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Franke Fellows 2018-2019

Franke Graduate Fellows

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 is pleased to announce the Franke Graduate Fellowships for 2018-2019. These fellowships bring together four outstanding doctoral students in the humanities to cultivate their research and teaching in the interdisciplinary setting of the Kaplan Institute. Franke Graduate Fellows devote two quarters, full time, to shaping their projects during fall and winter. They also receive pedagogical mentoring in developing an undergraduate course that they teach in their home departments in the spring. 

Sara CerneSara 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 DowisSian 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 GloverJulian 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 WheatleyJeffrey 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."

Franke UNDERGraduate Fellows

Franke Undergraduate Fellows develop their independent research projects within the Kaplan Institute; receive mentorship in fall and winter through the Senior Humanities Seminar, taught by Sarah Dimick (English, Environmental Humanities); and present their work at the Future Directions Forum in spring 2019.

fishman-david-8183-168x210.jpgDavid Fishman - Departments of Political Science and Legal Studies

Project: Intrafraternal Sexual Assault: Exploring Misconduct Between "Brothers" of the Same Fraternity

"My project aims to understand the dynamics of intrafraternal sexual assault—assault perpetrated by one fraternity man on another. This study builds on previous work that describes fraternity culture as one with hyper-masculinity, heavy drinking, bonds of brotherhood, and sexually permissive attitudes. However, existing research has largely focused on the ways in which this culture makes men more likely to perpetrate assault. I intend to show how fraternity culture may also make men more vulnerable to sexual violence."

macpherson-evelyn-168x210.jpgEvelyn MacPherson - Department of English; Global Health Studies Program

Project: The Corpse Talks Back: Narrative Bodies and Bio-politics in Post-2003 Iraqi Art and Literature

"The corpse is a recurring figure in post-2003 Iraqi art and literature. These corpses are not merely presented as bodies, but are imbued with life and serve as narrative voices. My project will examine these corpses in conjunction with Giorgio Agamben’s extended Homo Sacer project to explore the manner in which modern Iraqi art and literature contests the legal and political structures that force bodies to become powerless."

schwalb-jessica-168x210.jpgJessica Schwalb - Departments of History and Spanish and Portuguese

Project: Black Power, Judaism, & Anti-Semitism

"Julius Lester’s evolution from Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee photographer to radio broadcaster nationally accused of anti-Semitism to converted Jew to ostracized black studies professor illuminates tensions between black and Jewish communities in the second half of the 20th century. Twice, Lester made national headlines for controversies having to do with anti-Semitism and Jewishness; between the two, Lester converted to Judaism. My project explores Julius Lester's own political and religious evolution, and the ways his life and writing trace questions about civil rights, Jewish activism, and identity.

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