Faculty Fellows with the Center for the Humanities at Washington University receive a one-semester fellowship in residence at the center, where they are provided the workspace, resources and vibrant intellectual exchange necessary to make great progress on their research projects. Up to eight fellowships are offered per year, including fellowships designated for junior faculty completing their first book and mid-career faculty working toward the completion of a second book. Fellowships are competitively awarded in the fall semester of the year preceding the fellowship year.
Shefali Chandra (Associate Professor, History, IAS, WGSS)
“INDIA IS INDIRA: GENDER PRODUCTION AS 20TH-CENTURY CULTURAL REVOLUTION”
“India is Indira” examines how world-wide conceptions of gender stabilized an otherwise precarious state formation at a time of vigorous transnational consolidation. The book assesses how between 1966 and 1984 the wider world, the national public, and Gandhi herself mobilized gender to merge the role of India's prime minister with the identity of the nation. Ideas of womanhood infused Cold War state power and compelled a staggering array of people to participate in the production of a distinct and lasting Indian identity. India became Indira, domestic and international power aligned with the consensus of the world's largest voting public.
Denise Gill (Assistant Professor, Music, JINELC, WGSS) *First Book Fellowship
“MELANCHOLIC MODALITIES: AFFECT AND TURKISH CLASSICAL MUSIC”
“Melancholic Modalities: Affect and Contemporary Turkish Classical Musicians” will be the first book-length ethnography of Turkish classical musicians. Turkish classical music — a contemporary music genre substantially rooted in the musics of the Ottoman court and elite Mevlevi Sufi lodges — emerges in present-day Turkish public life as a sonic crossroads of divergent ideologies of history and memory, selfhood and citizenry. Previous scholarship has tended to gloss the emotional or affective qualities of this music as residual Ottoman nostalgia. This perfunctory gesture neither considers the crucial opportunities for analyzing how and why particular pasts are brought in to comment on the politics of the present, nor interrogates how affect is circulated and shared between individuals through artistic, sonic processes. Turkish classical musicians occupy a critical and hitherto unstudied position as privileged circulators of melancholy.
Stephanie Kirk (Associate Professor, RLL)
“TRANSLATION AND CRITICAL EDITION OF CARLOS DE SIGÜENZA Y GÓNGORA’S WESTERN PARADISE [PARAYSO OCCIDENTAL] (1684)”
Kirk will translate this unique and multi-faceted 17th-century text, making it available in English for the first time for scholars and teachers interested in gender, religion, race, and empire. Western Paradise is a chronicle of the foundation and first 100 years of Mexico City’s convent of Jesús María written by the colonial creole polymath Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora (1645–1700). Sigüenza y Góngora relates much about Mexico’s highly-developed convent culture but also goes beyond the cloister to detail the complexities of life in the great colonial city. Western Paradise stands as a foundational literary text and cultural document of the Mexican canon. Sigüenza y Góngora attempts to rewrite` history by replacing the conquistador’s European past with the creole’s American beginnings, and in this way articulates an incipient Mexican patriotism
Jennifer Kapczynski (Associate Professor, GLL) *Mid-career Fellowship
“MEN OF ACTION”
This book proposes an alternative reading of 1950s West German culture through an examination of its most popular art form: the cinema. Drawing on examples from the major genres of the 1950s, it argues that dueling models of masculinity emerged during this era. Alongside depictions of a chastened postwar manhood, we find the specter of uncontained male force and aggression. These contrasting yet complementary representations, Kapczynski argues, pit the image of a modern, democratic manhood against the brutal masculinity of the nation’s recent past, navigating between models of male agency alternately restrained and violent, soft and hard. In tracing these dueling masculinities, “Men of Action” illuminates a pervasive anxiety in 1950s West German culture about the savagery of war and its aftermath — fueled not only by the horrors of the recent past but also by the widening division of the two Germanys and the emergence of the Cold War as a full-blown global conflict.
Steven Miles (Associate Professor, History)
“CITY SEASONS: THE PULSE OF URBAN LIFE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY CHINA”
“City Seasons” is a new book project in that explores the seasonality of urban life, that is, the ways in which movement through urban space before the advent of electricity and mechanized industry was patterned by seasonal fluctuations. Some movement was “orderly” in the sense that it was controlled in a predictable way by nature, social conventions, or the state. The annual cycle of constructing [in the fall] and abandoning [in the spring] bamboo houses in Chongqing is one example. Others include seasonal cycles of yamen (government office) business, legal commerce and labor, literati outings, and authorized ritual activities. Some movement was “disorderly” in the sense that it was less predictable and beyond the control of urban residents and state agents. “City Seasons” explores the seasonal patterns of movement across urban space in three Chinese cities: Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. By analyzing three cities that shared much in common as river ports while having unique characteristics, this study will allow for more general conclusions about how pre-industrialized cities worked in China and beyond.