This project is a book on the history, visual culture, religious practices, and cultural significance of Kongzhai, a now-destroyed shrine to Confucius that formerly stood on the outskirts of Shanghai. Although government-supported temples of Confucius existed all over China after the seventh century, the Kongzhai shrine was built on private initiative in the early seventeenth, premised on a local belief that his robe and cap were buried there. Its representations of Confucius (relics, icons, portraits, pictorial biographies, and texts) had counterparts in Buddhism, Daoism, and popular-deity cults. Kongzhai flourished in the early eighteenth century and intermittently thereafter, but ultimately declined into obscurity and was demolished as a relic of feudalism in 1966. Now, after years of being vilified, Confucius has recently returned to favor as one of China's most important cultural and political assets, and selected "Confucian" values are being proclaimed as core elements of Chinese identity. Temples of Confucius are being restored, and traditional rituals for worshiping him are again being performed, while new practices have also developed to accommodate the concerns of contemporary devotees. Nonetheless, Kongzhai has not been rebuilt, and its once-celebrated relics remain virtually unknown, at a time when cults centered on figures ancient and modern are burgeoning. In reconstructing the history of Kongzhai, my book addresses issues concerning the material forms of Chinese religious expression in their larger cultural, political and social contexts.
Julia K. Murray is Professor of Art History, East Asian Studies, and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin. She received her Ph. D. from Princeton University in a joint program of East Asian Studies and Art and Archaeology. Before moving to Madison in 1989, she worked in curatorial positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery of Art, and the Harvard University Art Museums. Her publications include Mirror of Morality: Chinese Narrative Illustration and Confucian Ideology (2007); Ma Hezhi and the Illustration of the Book of Odes (1993); Last of the Mandarins (1987); A Decade of Discovery (1979), and numerous articles on Chinese art. She guest-curated the exhibition 'Confucius: His Life and Legacy in Art' at the China Institute Gallery in New York (viewable online here).
What would it mean to bring into dialogue Native American Studies and South African Studies? And why, given the rich comparative potential, has this axis of inquiry been entirely overlooked in scholarship on indigeneity? "The Nations Within" seeks to stimulate such an inquiry by focusing on the native or tribal reservation, in particular at the complex ways in which the reservation figures in the literature of colonial subjugation, cultural conflict, and resistance in both societies. In a second project, Rob Nixon is writing a short book entitled Rachel Carson and the Environmental Humanities. The book explores the implications of Carson’s methodological eclecticism for the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities, a field that did not exist in her day, yet which, he argues, she helped facilitate in critical ways. In this context, he also addresses Carson’s role as interdisciplinary translator—as an influential precursor for the kinds of public science writing that are flourishing today at the interface between the sciences and the humanities.
Rob Nixon is the Rachel Carson Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is the author of London Calling. V. S. Naipaul, Postcolonial Mandarin (Oxford); Homelands, Harlem and Hollywood. South African Culture and the World Beyond (Routledge); and Dreambirds: the Natural History of a Fantasy (Picador). His book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor is forthcoming from Harvard University Press in spring 2011. Professor Nixon is a frequent contributor to the New York Times; his writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Village Voice, The Nation, The Guardian, Outside, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Independent, Critical Inquiry, Social Text, Slate, South Atlantic Quarterly, Transition, Cultural Critique, Contemporary Literature, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, Ariel, Modern Fiction Studies, New Formations, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, and elsewhere.
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 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.
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 and Society, Entreprises et Histoires, Clio: Histoire, Femmes, Sociétes and Journal of Women’s History.
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 and Fall of American Soul; A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race and 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.
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).
The modernization of Danish society between 1800 and 1900 was a turbulent process, rousing the Danish educated elite to energetic but ultimately futile efforts to protect their privileged status. One area in which Denmark led the way in Europe was in the establishement of religious freedom, but this innovation resulted in significant social and cultural upheaval in Danish society. In order to contextualize and illuminate the significance of the struggles over religious freedom in Denmark, my project centers on the role of prominent Danish intellectuals and artists who contributed to shaping public discourse about the connections between religious freedom and modernity as well as on the impact of these developments on common Danes. The main figures of the study are the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, his brother, the Lutheran priest Peter Christian Kierkegaard, the literary critic Georg Brandes, and the communities of Baptists and Mormons that spearheaded the attempts to realize the consitutional guarantee of religious freedom in mid-19th century Denmark.
Julie K. Allen is Assistant Professor of Danish in the Department of Scandinavian Studies. She received her PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in 2005. Her research focuses on the cultural phenomena of national and gender identity construction in 19th and early 20th century Denmark and Germany. She has had several articles published about 19th and 20th century Danish and German authors, including Georg Brandes, Søren Kierkegaard, Ruth Berlau, Arthur Schnitzler, and Thomas Mann. Her forthcoming book, /Georg Brandes and Asta Nielsen: The Godparents of Danish Cultural Modernity /(2012)/, /examines the role of celebrities and the mass media in shaping European and Danish perceptions of modern Danish national and cultural identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Since the outbreak of violence that started in Algeria in the 90s with the rise of Islamist fundamentalism, Algerian women authors have coped with an unsettled and unbearable reality through a form of writing that is called today 'urgency writing'. Moreover I am interest in fictional and testimonial texts aiming to demonstrate how fictional writing can embody reality and be considered as authentic piece of History. Furthermore, if Algerian History is omnipresent in the texts written by women, still other stories are interlaced; notably personal and even mundane ones. Thus, the meeting of the individual and the collective constitutes an intrinsic characteristic of these women's rewriting of History and can offer a revision of the historiographical discourse.
