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Glasscock Center Announces 2012-2013 Graduate Research Fellows

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research has named nine recipients of Glasscock Graduate Research Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year. This is the inaugural year for the fellowship and will annually award up to ten fellowships valued at $2,000. To be eligible, students in affiliated departments have to be working on a Doctoral dissertation or Masters thesis but can be at the initial stages of their projects. These students will make up the community of graduate scholars who populate the Graduate Colloquium Series and will use the experience as a tool to improve their own writing and projects and to help each other improve the quality of the work being produced as a group. The fellowships were awarded to:

Claire Cothren, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, will be working on a dissertation entitled “Sexing the American South.” She will examine how gender and sexual boundaries in the American South are portrayed through Southern Gothic literature, reasoning that the genre is a useful one for social and political critique.  She will look at works such as Percy’s Lancelot and Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina as texts that call attention to the troubling ways the Southern Gothic genre has historically attempted to unify the region by demonizing the sexual “Other,” in turn arguing that the Southern Gothic is not a “genre of helplessness” (Yaeger 13).

Jennifer D. Heth, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, will be working on a dissertation focusing on how Theodore Roosevelt is depicted in monuments and memorials. She will be analyzing how American’s changing attitudes concerning western expansion, imperialism, and how Roosevelt himself are displayed in these works of art.  Her study will illustrate how Roosevelt’s image was tailored by biographers and the monuments’ patrons, and how this representation changed throughout the twentieth century.  The dissertation will also serve as a framework for later studies of how Americans alter and employ the images of historic figures for their own purposes as well as how these works of art influenced and are influenced by their historical contexts.

Yeonsik Jung, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, will investigate how turn-of-the-century white American middle-class anxieties about their shifting community (in the form of socialism, immigrants, the closing of the frontier, etc.) contributed to the formulation of an American identity. Research will be conducted using selected American fiction (ranging from popular utopian fiction to modernist and realist texts), psychological theories of anxiety (including the theories of Freud, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger), and Nancy, Agamben, and Anderson’s  claims on national community. The goal of this dissertation is to prove how selected films and works of fiction between 1990 and 1925 affected the public consciousness and national character.

Brandy N. Kelly is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences working on her dissertation entitled, “Ripples of Hope: Young Women of African Descent Emerging into Adulthood and the Performance of Hope.” Her study recognizes the complexity and multidimensional nature of identity and leisure, and combines the sociopolitical history of leisure, Black feminist/womanist thought, and performance and social justice youth development theories to investigate the conceptualization and performance of hope. The dissertation will contribute to a greater understanding of how narratives of hope in mediated leisure and performance of self generate hope narratives in the lives of young African American women between 18-27 years old.

Brett H. Lowry, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology, will be working on a dissertation examining the strategy employed by Neo-Pagans with a European ethno-religious focus. In his dissertation, Lowry will answer questions such as why some choose Neo-Pagan strategies as opposed to other less socially risky strategies, how the Neo-Pagan strategy appropriates the past and ancestors, and how these practices and narratives might revalorize whiteness.  The answers will come primarily from the collection and analysis of ethnographic data from Texan Neo-Pagan field sites, and will aid in determining how notions of ethnic heritage and ancestry bear on theoretical discussions of changing American constructions and performances of racial and religious identities in response to modernity and globalization.

David Orta, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology, will examine how involvement in ethnic identity-based collective organizations affects members’ attitudes and beliefs about racial inequality. Orta proposes that these organizations develop a culture based on a group-based historical racial-ethnic experience, which in turn influences member’s subscription to a racial “counter frame” or anti-racist worldview. He suggests that the “counter frame” is not well formed until after an individual’s experience within the group.  Research will come primarily from initial and follow-up interviews with members of Latina/o Greek Letter Organizations at two college campuses. The project will ultimately yield insights into the theoretical and practical theories of assimilation and incorporation into American society and add to the literature on race and ethnic relations.

Vandhana Ramadurai, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication, will continue research on her dissertation showing the multidimensional nature of food insecurity, by bringing forth the voices of Indian slum women from the Rajendra Nagar slum in Bangalore as they share their experiences and understandings of food insecurity.  This dissertation will help remedy the lack of in-depth research in the health communication field on the topic of food insecurity among women, and will include a richer discussion on the social and cultural aspects affecting hunger in the slum.

