Focus on Fellowships
Four faculty researchers in the College of Arts and Science have received national fellowships this semester, allowing them to concentrate on their research projects and publications in collaboration with other researchers and scholars in their fields. Fellowships typically provide stipends covering salary, travel expenses, publication expenses, and living expenses for up to one year. Fellowship programs for faculty are designed to stimulate and facilitate projects by faculty members to improve their teaching, to advance their scholarly and creative work, and to enhance a university's academic programs.
Dennis Trout, professor of classical studies in the Department of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, has been named a fellow of the National Humanities Center. The honor includes an invitation to spend nine months at the center in North Carolina, considered one of the world’s leading institutes for advanced study for over 40 years. The National Humanities Center provides essential support for the humanities, encouraging excellence in scholarship and teaching while affirming the importance of the humanities in American life.
Trout became a member of the department in 2000, after serving as assistant and associate professor in the classics department at Tufts University. He is primarily interested in the history and literature of late antiquity. As a fellow at the National Humanities Center, Trout will be completing a book titled Monumental Verse: Poetry, Cityscape, and Authority in Late Ancient Rome, the first comprehensive study of a body of poems inscribed in the churches of Rome during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries. Many of these verse inscriptions still lack good English translations, and few of them have been thoughtfully integrated with the architectural features and historical contexts of the buildings in which they were installed, a group that includes such well-known churches as St. Peter’s on the Vatican Hill and St. Paul’s on the Ostian Way. The volume will enrich our understanding of the development of both the Roman cityscape and papal authority during this transitional period that saw classical Rome become an early medieval city.
Jim Van Dyke, associate professor of modern European art in the School of Visual Studies, also has been named a fellow of the National Humanities Center. At the National Humanities Center, Van Dyke will be finishing his book, The Social Production of Otto Dix, on a very well-known German painter associated with left-wing social criticism in the 1920s and 1930s. Dix is best known today for his horrific depictions of trench warfare and the grim realities of modern life in post-war Germany. Van Dyke says he is interested in the overlooked details in Dix’s work—things like curious lumps of paint on the surfaces of his paintings, holes piercing drawings and other pictures, double-sided drawings, and the placement of signatures and monograms. His goal is to write a materialist art history that describes how an artist worked in extremely challenging, and powerfully determining conditions not of his own making. The Weimar Republic, the name for the period in German history between 1919 and 1933, is usually celebrated as a time of cultural and modern artistic ferment and experimentation. Van Dyke says Dix was a part of that, but he also needs to be seen in relationship to what many perceived to be the “crisis of art” that emerged after the First World War
An associate professor of German will spend a year in Germany after receiving a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. Sean Franzel will begin part of his year-long fellowship at the Free University of Berlin this July and then complete the fellowship in 2021. While in Germany, Franzel will be affiliated with the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at the Free University, where he will conduct research for his new book, tentatively titled Writing Time: The Aesthetics of Ephemerality in Nineteenth-Century Periodical Literature. Franzel’s research interests span the literary, intellectual, and media history of the 18th and 19th centuries. His first book, Connected by the Ear: The Media, Pedagogy, and Politics of the Romantic Lecture was published by Northwestern University Press in 2013 and was a finalist for the Novalis Prize, a prestigious European prize awarded every two years for innovative interdisciplinary research on European romanticism. Franzel also is the book review editor at the Goethe Yearbook and is on the editorial board at the German Quarterly. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was created by the German government to promote academic cooperation between scholars from Germany and around the world.
Christina Carney, an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, has been awarded a 2019 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The goal of the fellowship is to “increase the presence of minority junior faculty members and other faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and humanities,” according to the foundation. Carney’s fellowship provides funding for her to spend a year at the foundation, based in Princeton, New Jersey, beginning in June.
Her areas of research specialization include black feminisms, black sexualities, queer of color critique, U.S. West studies, and performance theory. Carney says her research centers on the relationship between racialized gender and sexual difference and the construction of nation and region. This research puts into conversation gender and sexuality studies and African American history and culture to advance a feminist geography of the U.S. West that centers black gendered and sexual labor.
Her book, Fleeting Blackness: Black Women, Labor and Place-Making in San Diego, is the first scholarly analysis of the topic to look critically at gender, blackness, and sexuality in the city of San Diego. It is one of a growing, influential number of studies about women and blackness in California, particularly in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, which contributes to African American, ethnic and American studies scholarship in the U.S. West.