Past Franke Fellows

Inaugural cohort 2016-2017

With generous funding from Richard and Barbara Franke and The Graduate School (TGS), and in partnership with TGS, the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities launched the Franke Fellowships in 2016-2017.

Franke Graduate Fellows

Four outstanding doctoral students in the humanities cultivated their research and teaching in the thoroughly interdisciplinary community of the Kaplan Institute. Franke Graduate Fellows devoted two quarters, full time, to shaping their projects during fall and winter. They also received pedagogical mentoring in developing an undergraduate course that they taught in their home departments in the spring.

With projects ranging from cybernetics and counter-cultural movements, to cross-generational transmission of knowledge about World War I; from murderous fantasies at the intersection of Native American and African American studies, to the theory and discourse of money in early modern theater, Kaplan's inaugural Franke Graduate Fellows showcased the range of interdisciplinary research and teaching thriving in the humanities at Northwestern.

Casey CaldwellCasey Caldwell — Department of English

Project: The Utterance of Money: Monetary Properties in Early Modern Drama

The early modern playhouse was a potent laboratory for imagining alternative cultural and political realities. Shakespeare's London saw the rise of both the professional theatre and radical upheavals in not only proto-capitalist markets, but in the very nature and availability of money as currency. My project considers how, through stage dialog and currency props, the playhouse acted as a unique site for experimenting with material ontologies of money and alternative positive configurations of money-human relations.

Ian HartmanIan Hartman — Program in Screen Cultures, Department of Radio/Television/Film

Project: Exotic Extensions: Technology, Anti-Modernism, and American Cyber-Utopianism

My project tracks the interlocking trajectories of exoticism and techno-utopianism in America from the 1940s to the present. Considering the histories of cybernetics, anthropology, popular social movements, and the artistic avant-garde, I show that optimism about information technologies took shape around shifting discourses on race, ethnicity, and cultural difference. These discourses contested dominant notions of knowledge and identity, even as they reinforced myths of inexorable technological progress and a timeless non-West.

Chad B. InfanteChad B. Infante — Department of English

Project: Murderous Sentiments: U.S. Colonial Metaphysics and Literature in Red and Black

My dissertation uses the literary trope of murder in the Black and Native American literary canon to offer a complementary reading of Black and Native American literature and life. Murder’s emphasis on the body and affect allow us to see the related and different ways that Black Americans and Native Americans are thought together in an American colonial and literary imagination.

Fall 2016

Emily Curtis WaltersEmily Curtis Walters — Department of History

Project: “Daddy, What Did You Do in the Great War?”: Warfare, Knowledge, and Generations in Britain, 1918–1945

This project takes seriously the situation depicted in the infamous 1915 British military recruitment poster, in which a little girl points to a history book and asks her father, "Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” I ask how the generation of 1914 bequeathed its stories to the successor generation, and how the child who would eventually see her own global cataclysm made sense of what she learned on her father's knee. Tracing the peculiar afterlives of the Great War stories that circulated publicly and privately in interbellum Britain, I investigate how global war passed from lived experience to stories and back to lived experience again.


Franke Undergraduate Fellows

Three undergraduate students developed their independent research projects within the Kaplan Institute; received mentorship in fall and winter through the Senior Humanities Seminar, taught by Rebecca Johnson (English, Middle East and North African Studies, and Humanities); and presented their work at the Future Directions Forum in spring 2017.

Linnea HodgeLinnea Hodge — Department of Art History

Project: Intersecting Ethnographic and Fine Arts Exhibition Practices in "Northwest Coast Indian Art," Displayed at the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle

My project will explore the methods of curating and display used in the exhibition of Native American art and artifacts at the Seattle World’s Fair. Using archival resources at the University of Washington, I aim to unpack the politics of display at work in this unique combination of fine arts exhibition practices and ethnographic didactics, all in the context of the futuristic “Century 21” fair in 1962.

Naomi Johnson

Naomi Johnson — Department of History

Project: Defying the “Chinaman’s Chance:” Asian-American Women in Detroit, 1983-1989

My project examines the intersections of gender, race, and activism in the wake of Vincent Chin’s 1982 murder. Even when they faced the limitations of a racially hostile urban landscape and institutional barriers, Asian-American women seized agency and contested the lenient outcomes of Chin’s killers’ court cases. Using archival resources, I hope to understand the definitive roles that Asian-American women played in establishing and leading the American Citizens for Justice (ACJ) as they mobilized Detroit’s small Asian-American community into a formidable movement that leveraged legal expertise, media visibility, and community organizing to demand justice for the Chin estate.

Jaclyn Zhou

Jaclyn Zhou — Departments of Asian Languages and Cultures & Journalism

Project: Radical Comrades: Politics and Performance in Beijing's Queer Cultures

Through fieldwork in Beijing, I plan to explore the radical potential of humor in popular queer performances in Beijing’s burgeoning queer entertainment culture and nightlife. My project, which focuses on case studies developed from this fieldwork, frames humor as a powerful tool in worldmaking, and as a productive way of interacting with a discriminatory majority culture for marginalized groups that struggle with gaining status and recognition.