CAHI Research Fellows

"Kinsey and the Feminine: The Making of the Second Kinsey Report"

Judith Allen
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

Historian Judith Allen has combed the extensive archives of the Kinsey Institute to give us an original new interpretation of Kinsey’s contribution. The groundbreaking study, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was published in 1948. Five years later the second of the so- called “Kinsey Reports” was issued. Far from a mere “completion” of the earlier study, Allen nds a substantially changed course in Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). The second volume shows the influence of a number of key professional women’s challenges to the earlier work. As editorial readers of his two reports, these women—some of them Kinsey’s assistants—criticized interpretive and methodological limitations, pushing the structure, content and foci of the second volume to differ substantially from the first, heralding new research priorities, as well as difficult problems, most of which remained unfinished or unsolved by Kinsey’s 1956 death.

Judith Allen, Professor of History at Indiana University Bloomington, studies the history of gender and sexuality across the Anglophone world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has published books on the feminist writer and public intellectual Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the suffragist Rose Scott, and a study of crimes involving Australian women since 1880. She is Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and the first Kinsey/CAHI Fellow.

"The Crowning Example: Louis XIV and the Crisis of Royal Exemplarity"

Hall Bjørnstad
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

The attention given to the French Revolution as the originary locus of modernity
has served to obscure the complexity of the ancient régime, thereby consigning it to the status of a museum curiosity. In The Crowning Example, Hall Bjørnstad argues that the key to understanding the breakdown of the traditional social hierarchy in eighteenth-century France can be found at the heart of that museum, among cultural artifacts which are universally admired from afar, polished by scholars turned conservators, but which today are rarely analyzed closely. It is in the most potent expressions of absolutism itself, at the peak of Louis XIV’s glory (1660s–1690s)—in texts such as Louis XIV’s Mémoires or in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles—that we can observe the rst cracks in the foundation of the ancient régime.

Hall Bjørnstad is an Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian and Director of the IU Renaissance Studies Program. A specialist in early modern France, he has published extensively on Blaise Pascal, including a monograph: Créature sans créateur: Pour une anthropologie baroque dans les “Pensées” de Pascal. An active interdisciplinarian, he has co-organized collective scholarly projects on “Rethinking Early Modern Conversion,” “Thinking About Agency in Seventeenth-Century France,”
“From Exemplarity to Probability: Early Modernity in a New Light,”“Early Modern Royal Glory,” “Early Modern Plagiarism,” and “Walter Benjamin’s Hypothetical French Toauerspiel.” He is currently part of two collaborative research teams, the Initiative for the Humanistic Study of Innovation at IU and “Universal History and the Making of the Global” (IU, Paris-3, and University of Oslo).

"Aesthetics in the Clone Age"

Jacob Emery
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

Slavicist Jacob Emery explores the surprisingly long-lived and aesthetically central figure of the “clone.” He argues that clone fiction underscores historical shifts in three essential aesthetic categories of Romanticism: the expressive, the interesting, and the free. Clone fiction imagines the inner self made manifest in DNA (instead of a poem or painting, say).
Once conceptualized as information, the self becomes implicated in the “interesting”—another concept inherited from Romanticism, and one tied to the rise of mass reproduction and surveillance technologies. Emery traces these categories from historical Romanticism to contemporary science fiction, combining treatments of well-known writers (E.T.A. Hoffman, or the 20th Century sci-fi master Gene Wolf) with writers not well know in the Anglophone world (Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky or Vladmir Sorokin). Emery’s study promises to remake our understanding of modern aesthetics “in the clone age.”

Jacob Emery is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature. He has published on a wide range of topics, from Dante and Tolstoy to Pynchon and Russian coins, and in a wide range of venues, from Slavic Review to PMLA to New Left Review.

"Mixed Messages: Language, Media, and Belonging in Asian Russia"

Kathryn Graber
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

Some of the most central and impassioned struggles in contemporary Russia concern language, media, and the publics that they mark or create. From the Ukrainian border to the Russian Far East, language has taken on tremendous importance as a marker of ethnic affiliation, local and national pride, and a host of shifting social allegiances. In her project Mixed Messages: Language, Media, and Belonging in Asian Russia, Kathryn Graber explores how media sustain a “minority language public” in the Russian Federation’s Buryat territories, a multilingual and multiethnic region on the Russian–Mongolian border. Based on long-term ethnographic and archival research, Graber’s book project examines how ideologies linking particular forms of language, modernity, and Buryatness move through the media to drive social and linguistic change.

Kathryn Graber is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Central Eurasian Studies. She has been studying and conducting field research in Russia’s Buryat territories since 2005, research now being synthesized in Mixed Messages. Her work on minority-language media in Russia has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays program, the Social Science Research Council—and now CAHI.

