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Selected Fellow Books

IRH Fellowships have provided the research, community, and time in which book projects take shape. A selection of books developed during IRH Fellowships follows with most recent publications first.


 

 

Cover image of book "Christ on a Donkey" with green overtones and a painted image of a religious procession.
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2018-2019 Emeritus Fellow
Publisher: 
Amsterdam University Press, 2019
Synopsis: 

Christ on a Donkey reveals Palm Sunday processions and related royal entries as both processional theatre and highly charged interpretations of the biblical narrative. Harris’s narrative ranges from ancient Jerusalem to modern-day Bolivia, from veneration to iconoclasm, and from Christ to Ivan the Terrible. A curious theme emerges: those representations of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem that were labelled blasphemous or idolatrous by those in power were most faithful to the biblical narrative of Palm Sunday, while those that exalted power and celebrated military triumph were arguably blasphemous pageants.

Cover image of book "Mountain, Water, Rock, God" with background image of the Himalayan mountains and the shrine of Kedarnath
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2015 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
University of California Press, 2019
Synopsis: 

In Mountain, Water, Rock, God, Luke Whitmore situates the disastrous flooding that fell on the Hindu Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath in 2013 within a broader religious and ecological context. Whitmore explores the longer story of this powerful realm of the Hindu god Shiva through a holistic theoretical perspective that integrates phenomenological and systems-based approaches to the study of religion, pilgrimage, place, and ecology. He argues that close attention to places of religious significance offers a model for thinking through connections between ritual, narrative, climate destabilization, tourism, development, and disaster, and he shows how these critical components of human life in the twenty-first century intersect in the human experience of place.

Cover of Book "Flattery and the History of Political Thought"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2016 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press, 2018
Synopsis: 

Flattery is an often overlooked political phenomenon, even though it has interested thinkers from classical Athens to eighteenth-century America. Drawing a distinction between moralistic and strategic flattery, this book offers new interpretations of a range of texts from the history of political thought. Discussing Cicero, Pliny, Castiglione, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Mandeville, Smith, and the Federalist/Anti-Federalist debates, the book engages and enriches contemporary political theory debates about rhetoric, republicanism, and democratic theory, among other topics. Flattery and the History of Political Thought shows both the historical importance and continued relevance of flattery for political theory. Additionally, the study is interdisciplinary in both subject and approach, engaging classics, literature, rhetoric, and history scholarship; it aims to bring a range of disciplines into conversation with each other as it explores a neglected - and yet important - topic.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2010-2011 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Routledge, 2018
Synopsis: 

Magic: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to magic in world history and contemporary societies. Presenting magic as a global phenomenon which has manifested in all human cultures, this book takes a thematic approach which explores the historical, social, and cultural aspects of magic. Offering a global perspective of magic from antiquity through to the modern era and including a glossary of key terms, suggestions for further reading and case studies throughout, Magic: The Basics is essential reading for anyone seeking to learn more about the academic study of magic.

Cover of Book "Models from the Past in Roman Culture"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2000-2001 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press, 2018
Synopsis: 

Historical examples played a key role in ancient Roman culture, and Matthew Roller's book presents a coherent model for understanding the rhetorical, moral, and historiographical operations of Roman exemplarity. It examines the process of observing, evaluating, and commemorating noteworthy actors, or deeds, and then holding those performances up as norms by which to judge subsequent actors or as patterns for them to imitate. The model is fleshed out via detailed case studies of individual exemplary performers, the monuments that commemorate them, and the later contexts - the political arguments and social debates - in which these figures are invoked to support particular positions or agendas. Roller also considers the boundaries of, and ancient alternatives to, exemplary modes of argumentation, morality, and historical thinking. The book will engage anyone interested in how societies, from ancient Rome to today, invoke past performers and their deeds to address contemporary concerns and interests. 

Cover image of book "Mortal Doubt"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2017 A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Publisher: 
University of California Press, 2018
Synopsis: 

The fear of violent crime dominates Guatemala City. In the midst of unprecedented levels of postwar violence, Guatemalans struggle to fathom the myriad forces that have made life in this city so deeply insecure. Born out of histories of state terror, migration, and US deportation, maras (transnational gangs) have become the face of this new era of violence. They are brutal organizations engaged in extortion, contract killings, and the drug trade, and yet they have also become essential to the emergence of a certain kind of social order. Drawing on years of fieldwork inside prisons, police precincts, and gang-dominated neighborhoods, Anthony W. Fontes demonstrates how gang violence has become indissoluble from contemporary social imaginaries and how these gangs provide cover for a host of other criminal actors. Ethnographically rich and unflinchingly critical, Mortal Doubt illuminates the maras’ role in making and mooring collective terror in Guatemala City while tracing the ties that bind this violence to those residing in far safer environs.