Bethany Shockley, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, will be working on a dissertation project examining how citizens in Latin America interact with their local official in light of decentralization reforms that have now made local governments a large part of Latin American’s everyday life.  She will examine interactions from three perspectives—that of ordinary citizens, elected officials, and intermediary groups or non-government organizations—to supplement research on decentralization with research focusing on both the representatives and the represented.

Duygu Yenerim, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Architecture, will conduct research to investigate the cultural background of people living in informal settlements developed north of the Mexican border known ascolonias, their vernacular building traditions, and how their houses reflect social identity in order to propose improvements on housing and increased living standards.  The research will be conducted in four phases: literature review of the Texan and Mexican populations’ idea of “home,” interviews with experts on social and cultural issues, a photographic filed survey of the colonias homes, and semi-structured interviews with residents.  The ultimate goal of the project is to produce both documentation and a photographic exhibition that may suggest interventions in patterns of homebuilding.

Hyun Wu Lee, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, will investigate British soldiers’ social, economic, and cultural exchanges with Americans of different backgrounds in a variety of spaces in southeastern North America during the Seven Years’ War.  The research project aims to understand asymmetrical power relations along the lines of race, ethnicity, class, and gender identities, and endeavors to highlight the experience of commoners such as British rank-and-file, young Indian warriors, and slaves by analyzing various sources to reconstruct both macro and microscopic vignettes of British troops in the Southeast.

The Glasscock Center accepts applications for Glasscock Graduate Research Fellowship each spring semester. Applications will be accepted again spring 2013 for the 2013-2014 academic year. For further information visit the Center’s website or contact the Glasscock Center at glasscock@tamu.edu or (979) 845-8328.

Glasscock Center Announces 2012-2013 Faculty Research Fellows

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research has named four recipients of Glasscock Faculty Research Fellows for the 2012-2013 academic year. Recipients of the eight annually awarded Fellowships receive a $5,000 research bursary and will present and participate in the Faculty Colloquium Series during their fellowship year.

 

Nathan Bracher, professor in the Department of International Studies, will be working on a project entitled “Portrait of the Artist as a Political Pundit: The Case of Francois Mauriac.” He will examine the work of Mauriac in order to highlight Mauriac’s distinctive role in the turmoil of political and cultural controversy heating up the debate in the Parisian press throughout the interwar years, the Occupation, the postwar upheavals, Cold War polarization, and the decolonization period. Professor Bracher plans to complete two book projects that will make Mauriac’s influential editorials available to an English speaking audience. The first book will provide an English edition of a select number of editorials written at critical times in the domains of politics, culture, society, and history. The second book will provide an intellectual biography of Mauriac as a journalist.

Federica Ciccolella, associate professor in the Department of International Studies, will be working on a project entitled “When East Meets West: Learning Greek in Venetian Crete.” Her research focuses on the study of the Greek language, which is an important aspect of Renaissance culture. Her long-term goal is to publish a monograph on the different traditions of Greek studies in the West. Professor Ciccolella’s immediate goal is to analyze the unique case of a homogenous school library transmitted to us and preserved at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This library includes the manuscripts of Andreas Donos, who taught Greek in Crete between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when the island was under Venetian rule. These manuscripts make it possible to evaluate similarities to and differences from the Greek curriculum established in Western Europe. Her research will contribute to her monography on Greek studies amd will allow her to complete a thirty-page essay for a book that she is co-editing.

Judith Hamera, professor in the Department of Performance Studies, will be working on a project entitled “‘Never Can Say Goodbye’: Michael Jackson,Tyree Guyton,and the Ruins of American Deindustrialization.” Professor Hamera will complete field and archival research for her book which is tentatively titled “‘(De)Industrial Actions: Performance and Social Change in the 1980s.” Her project argues that key American performers provided structures of feeling through which the economic upheavals of this pivotal decade could be understood, embraced , or resisted. She will use archival and interview methods to collect data in order to finish three chapters from three key sections of the project.