"Jessie Sampter: How a Disabled Queer Woman Became a Voice of American Zionism"

Sarah Imhoff
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

Defying many social norms, the young, unmarried Jessie Sampter embraced a Judaism her parents had rejected, bought a trousseau, drolly declared herself “married to Palestine,” and moved there in 1918. But Sampter’s own life and body hardly matched typical Zionist ideals: while Zionism celebrated the strong and healthy body, Sampter spoke of herself as “crippled” from polio and plagued by sickness her whole life; while Zionism applauded reproductive (women’s) bodies, Sampter never married or bore children—in fact, she wrote of homoerotic longings and had same-sex relationships we would consider queer. Sarah Imhoff explores a fascinating figure largely overlooked in histories of Zionism, enriching our sense of the variety of ways people lived the conflicts between embodiment and religious thought—in Zionism as well as other American religious traditions.

Sarah Imhoff is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, studying the ways that texts and representation create possibilities for constructing Jewishness in historical context. Having completed work on her first monograph, Masculinity and the Making of American Judaism, Imhoff is continuing her research into Jewish identity and its interface with American norms of identity, embodiment, and sexuality with her study of Jessie Sampter.

"Living Traces of Yiddish Life in Eastern Europe: Language, Folklore, Memory"

Dov-Ber Kerler
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

During the last 14 years close to 900 hours of oral history interviews with the last generations of prewar-born native Yiddish-speakers were conducted and recorded on video in Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Moldova, parts of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland). The project, launched by Dov-Ber Kerler and Jeffrey Veidlinger in 2002, was named AHEYM (Archives of Historical & Ethnographic Yiddish Memories), both an acronym and the Yiddish word for “homeland”. These interviews in Yiddish with close to 500 people in more than 100 cities, towns and former shtetls, are housed at IU’s Archives of Traditional Music. Over 99% of the interviews from the first eight years of AHEYM expeditions have now been made accessible online to the worldwide public of scholars, educators, students, artists and enthusiasts of Yiddish language, culture and history. Now Kerler is preparing a critical edition of some of the gems of Yiddish folklore discovered in the interviews: folk songs, popular songs, ditties, folk payes, folk narratives, some holyday customs and practices, folk humor, superstitions—even two remarkable songs created in the Bershad ghetto during the Second World War. Long imagined to be lost with the passing of native Yiddish speakers, such folk genres have now been preserved by the AHEYM archives, and Kerler will present a synthetic and interpretive guide to these unique treasures.

Dov-Ber Kerler is Dr. Alice Field Cohn Chair in Yiddish Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies and Germanic Studies. A Yiddishist of international renown, Kerler has
been at work on the AHEYM project for the past 15 years.

"Mother: the past in our present"

Sarah Knott
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

The word “mother” is both one of the most charged and one of the most conventional words in the English language. In a sweeping and unconventional study, Sarah Knott explores, in Mother: the past in our present, the rich and various histories of mothering in North America and Britain from the seventeenth century until recent times. Mother historicizes pregnancy, birth and the encounter with an infant, the range of experiences and conditions Knott calls “visceral maternities.” At the same time, by building on and including her own experiences, Knott explores what she calls a “vulnerable” form of interpretation in the humanities. This study, slated for publication by Farrar Straus and Giroux in the US and Penguin Viking in the UK, offers both a novel history of maternity and a challenge to experiment in our modes of inquiry.

Sarah Knott is Associate Professor of History at IUB, specializing in early America and the Atlantic World, and author of Sensibility and the American Revolution (2009). In addition to her history of mothering, Knott is now at work on a history of witnessing in the revolutionary Atlantic world, “On the Age of Revolutions.”

"Making Apartheid Work"

Alex Lichtenstein
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

Alex Lichtenstein’s research on the history of industrial relations in South Africa under apartheid (1948–1994) offers a new look at the lives and struggles of African workers living in a racialist regime. Stripped of their rights as citizens and employees, black workers in South Africa still found ways of organizing themselves to demand workplace rights, protection, and recognition. Making Apartheid Work argues that we miss a major aspect of the antiapartheid struggle if we look at only at the role played by Nelson Mandela or the ANC leadership in exile. Instead, he claims, the daily struggles of ordinary South African factory workers to organize themselves and challenge racialized workplace authority helped undermine the apartheid state and liberate South Africa.

Alex Lichtenstein is Professor of History at Indiana University Bloomington specializing in labor history and the struggle for racial justice is societies shaped by white supremacy, including the US and South Africa. He has written about labor practices in the postbellum American South, race relations in the labor movement, interracial agrarian radicalism, early civil rights struggles, and the impact of anticommunism on the labor and civil rights movements. His work in South Africa has resulted most recently in a book, Margaret Bourke-White and the Dawn of Apartheid (IU Press 2016), recovering the great photographer’s work in South Africa in 1949.