Cover image of Mythical Ancestry in World Cultures, 1400-1800
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2016 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Brepols, 2018
Synopsis: 

From Europe to the Ottoman Empire, from Mesoamerica to the Mughal dynasty, rulers and peoples in the early modern period put deities and culture heroes in their family trees. The essays in this collection investigate the issues of ancestry, descent, kinship, and kingship that are revealed by this worldwide practice. The authors explore the meaning and role of ‘myth’ in different global cultures, and how the social role of myth defined identity through genealogical discourse. What did people understand by ‘mythical’ and how did they think of themselves as related to their mythical past? How seriously were these various claims of mythical descent taken? And how did claims function within the different power relations of societies around the globe? Up to now, the predominant Eurocentric perspective in early modern studies has encouraged a focus on Renaissance Greco-Roman mythology and its role in literature and art. This volume, however, breaks new ground through its unique exploration of the way in which the genealogical use of ‘myth’ was shared by world cultures.

Cover of Book "Rethinking the French Classroom"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2010-2011 UW System Fellow
Other Contributors: 
Editor - Joyce Johnson
Publisher: 
Routledge, 2018
Synopsis: 

This volume investigates how teaching practices can address the changing status of literature in the French classroom. Focusing on how women writing in French are changing the face of French Studies, opening the canon to not only new approaches to gender but to genre, expanding interdisciplinary studies and aiding scholars to rethink the teaching of literature, each chapter provides concrete strategies useful to a wide variety of classrooms and institutional contexts. Essays address how to bring French Studies and women’s and gender studies into the twenty-first century through intersections of autobiography, gender issues and technology; ways to introduce beginning and intermediate students to the rich diversity of women writing in French; strategies for teaching postcolonial writing and literary theory; and interdisciplinary approaches to expand our student audiences in the United States, Canada, or abroad. In short, revisiting how we teach, why we teach, and what we teach through the prism of women’s texts and lives while raising issues that affect cisgender women of the Hexagon, queer and other-gendered women, immigrants and residents of the postcolony attracts more openly diverse students. Whether new to the profession or seasoned educators, faculty will find new ideas to invigorate and diversify their pedagogical approaches.

Image of cover of book "The Journey of Christianity to India in Late Antiquity..."
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2016 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press, 2018
Synopsis: 

How did Christianity make its remarkable voyage from the Roman Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent? By examining the social networks that connected the ancient and late antique Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, central Asia, and Iran, this book contemplates the social relations that made such movement possible. It also analyzes how the narrative tradition regarding the apostle Judas Thomas, which originated in Upper Mesopotamia and accredited him with evangelizing India, traveled among the social networks of an interconnected late antique world. In this way, the book probes how the Thomas narrative shaped Mediterranean Christian beliefs regarding co-religionists in central Asia and India, impacted local Christian cultures, took shape in a variety of languages, and experienced transformation as it traveled from the Mediterranean to India, and back again.

Cover of Book "Unveiling Desire: Fallen Women in Literature, Culture, and Films of the East
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2017 Honorary Fellow
Other Contributors: 
Editor - Colette Morrow
Publisher: 
Rutgers University Press, 2018
Synopsis: 

In Unveiling Desire, Devaleena Das and Colette Morrow show that the duality of the fallen/saved woman is as prevalent in Eastern culture as it is in the West, specifically in literature and films. Using examples from the Middle to Far East, including Iran, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Japan, and China, this anthology challenges the fascination with Eastern women as passive, abject, or sexually exotic, but also resists the temptation to then focus on the veil, geisha, sati, or Muslim women’s oppression without exploring Eastern women’s sexuality beyond these contexts. The chapters cover instead mind/body sexual politics, patriarchal cultural constructs, the anatomy of sex and power in relation to myth and culture, denigration of female anatomy, and gender performativity. From Persepolis to Bollywood, and from fairy tales to crime fiction, the contributors to Unveiling Desire show how the struggle for women’s liberation is truly global

Cover image of book "Aristocrats and Statehood in Western Iberia" with image of a Roman mosaic depicting a hunting scene
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2012-2013 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

In a distant corner of the late antique world, along the Atlantic river valleys of western Iberia, local elite populations lived through the ebb and flow of empire and kingdoms as historical agents with their own social strategies. Contrary to earlier historiographical accounts, these aristocrats were not oppressed by a centralized Roman empire or its successor kingdoms; nor was there an inherent conflict between central states and local elites. Instead, Damián Fernández argues, there was an interdependency of state and local aristocracies. The upper classes embraced state projects to assert their ascendancy within their communities. By doing so, they enacted statehood at the local level, bringing state presence to the remotest corners of Iberia, both under Roman rule and during the later Suevic and Visigothic kingdoms.

