2021-2022 Fox Center Fellows
Kylie Smith is Associate Professor and the Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Associate Faculty in the Emory Department of History. Her previous book “Talking Therapy: Knowledge and Power in American Psychiatric Nursing” was published by Rutgers University Press in 2020 and was awarded Book of the Year from both the American Journal of Nursing and the American Association for the History of Nursing. Her new book project called “Jim Crow in the Asylum: Psychiatry and Civil Rights in the American South” is supported by a grant from the National Library of Medicine. The project is an exploration of the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on racist psychiatric practices in state hospitals in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and argues that the preoccupation with race led to horrendous conditions for patients and underfunded services which continues to be felt today. In her time at the Fox Center Kylie will be completing her manuscript and working with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship and the Publishing in the Digital Humanities program to prepare the book for publication with UNC Press and on the open access platform Manifold.
Geraldine Higgins is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Emory's Irish Studies Program and of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature. Anchored by Ireland’s two Nobel poet laureates, W. B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, Higgins’s publications examine the connections between art and violence, literature and history, and poetry and popular culture. She is the curator of the National Library of Ireland’s acclaimed exhibition, “Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again,” open at the Bank of Ireland cultural centre in Dublin until 2023. Her current project, Seamus Heaney’s Material, bridges the gap between purely literary studies of Heaney’s poetry and the visual and spatial impact of encountering his work in an exhibition setting. Building on archival research and curatorial experience in public exhibitions, this digital book will examine how Heaney transforms the material of the ordinary world into words of extraordinary vision. This book focuses on the materiality of the sources of Heaney’s imagination by emphasizing visible and tangible objects along with the words. It follows the trajectory of Heaney’s poetry from the earth-bound bog poems of his early work to the airiness and uplift of crediting marvels in his later career.
James B. Hoesterey is Associate Professor and Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Study of Religion at Emory University. His research focuses broadly on Islam, media, and politics. After completing his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hoesterey was the Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at the Asia Pacific Research Center at Stanford University (2009-2010); the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College (2011-2012); and, the ACLS New Faculty Fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at University of Michigan. His first book, Rebranding Islam: Piety, Prosperity, and a Self-Help Guru (Stanford University Press, 2016), chronicles the rise and fall of Indonesian celebrity preacher K.H. Abdullah Gymnastiar, and was awarded runner-up for the 2016 Clifford Geertz Book Prize in the Anthropology of Religion. During the 2021-2022 academic year at Emory’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Hoesterey will work on his current book project, Faith in Diplomacy: Indonesia, Soft Power, and the Making of “Moderate Islam”.
Nathan Suhr-Sytsma is Associate Professor of English at Emory University. His first book, Poetry, Print, and the Making of Postcolonial Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2017), revealed an intriguing history of relationships among poets and editors from Ireland and Nigeria, Britain and the Caribbean, during the mid-twentieth century. As an FCHI fellow, he is working on the manuscript of a new book, African Poetry and the Future of Literature. This project examines how twenty-first-century African poetry offers ways for thinking sensuously through existential predicaments related to the body, race, national belonging, possible futures, and the long horizon of decolonization.
Dr. George Yancy is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy at Emory University and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, one of the college's highest honors. He is also the University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural fellow in the Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Program (2019-2020 academic year). He works primarily in the areas of critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies, critical phenomenology (especially, on racial embodiment), and philosophy of the Black experience. Yancy is the author, editor and coeditor of over 20 books. He is cited as one of the top 10 influential philosophers in the last 10 years, 2010-2020, based upon the number of citations and web presence. He has also published over 170 combined scholarly articles, chapters, and interviews that have appeared in professional journals, books, and at various news sites. For example, he is well-known for his influential essays and interviews at the New York Times philosophy column "The Stone," and at the prominent political website, Truthout.
Trace Peterson (Ph.D., English, CUNY Graduate Center) is a literary scholar and poet whose work combines trans and queer studies with writing studies and literary history of 20th-21st century poetry and poetics. At the Fox Center she will be working on her first scholarly critical book, a literary history of trans poets in the United States. This project attempts to reconstruct the careers and creative vectors of the first generation of trans poets to publish books in the US, through research into the surrounding contexts of transgender cultural production, literary history, and media from the late 20th century through the 2010s. Peterson will teach the course “Trans and Nonbinary Poetry” at Emory in the spring semester. https://tracepeterson.com.
Rose Deighton (PhD, Religious Studies, Emory University) is a scholar of Islam, Sufism, and Gender. Her work examines the anti-patriarchal commitments and trauma-informed pedagogies of two contemporary Sufi women teachers. Her work highlights how women's leadership and attentiveness to the embodied positionality of spiritual students transforms Sufi theologies, practices, and training methods. At the Fox Center, Rose will work to expand and develop Public Humanities training and curriculum at Emory University.
