Hall Center for the Humanities announces 2014-15 research and creative work fellows

Tue, 01/21/2014


Victor Bailey
Hall Center for the Humanities

LAWRENCE — The Hall Center for the Humanities has announced its Humanities Research Fellows and Creative Work Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ben Chappell, Iris Smith Fischer, Jacob Dorman and Margot Versteeg were selected as Research Fellows. Michael Krueger was awarded a Creative Work Fellowship.

Hall Center Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process. Fellowships provide a semester of release from teaching, an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts or a large-scale work of art.

Chappell, associate professor of American studies, will work on his book project “Mexican American Fastpitch: Softball as a Cultural Resource Against Forgetting.” Chappell will produce an historically informed ethnography of Mexican American fastpitch softball that documents and theorizes the enduring value of leisure practice in Mexican American communities.

Fischer, professor of English, will work on her book project “Theatre at the Birth of Semiotics: The Role of Aesthetic Expression in 19th-Century U.S. Philosophy.” Fischer raises the question: Why did the modern discipline of semiotics — the study of how phenomena come to have meaning — appear in U.S. philosophy at the end of the 19th century? Her project is the first to present evidence that theatre practices designed to “scientifically” describe the actor’s craft contributed crucially to early investigations in semiotic method.

Dorman, assistant professor of history and American studies, will work on his book project, “Black Orientalism: Spiritualists, Muslims, Minstrels, Masons & the Making of Black Culture.” The book will examine American popular culture across 150 years and document how blacks in the Americas, West Africa and England transformed representations of Muslims in theaters, circuses and religious tracts to create their own discourses about the Orient and to form new esoteric and Islamic religions in the early twentieth century.

Versteeg, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, will work on her book project “After Empire: Emilia Pardo Bazán’s Theatrical Vision of a New Spain,” which explores how playwright Emilia Pardo Bazán imagines the Spanish nation in her fin-de-siècle theatrical production "Verdad." Critical reflection on the state of the Spanish nation has been a constant in the literary production of this prominent woman writer, who tried to negotiate for herself a position both as a writer and as a woman in a national culture that she conceived of as masculine.

Krueger, associate professor of visual art, will create “Flicking Wilderness, Paintings & Animations,” which will reexamine 19th century depictions of the American West in art and bring contemporary light to the subject. The artworks for the series will revisit themes of utopianism, escapism and the majesty of the American West as seen through the lenses of contemporary perspectives of the American landscape.

For more information about the Hall Center Humanities Research or Creative Work Fellowship, contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or call (785) 864-4798.

KU in the news
Christian Science MonitorThu, 08/21/2014
Columbia Journalism ReviewThu, 08/21/2014
Don’t give up on learning a second language! KU research finds that with practice, some can learn a language as well as native speakers. http://bit.ly/1n9WQGB Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences #KUdiscoveries #KUresearch #Language #Learning #ForeignLanguage

#KUprof finds link between depression and increased risk of death in US adults 50 and older. http://t.co/FYTMXQcpXK #KUdiscoveries
KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/fund/ugra), Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times