engagement."The Unpublished Republic: Manuscript Cultures of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century U.S."The Unpublished Republic examines nineteenth-century American literary texts that were not published in their own time—most of which, indeed, were created with no intention of publication. By assessing the allures of manuscript form during a period characterized by the ascendancy of print, this study both re-evaluates the promises of enfranchisement that print offers and focuses attention on some of the many voices that print elides.

Scott Saul

External Faculty Fellow 2010-11

English, University of California, Berkeley

"Becoming Richard Pryor: A Critical Biography"

Scott Saul is an associate professor of American Studies and English at UC-Berkeley. His first book, on jazz and the 1960s, was the winner of the American Book Award. He writes frequently on American culture and politics for publications such as Boston Review, Harper’s, and The Nation."Becoming Richard Pryor: A Critical Biography"Becoming Richard Pryor will be the first critical biography of the comedian-entertainer, one that explores the trajectory of his artistic development in conjunction with a set of larger historical trends: the emergence of the counterculture and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements; the debates over the "declining inner city" and the "declining working class" in 1970s culture; and the challenge posed by New Hollywood to the older studio system. It will do so by examining the concrete settings that Pryor passed through (Peoria, Chicago, Greenwich Village, the Sunset Strip, Berkeley) and the collaborative relationships -- with figures like Redd Foxx, Lily Tomlin and Mel Brooks -- that were central to the development of his comic style.

Londa Schiebinger

Ellen Andrews Wright Fellow 2010-11

History, Stanford University

"The Science of Race: Human Experimentation in the Atlantic World"

Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science at Stanford University and former Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Schiebinger is a leading international authority on gender and science. Schiebinger is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize and Guggenheim Fellowship. "The Science of Race: Human Experimentation in the Atlantic World"Schiebinger's work in the eighteenth century investigates colonial science in the Atlantic World. In particular she explores medical experimentation with slave populations in the Caribbean. Her project reconceptualizes research in four areas: first and foremost knowledge of African contributions to early modern science; the historiography of race in science; the history of human experimentation; and the role of science in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world.

Blakey Vermeule

Violet Andrews Whittier Fellow 2010-11

English, Stanford University

"Irony and its Relation to the Unconscious: A Literary Journey"

Blakey Vermeule's research interests are cognitive and evolutionary approaches to literature, Philosophy and literature, British literature from 1660-1820, post-Colonial fiction, satire, and the history of the novel. She is the author of The Party of Humanity: Writing Moral Psychology in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2000) and Why Do We Care About Literary Characters? (2009), both from The Johns Hopkins University Press. She is currently working on a book about narrative and the conceptual unconscious."Irony and its Relation to the Unconscious: A Literary Journey"Irony has long played a determining role in theories of literature; however, many studies consist of long lists of types of irony coupled with frustratingly unfalsifiable claims about irony and zeitgeist, irony and subjectivity, irony and authority, and so on. This project proposes instead to open up the hood, look inside the engine, and try to describe in close detail how aesthetic irony works. The goal is to build on Herbert Clark and Richard Gerrig's paper "The Pretense Theory of Irony," and investigate questions such as What conditions give rise to irony as a mode of human communication? and What role does theory of mind play in enacted depiction?

Richard White

Donald Andrews Whittier Fellow 2010-11

History, Stanford University

"The Long Crisis"

Richard White, a professor of history, is widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading scholars in three related fields: the American West, Native American history and environmental history. Professor White came to Stanford in 1998 and is the author of five books, including The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republic in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815, which was named a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Among other honors, he is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship."The Long Crisis""The Long Crisis," which will be a volume in The Oxford History of the United States, is an attempt to use a relatively new set of historical techniques to explain an old and perplexing problem: the ironic outcome of the civil war.

Ben Wolfson

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

Philosophy, Stanford University

"Intentional Action and Practical Knowledge"

Ben Wolfson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy. His dissertation research focuses on philosophy of action and mind, and his other interests include aesthetics and German Romanticism. Prior to coming to Stanford, he received an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, and worked as a legal assistant."Intentional Action and Practical Knowledge"Wolfson's dissertation addresses the nature and source of the self-knowledge a subject has in acting. He examines in turn what is at stake in characterizing an entity as being in the process of doing something, what a subject must know in order to be described as acting intentionally, and subjects' self-knowledge as embodied agents, concluding that no matter the complexity or simplicity of the action, a person performing an intentional action F knows that she is F-ing without recourse to observation or inference.

James Wood

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow 2010-11

English, Stanford University

"Anecdote and Enlightenment, 1710-1790"

James Wood is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Stanford University. He received a BA in English and History, a BA (Hons) in English and an MA in English from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research interests include moral philosophy, genre studies and contact literature."Anecdote and Enlightenment, 1710-1790"Wood's dissertation, Anecdote and Enlightenment, 1700-1800 argues that the anecdote became a vital intellectual tool in the British Enlightenment, playing a central role in the rethinking of human nature and human history over the long eighteenth century. Anecdote and Enlightenment gathers a large archive of texts, including philosophical treatises and popular journals, novels and anecdote collections, travel narratives and biographies in order to investigate how anecdotes helped reshape humanistic knowledge over the eighteenth century.