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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-8328.