Franke Graduate Fellows 2018-2019

April 24, 2018 - The Kaplan Humanities Institute is delighted to announce the new cohort of Franke Graduate Fellows for 2018-2019!


Sara Černe

Sara Černe
Department of English; Graduate Certificates in African American and Diaspora Studies, Critical Theory, and Gender and Sexuality Studies

Project: The Middle Shore: Environmental Justice in a Post-Twain Cultural History of the Mississippi River

"My dissertation traces the discourse of environmental justice in cultural production about the Mississippi River in the long twentieth century. It examines literature, music, and visual material, revealing the layered histories of human and environmental exploitation along the Mississippi’s banks. I argue that the material conditions of river life make the art forms centered on it particularly well-suited to rejecting idealized depictions of nature and articulating a political critique of the nation based on environmental justice."

Sian Olson Dowis Sian Olson Dowis
Department of History

Project: The Afterlife of Industrial America: Imagination and Power in Detroit, 1973-2001

"My project explores the intersection of race, capitalism, and environmentalism in late twentieth-century Detroit. I ask how public officials, economic development corporations, community leaders, artists, and intellectuals imagined the future of the city during a period of massive factory closings and fiscal crisis, when the material foundations for Detroit’s postwar prosperity crumbled, yet enjoyed a substantial afterlife in political rhetoric and popular imagination."

Julian Kevon Glover Julian Kevon Glover
Department of African American Studies; Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Cluster

Project: To Be Real: Transgender Women in the Ballroom Scene

"My project is a multi-site performance ethnography of the experiences of Black and Latinx transgender women in the ballroom scene. Using a framework of self-investment, I examine how transwomen harness embodied knowledge to inform the strategies, tactics and tools used to combat the constant onslaught of anti-black violence, transmisogyny, sexism and transphobia. This project is a response to the proliferation of media representations about transgender women of color and critiques dominant narratives of gender progress."

Jeffrey Wheatley Jeffrey Wheatley
Department of Religious Studies

Project: Policing Fanaticism, Religion, and Race in the American Empire, 1830–1930

"My history traces the nineteenth-century popularization of fanaticism in US religious discourse and proceeds to explore how colonial and domestic state institutions deployed this terminology to represent and police “unruly” populations, including Mormons, prophetic enslaved black people, North American indigenous millenarian communities, and Filipinos rebelling against US occupation. Attention to this historical concern about identifying and containing dangerous religious practices sheds light on contemporary debates about religious freedom, imperial and national security, and extremism."