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Eliott Reeder
Hall Center for the Humanities
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Hall Center announces resident fellows for 2018-2019

Tue, 09/11/2018

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas has announced its fellows in residence for the 2018-2019 academic year. Selected through a highly competitive process, the Hall Center Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations.

Darren Canady, associate professor of English, will work on “March Madness,” a new full-length play. Inspired by real-life events, the play will dramatize a fictionalized account of the controversy and furor ignited by a successful men’s basketball team’s choice to go on strike in response to a series of macro- and micro- racist aggressions on their university’s campus.

Brian Donovan, associate professor of sociology, will work on the ongoing book project “American Gold Digger: Money, Marriage, and Law from the Ziegfeld Follies to Anna Nicole Smith.” During his fellowship period, he will complete two chapters of his book, one examining the idea of a "gold digger" in the post-World War II era, considering its role in the construction of postwar domesticity and a so-called crisis of masculinity during the 1950s. The following chapter will analyze the idea of gold diggers in the wake of the sexual revolution, focusing on the concept of “palimony” and the separation trial of Lee Marvin and Michelle Triola.

Tanya Hartman, associate professor of visual art, will work on the project "How to Leave Your Country," a multidisciplinary performance that uses handmade marionettes, animation, spoken word poetry, original sound compositions and memoir to present the stories of documented and undocumented immigrant and refugee teenagers enrolled in English as a Second Language classes at East High School in Wichita. This work will be staged at schools and community centers throughout the Midwest.

Mechele Leon, associate professor of theatre, will work on a book-length project history of French theatre artists working in the U.S. in the 20th century, focusing on six French directors and their companies from the 1910s to the 1960s. As a theatre historian, Leon trains her attention on the performance event: the directors and actors, plays and repertories, producers and sponsors, and the reception of these companies by the public and critics. Through this case studies, Leon intends to illuminate the complex economies, both material and symbolic, through which national theatres circulate on the international market.

Maki Kaneko, associate professor of art history, will work on a book project investigating the art of Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani (1920-2012), a Japanese-American artist who was homeless for a large portion of his life. He gained significant public attention in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks for his works on themes of the internment of Japanese-Americans and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Through the visual analysis of his surviving works as well as investigation into their reverberations in both U.S. and Japanese societies, this study will present Mirikitani’s artwork as a counter to the nationalist mode of remembrance of such historical events as early 20th-century migration, U.S-Japan imperialism, and atrocities that occurred during the Asia-Pacific War (1937-45).

Sara Gregg, associate professor of history, will spend her time completing the research and much of the writing of a new book manuscript, "Free Land: Homesteading the U.S. West." This project offers a long-overdue revision of homesteading in American history. Within popular culture and among scholars, the homestead movement evokes the archetypically American promise of securing freedom, even as it often brought settlers into conflict with the natural limits of Western landscapes. Gregg's research examines the impacts of the migration to “free land” between 1862, the date of the first Homestead Act, and 1986, when Congress ended homesteading in Alaska. Foregrounding the experiences of a selection of individuals alongside an assessment of the law’s environmental legacy and cultural significance, this research returns the contingency of nature to the mythic tales of homesteading’s greatest achievements and failures.

The Hall Center also has announced that graduate students Christina Lord and Ximena Sevilla each received the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities. Lord, doctoral candidate in French, will work on her dissertation, “Toward a Posthuman(ism): Transgressive Human Identities in Modern French Science Fiction." Sevilla, doctoral candidate in environmental and Latin American history, will work on her dissertation, “On the Edge of the Wild: Representations of the Montaña Region of Peru before the Rubber Boom.”

Resident fellows present on their work-in-progress in the Resident Fellows Seminars, open to all faculty, staff and graduate students.

For more information about the Hall Center’s faculty and graduate student resident fellowships and resident fellows, please contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or call (785) 864-4798.



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