Angela Pulley Hudson, assistant professor in the Department of History, will be working on a project entitled “Okah Tubbee, Laah Ceil, and the Limits of Antebellum Indianness.” Her project is a historical study of two extraordinary individuals who fashioned “Indian” personas for themselves during the mid-nineteenth century. She will employ methods and theories from cultural and social history to use these individuals’ lives as an optic for understanding race, gender, religion, and class in the antebellum era. Ultimately, her project will contribute to our understanding of self-fashioning in the antebellum United States, and will also offer a corrective to scholarship on race and representation that has tended to overlook the participation of women and people of color in shaping popular notions of ethnic identity, particularly “Indianness.”

Hoi-eun Kim, assistant professor in the Department of History, will research cultural, social, and political aspects of interracial marriages in the Japanese empire (1895-1945) for his forthcoming article “Between Racial Purity and Assimilation: The Politics of Interracial Marriage in the Japanese Empire.”  His research will encompass the ways ideas and intermarriage and sexual liaison were formulated and discussed in the language of race, focusing his research on relations between Koreans and Japanese, comparing these to the background of Europrean colonial relations with local people.Professor Kim will present the resulting article at the “Everyday Coloniality” conference in Seoul and plans to publish it in a scholarly journal.

Ruth Larson, associate professor in the Department of International Studies, will produce an article analyzing the literature of Michel de Montaigne, a sixteenth century French humanist and writer. Professor Larson will interpret Michel de Montaigne’s essay “D’un enfant mostruex” as an interrogation into what it is to be human in the early-modern period in the context of Montaigne’s writings on cultural difference and relativity. With particular emphasis on Montaigne’s attempt to understand the role of physical difference in relation to religion and nature, Larson will relate her research back to the consideration of physical alterity.

Anne Morey, associate professor in the Department of English, will continue research for a forthcoming book entitled “Women and the Silent Screen,” that will assesses the full scope of women’s engagement with movies from the beginnings of cinema until the late nineteenth century. The book will offer a comprehensive account of women’s contributions to silent film culture in United States and will help us rethink conventional ideas about authorship and the archive, emphasizing the hand women had in building the movie culture.

The 2012-2013 Glasscock Faculty Research Fellows will present their work completed during the fellowship in the Glasscock Center’s Morning Coffee Hour in in the 2013-14 academic year. The Glasscock Center accepts applications for Glasscock Faculty Research Fellowships each year. Applications will be accepted again spring 2013 for the 2013-2014 academic year. For further information visit the Center’s website or contact the Glasscock Center at glasscock@tamu.edu or (979) 845-8328.

Glasscock Center Announces 2012-13 Brown-Kruse Graduate Fellows

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research is pleased to introduce the Glasscock Center’s Brown- Kruse Graduate Fellows for the academic year 2012-2013. These fellowships are awarded annually and are made possible by the generous gift of Maggie and Corey Brown ’92 and of Gayle and Layne Kruse ’73, members of the Glasscock Center Development Council. Brown-Kruse Fellows receive a stipend of $3,000 to help with the completion of their thesis or dissertation. The students will be in residence in the Glasscock Center during their fellowship year and will participate in the intellectual community. The following students have been selected as Brown-Kruse Fellows for the 2012-2013 academic year:

Mark David McGraw, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Hispanic Studies, will be working on a dissertation entitled “The Universal Quixote: Appropriations of a Literary Icon.” He will examine how the literary figure of Don Quixote has been appropriated by institutional, revolutionary and nationalist movements, transforming the fictional character into a cultural icon. He will use both text and images to examine visual representations of Don Quixote in their political and historical contexts to ascertain their value and impact as appropriations in a variety of media, from political cartoons to satiric journals. His aim is to account for and analyze the textual and visual representations in their historical, political, and institutional contextsand to study in a comprehensive manner the process of appropriation that has transformed the literary character into a universal cultural icon.

Matthew A. Yokell, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, will be working on a dissertation focusing on the colony of Qingdao, China in order to examine German ideas about empire at the turn of the twentieth century. The Germans who lived and worked in Qingdao articulated a liberal vision of empire that shaped attitudes at home and abroad about Germany’s imperial mission. He will examine the archival records of mid-level state and military officials, businessmen, and religious leaders that helped build Qingdao. He will study the colonial experience as “history from the middle” and will explore the networks and ideas moving between Europe and Asia in order to evaluate the critical role Qingdao played in Germany’s emergence as a world power.

