Funded by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere
General Objectives of the Series
The UF Synergies series features informal talks by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere’s Rothman Faculty Summer Fellows, Tedder Doctoral Fellows, and Rothman Doctoral Fellows. Fellows will speak for 20 minutes in length about their funded work, leaving ample time for questions and discussion. Talks are paired across disciplinary boundaries to stimulate discussions about threads and connections across research areas and allow for synergies of ideas to emerge in interdisciplinary conversations.
- For more information on becoming a Rothman Faculty Summer Fellow, a Tedder Family Doctoral Fellow, or a Rothman Doctoral Fellow, see the Call for Proposals page.
Building Cultural Identity through Language, Monuments, and Architecture
Monday, 6 November – 4:00pm-5:30pm, Keene-Flint 05 (Dept. of History Conference Room)
Global Networks of Tropical Architecture
Prof. Vandana Baweja, 2017 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellow (School of Architecture)
Tropical architecture is defined as a climatically adapted alternative of European modernism intended for postwar development in the colonial tropics. In Florida, the idea of the tropical home emerged with Robert Law Weed’s design for the Florida Tropical Home for the Homes of Tomorrow Exhibition at the Century of Progress Fair in Chicago in 1933. Florida tropical architecture was later developed by architects such as—Marion Manley, Wahl Snyder, Igor Polevitzky, Rufus Nims, and Alfred Parker. Dr. Baweja intends to show how Floridian tropical architecture was enmeshed within the larger global tropical architecture movement that developed in the colonial tropics.
Webs of Identity and Memory: New Zealand’s Royal Visit Arches of 1901
Derek Boetcher, 2017-18 Rothman Doctoral Fellow (Dept. of History)
In 1901, several temporary commemorative arches were erected to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to the colonial cities of New Zealand as part of their global imperial tour. Although the arches contained elements depicting New Zealand’s unique qualities as a settler colony with a developing sense of nationalism, these works also demonstrated its continuing connections to the British Empire and Britain as the “motherland.” This paper argues that the arches, despite their impermanence, can still tell us much about the ways in which the empire and post-imperial settings were envisioned.
Anticipating the Switch: How Bilinguals Integrate Code-Switched Speech
Prof. Jorge Valdés Kroff, 2017 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellow (Depts. of Spanish & Portuguese and Linguistics)
Bilinguals in the presence of other known bilinguals frequently switch between languages within the same conversation, a linguistic phenomenon known as code-switching. While the reasons for code-switching are varied and can be impacted by community and individual factors (e.g., its use within a community and proficiency), we know little about its impact for comprehension. Dr. Kroff will outline a new research agenda that aims to uncover what linguistic features may aid bilinguals in anticipating an upcoming code-switch between languages. He will present results from a preliminary study that uses naturalistic stimuli derived from a bilingual spoken language corpus from Miami, FL.
Gender, Ethnicity, and Citizenship in the Caribbean
Friday, 8 December – 4:00pm-5:00pm, Grinter Hall 471 (Center for African Studies Conference Room)
Daily Heroics: Women, Material Culture, and Everyday Life in Revolutionary Cuba, 1959-1989
Alexis Baldacci, 2017-18 Rothman Doctoral Fellow (Dept. of History)
In her dissertation, Alexis Baldacci explores everyday life in revolutionary Cuba to determine how state policies surrounding production and consumption have impacted ideas about the relationship between state and citizen, popular conceptions of the revolution’s legitimacy and longevity, and gender relations in individual households and wider society. In this presentation, she will discuss the methodology behind the project and the challenges and opportunities of conducting research in Cuba.
A Tale of Two Rivers: Sacralizing Local Landscape through Memory Performance
Prea Persaud, 2017-18 Rothman Doctoral Fellow (Dept. of Religion)
This presentation describes the ways in which two Hindu organizations have sacralized the local landscape of Trinidad by drawing on two different types of memory, one personal and one collective. Persaud argues that these two types of memory performances are indicative of the hyphenated identity of Hindu Indo-Caribbeans who draw on multiple pasts in order to establish and maintain their unique Hindu community with Trinidad.
Political Resistance Among the American Urban and Rural Poor
Thursday, 18 January – 4:00pm-5:00pm, Grinter Hall 471 (Center for African Studies Conference Room)
The “Lung Block”: Tuberculosis and Contested Spaces in Progressive-Era New York
Adrienne deNoyelles, Department of History, 2017-18 Rothman Doctoral Fellow
Adrienne deNoyelles’ dissertation examines a 1903 reform crusade to demolish New York’s “Lung Block”—a tenement neighborhood riddled with tuberculosis—in favor of a park. The crusade, and its eventual failure, illuminate the cultural tensions that often distanced urban reformers from the marginalized populations they intended to help. While park advocates based their arguments on scientific method and long-range planning, local politicians and religious leaders decried the project’s potential impact to thousands of working-class immigrants already occupying that space. The resulting conflict promotes an alternate view of reformers’ public-improvement efforts as intrusive, unwelcome, and ultimately detrimental to urban ethnic communities.