"Promiscuous Grace: Rethinking Beauty and Holiness with St. Mary of Egypt"

Sonia Velázquez
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

Émile Mâle, the pioneer historian of Christian art, described the appeal of Mary Magdalene, archetype of the penitent prostitute, as “Beauty consuming itself
like incense burnt before God in solitude.” But what if beauty is not immediately apparent, and therefore, not readily available for our spiritual or sensual consumption? What if instead of “consuming itself” into ashes as a result of penitence, beauty remained stubbornly present even in scenes of asceticism? Sonia Velázquez addresses these questions by studying four canvases of St. Mary of Egypt, one of the so-called “holy harlots,” by the Baroque painter Jusepe de Ribera. These unsettling works depict the aged and wizened female body in realistic detail, all the while making visible its beauty. This paradoxical portrayal challenges the warnings of vanities often associated with the abject body of la vieja, bringing us a new, inconsumable beauty.

Sonia Velázquez is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Religious Studies and Comparative Literature. A specialist in early modern Europe, she has published in Exemplaria, Romance Studies, and the Revista Hispanic Moderna, and has co-edited Pastoral and the Humanites: Re-inscribing Arcadia. She is aso on the editorial board of French online journal Movement-Transitions.

"Ruga Interior Skin (RIS): An Origami Inspired Large Scale Art Installation”

Jiangmei Wu
CAHI Research Fellow, 2016-17

“Ruga” is the Latin word for wrinkle or fold, as of skin or membranes. Moving beyond its anatomical meaning, “ruga” can invoke pleats or creases. Inspired by the use of wrinkling and folding material as a primary genesis of artistic forms, and drawing on the practice of origami, Jiangmei Wu creates self-folding topological forms from at thin sheet materials. Ruga Interior Skin (RIS) borrows from the metaphor of ‘skin’ in fashion and architecture. Both exible and rigid, RIS draws the connection between the body and the building, placing the dichotomies of public vs. private, permanent vs. ephemeral, solid vs. light, and material vs. digital at the center of its inquiry.

Jiangmei Wu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design, has gained world-wide attention for her folded light art, and has been published in many design magazines internationally, including Elle Decoration, DesignBoom, MocoLoco, Inhabitat, Gizmodo, Espaces Contemporains, Wallpaper*. Her creative works have been juried and exhibited in New York and Chicago, as well as in Italy, Japan, and Bangkok. Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami began its tour of eight museums in the United States in January 2015.

"Passive States: India and Global Modernism"

Judith Brown
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

Passive States: India and Global Modernism” explores passivity as a central, yet overlooked, philosophical problem and paradox for the generation of modernist writers and artists facing the turmoil of the late colonial age. Passivity turns away from the forward drive of chronological time; instead we find it in suspension, inertia, and particularly in the aesthetic experience of the artwork. This study develops a methodology for first recognizing and then reading the role of the passive in modernism, a movement conventionally defined by its radical polemics and aggressive activity. What becomes of the passive in politically charged contexts? India is the site of much cosmopolitan fantasy in the modernist era: writers like Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot and E.M. Forster engage as well as trouble Orientalist tropes when they imagine India as a space of possibility and radical passivity. Writers and artists in India such as R.K. Narayan, G.V. Desani, and Amrita Sher-Gil were also grappling with the powers of the inert, despite the intense political activity of the era. “Passive States” thus offers ways to see India as a vital contributor to modernism—as persistent object of high modernist fantasy and as the site of lively artistic production—and reconceives the ways the modernist canon has been defined.

Judith Brown is an Associate Professor of English and author of Glamour in Six Dimensions: Modernism and the Radiance of Form (2009). Her essays on style, fashion, laughter and, most recently, global modernism have appeared in various book collections and journals such as PMLA and Modernism/modernity.

"Powerful Frequencies: Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1931-2002"

Marissa J. Moorman
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

"Powerful Frequencies” studies radio broadcasting and listening in 20th century Angola. Radio played a pivotal role in Angola’s anti-colonial struggle, the postcolonial state’s attempts to forge national unity after independence, and the drawn out partisanship of a civil war entangled in regional and global Cold War politics. Colonial and postcolonial states and political movements enact technopolitics to enhance power, sway local opinion, and capture world attention. Other processes mitigate their frequency: failures of electricity, technical breakdowns, human intervention, professional dedication, technology’s materiality, and competing agendas disrupt, deter, and jam colonial and postcolonial state projects. For example, unlike in British and French ruled African colonies, the Portuguese colonial state did not make radio part of its modernizing project. Only after the anti-colonial war erupted and the liberation movements’ guerrilla radio proved effective did the state devise a counter-insurgency project with a strong radio component. But it deployed it in a world of already adept radio users: clandestine listeners, who hid under beds or in dark soccer fields, ears glued to transistors to tune in to guerrilla programs. How listeners heard and what they did with state content was anything but straightforward.

