Susan Stanford Friedman
English; Gender & Women's Studies, UW-Madison
"Planetary Modernism and the Modernities of Empire, Nation, and Diaspora"
Dr. Friedman's project internationalizes modernist studies by challenging the diffusionist notion that the West invented modernity, which then spread belatedly to other parts of the world. The book opens with the essay "Definitional Excursions" (2001), which examines the multiple and often opposite meanings for contested terms like "modernity" and "modernism" across the disciplines. It posits a transnational, polycentric, and conjunctural understanding of modernity on a planetary landscape and argues that modernism did not end in 1945 but extends throughout the century to incorporate the postcolonial and diasporic modernities based in the blend and clash of cultures around the globe. It includes chapters on traveling modernities, comparative modernisms, and writers from three continents such as Conrad, Forster, Woolf, Tagore, Devi, Salih, Cesaire, Roy, and Cha.
Susan Stanford Friedman is the Virginia Woolf Professor of English and Women's Studies and the Sally Mead Hands Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she holds a joint appointment in the departments of English and Gender and Women's Studies. Her work focuses on 20th and 21st century literature and theory, incorporating such fields as modernist studies, contemporary women's writing, and world literatures in English. She contributes to feminist cultural theory, narrative theory, migration and diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, psychoanalysis, and interdisciplinary women's studies. She is the author of Psyche Reborn: The Emergence of H.D. (Indiana University Press, 1981; 1987); Penelope's Web: Gender, Modernity, H.D.'s Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 1990; 2008); and Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter (Princeton University Press, 1998). Analyzing Freud: Letters of H.D., Bryher, and Their Circle (New Directions Press, 2001) is her scholarly edition. She also edited Joyce: The Return of the Repressed (Cornell University Press, 1993), co-edited Signets: Reading H.D. (University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), and co-wrote A Woman's Guide to Therapy ( Prentice-Hall, 1979). She is the co-editor of a new journal venture, Contemporary Women's Writing (2006--, Oxford University Press). Friedman's work has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Serbian, and Czech. She has held fellowships from National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Letters and Science, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Institute for Research in the Humanities. Mappings won the Perkins Prize for best book in narrative studies (1999). With a B.A. from Swarthmore College in Greek and English and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin, she first taught at Brooklyn College, CUNY, has taught at UW-Madison since 1975, and served as Associate Chair of Women's Studies (1975-1981) and Chair of English (2001-2004) before becoming Director of the Institute in 2007.
Rachel Feldhay Brenner
Hebrew Studies, UW-Madison
"Polish Writers' Diaries and Literary Writings from Warsaw 1939-1945: Moral Autonomy and Empathy in the Reality of German Occupation and Genocide"
The German occupation confronted Polish writers with the evolving horror of the Holocaust, which they registered in diaries and in literary writings. This book-length project examines the wartime Polish writers responses towards the Jewish victims as reflections of their efforts to retain humanistic values, and especially the value of empathy. The study focuses on the diarists inner struggle for moral autonomy in time of terror. The contrast between the diaristic introspections and the literary representations highlights the complex messages of the diaries and demands a reexamination of the humanistic orientation in the literary responses to the atrocity of genocide.
Rachel Feldhay Brenner is Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature in the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies, and Max and Frieda Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies. Her research focuses on Jewish Diaspora Literature, Israeli literature, and on the representations of the Holocaust in literature and in autobiographical writings. She is the author of Assimilation and Assertion: The Response to the Holocaust in Mordecai Richler's Writing (1989), and A.M. Klein, The Father of Canadian Jewish Literature: Essays in the Poetics of Humanistic Passion (1990), which won the prize of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto Literary Scholarship Award, Writing as Resistance: Four Women Confronting the Holocaust: Edith Stein, Simone Weil, Anne Frank, and Etty Hillesum (1997), which was translated into Spanish, Inextricably Bonded: Israeli Jewish and Arab Writers Re-Visioning Culture (2003), and The Freedom to Write: The Woman-Artist and the World in Ruth Almog's Fiction (2008) [in Hebrew]. Brenner (Hebrew University (B.A), Tel Aviv University (M.A.) York University, Toronto (Ph.D)) has received Canada Research Fellowship (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), Skirball Visiting Fellowship, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, NEH Fellowship, Research Award, Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women, Brandeis University, the George Mosse Faculty Exchange Award to Hebrew University, Sosland Family Fellowship, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Museum.