Radical Traditions of Resistance in the Old Southwest and the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union
Matthew Simmons, Department of History, 2017-18 Rothman Doctoral Fellow
A movement of poor farmers erupted in rebellion in the Arkansas Delta during the 1930s in response to New Deal agricultural policy which privileged large landowners over tenant farmers and sharecroppers. Yet this revolt was not an aberration or merely a blip on the historical radar. Rather, it was part of a long tradition of agrarian insurgency in the Old Southwest. The STFU drew on the insights, tactics, and membership of earlier movements like the socialist movement and unions such as the Progressive Farmers’ and Household Union to challenge the class and race-based social hierarchy in the rural South.
Mediations to Action: Contemporary Composition and Revolution in the French Caribbean
Thursday, 1 February – 4:00pm-5:00pm, Grinter Hall 471 (Center for African Studies Conference Room)
Microtonality, Technology, and (Post)Dramatic Structures in Harry Partch’s and Manfred Stahnke’s Theatrical Music
Navid Bargrizan, 2017-2018 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellow (School of Music)
Exploring the intersections of microtonal music, philosophy, digital media, and theater, this presentation analyzes the interrelationships of microtonality, technology, and (post)dramatic structures in the theatrical music of the American composer Harry Partch and the German composer Manfred Stahnke. I argue that these interrelationships go beyond functioning as mere formative elements; they become means to mediate the essential philosophical, mythical, ritual, and psychological connotations of these music-theatrical works. The concepts of just intonation and intermediality, and the theory of postdramatic theater, as well as Partch’s and Stahnke’s idiosyncratic notions of corporeality and meloharmony, constitute the analytical core of this research.
Guadeloupe and the Ends of Revolution
Elyssa Gage, 2017-2018 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellow (Dept. of History)
If Napoleon’s coup brought an end to the Revolution, this end did not come overnight, nor was it obvious what it entailed. This was all the more true in the French Caribbean colonies, where the added issues of race and slavery, as well as the physical and conceptual separation from the metropole, continued to be vexing concerns. Political and military upheavals in Guadeloupe between 1801 and 1803 were tied to conflicts over what it meant for the Revolution to be over, manifested in the perennial colonial question of who was the legitimate voice of the metropolitan government.
Constructing Iberian Empires through Trade and Science
Thursday, 8 February – 4:00pm-5:00pm, Grinter Hall 471 (Center for African Studies Conference Room)
Staging Curiosity: Skepticism and Science on the Spanish Stage: 1650-1750
Prof. Shifra Armon, 2017 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellow (Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese Studies)
Spain has been accused of languishing far behind its more “enlightened” Northern European counterparts during the eighteenth century. I challenge this historiographic bias or “Black Legend” by foregrounding portrayals on the Spanish stage of curiosity, reason, and skepticism. By charting how dramatic characters interpret what they see—whether or not they seek evidentiary proof before drawing conclusions—I hope to open a back-door to the question of Spain’s contribution to Europe’s so-called “long eighteenth century.” This approach aligns my project more closely with current “histories of inquiry” (Benedict) and “histories of curiosity” (Hersch, Manguel, Castillo) than with pure history of science.
Atlantic Lisbon: From Restoration to Baroque Splendor, 1668-1755
Cacey Farnsworth, 2017-18 Rothman Doctoral Fellow (Dept. of History)
The Portuguese empire, long dependent upon India and the spice trade in the Orient, suffered serious setbacks as the Dutch and others took key portions during the period of political union with Spain (1580-1640); 1640 brought the restoration of a Portuguese monarch and a twenty-eight-year conflict. With peace declared in 1668, Portuguese royal attention increasingly shifted towards the Atlantic and imperial revival. Lisbon, as the capital, experienced a significant transformation as a result: from peace in 1668 until the devastating earthquake that destroyed the city in 1755, intensifying Atlantic influences transformed Lisbon physically, socially, and culturally.
The Creation and Interpretation of Sacred Texts
Thursday, 22 February – 4:00pm-5:00pm, Grinter Hall 471 (Center for African Studies Conference Room)
How to Read Genesis 1-11
Prof. Robert Kawashima, 2017 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellow (Dept. of Religion)
One of the great and enduring achievements of modern philology is the Documentary Hypothesis, which posits that the Pentateuch consists of four sources that were later combined by a redactor or compiler into the continuous narrative stretching from Genesis through Deuteronomy. Insofar as the Pentateuch is one of the foundational works of the western literary tradition, an important question arises: How are we to read such a work? In order to illustrate the problems involved and some of their solutions, I will examine in detail a few select passages from the Primeval History, Genesis 1-11.
History, Scripture and Religion in Western India
Bhakti Mamtora, 2016-17 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellow (Dept. of Religion)
Scholars of religion have often considered the presence of charismatic figures, the development of literary canons, and the construction of congregational spaces as factors that give rise to and shape sectarian traditions throughout the world. This paper focuses on one of these factors by considering the ways in which sermons emerge and become revered as sacred texts in Western India. It takes the Swaminarayan Sampraday, a Hindu devotional tradition founded in Western India at the turn of the 19th-century as a case study to examine the genesis, history and reception of scripture in Hindu traditions.