Marissa J. Moorman is an Associate Professor of African History. She is the author of Intonations: a Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, 1945-Recent Times (Ohio University Press, 2008) and has published articles and chapters on fashion, cinema, and kuduro in Angola. She serves on the editorial board of and is a regular contributor to the blog Africa is a Country (the blog about Africa that’s not about famine, Bono, or Barack Obama).

"The Averse Image: A Cultural History"

Ryan Powell
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

Between the late 1960s and the early 1970s, aversion therapy was employed by behaviorists in an effort to cure patients of behavior deemed non- normative; it was widely used to target homosexuality in particular. While there was no one standardized methodology or technique employed across practitioners, aversion therapy geared to the eradication of homosexuality almost always utilized a programmed cluster of images of nude and semi-nude models in coordination with negative sensory stimuli, such as electrical shocks, in an attempt to re-orient and condition sexual response within a framework of normative heterosexuality. Powell’s study investigates how processes of image- construction drew on, developed and extended particular, historically specific modes of gender and sexuality. Moving away from, yet working alongside, oral histories which approach this topic through cultural memory, “The Averse Image” looks to the material remains of this practice in order to consider elaborations of gender and sexuality that achieved, or were positioned to achieve, prescriptive coherence in historically contingent ways. In doing so, this project undertakes
a series of inquiries, such as: how did researchers, medical practitioners, and manufacturers of medical equipment go about selecting and producing material for use in aversion therapy sessions? What kinds of visual, aural and narrative patterns and tropes are evident in this material? How might these relate to constructions of gender and sexuality in audiovisual media of the period across domains of science, art and popular entertainment?

Ryan Powell is Assistant Professor of cinema and media studies in the Media School. His book, Coming Together: The Cinematic Invention of Gay Life: 1968- 1979, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.

"The Material Means of Bauhaus Pedagogy and Late Modernism"

Jeffrey Saletnik
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

By the third quarter of the twentieth century the phrase “Bauhaus modernism” had become shorthand for an outmoded design aesthetic and essentialist social vision. Yet the pedagogic program introduced at the
school continued to flourish. With this project, Jeffrey Saletnik advances a new narrative of the Bauhaus’s role in shaping artistic practice by exposing the lasting importance of its pedagogy to a generation of artists commonly understood as having been beset by the “exhaustion of the modernist aesthetic.” He reconceptualizes Josef Albers’s Bauhaus pedagogic exercises—paper folding, collage, and color studies—as distribution systems for material awareness that formed a shared framework for Albers’s students. His research challenges art historians to consider how the mechanisms by which artists are introduced to fundamental problems of form and sensory understanding are internalized and manifested in individual practices.

Jeffrey Saletnik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History. His research engages the social infrastructures and mechanisms that undergird cultural production: pedagogy, emigration networks, material culture, and modes of translation. He has published essays on Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, and John Cage, and co-edited Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse, and Modernism (2009), a volume that addresses how so-called Bauhaus objects—from teapots and documentary photographs to the Bauhaus manifesto broadsheet and copyright documentation—were employed to model the school’s identity.

"Eusebius of Caesarea, The Ecclesiastical History: A New Translation and Commentary"

Jeremy Schott
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

Eusebius’ career spanned a critical transformative period in the history of the Roman world and Christianity. He began his literary career during the last persecutions of Christianity by the Roman state. Later, as bishop of Caesarea, the provincial capital of Palestine, Eusebius figured importantly in the political and cultural landscape of Constantine’s empire. His Ecclesiastical History has been, and remains, one of the single most important sources for the history of the first three centuries of the history of Christianity. The work is also important for its lengthy verbatim quotations from otherwise-lost works. While earlier generations of scholars tended to view the Ecclesiastical History as a derivative work, valuable only for the sources it preserves, the text is now recognized as an innovative literary text in its own right, and is increasingly of interest to scholars working in the fields of book history and the history
of literature. The work has usually been presented as a globalizing history of Christianity. This translation and commentary, by contrast, will emphasize the historicity of the text by situating the production of the Ecclesiastical History firmly within the material, political, and social realities of late-antique intellectual culture, scribal practices, and book production. Interpretive essays will also consider the text’s reception, from its initial dissemination in late antiquity through its various readings, Byzantine, Medieval, and Modern.

Jeremy Schott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. He is currently also at work completing a monograph, “Eusebius of Caesarea: Textuality and Tradition in Late Ancient Christianity.”

