Current Fellows 2019-2020
Erin C. Tarver is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Emory University’s Oxford College and a scholar of feminist philosophy, the philosophy of sport, and American pragmatism. She is the author of The I in Team: Sports Fandom and the Reproduction of Identity (Chicago, 2017), in which she draws on philosophy, history, and her own experiences as a sports fan in the American South to make an interdisciplinary argument about the importance of sport in contemporary American consciousness. In her new book project she considers the contemporary American political moment in the light of the worst habits of sports fandom, and argues for a renewed appreciation of the value of good competition.
Tonio Andrade is professor of Chinese and Global History at Emory University. His books include The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History (2016), Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China’s First Great Victory over the West (2011), and How Taiwan became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century (2008). His articles have appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, The Journal of World History, Late Imperial China, Itinerario, The Journal of Chinese Military History, The Journal of Medieval Military History, and The Journal of Early Modern History, among others. He is currently working on a history of the last European delegation to be received in the traditional imperial court in China, a Dutch mission of 1794-95, which is documented in rich sources in many languages, not to mention slews of sketches, etchings, and paintings.
Elizabeth Carson Pastan is Professor of Art History at Emory University and President of the American
Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum, the international body of scholars who study medieval stained glass, her primary research interest. She is the author of Les vitraux du choeur de la cathédrale de Troyes (XIIIesiècle), and she is the only American to have been invited to publish in this French series; a co-author with the historian Stephen D. White of The Bayeux Tapestry and its Contexts: A Reassessment, for which they received a Collaborative Research Grant in the Humanities from the American Council of Learned Societies (2009); and a co-editor of the forthcoming anthology from Brill in their Reading Medieval Sources series, Investigations in Medieval Stained Glass: Materials, Methods, and Expressions. In this anthology, she publishes her first discussion of early medieval rose windows, which is her current focus of study.
Beretta E. Smith-Shomade is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies. Her work centers the confluence of television, film, and new media within and through Black culture. She has published two monographs: Shaded Lives: African-American Women and Television (Rutgers 2002) and Pimpin' Ain't Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television (Routledge 2008) and one anthology Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences (Rutgers 2012). Her current project is a monograph that examines how media, Black popular culture and religion congeal in the contemporary moment. Tentatively titled, Aw the Devil with Hem Untied: The Black Mediated Sacred, the book intends to advance ways of thinking about current spiritual/religious practices within various arenas of black popular culture and transformative change.
Javier Villa-Flores is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University. His work revolves around issues of religion, colonialism, and the social history of language in colonial Mexico. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and of two books: Carlo Ginzburg: The Historian as Theoretician (University of Guadalajara, 1995) and Dangerous Speech: A Social History of Blasphemy in Colonial Mexico (University of Arizona Press, 2006). Professor Villa-Flores’ current project builds upon the methodological and archival expertise accumulated in his previous work, but opens new research avenues by exploring the cultural, political, and socioeconomic implications of the use and abuse of trust in colonial Mexico. His new book in progress explores the ways in which elites and popular groups of the past have managed or “mismanaged” risk under colonialism. Focusing on the representation, prosecution, and punishment of “crimes of falsity” in Bourbon New Spain (forgery, impersonation, counterfeiting, alteration of weights and measures, and perjury), this work explores the historical relationship between excessive trust and risk in an era obsessed with the protection and enforcement of trustworthiness in the economic, political, and social spheres.
Klas Molde (Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Cornell University) works on poetry and poetics, specializing in European lyric of the long nineteenth century. His book project, Theory of Poetic License, seeks a model for understanding why the lyric continued, in a supposedly enlightened and disenchanted age, to make claims and perform gestures (of animation, praise, etc.) that elsewhere would be inadmissible or even unimaginable. Presenting new readings of major French and German poets, it develops a notion of the lyric genre as a pressure chamber regulating the balance between enchantment and disenchantment in an always imbalanced environment. At the Fox Center, he will finish his first book while laying the ground for a second project on Lyric Values.
John Brooks (Ph.D. English, Indiana University) specializes in African American literature and performance. His research interests revolve around abstractionist and experimental aesthetics, especially the way artworks aspire to create misperceptions that highlight the limitations of popular conceptions of racial identity and experience in the United States. At the Fox Center, he is working on his book manuscript, The Racial Unfamiliar: Encountering Illegibility in Contemporary African American Literature and Performance, which explores how recent artworks challenge racial stereotypes and query what we think we “know” about race.
