Glasscock Internal Faculty Fellows

Recipients of the four annually awarded Internal Faculty Fellowships receive a one-course teaching release in the spring semester of the fellowship year, a $1,000 research bursary, and an office in the Glasscock Center for the fellowship year. These fellows, along with the Glasscock Faculty Research Fellows, will present and participate in the Faculty Colloquium Series during their fellowship semester.

Academic Year 2016-2017

blantonCarlos Blanton, Associate Professor of History, will work on a project titled, “Between Black and White: The Chicana/o in the American Mind.” This project is a history of how Chicana/o peoples were understood in American intellectual thought from the early nineteenth century through the late twentieth century. Unlike other minorities in the United States, not much academic discourse over Chicana/o history exists. Professor Blanton analyzes four discrete intellectual discourses in U.S. history: 1) a slavery discourse (1840s-1850s) among policy makers and race theorists over the “All Mexico” and filibustering questions during and after the U.S.-Mexico War; 2) a restriction discourse (1890s-1920s) from medical and anthropological scholars focused on immigration; 3) a segregation discourse (1910s-1940s) of educators and psychometricians concerned with school policy; and 4) an assimilation discourse (1930s-1970s) among social scientists interested in culture from an environmentalist perspective. In this project Blanton asks several questions. How have U.S. intellectuals viewed the Chicana/o population in different periods of the nation’s history? To what extent were those ideas connected to contemporary political and cultural debates? To what degree did each discourse build upon older discourses? And how have Chicana/o peoples (or scholars sympathetic to them) contested or modified these notions? Through these questions, Blanton hopes to provide a new intellectual genealogy of racism in the U.S. that goes beyond the Black-White binary. Blanton aims to submit a journal article and a book proposal based on this research.

Anat GevaAnat Geva, Professor of Architecture, will work on a project titled, “Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Architectural Expression: The Case of Modern American Synagogues (1950s-1960s).” The objective of this research is to investigate in depth Mid-Century modern American synagogues that were designed by prominent architects of the 1950s-1960s. The aim is to show to what extent these designs expressed American values of freedom of religion and innovations in aesthetics as well as evolving building technology. Following World War II, there are observable indicators of re-conceptualization in the construction and design of houses of worship in America. Eric Mendelsohn’s article “In the Spirit of our Age” (1947) and his synagogue designs were among the first to reflect this desire. Influenced by Mendelsohn, other prominent architects ventured to bridge modernism and Judaism in their designs of the American synagogue and to link the building to the American landscape and values. These changes reflect perceptions of religious freedom and tolerance as well as influences of the modern architecture movement and innovation in building technology. The case of mid-century modern American synagogues exemplifies how prominent architects of the era embraced these changes to express American values and modernism.

SumpterRandall Sumpter, Associate Professor of Communication, will work on a project titled, “Journalism Tradecraft: Writing the Rule Book in the Gilded Age.” This book project offers a new explanation for how the rules for news work were standardized during the last decades of the nineteenth century. Editors and publishers responded to the technical developments and economic conditions by employing poorly paid, inexperience reporters, who would find it easier to produce stories if taught some standardized steps. Professor Sumpter’s research will (a) review these emerging work standards, (b) explain how knowledge brokers (highly experienced reporters and editors with considerable job mobility) spread the standards through communities of journalistic practice (equivalent to a daily paper’s newsroom), (c) show how the same communities developed parallel standards for rule breaking to mitigate abusive employment practices in the absence of a unionized work force, and (d) conclude by examining how new media and new competition at the start of the twenty-first century once more triggered rule writing in an effort to redefine news and the standards for collecting and presenting it. This project represents the first time that the knowledge broker/communities of practice explanation has been used to model the dissemination of news work standards in the late nineteenth century. It also challenges progressive theoretician’s assumptions about the evolution of journalism as a profession.

Nathan Bracher, Professor of International Studies, will work on a project titled, “Ethics and Aesthetics of the World War II Past in the Contemporary French Film and Novel.” This project is an extension of Professor Bracher’s research on the history and memory of France’s twentieth century experience of World War II and the Holocaust. It will focus on a recent series of prominent films and best-selling books that approach the traumatic wartime past in a highly personal mode, thus intertwining the search for family roots, personal identity, and historical meaning. At the same time, these popular cinematic and literary works bring a distinctly twenty-first century perspective to their exploration of the past, and therefore propose a paradigm for defining the present. Plunging back into World War II and the Holocaust, the film Les Heritiers and novels Charlottel and Le Principe link the quandaries of the narrators to those of their protagonists, raising crucial questions of ethics and aesthetics. These twenty-first century works have much to reveal about contemporary society and current developments in historiography. While the notion of a teleologically structured force leading to progress has been widely discredited, these works show culture and private life all the more invested with the presence of the past.

In addition to presenting their works-in-progress during the 2016-17 Faculty Colloquium Series, the Glasscock Internal Faculty Residential Fellows will discuss completed research during the Glasscock Center’s Morning Coffee Hour in the 2017-2018 academic year. The Glasscock Center accepts applications for Glasscock Internal Faculty Residential Fellowships each spring semester. Applications will be accepted again in spring 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year. For further information visit http://glasscock.tamu.edu/grants-funding or contact the Glasscock Center at glasscock@tamu.edu or (979) 845-8328.


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