Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows

The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships program awards 65 fellowships annually. The fellowships support a year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities and social sciences in the last year of Ph.D. dissertation writing.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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

Abbas Barzegar
Abbas Barzegar  |  Abstract
This study charts the construction of putative Sunni historical categories such as the Prophet's Companions (al-Sahaba), The Rightly Guided Caliphs (al-Khulafa’ al-Rashidun), and the Righteous Forefathers (al-Salaf al-Salih). It also analyzes the construction of conventional narratives of the early history of the Muslim community, particularly its discord in the first civil (656-661) war and its reconstitution under the Umayyad dynasty (661-750). This project argues that these seemingly inconsequential narratives—often taken as neutral versions of factual events from which other versions deviate—in fact provide a considerable amount of ideological support to the construction and maintenance of authority, authenticity, and orthodoxy in Sunni Islam.

Doctoral Candidate, Religious Studies, Emory University  -  Remembering Community: Historical Narrative in the Formation of Sunni Islam

Susan Lamb
Susan Lamb  |  Abstract
Adolf Meyer is generally recognized as the foremost influence on American psychiatry and yet scholarly studies about his life, theories, and practices are notably sparse. This research both substantiates and challenges speculation about Meyer and the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, an institution that he designed and operated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital for over three decades. More importantly, this study explores terra incognita: the patients who used this pivotal institution. This work elucidates for the first time the working principles of Meyerian psychiatry by exploring the avenues by which patients arrived at the clinic, Meyer’s diagnostic procedures, treatment for various psychiatric disorders, and the decision-making processes of families confronting mental illness.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University  -  Psychiatry's First Patients: Adolf Meyer and the Founding of American Psychiatry

Anya Bernstein
Anya Bernstein  |  Abstract
My dissertation explores the revival of Siberian Buryat Buddhist practices through transnational, post-Soviet ties. It brings anthropological ethnographic and historical archival methods to look at issues of everyday religion, morality, and politics in the context of post-Soviet social change through a study of two Buryat religious communities located in Buryatia and in India. I argue that the ways in which Buryats transform older cosmopolitanisms into socioreligious movements are key for understanding new geopolitical forms of consciousness as long-held Eurasian ties are now being revived in the wake of Soviet rule.

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, New York University  -  Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Mobility, Authority, and a Eurasian Imaginary in Siberian Buddhism

Ruth S. Lexton
Ruth S. Lexton  |  Abstract
King Arthur is often seen as representing an ideal monarch in conventional English romances and chronicles of the medieval period. This dissertation fundamentally challenges the view of Arthur as a great king in Malory's "Morte Darthur" (c. 1470) and examines alternative means by which the Arthurian polity is upheld. Each chapter focuses on key terms—kingship, counsel, rule, worship, nobility, treason—which had deep resonances in the medieval conception of government and political life. To understand Malory's use of key terms, this project considers contemporary texts with an array of political and social affiliations. By drawing connections between disparate texts, it demonstrates that the "Morte Darthur" is shaped by the political imagination in which Malory lived and worked.

Doctoral Candidate, English Literature, Columbia University  -  The Political Imagination of Malory's "Morte Darthur"

Lucas Bessire
Lucas Bessire  |  Abstract
In March 2004, 17 of the world’s last “voluntarily isolated” hunter/gatherers walked out of Paraguay’s arid Gran Chaco forest, fleeing ranchers’ bulldozers. Less than five months after this startling “first contact,” these people joined their relatives in using an intercommunity Ayoreo-language shortwave radio network to establish a collective ethnic identity in dialogue with competing colonial notions of “modernity” across the Bolivia-Paraguay border. This dissertation focuses on their remarkable journey to investigate how two-way radio technology transforms indigenous self-understanding in politically significant ways, as they navigate the maze of often-conflicting value systems brought by missionaires, humanitarian NGO’s, and transient anthropologists. Specifically, this project critically analyzes the sentimental mechanics by which colonial histories and media technologies shape native cultural and political futures in the Gran Chaco.

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, New York University  -  Channeling Hope: Two-way Radio, Sentiment, and Indigenous Sovereignty in the Gran Chaco

Jie Li
Jie Li  |  Abstract
This dissertation examines ways in which memories from the Maoist era (1949-1976) have been mediated by words and images, minds and bodies, and objects and places, often against the grain of censorship and forgetting. While existing scholarship focuses on either historical facts or contemporary representations of Maoism, this study delves into the processes by which memories are inscribed, preserved, passed on, enshrined, distorted, and erased in both public and private spheres. It draws a diverse range of texts, fiction, and non-fiction, including a manuscript smuggled from prison archives, documentary films, real and virtual museums, official obituaries, and an ethnography of memories in the author's family.

Doctoral Candidate, Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies, Harvard University  -  The Past is Not Like Smoke: Memory Palimpsests of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Joshua Calhoun
Joshua Calhoun  |  Abstract
This dissertation traces the rhetorical value of flora and fauna in the production of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English texts. Reniassance readers lived close to the natural resources used to make paper, ink, and bindings. Literary metaphors and puns suggest that these readers recognized the presence of animal and plant ingredients visible in their books and that this “textual ecology” inflected reading practices and literary interpretation. This project examines original texts from Renaissance England and, through unique collaboration with book conservators and rare book librarians, recovers a working understanding of the textual ecology that was legible to Renaissance readers. It then re-examines the literary and material roles of nature in works including Shake-speare’s sonnets (1609), revealing the rhetorical interplay of words and matter in Renaissance texts.

Doctoral Candidate, English, University of Delaware  -  Legible Ecologies: Animals, Vegetables, and Readers in Early Modern England

Elizabeth Lorang
Elizabeth Lorang  |  Abstract
Drawing on current trends in the field of book history, this dissertation is the first literary study of nineteenth-century American newspaper poetry. It utilizes media theory and electronic text analysis to examine the cultural work of newspaper poetry and argues that scholars must evaluate these poems based on their own generic qualities rather than by aesthetic or cultural values tied to other forms. In viewing these poems as participatory in the goals of the American newspaper—perhaps the most important mediator of American ideals and experiences during the century—this project recovers the cultural significance of a major body of nineteenth-century literature, including the work of prolific women and minority writers whose works appeared in newspapers published across the country.