Donohon Abdugafurova is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Islamic Civilizations Studies Program at Emory University. Her general research interests are related to women, gender, Central Asian intellectual history, Sufism, women’s literature and life writing, education, upbringing and ethics in Uzbek society. In her dissertation, Donohon explores how the twentieth-century Central Asian Uzbek women wrote their lives without traditional autobiography as a legitimate form of self-articulation. She examines women’s perception of self and engagement with diverse modes of expression in literary composition based on individual, familial and societal levels as a woman, daughter, wife, mother, member of society and citizen of the state. Her articles appeared in the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (forthcoming), Central Asian Affairs, the Journal of Georgetown Gender and Law and others.
Ryan Kendall is a PhD candidate in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Ryan came to Emory University after receiving her BA in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of North Texas. Her scholarly interests range across feminist theory, queer theory, psychoanalytic studies, critical race studies, literary theory, and rhetorical studies. Ryan’s dissertation work revisits the split between queer theory and feminist theory from the 1990s to present, emphasizing the figure of the reproductive body as a critical site for thinking differently about the overlaps of queer and feminist thought.
Michael Patrick Vaughn is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department. While a Fox Fellow, Michael will be completing his dissertation, titled “Tops, Bottoms, and the Ghost of HIV: An Investigation of the Impact of Collective Memory on the Behavior-Group Identity Relationship Among Gay Men.” In his dissertation, Michael examines the process by which shared narratives (collective memories) can become an aspect of how gay men understand what it means to be gay. Given that many of these narratives are rooted in historical trauma experienced by gay men, Michael investigates how these narratives continue to influence, or haunt, contemporary gay men, particularly in terms of sexual behavior and the meanings they ascribe to gay identity, both for their self and others. Michael also investigates how this process varies across different races and generations. Outside of the dissertation, Michael also conducts media research, examining how popular television shows and podcasts can provide rich insight into the relationship between memory, identity, sexuality, and trauma.
The Laney Graduate School
Norah Elmagraby (2018-2020) is a doctoral candidate in Islamic Civilizations Studies (ICIVS) at Emory University. She specializes in Islam and Ecology, with certification in Global Practice. Prior to her scholarship at Emory University, she earned a Masters in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and had an industry practice as a sustainability consultant for two years in the Middle East. Norah’s research examines the perception of Climate Change and natural disasters in the Middle East and North Africa. This work is an interdisciplinary effort that examines the intersection between science and Islamic theology, drawing from the fields of Critical Disaster Studies, Religion, Ecology, and Sociology. As a HASTAC scholar, she aims to incorporate a digital component to her research by examining the virtual discourse of Islamic environmentalism in the Arab World.
Kayla Shipp (2018-2020) is a doctoral candidate in English studying nineteenth-century American literature and digital humanities. Prior to coming to Emory, she received her M.A. in Digital Humanities from King’s College London. She thinks the best old texts work best in new interactive digital environments; her research explores innovative ways to use digital publications to allow old (and new) texts to better express themselves. As a HASTAC scholar, she will continue working to define what “digital scholarship” can mean and explore how it opens intellectual inquiry to new creative possibilities.
Hannah C. Griggs (2019-2021) 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.
Martin Pimentel is a senior majoring in History and Political Science. His senior honors thesis explores the historical factors that led to the rise of rumor control centers in the United States in the late 1960s. His thesis focuses specifically on the rise and fall from prominence of Detroit’s rumor control center as a model for other cities. Based on archival research at the Wayne State University archives in Detroit and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, he seeks to explain the rise of Detroit’s rumor control center as a function of the Cold War, the United States’ unique history of race relations and federalism, and Detroit’s own specific history of racial violence. Martin’s project ultimately aims to add to the existing literature on the race riots of the late 1960s by situating rumor control outside of the grievance model of racial violence that has typically dominated the literature on riot prevention during this period.
Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Summer & Fall, 2019
Mary Bohn is a senior majoring in East Asian Studies with a secondary focus on Global Development. Her senior thesis projects analyzes the construction of the North Korean immigrant identity as “refugees” and “defectors” as opposed to economic migrants through South Korean variety shows and media interviews with immigrants. Her research will focus on the victim-centric, feminized, and “backwards” aspects of these media representations and the role these representations play in immigrants’ acceptance from the more-developed, “paternal” South Korean state and society. Ultimately, this study explores defectors’ conflict between immigrants’ representations as exotic “Others” and their nuanced immigrant backgrounds.