Névine El Nossery is Assistant Professor of Francophone Literature in the Department of French and Italian. Her research focuses on women's writing and historiography, exile, migration French Canadian literature and Middle Eastern literature and culture. She published several articles and book chapters in international journals on Assia Djebar, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Malika Mokeddem, Amin Maalouf, Nancy Huston. El Nossery (University of Cairo (BA), University of Cairo (M.A), Universite de Montreal (Ph.D.)) has translated Nancy Huston's essay, Nord perdu (Losing the North) into Arabic and was published in 2005
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, radio developed a sophisticated poetics of sound that found its highest expression in the “radio feature.” A mixture of documentary and drama, using a combination of live and experimental recording techniques, the radio feature arose from a crisis-inspired collaboration of British and American radio writers and producers whose work aspired to make democracy come alive on the airwaves. Orson Welles, Dylan Thomas, Archibald MacLeish, Norman Corwin, Arthur Miller, Edward R. Murrow, and Pare Lorentz are just a few of those who contributed to this high point in radio experimentation, before its eclipse by television in the 1950s. I examine both the poetics and the politics of this formative period in sound art, contributing to the neglected study of sound in the era of visual communication.
Michele Hilmes is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication Arts. She received her Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1986. She is the author or editor of several books on media history, including Hollywood and Broadcasting: From Radio to Cable (1990), Radio Voices: American Broadcasting 1922-1952 (1997); Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States (3rd edition 2010); The Radio Reader: Essays in the Cultural History of Radio (ed., 2001), The Television History Book (ed., 2003), and NBC: America’s Network (ed., 2007). Her forthcoming book, Network Nations: A Transnational History of British and American Broadcasting (2011) examines flows of transatlantic influence between US and British broadcasters during radio and television’s formative years, and their impact on the production of global culture. She is the founder of the North American Radio Studies Network and founding editorial board member of The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media.
This book project focuses on the historical and cultural legacies of a young indigenous woman, a shaman named Toypurina, who in 1785 led a revolt against the Spanish at Mission San Gabriel, nine miles from the newly founded pueblo of Los Angeles. Toypurina, the book shows, was an early prophet of a new religious and political movement that crossed ethnolinguistic boundaries on the California frontier. Nearly invisible to Spanish (and later Mexican) authorities, this prophetic movement linked a series of California mission revolts over several generations and was also a direct precursor of the far more famous Ghost Dance movement that spread eastward from California and Nevada in the late 19th century. This project combines archival and ethnographic approaches, analyzing overlooked historical documents, records of myths and sacred songs, century-old anthropological fieldnotes, and personal narratives. It traces Toypurina and her descendants, as well as her people, the Tongva, and their neighbors, from early encounters with Spanish soldiers and Franciscan missionaries to the cultural revitalization movements and hybrid ethnic identities of contemporary California. The book offers revealing perspectives on prophetic movements and indigenous resistance across time and space, the “intimate frontiers” of interethnic family life, women as political and religious leaders, intersections of gender and indigeneity, landscape and cultural memory, and contemporary cultural revitalization movements.
Maria Lepowsky is Professor of Anthropology and Gender and Women's Studies at UW-Madison and a faculty affiliate of UW’s Center for Culture, History, and Environment and the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. Her research and teaching focus on gender, historical anthropology, the interplay of culture and environment, mythology and ritual, the history of anthropology, and psychological and medical anthropology. She has conducted longterm ethnographic and archival research in the Pacific Islands and California. She is the author of Fruit of the Motherland: Gender in an Egalitarian Society, the first anthropological account of one of the world’s most egalitarian societies, on the small island known to its inhabitants as Vanatinai, in the Coral Sea east of New Guinea. She has written a memoir of her island research, Dreaming of Islands (forthcoming), and completed research for a book on early encounters between islanders and Europeans on the Coral Sea frontier and their cultural consequences. Her fascination with the ongoing legacies of such early intercultural encounters led her to research on the indigenous people of the Los Angeles Basin, the Tongva (Gabrielinos) and their neighbors, the Acjachemen (Juaneños), and the legacies of their catastrophic encounters with Spanish, Mexican, American, and other newcomers over multiple generations. Her newly uncovered accounts of accommodation and resistance reveal hidden histories of California whose consequences continue to shape cultural landscapes in this bellwether state. Maria Lepowsky (A.B., M.A., Ph.D., M.P.H. University of California, Berkeley) has been supported in her research on California and the Pacific by an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship and Henry E. Huntington Library Fellowships, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Haynes Foundation and Historical Society of Southern California, the Autry National Center for the Study of the American West, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of California, Berkeley; and the Graduate School and William F. Vilas Trust of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Professor Nadler is completing a book on Spinoza's THEOLOGICAL-POLITICAL TREATISE, the most radical and "scandalous" book of its time. Spinoza denied the divine authorship of the Bible, naturalized prophecy and miracles, reduced "true religion" to a basic moral principle, and argued for a broad doctrine of toleration of speech and "philosophizing". This study will examine not only the philosophical themes and arguments of the work, but also the historical, religious and political contexts of its composition and of the extraordinary condemnations that soon followed its publication.