Vahid Vahdat Zad, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Architecture, will be working on a dissertation exploring the genesis of modernity in a non-Western society. He will examine how Western architecture and urbanism were perceived and represented by Iranian travelers visiting European cities in the nineteenth century. He will explain how the perception of modernity was transformed by the traveler’s own prejudices, expectations, and ideals in a type of “reverse-Orientalism.” He intends to show that Persian and Islamic ideals played a major role in the construction of an image of the ‘modern’ West  and that the Persian perception of modernity dealt primarily with an internal consistency of the ideas about a preimagined utopia. He will use methodological devices known as strategic-location and strategic-formation and discourse-analysis, mapping, and diagramming to compare the authors’ descriptions with the architectural spaces they experience.

The Glasscock Center accepts applications for the Brown-Kruse Fellowship each spring semester. Applications will be accepted again spring 2013 for the 2013-2014 academic year. For further information visit the Center’s website or contact the Glasscock Center at glasscock@tamu.edu or (979) 845-8328.

Glasscocks Establish Outstanding Student Award

From the Texas A&M Foundation
http://giving.tamu.edu/news/press-release/Trustees-Outstanding-Student-Award.aspx

June 06, 2012

Texas A&M Foundation Public Relations Contact:
Megan Kasperbauer
(979) 845-8161
m-kasperbauer@tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Through a generous endowed gift from Susanne and Melbern Glasscock of Houston, the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees this month announced the creation of a $2,500 annual cash award for outstanding Texas A&M students. The award will be known as the Texas A&M Foundation Trustees’ Outstanding Student Award.

Outgoing Foundation Trustee Mel Glasscock announced the $75,000 gift at an annual dinner in May during which the board honored his seven years of service. He encouraged current and former Foundation trustees to contribute to the endowment so that it will grow in value to provide additional student awards.

“It is my intention that this award will give these students a boost as they move into the next stages of their lives after graduation,” he said. “Susie and I believe strongly that investing in education and giving a young person a kick-start in life pays multiple dividends to society.”

The annual award will recognize graduating Texas A&M seniors who have served as leaders of student service organizations and who embody the university’s core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service. Award recipients will be judged primarily on their achievements while overcoming personal or family financial challenges, and will demonstrate financial need. Finally, they must have been recipients of a scholarship held by the Texas A&M Foundation.

The nomination process will take place each fall semester with the selection process occurring in early spring. Recipients will be notified before the Foundation Board of Trustees presents the award during its annual spring dinner.

Among the university’s most generous philanthropists, the Glasscocks support humanities research and scholarship, teaching, the Corps of Cadets, athletics and many other Texas A&M endeavors. A humanities research center, humanities book prize, and endowed faculty chairs and scholarships carry the Glasscock name. Mel Glasscock, a 1959 Texas A&M mechanical engineering graduate, is president and CEO of Texas Aromatics Inc. Susie Glasscock is a Trustee Emeritus of Rice University, her alma mater, where the School of Continuing Studies bears her name.

“In the past we have acknowledged the service of our outgoing trustees in many ways, but Susie and Mel insisted that they give something back as he moves off our board,” said Ed Davis, Foundation president. “This endowment is now a special part of the Glasscocks’ Texas A&M legacy, which is truly advancing great causes and changing lives.”

The Texas A&M Foundation is a private nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance Texas A&M’s capability to be among the best universities. To learn more about scholarships, fellowships, and other academic- and student program-focused giving to benefit Texas A&M University, contact the Foundation at (800) 392-3310 or (979) 845-8161.

RAMPS Spring Season Continues with Dr. Jocelyne Guilbault Visit

The Texas A&M Department of Performance Studies will continue the spring portion of its’ RAMPS initiative with a presentation by Dr. Jocelyne Guibault of the University of California-Berkeley. The presentation will take place Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Melbern G. Glasscock Library on campus.