Doctoral Candidate, English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln  -  American Newspaper Poetry from the Rise of the Penny Press to the New Journalism

Sarah Isabel Cameron
Sarah Isabel Cameron  |  Abstract
In a tragedy largely forgotten by history, more than a million and a half of Kazakhstan’s inhabitants perished in a famine of terrifying proportions, a disaster which reached its apex from 1931-1933. This dissertation assembles a narrative account of the Kazakh famine, reconstructing, first, the key political choices that were the prelude to the disaster; second, the mechanics of the famine itself, or how and why hunger came to engulf the republic; and, third, the resolution of the crisis, or how Soviet officials restored order to an embattled land. Relying on Russian, as well as Kazakh-language archival sources, this dissertation interrogates how and why the Kazakh famine developed, as well as the disaster’s impact on Kazakh societies.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Yale University  -  'From Nomadism to Socialism': Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Famine, 1921-1934

Eric Mandelbaum
Eric Mandelbaum  |  Abstract
The thesis that one can contemplate an idea before believing it is so ubiquitous that it is rarely even stated as an assumption. This dissertation argues that this thesis is false and instead posits that forming a belief is an effortless and automatic endeavor that occurs anytime an idea is encountered, while rejecting a belief is an active and effortful endeavor that can only occur after an initial acceptance of that belief. The central hypothesis of the dissertation is that whenever a thought is accessed in one’s mind, that thought is believed. This hypothesis is used to explain both the workings of pretense and the efficacy of propaganda. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of how this view on pretense and propaganda relates to current epistemological debates pertaining to rationality.

Doctoral Candidate, Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  -  The Architecture of Belief

Sarah Anne Carter
Sarah Anne Carter  |  Abstract
This dissertation traces the impact of Object Lessons on nineteenth-century American life. Starting with everyday objects, educators employed this methodology to teach children to perceive their material worlds and to use their heightened observational skills to learn to reason. This dissertation argues that the systematic study of material things via Object Lessons shaped the ways in which adults and children found meaning in their possessions, considered the connections among science, visual representation, and morality, and viewed and talked about African Americans and Native Americans. Furthermore, this dissertation claims Object Lessons as both an analogue and a prehistory to current material culture scholarship, serving to historicize object-based study.

Doctoral Candidate, History of American Civilization, Harvard University  -  Object Lessons in American Culture

Annie J. McClanahan
Annie J. McClanahan  |  Abstract
As both an economic process and a cognitive act, speculation requires imagining an uncertain future. This project begins by analyzing the speculative financial instruments that dominate our economy, arguing that the future they produce is immediate, preemptable, and ahistorical. It claims that this future, which appears to promise both limitless profit and extraordinary risk, is reflected in and refracted by a variety of fiction and film genres distinct to the American twenty-first century—the 9/11 novel, the apocalyptic narrative, the counterfactual, the financial thriller, and the terrorist novel. These literary forms index the consequences of financialization and provide a set of narrative alternatives for imagining the future and reflecting on the present.

Doctoral Candidate, English, University of California, Berkeley  -  Salto Mortale: Narrative, Speculation, and the Chance of the Future

Urvashi Chakravarty
Urvashi Chakravarty  |  Abstract
This project examines representations of service in early modern English drama using primarily a philological approach. Servants in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England have been critically addressed principally in terms of the dynamics of power, an approach that repeatedly reinforces an agonistic portrait of master-servant relations. Interrogating the languages of service, this dissertation argues instead that the varied histories of language illuminate the contradictions of service in early modern England as both freedom and constraint, protection and attachment. These multivalent lexicons of service manifest their diachronic meanings comtemporaneously in early modern England in such key areas of servant life as livery, money and wages, and the circulation of news and knowledge. In so doing, they also shape early modern debates about “nominal servants,” such as actors, at one extreme of early modern England’s service society, and about slaves and indentured servants at the other.

Doctoral Candidate, English, University of Pennsylvania  -  Languages of Service in Early Modern English Drama

Townsend Middleton
Townsend Middleton  |  Abstract
In Darjeeling, India, homegrown anthropology has become a catalyst of ethno-political awakening. The sudden increase of anthropological self-concern links directly with the Indian state's policies of affirmative action, the recognition for which is based largely upon anthropological distinction (viz. the people of Darjeeling's quest for “Scheduled Tribe” status). Situating research at the nexus of ethnic renaissance and governmental administrations of difference, this dissertation examines how forms and practices of anthropological knowledge shape the social, political, and subjective possibilities of ethnic revitalization in Darjeeling. It asks how anthropology becomes a political technology of communities and how it, in turn, affects people's sense of belonging in contemporary India.

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, Cornell University  -  Beings Uncanny: Knowledge and Belonging in an Age of Anthropology

Emily C. Cohen
Emily C. Cohen  |  Abstract
Civilians and soldiers injured by landmines around the globe have captured the attention of prominent cultural figures such as Princess Diana, Paul McCartney, Queen Noor of Jordan, Angelina Jolie, and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams. Perhaps what is most notable about landmines is that they inspire an international response unprecedented by any other war technology. In 2004, Colombia became recognized as one of the countries with the highest incidence of landmine injuries in the world. A new body—social and physical—is emerging. “Integrated” rehabilitation medicine for the war wounded has reorganized Colombia’s medical workforce and world-renowned medical industry. This dissertation is about the social and cultural impact of landmine injury and rehabilitation medicine in Colombia.

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, New York University  -  Bodies at War: An Ethnography of Landmines and Rehabilitation in Colombia

Sara J. Milstein
Sara J. Milstein  |  Abstract
This dissertation focuses on the expansion of ancient narratives over time via the method “revision through introduction.” The method of seamlessly affixing a new introduction to an older text enabled secondary authors to transform the reception of their received material while simultaneously preserving it. In the process, the autonomy of the original narrative was eclipsed, so that all of its content was seen through the lens of the later perspective. Yet the tendency of authors to preserve received material, even when its details now conflicted with those of the new perspective, allows us to reconstruct the original storyline. By tracking this method in a set of case studies, this dissertation develops a model for retrieving other “lost texts” in the Bible and in Mesopotamian literature.