"Branding Brazil: Religion and the Uses of Cultural Heritage in Bahia"

Stephen Selka
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

If Brazil is “more African than Africa,” then where is Africa in Brazil? For many, answering this question begins in Bahia, often referred to as the homeland of Afro-Brazilian Candomblé and the cradle of Brazilian civilization. In Bahia, people say that Africa is most visible in religious practices, especially Candomblé. Although Bahian elites in the first decades of the 20th century saw Candomblé as an obstacle to modernization, popular festivals that combine Candomblé and Catholicism began to be incorporated into narratives of Bahian identity in the 1930s. Since then, Candomblé has become Bahia’s “trademark,” and starting in the 1970s, Afro-Brazilian religious festivals have become a magnet for African-American tourists. This book focuses on one such festival, the festival of Our Lady of Good Death (Boa Morte) celebrated in the small town of Cachoeira. In 2004, the governor of Bahia recognized this festival as official heritage of the state, partly in response to the attention that Boa Morte has garnered from foreigners. “Branding Brazil” explores how the festival of Boa Morte has become a contact zone for different understandings of race and religion that are integral to American and Brazilian narratives of national identity.

Stephen Selka is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies. His first book, Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil, was published in 2007.

"Textual Citizens: Literary Manhood and the Making of Mexican Americans, 1848-1959"

Alberto Varon
CAHI Research Fellow, 2015-16

Too often, Latinos are regarded as immigrants, a contemporary phenomenon whose potential is directed into the ever-receding future, despite their long-standing contributions to U.S. culture. Alberto Varon’s work seeks to redress the perpetually deferred claim to national belonging for the long-standing Latino population. His research is the first book-length study of Latino manhood before the civil rights movement of the 1960s and contends that Latinos in the 19th and 20th centuries envisioned themselves as U.S. national citizens through cultural depictions of manhood. Although focused on the category of manhood, his study is in part an intellectual history of Latino Studies and a critique of its long-standing attachment to the late 20th century as origin point, where the civil rights movement is typically seen as the foundational moment in the study of Latino culture. Alberto Varon’s research into the historical archive shows how Latinos offer a more expansive notion of citizenship and how they defined themselves as citizens within multiple national projects. Through an analysis of Latino print culture (including fiction, newspapers and periodicals, government documents, essays, unpublished manuscripts, images, travelogues, and other genres), his work moves beyond the resistance paradigm that has dominated Latino Studies and uncovers how Latinos shaped—and were shaped—by American cultural life.

Alberto Varon is an Assistant Professor of English and Latino Studies whose work explores the relationship between race, gender, and the nation, and how notions of belonging at all levels are shaped by regional, national, and transnational networks.

“Thinking with Kant’s Critique of Judgment

Michel Chaouli
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment (1790) is widely seen as the foundational document of modern aesthetics. In “Thinking with Kant’s Critique of Judgment,” Michel Chaouli elucidates the core ideas in this demanding work, but always with one eye on the question: “Why read Kant’s text today?” The answer, finally, is that Kant’s text offers uniquely powerful resources to scholars in the humanities who are grappling with the deepest aesthetic and interpretive questions: what is aesthetic experience? What is the essence of art, the range of interpretation, the relationship between beauty and meaning? Chaouli’s study aims to give us both an accessible and a newly provocative Kant, to bring to the surface what continues to be vital in the philosopher’s great meditation on aesthetics and judgment.

Michel Chaouli is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies, and author of The Laboratory of Poetry: Chemistry and Poetics in the Work of Friedrich Schlegel (2002), as well as essays in New Literary HistoryCritical InquiryStudies in Romanticism,Die Zeit, and elsewhere. He is Director of the Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities at Indiana University.

“Cinema and Immortality: Hollywood Classics in a Transmediated World”

Barbara Klinger
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

For years, Film Studies’ scholars have lamented the “death of cinema.” Traditions that have defined the medium for over a hundred years—production practices based on celluloid and film exhibition dominated by movie theaters—have been dramatically transformed by digital technologies and multi-screen access to movies. Barbara Klinger’s “Cinema and Immortality” approaches this ongoing conversation by asking a different set of questions: What causes cinema as a medium to endure? How do some films persist as highly visible exemplars of cinema? How have other media helped to constitute and perpetuate a film’s iconic status? To address these questions, Barb examines “popular immortals,” such as Casablanca (1942), that have earned critical regard, cult adoration, and widespread fame among generations of viewers as incarnations of what Hollywood cinema, at its best, was and is. Her historical research explores how these films attained legendary status by analyzing the role played by new media and exhibition venues in securing their circulation from the 1940s to the present. Barb’s research shows that this process of “transmediation” is vital to grasping cinema’s materiality and meaning in changing cultural landscapes over time.

Barbara Klinger is Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, where she has taught since 1986. Klinger is author of Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home(2006), and Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture, and the Films of Douglas Sirk(1994). She currently serves as President of the Society for Film and Media Studies.