Dr. Guilbault, a professor of ethnomusicology, specializes in theory and method in popular music studies, politics of aesthetics, and issues dealing with power relations in music production and circulation. She has spent more than 30 years doing extensive fieldwork in the French Creole- and English-speaking islands of the Caribbean on both traditional and popular music.

“Few scholars have examined the relationship between culture and politics as richly as Jocelyne Guilbault,” said Harris M. Berger, Professor of Music and Associate Head in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. “Her insights into the role of music in constructing racial and national identities are at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship.”

Guilbault’s presentation, “Music of the French Creole and English-speaking Caribbean Islands,” is free of charge and will take place in Room 311 of the Glasscock Building.

RAMPS (Rothrock Agenda for Music and Performance Studies) is a five-year initiative that advances the Department of Performance Studies’ mission of scholarly and creative excellence.  It is funded through the generosity of Ray A. Rothrock ’77, who graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M with a degree in nuclear engineering, then went on to earn graduate degrees from MIT and Harvard.  His commitment to the arts and humanities as essential components of a great university makes RAMPS possible.

This year RAMPS investigates Activist Performance in a series of presentations and workshops. Dr. Guilbault’s presentation is the fourth of five RAMPS events scheduled for the 2011-12 school year.

“Give Me Liberty: ‘Enthusiastic Oratory and Political Dissent in British America” lecture by Richard Shumann

Richard Schumann, historical interpreter, actor and lecturer at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, will present a lecture “Give Me Liberty: ‘Enthusiastic Oratory and Political Dissent in British America 1740-1776,” on 10 April 2012, at 3 p.m. in Whitley Suite, Evans Library.

Co-sponsored by the departments of English, Communication, and History, the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, with additional support from the Discourse Studies Working Group

Resume and Press Release:
Richard Schumann graduated from Rutgers University, double-majoring in Political Science and English, with a secondary specialization in Pre-Law. He undertook further study in Theatre in New York City at the Herbert Berghoff Studio, where he studied with Uta Hagen, Aaron Frankel, Hal Holden, and Sandy Dennis.  Along with the first generation of historical interpreters trained at Yorktown and Williamsburg, he began his apprenticeship in Living History in Yorktown, Virginia in 1981.

Schumann has devoted the last 25 years to the thorough performance-based understanding of 18th-century Virginia.  He joined the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1993, first as a Theatrical Interpreter, and then “became” Patrick Henry, the Voice of the Revolution, in 1995.  Continually striving to master the oratorical genius of the “forest born Demosthenes” before hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, Schumann combines two of his great loves:  acting, and history.  Mr. Schumann firmly believes that if it weren’t for Patrick Henry, we’d all be speaking English today.

Program Synopsis:
Richard Schumann’s depiction of Patrick Henry has impressed audiences again and again as a rare and stunning reconstruction of what ex tempore political oratory was like in a period that taught oratory through practice as much as through precept.  Schumann’s performance highlights how much Henry had learned from the religious orators of his time, particularly Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian “New Light” in Virginia during the 1750s. Henry later melded the “enthusiastic” style he had learned from Davies with his own experiences in the courthouse and tavern culture of Hanover, Virginia, and the House of Burgesses. Schumann’s interpretation and performance of the Henry character, and the “Give Me Liberty”: speech of March 23, 1775, will be followed by ample time for questions and answers. Mr. Schumann will then provide us with insights into how he has gone about reconstructing Henry and preparing his interpretation.  The presentation will be of special interest to our students and scholars in Rhetoric, American Literature and History, Communication, Religious Studies, and Performance Arts.

NEH Grant Writing Workshop with Jason Rhody on 26 March

Jason Rhody, Senior Program Officer at the National Endowment of the Humanities in the Office of Digital Humanities will participate in a grant information session and mock-panel review on Monday, 26 March in the Digital Humanities Lounge, Blocker 246.

8:45 – 10:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Twenty minute sessions to meet with Jason Rhody

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Discussion of NEH, the Office of Digital Humanities as well as all other NEH programs

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Mock grant review panel – strategies for application-writing

Though Jason works in the Office of Digital Humanities, he represents the NEH office in general. ANYONE interested in applying for an NEH grant of any sort may contact Mary Farrington to set up an individual meeting. Some meeting times are available on Tuesday morning, 27 March, as well.