Doctoral Candidate, Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, New York University  -  Expanding Ancient Narratives: Revision through Introduction in Biblical and Mesopotamian Texts

Robyn Scofield Creswell
Robyn Scofield Creswell  |  Abstract
This dissertation is a history and critique of modernism in Arabic poetry, a movement that flourished in Beirut between 1955 and 1975. It explores how the poets and theorists of this group radically redefined the nature and function of Arabic poetry. At a moment when newly independent regimes throughout the region sought to establish control over their respective national cultures, Arab modernists fought for the autonomy of poetry. A central part of their strategy was to internationalize the literary field and thereby place it beyond the reach of local political authorities. By analyzing the theory and practice of modernism in poetry, this project shows how the Arabic literary field was fundamentally restructured according to a new, globalized conception of the relations between culture and politics.

Doctoral Candidate, Comparative Literature, New York University  -  Modernism and Melancholy: Arabic Poetry in a Transnational Era

Elizabeth More
Elizabeth More  |  Abstract
This dissertation explores the evolution of defenses of maternal employment in the United States from World War II to the welfare reform debates of the 1990s. Although these arguments are often associated with defenses of women’s rights as individuals, their origins are more varied and the arguments more diverse than those concerning the right to work. A focus on the impact of employment on children, marriages, families, and society was a common thread in these debates. Between 1940 and 2000, defenses of working mothers shifted from an emphasis on the public good to an emphasis on private profit and individual responsibility, though elements of both always existed. This can help explain why even as more mothers than ever worked outside the home, support for public assistance to those mothers dwindled.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Harvard University  -  In Their Best Interests: Social Scientists, Public Policy, and the Revaluing of Working Mothers, 1940-2000

Alex Csiszar
Alex Csiszar  |  Abstract
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Royal Society of London organized a massive publishing venture, the International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, to track and regulate the circulation of print matter in the sciences. The ICSL was an endeavor to develop, through international cooperation, a dynamic map of the sciences by following patterns of print communication; the "scientific machine" was to be made a subject of empirical investigation, and also, perhaps, subjected to more rational and centralized control. Problems of management and bibliography merged with traditionally philosophical and methodological problems of classification in, and of, the sciences, and ultimately changed the way that scientists and others conceived the nature, and grounds of legitimacy, of natural knowledge.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Science, Harvard University  -  Centralizing the Scientific Machine: Classification and the Catalogue of the Sciences at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Hannah Weiss Muller
Hannah Weiss Muller  |  Abstract
This dissertation explores the ways in which the term “British subject” was applied and negotiated in the continuously expanding empire. Systematically used by colonial administrators and judges to secure allegiance and loyalty from those they claimed as subjects, subject status was also wielded by individuals throughout the British Empire to lay claim to protection and certain privileges from the British monarch. This project focuses on the period after the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) in which questions about the status, duties, and rights of the multi-religious, multinational, and multiracial “new subjects” added to the empire became increasingly important as Britain sought to consolidate imperial control.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Princeton University  -  An Empire of Subjects: Unities and Disunities in the British Empire, c. 1760-1790.

Tara F. Deubel
Tara F. Deubel  |  Abstract
This dissertation investigates how the performance of popular oral poetry in Hassaniya Arabic produces and embodies Sahrawi collective memory and national identity. The genre reveals divergent conceptions of local and national history and state membership among Sahrawi diaspora populations residing in three areas of a highly contested geographic zone: undisputed areas of southern Morocco, the disputed Western Sahara territory, and refugee camps in Algeria under the government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic founded in exile in 1976. Presentations of Sahrawi history in poetic form challenge versions represented in French and Spanish colonial discourse, Moroccan postcolonial accounts and Sahrawi rhetoric of resistance. The study is based on discourse analysis of poetry, personal narratives, and archival sources collected in Sahrawi communities during 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in 2006-07.

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of Arizona  -  Between Homeland and Exile: Performing Poetry and Identity in Sahrawi Arab Diaspora Communities

Julie Orlemanski
Julie Orlemanski  |  Abstract
This dissertation considers medical discourse in practical and poetic texts written in English between 1375 and 1475, the period in which systematic knowledge of the human body became for the first time widely available to a lay audience. It argues that the discourse of medieval medicine was uniquely appropriate for negotiating tangled causal chains because it had to coordinate systems of internal and external cause as well as material and moral, physical and metaphysical determinations. Authors in the emergent tradition of English-language poetry recognized the new lexical and narrative resources of medicine, turning this practical discourse to their own literary ends, to represent situations in which multiple sources of agency and influence ambiguously affected an individual’s fate.

Doctoral Candidate, English, Harvard University  -  Symptomatic Subjects: Diagnosis, Mimesis, and Narrative in Middle English Literature

Stephanie Elsky
Stephanie Elsky  |  Abstract
Although early modern literature is often celebrated for its ingenuity, sixteenth– and seventeenth-century English writers struggled to reconcile the claims of literary history with a desire for generic novelty. This project argues that by appealing to custom early modern writers ironically found a means to justify and ground innovation. In doing so, they also signaled an investment in contemporary legal debates—about the source of the law’s authority and the status of England’s land and history—that centered on common law concepts of custom. This dissertation thus sets the works of Edmund Spenser, Thomas More, Philip Sidney, and Anne Clifford in dialogue with legal thinkers such as the first compiler of English common law, Sir Edward Coke. Each chapter shows how different writers deployed custom to authorize their own work, even as they re-evaluated its political and legal uses.

Doctoral Candidate, English, University of Pennsylvania  -  Licensed by Custom: The Poetics of Conquest and Consent in Early Modern England

Bongsoo Park
Bongsoo Park  |  Abstract
This dissertation explores the policy implications of statelessness by examining “G.I. babies,” children born of non-marital sexual relations between US soldiers and Korean women between 1953 and 1965 in South Korea. Using both English- and Korean-language documents about adoption and immigration of the G.I. babies, it shows that these children triggered both the United States and Korea to redefine access to citizenship and meanings of race. In so doing, this dissertation argues that citizenship policies of both nations formalized a racially exclusionary vision of national belonging.