Steven Nadler is the William H. Hay II/WARF Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been teaching since 1988. He is also a faculty member of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies (and a former holder of the Max and Frieda Weinstein/Bascom Professorship of Jewish Studies), and the editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy. A specialist in the history of early modern philosophy and in medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy, his books include Arnauld and the Cartesian Philosophy of Ideas (Princeton University Press, 1989), Malebranche and Ideas (Oxford University Press, 1992), Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge University Press, 1999, winner of the 2000 Koret Jewish Book Award for biography, and now translated into ten languages), Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind (Oxford University Press, 2002), Rembrandt's Jews (University of Chicago Press, 2003, named a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction), Spinoza's Ethics: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2006), The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God and Evil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton University Press, 2010), and Occasionalism: Causation Among the Cartesians (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). He is also the co-editor of the Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century (2008), among other volumes. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (Paris), and the holder of the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam.
This book-length project tracks the figure of the animal in a series of popular novels written in England during the last three decades of the nineteenth century. The study seeks to determine the status of the natural in post-Darwinian British culture and to describe the different symbolic uses to which emerging political movements as different as anarchism and social Darwinism put the figure of the animal so as to advance their ideological agendas. While this project is first and foremost a literary critical project, it is also situated within the emerging field on Animal Studies, an ongoing interdisciplinary endeavor to understand the relation between human and nonhuman animals.
Mario Ortiz-Robles is Associate Professor of English. His work to date has focused on the nineteenth-century realist novel, the first truly global literary phenomenon of our modernity, and has availed itself of a reading methodology that situates itself at the intersection of close textual analysis, deconstructive approaches to literary language, and ideology critique. His first book, The Novel as Event (University of Michigan Press, 2010), is an attempt to re-assess the historical claims made about the instrumental efficacy of the realist novel within the complex social processes of subject formation by looking at the role of performative speech acts in a series of canonical works by Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Brontë, and Collins. Together with Caroline Levine, he has edited Narrative Middles: Navigating the Victorian Novel (Ohio University Press, forthcoming), a volume of essays that focus on the formal and historical significance of the expansive middle of the long nineteenth-century novel. His work has appeared in Comparative Literature, ELH, and Textual Practice.
Camille Guérin-Gonzales is Professor of History at UW Madison. Her research and teaching focus on comparative working-class cultures and comparative race and nationalisms. She is the author of Mexican Workers and American Dreams: Immigration, Repatriation, and California Farm Labor, 1900-1939 and the coeditor of The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Essays on Labor Activism and Migration in the World Economy. Her current scholarship focuses on coal mining communities. Her essay, “From Ludlow to Camp Solidarity: Women, Men, and Cultures of Solidarity in U.S. Coal Communities, 1912-1990,” appears in Mining Women: Gender, Labor, Capital and Community in Global Perspective. She is completing a comparative, transnational study of coal mining communities titled Mapping Working-Class Struggle in Appalachia, South Wales, and the American Southwest, 1890-1947.
This project complicates a common narrative of the rise and fall of the working-class by shifting our attention from mostly white industrial workers to the largely African American and immigrant maids and janitors, non-professional health care workers, garbage collectors, and other public service employees who composed the fastest growing employment sector in the United States following the Second World War. While increased demand for public services was driven by New Deal collective bargaining laws and other labor protections that empowered industrial workers to demand better wages and benefits from their employers, those same protections were denied to the workers who provided those services. Focusing on efforts to unionize and win legal protections for low-wage public service workers, I reveal how that “new working-class” became an important economic and political force in American cities during the 1960s and 1970s and laid the basis for a broader renewal of organized labor in the late 20th century.
Will Jones is an Associate Professor of History at UW Madison. He is a specialist on the United States Since 1945, and his research focuses on the intersecting histories of race and labor. He is the author of The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South, and his articles have appeared in journals including Labor, The Journal of Urban History and The Nation. In addition to The New Color of Class, he is writing a book on the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
This book-length project examines modalities of relationships and communicability across ethnic, racial and especially religious boundaries in the 16th- and 17th-century Mediterranean, as conveyed by writers of the period in both fictional and nonfictional genres of texts. The first main focus is the Muslims in Spain and their expulsion to Islamic lands, a drama with major consequences for the entire Mediterranean world. The project also deals with captives’ stories from both sides of the Mediterranean and looks into the complex phenomenon of “renegades” (i.e., converts to Islam), who played such a key role not only as agents of conflict but also as intermediaries. Central to this project are thus contemporary writings by and about frontier figures, and questions as to how what was being experienced in the Mediterranean in terms of race, ethnicity, religion and gender could be conveyed through writing.
