ACLS Fellows

The ACLS Fellowship Program awards fellowships to individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences. Institutions and individuals have contributed to the ACLS Fellowship Program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Arcadia Charitable Trust, the Council's college and university Associates, and former Fellows and individual friends of ACLS.

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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. 

Cassius Adair
Cassius Adair  |  Abstract
Bringing together transgender theory and computer history, "The Transgender Internet" traces the role of gender-variant individuals in the design and implementation of digital network technologies between the 1960s and the 1990s. The construction and emergence of pseudonymous digital communities helped to facilitate new forms of trans activism, but it also marked a turn towards a predominantly white and professionalized transgender politics during this period. By understanding the motivations of figures who prioritized industry diversity trainings over activist rallies, "The Transgender Internet" challenges Transgender Studies to understand trans history not just as a genealogy of resistance, but also as messily enmeshed with hegemonic political formations and information systems.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University  -  The Transgender Internet

John Lopez
John Lopez  |  Abstract
"The Aquatic Metropolis" examines Aztec and Spanish efforts to combat flooding at Mexico City via image making, urban planning, and environmental change. This comparative study balances an art historian’s reading of visual and material culture with the methods of historians of cartography, science, technology, and the environment to explicate a more nuanced understanding of Mexico City’s historical path of development than previously offered. Examination of Western and non-Western images reveals a new epistemological orientation to nature on the part of the Spanish from their Aztec counterpart, putting the city at odds with the surrounding lakes and, just as significantly, calling for a new urban aesthetic. Unlike the Aztec who built a city of causeways to mitigate environmental crisis, the Spanish undertook drainage, an approach predicated on subjecting New World nature to European rational analysis to overcome the city’s geography, thereby transforming Mexico City from island to mainland settlement.

Assistant Professor, Art History, University of California, Davis  -  The Aquatic Metropolis: Mapping Nature and Urban Aesthetics at Viceregal Mexico City

Retika Adhikari
Retika Adhikari  |  Abstract
Refugee Crossings is the first book to examine refugee camps in the global South and relocation sites in the global North together to provide an ethnographic account of the entire process of refugee resettlement. Drawing on fieldwork conducted with Bhutanese refugees as they move through the nodes of their resettlement trail—from refugee camps in Nepal to international airports to resettlement cities in Central New York—this project argues that refugees understand their political and humanitarian status as unresolved even after the UN and US refugee programs declare them resolved. By attending to the lived experience of refugee resettlement, this project illuminates that refugees in their post-resettlement life continue to endure future uncertainties and economic precarity just as in the camps. More broadly, Refugee Crossings dismantles the teleological myth of the “success” of refugee resettlement interventions, undoing the assumption of a clean break between the before-and-after and the here-and-there of resettlement.

ACLS Centennial Fellow in the Dynamics of Place
Postdoctoral Fellow, Asian American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  -  Refugee Crossings: Everyday Geographies of Bhutanese Refugee Encampment and Resettlement

Kerry Manzo
Kerry Manzo  |  Abstract
This book project offers a portrait of the continuous deployment of sex and gender in the making of West African literature from the emergence of modernist writing to the present-day emergence of LGBTQIA literature. It is especially concerned with how discourses of heterocolonial modernity have constrained the conditions of emergence for literature by women and other sex and gender minorities. The work invites us to consider both the sexual and gendered nature of postcolonial literary publics and the attenuated publicness of sexuality and gender as these two corollaries have specifically guided the material and discursive development of African literature within global and transnational frameworks.

ACLS Pauline Yu Fellow
Visiting Assistant Professor, Literature, State University of New York, College at Purchase  -  Sex, Gender, and the Making of Postcolonial African Literature

Myles Ali
Myles Ali  |  Abstract
Captive Lives is a social history of slavery in the British colony of Sierra Leone during the late nineteenth century. This monograph utilizes a rich and wide array of colonial and abolitionist sources – documents that contain the names, ages, ethnicities, origins, owners, families, and even transcribed testimonials of the enslaved. Drawing on these records, Captive Lives offers new insights on the demography of Sierra Leone’s captive population, the prevalence of slaveholding, and the movement of enslaved women, men, and children within the colony and its hinterlands. Using micro-historical analysis, this project also reconstructs the quotidian lives of the enslaved, from their family units and social networks to their labor, mistreatment, and strategies of liberation. By foregrounding the unique, significant – and often overlooked – experiences of enslaved people in colonial Sierra Leone, Captive Lives adds new perspectives to the histories of slavery and emancipation in West Africa and the wider Atlantic World.

Postdoctoral Fellow, History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, University of California, Merced  -  Captive Lives: Experiences of Slavery and Freedom in Colonial Sierra Leone

Laura J. Martin
Laura J. Martin  |  Abstract
Since their covert wartime development in the 1940s, auxinic herbicides, the most famous of which is Agent Orange, have been used in agriculture, lawn care, warfare, and invasive species management, with dramatic consequences for ecosystems and public health. The War Against Weeds explains how the proliferation of these “selective herbicides,” which kill dicots but not monocots, transformed agricultural and residential landscapes into grassscapes. This trans-disciplinary research – touching environmental history, history of biology, evolutionary ecology, and environmental justice – follows these herbicides from test grounds in Kenya to battlefields in Vietnam, disposal sites in the Pacific, and American backyards. It reveals how auxinic herbicides were produced, promoted, and used, and how they came to be understood as threats to human health.

Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Williams College  -  The War Against Weeds: How Hormonal Herbicides Reshaped the Global Environment

Joella Bitter
Joella Bitter  |  Abstract
The Aural City examines the sensory environmental politics of a city in-the-making. In July 2020, Gulu was one of seven cities in Uganda to be elevated to city-status. Gulu’s trajectory to becoming a city has been marked by rapid infrastructural development, its place as a regional hub for transport, and its growing popular culture industry, as well as debates about noise and what, exactly, makes a city. Based on ethnographic research with city planners, car mechanics, and music producers, along with analyses of archival documents, oral histories, and soundscape recordings, this project asks what sounding and listening, as relational practices, reveal about the enduring qualities of the city as a place. Situated between anthropology, sound studies, Africana studies, feminist theory and science and technology studies, this work contends with the felt dimensions that make cities more and less livable. The project has written (book) and audio (installation) components.