The Laney Graduate School
Amelia Golcheski is a doctoral student in History. Her research examines women's caregiving labor in Appalachian labor movements at the end of the 20th century. Specifically, she looks at how women's unpaid caregiving labor during coal conflicts shifted to paid labor in caregiving professions as coal declined in the region. In addition to graduate work, Amelia is an Editorial Associate and the Social Media Manager at Southern Spaces. Prior to coming to Emory, Amelia received a Master's in Public Humanities from Brown University. As a HASTAC Scholar, she plans to create an archive and exhibit to document Emory employee's experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hannah C. Griggs is a doctoral student in English and Assistant Managing Editor of Southern Spaces. Prior to Emory, she received an MA in English from Boston College. Her research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century American literature, the U.S. South, and foodways. She explores representations of consumption, leisure, and excess in the literature of the American South, broadly defined. As a HASTAC scholar, she will deepen her understanding of digital methods, and explore the ways those methods can be applied to her research and pedagogy.
Brittany Landorf is a doctoral student in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Her work explores questions of Islam, gender, and sexuality, with a certification in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prior to her studies at Emory, she received a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and completed a Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship in Turkey. Brittany's research examines the co-constitutive nature of gender and religion, with a specific focus on masculinities, in North African Islamic mysticism. She is particularly interested in the interplay of textual constructions of gender and everyday performance, interweaving textual and ethnographic methods. As a HASTAC scholar, she will deepen her understanding of the ways in which everyday religious practices increasingly engage and take place in digital spaces.
Alicia Doyen-Rodriguez (2021-2023) is a doctoral student in the French and Italian Department as well as an ECDS intern at Emory University. Prior to her studies at Emory, she received a Masters in English and Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne- Paris IV university in Paris, France where she completed an ERASMUS year-long program at the University of Exeter, UK. Her dissertation "Women in Motion: Remapping Francophone Narratives in a Digital Space" focuses on creating new representations of space thanks to digital maps of fictional female characters in Caribbean novels. Her most recent work in progress explores the connection between land degradation in Guadeloupe and the oppression of female bodies. As a HASTAC scholar, Alicia intends to design new digital pathways between mapping, teaching and literary analysis.
Tyler A. Tennant is a doctoral student in English and the Associate Editor of Post45’s Contemporaries series. Prior to Emory, he received his MA from the University of Chicago, and his BA from the University of Oklahoma. His teaching focuses on queer/trans and literary theory, digital humanities, and the conjuncture of race, gender, disability, and class. His research interrogates the impact that algorithmic-based capitalisms, precarity/austerity, and speculative financialization have on queer/trans movements and becomings. As a HASTAC scholar, he aims to explore how digital pedagogy and research can be fundamentally reconceptualized through a framework of communal collaboration.
Scott Benigno is a senior majoring in History and minoring in Economics. He is currently undertaking an honors thesis that dissects the depiction of the Zulu, a Black kingdom in modern KwaZulu-Natal, and its evolution in the British metropole over time. Primarily through writing and literature, this thesis will examine and analyze the ways in which Zulu representations were consistent and inconsistent with changing notions of British racial and imperial thinking. Beginning with the first Anglo-Zulu interactions in the 1820s and 1830s and concluding as direct British rule in South Africa ended in 1910, it will explore the changes that the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, specifically the Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, caused in metropolitan understandings of the Zulu and the imperial British mission.
Hannah Charak is a senior majoring in history with a concentration in modern United States history. She is currently working on an honors thesis that examines the relationship between racial violence and voter suppression in the American South. By uncovering the ways in which the political elite resisted state and national efforts aimed at expanding voting rights during the postwar era, her thesis centers the role of legal suppression in constructing a regional model for systemic disfranchisement that continues to stand more than a half century later.
Alexandre Dalle is an undergraduate student pursuing an honors thesis in the art history department at Emory University. His primary research focuses on the impact of the humanist movements on the vernacular of Nicolas Poussin in the 17th century. In addition, Alexandre has accrued internship experience in the Parisian art market. First as an intern in a variety of auction houses such as Binoche and Giquello and later as a research intern for Renaissance paintings at the Cabinet Turquin. After graduation in the spring semester of 2022, Alex hopes to pursue a career in the European and American art auction market. While Franco-American, Alex lived in a multitude of countries including the Netherlands, France, Spain, Mexico, and the United States. While traveling, he has grown a passion in a broad range of art- including Meso-American art, Avant-Guard art and, Renaissance art.
Emma Lazerson is a senior majoring in Art History and minoring in Latin. Her honors thesis, entitled “Performance and Imitation: The Devotional Images of Sofonisba Anguissola” examines three extant devotional images from one of the most famous female artists of the Renaissance. Her project focuses on investigating how Sofonisba adapts her work stylistically to the tastes of the places and audiences for whom she worked, namely the Spanish court of Philip II. Lazerson studies the mode, medium, and style of a combined self-portrait and devotional image, an altarpiece, and a late devotional image to determine how adaptation affects Sofonisba’s work formally and functionally, and how performance is tied to imitation.