Steven Hutchinson received his doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 1985, and is Professor of Spanish at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His first book, Cervantine Journeys (University of Wisconsin Press, 1992), plots out a philosophy of the journey and its relationship to narrative within a comparative framework, with primary focus on Cervantes’ novels. His second book, Economía ética en Cervantes (Alcalá de Henares, Centro de Estudios Cervantinos, 2001), approaches ethical thought and behavior in literary works within the perspective of a system of values (e.g., what is a person worth?) and obligations (who owes what to whom, and how are these debts incurred and paid?), once again with primary reference to the writings of Cervantes. He has published over 40 articles on topics related to early modern literature, mainly Spanish. His grants include one from the Institute for Research in the Humanities and a year-long Fulbright research fellowship in Madrid.
The inhabitants of ancient Rome appear to have been a riotous lot with at least 154 known episodes of unruly collective behavior between 200 BC and AD 375. As a result, Rome has often been characterized as a lawless, violent place, and its inhabitants, especially the poor, portrayed as disorderly and fickle. The reality, however, is considerably more complex with many riots being planned and instigated by elites, and with mobs often exhibiting considerable restraint and performing symbolic rather than actual acts of violence. My book will be a comprehensive study of these riots and will offer a more nuanced investigation of their causes, characteristics, organization, and effects.
Gregory S. Aldrete (Princeton B.A, 1988.; Univ. of Michigan M.A. and Ph.D. 1995) is Professor of History and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Some of his main areas of research have included daily life in ancient cities, floods in Rome, gestures and non-verbal communication in Roman oratory, logistics of the food supply system for Rome, and most recently, the use of linen body armor in the ancient world. His books include: Gestures and Acclamation in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins 1999), Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins 2007), Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia (Oklahoma 2009), and Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life I: The Ancient World (Greenwood 2002, editor). Aldrete was selected as an NEH Humanities Fellow for 2004/5, was a member of two NEH seminars held at the American Academy in Rome, was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome, received the Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level from the American Philological Association, is a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, was a Wisconsin System Teaching Fellow and a UWGB Teaching Scholar, and was chosen as a recipient of both the Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Founders Association Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the highest awards given by his university.
The medieval church had always condemned superstition. By definition, superstition was incorrect or excessive religious devotion. Yet concern over superstition swelled in the late medieval period, evidenced by a number of tracts and treatises written specifically against superstitious beliefs and practices. This study traces this wave of concern from courts and universities in fourteenth-century France to fifteenth-century Germany, where condemnation of superstition fed into the developing notion of diabolical witchcraft. With the Reformation of the sixteenth century, the tenor of concern over superstition changed yet again. Contrasting medieval concerns to those of the Reformation, Enlightenment, and beyond, this study also asks to what extent putatively “modern” Western notions of magic and religion may or may not already be found in the medieval era.
Michael D. Bailey is Associate Professor of History at Iowa State University. His research focuses on magic, superstition, and heresy, mainly in late medieval Europe. He has been a Fulbright fellow, a DAAD fellow, and an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, as well as holding a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of three books: Battling Demons: Witchcraft, Heresy, and Reform in the Late Middle Ages (2003), Historical Dictionary of Witchcraft (2003), and Magic and Superstition in Europe: A Concise History from Antiquity to the Present (2007), translated into Italian as Magia e superstizione in Europa dall’ Antichità ai giorni nostri (2008). He has also authored a dozen articles, and from 2006 through 2010 was the founding co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft.
This project investigates the process of monastic institution forming in the early medieval West from the earliest monastic foundations (c. 350) to the Carolingian monastic reforms. It will especially focus on the transformation of concepts of monastic space, the integration of monasteries into political structures, the development of monastic discipline and the role of normative texts. Instead of assuming that there was an organic ‘emergence’ of monasticism, special attention will be given to conflicts about changing monastic ideals and different objectives of reform. An often neglected though for this question very fruitful source are the references to (and constructions of) a collective past as they can be found in almost any monastic text.
Albrecht Diem is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Syracuse University. His research focuses on the history of monasticism in the Early Middle Ages and the history of gender and sexuality. He published a monograph, Das Monastische Experiment. Die Rolle der Keuschheit bei der Entstehung des westlichen Klosterwesens, Vita Regularis, vol. 24, Münster: LIT-Verlag 2005. His recent articles include ‘A Classicising Friar at Work: John of Wales’ Breviloquium de virtutibus’, in: Alasdair A. MacDonald, Zweder von Martels and Jan Veenstra (eds), Christian Humanism. Essays in Honor of Arjo Vanderjagt, Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions, vol. 142, Leiden: Brill 2009, pp. 75-102; ‘Nu suln ouch wir gesellen sîn - Über Schönheit, Freundschaft und mann-männliche Liebe im Tristan Gottfrieds von Straßburg’, in: "Die sünde, der sich der tuivel schamet in der helle". Homosexualität in der Kultur des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, Stuttgart: Thorbecke Verlag 2009, pp. 91-121; ‘Organisierte Keuschheit – organisierte Heiligkeit. Individuum und Institutionalisierung im frühen gallo-fränkischen Klosterwesen’, in: Pavlina Rychterova, Stefan Seit and Raphalea Veit (eds), Das Charisma. Funktionen und symbolische Repräsentation, Beiträge zu den Historischen Kulturwissenschaften, vol. 2, Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2008, pp. 323-345; ‘The rule of an Iro-Egyptian Monk in Gaul. Jonas of Bobbio’s Vita Iohannis and the construction of a monastic identity’, in: Revue Mabillon 80 (2008), pp. 5-50; ‘Monks, kings and the transformation of sanctity. Jonas of Bobbio and the end of the Holy Man’, in: Speculum 82 (2007), pp. 521-559. Albrecht Diem (M.A. Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, PhD Universiteit Utrecht) taught at the universities of Groningen and Utrecht and was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen and at the Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna. Since 2007 he is assistant professor at Syracuse University. He received a Mellon Fellowship of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Toronto in 2001/2002. The last three summers he spent as a guest fellow at the Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Vienna.