Doctoral Candidate, American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities  -  Intimate Encounters, Racial Frontiers: The Stateless GI Babies in South Korea and the United States, 1953-1965

Shirin A. Fozi
Shirin A. Fozi  |  Abstract
By the end of the thirteenth century, the figural tomb effigy would emerge as a dominant representational mode for memorial sculpture in European art. Yet in the period 1080-1160, when the earliest examples of this type appear in the Holy Roman Empire, such objects are exceedingly rare, reserved for figures of exceptional significance for their local communities. This dissertation examines the rise of figural effigies during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, considering the surviving corpus of these unusual objects in the larger historical context of the political and theological climate that produced them. As points of contact between sacred and secular art, these sculptures provide a unique set of insights into the body, its status, and its representation during the Middle Ages.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University  -  The Body Recast and Revived: Figural Tomb Sculpture in the Holy Roman Empire, 1080-1160

Mario Pereira
Mario Pereira  |  Abstract
This dissertation concentrates on the court practices of circulation and exchange of objects between Portugal and sub-Saharan Africa and between Portugal and other European courts from about 1450 to 1520. This approach, favoring the reception and ceremonial use of objects across cultures, permits the incorporation of African objects into the history of art of Renaissance Europe. The Portuguese court used visual material from Africa to represent empire in Europe and to convey notions of possession by collecting and bestowing on others the precious material and skilled craftsmanship of African objects as part of their own largesse. The shifting perception of these African objects depends on the ceremonies and propagandistic endeavors that accompanied their presentation at court in Europe.

Doctoral Candidate, Art History, Brown University  -  'Novas Novidades’: Collecting Luxuria at the Portuguese Court, c. 1450-1521

Niklas E. Frykman
Niklas E. Frykman  |  Abstract
Mutinies tore like wildfire through the wooden warships of the revolutionary era. In navy after navy, shipboard discipline was pushed to the brink of collapse as unprecedented numbers of common seamen refused orders and turned their guns on the quarterdeck instead. By the late 1790s, relations between officers and men had plunged to such a low in many navies that violent, treasonous mutinies had become recurrent events. Based on archival research in the Netherlands, Denmark, Britain, France, Sweden, and the United States, this study lays bare the transnational origins of this insurrectionary frontline movement by focusing on the astonishing mobility and cosmopolitan culture of naval seamen.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of Pittsburgh  -  The Wooden World Turned Upside Down: Naval Mutinies in the Age of Atlantic Revolution

Natalie M. Phillips
Natalie M. Phillips  |  Abstract
This dissertation offers a literary history of distraction between 1747 and 1818. It argues that the emergence of competing theories of attention in the Enlightenment altered how writers portrayed the fictional mind and how they sought to capture readers’ focus. In this period, the definition of attention changed from a mental act (a moment in which the mind directs itself toward an object) to a mental process (a cognitive response where the mind moves in synchrony with a shifting environment). Distraction became a uniquely generative fictional trope. Acknowledging the early novel's relationship to distraction complicates our traditional story of its eighteenth-century genesis, revealing not simply an attempt to represent everyday readers but an ongoing struggle to get their attention.

Doctoral Candidate, English Literature, Stanford University  -  Distraction: Problems of Attention in Eighteenth-Century Literature, 1747-1818

Lily Geismer
Lily Geismer  |  Abstract
Through an examination of the political culture and grassroots activism in the liberal suburbs of metropolitan Boston between 1960 and 1990, this dissertation recasts the conventional narratives of postwar political history. It explores how the suburban liberal vision played a crucial role in helping Massachusetts preserve both its liberal reputation and segregated social structures. Tracing the evolution of this outlook through the overlapping arenas of civil rights, housing, education, growth and development, environmentalism, feminism, and antiwar activism, this dissertation demonstrates how suburban liberalism came to shape politics and policies of the Democratic Party locally and nationally in both progressive and problematic ways.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Don’t Blame Us: Grassroots Liberalism in Massachusetts, 1960-1990

Peter Polak-Springer
Peter Polak-Springer  |  Abstract
This project examines consecutive Polish and German programs to nationally appropriate and bring high-national culture and ethnic standardization to a linguistically diverse Upper Silesian border area of strongly regionally-oriented character and identity. It examines a half-century of Polish-German rivalry over this region during which a constant set of regional elites worked for democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian (Nazis and Polish communists) governments to shape national landscapes and bodies by way of acculturation and ethnic cleansing. The dissertation examines multimedia (i.e. press, film, radio) forms of propaganda, urban landscape construction, grass-roots forms of mass-mobilization and schooling, and how the local population received these efforts aimed to remake their identity and consciousness.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Rutgers University-New Brunswick  -  Making "Recoveries:" The Cultural Politics of Territorial Appropriation in the German-Polish Upper Silesian Borderland, 1922-1971.

D. Asher Ghertner
D. Asher Ghertner  |  Abstract
This work examines the cultural and environmental politics of slum demolitions in the making of a world-class city. It argues that making such a city first requires the production of a world-class imaginary: a hegemonic vision of the future that captures not just the “interests,” but also the emotions of the population. The dissertation is divided into three parts addressing how such an imaginary in Delhi is conjured and consolidated; deployed and received; and contested and re-worked. Part one analyzes how changes in urban governance have given the urban elite a platform to project a new bourgeois aesthetic; part two looks at how slum dwellers receive this aesthetic; and part three examines how urban aesthetics has become the key arena for struggle over the future of the Indian city.

Doctoral Candidate, Geography, University of California, Berkeley  -  Conjuring the World-Class Future: The Political Economy of Slum Demolition and Environmental Improvement in Delhi, India

Rebecca Reich
Rebecca Reich  |  Abstract
This dissertation investigates psychiatric and literary conceptions of creativity and insanity in the Soviet Union from the 1950s to the 1980s. The period stands out not only for the ongoing preoccupation with madness as a literary theme, but also for the hospitalization of dissidents and nonconformists, many of them writers. These phenomena were related in that psychiatry and literature drew on common cultural notions of madness, and in turn influenced each other. This study revises historical accounts of the politicization of Soviet psychiatry by situating them within a wider cultural context. The ways in which writers depicted and deployed madness offer a model for understanding how creative individuals work within established social categories to define themselves in their own terms.

Doctoral Candidate, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University  -  Methods of Madness: Diagnosis and Self-Definition in Late Soviet Literature

William J. Gibbons
William J. Gibbons  |  Abstract
In the wake of France’s defeat in the Franco Prussian War, the nation turned to the past in order to reconnect with its former glory. Musicians featured prominently in this effort, and the period around the turn of the twentieth century saw the development of an Operatic Museum, where the music of the past, as cultural artifacts, was performed alongside modern operas. The questions of which works were suitable for presentation and how they would be performed in this museum were critical in shaping narratives of the French musical past, present, and future. This dissertation focuses on the operas of Mozart, Gluck, and Rameau—three composers whose widely varying reception during this period provides a window onto the uses of eighteenth-century music in the formation of French cultural identity.