Hannah Risman is a senior double-majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL) and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). Since March 2021, she has been working as an organizing intern and researcher for Georgia STAND-UP, a social justice non-profit serving the Atlanta community. In her honors thesis titled "The Color of Law is Blood Red: Chattahoochee Brick Company and the Violence of Forgetting," she traces the genealogy of the convict-made brick that rebuilt Atlanta as the capital of the progressive "New South." Presenting the Chattahoochee brick as a material contradiction to the "post-racial" progress narrative that has long-defined Atlanta, she aims to shift how people perceive and interact with the built environment of the "city too busy to hate.
Matthew Takavarasha is a fourth-year majoring in History and Economics. His honors thesis examines the legal history of Germany between 1932 and 1935, the period spanning the end of the Weimar Republic and the consolidation of Nazi Germany. Using a series of contemporary Constitutional debates and ex post facto legal justifications as a contextual framework, he seeks to question how representatives of the legal profession twisted concepts to serve their own interests or the ideological mission of the Nazi regime, as well as the present-day political and jurisprudential implications of their actions.
Niara Foster, African American Studies, was awarded for spring 2022, but regretfully declined.
Bronwen Boyd is a senior double-majoring in History (concentrating in Law, Economics, and Human Rights) and French Studies. As a Halle/Fox Undergraduate Fellow, she is currently working on a History honors thesis on Black and mixed-race women's histories in nineteenth-century urban coastal Senegal. Her research covers a broad range of French-language source materials from ethnographies and travelogues to missionary accounts and illustrations and will entail artistic and literary analyses. Her work aims to use métissage, or racial and cultural mixing, as an avenue to access Black women's histories erased by masculinized and whitewashed historical records.
Willie Lieberman is a senior majoring in History with a concentration in European Studies. After transferring from UCLA where she was originally a Vocal Performance (opera) major, Willie combined her passion for singing and historical interests into a multidisciplinary thesis topic. Willie's thesis, titled "The Mystery of England's First Opera: Nahum Tate, Dido, and Womanhood" covers composer Henry Purcell's famous baroque opera baroque opera Dido and Aeneas. The aim of the thesis is both to explore possible personal and professional reasons why the librettist, Nahum Tate, so radically altered this classical story from Virgil's Aeneid, and to connect the performance history and Tate's version of Dido to standards of womanhood in late seventeenth-century England.
Julien Nathan is a senior majoring in History with a minor in German. They are currently writing an honors thesis on the democratization of media in Kreuzberg, Berlin in the 1970s-1990s. Their work is centered on the descendants of Turkish guest workers, analyzing how class, gender, and the culture of German leftism influenced Turkish literary voices in the Kreuzberg scene. Ultimately, their work wrestles with the concept of authenticity in media and how it interacts with spectatorship and the politics of publishing.
Annie Li, History and Sociology, was awarded for spring 2022, but regretfully declined.
Stephen Altobelli is a senior majoring in English. His honors thesis examines two figures in the works of Samuel Beckett: the messenger, who appears in Molloy and Waiting For Godot, and the vessel, a character like the Unnamable who, similarly to the messenger, plays host to words which are not his own. This thesis places these types in the context of Beckett's well-documented interest in (self) translation to better contemplate Beckett's interest in language and its limits.
Bronwen Boyd is a senior double majoring in History and French Studies. She is currently writing a thesis on women's histories within the French colonial project in nineteenth-century Senegal. Through her remote research as a Halle Undergraduate Research fellow, her thesis aims to reject the notion that Black African women's histories from this period are a dead end for historical inquiry. Her work focuses on a unique group of powerful métis women called the signares who were able to manipulate their racial liminality to accumulate unprecedented wealth and status within French-ruled Senegalese communities. She hopes to use the relative prevalence of the signares in the historical record to elucidate French attitudes towards race, gender, and class within the Senegal colony and to interrogate how these attitudes could have affected Black Senegalese women's experiences throughout the nineteenth century.
Ellie Coe is a senior double-majoring in History and Russian & East European Studies. She is currently writing an honors thesis on the interpersonal relationships between astronauts and cosmonauts at the height of the Space Race. Focusing particularly on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project of 1975, a watershed mission in which an American crew docked with a Soviet crew in orbit, she examines the role of astronaut-cosmonaut collaboration in the development of détente and a lasting US-Russian partnership in outer space.
