Devaleena Das
Honorary Fellow
English, Jesus & Mary College and University of Delhi
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Female Body: The Cartography of Desire and Transnational Feminism

The discourse on the female body has been the predominant terrain of contest, debate and challenge in Women and Gender Studies. As a "disciplined" and allegorised body, the female body is seen as the metaphor of various social, cultural and political spaces of possession, annexation and transgression. My project intends to explore a comparative study of the female body as portrayed in the literary overture of American and Indian women writers of the twentieth century. Irrespective of innumerable similar and diverse racial, cultural and social predicaments, multiple fragmented or conflicting forms of hegemonies, I hope to unleash through this comparative study that these women of the twentieth century have asserted the female body as the dynamic revolutionary space of "feminine power." With a postmodernist and multicultural approach, the purpose of my project is to trace a "place of unity" in the "space of diversity." I would like to explore how the plethora of female bodies represents the reservoir of "denied history" withstanding the test of time. My comparative approach in this context will be to find out the similar and different "antecedent female bodies" across race, identity and nation.

Devaleena Das is a faculty member teaching English Literature over the last seven years in the two most prestigious universities of India: University of Calcutta and University of Delhi. She received her Ph.D from University of Calcutta in 2012 and her area of specialisation is Women and Gender Studies, Postcolonial Literature and Australian Literature. As a course designer, she has been associated with the Post Graduate Department of Women and Gender Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. Recipient of various awards, including the Endowment Foreign Travel Fellowship, Travel Grant from De Paul University, Chicago, Dr. Das has presented papers at various national and international conferences. She has written extensively on race, gender and sexuality in various international journals and books. Her recently published book Critical Study of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter by Atlantic Press is a comprehensive critical study of Hawthorne’s magnum opus from interdisciplinary perspectives. Oxford University Press will be bringing out this year her book on 19th and 20th Century American Women Poets. Her edited collection of essays on Alice Walker’s The Color Purple will be published in September 2014 by Pencraft International. In addition, she is co-editing the book Unveiling Apocalyptic Desire: Fallen Women in Eastern Literature. She has also delivered lectures and talks at various institutions and has been among the juries at various literary debates and book discussions. She is at work on a project entitled "Female Body: The Cartography of Desire and Transnational Feminism."

Barbara Obrist
Honorary Fellow
History of Science and Philosophy, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique; University Paris Diderot - Paris 7
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A History of Twelfth-Century Cosmology

This project will be volume two of a history of medieval cosmology, focusing on the twelfth century, and taking into consideration both verbal and pictorial documents (La cosmologie médiévale. Textes et images II: le XIIe siècle). There is no synthetic history of cosmology for this period of the Middle Ages. This project challenges the commonly-made distinction between scientific and non-scientific activities with that of specialized and non-specialized domains. It considers the twelfth century from the point of view of its dependence on pre-twelfth-century Roman cosmology on the one hand and the assimilations of newly-made translations from the Arabic and the Greek on the other hand. It identifies and analyzes major trends by making a distinction between a cosmology that was predominantly astronomical and mathematical in approach and a cosmology that focused on natural philosophy. Moreover, it takes into consideration the cosmological tradition which interpreted the created world to be a symbol of spiritual values, and is usually termed "symbolic."

Barbara Obrist is Directeur de Recherche at CNRS and the University Paris Diderot - Paris 7, in the Laboratoire SPHERE (Science, Philosophie, Histoire-UMR 7219). She received her Ph.D. in Art History in Geneva (Les débuts de l'imagerie alchimique (14e-15e siècles), Paris: Le Sycomore, 1982) and first held a position in art history at CNRS in Strasbourg. She edited a thirteenth-century alchemical text (Constantine of Pisa: The Book of the Secrets of Alchemy. Critical Edition, Commentary, and Translation, Leiden: Brill, 1990) and turned to history of science and philosophy. Subsequently, early medieval cosmology (from the seventh to twelfth centuries) became her main area of research, including translations from the Arabic into Latin. She joined the Centre d’histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales, CNRS - Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) in 1995 and has held her present position since 2009. She is at work on the second volume of a series, entitled A History of Twelfth-Century Cosmology.

Sandrine Roux
Honorary Fellow
University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne
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The Mind-Body Problem: When French History of Philosophy Meets Contemporary Philosophy of Mind

Pamela Voekel
Honorary Fellow
History, University of Georgia
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For God and Liberty: Catholicism and Democracy in the Atlantic World in the Age of Revolution




Robert Wolensky
Honorary Fellow
Sociology, UW-Stevens Point
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Needlepoint Narratives: An Oral History of Women Garment Workers and the ILGWU in Pennsylvania

The work for Needlepoint Narratives will involve, first, the editing of excerpts from a collection of over 50 oral history interviews with workers (mainly women) employed in the garment industry of the Wyoming Valley of Northeastern Pennsylvania betrween 1944 and 2000. The interviews have been collected, transcribed, and digitized and constitute a specific collection within the larger the Northeastern Pennsylvania Oral and Life History Project, which Prof. Wolensky directs. The second component of the selecting, and working with technicians to improve, from among the dozens of newly-found images on the union's social and political activities as well as it's inspiring and dynamic leader, Min Matheson.
The volume will serve as a companion to Prof. Wolensky's earlier co-authored work, Fighting for the Union Label: The Woman's Garment Industry and the ILGWU in Pennsylvania (Penn State Press, 2002).

A Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Professor Wolensky is also currently serving as Acting Director of the Center for the Small City at the same university. His research and publications have focused on the history and culture of northeastern Pennsylvania, and he has authored or co-authored books on the Tripocal Storm Agnes flood of 1972 (1995); the Knox Mine Disaster of 1959 (1999 & 1995), the ladies garment workers' industry between 1944 and 2000 (2002), the Avondale Mine Disaster of 1869 (2008), and labor conflict in coal mining between 1897 and 1959 (2013). He is also the director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Oral and Life History Project. He has been appointed fellow or visiting professor at UW-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the London School of Economics, Wilkes University, and the University of Exeter in England (the latter as a Fulbright scholar). He earned an A.B. from Villanova University and master's and doctoral degress from Penn State University. He is at work on a book project entitled "Needlepoint Narratives: An Oral History of Women Garment Workers and the ILGWU in Pennsylvania."

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