ASU's Institute for Humanities Research announces 2022–23 fellows

By

Mina Lajevardi

The Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University has announced 11 faculty members as new fellows for 2022–23. They were awarded a total of $104,500 in funding.

The IHR Fellows program advances the scholarly writing and research of humanities faculty, and includes course buyout, research funding, peer writing groups and development of a cross-humanities faculty community, as well as assisting faculty in grant writing and writing for a broader public.

“We are excited to award fellowships to 11 members of faculty at ASU, and to help them fund their important work,” said Nicole Anderson, director of the institute and professor of English. “Each member of faculty brings their expertise in the humanities to their projects, and we anticipate that their research will advance their practice and engage the community.”

Successful proposals for the IHR Fellows program describe a well-developed scholarly writing project rooted in the humanities that has clear and feasible outcomes for the fellowship year, with potential to be funded by outside agencies.

The program has the following strategic goals: to foster writing habits and public writing; to foster the growth of interdisciplinary cohorts of ASU humanities scholars; to ensure that fellows are incorporated into the ASU humanities pipeline; to ensure that fellows have the time and resources needed to succeed in their career and professional goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

The 2022–23 IHR Fellows are:

Aviva Dove-Viebahn, assistant professor, English
Dove-Viebahn's current, in-progress book project, “There She Goes Again: Gender, Power and Knowledge in Contemporary Film and Television,” interrogates the representation of women on screens, but also in contemporary socio-political debate, in which ostensibly feminine traits — love, empathy, altruism, diplomacy — are alternately lauded and repudiated as possibilities for effecting long-lasting social change.

Britta Ager, assistant professor of classics, School of International Letters and Cultures
Ager's work “Cultivating an Image: The Self-Presentation of Roman Landowners” examines how agriculture acted as a locus of display and performance, especially for political elites, in the Roman Republic and early empire. It examines how Roman landowners, particularly those with aspirations to public careers, mobilized agricultural products, symbolism and dialogue as part of their public image.

Curtis Austin, associate professor of history, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
The collaborative project “The Unsung Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement History” collects visual histories of lesser-known activists who stood beside their more famous counterparts, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer and many others. While their names are less familiar, these people’s stories and recollections represent the pervasive courage and strength of the thousands of people who struggled for equality during this era.

Eugene Clay, associate professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
Clay's work “Regulating the Russian Religious Marketplace from Catherine the Great to Vladimir Putin” illustrates how at the end of the USSR, new laws on religious freedom briefly deregulated the spiritual marketplace. Since 1997, Russia has imposed new burdens on religious bodies to ensure their political reliability. This work will illuminate this evolution by placing it in its historical context.

Han Hsien Liew, assistant professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
Liew's current book project “Preaching Pious and Learned Rulership in Medieval Islam: Ibn al-Jawzi's Political Thought” offers a new reading of the history of Islamic political thought by studying the intersection of politics, rhetoric and emotions in the writings of a 12th century Muslim preacher named Ibn al-Jawzi. It is the first monograph-length work to consider the role of emotions in Islamic political thought, and also the first to integrate the study of the history of emotions into research on medieval Islamic history.

Ilana Luna, associate professor, School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies
Luna’s project “Translation is not Solitude" translates and provides a scholarly framework for two of Rivera Garza’s poetic collections: “La imaginación pública” (2015) and “El virus del aquí,” a forthcoming anthology selected by Amaranta Caballero Prado that spans the breadth of her poetic production.

Isaac Joslin, assistant professor of French (contemporary Francophone literature and culture), School of International Letters and Cultures
Joslin's work “Transnational Intersectionality: Whiteness and Womanhood in Postcolonial Africa” focuses on the intersections of race, gender and socioeconomic class. Central to these philosophical and interdisciplinary inquiries is the deconstruction of monolithic identity categories, arguing rather for a consideration of how gender identity might be constructed differently for different racialized subjectivities.

Katherine Morrissey, assistant professor, English
Morrissey's book project “Redefining Romance: Love & Desire in Today's Digital Culture” reconceptualizes romance and genres for our contemporary digital era. In an analog era, romance genres helped stabilize a hierarchy of sexual norms for women and privileged a particular type of white, heteronormative femininity. In the 21st century, digital platforms use algorithms to manage a range of competing sexual hierarchies. Across media, romance genres have been reshaped by shifts in technology, emerging digital markets and a more participatory media culture.

Mark Hannah, director of writing, rhetorics and literacies; associate professor, English
Hannah's work “Listening for Law” is conceived through the five discrete features of legal grammar: relationality, hierarchy, temporality, simultaneity and predictivity. It cultivates in readers a critical disposition toward anticipating how law’s underlying structures enable and/or delimit the aims of their work, thus activating them as both critics and agents of law’s constitutive nature.

Matt Simonton, associate professor, School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies
Simonton's book project “Demagogues of Ancient Greece” incorporates more than half a millennium of history and the evidence of hundreds of Greek city-states. The project is an interdisciplinary exercise in historical analysis, drawing on theories of contemporary populism from the social sciences and on studies of popular culture within history and comparative literature. It will also contribute to our understanding of the threats facing democracy today and how they can be avoided.

Patricia Webb, associate professor, English
How can the inclusion of a common read focused on social justice issues affect instructors’ pedagogical practices in first-year composition courses? What impact does this have on students’ commitment to community engagement? Webb’s project “Social Justice in the Writing Class: Impacts of Common Read Programs” asks these research questions. The goal of the common read is to “encourage first-year students to write about pressing social problems that are relevant to ASU’s mission as a public enterprise. By learning to write about such problems as a community, we increase the probability of finding a solution to them,” Webb said.

To learn more about the Institute for Humanities Research and the fellows program, visit www.ihr.asu.edu/fellows.

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