“Kai: Following the Cycle of Life”

Osamu James Nakagawa
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

James Nakagawa is preparing for exhibition and publication an extraordinary series of photographs, titled “Kai: Following the Cycle of Life.” The collection seeks out points of connection and disconnection between actual and constructed memories on both cultural and familial levels. Nakagawa’s images question the link between the self, parent, and child as it relates to his family’s heritage and histories: ultimately the link is always between the past and the present. Powerful as they are when taken on their own, Nakagawa’s photographs are most potent when viewed as a narrative, at once intensely direct and yet enigmatic. James tells us that “the core message of ‘Kai’ is Universal—it is about family, time, and the association between our lives now and that of our ancestors. ‘Kai’ is the circle that keeps turning.”

Osamu James Nakagawa is Associate Professor of Photography in the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art at Indiana University. Nakagawa shows his work internationally, and is in the permanent collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Kiyosato Museum of Photography, Japan, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, and the University of Houston. He was recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards.

“Latinos and the Rise of Hispanism, 1910s-1940s”

John Nieto-Phillips
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

In the early decades of the twentieth-century, a network of intellectuals in both Spain and North America worked to promote a cultural program they called Hispanism, the study of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture in North America. In “Latinos and the Rise of Hispanism, 1910s-1940s,” John Nieto-Phillips examines how Latina and Latino intellectuals figured in global circuits of knowledge, how those circuits shaped educational and language-rights struggles at local levels. Proponents of Hispanism—including writers, linguists, educators and journalists—imagined a “spiritual kinship” between Spain and its far-flung former colonies. This global movement not only spanned the Atlantic and the Americas, it penetrated communities throughout the United States, where Latina/o educators sought to advance bilingualism as a key feature of their trans-American citizenship. John’s research will offer the first detailed map of this cultural network in both its horizontal and vertical reach, and will give us a new appreciation for the complexity and historical density of the Latino experience in North America.

John Nieto-Phillips is Associate Professor of History and Latino Studies, and has served as Director of the Latino Studies Program. Author of The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s-1930s (2004), Nieto-Phillips is also an award-winning teacher, and has developed and taught a service-learning course that engages students in volunteer (family literacy) work among Indiana's immigrant communities.

“Reading Out Loud: Cistercian Reform, Pedagogy, and the Art of the Book in Twelfth-Century France”

Diane J. Reilly
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

The enormous Bibles produced by Cistercian monks in the twelfth century, littered with eye-catching paintings and each equipped with a detailed textual apparatus, were in effect multimedia objects, designed to link sound, text, and image for the purpose of educating the monks. The Cistercians had turned traditional Benedictine monasticism on its head, not least by freeing the order from financial dependence on powerful noble donors. The Cistercians aimed for an unadulterated pursuit of spiritual knowledge, but by accepting everyone who arrived on their doorstep seeking a monastic vocation, the early Cistercians found themselves saddled with the duty to educate adult converts. In “Reading Out Loud: Cistercian Reform, Pedagogy, and the Art of the Book in Twelfth-Century France,” Diane Reilly shows how the Bibles and other lectern volumes produced by the Cistercians answered this need: these beautiful artworks celebrate the oral form of pedagogy the Cistercians adopted to introduce their spiritual values to these new arrivals, while the textual embellishments tailor the text to the needs of readers, mostly unfamiliar with Latin, who found the duty of singing long passages in night-time prayer vigils thrust upon them.

Diane J. Reilly, Associate Professor of the History of Art, is author The Art of Reform in Eleventh-Century Flanders: Gerard of Cambrai, Richard of Saint-Vanne and the Saint-Vaast Bible (2006), and edited, with Susan Boynton, The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception and Performance in Western Christianity(2011). She has taught at IU since 1998, on topics ranging from the survey of “Ancient and Medieval Art” to a freshman seminar titled, “Monks, Nuns, and Medieval Art.”

“Non-Theatrical Cinema in 1915: Sites, Sponsors, and Circulation”

Greg Waller
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

Historians of silent-era American film, quite understandably, focus on Hollywood, movie theaters, and the cultural impact of the movies as a ubiquitous form of commercial entertainment. In “Non-Theatrical Cinema” Greg tells a more complex story. In the crucially formative decade of the 1910s there was a broad and varied circulation of all sorts of motion pictures across a host of sites outside of movie theaters—in schools and churches, prisons and military bases, homes and asylums, conventions and expositions. Complementing traditional archival material, new digital resources provide evidence of the widespread availability of motion pictures during the 1910s for American audiences across regional, age, class, and racial lines. Greg’s work shows that precisely at the moment when Hollywood was creating and consolidating a remarkably lucrative and influential way of producing, distributing, and exhibiting movies, American institutions and entrepreneurs were establishing the framework for another cinema—one that was non-theatrical, multi-sited, sponsored, and defined by its usefulness and its ability to target specific audiences.