Lecturer, University of Virginia  -  The Aural City: Sensory Politics in the Making of Gulu, Uganda

Jay David Miller
Jay David Miller  |  Abstract
“Quaker Jeremiad” traces the development of a unique genre of agrarian writing from the English Civil Wars to the aftermath of the American Revolution. During the seventeenth century, Quakers in England drew on longstanding Christian rhetoric about the moral economy to critique wealthy landowners who exploited poor laborers. As the movement crossed the Atlantic, Quaker writers adapted their jeremiads to address the exploitation of labor, the enslavement of Africans, and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples in eighteenth-century North America. “Quaker Jeremiad” revises the standard narrative about American agrarianism by shifting it away from the Jeffersonian tradition to foreground earlier writers whose work makes a rapprochement between agrarian thought and a concern for justice.

ACLS Carl and Betty Pforzheimer Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow, Liberal Arts, University of Notre Dame  -  Quaker Jeremiad

Floridalma Boj Lopez
Floridalma Boj Lopez  |  Abstract
This research project explores how Mayan migrants and their children use organizing to produce cultural production that links issues of settler colonialism across borders. The materials used or created by the Mayan diaspora become opportunities to consider the survival of Indigenous migrants as, "mobile archives of indigeneity." Thinking through concepts of historical memory, Indigenous survivance, and ongoing migration/deportation circuits, this project takes up how these diasporic communities understand themselves as Indigenous subjects despite settler colonial structures premised on Indigenous elimination in Guatemala and the United States.

Assistant Professor, Chicana/o and Central American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Mayan Organizing and Cultural Production in the Diaspora

John MacNeill Miller
John MacNeill Miller  |  Abstract
This literary history seeks to explain why novelists tend to treat human beings as characters while relegating the nonhuman world to the status of mere setting. Focusing on the cultural ascendance of the realist novel in nineteenth-century Britain, "On Background" argues that the novel emerged into its so-called golden age by breaking away from a much more inclusive narrative tradition that emphasized the material networks connecting society to the natural world—the tradition that eventually gave rise to both economics and ecology. Moral disputes led Victorian novelists to part ways with these fields and to refashion their approaches to character and setting to prioritize human needs. This project thus offers a new, interdisciplinary genealogy of the dynamics between character and setting even as it suggests how the reconsideration of literary forms could help foster a more inclusive, more ecological worldview.

Tenure Track Teaching Intensive
Assistant Professor, English, Allegheny College  -  On Background: Scenery, Ecology, and the Social Novel

Renee Jorgensen Bolinger
Renee Jorgensen Bolinger  |  Abstract
When agents make mistakes about whether they received consent, or whether they faced a threat that justified imposing defensive harm, we must make a determination about whether their mistake was reasonable. If it was, we indemnify the mistake-maker; if it wasn’t, we hold them responsible. This book demonstrates that it is unjust to approach these determinations as a set of evaluations of individuals. We must instead take a social approach, characterizing what agents owe each other by reference to the norms that best coordinate the activity of the whole network of similarly situated people who aim to avoid making or suffering any mistakes. It develops a social signaling account of an appropriate coordination norm, and articulates the moral constraints that ensure such a norm will distribute the risks and costs of mistakes fairly, providing the content of what agents’ rights require of each other given our actual epistemic limitations.

Assistant Professor, Philosophy, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor  -  Rewriting Rights: Making Reasonable Mistakes in a Social Context

Matthew D. Morrison
Matthew D. Morrison  |  Abstract
This book explores the sonic and aesthetic legacy of blackface minstrelsy, the firt original form of popular muisc in the U.S., in an effort to uncover the relationship between performance, (racial) identity, and (intellectual) property in the making of popular music from the early nineteenth century into the present. Blacksound is defined as the sonic and embodied legacy of blackface minstrelsy, and this concept is employed to demonstrate how blackface (sonically and structurally) shapes the origin of popular music and copyright laws in the United States. This work considers how commercial entertainment in the nineteenth century developed out of blackface rituals of possession and consumption, while also centering the structural conditions of slavery that enabled for the embodiment and cooption black performance practices in the development of popular music and its industry.

ACLS Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow
Assistant Professor, Recorded Music, New York University  -  Blacksound: Making Race & Popular Music in the United States

Lilia Campana
Lilia Campana  |  Abstract
Archaeological evidence from Byzantine shipwrecks suggest the use of whole-moulding methods, a ship design process devised by Byzantine shipwrights based on Euclidean geometry to produce superior vessel. Fourteenth-century Venetian shipbuilding texts imply that, by this period, Byzantine whole- moulding methods were adopted by the maritime states of the Western Mediterranean, eventually launching Europe into the Age of Exploration. This project provides an extensive account of the trans-regional and trans-cultural networks of exchange in shipbuilding technology, creating new methodological and theoretical perspectives, and ultimately elevating the field of ship design to the debate between "ars" and "scientia" within the history of technology.

Affiliated Scholar, Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University  -  Byzantine Ship Design and Its Legacy in the West Transmission and Application of Shipbuilding Knowledge in Venice and Beyond: Nautical Archaeology, Shipbuilding Texts, and Mediterranean Contexts

Mikael B. Muehlbauer
Mikael B. Muehlbauer  |  Abstract
The rock-hewn churches of Tigray, Ethiopia, despite numbering in the hundreds, have not been the subjects of proper academic study. This project, limited to those Tigrayan churches that are not basilicas, is the first monographic study of its kind and considers the three cross-shaped churches of Abreha wa-Atsbeha, Wuqro Cherqos and Mika’el Amba as architectural palimpsests, an index of the vibrant cultural exchanges that occurred between Ethiopia, the Islamic world and India in the early Middle Ages. This project dates these churches to the mid-11th century, and in the process reconstruct a system of patronage from an Ethiopian kingdom or chieftaincy, based in eastern Tigray, which was engaged in close contact with Fatimid Egypt. The churches depict a reimagined 6th century (replete with archaic furnishings), rendered through a lens of local architectural practices and contemporary innovations from the Islamic world.

Independent Scholar, Art History  -  Prestige Architecture in Early Medieval Ethiopia

Alicia Carroll
Alicia Carroll  |  Abstract
“Indiscipline” examines collaboratively written autobiographies by Hopi people who lived through the Indian assimilation era (1887-1943). During this period, the US government mandated the displacement of Native children to Indian boarding schools that forced conformity to Euro-American culture. Focusing on boarding school narratives in the texts, the project demonstrates how these colonial institutions imposed Euro-American gender and sexuality norms onto Native students to dismantle Indigenous social structures, including non- binary gender systems, relationality, and communalism. It argues that Native students navigated and resisted heteronormative discipline through a practice of "indiscipline": a decolonizing method of defying, refusing, or failing to follow assimilative policies. The project’s theory of indiscipline extends to the storytelling practices of the authors whose refusal to conform to the self-written convention of the autobiography genre and its assumption of the Western concept of the self as an individual, independent subject constitutes a practice of intellectual sovereignty.

Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine  -  Indiscipline: Queering Native American Autobiography

Lina-Maria Murillo
Lina-Maria Murillo  |  Abstract
The history of Chicana and Mexican-origin women’s roles in the movement for reproductive freedom has remained largely unwritten. In “Fighting for Control,” their stores are recovered—ones that displace white women's rights-based histories with Mexican-origin women’s struggle for reproductive care in the twentieth century. This book explores how Chicana/Mexicanas fought for healthcare access in a region consumed by racial anxieties tethered to immigration, exploitative labor conditions, and de facto segregation aimed at keeping Mexicans “in their place.” While twentieth century family planning campaigns in the borderlands racialized Mexican-origin women’s reproduction as inherently "excessive," they also provided spaces from which Chicana and Mexican-origin women accessed reproductive care.

Assistant Professor, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies and History, The University of Iowa  -  Fighting for Control: Power, Reproductive Care, and Race in the US-Mexico Borderlands

Utathya Chattopadhyaya
Utathya Chattopadhyaya  |  Abstract
Illicit. Drug. Two words that inevitably shape scholarship on cannabis, even its perceptible medical benefits. Bengal Ganja analyzes the history of cannabis between 1770 and 1930 when it was a licit and vibrant object, catalytic of social and cultural histories of empire in colonial South Asia. It shifts cannabis out of the Eurocentric archive of colonial medicine that has prefaced its status as drug to excavate other sites of meaning acquired through gendered agrarian systems, cosmological narratives, anticolonial politics, cooperative economics, and circuits of law and empire. It models the plant-as-method to disclose how its cultural biography across diverse archives contended with and exceeded the bounds of Britain's ambition to incorporate its social worlds into modern systems of rule.

Assistant Professor, History, University of California, Santa Barbara  -  Bengal Ganja: Cannabis and Empire in British India

Samuel Ng
Samuel Ng  |  Abstract
This project examines the emergence and development of mourning as a viable basis for mass Black political organizing and protest in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. "Mourning" refers to the various efforts of African American activists to respond to anti-Black violence by generating large, public performances of spirituality, silence, stillness, sacrifice, and lamentation that enabled them to embody and display the very trauma they resisted. Through these mourning practices, activists fostered and expanded conceptions of Black belonging that were centered on feelings of collective endangerment. They galvanized white and Black participants and witnesses to debate, criticize, and revise normative representations and enactments of anti-Black violence.

Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, Smith College  -  Assemblies of Sorrow: The Politics of Black Mourning in the United States, 1917–1955

Ashley Cordes
Ashley Cordes  |  Abstract
This project examines colonial dynamics that manifest in US currency systems and counter-stories of Indigenous systems that resist them. In the past decade, humans experienced what is being framed as a payment revolution considerably enabled by communication technologies. Indigenous peoples consistently innovate methods to store memories, transmit trust, and create reciprocity, yet are largely erased from histories of newer digital currency. This project addresses the problem and articulates how currencies form small parts of much larger stories of Indigenous resistance. Through decolonizing methods, “From the Gold Rush to the Cryptocurrency Code Rush?...” traces the integration of land-based and digital currency from 1853-2020. Indigenous peoples always challenged colonialism, but it is now through digital socio-technical innovation and cultural choices around currency.

Assistant Professor, Communication, University of Utah  -  From the Gold Rush to the Cryptocurrency Code Rush?: Communication of Alternative Currency in Indigenous Communities

Catherine H. Nguyen
Catherine H. Nguyen  |  Abstract
This project investigates the Vietnamese mixed-race child and the transracial adoptee as the figures through which France and the United States negotiate citizenship and refugee displacement and moreover, rewrite military loss within their history of colonial and military occupation of Vietnam. The project challenges the prevailing idea that the mixed-race child is constructed as an object of rescue and employs the conceptual framework of hospitality to reveal the impossibility of the mixed-race child’s full incorporation by way of repatriation and adoption. Reading Vietnamese diasporic works in French and English, the project explores how the mixed-race child as subject complicates the distinctions between refugee and adoptee. Attending to the failures of hospitality and acts of hostility, the project draws attention to how the mixed-race child undermines the expected gratitude and thus offers critiques against the welcome into the family and nation that serves to reconcile military violence and recuperate imperial loss.

Lecturer, History and Literature, Harvard University  -  Children Born of War, Adoptees Made by War: Vietnamese Diasporic Contestations of Empire and Race

Joel E. Correia
Joel E. Correia  |  Abstract
Disrupting the Patrón examines the politics of enforcing three Inter-American Court of Human Rights cases on Indigenous territorial claims in Paraguay’s Chaco. This multi-sited ethnography traces stories of Indigenous activists, settler colonists, and state officials to show how social-spatial relations of power form enduring racial geographies based on Indigenous dispossession. Bridging critiques of settler colonialism with critical environmental justice, the book argues that the politics of recognition are also political struggles over the control of “the environment” that reproduce forms of environmental racism that manifest as human rights abuse. From leveraging international law to embodied forms of resistance, Enxet and Sanapaná peoples rework the politics of recognition through a dialectics of disruption—strategically complying with and breaking laws to rebuild territorial relations as a form of environmental justice. The project draws from 18 months of archival, collaborative, and ethnographic research in Paraguay (around 150 interviews, participant observation, community-based mapping) between 2013-2020.

Assistant Professor, Latin American Studies, University of Florida  -  Disrupting the Patrón: Unsettling Racial Geographies in Pursuit of Indigenous Environmental Justice

Rachel Nolan
Rachel Nolan  |  Abstract
This project spans the period from 1968 to 2007, when Guatemala closed international adoptions amid unfounded rumors of organ-trafficking and founded allegations of child theft and coercion of birth mothers. The year before closure, one in 110 children born there was adopted by a family abroad. The adoption boom was rooted in the bloodiest episode in Latin America’s Cold War: a 36-year armed conflict that escalated into genocide of Maya peoples. The boom was facilitated by the partial privatization of the adoption process in Guatemala. This book manuscript draws on adoption files, police reports, court records, the results of FOIA requests, and oral histories to explore how Guatemala became a leading “sender” country for children. International adoptions, often mistakenly thought of as "apolitical," are in fact a crucial site for understanding racist violence, the effects of national and global economic inequality, and U.S.-Latin American relations during the Cold War and beyond.