Art History; Afro-American Studies, UW-Madison
"The Senses in Understandings of Art: A Sensorium of Yoruba Peoples"
I will research/write a book (with multi-media DVD), create a website, and plan an exhibition that explore how artists and audiences use the senses to create and respond to the arts using an approach I call sensiotics. While I focus on the arts of Yoruba peoples in West Africa and their cultural sensorium, I argue that the senses and sensiotics have important implications for our experience and understanding of the arts universally, as suggested in recent anthropological and neurological research that documents the importance of body-knowledge in learning.
After graduating from Hamilton College, Henry Drewal joined the Peace Corps, taught French and English and organized arts camps in Nigeria. While in Nigeria he apprenticed himself to a Yoruba sculptor, an experience was transformative (and ultimately led to his present project at IRH on art and the senses). He returned for graduate studies at Columbia University with an interdisciplinary specialization in African art history and culture, receiving two Masters' degrees and a PhD in 1973. He taught at Cleveland State University (where he was chair of the Art Department), and was a Visiting Professor at UC-Santa Barbara and SUNY-Purchase. He also served as Curator of African Art at The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Neuberger Museum. Since 1990 he has been Evjue-Bascom Professor at UW-Madison and Adjunct Curator of African Art at the Chazen Museum of Art. He has received numerous awards (Fulbright, NEH, Guggenheim, AIIS, Smithsonian, and Sainsbury fellowships) and published several books, edited volumes, and many articles on African and African Diaspora arts including Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought (1989) and Beads, Body and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe (1998). He curated and wrote the catalogue for the major traveling exhibition -- Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas (2008) and edited the volume Sacred Waters: Arts for Mami Wata and other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora (2008) that won the 2011 Arnold Rubin Distinguished Publication Award from ACASA. His latest exhibition project, Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria (2009), for which he wrote the catalogue, opened in Santander, Spain in 2009, traveled to Madrid and the British Museum in 2010 before its 2011-12 US tour to Houston, Richmond, and Indianapolis. He co-curated with Sarah K. Khan Soulful Stitching: Patchwork Quilts by Africans (Siddis) in India, a traveling exhibition shown at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY and the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, both in 2011. He is currently preparing with colleagues another major traveling exhibition entitled Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. In Spring 2013, he will be hosting the Arts Institute Artist-in-Residence Faisal Abdu’Allah and co-teaching a seminar on “bodies, minds, senses and the arts.”
“Companionable Objects, Companionable Conscience: Ethics and the Predicaments of Dwelling with Things”
My project explores crafted things and the ethical and affective ties we form with them in our everyday lifeworlds and contemporary public spheres. A simple idea leads to me write about “companionable objects” and “companionable conscience:” Things, too, are social beings—though not human beings—and as we dwell together with them we become vulnerable to them, and they to us. In that mutuality of influence between people and things there is both care and violence. An ethical realm stretches between us. And so I want to pose a question: Will we see ethics differently, will we see conscience in a new light, if we look to things as a fulcrum in ethical relationships? Using materials from ethnographic fieldwork and art historical research in Indonesia and elsewhere, I suggest that we will.