Doctoral Candidate, Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  -  Eighteenth-Century Opera and the Construction of National Identity in France, 1875-1918

Martin Renner
Martin Renner  |  Abstract
A cohesive critique of the industrialization of the food system had developed well before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. As soon as the industrial food system had become well established by the early decades of the twentieth century, scientists in Europe and North America saw that it had serious drawbacks for human health and the health of the environment. Despite the great diversity in their fields of study and research methods, these individuals realized that science and technology could improve human wellbeing only if industrialization in food production and processing were limited. However, by the 1960s their perspective was marginalized, even as its scientific basis was becoming more comprehensive and detailed.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of California, Santa Cruz  -  Conservative Nutrition: The Industrial Food Supply and its Critics, 1912-1962

Pablo F. Gómez
Pablo F. Gómez  |  Abstract
This project explores the encounter of African and European health practices and ideas about the body and disease in the early modern Iberian Atlantic world. Through an interdisciplinary approach, it contextualizes and defines local and transatlantic connections between African and European cultures in the Americas. Drawing on material culture and documentary evidence from early modern Africa, Europe, and Spanish America, this project contributes to diverse understudied fields. It breaks ground by bringing to the front African practices and systems of belief as seminal in the emergence of early modern ideas abound body and health, and by challenging prevailing assumptions about the place occupied by Africans and Europeans in processes of cultural interchange in the New World.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Vanderbilt University  -  Bodies of Encounter: African and European Health Practices in the Early Modern Nuevo Reino de Granada

Cole Roskam
Cole Roskam  |  Abstract
This dissertation details the relationship between Shanghai’s political history and its architectural history over the course of its existence as an international treaty port. It focuses on a variety of previously unexamined architectural and planning projects such as municipal waterworks, town halls, consulates, government offices, and civic centers in search of architectural dialogue between each of Shanghai’s three municipalities—the Chinese-controlled city, the International Settlement, and the French Concession. Examining these projects allows for a deeper understanding of how architectural expression helped to both delineate and blur commercial and political boundaries within the city, impacting its urban growth as well as the development of modern Chinese architecture.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University  -  Variations on ‘the Model Settlement’: Shanghai Building Culture and Modern Architecture, 1842-1937

Bridget L. Guarasci
Bridget L. Guarasci  |  Abstract
This ethnographic project focuses on the restoration of the southern Iraqi marshes as an emblem for a new era in national governance. The inquiry centers around the question: How do the marshes become a place of politics, mobilizing particular values and agendas? The study finds that scientific exploration in the marshes articulates a lexicon for statecraft, enabling Iraq to connect to international business and policy through the language of environmentalism. The wetlands were legendary as each polity in Iraq from empire through statehood sought to regulate them with massive geographic reform. Today, a global network of foreign experts, comprised of humanitarians, governments, and corporations, direct the latest intervention. Through remote sensing analysis of satellite imaging and in cartographic and ornithological campaigns, this network opens the marsh as a new kind of optical frontier. The study examines the stakes of this venture and considers the particular experience of Iraqi scientists who routinely visited the marshes to carry out the mandate.

Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Refracting the State: Iraq's Southern Marshes as a Modality of Expertise, Humanitarianism, and Sovereignty

Karen Routledge
Karen Routledge  |  Abstract
This dissertation recovers alternative ways of thinking about individual and cultural survival by comparing the experiences of American enlisted men, American whalers, and Inuit families, all of whom ventured far from home to places where they faced hardships such as starvation, malnutrition, and disease. Based on oral history interviews and archival sources in the United States and Canada, this environmental and cultural history compares the strategies Americans and Inuit employed to survive physically and psychologically in a variety of unfamiliar places. It argues that the definition of a harsh environment is relative, and that American failures to adapt to northern sites shaped consequential misconceptions of the Arctic as an inherently desolate and inhospitable place.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Rutgers University-New Brunswick  -  In These Latitudes: American and Inuit Stories of Survival, 1850-1915

James P. Hare
James P. Hare  |  Abstract
This project explores Nabhadas's Bhaktamal and its subsequent tradition. This late sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century north Indian collection of hagiographies praises the qualities of over 900 saints and thereby sets the boundaries of a devotional community that far exceeds the sectarian context in which its author wrote. By closely considering the Bhaktamal, its commentaries, manuscripts, and print editions, this project traces crucial aspects of the development of modern Hinduism from the early seventeenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century. Since the time of its composition, the Bhaktamal has remained a prominent locus of dispute over the boundaries and logic of the broad-based devotional community that we now know as Hinduism.

Doctoral Candidate, Religion, Columbia University  -  The Garland of Devotees: Nabhadas's Bhaktamal and Modern Hinduism

Caroline Emily Shaw
Caroline Emily Shaw  |  Abstract
Prior to the twentieth century, there was no legal definition of the refugee. The distinction was cultural and, this dissertation argues, it was the product of campaigns waged by would-be refugees and their supporters. Taking British refugee supporters as its case study, this project examines the origins of our modern category, asking how the British distinguished refugees from other foreigners, and why. Between a seventeenth-century confessional model and the twentieth- and twenty-first-century international model, the notion of refuge in this period was tied to the national and imperial identity of the refuge providers. For the British, the horrors of the refugee’s plight made refuge a national imperative constitutive of what it meant to act as a liberal nation and empire. The needs of foreign refugees outstripped imperial capacities by the twentieth century, however, leading British philanthropists to seek out alliances abroad that would give rise to our modern international relief organizations.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of California, Berkeley  -  Recall to Life: Britons, Foreign Refugees and Modern Refuge 1789-1905

Paula Pears Hastings
Paula Pears Hastings  |  Abstract
With a focus on Canadian designs to annex Britain's colonies in the Caribbean, this dissertation queries the implications of sub-imperial campaigns for colonial independence and nation-state formation in the twentieth century. It argues that these campaigns point to alternative national and imperial configurations that defy placement in conventional narratives of decolonization. Locating Canadian ambitions in a global context of sub-imperialisms that included, but were not limited to, Australian expansion in the South Pacific and South African efforts to expand the Union of 1910, this dissertation also challenges the common assumption that settler colony histories were disconnected from the histories of other colonies. This assumption has led scholars to unquestioningly accept racial affinities and naturalize racial difference. In highlighting the colonial exchanges forged by sub-imperial campaigns, this dissertation offers an important corrective to conventional demarcations of empire.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Duke University  -  Race, Nation, and Geographies of Sub-Imperialism in the British Empire: Canadian Aspirations in the Caribbean Basin, 1884-1936

Cassander Lavon Smith
Cassander Lavon Smith  |  Abstract
This dissertation argues that the presence of people of African descent was integral to the formation of early American literature. Current studies of race in early American literature examine representations of people of African descent as a passive event. The representations are viewed simply as mediations, a metaphorical African presence that was created and manipulated by European/Euro-American authors attempting to reify race as fixed and visible categories of difference. This project reads the representations of people of African descent in early American literature as contested events, a series of struggles between European/Euro-American literary imaginations and African presences that existed beyond that imagination.