The biography of Demosthenes, (384-322 BCE), the most famous Athenian orator and democratic politician of fourth-century Athens, is inextricably linked to the history of Athenian democratic culture. In part, this is because Demosthenes orchestrated some of the most significant events of the proverbially interesting times in which he lived. Cheated out of his inheritance, Demosthenes made a stunning forensic debut by winning a lawsuit against one of his corrupt guardians, a powerful older cousin who endeavored to squash the lawsuit and hide the stolen assets. With his against the odds victory, Demosthenes made a name for himself as a speechwriter and within a few years segued into a political career. Demosthenes' personal history -the looting of his estate by powerful older men - shaped his understanding of law, the courts, democracy, and even kinship, while predisposing him to view conflict as uneven contests of the weak against the strong, a tendency that informs his portrayal of Philip of Macedon as an inevitable threat to democracy and freedom. This study aims to shed light on the role of Demsothenes' biography in the making of fourth-century history and in modern reconstructions of it.
Susan Lape is an Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include ancient drama, law, and cultural history. She is the author of Reproducing Athens: Menander's Comedy, Democratic Culture, and the Hellenistic City, (2004), and Race and Citizen Identity in the Classical Athenian Democracy (2010). Lape has received a Junior Faculty Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Studies, a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship from the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, a Junior Faculty Fellowship from the Society of Scholars, Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington and the Solmsen Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin.
Among the many agents of health in Renaissance Italy were religious women who worked as apothecaries, nurses, hospital administrators, and spiritual healers serving a wide public. But Renaissance nuns were not only healers who played a vital role in the Italian urban healthcare system: they were also articulate, introspective sufferers who narrated their experiences of illness and disability with growing frequency. This book-length study situates both nuns’ medical agency and their subjective experiences as sufferers in relation to signature developments of the early modern period, such as the expansion of female monasticism, new state welfare initiatives, Catholic reform, and medical professionalization. Tapping unexplored archival materials, my project both historicizes suffering as a social construction and revises current understandings of how healthcare in Renaissance Italy was organized, practiced, and gendered.
Sharon Strocchia is Professor of History at Emory University. Her research focuses on women and religion in Renaissance Italy; her most recent work integrates these themes with the social history of medicine. She is the author of Death and Ritual in Renaissance Florence (1992) and Nuns and Nunneries in Renaissance Florence (2009), as well as numerous articles on female religiosity in the Italian Renaissance, several of which have been awarded prizes. Strocchia (B.A. Stanford University; M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) has received grants from the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti, Florence), National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, American Council of Learned Societies, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Renaissance Society of America, American Philosophical Society, the Newberry Library, and the Folger Library.
Sandhya Ganapathy joined the faculty at UW-Stevens Point in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She finished her doctorate in anthropology from Temple University (2008) and is completing a book manuscript based on her dissertation fieldwork. She has published her work in the journal Social Analysis and in Anthropology News. She received support for her research from the Wenner Gren Foudation, Temple University and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Autobiographies necessarily delve into the past and try to relate that past to the narrator's present. As a privileged literary site for the depiction of identity and of awareness of self, the autobiographical novel has born witness, thematically and formally, to family fractures through its intimate dramas and intersections with the wider world. This book-length project examines the fractures that fissure family now, in recent autobiographical texts by French-speaking women autobiographers. These works reveal diverse family fractures, be they matriarchal structures that crumble under pressure, incest, adultery, violence, or cultural divides. This study analyzes how, why, and with what effects these cracks often extending back to childhood permeate the autobiographies, hidden, deep, waiting to quake. These fractures matter - whether they be incest, violence or simply a hurtful word, glance or action. The depiction of childhood and family through the metaphorical, literal, and stylistic use of voice and the difficulty of voicing what has previously remained silent unite these texts. By looking closely at how these authors voice their past through their family, this study reveals new ways of considering women's writing, their place in society, and their role in the larger narrative of history.
E. Nicole Meyer is Professor of French, Humanistic Studies and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she teaches all levels of French literature, language, culture and Business French, etc., as well as literature in translation and in the broader humanities. Professor Meyer is author of numerous publications on Flaubert, French and Francophone women’s autobiography, twentieth-century French literature, Descartes and Business French. Her book The Questioning of Origins and Authority in Flaubert's Bouvard et Pécuchet (Editions Rodopi B. V.) will appear in 2011. Meyer (UW-Madison (B.A.), The Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), University of Pennsylvania (M.A. and Ph.D) has been named recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Founders' Association Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, University of Wisconsin system Wisconsin Teaching Scholar, Outstanding Higher Education Representative 2008 by the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted, and has received several UWGB teaching awards as well. Fellowships include Women's Studies Research Center (Honorary), University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of Chicago Midwest Faculty; Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Services Culturels de New York / ACTFL. French Government / American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages.