Assistant Professor, Global Studies, Boston University  -  The Cold War and For-Profit International Adoptions from Guatemala to the US

Rosanna Dent
Rosanna Dent  |  Abstract
At a moment when Indigenous groups increasingly reject outsiders’ proposals to research them, this project examines how and why some A’uwe-Xavante communities in Central Brazil embrace scholarship. Through a historical case study of sixty years of genetics, anthropology, and public health fieldwork, this project argues that A’uwe-Xavante have developed relationships with researchers as a political strategy in the face of Brazilian colonial expansion. In the process they have shaped the scholars and academic disciplines that study them. This project offers a nuanced approach to the ambivalent role of science under settler colonialism, exploring how expertise intersects with colonial and Indigenous interests in messy, uneven ways. It also combines ethnographic and historical methods through the collaborative construction of a digital archive of scientific objects. This work with four A’uwẽ-Xavante communities is an exploration of how “relationally based ethics” can lead to better knowledge making in both history of science and the fields we study.

Assistant Professor, History, New Jersey Institute of Technology  -  Studying Indigenous Brazil: Moral Economies of Research in A'uwe-Xavante Territory

Leonora S. Paula
Leonora S. Paula  |  Abstract
This book examines the role of Afro-descendants, Black women, and spatially segregated artists and authors in transforming representations of urban life in twenty-first century Brazil. These writers and urban artists, often forced to occupy physical and symbolic peripheries, actively participate in the construction of an urban imaginary that directly opposes the historical exclusion of marginalized knowledge and the ultra-conservative cultural agenda currently sweeping Brazil. By analyzing an array of cultural manifestations, I demonstrate how rooted in gender, racial, social, cultural and spatial justice principles and practices, these artists reimagine the space they occupy. Their creative activity uses urban memory, spatial identity, space alteration, and ancestral urban history as ways to make claims about their rights to the city. This book situates Afro-Brazilian culture as a fundamental engine in the project of reclaiming a space of protagonism for Black people in Brazil, a movement that reverberates throughout the global Black diaspora.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, English, Michigan State University  -  Reimagining the Brazilian City: Black Feminism, Spatial Identity and Contemporary Urban Culture

Caitlin C. Earley
Caitlin C. Earley  |  Abstract
This book project explores the motif of the captive in Late Classic (600-900 CE) Maya stone sculpture. Through a close analysis of the style, iconography, and context of over 300 depictions of captured enemies from throughout the Maya area, it demonstrates that captives in ancient Maya art were not just symbols of defeat. Instead, depictions of captives endowed the king with the right to rule, constructed specific social identities for viewers, and ensured world order through their participation in sacrificial ritual. Drawing from theory on the agency of stone sculpture, this study reveals new information about embodied interactions between sculpture and viewers in the Ancient Americas, and the ability of art to construct and reflect lived experiences in the ancient Maya world.

ACLS H. and T. King Fellow in Ancient American Art and Culture
Assistant Professor, Art History, University of Nevada, Reno  -  The Captive Body in Ancient Maya Art: Bound in Rope, Bound in Stone

John D. Phan
John D. Phan  |  Abstract
This project examines how oral languages transform when developed into written literary mediums of expression, through the specific case-study of early modern Vietnamese bilingual literature. The textual focus is a series of translation projects dating from the 17th-18th centuries, in which Vietnamese writers took works originally composed in Classical Chinese and transfigured them into vernacular Vietnamese--not as close translations, but as elaborative interpretations of the originals, designed to explore the expressive and aesthetic capabilities of the vernacular language. This project overturns nationalist notions of a competition between Vietnamese vernacular and Classical Chinese cosmopolitan modes, and reveals an iterative process of reinventing an oral vernacular language into a new literary tradition.

Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Columbia University  -  Vulgar Experiments: How the Vietnamese Vernacular was Redesigned into a New Literary Tradition

Yasmine Espert
Yasmine Espert  |  Abstract
Happiness, ritual, and sovereignty are artists’ persistent aspirations in the African- and Afro-Asian diasporas. This book project explores why the dreamscape has become the creative form of expression for such social ambitions since the 1990s. It spotlights the films and new media projects that exploit the dreamscape in contemporary Caribbean and diasporic art. Analyses focus on this tropical region, as well as its transnational impact in Canada, Mexico, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Central to this manuscript are the artists Mariette Monpierre, Michelle Mohabeer, and Minia Biabiany. This project engages their questions of happiness, spirituality, sexuality, and sovereignty in the wake of colonialism.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Art & Visual Culture, Spelman College  -  The Cinema of Social Dreamers: Artists and Their Imaginations Return to the Caribbean

Olivia Arlene Quintanilla
Olivia Arlene Quintanilla  |  Abstract
This book brings together the fields of Ethnic Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Critical Refugee Studies with Environmental Justice, Science Studies and Oceanography. This project makes visible Indigenous organizing for coral reef climate justice, advocacy and action on behalf of coral reefs, as an ethical, political, and social justice issue that impacts our planetary functioning. Focusing on coral reefs and deep ocean environments, it will examine the history of environmental impact assessments and their engagement with Pacific Indigenous island communities during periods of military occupation, natural disasters, climate change, and political, economic, and social transition.

Adjunct Professor, Ethnic Studies and Chicana/o Studies, San Diego Mesa College  -  Restoring Balance through Resilience, Resistance, and Coral Reefs: Pacific Island Climate Justice and the Right to Nature

Georgi Gardiner
Georgi Gardiner  |  Abstract
“She Said, He Said” investigates the epistemology of rape accusations, focusing on formal institutional procedures. ‘She said, he said’ cases are accusations of rape, followed by denials, with no further significant case-specific evidence, such as credible alibis or third-party witnesses. In such cases, probably the accusation is true. But this epistemic asymmetry underwrites a paradox. This paradox—which arises from the contrast between the relatively weak ‘preponderance’ standard and the characteristic epistemic strength of rape accusations—reveals tensions among plausible feminist and liberal commitments. Building on recent insights from philosophy and law, “She Said, He Said” challenges our understanding of testimony, proof, epistemic justice, and the epistemology of rape.

Assistant Professor, Philosophy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville  -  She Said, He Said: Rape Accusations and the Balance of the Evidence

Omar Ramadan-Santiago
Omar Ramadan-Santiago  |  Abstract
Among Puerto Rico’s Rastafari population exists a divergent construction of blackness that is spiritual and diasporic. This project examines how the Rasta community constructs, imagines and embodies blackness as a personal, political, and spiritual identity. Despite dominant constructions of race in Puerto Rico that position a number of the Rastas as non-black (a privileged categorization), they refuse this categorization in favor of choosing identification with blackness, not just as a racial but also a spiritual identity. Rastafari has influenced a number of its adherents to critique the construction of blackness and black identity formation in Puerto Rico, to instead create their own “spiritually black” expression. In doing so, they demonstrate the metaphysical nature of race, thus interrogating how race and racial identification has historically been constructed and understood.

