Six fellowships valued at $5,000 each were awarded for 2016-17. These fellowships are designed to address a need for funding for research that could not be accomplished otherwise in order to complete a book project, major article or series of articles, or other research project that makes an impact in the field. Money can be used for any travel, conference, archival/fieldwork, or other normally reimbursable expenses. Fellow participate in the Faculty Colloquium Series, which will function as a working group for these works-in-progress. Projects are chosen on the basis or their intellectual rigor, scholarly creativity, and potential to make a significant impact in the candidate’s career and field. Faculty in affiliated departments are eligible to apply.
Albert Broussard, Professor of History, will work on a project entitled, “The African American Freedom Struggle in the West, 1945-1980.” This book project seeks to expand western black history literature while intersecting current scholarship on the national civil rights movement. The focus on this period and region is due to them being largely overlooked in the current scholarship. Yet they show the significance World War II had on the West by opening doors for blacks and other minorities fight for equality. The amount of activism in the west during this time period signals a new era in race relations for the United States and causes blacks to have a new found confidence. It prompted new activism among students and the formation of new alliances amongst diverse ethnic and racial groups. Additionally, it increased protests against segregation and discrimination while reawakening older civil rights organizations. This amount of activism lead to more radical protest and direct actions campaigns in many of western cities. Professor Broussard will explore the aftermath of the civil rights era in the West, in particular the states and territories west of the ninety-eight parallel, including Hawaii and Alaska. He will evaluate the continued struggle of the American Americans to find equality with their white counterparts. By focusing on post-1960 housing patterns, education, politics and political empowerment, police brutality, and race relations, Professor Broussard hopes to ascertain if the civil rights activism achieved its objective by making black westerners feel their lives had improved in the period from 1965 to 1980.
Jun Lei, Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies, will work on a project entitled, “Lust and Caution: Sexing Womanhood in Maoist Culture (1949-1976).” This project will examine the ability of film and literature to appeal to its audience in the Maoist era. It is challenging the gender and sexuality “erasure” theory and the “disjuncture” model of understanding socialist femininity and female sexuality. The post-Mao understanding of femininity is not a new invention and is best understood as a reinvention of the oppression from the Maoist regime. Femininity and female sexuality are seen as private matter but still manifested in various public forms. In order to understand this manifestation Professor Lei will examine the top-down Party cultural policy of the Maoist regime as well as women’s agency. Women’s agency enabled women in the Maoist regime to manifest their own concepts of feminine beauty and female sexuality in spite of oppression. This regime denounced romantic love and self-beautification. If femininity and sexuality were oppressed, where did they go after repression and in what form did they return in cultural productions? By examining the film and literature from 1949-1976 Professor Lei hopes to answer this question and understand how communist film and literature lured readers and audiences without any allure.
Adam Seipp, Professor of History, will work on a project entitled, “’Mox Nix’: Germans, Americans, and the Making of the Federal Republic.” This book project is a socio-cultural history of the American military presence in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). It focuses on the transformation of western Germany from defeat and devastation to a democratic society, a process which he calls “military modernization.” Through the use of this term, Professor Seipp argues that the drastic change seen in western Germany must be understood in the context of its long-term encounter with foreign military forces. During a fifty year period, more than 15 million American soldiers, dependents and other civilians lived and worked in the FRG making it one of the largest, longest-lasting engagements between civilians and foreign military forces. By focusing on Heidelberg, Munich, and the rural region between Wurzburg and the border with East Germany, Professor Seipp can examine three American garrison communities in the FRG that represent the spectrum of American basing and German-American interactions. While historians address the importance of American Influence on the FRG, they tend to overlook the presence of actual Americans. This work highlights the dynamic interactivity between German and American communities that resulted in cultural, economic and political changes. By studying the garrisons from German and American perspectives, the story of transformation can ben told in an integrated manner as well as highlight harder to see changes that are linked to the physical and social co-existence between Americans and Germans.
Kazuko Suzuki, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, will work on a project entitled, “At the Crossroads of Fantasy and Reality: Yaoi and Post-Male Feminism in Contemporary Japan.” This project is asking how Yaoi novels and comics function within and contribute to the development of feminism in Japan. This literature presents idealized partnership in the form of reciprocal, egalitarian male homoerotic relationships. This project looks at how Yaoi has impacted Japanese women causing them to focus on enhancing their quality of life instead of seeking legal equality with men. The central goal of this project is to illustrate the renewed feminist agenda among Japanese women caught in contradictions between liberal democracy and deeply embedded Confucian-based institutions and norms in Japanese society. Professor Suzuki will analyze the Yaoi phenomenon from an interdisciplinary perspective paying special attention to the social, economic, and political events that significantly impacted Yaoi since its rise in the 1970’s. With this project, Professor Suzuki hopes to show through this one path to transnational feminism, how tension between modernity and tradition needs to be continual negotiated and is an unavoidable element in the development of feminism.
Katherine Unterman, Assistant Professor of History, will work on a project entitled, “Does the Constitution Follow the Flag? Law and Empire in America’s Territories.” The question addressed by this project asks whether or not the constitution follows the flag. This is asking whether or not full constitutional rights extend to all areas under the United States’ control which is important in understanding the rights of the Guantanamo detainees. When the question of their rights was raised to the Supreme Court, the judges turned to a series of decisions from 1901 to 1905 called the Insular Cases. These cases established that the Constitution did not apply fully to “unincorporated” territories like Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. This means that colonized populations are subject to U.S. rule, yet lacked constitutional rights. Very little research has been done on the Insular Cases and this project seeks to help fill this gap. The few studies that do exist on the Insular Cases focus on the legal reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision. Professor Unterman hopes to show how abstract legal proclamations had real-life consequences by focusing on the political limbo inhabitants of colonized territories were placed in by chronicling the full life of the Insular Cases. By considering laws alongside military and economic power this Professor Unterman argues how crucial of a tool laws are for U.S. imperialism.
Nancy Warren, Professor of English, will work on a project entitled, “Hemispheric Medievalisms: The ‘Old Religion’ in the New World, 1580-1800.” This book project comparatively examines the legacies of medieval religion in the cultures of the three major colonizing populations of the Americas: English, French and Spanish. It also considers the roles of the medieval in the early modern period in the Americas due to scholars’ definition of this period as being in opposition to the Middle Ages. Anglophones studies tend to focus on literary reception and adaptation or material culture during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hispanic scholarship on medieval legacies involves tracing the iterations of literature from the sixteenth into the twenty-first century. Professor Warren is departing from these scholarly modes by tracing the multiple religious influences on the colonies in the Americas. The inclusion of Catholic medieval legacies with the Protestant undertakings shows how both impact early American cultures. Professor Warren is focusing on how, in Quebec, the medieval female monastic culture contributed to the participation of the Ursuline nuns in complex political affairs between the Native Americans, French, and English and their establishment of the first institution for female education in the New World. The project also looks at the reception of proto-Protestant “Plowman Traditions” in southern colonies with significant Catholic populations. This project seeks to help scholars and students see the European colonization of the Americas in a fresh light by demonstrating the importance of the old in that process.