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Hall Center announces resident Fellows

Monday, May 01, 2017

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center has announced its fellows in residence for the 2017-2018 academic year. Jonathan Lamb, Antje Ziethen, Catherine Batza, Ari Linden and Crispin Williams were selected as Research Fellows, and Patricia Manning was awarded the Hall Center’s Mid-Career Research Fellowship. Doctoral candidates Alyse Bensel and Rachel Schwaller received the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities.

Hall Center Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process. Fellowships provide release from teaching, an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations.

Lamb, assistant professor of English, will work on his book project, “Bookish Words: Writing about the Material Text in Early Modern England.” He uses digital and library archives to explore how the material features of books created a set of conceptual, rhetorical frameworks in early modern England. Certain physical characteristics acquired a particular signifying function, and these symbolic values, in turn, supplied writers with a vocabulary of expression, from which arose metaphorical and material uses that have currency today.

Ziethen, assistant professor of French & Italian, will work on her book project, “Heteropolis: The Urban Americas in African Literature,” which posits that the Americas — from Canada to Brazil — have become a privileged site of residence, creation and imagination for African writers over the past 20 years. Ziethen’s claim is that selected novels mediate the Africa-America nexus through what she calls the heteropolis — the “other city” — that describes the interference of two fictional cities that eventually become an extension of each other.

Batza, assistant professor of women, gender & sexuality studies, will work on her book project, “AIDS in the Heartland.” Her work will be the first book-length project to examine in-depth the complex realities of the early AIDS crisis in the American Heartland and illuminate the region’s importance to the larger national AIDS history by examining how regional AIDS responses went on to inform the LGBTQ political agenda regionally and nationally. Most LGBTQ historical scholarship depicts the Heartland as inspiring an LGBTQ exodus, a foil to coastal cities or a backdrop to sexual secrecy. This book challenges this narrative, providing a history of this still under-represented region that illustrates its relevance, importance and connection to the larger national AIDS and LGBTQ historical narrative.

Linden, assistant professor of Germanic languages & literatures, will work on his book project, “Experience and Posterity: Karl Kraus and the Substance of Satire.” Early 20th-century Viennese satirist Karl Kraus has undergone a minor revival in the Anglophone world. Linden’s book will probe the theoretical implications of Kraus’ critique of modern experience. In arguing that Kraus’ “absolute” satire sought to undermine the ethical and epistemological foundations of his epoch, this identifies his satirical engagements with modernity’s self-understanding as a central yet overlooked discourse within modern German and European thought.

Williams, associate professor of East Asian languages & cultures, will work on his book project, “Oath, Covenant, and Curse in Ancient China.” The genre of written oath, covenant and curse, the book argues, was the key tool in early China for creating cooperative groups and is thus essential for our understanding of social and political developments in early China. Oaths, and the related forms of covenant and curse, are one of the oldest formulaic uses of speech in human history, the prime example of the formulaic application of language in order to achieve cooperation in large groups, particularly during periods of political and social unrest and in the process of state formation.

Manning, associate professor of Spanish & Portuguese, will work on “Taste and Economics in the Age of the Inquisition: Publishing and Consuming Novella Collections in Early Modern Madrid,” a book project that uses archival historical documents, book history and literary analysis to study the effect of the Inquisition on the 17th- and 18th-century Madrid book market. The project capitalizes on scholars’ renewed interested in the once-popular literary genre of the the novela cortesana (courtly novel).

Bensel, doctoral candidate in English, will work on her dissertation, “Rare, Wondrous Things: A Poetic Biography of Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717).” Schwaller, doctoral candidate in American studies, will work on her dissertation, “God’s Economy: The Interconnection between Neoliberalism and Evangelical Christianity.”

Resident fellows present on their work-in-progress in the Resident Fellows Seminar, open to all faculty, staff and graduate students. A schedule will be released in the fall semester.

For more information about the Hall Center’s faculty and graduate student resident fellowships, please contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or call (785) 864-4798.