Independent Scholar  -  “Espiritualmente Negro”: The Construction and Performance of Spiritual Blackness Among the Puerto Rican Rastafari

Hanna Golab
Hanna Golab  |  Abstract
This book project rewrites the history of ancient literature by bringing to light ritual choral poetry preserved in the extant epigraphic material. Thanks to its unorthodox approach in interpreting stone inscriptions through the lens of ritual performance it shows how ancient Greeks thought with and acted through chorality in the Hellenistic and Roman periods; it demonstrates that choral rituals contributed to the creation of sacred and therapeutic landscapes, dialogues between diverse ethnic and religious traditions, and to forging of complex political relations.

ACLS Barrington Foundation Centennial Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow, Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison  -  Songs and Stones: Postclassical Greek Chorus

Conor Tomás Reed
Conor Tomás Reed  |  Abstract
The quadrilingual anthology Black Feminist Studies in the Americas and the Caribbean—co-edited by Diarenis Calderón Tartabull, Makeba Lavan, Tito Mitjans Alayón, Violeta Orozco Barrera, Conor Tomás Reed, Layla Zami, and Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES) members—constructs a bridge between the vast pedagogical contributions of Black feminists across the Western hemisphere from the 1960s to the present. Building upon recent Spanish translations of the rise of U.S. Black Women’s Studies, this anthology transcends existing methodological and linguistic siloes to develop a more comparative, interdisciplinary, and transnational approach to learning with Black feminisms and Black radical traditions. With this project, we assemble a solidaristic textual space—the first of its kind—for Black feminists to listen to and more strategically collaborate with each other across the Americas and the Caribbean, and for non-Afro-descended people to also absorb these lessons in developing deeper complicities against colonialism, misogyny/transmisogyny, and racial supremacy.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Africana Studies and American Studies, City University of New York, Brooklyn College  -  Radiating Black Feminist Studies in the Americas and the Caribbean

Serra Hakyemez
Serra Hakyemez  |  Abstract
“The Law’s Enemy” is populated by piles of Kafkaesque court minutes kept in the offices of human rights organizations, personal reflections of former prisoners on their life in high-security prisons, scenes of passionate and silent protests staged in the counterterror courts of Turkey’s Kurdistan. Based on three years of ethnographic and archival research, this book searches for the traces of political action and insurgent justice under duress. It concentrates on the mobilization of law by the Turkish state to establish territorial and popular sovereignty amid its protracted counterinsurgency war with Kurdish guerrillas. It argues that the normative ground of terrorism trials originates in not the letter of law but the unwritten rules of counterinsurgency war. In this war by law, this book examines how the law’s racialized and gendered enemies stripped of rights fight in the name of decolonization and national liberation.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Global Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities  -  The Law's Enemy: Terrorism Trials in Turkey's Kurdistan

Ashanté M. Reese
Ashanté M. Reese  |  Abstract
This project explores the role of sugar in the development of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, in the building of cities and in everyday consumption within and beyond prisons. Theorizing the prison and the city as linked to plantation structures, it draws on embodied ethnographic methods and archival research to map the production and consumption of sugar across various spaces. Secondly, it theorizes sugar as a carceral technology itself, arguing that its relationship to Black consumers and bodies across space and time operates as a duality: as a necessary sweetness in an anti-Black world and as a disciplining mechanism through how it is produced and how its consumption is policed.

Assistant Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin  -  The Carceral Life of Sugar

Sarah E. Handley-Cousins
Sarah E. Handley-Cousins  |  Abstract
This book project explores the interconnections between criminality, trauma, and veteranhood in post Civil War America. Across the newly reconciled United States, newspapers breathlessly reported an uptick in violent crime, a surge that many associated with the demobilization of the armies. As time went on, reports of veteran-criminals in newspapers mingled with stories of veterans dying by suicide, being dragged off to asylums, and packing prisons. Americans came to believe that the conflict had unleashed something dark and dangerous. Effectively waging war meant engaging passions that once unleashed could not be controlled. Yet, war was also understood as a crucible for manhood, honing manful citizens. How could war create both violent criminals and ideal citizens? These tensions reveal the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that Americans reckoned with the individual and collective trauma of the Civil War.

Lecturer, History, University at Buffalo, State University of New York  -  The Age of Crime: Disability, Crime, and Veterans in Gilded Age America

Shoniqua D. Roach
Shoniqua D. Roach  |  Abstract
“Black Dwelling: Home-Making and Erotic Freedom” asks what happens when Black women claim and cultivate home in the United States, a space that has historically and contemporaneously denied Black women the right to domestic privacy and safety. Black Dwelling historicizes the oppressive structures that have pathologized and violated Black homes – redlining practices, predatory loans, and police invasions, for example – but also uncovers an intellectual and cultural history that presents the Black household as a paradigmatic site of Black freedom. By studying the cultural materials that Black women writers, artists, and activists have used to craft household geographies of freedom, Black Dwelling shifts understandings of Black freedom from just a conceptual question—i.e., what is Black freedom? -- to an also spatial one—i.e., where might Black women find it?

Assistant Professor, African and African American Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Brandeis University  -  Black Dwelling: Home-Making and Erotic Freedom

Aminah Hasan-Birdwell
Aminah Hasan-Birdwell  |  Abstract
This project focuses on the seventeenth-century philosophers Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618- 1680), Anne Conway (1631-1679), and Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) as they respond to the Thirty Years’ War and the English Civil War, conflicts whose political instability as well as economic and social devastation directly affected them. All three thinkers had distinct philosophical and moral responses to the wars of the seventeenth- century, but they agreed that war itself is not an inevitable condition and that its consequences outweigh its justifications or legitimacy. These key observations, among others, distinguished their thought from the prevalent theories of just war, which treated war as an essential aspect of the human condition.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Columbia University  -  The Consequences of War in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy: Ideas of Sustainable Peace in Elisabeth of Bohemia, Anne Conway, and Margaret Cavendish

Franco D. Rossi
Franco D. Rossi  |  Abstract
To what degree were ancient representations revisions of history in their own time? The proposed monograph, "Revisions of Sovereignty," explores this question at the Classic period Maya site of Xultun, Guatemala. It brings archaeology, digital technologies, epigraphy, and art history together to present the complete epigraphic record and updated stela archive of the important site of Xultun, Guatemala for the first time. It expands on original archaeological research about an ancient institute of Maya learning (dated to 750-800CE), and its uniformed order of students and teachers, connecting this school’s inscribed records of niche expertise to highly public, ritualized acts of translation that were performed by leaders and subsequently memorialized in stone. The monograph will not only offer an important new data set to scholars, but also a methodological approach for reconsidering institutional legitimacy and the interplay of privately crafted knowledge and publicly influenced history.