Greg Waller is Professor of Film and Media Studies in the department of Communication and Culture, where he served as Chair for many years. Currently Editor of Film History, Waller is author of several books and numerous articles, including Main Street Amusements: Movies and Commercial Entertainment in a Southern City, 1896-1930 (1995) which won the Theatrical Library Association award and the Katherine Singer Kovacs award of the Society for Cinema Studies.

“In the Name of the Masses: Imagining Crowds in Modern China, 1900-1950”

Tie Xiao
CAHI Research Fellow, 2014-15

“In the Name of the Masses” examines the emergence of the crowd [qunzhong] as a generative—and also contested—concept, one that Chinese intellectuals and writers used to advance competing models of enlightenment and revolution. The crowd is not a socio-political given, some kind of preexisting object to be represented, Tie argues. He seeks instead the historical and epistemological conditions of the intelligibility of “the crowd” in modern Chinese literature, social psychology, and political thought. Ultimately “In the Name of the Masses” explores how and in what ways the crowd became an urgent object of psychological investigation, political investment, and aesthetic representation. From both the Left and the Right, the imaginations of “the crowd” became nothing less than a “technology of power,” a source of legitimation in a China undergoing radical transformation.

Tie Xiao is Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Xiao received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2011, and has received both a Dissertation Writing Fellowship at the University of Chicago, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Xiao is also author of two novels in Chinese, and is recipient of the prestigious Bing Xin Literary Prize in China.

Rae Greiner

Associate Professor of English
CAHI Research Fellow for 2013-14

Recent work on the human/nature divide has shown that what it meant to be human was a matter of some urgency for those writing during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, reaching one of several crisis points with the publication of such works as Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830-33). Scientific discourses increasingly portrayed humans not as unique creations but as one more animal species, which in turn required new ways to account for man’s mental development and survival—or extinction.

Rae Greiner, Associate Professor of English, takes a fresh look at this rich intellectual history in “The Idiocy of Human Life, ” her new project. Work on her previous book on sympathy convinced Rae that “thinking about and with others is really hard.” This new work is not about sympathy, Rae tells us, but rather about other stumbling blocks to thinking, forms of intellectual dimness, as well as what she calls “biological intelligence”: “animal or primitive forms of mind, ” in Rae’s words; “stupid knowing; vegetable (literally, pea-brained) thought.”

Adam Leite

Associate Professor of Philosophy
CAHI Research Fellow for 2013-14

The line of inquiry called “philosophical skepticism” comes to the disappointing conclusion that we cannot know or reasonably believe anything about the world around us. Such skepticism has haunted modern philosophical reflection, but it is not always clear why. Adam Leite, Associate Professor of Philosophy, has been developing the argument that there simply is no way to get from our ordinary epistemological practices and commitments to the skeptical conclusion, that if we start out with our feet firmly in our ordinary, pre-philosophical position, the skeptical argument can’t even get started.

Adam will use his Research Fellowship to gather a number of his recent essays into a book that develops these themes in relation to ordinary language philosophers such as G. E. Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and J. L. Austin. Ultimately, Adam’s book aims to clarify the puzzling relationship between our ordinary lives and the impetus to epistemological theorizing, and to provide the minimal theoretical resources needed for a satisfying response to the perennial challenge of skepticism.

Rebecca Manring

Professor of Religious Studies
CAHI Research Fellow for 2013-14

Rebecca Manring, Professor of Religious Studies and an expert in Middle Bengali, is working on a translation of the 17th century Middle Bengali epic, Dharmamaṅgala. As with the legend of King Arthur, many authors have tried telling the tale of the god Dharma and his champion Lausena. Unlike the Arthurian tales, however, all those of Dharmamaṅgala were written within the span of a single century. The oldest complete extant version, and arguably the most beloved, is that of Rūparāma Cakravarttī, completed around 1663. The work is very much alive today, and yet remains out of reach to all but Bengali speakers.

Rebecca writes that the epic “is most importantly a darn good story, with clever women, valiant heroes, and a wily and relentless villain. My goal with this translation project is to supply scholars and our students a view of all levels of pre- colonial Bengali rural society, to give some voice to those who are often ignored. Rūparāma tells a great and much-loved story of and for his fellow Bengalis, and it’s high time the rest of us heard it.”

Alejandro Mejías-Lopez

Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese
CAHI Research Fellow for 2013-14

Literary history in Spain has consistently minimized Spanish American influence by using familial metaphors that always locate authority back in the Spanish “motherland.” Alejandro Mejías- Lopez, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, sees it differently. In his new project, “Rediscovering America: Postcoloniality, Literary Authority, and the Untold History of Transatlantic Relations, ” Alejandro argues that Spanish America has had an increasingly transformative role in the development of literary culture in Spain itself. In the 1760’s, to take one example, Peruvian Pablo de Olavide carried out a series of enlightened reforms in Spain that eventually landed him in the dungeons of the Inquisition. Over a century later, Spanish American modernists arrived in Spain, forever changing literary language in Spain. In the 1970’s, too, the internationalization of Spanish American literature spurred a re-awakening of Spanish literary culture after 40 years of the Franco regime. “Rediscovering America” challenges some of the prevalent assumptions behind both the postcolonial and the (Anglo-American) transatlantic paradigms, proposing a more nuanced understanding, in which literary peripheries and centers are relatively fluid rather than monolithic concepts circumscribed to specific and trans-historical geo-cultural regions.