Sabrina Jin is a senior majoring in Anthropology and Human Biology with a concentration in social medicine. Her honors thesis explores the ways that Asian Brazilian scholars and activists negotiate their diasporic identities as they respond to the virality of anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic. She situates her analysis within a historical framework that examines aspects of Brazilian racial identity as influenced by the continuity of Social Darwinist myths from the post-colonial era. Her research contributes to a growing body of literature that adds nuance to the theoretical black-white continuum and questions the notion of Brazilian racial democracy.
Alex Levine is a senior majoring in history. He is currently researching an honors thesis on the interplay between imperial and national identity among the Welsh in the late 19th and early 20th century. Alex's research focuses on the actions of Welsh soldiers, missionaries, sailors, and administrators in China, considering how aspects of national identity, like the Welsh language, were maintained and transmitted outside of the metropole and away from established Welsh communities. He is also interested in how self-conceptions of Britishness and Welshness at home in 'gallant little Wales' were impacted by media reports of Welsh successes in the Far East.
Annie Li is a senior double-majoring in History and Sociology. Her senior honors thesis investigates the involvement of Chinese Americans in the marches and the initiatives of the Civil Rights Movements in the 1960s. Examining the lives of these individuals who belonged to the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown — the first Asian American church in the United States — and the Donaldina Cameron House, Annie hopes to uncover the grounding theological principles of the church and Chinatown that influenced these activists’ motivations. She aims to expand the narrative of Black-Asian solidarity and alliances during the civil rights era, and understand the theological and ethical principles that motivate people to join the collective, interconnected struggle for racial justice.
Willie Lieberman is a senior majoring in History with a concentration in European Studies. After transferring from UCLA where she was originally a Vocal Performance major, Willie combined her passion for singing and historical interests into a multidisciplinary thesis topic. This summer, Willie has researched composer Henry Purcell's and librettist Nahum Tate's famous baroque opera Dido and Aeneas to make connections to and conclusions about late seventeenth-century English womanhood.
Olivia Milloway is a senior majoring in environmental sciences and biology. Her honors thesis investigates the role of invasive American bullfrogs in spreading a lethal pathogen called chytrid fungus which has, over the last few decades, caused the extinction or decline of hundreds of amphibian species globally. Olivia spent the summer of 2021 at a field site in the Bay Area catching and swabbing frogs for chytrid and sleeping under the stars. Through her thesis, she aims to improve understanding of how different ecological factors might influence chytrid transmission and persistence at the landscape level.
Julien Nathan is a senior majoring in History with a minor in German Studies. For their honors thesis, they are studying the interaction between Turkish-Germans in West Berlin in the 1970s-1990s, their tenuous allyship with the German political Left, and the absence of Holocaust reckoning in West German society. Focused on the literary and theatrical scene of the West Berlin neighborhood Kreuzberg, their project utilizes Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1974 film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Aras Ören’s collection of poems titled Berlin Trilogy (1973-1980), and Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s 1992 book Life is a Caravanserai to study the intersection of ethnicity, gender, and class with respect to the development of a Turkish-German cultural voice.
Shreya Sharma 20Ox, 22C is a senior majoring in Anthropology on the BA track with a concentration in Global Development, Health, and Sustainability. Through her honors thesis research Shreya is exploring abortion programming, access, and attitudes in Kathmandu, Nepal through a political economy lens. Given Nepal’s dependence on foreign aid for public health programming efforts and limited support for abortion influenced by traditional Nepali values, Shreya’s research comes at an opportune time amidst Biden’s recent rescinding of the Global Gag Rule policy and an era of progressive social reform in Kathmandu. Ultimately, this research aims to better understand how Nepal’s dependence on foreign relationships and differences in cultural values between Brahmin and Newari ethnic groups, work in tandem to impact abortion-related issues in Kathmandu.
Isha Soni is a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies and International Studies. Isha's research is focused on Turkey, where she seeks to investigate the relationship between the rise in nationalism following the 2016 coup attempt and the education that refugees in Turkey receive. Her research seeks to understand the implications of education's status as a human right versus its use as a tool to craft a unified national identity.
Jiin Woo is a senior double majoring in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology and Comparative Literature. She is currently pursuing an honors thesis on how a reading of urban space in South Korea through examinations of urban design projects and portrayals of urban space in film can allow for a deeper understanding of the mental life in the South Korean metropolis. By incorporating theoretical works in her study such as those of Emile Durkheim and Henri Lefebvre, she hopes to explore how the mental health crisis in South Korea paralleling the period of modernization and urbanization may be seen as not only involving personal choices and experiences but also collective interactions with the social, economic, and political space as well.
Imani Wright is a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is currently writing an honors thesis on a grassroots organization in Curridabat, San Jose, a canton within Costa Rica. The organization aims to uplift and empower women as a method of developing the greater community economically and socially. Her research will be framed around the organization, El Centro de Formacion Integral, but it will also investigate the ways in which organizations similar to El Centro could be created and sustained in other communities in the world with the an appropriate design.