ACLS H. and T. King Fellow in Ancient American Art and Culture
Postdoctoral Fellow, History of Art, Johns Hopkins University  -  Revisions of Sovereignty: The Art and Epigraphy of Xultun, Guatemala

Claire E. Heckel
Claire E. Heckel  |  Abstract
This project draws on detailed studies of objects in the Plains Indian collections at the American Museum of Natural History, conducted over two years (2016-2018) during a post-doctoral fellowship in the Museum’s Anthropology Division. Informed by approaches to material culture in the field of prehistoric archaeology, it positions objects as primary documents in the reconstruction of complex social histories on the Plains between 1890 and 1920 and challenges both the conventional classificatory schema of ethnological museum collections and the historical narratives that accompany them. Data sharing of the detailed results of attribute analysis conducted on each object facilitates remote collaboration with specialists from source communities. The ultimate product is a book-length monograph co-authored with source-community collaborators.

Faculty Member, University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro  -  Reading against the Catalog: Reconstructing object histories in the Plains Indian collections at the AMNH

Wendy Salkin
Wendy Salkin  |  Abstract
Informal political representatives (IPRs) are ubiquitous. They speak or act on behalf of others though neither elected nor selected by means of formal, systematized election or selection procedures. Familiar examples abound: Me Too’s Tarana Burke informally represents women who have experienced sexual assault or harassment. Black Lives Matter informally represents Black communities in the United States and beyond. IPRs play crucial roles in the lives of the represented, particularly when the represented are marginalized or oppressed. Though unelected, IPRs voice interests, make groups visible, and negotiate with lawmakers. Accordingly, IPRs can have significant power to influence how those they represent are regarded by a wide variety of audiences. Yet, IPRs’ power can, unchecked, put the represented in danger. Such unconstrained power generates unexpected duties for both IPRs and their audiences. "Not Just Speaking for Ourselves" provides a systematic normative theory of informal political representation.

Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Stanford University  -  Not Just Speaking for Ourselves

Georgia Henley
Georgia Henley  |  Abstract
This project examines politically-motivated reinterpretations of the Welsh past by aristocratic families in the Anglo-Welsh borderlands involved in the conquest and colonization of Wales c.1250-1450. It draws together an unprecedented range of literary texts in Welsh, French, Latin, and English, several of which are edited and translated for the first time. It argues that Anglo-Welsh families reinterpreted Welsh history narratives in order to leverage political influence in the region, and doing so, reshaped the lines of transmission that drew Welsh texts into England. The project overturns the idea that English literary culture erased Wales, rather, Wales exerted a continuous pull on the English historical imagination that culminated in the Tudor accession to the English throne in 1485.

Tenure Track Teaching Intensive
Assistant Professor, English, Saint Anselm College  -  Memory on the Margins: Reimagining the Past in the Medieval Anglo-Welsh Borderlands

Danica Savonick
Danica Savonick  |  Abstract
“Insurgent Knowledge” is the first monograph to analyze the classrooms of authors Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich, all of whom taught at Harlem’s City College in the late 1960s. While these authors are often studied for their writing, their archival syllabi, lesson plans, and assignments reveal that they developed creative methods of teaching students to advocate for social change. At the same time, teaching during this revolutionary moment in educational history inspired what I call “the genres of open admissions” and many insights now associated with intersectional feminism. “Insurgent Knowledge” thus reveals how these renowned authors were also transformative teachers and educational activists, whose experiences in public universities fundamentally altered the course of American literature.

Tenure Track Teaching Intensive
Assistant Professor, English, State University of New York at Cortland  -  Insurgent Knowledge: The Poetics and Pedagogy of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich in the Era of Open Admissions

Margaret G. Innes
Margaret G. Innes  |  Abstract
“Collective Forms” examines the role of photography within the American radical labor press of the 1920s-1930s. Focusing on workers’ pictorials and workers’ camera clubs, the project considers how these cultural formations reshaped the interwar public sphere and reimagined labor as a community. It surveys photography’s use across a range of publications and presentational formats to demonstrate how tactics such as collectivized authorship, photomontage, protest photography, and serial narrative drew on precedents within the European and Soviet communist press while engaging the conditions of the domestic media ecosystem and working-class public. The project argues that these representational practices destabilized the historical, linguistic, and racial parameters of capitalist nation-building to organize workers for an international proletarian movement. This project likewise advances an understanding of photography as a social-relational form and the collective as a paradigm with which to rethink photography’s history.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University  -  Collective Forms: Photography, Print Culture, and Radical Labor between the World Wars

Talia Shalev
Talia Shalev  |  Abstract
“Some Inarticulate Major Premise” analyzes references to poems, poets, and the genre of poetry in 20th-and 21st-century American legal scholarship and Supreme Court opinions. What emerges is a record of shifting perceptions of the relationship between common law, constitutional rights, and the judiciary’s connection to popular will. Central to the analysis is a comparison of poetry’s rhetorical function in critical race scholarship and civil liberties opinions, as this highlights how assumptions about race, gender, and the American family have been tacitly present in claims about the extent to which US courts do or should manifest the will of the American people.

Lecturer, Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology  -  Some Inarticulate Major Premise: Poetry, the Will of the People, and the US Supreme Court

Catherine Jampel
Catherine Jampel  |  Abstract
“Scales of Inclusion” offers a framework for understanding inclusion projects as neither singular failures nor as unassailably good, and for conceptualizing disability and other identities as products of scalar processes. The book draws on year of ethnographic fieldwork in the world of corporate disability inclusion to elaborate on how the concept of environmental microaggressions can inform our understanding of inclusive places, how branded identities circulate in the labor market, and how the production of uneven development is integral to the growth of disability participation in mainstream professional settings in the U.S.

Visiting Lecturer, Geography and Environmental Sustainability, State University of New York at Oneonta  -  Scales of Inclusion: Disability and Labor in The Twenty-First Century

Bobby J. Smith II
Bobby J. Smith II  |  Abstract
“Food Power Politics” examines the interaction between conflicting practices of food power as exercised in the Mississippi Delta from the civil rights era to today. Using a multi-methodological approach, my book offers a new line of inquiry that uncovers a neglected period of the movement when activists expanded the meaning of civil rights to address food as integral to sociopolitical and economic conditions. This meaning-making process is used as a model by Black communities today that mobilize around the food justice movement. By making such connections, “Food Power Politics” brings together histories of civil rights with food justice studies to illuminate how the struggle for civil rights in the Mississippi Delta informs and shapes current struggles for food security in Black communities.