During the intellectual revolution of the seventeenth century, there was heated debate about teleological explanations, or the use of final causes for explaining natural phenomena. The debate centered primarily around the attempt to explain natural phenomena in terms of divine purposes, and thus the appropriateness of bringing theological considerations into natural science. This book-length project investigates how the retention of the Aristotelian final cause played out in the hands of some of the leading natural philosophers of the early modern period: Robert Boyle, Gottfried Leibniz, Isaac Newton, and George Berkeley. All of these figures of the intellectual revolution insisted that the Aristotelian framework of final causes is useful and important despite criticisms from many of their well-known contemporaries, such as Thomas Hobbes, René Descartes, and Baruch Spinoza.
Laurence Carlin is Associate Professor of Philosophy and a member of the University Honors Faculty at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. His work focuses primarily on the history of modern philosophy and science (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), though he has also published in contemporary philosophy of religion. He is the author of The Empiricists (Continuum, 2009), and a number of papers in various journals, including Journal of the History of Philosophy, Journal of the History of Ideas, History of Philosophy Quarterly, and British Journal for the History of Philosophy. Carlin (Franklin and Marshall College (B.A.), University of Houston (M.A.), Rice University (Ph.D.)) has received a number of awards, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was selected for an NEH Institute and an NEH Seminar. He is a winner of the Colin and Ailsa Turbayne International Berkeley Essay Prize Competition, as well as a winner of the Leibniz Society International Essay Competition. He was recently awarded the UW-Oshkosh Honors Program Outstanding Teaching Award.
If We Must Die is a book-length project examining black self defense measures and armed resistance to white mob violence after World War I. Special attention is given to the role of black veterans, formation of the New Negro identity, and efforts to secure justice for African Americans accused of crimes during major episodes of racial conflict. This book will be the first complete study of African Americans’ responses to postwar mob violence, focusing on conflicts in Charleston, S.C.; Longview, Texas; Bisbee, Ariz.; Chicago, Ill.; Washington, D.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Omaha, Nebr.; and Elaine, Ark.
David Krugler is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin--Platteville, where he has taught since completing his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997. A historian of the modern United States, his research interests include Cold War propaganda, civil defense and continuity of government, and race relations. He is the author of The Voice of America and the Domestic Propaganda Battles, 1945-1953 (University of Missouri Press, 2000) and This Is Only a Test: How Washington, D.C., Prepared for Nuclear War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Currently he is writing a book on racial conflict in the United States in 1919. Krugler frequently serves as a faculty leader for teacher education programs at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. He is the past recipient of research grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, the White House Historical Association, and the UW System Institute on Race and Ethnicity.
This dissertation examines how queer bodies—ones that historically have been marginalized by the Cuban state—are theatrically represented on the Cuban stage in order to resist their marginalized status through a reevaluation of categorization as a revolutionary tool, and by positing identities that are more fluid and less fixed. Additionally, this project suggests that new affective modes are produced when performing bodies highlight—often in uncomfortably intimate, grotesque or raw ways—the spectators’ bodies and their capacity for queerness. The bodies on stage and in the audience are critical for furthering the understanding of contemporary Cuban identity because of the persistent tension between the body as problem and as solution since the economic crisis known as the Special Period, which began in 1990. Specifically, this dissertation articulates how the formation of intimacies, the forthright presentation of shame, the paradoxical productivity of the death drive, and the act of purposeful cruising shape Cuban subjectivities that evolve out of dialogues about queerness, but whose focus on inclusiveness necessarily involves all Cubans.
Bretton White is a dissertator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her research interests include Caribbean theatre and performance, queer theory, and how affective, spatial and bodily relationships can be rearticulated. She has published an article about Cuban theatre in the Latin American Theatre Review on how the possibilities of limitless intimacies push audience members to reconsider how their own bodies work with and against the state’s agenda. She is currently working on an article about how Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera manipulates dignity (and its loss). Additionally, she is organizing an after-school theatre workshop in a local bilingual school.
This study explores literary and filmic representations of migratory encounters in the Francophone world. It proposes a theory of relational migration that expands concepts of geographical migration into the realm of the interpersonal. This theory reinterprets “transnational” to suggest that diasporic identity is inscribed in the flesh and formed through familial and personal relationships with strong corporeal embedding. In addition to rethinking the boundaries of migration studies, the project illustrates the benefits of traversing regional divisions within the field of Francophone studies, drawing from a corpus that connects Europe, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia.