Doctoral Candidate, Early American Literature, Purdue University  -  Interruptions, Disruptions and a Wall of Silence: A Study of African-American Representations 1542-1760

John North Hopkins
John North Hopkins  |  Abstract
This dissertation examines monuments built in Rome between 650 and 450 BCE within the context of the Archaic Mediterranean and the history of Roman architecture. Two concerns overshadow most scholarship on architecture in the early city of Rome: Who rules it (Etruscans? Romans? Latins? kings?) and how do we link them to architectural output? Leaving questions of authorship aside, this project considers what early Romans are building, what tectonic and stylistic principles they must know to create these structures, what material and iconographic choices they are making in their construction, and who they must know to make all this possible. This study promises a new understanding of both Archaic Rome and Roman architectural history.

Doctoral Candidate, Art History, University of Texas at Austin  -  The Topographical Transformation of Archaic Rome: A New Interpretation of Architecture and Geography in the Early City

Anton Braxton Soderman
Anton Braxton Soderman  |  Abstract
This dissertation historcizes the emergence of the video game medium in terms of the theory and history of modernity. Each chapter—whether focusing on gender in games, the possibility of an avant-garde game movement, or the subjective experience of the gamer—seeks to enrich and complicate the scholarly analysis of video games by examining the continuities and discontinuities that arise between the video game medium and older historical media forms, between debates surrounding video games today and the historical contexts which inform and shape these debates. An argument is made that issues arising within the study of video games require broader historical analysis in order to understand and analyze them clearly. Ideologies, rhetorics, and representations embedded within specific games are analyzed as both continuations of similar themes or problems associated with modernity as well as mutations of these themes within contemporary digital culture.

Doctoral Candidate, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University  -  Playing with Media Histories: Video Games through the Lens of Modernity

Katie Hornstein
Katie Hornstein  |  Abstract
This dissertation explores the broad public appeal of war imagery during the first half of the nineteenth century in France within the context of nascent modes of image-making such as lithography, battle panoramas, illustrated newspapers, and photography. The visual representation of war quickly adapted itself to these novel forms of visual production and changed the ways that more traditional forms of war imagery, such as battle painting, were understood and evaluated. Focusing on the dissemination of war imagery and the reception of this body of imagery by a diverse public of consumers, this project investigates how the representation of war constituted one the central ideological tools through which modern warfare and governmental power could be justified, advanced, and naturalized.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Art, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Episodes in Political Illusion: The Proliferation of War Imagery in France, 1804-1856

Justin Sytsma
Justin Sytsma  |  Abstract
Phenomenal consciousness poses a puzzle for philosophy of science. This arises from two facts: It is common for philosophers to take its existence to be phenomenologically obvious and yet modern science arguably has little (if anything) to tell us about it. And, this is despite 20 years of work targeting phenomenal consciousness in what has been termed the new science of consciousness. How has such a supposedly evident part of our world remained beyond our scientific understanding? This dissertation argues, by investigating the new science, that it has resisted scientific explanation because there is no such phenomenon. It details how these researchers understand consciousness, tie this to the recent philosophical debates, and assess the reasons given for believing that such a phenomenon exists.

Doctoral Candidate, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh  -  Phenomenal Consciousness as Scientific Phenomenon? A Critical Investigation of the New Science of Consciousness

Lauren Anne Jacobi
Lauren Anne Jacobi  |  Abstract
What does the early modern built landscape tell us about the history of capitalism? This is one of the central questions of this dissertation, which is the first interpretive study of the architecture and urbanism of buildings used for banking in Italy, ca. 1400–1600. Organized through case studies that focus on different types of edifices used as banks, this project views these buildings in light of their physical, social, and political contexts. Through scrutinizing a range of evidence, it examines a shift from banks nestled within buildings to the emergence of structures used primarily for banking functions. As this research shows, this change was influenced by contemporary attitudes towards money, particularly (and paradoxically) the Christian sin of usury.

Doctoral Candidate, Art History, New York University  -  The Architecture and Urbanism of Banks in Early Modern Italy, ca. 1400–1600

Zeb J. Tortorici
Zeb J. Tortorici  |  Abstract
This project is a cultural history based on some 250 colonial Mexican Inquisition and criminal cases from 1600-1800 concerned with the Spanish regulation of sexual practices deemed “unnatural” by biblical standards, Church Fathers, and medieval theologians. Analysis of these cases (in which term “contra natura”—against nature—was used in reference to sodomy, bestiality, masturbation, solicitation, and abortion) places “unnatural” acts and their meanings within larger historical contexts to examine tolerance and repression, changing notions of heresy and criminality, erotic expressions of religiosity, and the boundaries between humans and animals. Ultimately, this research offers a nuanced understanding of the thoughts, behaviors, and genders under colonialism in early Mexico.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Contra Natura: Sin, Crime, and Unnatural Sexuality in Colonial Mexico, 1600-1800

Alvaro E. Jarrin
Alvaro E. Jarrin  |  Abstract
This dissertation examines the construction of beauty in Brazil as a product of the country’s complex inequalities. Beauty is a body marker believed to have the power to encapsulate racial and class differences and to make social mobility possible for those who improve their appearance, particularly women. The medicalization of bodily imperfections has led to a boom in plastic surgery, whereby even public hospitals offer aesthetic surgery to low-income patients, subsidized by the state. Plastic surgeons depend on these patients to develop new techniques, but the risks involved are downplayed. This project examines how this national investment in beauty reflects a fractured Brazilian body politic and establishes personal appearance as a precondition for citizenship and inclusion in the nation.

