Institute Fellowships offer faculty course reductions so that they can develop research projects within an interdisciplinary community. Kaplan Institute Fellows, who are selected by an external team of reviewers, present work at weekly lunchtime colloquia, participate in Institute events, and develop a course to offer in the Institute in the year after their fellowship. Read more about our Fellowship Program.
Meet the 2016-2017 cohort of Fellows for the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities:
Héctor Carrillo | Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
Project: The Paradox of Sexual Identities
The acquisition of a sexual identity has come to be seen as a core feature of stories about the self. My project examines the identities of men who have sex with both women and men but reject the label “bisexual,” preferring to think of themselves as straight or gay, or as queer, heteroflexible, mostly straight, or mostly gay. A study of such individuals sheds light on the paradoxes and complexities of sexual classification writ large.
John Alba Cutler | Associate Professor, Department of English and Latina/o Studies Program
Project: Invisible Hands: Competition and Class Consciousness in Latino Print Culture, 1898-1945
In the first half of the twentieth century, over 200 Spanish-language newspapers were published in the United States. These newspapers regularly reprinted poetry, essays, and fiction by Latin American and European writers, as well as original works by local writers. My research investigates these newspapers as the most important literary institutions for Latino communities during the period, asking what they reveal about the value of literature to community formation within a changing media landscape.
Jonathon Glassman | Professor, Department of History
Project: Barbarism, Autochthony, and Race in African Thought
My project addresses the racialization of African discourses of difference. Most comparative studies assume that race-thinking originated in the West; when it is found elsewhere, such as Rwanda or Darfur, they assume it is an inflection of colonial ideas. I will complicate such assumptions by exploring the tangled and multiple roots of African racial thought, including many that can be found in the continent’s deep intellectual history.
Brannon D. Ingram | Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Project: The Deoband Movement: Debating Islamic Tradition from South Asia to South Africa
My project is the first to study one of the most influential movements in modern Islam, the Deoband movement, in a global context. The project shows how this movement has reconfigured notions of Islamic ‘tradition’ through its widely-debated critique of Sufism. Demonstrating how Muslim publics from colonial India to postcolonial South Africa came to participate in the debates the movement initiated, it situates the Deoband movement within a broader crisis of authority in Islam in the past two centuries.
Nitasha Tamar Sharma | Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and Asian American Studies Program; Affiliate of Performance Studies
Project: Hidden Hapas: Multiracial Blacks and Blackness in Hawai’i
This project is the first full-length inter-disciplinary study of contemporary Blacks in Hawai‘i. The book analyzes the lives, narratives, and representations of Blacks, including multiracial Black Hawaiians, Black Samoans, and Black Japanese, who comprise 3% of this Pacific island society. This ethnography reveals how mixed race people negotiate, express, and repress race as they identify across constructed racial categories. It speaks to debates in Critical Mixed Race Studies and the intersection of Black Studies and Native/Pacific Island Studies by offering new theories of belonging that emerge from the intersection of race and indigeneity in the Black Pacific.
Erica Weitzman | Assistant Professor, Department of German
Project: At the Limit of the Obscene: Realism, Aesthetics, Profanation
This project examines how an aesthetics of the obscene emerges within the literature and criticism of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German realism. I consider the obscene, in the context of this era’s aesthetic and ethical presuppositions, as not merely a synonym for sexual or scatological matters, but rather a reaction to alleged excesses of sensuous appearance beyond established frameworks of meaning, with which writers of the time tried in various ways to come to grips.
Michelle M. Wright | Professor, Department of African American Studies and Comparative Literary Studies Program; Faculty Chair of Hobart Women's Residential College
Project: Feeling Europe: The African Diaspora and Affect in the Heart of Empire
Feeling Europe argues that travel narratives from across the Black and African Diaspora constitute a genre unto themselves in the way they link place and emotion as a foundation towards understanding Blackness in the world—i.e., outside the assumed "homes" of the African and American continents.
Read a February 2017 profile of Michelle's project, written by Kaplan Humanities Scholar Anna White.