Assistant Professor, African American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  -  Food Power Politics: Civil Rights and Black Food Security in the Mississippi Delta

Erin Kappeler
Erin Kappeler  |  Abstract
Free verse is poetry by and for white people. Or at least, that is how white editors and critics pitched free verse to readers when it started to come into vogue in the United States in the 1910s. This book tells the story of how these critics turned free verse into a weapon wielded against Black and Indigenous poets. From the 1910s through the 1930s, free verse was defined in academic journals, textbooks, literary anthologies, and popular magazines as the formal expression of a white race. This project shows the need for a radical restructuring of literary histories of modernism, which continue to position free verse as a salutary break with the poetic forms of the past rather than as a racialized construction that created real barriers for Black and Indigenous poets and critics.

Assistant Professor, English, Tulane University  -  The Songs of White Folk: Anti-Blackness, Settler Colonialism, and the Invention of Free Verse

Erin A. Spampinato
Erin A. Spampinato  |  Abstract
“Awful Nearness” studies the intersection of two preoccupations of the early English novel: rape and otherness. Its central claim is that between 1740 and 1900, rape was a representational site for novelists concerned with exploring the essential isolation of human minds and the various ways such minds try and fail to connect to one another. This literary tradition simultaneously tracks the progress of British women’s evolving status as political subjects, from the eighteenth century, when women were largely seen as political “others” within their own country, to the turn of the twentieth century, when their political subjectivity was increasingly recognized. The project thus tells a forgotten, even suppressed, history of both the English novel and the formation of the liberal subject.

Adjunct Professor, English, Colby College  -  Awful Nearness: A Literary and Cultural History of Rape, 1740-1900

Allannah K. Karas
Allannah K. Karas  |  Abstract
Current crises of failed dialogue, polarization, and civil unrest demand a re-examination of the emotionally manipulative dynamics of rhetorical speech. Due to a supposed synergetic development between rhetoric and democracy, however, certain dimensions of human persuasion are often overlooked. In ancient Greece, for example, one such aspect was that embodied by a little-known erotic goddess of Inducement or Agreeable Compulsion (in Greek, Peithō). This deity operated in both the public and private spheres to provide individuals with the power of making others “willing to submit,” at times without recourse to an open process of fair argumentation. Through several close analyses of ancient Greek dramatic, poetic, and sophistic texts from the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E., this project re-examines and definitively situates Peithō as a binding, pre-rational, and potentially violent force central to the conceptual development and use of rhetoric (rhētorike) in ancient Greece and still today.

Tenure Track Teaching Intensive
Assistant Professor, World Languages and Cultures, Valparaiso University  -  Not Quite Persuasion: Violence, Bondage, and the Ancient Roots of Rhetoric

Michelle C. Velasquez-Potts
Michelle C. Velasquez-Potts  |  Abstract
When does the medical clinic become a torture center? "Suspended Animation" investigates the long history of medical/carceral institutions invested in social control, and in particular Guantánamo Bay detention camp where since 2002, captives of the “war on terror” have been forcibly fed as punishment for hunger striking. The project considers how the practice of hunger striking contests and reframes the definitions of “living” and “dying” in relation to the technologies of control used to subjugate such as the feeding tube. By situating force-feeding practices at carceral sites in the history of US medical technologies, it shows how the punitive administration of the feeding tube blurs the line between life and non-life, or “suspended animation.” "Suspended Animation" insists that we need to understand the technology of the feeding tube to locate the practice of force-feeding within a genealogy of racialized and gendered subjugation that aims to weaken resistance to carceral technologies.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Women's and Gender Studies, University of Texas at Austin  -  Suspended Animation: The Rise of Force-Feeding in Carceral Times

Kelly Kay
Kelly Kay  |  Abstract
With changes to US federal tax law during the 1970s and 1980s, many large forest products companies found it financially beneficial to divest of their landholdings. As a result, tens of millions of acres of privately-owned industrial forestland changed hands, with the majority being acquired by a new class of investor-owners. “Landscapes of Finance” examines the changing experience of everyday life in rural timber-dependent communities as a new class of investor-owners have come to own the majority of private timberland in many parts of the country, managing that land with different aims and temporalities than their longstanding predecessors. The project uses ethnographic (interviews, participant observation, anonymous storytelling) and archival data to document modern-day socio-ecological relationships with financialized timberland, situating these relationships within a longer history of timber company towns.

Assistant Professor, Geography, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Landscapes of Finance: Time, Timber, and the Fate of US Forest-Dependent Communities

Maria Vinogradova
Maria Vinogradova  |  Abstract
“On the Public Rails” offers the first scholarly study of organized Soviet amateur cinema. During its most productive period, between the late 1950s and the early 1990s, numerous amateur collectives at factories, universities, vocational schools and other organizations created a vast body of films that ranged from “useful,” such as newsreels, industrial, educational and corporate films, to “useless,” such as fiction, animation and occasional experimental works. These films, together with the contexts for their creation, constitute a forgotten chapter in the history of the use of the film medium in the Soviet Union. Analyzing extant amateur films and drawing on archival documents, manuals for cine enthusiasts and interviews, this book highlights the three actors that shaped Soviet amateur film culture after 1957: cine amateurs themselves, state institutions that provided material support, and professional filmmakers whose advocacy was instrumental in the mass development of amateur production.

Visiting Assistant Professor, History of Art and Design, Pratt Institute  -  On the Public Rails: A History of Soviet Amateur Filmmaking (1957-1991)

Mary C. Klann
Mary C. Klann  |  Abstract
Wardship and the Welfare State explores how mid-twentieth-century policymakers and legislators defined first-class citizenship against its apparent “opposite,” the much older and fraught idea of Indian wardship. Wards were dependent, first-class citizens independent. Wards received “gratuitous” aid from the government, first-class citizens were “responsible.” Critics of the mid-century expansion of the federal welfare state feared that as more Americans received government aid, they too could become dependent “wards,” victims of the same poverty on reservations. Because they mistakenly equated wardship with welfare, state officials advocated terminating Natives’ trust relationships with the federal government and prevented Native people from accessing welfare benefits. But to Native people, wardship was not welfare, and welfare was not wardship. Native nations and pan-Indian organizations claimed tribes’ government-to-government relationships with the US and maintained their rights to welfare assistance. In so doing, they rejected stereotyped portrayals of Natives’ perpetual poverty and dependency and asserted tribal sovereignty.

