Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows
Assistant Professor, English, Indiana University
Glamour in 6 Dimensions explores glamour as an essential
aesthetic mode of both literary and cultural production during the modernist
period. It links glamour to a range of critical issues pertinent to modernist
scholarship today: the rise of commodity culture, the proliferation of
scopic and reproductive technologies, the representation of gendered and
racial identities, and the tension between notions of authenticity and
originality and those of artifice and reproduction. Prof. Brown concentrates
on the British and American literature and culture that emerged between
the turn of the nineteenth century and the late 1930s, although her conclusions
speak for a greater cultural shift from the transcendent vision of art,
language, and human possibility-that is, the profound belief in authenticity-of
the eighteenth century, to the era of modernism.
Lecturer, History, Boston College
This project traces the origins of a tradition of
communal violence in mid-Victorian Belfast. Although Belfast had seen
violence between working-class Protestants and Catholics before this period,
the repeated and prolonged clashes of the 1850s and 1860s marked the emergence
of an endemic, deeply engrained tradition of violence that powerfully
shaped both groups' emerging communal identities. By examining the evolution
of these distinctive patterns of violence - particularly their transformation
from ritualized, rural-style battles into convulsive, deadly urban riots
- Dr. Doyle illuminates the complex forces driving communal polarization
and priming Belfast's rival communities for the titanic political struggles
of the late-nineteenth century.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Art History, Temple University
The rhetoric of origin has conspicuously structured
the imagery of modernist urban design. Criticizing the apparent chaos
of the present, many architects and planners of the twentieth century
imagined a coherent order in the archaic cities of the preindustrial past.
Moreover, they employed detailed examples of preindustrial urban forms
in order address what they saw as the most urgent problems of contemporary
cities. Surprisingly however, few historians have commented on this phenomenon.
Revising standard accounts of modernism's break with history, Dr. Raynsford
maps out previously submerged connections among the images and discourses
of urban design. He argues that the modernist idealization of archaic
form was central to the genesis and definition of the modernist city.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Modern European History,
Rethinking the Origins of Society examines the ways in which French anthropology,
psychoanalysis, and family law have worked together since the beginning
of the twentieth century to produce and promote a particular theory of
social origins premised on sexual difference. Dr. Robcis focuses on the
works of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan, both of whom highlighted
the interdependence of the sexual and the social by positing a direct
correlation between kinship and socialization. She traces how their ideas
gained recognition, not only from French social scientists, but also from
legislators and politicians who relied on some of their most difficult
concepts - such as the symbolic, the incest prohibition, psychosis, or
the Name-of-the-Father - to enact a series of laws concerning the family.
Scholar in Residence, Oceanography & Astrobiology,
Biology as a discipline has long been motivated by a question that it
has nonetheless deferred and resisted: What is life? Indeed, what is an
organism, a virus, or a species? Dr. Wells' research examines why these
questions remain, and must remain, unresolved. He argues that any determination
of an essence of life necessarily assumes that the essence is both recalcitrant
to evolution and separable from the environment. These assumptions create
the necessity of a discrete origin, one that will bring into being the
ready-made, impervious-to-evolution essence. Yet does "life,"
or anything else, have an essence - or an origin? Or, are "life"
and similar categories (species, organism, even origin) necessarily indeterminate
to the degree that they reflect evolutionary process? What metaphysical
assumptions does this formulation expose, challenge, and make? Equally
problematic, how is "evolution" itself to be thought if "evolution"
calls into question the terms by which we understand its happening?