School of Music
2015-2016 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellowship

Michael Vincent, a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology, used his 2015-2016 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellowship to travel to Paris and Berlin for archival work. His dissertation, “Cosmopolitan Culture in Boccherini’s Madrid, 1785-1800” examines the unpublished musical manuscripts of Luigi Boccherini housed in the Bibliothèque National in Paris and the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. Boccherini, an Italian composer who spent much of his professional life in Madrid during the heyday of Europe’s Enlightenment, composed music in a predominantly Italian style but incorporated a variety of different musical techniques. Boccherini’s music produced in Madrid a cosmopolitan attitude inspired by the Enlightenment. Read More “Michael Vincent”

Ph.D. Candidate, History
2015-2016 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship

Alana Lord, Ph.D. candidate is History, used her 2015 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship to travel to Spain and conduct archival research in the cities of Barcelona, Huesca, and Lleida. Her dissertation, “Constructing Royal Power: Host Desecration and Kingship in the Fourteenth-Century Crown of Aragon,” examines debates about royal power that took place between members of the royal family, the nobility, and cities about the appropriate form of kingship in the Crown of Aragon. In the late-fourteenth century, wealthy Jews within the kingdoms of Aragon and Catalonia were accused of stealing consecrated pieces of the Eucharist, the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood. The resulting Eucharist desecration trials raised political tensions between Pere III (r. 1336-1387), who sought to protect the Jews, and his son the Crown Prince of Aragon Joan I (r. 1387-1396) who relentlessly pursued the accusations. Read More “Alana Lord”

Ph.D. Candidate, History
2015-2016 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellowship

Brandon Jett, a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department, used his 2015 Tedder Family Doctoral Fellowship to conduct archival research in the Birmingham City Archives in Birmingham, Alabama. His dissertation explores the complex web of interactions between African-American communities and the police in the Jim Crow South in the cities of Memphis, New Orleans, and Birmingham from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Violence and abuse are words most strongly associated with the relationship between African Americans and the police. However, Jett shows how African Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century did not always associate the police with violence and oppression. Rather, African Americans often called on the police to protect their lives and livelihoods. Distrust and police abuse were certainly widespread in the Jim Crow South, but this did not always define the interactions between African Americans and police or prevent African Americans from using law enforcement to advance their own needs. Read More “Brandon Jett”

Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology
2015-2016 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship

John Hames, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology, used his 2015-2016 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship to conduct anthropological fieldwork in the West African countries of Senegal and Mauritania. His fieldwork contributed to his dissertation entitled, “Activism and the Politics of Language Loyalty: The Pulaar Movement in Senegal and Mauritania.” Although Pulaar is not the official language of Senegal or Mauritania, it is a set of dialects of a language, also known as Fulfulde, that is spoken from Senegal to as far east as Sudan. Since independence from the France in 1960, Pulaar language activists have pursued and advocated for the dissemination of the Pulaar language in Senegal and Mauritania. Many of these activists have ties to the Fuuta Tooro region straddling the Senegal-Mauritania border and are known as the Haalpulaar’en. Read More “John Hames”

Ph.D. Candidate, History
2015-2016 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship

Rebecca Devlin, a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department, used her 2015 Rothman Doctoral Fellowship to conduct further research on her dissertation entitled, “Bishops and Community in Northwestern Hispania: Transforming Roman Society, ca. 370 to 470 C.E.” In this project, Devlin explores the expanding social role of bishops after the conversion of Constantine by focusing on specific clerical communities in Gallaecia, a Roman province in the northwestern Iberian Peninsula. Devlin builds on recent trends in historical and archaeological inquiry that view the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the expansion of Christianity and the emergence of medieval society as part of a long process of social, political and cultural transformation. Read More “Rebecca Devlin”

Department of Classics
2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship

Velvet Yates, a faculty member in the Classics Department, used her 2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to complete research for a forthcoming article in an edited volume titled “Men’s Cosmetics in Plato and Xenophon.” This article delves into how fourth century BCE Athenian philosophers redefined gender and physical appearance to distinguish between the aristocratic class and craftsmen, and exclude the latter from legitimate political participation. Read More “Velvet Yates”

Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship

Ying Xiao, Assistant Professor in Literatures, Languages, and Cultures, used her 2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to travel to China and finish research for her book project, China in the Mix: Cinema, Popular Music, and Multilingualism in the Age of Globalization, 1984-2010. Film, film sound, and popular music present a complex picture of contemporary Chinese culture – a culture shaped by global economic trends, China’s embrace of capitalism, and new cultural contacts. Films offer complex images and stories that tap into cultural tropes and highlight moments of cultural change. Film soundtracks, although subtle, create crucial connections between sounds and images. Their analysis is important for understanding the effects of media in a global world. Post-socialist China is no different. Focusing on the films of Zhang Yimou, an influential and popular Chinese director, Xiao argues that the connection between sound and image in his films tell a larger a story about Chinese culture in the global age. Read More “Ying Xiao”

Department of English
2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship

Stephanie A. Smith, a full Professor in the English Department, used her 2015-2016 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to research and begin drafting a novel titled STILL ICE. The novel tells the story of Cody Hoving, CEO of a soft robotics company, who inherits property on Martha’s Vineyard after the death of his estranged grandfather. The title of the novel refers to how waves freeze still off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard during very cold winters, and visually captures many themes of the novel including immobility, anxiety, fragility, mortality, and the significance of place.

The first chapter of the novel is now available.

Read More “Stephanie A. Smith”

Department of Religion
2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship

Ann Whitney Sanford, an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion, used her 2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to conduct ethnographic fieldwork with intentional communities to complete a book project titled Be the Change: Food, Community and Sustainability in America. Intentional communities translate the values of non-violence, voluntary simplicity, and equity into alternative and sustainable forms of social and economic organization. Whether it is the ecovillage or an urban co-op, each intentional community embraces ecological responsibility. But these are not stereotypical “hippie” communes. Rather, intentional communities often use innovative engineering and other types of expertise to translate values into action. Read More “Ann Whitney Sanford”

Department of Anthropology
2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship

Richard Kernaghan, an Assistant Professor in Anthropology, used his 2015 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellowship to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in Peru’s Upper Huallaga Valley for his second book project, provisionally titled, Semblance in Terrain: On the Legal Topographies of Postwar. In his current research Kernaghan focuses on shifting patterns of rural mobility, transportation technology, and land tenure as a critical lens for assessing how landscapes are materially refigured and affectively transformed in the wake of extended periods of political violence. In this tropical region of central Peru—where the Maoist Shining Path insurgency at one time asserted territorial control over vast stretches of the countryside—Kernaghan draws on oral histories, photographs, video, and storytelling as well as the writing of ethnographic encounters in order to document the day-to-day lives of farmers and rural transportation workers (transportistas). In so doing he examines the broad economy of images through which this postwar terrain acquires temporal density today: in ways that haunt, but sometimes simply disregard the past. Read More “Richard Kernaghan”