Doctoral Candidate, Cultural Anthropology, Duke University  -  Cosmetic Citizenship: Beauty, Surgery and Inequality in Southeastern Brazil

Matthew C. Underwood
Matthew C. Underwood  |  Abstract
This dissertation argues that the early modern English state and its dependent empire were foundationally shaped by contemporary science. The revolution in information management central to the Scientific Revolution in England and the simultaneous development of bureaucratic state institutions for governing its expanding empire were consequential, not simply coincidental, historical developments. Many of the English state’s first imperial administrators were men of science, and to the extent that the new institutions they created were structured to accord with the same organizational principles and practices that defined the conduct of science, English state-sponsored empire building in this period was a scientific project—a character reflected in the empire’s subsequent political and economic development.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Science, Harvard University  -  Ordering Knowledge, Re-Ordering Empire: Science and State Formation in the English Atlantic World, 1650-1688

Rebecca Carol Johnson
Rebecca Carol Johnson  |  Abstract
This project brings together two marginalized bodies of literature—Oriental Tales in English and the novels of the Translation Movement in Arabic—to write a transnational history of the novel. Unlike most studies of the genre, this thesis looks at early novels that think beyond the nation: English novels that imagine the East and Arabic novels that imagine the West. Focusing on translation, circulation, and exchange, it examines the ways that the use of foreign characters, settings, and narrative modes helped the novel imagine not only national communities but also “translated” ones beyond those borders. This literary history thus hopes to examine not only the circulation of the novel as a literary form but more importantly, the novel as a literary form constituted in and by circulation.

Doctoral Candidate, Comparative Literature, Yale University  -  Oriental and Occidental Tales: A History of the Novel in Translation

Alan Verskin
Alan Verskin  |  Abstract
This dissertation traces how Muslim jurists responded to European influence and forms of modernization by reappropriating tradition to deal with new cultural realities. It documents this intellectual evolution by analyzing two legal anthologies, both written during political crises. Al-Wansharisi’s work (1485-1508) was written as Christian forces completed their conquest of Muslim Spain and threatened parts of North Africa. Al-Wazzani wrote in the nineteenth century when the French already occupied Algeria and threatened Morocco. During this period, it became clear that North African independence depended upon adopting Western ideas and technologies. Al-Wazzani searched through his legal tradition to update Al-Wansharisi’s work by finding Islamic ways to authentically respond to the challenges of modernization.

Doctoral Candidate, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University  -  The Evolution of the North African Muslim Jurists’ Response to European Rule and Influence from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Century

Shona H. Johnston
Shona H. Johnston  |  Abstract
By the end of the seventeenth century, the English empire had positioned itself as the dominant Protestant force in the Atlantic zone. Given that anti-Catholicism was pivotal to England’s ultimate emergence as a Protestant empire, how should we understand the many Catholic subjects who helped people and define that empire over the course of the seventeenth century? Adopting an Atlantic approach that avoids privileging Protestant inhabitants, this dissertation emphasizes identifying Catholic residents and reconstructing their role in the development of English colonial society. Focusing on a group that contradicted the ideological impetus of English expansion, this study broadens our understanding of allegiance and toleration at a crucial moment in the construction of the early modern world.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Georgetown University  -  Papists in a Protestant World: The Catholic Anglo-Atlantic in the Seventeenth Century

Matthew W. Vitz
Matthew W. Vitz  |  Abstract
Using the environmental linkages between Mexico City and its hinterlands as a conceptual starting point, this dissertation argues that persistent pre-revolutionary modes of state formation and urbanization shaped the environmental politics of the Valley in this period. The power to transform and regulate the use of forests and water was vested primarily in the urban elite, composed of developers, engineers, and government officials. Their policies of urban development – public works projects, sanitary-service provision, and forest regulations – stymied popular demands regarding environmental rights. The revolutionary state’s policies, which sought to create a “modern," productive citizenry, at times dovetailed with the perceived rights of local populations. But the main consequence of environmental politics in this period was the increasing stratification of resource use and the concentration of power.

Doctoral Candidate, History, New York University  -  Resources of Revolution: Environmental Politics in the Valley of Mexico, 1900-1950.

Alyson E. Jones
Alyson E. Jones  |  Abstract
In Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world, women musicians are appreciated as vocalists but rarely as instrumentalists, and it has been considered disreputable for women to play instruments in public. Yet greater numbers of women in Tunis have been “playing out” as instrumentalists for mixed-gender audiences since the 1990’s, particularly as they have created their own women’s ensembles and received advanced degrees in music. In the past six years the number of women’s ensembles performing at state-sponsored festivals and private weddings has furthermore increased. By examining the performances and lived experiences of musicians playing in contemporary women’s ensembles and mixed-gender ensembles, this project explores how women play out, resist, and re-shape representations of gender and nation in performance. Among other strategies, many women’s ensembles mix traditional/modern and Tunisian/foreign elements in their performances, thereby challenging frameworks that have heretofore dominated discourses on gender and national culture in Tunisia.

Doctoral Candidate, Musicology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Playing out: Women Instrumentalists and Women's Ensembles in Contemporary Tunisia

Alex Wellerstein
Alex Wellerstein  |  Abstract
This dissertation traces the history of nuclear weapons secrecy in the United States from the discovery of fission through the present era. As a narrative and analytic history, the project focuses on how ideas about the nature of science, technology, and governance intersected at the question of how and whether to restrict information as a means of guarding against war, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear terrorism. Framing its arguments within the context of American institutions of power, the study shows that ideas about the effectiveness of secrecy are historically contingent, not technologically determined, and traces the relative success of the discourse of secrecy against other competing discourses in government and society.

Doctoral Candidate, History of Science, Harvard University  -  Knowledge and the Bomb: Nuclear secrecy in the United States, 1939-2008

Ozan Karaman
Ozan Karaman  |  Abstract
In its attempts to craft Istanbul as a “global city,” the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is spearheading an ambitious campaign of “urban transformation.” This dissertation investigates the Municipality’s “urban transformation” agenda as a lens to study the shifting dynamics of poor people’s mobilization in Istanbul. It examines how political, cultural, ethnic, and class-based differences influence residents’ responses to urban transformation projects. It focuses on two neighborhoods: Basibuyuk, site of a squatter redevelopment project located on the Asian side of Istanbul, and Sulukule, a historic neighborhood adjacent to the old city wall and home to one of the oldest Roma settlements in the world dating back to the Byzantine Empire, which is currently being demolished as a part of the local Municipality’s urban renewal program.