Kenneth M. George is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and affiliated with its Center for Southeast Asian Studies. His ethnographic research in Indonesia has focused on the cultural politics of minority ancestral religions (1982-1992), and more recently (1994-2008), on a long-term collaboration with painter A. D. Pirous, exploring the aesthetic, ethical, and political ambitions shaping Islamic art and art publics in that country. His books include: Showing Signs of Violence: The Cultural Politics of a Twentieth-Century Headhunting Ritual (awarded the 1998 Harry J. Benda Prize for best book on Southeast Asia by the Association for Asian Studies); and Picturing Islam: Art and Ethics in a Muslim Lifeworld. He also has co-edited (with Andrew C. Willford) a volume on Spirited Politics: Religion and Public Life in Contemporary Southeast Asia. Ken has been the recipient of major postdoctoral fieldwork fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. He presently holds a Kellet Mid-Career Award from UW-Madison. His fellowships for writing and study include awards from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study. Ken was the editor of the multidisciplinary Journal of Asian Studies from 2005-2008, the first anthropologist and the first specialist on Southeast Asia to hold that position in the course of its 70-year history.
French and Italian, UW-Madison
"Connecting the Dots: The Calculus of Personality in French Fiction and Film"
This project examines the influence of the development of calculus on conceptions of personality in literature and film in the modern period in France. From its inception, calculus, a branch of mathematics invented by Newton and Leibniz in the seventeenth century, has been closely connected to a number of philosophical currents, and it will be argued that starting in the nineteenth century it also began to affect representations of character and personality in literature. The book focusses on both the development of calculus itself and its ramifications for representations of personality. The areas studied are mathematics, philosophy, literature, and film, and also social psychology, a field that has been profoundly affected by calculus, which as one of the bases of statistical science provides fundamental tools for the quantification of personality. The major literary figures and currents studied are realism (Balzac, Maupassant), the roman-fleuve (Proust), and the nouveau roman (Duras, Butor, Robbe-Grillet). The works of the filmmaker Alain Resnais are included as examples of an atomized or mosaic view of human personality.
Richard E. Goodkin is Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a specialist of seventeenth-century French literature, but has also worked on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and on ancient Greek tragedy. His research interests include intertextuality, the study of genre, literature and philosophy, literature and mathematics, and French film. His books include The Tragic Middle: Racine, Aristotle, Euripides (Wisconsin, 1991), Around Proust (Princeton, 1991), and Birth Marks: The Tragedy of Primogeniture in Pierre Corneille, Thomas Corneille, and Jean Racine (Pennsylvania, 2000). He is also the editor of Autour de Racine: Studies in Intertextuality (Yale French Studies, 1989) and In Memory of Elaine Marks: Life Writing, Writing Death (Wisconsin, 2007). He is presently completing a manuscript entitled How Do I Know Thee, Let Me Count the Ways? The Representation of Personality in Early Modern French Comedy and Narrative, a project for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005-2006.
African Languages and Literature; English, UW-Madison
"Enchanting Modernity: A Cultural Biography of the Postcolonial African State"
At the Institute, Olaniyan is researching how the postcolonial African State is portrayed or embodied in both popular and elite cultural forms and practices such as literature, political cartooning, music, urban architecture, voluntary associations, bureaucracy, etc, and how the nature of the State impacts the emergence and evolution of those forms and practices. His goal is to compose a cultural biography of the postcolonial African State in order to advance the epistemological processes of understanding it, and thereby contribute to resolving its social crisis.
Tejumola Olaniyan, IRH Senior Fellow, is the Louise Durham Mead Professor of English and African Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is founding chair of the African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle (2003-2010), and currently co-chairs the Music, Race, and Empire Research Circle. His research interests include African, African diaspora, and postcolonial literature and cultural studies. He has published widely in these areas, including Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics (2004, 2009; nominated for Best Research in World Music by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in 2005), Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African American and Caribbean Drama (1995), and co-editor of African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory (2007, with Ato Quayson), African Drama and Performance (2004, with John Conteh-Morgan), and African Diaspora and the Disciplines (2010, with James H. Sweet). One of his current projects is a book, Political Cartooning in Africa, forthcoming from Indiana University Press, and an online encyclopedia of African political cartoonists.
Mary Louise Roberts
"Liberators and Intruders: The American Presence in France, 1944-1946"
My project examines the politics of sexual relations between American G.I.s and French women during the American military presence in France, 1944-1946. Erotic contacts, including heterosexual romance, prostitution, and rape, became the focus of controversy and debate between the US military and French officials. These debates, which occured in newspapers and official correspondance, in turn, anchored larger struggles for authority, including the breadth of US political power in Europe, and its moral role as a new global leader. At the same time, sexual issues served as a crucible for French resistance to rising American political dominance.