Rizky Etika is a senior in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Art History Studies and minoring in Arabic. Her honors thesis analyzes the architectural history of the Atlanta Fox Theatre and its influence from Islamic Architecture. In the summer of 2019, Rizky travelled to Andalusian Spain and Morocco to observe and document historical buildings as part of her research. Her thesis seeks to examine how Islamic art influenced the architecture of the Fox Theatre and to contextualize it within the scope of twentieth century American architecture.
Junyi Han is a senior double majoring History and Media Studies. She is currently working on an honors thesis that examines war memories through the case of the Chinese Expeditionary Forces, a military unit dispatched to Burma and India by the Nationalist government in 1942 in support of the Allied efforts against Japanese invasion in Asia. The thesis will answer how and why the war efforts of the Chinese Expeditionary Force started to be recognized in mainland China in the late twentieth century. It will explore how war memories and post-war politics have mutually shaped each other, and thus provide new insights into contemporary Chinese history.
Aleksei Kaminski is a senior on the pre-law track majoring in African Studies and Economics. He is currently writing senior honors thesis, “Institutions and Marginalization in Brazil - A Discourse in Shifting Voting Behavior”, the discourse in shifting political attitudes towards populism and authoritarianism amongst marginalized communities in Brazil. Aleksei conducted his research during the summer of 2019 in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil creating online survey polls and interviewing academics and conservative members of the LGBTQ+ and Afro-Brazilian communities. His thesis explores the context of inequality, sexuality, religion, and racism in 21st century Brazilian politics following the election of current President Jair Bolsonaro.
Rachael Lewis is a senior majoring in Biology with a minor in Global Health, Cultures, and Society. Her senior capstone project focuses on early childhood development in low to middle income countries. In the summer of 2019, she conducted an ethnography to understand the relationship between biotechnology and disability education in Southern India. She partnered with an electrical engineering NGO to analyze the impact of assistive devices on the development of children with autism, cerebral palsy, visual impairments, and other related disabilities. She hopes to use her understanding of universal education and healthcare disparities to fuel her graduate studies in the future.
Darien "Penny" McElwee is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in quantitative sciences. She is currently writing an honors thesis on environmental factors that affect parenting self-efficacy. During the summer, she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to investigate how parenting ability is affected by factors such as living in a rural community and refugee status. Through her exploration of factors affecting parenting confidence, she hopes to contribute to a better understanding of factors that affect parenting self-efficacy and subsequent child development.
Sophia Minnillo is a senior double majoring in Linguistics and French Studies. Her honors thesis examines the process and outcomes of learning French as a foreign language, with a focus on the presence of technology in learning and assessment. Sophia traveled to Paris in the summer of 2019 to analyze specialized collections of French as a foreign language instructional materials. She also collected evaluations of learner speech to gauge differences in the proficiency assessment of human raters as compared to automatic, technology-mediated methods. Through her thesis, Sophia hopes to answer questions related to bias in proficiency evaluation and to the role of technology in the language classroom.
Xavier Sayeed is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Music Research and Jewish Studies. His project will culminate in the completion of an honor's thesis focusing on how the evolution of Israeli society and culture impacts the positionality of those from Sephardic and Mizrahi backgrounds and in what ways that shifts the approach to Andalusian music.
Daniel Thomas is a senior on a pre-law track, double majoring in History and International Studies. He is currently writing an honors thesis on the history of Russian separatism in the Donbas, a region in Eastern Ukraine. Daniel conducted his research in Kyiv, Ukraine during the summer of 2019, using archival documents, periodicals, and oral history techniques in order to chart out the various social problems and economic privations that gripped post-Soviet Ukraine. Through the usage of previously-unused archival documents and personal first-hand accounts of daily life in Eastern Ukraine, Daniel hopes to both contribute to the limited historiography on post-Soviet conflict zones and shed light on the tumultuous history one of the world's least-discussed conflicts.
Kira Tucker is a senior majoring in English and Creative Writing with a minor in Linguistics. She is completing a senior capstone research project as well as an honors thesis in poetry. In her literary research, Kira comparatively analyzes select works by poets Anna Akhmatova and Natasha Trethewey to understand marginalized women’s resistance within the Stalinist Soviet Union and pre-Civil Rights American South. Kira explores a process she terms lifemaking, demonstrating how artistic practice can offer a means of surviving oppressive social conditions. In her honors thesis, Kira will further develop these themes by drawing on her lived experience and employing the power of her own poetic eye.