Olivia Donaldson is a Ph.D. Candidate in French at UW-Madison, specializing in Francophone studies. Her research puts theories of migration and diaspora into dialogue with Francophone literature and film. Olivia has several articles under review and a book review forthcoming in the Journal of Lesbian Studies. She holds a B.A. in French and an M.A. in History from Virginia Tech, and she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa. She has taught courses in French as well as in Gender and Women’s Studies at Virginia Tech and UW-Madison. Her honors and awards include the Elaine Marks Outstanding Dissertator Award, L’Institut d’Etudes Françaises d’Avignon Fellowship, American Institute for Maghrib Studies Travel Award, Vilas Travel Grants, and Phi Beta Kappa.
This is a dissertation project that considers developments in German-sponsored historical and comparative linguistics around the turn of the twentieth century from the perspective of the history of science. Of principle concern to the project is an observed shift in methodological emphasis during the late nineteenth century from ancient textual to contemporary spoken sources of linguistic data. Material and ideological motives behind this transition are highlighted in the biography of Friedrich Carl Andreas (1846-1930), an Iranist whose research on the diffusion of Middle Persian writing systems bore the layered imprint of centuries of political, economic, and religious efforts to control the lands comprising Germany’s Orient. Paying crucial attention to sites of knowledge production – from journals of emerging linguistic specializations, to fieldwork in the British Regency of the Persian Gulf, Berlin’s Seminar für Oriental Sprache, and POW camps during the First World War –this research ultimately seeks to understand constant processes of accommodation between evolving linguistic methodologies, on the one hand, and the explosion of historical materials, on the other.
Judy Kaplan is a PhD Candidate in the Department of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She holds a Master of Arts degree from that program as well as a Masters of Science from the University of Illinois in Disability Studies. In addition to several internal fellowships, she was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant in 2009. Recently, she has presented papers at workshops organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Chicago and Berlin.
The dissertation traces the sustained contact between historiography and the literary discourse from Aristotle’s differentiation of two distinct discourses to the discursive fusion in twentieth- and twenty-first-century fictional forms. The scholarly and literary works of W.G. Sebald (1944-2001) serve as striking examples for this discussion, for the way in which they demonstrate the emergence of a new hybrid discourse of literary historiography. Sebald’s works explore and interrogate the past—predominantly the paradigmatic atrocity of the Holocaust but also other contentious moments in World History—while also engaging with the artistic medium of literature. The interplay of ethical, epistemological, and aesthetic concerns generates an essential tension in his writing between history and literature, documentation and imagination, rational explanations and defiantly non-rational insights. Reaching beyond the focus of a single author, this project engages with fundamental concepts of the literary discourse—mimesis, narration, and translation—to illuminate the potential of literature to perform the interdiscursive transfer from experience to representation.
Lynn L. Wolff is a PhD Candidate in the Department of German at the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a PhD minor in French. Her research interests include: German and French literature, culture, history, and philosophy from the 18th through 21st centuries; Holocaust Studies; Gender Studies; Narratology; Photography; Translation Theory, and World Literature/s. She has authored articles on W.G. Sebald; H.G. Adler; literary and historical representations of female concentration camp guards; and the 1780 essay contest of the Prussian Royal Academy. Wolff has been a Fulbright Research Fellow, a UW-Madison Graduate School Fellow, a Deuss/Schultz Distinguished Graduate Fellow of the UW-Madison German Department, and a Dorot Graduate Student Research Assistant at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has also received fellowships from the German Historical Institute and the National Archive of German Literature (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach).
This project examines the dramatic and formative moment in American history when the federal government made its first major effort to control the movement of people across its borders—and failed. The result was America’s first illegal immigrants and a grassroots uprising against them. In 1882, the Chinese Restriction Act barred Chinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S., but implementing this policy proved impossible. When the federal government failed to stop illegal immigration across the U.S.-Canadian border, white locals in the Pacific Northwest reacted violently, systematically expelling their Chinese neighbors. Combining a detailed social history of racial violence with a transnational political history of immigration policy, this dissertation presents a new history of the rise of Chinese Exclusion.
Beth Lew-Williams is a doctoral candidate in the department of History at Stanford University. Her interests include Asian American history, ethnic studies, and the American West. She has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Council for Learned Societies, and the George P. Shultz Fund in Canadian Studies.
Emily McRae's dissertation challenges the longstanding philosophical assumptions that emotions are out of our control and blind to moral value and offers solutions to some entrenched philosophical problems concerning emotional-ethical life, such as the proper roles for impartiality, partiality and passion. Drawing of the work of the Tibetan Buddhist thinker Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1887) and his student and commentator Khenpo (“Abbot”) Ngawang Pelzang (1879-1949), she presents an account of emotional-ethical life according to which a wide range of emotional experiences – from passionate feelings of love to feelings of equanimity – are valuable because they contain important moral insights.
Along with being an honorary fellow at the IRH, Emily McRae is also an American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellow (2010-2011). Her research is mainly in ethics and moral psychology, with a particular focus on comparisons between Western, Buddhist and Chinese moral philosophies. Her current work, which explores the emotional dimensions of moral self-development, focuses on how feelings love and equanimity transform our understanding of ourselves, others and moral life in general. She draws on Tibetan Buddhist thinkers to present an account of how these feelings are cultivated through personal relationships, especially friendship, and meditative practices. Emily's essay comparing Tibetan Buddhist conceptions of equanimity and contemporary Western conceptions of impartiality won the Department of Philosophy's Tempkin Prize for the best graduate essay in value theory. Her article on the moral psychology of the early Confucian philosopher Mengzi, entitled “The Cultivation of Moral Emotions and Mengzi's Method of Extension,” is forthcoming in Philosophy East and West.