Aaron Stalnaker

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
CAHI Research Fellow for 2013-14

Aaron Stalnaker, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, is researching the early Confucian fascination with cultivating mastery—of certain arts, of the self, and of the leadership of others. Thinking through Confucian models allows Aaron to reconsider the contemporary ideal of autonomy: if, as Confucianism argues, true virtue can only be cultivated through hierarchically ordered relationships in a shared “Way” of life, autonomy cannot be a birthright or a presumption.

Aaron observes that “if humans need to participate in such ordered relationships to flourish, we have good reason to reconsider the suspicion of dependence visible in key strands of modern Western ethics.” A contribution to the flourishing literature on comparative ethics, Aaron’s project corrects overly simple contrasts between “Chinese” and “Western” ethics by articulating novel ways of distinguishing just authority and salutary dependence from domination.

Stephen Vinson

Professor of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
CAHI Research Fellow for 2013-14

Discovered in the mid-nineteenth century, and first deciphered in 1867, “The First Tale of Setne Khaemwas” (323-30 BCE) is among the finest examples of ancient Egyptian belles lettres. It is a ghost story involving a magic book, a horrifying but ultimately slapstick sexual encounter with a mysterious woman named Tabubue, and some mummies in need of reburial. An internationally known expert in Demotic Egyptian (the original language of this text), Steven Vinson, Professor of Near Eastern Language and Cultures, is at work on a definitive modern scholarly treatment of this fascinating and influential text.

Between the 1870’s and 1930’s, “Setne 1” (as scholars know it) was repeatedly adapted, becoming woven into the popular image of ancient Eqypt. Adventure novelist H. Rider Haggard borrowed from it, as did “The Mummy, ” the 1932 vehicle for Boris Karloff. Zora Neale Hurston, legendary pulp/horror writers Sax Rohmer and H. P. Lovecraft, and even Nobel-Prize-winner Thomas Mann made use of “Setne 1.”

ENIGMATOLOGY

BRET ROTHSTEIN, Associate Professor of the History of Art, and CAHI Research Fellow for 2012-13, is at work on a study of visual enigmatology. "The Shape of Difficulty: On the Character of Visual Challenges” investigates how mechanical puzzles and other objects challenge a viewer, even to the point of courting interpretive failure. A specialist in visual jokes and games, Professor Rothstein's publications have addressed topics ranging from the self-aware image in the fifteenth-century Low Countries to theories of contemporary puzzle design.

POWER AND LIMITS OF PROPAGANDA

JULIA ROOS, Associate Professor of History, and CAHI Research Fellow for 2012-13, has been studying the appeal and limits of atrocity propaganda in the aftermath of the Great War. The German campaign to spotlight the supposed “Black Horror on the Rhine” aimed to discredit the Versailles Treaty by accusing France’s colonial African occupation troops of raping Rhenish women and children. Initially successful, the campaign subsequently became the focus of post-war criticism of propaganda, revealing the direction of a new international peace order after 1924. Professor Roos’s project is titled “Atrocity Propaganda, New Popularized Foreign-Policy Discourses, and the Challenges to Reconstruction after World War I: The “Black Horror on the Rhine.”

CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC THOUGHT

ASMA AFSARUDDIN, Professor and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and CAHI Research Fellow for 2012-13, is at work on a book titled “Contemporary Issues in Islam,” a series of linked essays analyzing the historical roots and parameters of intra-Muslim debates in the modern period around the issues of engaging modernity, Quranic hermeneutics, the politicization of Islam, women and gender, and interpretations of jihad. Professor Afsaruddin draws upon scripture, exegeses, legal texts, biographical dictionaries, historical works, and humanistic literature to reveal the dynamism and evolution of the Islamic intellectual tradition.

SCHOPENHAUER FOR THE PRESENT DAY

SANDY SHAPSHAY, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and CAHI Research Fellow for 2012-13, is at work on a book titled “Degrees of Dignity, Schopenhauer's Ethical Thought.” Relatively neglected in Anglo-American philosophy, Schopenhauer is ready for a revival, argues Shapshay, who argues that when charitably understood and shorn of its thoroughgoingly pessimistic elements, Schopenhauer's ethical thought offers an attractive alternative to currently-dominant Kantian, social contract and consequentialist ethical theories. Most notably, it better captures the moral value of non-human animals and the environment as a whole, topics with which contemporary ethics is just starting to grapple.