Past Fellows (2001-2002)
Daniel Brudney, Associate Professor, Philosophy
"Self-Determination Through Others"
To be self-determining can seem a desirable but impossible ideal — after all, social structures frame and constrain our lives and no one, individually, can determine those structures. Yet in fact citizens do jointly determine those structures, and to the extent that we can see other citizens' actions as "our own" we can see ourselves as determining the framework of our lives. My research will present an analytical and historical account of self-determination as a concept in political philosophy, and will conclude with a sketch of those relationships among citizens which are both practical and would count as a major step toward instantiating self-determination.
Michael Green, Assistant Professor, Philosophy
"Global Justice, Moral Responsibility, and Political Legitimacy"
While the nation state may be alive and well, the concept of global justice is in flux. In a time when environmental law and human rights cannot be regulated by nation states alone but must be buttressed by international actors, what does it mean for us to speak of justice? Why do we imagine justice to have a global scope? My work will seek to answer that question, and I hope to present a conception of moral responsibility that could underwrite a globalist view of justice.
Sandra Macpherson, Assistant Professor, English Language & Literature
My time at the Franke Institute will be used to revise substantially my first book, Marriage Acts. The book examines literary interventions in the debate over matrimonial law reform from the repeal of the Civil Marriage Act in 1660 to the repeal of the Marriage Act in 1823, and I argue that the texts hitherto understood as contractualist are in fact elaborate critiques of the notion of contractual sovereignty. My revisions will draw heavily on the University's library resources.
Martin Riesebrodt, Associate Professor, Divinity School, Sociology, and History of Culture
"Towards a Theory of Religious Practices"
For the majority of the twentieth century, sociologists of religion have relied heavily on the Durkheimian and Weberian legacies as they understood them. My project, which will result in a book, is to present a new formulation, an outline of a theory of religious practices from a primarily sociological perspective that also responds to approaches in other disciplines such as anthropology and the history of religions.
Katherine Fischer Taylor, Associate Professor, Art History
"Architecture's Contribution to the Separation of Powers"
Much has been written about the value of architecture in asserting governmental power. I wish to analyze the more elusive problem of architecture's role in the expression and practices of diffused power in states with democratic representative governments, a context in which expressions of power tend to be suspect. The implementation of the separation of powers in France and the United States is the focus of my study, which aims to develop a comparative cultural history of how differentiated types of power, each grounded in a premise of popular sovereignty, have materialized as branches of government with distinctive and interrelated protocols and architectural forms.
David Wray, Assistant Professor, Classical Languages & Literatures
"Fierce Modesties: Women's Honor and Shame in Senecan Tragedy"
I hope to use my two quarters spent at the Franke Institute to develop further a set of ideas surrounding Roman poetics and society that grew out of my most recent book, Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (forthcoming in 2001 from Cambridge University Press). My aim is to arrive at a new understanding of Roman sexual modesty and women's honor through a contextualized reading of two Senecan tragedies.
Aaron Kitch, Doctoral Candidate, English Language & Literature
"'Matter to Rehearse': Structuring Intersections between Print and Drama in Early Modern England"
Scholars have paid close attention to the influence of printing on poetic form and to the complex translations from dramatic performance to printed text in early modern England, but they have not traced the constitutive intersections of print and drama as mediums in the period. Offering an important case study of technological innovation as it influences cultural form, my project studies the structural and structuring relations of printing and drama in works by a number of playwrights — including Henry Medwall, John Rastell, John Lyly, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson — from Tudor and Stuart England.
Jean Ma, Doctoral Candidate, English Language & Literature
"New Waves, Native Shores, and a Global Vernacular: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien"
With a career spanning two decades, Hou Hsiao-hsien is regarded as the preeminent film director in Taiwan and a leader of the hsin tien-ying, or Taiwanese New Wave. My work will focus on the role of Hou within this revolt against the traditional, state-owned film industry, and attempt to trace the pathways through which the participation of HouÕs films in a global symbolic economy determines their national value in advance, and, inversely, through which national value is displaced as a primary or authentic core of meaning.
Rochona Majumdar, Doctoral Candidate, South Asian Languages & Civilizations
"The Marriage Form: Transformations and Negotiations in Bengali Modernity (1856-1955)"
My dissertation will study the transformation of the institution of marriage from a community-based, family-regulated affair negotiated via intermediaries (ghatakas), to an impersonal market-like phenomenon in which families or individuals negotiated matches via matrimonial advertisements, basing their decisions on the relative accomplishments and the financial and familial status of the bride and groom. Such a transformation was made possible by reforms in the dowry system and other areas of marriage law, and I will argue that these changes reflected larger transformations occurring in Bengali society as a result of the shifts toward a capitalist modernity.
Riccardo Marchi, Doctoral Candidate, Art History
"'Pure Painting' in Berlin, 1912-1913: Boccioni, Kandinksy and Delaunay at 'Der Sturm'"
Between 1912 and 1913 Umberto Boccioni, Robert Delaunay and Wassily Kandinsky exhibited in Herwarth Walden's Berlin art gallery works in which they dissolved objects in whirlpools of light, color and movement. In their writings these artists and the critics around them referred to this painting as "pure", and discussed abstraction and representation, the status of the painted image, the nature and role of aesthetic experience. The very peculiar interaction of pictorial practice, art theory and criticism in this key moment for the history of modernism has not been adequately studied yet. By offering an interpretation of "pure painting" which draws upon some of its primary artistic and literary sources, I hope to broaden our understanding of modernist painting and to verify some of the critical concepts crucial to such understanding.