Hypertext is an electronic mediated text, which can be considered a 'thought machine,' while Techno-criticism is a new literary theory which aims to study, explain and explicate the hypertext. The objective of my project is to study different types of hypertext surveying hyper-literature. Although theories illuminate the experience of Hypertext, practical criticism faces major difficulties when Hypertext literature cannot be mastered as the reader can enter or leave in multiple places. The open-ended and multiple paths pose problems for the critics and readers. Secondly, my study will explore comprehensive 'netspeak aesthetics' for the hypertext and thirdly, it will identify the problems of syllabus-making in English and finally, to design a cyberspace course for the students of M.A. English Literature/Cultural Studies keeping in view the demands of the age.
N.D.R. Chandra is a Professor of Literary Theory at Nagaland Central University, Kohima Campus in India. He was Visiting Professor in the Department of English at Dr. H.S.Gour University, Sagar (M.P.) in 2006. He has experience as Head, Department of English and Dean, School of Humanities and Campus Incharge, NU Kohima Campus (2010-) for 5 years. He will be leaving for Brown University as a Visiting Scholar after completion of his term at IRH-UW-Madison. He was awarded Post-doctoral Grants by Indo-American Centre for International Studies in 1998, an Associateship of Inter-University Centre at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla in 2001 for 3 years and Library Fellowship of the Centre for Contemporary Theory, Baroda (Funded by Ford Foundation, USA) for a month in 2007. He has authored Literary Theory and the New Critics (2000); Ecology, Myth and Mystery: Poetry from the Northeast (2007 with N.Das), Literary Terms in Poetry (2001); Literary Terms in Drama, Theatre and Cinema (2002); Literary Terms in Fiction and Prose (2004) (Trio with A.J. Sebastian). His editorial ventures include Modern Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice, Vol. I and II (2003), Contemporary Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice Vol. I and II (2005); Chhattisgarh Towards a Path of Development (in Hindi, 2003 with B.K. Patel); Modern Indian Writing In English: Critical Perceptions; Contemporary Indian Writing in English: Critical Perceptions (2005) Multicultural Literature in India: Critical Perceptions, Vol. I and II (2009-10), Postcolonial Indian English Fiction: Critical Understanding (2010). He edits a multidisciplinary bi-annual periodical entitled Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies. Chandra also holds a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship.
This project places late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American women writers between the two terms “regionalism” and “globalization”. It explores the role that writers such as Kate Chopin, Sara Jewett, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston played in the interaction between provincial and cosmopolitan, local and global. This study argues that they serve as translators between the local and global, and at the same time, their literary texts are sites of resistance to the negative impact of nationalism and globalism on American culture, human relationship and self identity.
Ying Liu is Professor of English in Department of English at Nankai University in China. Her teaching and research interests include American literature and theory, and women’s studies. She is the author of Seeking for Harmony: Contemporary American and Chinese Women Writers’ Quest for a Better Life (2004). She has published scholarly articles on American literary regionalism, Feminist Utopian fictions, Charlotte Gilman, Willa Cather, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joyce Carol Oates. Ying Liu (Tianjin University, (B.A), Tianjin University of Foreign Languages Studies (M.A), Nankai University (Ph.D)) has won Outstanding Research Award (Nankai University), and Outstanding Teacher Award (Tianjin City). She also holds a China Scholarship Council Fellowship.
Taking Milman Parry’s comparative work on South Slavic and Homeric epic poetry as its point of departure, the project is focused on the question of what it means for epics to be performed, transmitted and composed orally. Rather than on South Slavic oral poetry, the project is based on thirty years of field-work among the Turkic-speaking peoples of Central Asia. The study of their oral epics sheds new light on the aesthetics of oral poetry, on the tension between functionality and ‘art’, as well as on the crucial role the singer or bearer of tradition plays in an oral society. Within a comparative framework, these insights also contribute to a better understanding of medieval epics with an oral background.
Karl Reichl is Carl Schurz Memorial Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the spring semester of 2011 and Professor Emeritus of the University of Bonn. As a medievalist he has been teaching in the English Department of the University of Bonn but as visiting professor also in departments of comparative literature and Oriental/ Near-Eastern studies. His main reseach interests lie in medieval oral literature and in contemporary (or near-contemporary) oral epic poetry in Turkey and in the Turkic-speaking areas of Central Asia. His publications include: Turkic Oral Epic Poetry: Traditions, Forms, Poetic Structure, New York, 1992 (translated into Turkish, Russian and Chinese); Singing the Past: Turkic and Medieval Heroic Poetry, Ithaca, NY, 2000; Edige: A Karakalpak Oral Epic as Performed by Jumabay Bazarov, FF Communications 293, Helsinki, 2007. Forthcoming is a handbook (in English) in the ‘de Gruyter Lexikon’ series: Medieval Oral Literature, ed. K. Reichl, Berlin, New York: de Gruyter.