Ph.D. Candidate, Religion
2012-2013 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellowship

During the summer of 2012, Tedder Family Doctoral Fellow Robin Globus Veldman conducted three months of research exploring the philosophical differences between environmentalists’ claims regarding the phenomenon of climate change and the traditional, Biblical worldview held among many Southern Baptists. The research was part of her dissertation project—titled “An Inconvenient Faith? Christianity, Climate Change and the End of the World”—which examines how conservative Christians view climate change, the environment and environmentalism. By exploring the viewpoint of the one of the most skeptical religious segments in the country on climate change, her project sheds new light on how religious beliefs shape and inform adherents’ social and political opinions, with an emphasis on how religions both encourage and resist transformation of belief. Read More “Robin Globus Veldman”

Ph.D. Candidate, History
2012-2013 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellowship

Andrei Gandila received a 2012 Tedder Doctoral Summer Fellowship in support of his project, “Marginal Money: Coins, Frontiers, and Barbarians in Early Byzantium (6th-7th Centuries).” In this project, Gandila explores the significance of the frontier between the Byzantine Empire and neighboring societies during the 6th and 7th centuries in the area of the lower Danube in modern Romania. Gandila argues that we need to redefine the meaning of imperial frontiers, since the region was permeated by cross-border trade, intellectual and cultural exchange. His multidisciplinary approach draws from archaeology, anthropology, and history, with particular focus on the production, exchange, and innovative uses of coins beyond the Eastern Roman frontier. Read More “Andrei Gandila”

Department of Anthropology
2012-2013 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship

Stéphanie Borios was awarded a Rothman Doctoral Fellowship for her project “Children’s Social Learning of Plants in the Peruvian Andes.” Borios used her fellowship to spend eight months conducting research in the Peruvian Andes. After taking an intensive summer Quechua class in Cusco, she spent most of her time in a small rural community, studying the social relationships and learning strategies on which children rely to learn about plants. She was especially interested in evaluating the importance that peers play in this learning process and how information transmission occurs in daily activities and relies on observation, play and work.

For her study, Borios selected a community close to Calca, Peru. In this community, families mainly engage in subsistence agriculture, herding, and weaving. Natural resources are thus critical to the development of their activities and their identity. Borios studied this cultural transmission of plant knowledge as children engage with other members of their community in activities such as farming, herding, cooking, collecting firewood, and playing. She conducted her fieldwork with children and youth aged four to eighteen years old and combined ethnographic methods (participant observation and ethnographic interviews), free-listings, drawings, and a plant knowledge test.

With this research she contributes to the anthropology of childhood, bringing new insights into the dynamics of cultural transmission and children’s agency in this process. Her research also addresses a need in this field for studies about knowledge transmission beyond formal schooling. Our conception of what constitutes learning is biased towards modern Western methods of learning, with verbal instruction from the schoolteacher to the pupil, and through writing. It is important to reflect on the diversity and richness of cultural transmission under other circumstances, especially to look at the knowledge that rural children acquire from a very early age taking part in household and communal activities.

This research has become the basis of Borios’s dissertation. She has already presented portions of the research conducted as a Rothman Doctoral Fellow to the Society for Psychological Anthropology with the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group, the Florida Anthropological Student Association, and the Society for Economic Botany. She will also present it at the 112th American Anthropological Association annual meeting which will be held in November 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. As she concludes her analysis, she intends to disseminate her results to schools in the community where she worked and in Cusco or Lima, Peru. This will help to share rural children’s experiences and ways of learning with their urban peers. Borios also plans to prepare a travelling exhibition for schools in the Gainesville area to promote intercultural awareness between children in the Andes and Florida.

Languages, Literatures and Cultures
2012 Faculty Summer Fellow

Prof. Galina Rylkova was awarded a Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to support research for her second book project, “Creative Lives: The Art of Being a Successful Russian Writer.” This project explores how a representative selection of Russian writers from the last 150 years understood concepts of success, fame, and accomplishment. Prof. Rylkova also considers how these concepts shaped these writers’ lives, their creative output, relationships with their readers, and their cultural legacies today. She used the funds to finance travel to archives and significant locations in the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States. Read More “Galina Rylkova”

Center for European Studies and Political Science
2012 Faculty Summer Fellow

Prof. Conor O’Dwyer used his 2012 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to fund research on his current project, “Culture Clash: Internationalization, Europeanization, and Gay Rights in Postcommunist Europe.” This project explores the effect of European integration on the politics of gay rights in postcommunist Europe. It builds on fieldwork Prof. O’Dwyer conducted between 2007 and 2011 in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. Through his fieldwork, Prof. O’Dwyer gathered interviews with activists, observers, participants, and government officials involved in gay rights activism throughout East Central Europe since the fall of communism. Read More “Conor O’Dwyer”

Spanish and Portuguese Studies
2012 Faculty Summer Fellow

Prof. Shifra Armon used her 2012 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to complete a chapter of her second book-length manuscript, A Compass for Conduct: Performing Masculinity in Early Modern Spain. Although previous scholarship has asserted that the seventeenth-century decline of the Spanish Empire precipitated a crisis of masculinity, this manuscript challenges that view by separating the narrative of Spain’s fall from its predominance as an imperial power from the emergence of a gender order better suited to this period of rapid change. Read More “Shifra Armon”

Jill Sonke
School of Theatre and Dance / UF Center for the Arts in Medicine
2012-2013 Library Enhancement Grant

Jill Sonke, Director of the UF Center for the Arts in Medicine, was awarded a grant through the Library Enhancement Program in Spring 2012 to extend the holdings of the Criser Cancer Resource Center (CCRC). Acquisitions funded by the grant will form the core of the interdisciplinary Medical Humanities Collection. The collection will feature resources to facilitate dialogue and teaching, provoking insights into such topics as the human condition, suffering, empathy, creativity, and self-reflection. These topics will contribute toward the better understanding and practice of whole-person and patient-centered care. Read More “Jill Sonke”

Jason Steuber
Cofrin Curator of Asian Art, Harn Museum of Art

Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler
Museum & Special Projects Coordinator, Digital Library Center, University of Florida

Allysa Browne Peyton
Curatorial Associate of Asian Art, Harn Museum of Art

2012-2013 Library Enhancement Grant

A Library Enhancement Grant was awarded to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art to fund the digital preservation of a 17th-century Korean gilt-wood bodhisattva in the Harn collection. The bodhisattva is an enlightened figure in the Buddhist tradition. This particular sculpture represents a bodhisattva seated in a lotus position (paryankasana) with the right hand raised in a gesture of fearlessness (abhaya mudra) and the left hand resting on the knee in a gesture of gift-giving (varada mudra). Based on body posture and stylistic features, Dr. Unsok Song of Dongguk University, Korea, determined the bodhisattva was sculpted sometime between the 1650s and 1670s in southeastern Korea. This was a period of renaissance for Buddhist arts in Korea, following widespread destruction during the Japanese invasions of 1592-1598. Dr. Song has noted the exemplary character of this piece, concluding “the Harn Museum bodhisattva highlights the vigour and creative genius of the Buddhist monk-sculptors in this important epoch of Buddhist art in Korea.” Read More “Jason Steuber, Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler, and Allysa Browne Peyton”