Mary Louise Roberts is the author of two books, Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1918-1928 (1994) and Disruptive Acts: The New Woman in Fin de Siècle France (2002). Roberts has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She has also received several teaching awards, most recently in 2008, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Articles from her current project, entitled Liberators and Intruders: The American Presence in France, 1944-1946, have appeared (or will appear) in Le Mouvement social, Tabur: Yearbook for European History, Society, Culture and Thought (in Hebrew), French Historical Studies, and the American Historical Review. Other articles on various subjects have also recently appeared in History and Theory, French Politics, Culture & Society, Entreprises et Histoires, Clio: Histoire, Femmes, Sociétes and Journal of Women’s History.
Afro-American Studies, UW-Madison
"Love, Righteousness and Reconciliation: Politics and Theology in the Civil Rights, Black Power and American Indian Movements"
This project focuses on the intersection between liberal, liberation and feminist/womanist theology in African American and Native American political movements in the last half of the 20th century. Beginning with an examination of the relationship between Howard Thurman and Bayard Rustin, the project traces the genealogy of their vision in the African American theological tradition (articulated in material culture and music as well as in preaching and formal theology) and the work of European theologians such as Paul Tillich and Reinhold Neibuhr. Later stages of the project will focus on the relationship between notions of righteousness, fundamental to Black Liberation Theology, and Thurman's commitment to reconciliation; the relationship between Christianity and indigenous spirituality in the Red Power movement; and feminist/womanist critiques of the political theology of the 1960s and 1970s.
Craig Werner is a literary critic and cultural historian who teaches in the Departments of Afro-American Studies and English and the Integrated Liberal Studies program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A member of the Nominating Committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he has won numerous teaching prizes including the award for Best Summer School Course from the National Association of Summer School Sessions for "Sites and Sounds of the Freedom Struggle." His books include Higher Ground: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and the Rise & Fall of American Soul; A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America (revised edition); Playing the Changes: From Afro-Modernism to the Jazz Impulse; Gold-bugs and the Power of Blackness: Re-reading Poe; Adrienne Rich: The Poet and Her Critics; and Paradoxical Resolutions: James Joyce and Contemporary American Fiction. He is currently finishing work on Love and Happiness: Eros According to Shakespeare, Dante, Jane Austen, and the Reverend Al Green, in collaboration with Reverend Rhonda Lee; and We Gotta Get Out of This Place: Music in the Experience of Vietnam Veterans, in collaboration with Doug Bradley.
"Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World"
The aim of this multi-volume work is to provide a new understanding of the origin and development of the Indo-Islamic world -- an area broadly coterminous with South and Southeast Asia and known as al-Hind to the Arab geographers. Three volumes have so far been published, together covering the medieval centuries. Two more volumes, dealing with the early modern centuries, are currently in preparation. The work as a whole gives special attention to the dynamic role of nomadic (as well as post-nomadic), seafaring and other mobile populations in long-term processes of political, societal and religious/intellectual change among the settled agrarian and weakly urbanized populations of the river plains. It argues that over time such mobile populations from the margins of the settled habitats have been the most important agents of modernization in this area. Thus, denouncing the view that early modernity was confined to Europe and necessarily had urban origins, the possibility of alternative paths to early modernity is raised. The expectation is that the results of this research will be a contribution to a much broader effort to arrive at a more adequate understanding of the great transformation of the modern world that is currently under way.
André Wink is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained his PhD in Indian history from the University of Leiden. Apart from Indian and Islamic history, his teaching and research interests also include medieval and modern world history. His most recent work includes Akbar (Oxford, 2009), two essays for the forthcoming Harvard New History of the World and Oxford Handbook of World History, as well as a history of the Afghans forthcoming in a special issue of Cracow Indological Studies (2009).