The University of Chicago >>
The Franke Institute for the Humanities

HomeAbout the InstituteEventsProgramsInitiativesNewsContact Us
Faculty Fellowship ProgramDoctoral Fellowships in the HumanitiesConferences and Lectures

Past Fellows (2000-2001)

Faculty Fellows

Carles Boix, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
"Birth of Party Democracy"
I examine the emergence of mass parties and the choice of electoral institutions in the developed world (North America, Western Europe and Australasia), using both formal models and historical analysis. The manuscript I am writing is organized in three parts: the process of mobilization of nonsocialist and socialist parties at the turn of the century; the conditions under which political elites, anticipating the consequences of different electoral institutions and given the contemporary structure of electoral competition, choose different electoral regimes; and an analysis of how those specific electoral institutions at the national level shaped, in interaction with pre-existing social cleavages, contemporary party systems.

Kyeong-Hee Choi, Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
"Gender within Colonized Korea, 1910-1945"
Gender was a dominant theme during the flourishing of Korean intellectual life in the first half of the 20th Century, but it virtually disappeared in the post-liberation era. Because of this rather abrupt closure, very little is understood about the role of gender in colonized Korea. This project will examine the role that gender played in Korea's intellectual development, and specifically its relation to questions of political agendas, the impact of colonialism on Korean culture and the different ways gender was received by the elite and popular societies.

W.J.T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History
"What Do Pictures Want?"
The aim of this project is to produce a book dealing with the ways in which images are seen to have an aura, an agency that allows them to speak and look back at us. Rejecting the notion that such an aura is merely a regressive superstition, I will hypothesize that human consciousness and social life are constituted by complex forms of animism and vitalism that are never simply "believed" or "disbelieved," but are constantly re-negotiated in the processes of everyday life. In this context, I believe that human beings create a "second nature," a world of animated entities that elude the control of any individual or group and thus seem to have "lives of their own."

Larry Norman, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
"The Shock of the Old"
The debate between the Ancients and the Moderns in early-modern Europe is often depicted as a struggle between a dying conservatism and insurgent modern liberalism. However, I believe an alternative reading of this debate exists, in which poets, playwrights and polemicists used ancient texts to challenge the political, sexual and aesthetic arrangements of the neo-classical period. Rather than being seen as upholding traditional codes, ancient texts presented a disturbing face of otherness, especially in light of the rigid authoritarianism of the time. Such re-reading would allow a reshaping of our understanding of canonical literature in general, offering a model of temporal cosmopolitanism in which a culture's own history can be seen in liberating discontinuity with itself, and in which its past is viewed less as forebear than as foreign.

Jerrold Sadock, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics
"How Good Was Goethe's Yiddish"
Taking Goethe's (and others') use of Judendeutsch as a basis, I am interested in exploring the relationship between that dialect and East Yiddish, as well as the development and loss of minority ethnolects in general. Rather than examining Yiddish texts themselves, I believe that literary works by Gentile authors in which Jewish characters are portrayed as speaking differently from the non-Jews in the same work will prove to be an ample source of evidence. Because many of these works are anti-Semitic, they have largely been discounted as sources, but to the extent that many anti-Semitic authors ®¢ Richard Wagner comes to mind ®¢ also seem to have had good ears for dialect, I will show that their works provide excellent documentation of the history of Judendeutsch and Yiddish.

Aslihan Yener, Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
"Case Studies in Early Societies: Ancient Anatolia"
This project involves research for a book on the development of complex societies in Anatolia, a region that in its early history is often seen as a "frontier" to the more well-known civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Taking issue with this view, I will argue that the development of the Hittite empire and the Assyrian trading colonies of the previous period show evidence of global trade networks, pre-capitalist banking structures and complex political systems. The time frame incorporates the end of the Early Bronze Age through the Late Bronze Age c. 2000-1150 B.C.

Doctoral Fellows

Anne Eaton Art History and Philosophy
"Titian's 'Rape of Europa': The Intersection of Ethics and Aesthetics"
Taking Titian's 'Rape of Europa' as a case study, I will examine the fact that certain works widely acclaimed as artistically masterful affirm or even glorify something reprehensible. Confronted with such images, we both commend and deplore them. We are forced to ask whether art can in fact have moral value; and if so, whether this can or should constrain our aesthetic appreciation and judgment. My aim is to create a theoretical framework within which to evaluate such questions, and to argue that moral judgment can have a role in our aesthetic evaluation if we see it in terms of the work's position vis-a-vis the subject depicted.

John Huss, Conceptual Foundations of Science
"Experimental Reasoning in Non-experimental Science with Case Studies from Paleontology"
Despite paleontology's central role in contemporary policy areas as diverse as conservation biology and the search for extra-terrestrial life, there has yet to be a comprehensive study on the foundations of this field. The purpose of this dissertation, then, is to inquire into the historical, philosophical and methodological foundations of modern paleontology, specifically arguing that though it is a non-experimental science, paleontology has been driven by an experimental ideal similar to those found in the biological subdisciplines.

John Kulvicki, Philosophy
"Imagistic Representation: Depiction, Perception, and the Contents of Experience"
In this dissertation, I attempt to articulate structural features concerning how representations in a system orthographically, syntactically and semantically relate to one another that any representational system with imagistic aspirations must satisfy. I do not seek to explain what it is for a representation to be imagistic in terms of facts about visual perception; rather, I want to give an account that accommodates many of our intuitions concerning which of the representations we use are pictorial ones, which ones are borderline cases, which are diagrammatic, and which are symbolic or linguistic.

William Stull, Classical Languages and Literatures
"Character and Authority in Cicero's Dialogues"
The record of American scholarship on Cicero's rhetorica and philosophica is an unusual one — he is often seen as an out-of-touch thinker who valued political involvement over philosophical and literary activity, and his dialogues are often read as mines of information rather than, in their own right, coherent literary creations. While it is true that Cicero was primarily a man of action, I believe there is a need to correct this negative attitude toward his scholarly work. My dissertation, then, is a rereading of Cicero's dialogues as a serious attempt to let his voice be heard on matters philosophical, political, literary and cultural, focusing on his discussions of characterization and authority.

Students walking through the quad
Photo Credit: Mai Vukcevich

The Franke Institute for the Humanities | 1100 East 57th Street, JRL S-118 | Chicago, Illinois 60637 | 773-702-8274