Past Fellows (1997-1998)
Murat Aydede, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science, and the College
"The Affective Aspect of Phenomenal Experiences"
Many philosophical and scientific problems about phenomenal consciousness, like subjectivity and the mysterious ontological status qualia, have to do with the difficulty of incorporating the qualitative aspects of our mental life into a naturalistic/scientific framework. My proposal elaborates the idea of treating affective qualia as consisting solely of the peculiar ways in which sensory qualia (treated as analog information) are processed. Roughly, the significance of the idea can be put like this: it is not that we desire certain sorts of sensory stimulation because we feel, say, pleasure as a result, but rather we feel pleasure because we desire the continuation of a certain sort of sensory stimulation.
Bill Darden, Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures, and Linguistics
"Integration of Evidence from Linguistics and Archaeology: The Problem of the Homeland of the Indo-Europeans"
There has recently been an enlivened interest in the problem of the 'homeland' of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. The linguistic evidence for the culture of the PIE speakers can go no further back than the first division of the community--the split between the Anatolians and the rest of Indo-European, yet no one has seriously limited their evidence to those items which can be proven to have existed then. I use a study of the archaeology of those cultural items to argue that the most promising place for the division was the area of the Caucasus in the fourth millennium BC.
Loren Kruger, Associate Professor, English Language & Literature, Comparative Literature, and the College
"The Drama of Modernity: Plays, Pageants, and Publics in South Africa Since 1910"
Recent debates about South African theatre have focused on the battle over the present and future national culture in South Africa. Significantly, they have cleared the way for a critical revision of South African cultural history in which patterns and repertoires of performance can be read not as the immediate reflections or instigations of political action but as mediations of lived or imagined life in South Africa by a diversity of genres, performers, and audiences in neocolonial and (perhaps) postcolonial times.
Tamara Trojanowska, Assistant Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures, Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, and the College
"Concepts of Identity: Continuations, Transformations, and Disruptions. Polish Drama 1956-96"
In the Polish theater, the question of identity has always been inseparable not only from its authors' and audiences' philosophical concepts of history and culture but also from their empirical experience of political and cultural reality. This study aims at analyzing Polish drama in the very richness and complexity of its entanglement in historical, political, ideological, and social reality of two distinct but deeply connected epochs: the history of the Polish People Republic and the new situation of a reclaimed and now democratic state.
Larry Zbikowski, Assistant Professor, Music and the College
My project explores how recent work in cognitive science sheds light on the way we structure our understanding of music. My focus has been on the way three aspects of cognition -- categorization, cross-domain mapping, and reasoning based on conceptual models -- shape our understanding of music. In addition to developing models for musical understanding, I show how these cognitive processes are manifested in music through a series of musical analyses. The analyses focus on questions of large-scale rhythm, musical identity, text-music relations, and compositional strategy.
Brian Currid, Doctoral Candidate, Music
"The Acoustics of National Publicity: Music in German Mass Culture, 1924-45"
By looking at general issues of theoretical importance and more localized cases of historical import, this project offers a chance to think through the problems and issues that 'cultural studies' presents to the study of music as a form of the social. Moving between historical investigation in archives and critical assessment of the place of historical mass-mediated forms of music in the national narration of German history, this study develops a critique of both the practice and structure of musical life in Weimar and Nazi mass culture.
Zhen Zhang, Doctoral Candidate, East Asian Languages & Civilizations
"'An Amorous History of the Silver Screen': Film Culture, Urban Modernity, and the Vernacular Experience in China, 1905-1937"
Embedded in a particular 'vernacular experience', Chinese silent and early sound cinema (1905-37) was a profound transformation in perception, everyday life, knowledge production and dissemination in China. In the film culture of this pre-war Republican period, how was the production and reception of modern imagery informed by various old and new technologies and by related cultural practices? This cultural history of imaging and imagining, and its ramifications for Chinese modernity, has been multi-dimensional, shifting, and gendered.
Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow
Neville Hoad, Sawyer Seminar on Sexual Identities and Identity Politics
"Gay and Lesbian Identity and the Cross-Cultural Rhetorics of Race in South Africa, 1960-96"
This cross-cultural project explores the dynamics of gay and lesbian identity in South Africa in relation to questions of constitutional reform and social transformation. It addresses such inter-related concerns for gay and lesbian identity as the influence of global capital as a transcultural medium, the use of the ethnic minority analogy, the role of the category of tradition in determining racial and national authenticity, stategies of assimilation and separatism, the relationship between civil rights discourses and national liberation discourses, the notion of sexual deviance as cultural otherness, and transcultural organizations of 'sexuality'.