Lecturer, History, San Diego Miramar College  -  Wardship and the Welfare State: Native Americans and the Formation of First-Class Citizenship in Mid-Twentieth-Century America

Hollian Wint
Hollian Wint  |  Abstract
Tracing fragmented, but interconnected lives through multi-lingual archives in Tanzania, India, Oman, the United States, and Britain, Mobile Households is a trans-local and gendered micro-history of the modern western Indian Ocean. Existing scholarship on Indian Ocean commerce analyzes closed networks, the boundaries of which are defined by caste and religion. Foregrounding the quotidian and conceptual worlds of previously-silenced creole actors and households, this project interrogates the central concepts of kin and community and highlights the various forms of translation, conversion, and commensurability regulating exchanges across geographic, legal, and cultural divides. Thus, "Mobile Households" redraws historiographical boundaries; it illuminates historical connections that transcend continental divides, but also brings into conversation hitherto distinct conceptual frameworks from African and South Asian studies. In so doing, it argues that transformations in capital forms and flows, institutions, and moral economies in the modern global era were constituted at the intersection of the intimate and economic.

Assistant Professor, History, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Mobile Households: The Intimate Economies of Obligation Across the Indian Ocean, c. 1860-1960

Juliet Larkin-Gilmore
Juliet Larkin-Gilmore  |  Abstract
Mobile Medicine centers disease in Native history to show how mobility blurs neat conceptions of spatial and racial order. Between the 1880s and 1930s, U.S. Indian policies tried to eliminate tribal sovereignty and, in the process, created medical crises for tribal nations across the country. Along the Lower Colorado River, tribes responded through purposeful movement that gave them freedom from surveillance, the opportunity to make a living, and the ability to maintain strong community bonds and sacred customs and relations to the land—in short, the ability to maintain their health. Diseases often link communities in new and complicated ways; their trajectories outline the contours of colonization in its many unwieldy forms. Through disease, Mobile Medicine tracks the liminal and powerful roles of Indigenous people and their health in US history.

ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow, American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  -  Mobile Medicine: Public Health and Indigenous Lives on the Lower Colorado River, 1880-1940

Lindsay Wright
Lindsay Wright  |  Abstract
This project offers the first book-length critical examination of the Suzuki Method, an approach to teaching music that has shaped millions of musicians around the world. Japanese pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) contended that musical talent is “no accident of birth,” developing an immersive approach to musical learning that has been embraced by an increasingly diverse range of American communities. Expanding upon efforts to elucidate classical music’s complicity in systems of white supremacy, this project theorizes the Suzuki Method’s system as an “Industrial Complex,” arguing that it has perpetuated the very racial and socioeconomic inequalities it professes to redress, catering to fantasies of meritocracy while striving to dismantle the concept of innate talent at its core. The investigation draws upon historical and ethnographic methods to consider the possibilities and limitations of “method” itself, examining why Suzuki’s immersive design has facilitated both frustration and flourishing in students.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Music, University of Chicago  -  The Suzuki Industrial Complex: Race, Class, and Talent in American Classical Music

Christine Larson
Christine Larson  |  Abstract
Writing the Romance explains how a disparaged band of literary outcasts—romance writers—became the leading pioneers of e-books, “the first digital innovation led by women” (The Guardian, 2016). From 2009- 2015, when income for most U.S. authors fell by half, romance writers doubled their earnings, improved their status and diversified a lily-white genre. I reveal that a rare type of social network, formed to counter 1980s sexism, ultimately propelled their digital success. Moreover, the network offered a space where diverging concepts of feminism competed, enabling authors of color to reinvent the romance community in 2020. I argue that romance writers’ alternative style of organizing, rooted in women’s historic working patterns, offers a model for others struggling under unequal systems.

Assistant Professor, Journalism, University of Colorado Boulder  -  Writing the Romance, 1980-2020: Gender, Voice and Power in the Digital Economy

Farren Yero
Farren Yero  |  Abstract
My book traces the circulation of the smallpox vaccine in the Atlantic World and argues that we cannot understand the history of vaccination without addressing the role of reproductive politics in its creation and maintenance. Drawing on archival research and feminist theory, the project foregrounds the enslaved and free mothers who (willingly or not) provided access to their children, whom doctors relied upon to incubate and conserve the vaccine across imperial lines. In turn, it analyzes how vaccination became embedded in struggles over abolition, individual rights, and the very meaning of consent. In doing so, it highlights the gender and racial politics of vaccine development and its contested relationship to slavery, freedom, and motherhood in the nineteenth century.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, Duke University  -  Atlantic Antidote: Race, Gender, and the Birth of the First Vaccine

Kent Linthicum
Kent Linthicum  |  Abstract
“Crowning Coal” shows how print culture facilitated the expansion of British coal and American slavery through metaphor, comparison, metonymy, and other devices. The project examines British and American literary texts, scientific works, travelogues, and other media from across the long nineteenth century. These texts analogized the lives of enslaved peoples with colliers; conflated enslaved peoples with coal and steam engines; and developed the ‘machine slave’ metaphor. The ideological conflation of slavery and steam made it all the easier to materially transfer actual energy, work, and pain between these systems prolonging slavery and reinforcing fossil fuels. “Crowning Coal” shows how media naturalize pernicious energy sources, how to resist those forms and move towards energy justice.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology  -  Crowning Coal: Slavery, Fossil Fuels, and Literature 1755–1865

Salvador E. Zarate
Salvador E. Zarate  |  Abstract
Orange County, like Los Angeles County to the north, is a region historically prone to wildfire. In recent years, however, extended drought and escalating climate change has fueled the frequency, scale, and intensity of wildfires to a degree never before seen. “Weed Abatement” examines how Latino immigrant workers’ ecological labor prevents wildfires in Southern California. It draws on two years of ethnographic research with weed abatement crews to argue that weed abatement labor serves as an alternate ecological scientific knowledge practice that enables a novel understanding of the political ecology of wildfires, called “fire-breaking.” “Fire-breaking” populates alternate worlds of racial, ecological, and atmospheric entanglement that includes the Santa Ana winds, the chaparral ecology, and Latino workers to imagine a future beyond the hamstrung cycle of devastation represented by fire and property regimes that workers currently uphold but from which they are ultimately excluded.

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine  -  Weed Abatement: Immigrant Workers and Fire Prevention in Orange County