Doctoral Candidate, Geography, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities  -  (Re)-Making Space for Globalization: Entreprenuerial Urbanism and the Politics of Dispossession in Istanbul

Ann Marie Wilson
Ann Marie Wilson  |  Abstract
This dissertation uncovers the long history of American thinking and political protest centered on the question of “humanitarian intervention.” Looking back to the nineteenth century, it reveals the diverse roots of such activism, analyzes its modus operandi, and relates its importance to the emergence of the United States as a world power. At the same time, it shows the challenges faced by humanitarians when they confronted debates about violence within their own county—as well as within its new imperial possessions. By comparing multiple cases, from the protection of Armenian Christians to the succor of Russian famine sufferers, one learns how certain acts of violence were transformed into international causes célèbres, while others remained neglected, naturalized, or accepted as just.

Doctoral Candidate, History, Harvard University  -  Taking Liberties Abroad: Americans and International Humanitarianism, 1820-1920

Matthew J. Karp
Matthew J. Karp  |  Abstract
This dissertation traces American slaveholding attitudes about international affairs from roughly 1833 until 1865. Elite Southerners pursued a “foreign policy of slavery” that profoundly shaped national politics throughout the antebellum period. Moreover, this analysis of Southern foreign policy ideas challenges our knee-jerk association of pro-slavery politics with states-rights conservatism. In fact, slaveholders generally pursued aggressive, often centralizing foreign policies, from naval expansion to territorial acquisition. Even their final decision to secede from the Union can be seen as a characteristically bold foreign policy gambit. Ultimately, this new emphasis on the foreign policy of slavery can reshape old understandings of the antebellum South and the Civil War.

Doctoral Candidate, History, University of Pennsylvania  -  This Vast Southern Empire: The South and the Foreign Policy of Slavery, 1833-1865

Johanna Elisabeth Wolff
Johanna Elisabeth Wolff  |  Abstract
Metaphysics, understood as inquiry into fundamental reality, has made a remarkable comeback in analytic philosophy. This is surprising since metaphysics seems to be in direct competition with the sciences. When is a question metaphysical as opposed to physical? How are philosophers suited to address such questions? Metaphysicians go wrong in two ways. First, physics is seen as providing an ontology, that is an inventory of what there is. This view is at odds with the practice of physics. Second, metaphysicians misunderstand the nature of their questions. They are right to reject the idea that their disputes are merely verbal, but wrong to think that their questions are factual. Instead their questions should be viewed as practical, calling for a choice, not an answer.

Doctoral Candidate, Philosophy, Stanford University  -  Is a Radical Critique of Metaphysics Possible?

Demetra Kasimis
Demetra Kasimis  |  Abstract
The study of classical democratic citizenship has been dominated by two approaches. One sees the Athenian citizen in terms of his juridical privileges; the other, within a series of stable binary oppositions: citizen-slave, male-female, native-barbarian, elite-mass. This dissertation troubles these categorizations by arguing that the fraught, neglected category of standing of the city’s foreign residents, a third of Athens’ population, illuminates that citizenship was a way of life whose contours were in fact shifting. These free, non-citizen men and women called “metics” were not the antithesis of citizens. They were economically diverse, integrated, but disenfranchised. This study argues that ancient critics used figurations of metics to ruminate membership, explore democracy's limits, and imagine its alternatives.

Doctoral Candidate, Political Science, Northwestern University  -  Drawing the Boundaries of Democracy: Immigrants, Citizens, and the Polis in Ancient Greek Contexts

Winnie Won Yin Wong
Winnie Won Yin Wong  |  Abstract
China's Dafen village has served as a global production center for handmade oil paintings since 1989, supplying transnational markets with paintings sourced from the Western canon. More recently, aided by governmental support for cultural industries, Dafen village's 8,000 painters have begun striving for “originality” and “creativity.” Its growing prominence in global contemporary art markets and as a national model industry raises new questions of skill, mobility, and commodification. Through analysis of hand-made painting production, this study examines the de-skilling and re-skilling of art in the globalizing frame, and shows how new constructs of originality and the copy are formed through transnational economic forces and globalizing artistic cultures.

Doctoral Candidate, Art History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  -  After the Copy: China, Dafen Village, and the Hand-Painted Art Product

Kathryn LaFrenz Samuels
Kathryn LaFrenz Samuels  |  Abstract
This research examines the emergence of international policies for heritage management, and their translation across various contexts, to question how “the past” produces authority on the global stage. How and why is heritage mobilized to negotiate socio-political and economic relationships, particularly those relationships mediating between the “local” and global? If globalization has been deconstructed to reveal instead vast networks of experts, then this dissertation questions how expertise establishes authority and the ability to “travel” across socio-spatial contexts (community, national, international), gaining further authority through these travels. It situates these questions within North Africa and the rising phenomenon of international programs that develop heritage for economic growth.

Doctoral Candidate, Archaeology/Anthropology, Stanford University  -  Developing Heritage and Traveling Expertise: The Rise of International Programs in Heritage Management

Chad D. Wriglesworth
Chad D. Wriglesworth  |  Abstract
Generations of literary critics recognize that place plays a prominent role in Pacific Northwest literature; however, as it stands, this observation is little more than a cultural platitude, a well received assertion that lacks analysis as to why geography matters to literary studies or people of the Northwest. This dissertation addresses this interpretive void from historical and spatial perspectives, using literary arts as a means of navigating and mapping ways that religious and national narratives transformed the Columbia River Basin into a federally managed Promised Land, a mechanized monument of social and economic progress that is currently being undermined and re-inscribed by bioregional writers and activists, those who establish social and spiritual identities through more localized commitments to place.

Doctoral Candidate, English, The University of Iowa  -  Geographies of Reclamation: A Literary History of the Columbia River Basin

Jonathan P. Lamb
Jonathan P. Lamb  |  Abstract
This dissertation argues that we can only understand the “literary” nature of Shakespeare’s works and career by examining the formal features of his plays and poems. It shows how those features, which range from reflexive pronouns and conditional statements to the prose/verse distinction and the soliloquy, engage with Renaissance literary culture even as they work meaningfully within the plays. Throughout his career, Shakespeare used and exploited these features to various effects, but in certain plays they prove highly meaningful in ways that negotiate with other texts in the literary world (and worlds) around them. The project contains chapters on Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Hamlet, and Troilus and Cressida.

Doctoral Candidate, English Literature, University of Texas at Austin  -  Shakespeare's Writing Practice: "Literary" Shakespeare and the Work of Form