Aristocrats and Statehood in Western Iberia, 300-600 C.E. combines archaeological and literary sources to reconstruct the history of late antique Iberian aristocracies, facilitating the study of a social class that has proved elusive when approached through the lens of a single type of evidence. This is the first study of Iberian elites that covers both the late Roman and the post-Roman periods in similar depth, and the chronological approach allows for a new perspective on social agency of late antique nobility. While the end of the Roman empire changed the political, economic, and social strategies of local aristocrats, the book also demonstrates a considerable degree of continuity that lasted until the late sixth century.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2018 Senior Fellow
Other Contributors: 
Editor - Scott Lidgard
Publisher: 
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

Individuals are things that everybody knows—or thinks they do. Yet even scholars who practice or analyze the biological sciences often cannot agree on what an individual is and why. One reason for this disagreement is that the many important biological individuality concepts serve very different purposes—defining, classifying, or explaining living structure, function, interaction, persistence, or evolution. Indeed, as the contributors to Biological Individuality reveal, nature is too messy for simple definitions of this concept, organisms too quirky in the diverse ways they reproduce, function, and interact, and human ideas about individuality too fraught with philosophical and historical meaning.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2016 Resident Fellow
Other Contributors: 
Editor - Daniel Kapust
Publisher: 
Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
Synopsis: 

This book explores comparative political theory through the study of a range of places and periods with contributions from a diverse group of scholars. The volume builds on recent work in political theory, seeking to focus scholarly attention on non-Western thought in order to contribute to both political theory and our understanding of the modern globalized world. Featuring discussions of international law and imperialism, regions such as South Asia and Latin America, religions such as Buddhism and Islam, along with imperialism and revolution, the volume also includes an overview of comparative political theory. Contributing scholars deploy a variety of methodological and interpretive approaches, ranging from archival research to fieldwork to close studies of texts in the original language. The volume elucidates the pluralism and dissensus that characterizes both cross-national and intra-national political thought.

Cover of Book "Curative Violence"
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2013-2014 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Duke University Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

In Curative Violence, Eunjung Kim examines what the social and material investment in curing illnesses and disabilities tells us about the relationship between disability and Korean nationalism. Kim uses the concept of curative violence to question the representation of cure as a universal good and to understand how nonmedical and medical cures come with violent effects that are not only symbolic but also physical. Writing disability theory in a transnational context, Kim tracks the shifts from the 1930s to the present in the ways that disabled bodies and narratives of cure have been represented in Korean folktales, novels, visual culture, media accounts, policies, and activism. Whether analyzing eugenics, the management of Hansen's disease, discourses on disabled people's sexuality, violence against disabled women, or rethinking the use of disabled people as a metaphor for life under Japanese colonial rule or under the U.S. military occupation, Kim shows how the possibility of life with disability that is free from violence depends on the creation of a space and time where cure is seen as a negotiation rather than a necessity.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2016 A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Publisher: 
University of California Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion's role in public life in India through the present day.

Cover of Book "On Not Defending Poetry"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2015 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

Sidney's Defence of Poesy--the foundational text of English poetics--is generally taken to present a model of poetry as ideal: the poet depicts ideals of human conduct and readers are inspired to imitate them. Catherine Bates sets out to challenge this received view. Attending very closely to Sidney's text, she identifies within it a model of poetry that is markedly at variance from the one presumed, and shows Sidney's text to be feeling its way toward a quite different--indeed, a de-idealist--poetics. Following key theorists of the new economic criticism, On Not Defending Poetry shows how idealist poetics, like the idealist philosophy on which it draws, is complicit with the money form and with the specific ills that attend upon it: among them, commodification, fetishism, and the abuse of power. Against culturally approved models of poetry as profitable--as benefiting the individual and the state, as providing (in the form of intellectual, moral, and social capital) a quantifiable yield--the Defence reveals an unexpected counter-argument: one in which poetry is modelled, rather, as pure expenditure, a free gift, a net loss. Where a supposedly idealist Defence sits oddly with Sidney's literary writings--which depict human behaviour that is very far from ideal--a de-idealist Defence does not. In its radical reading of the Defence, this book thus makes a decisive intervention in the field of early modern studies, while raising larger questions about a culture determined to quantify the 'value' of the humanities and to defend the arts on those grounds alone. 

Image of cover of book "Philosophers, Sufis, and Caliphs"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2016 Kingdon Fellow
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

What was the relationship between government and religion in Middle Eastern history? In a world of caliphs, sultans, and judges, who exercised political and religious authority? In this book, Ali Humayun Akhtar investigates debates about leadership that involved ruling circles and scholars of jurisprudence and theology. At the heart of this story is a medieval rivalry between three caliphates: the Umayyads of Cordoba, the Fatimids of Cairo, and the Abbasids of Baghdad. In a fascinating revival of Late Antique Hellenism, Aristotelian and Platonic notions of wisdom became a key component of how these caliphs debated their authority as political leaders. By tracing how these political debates impacted the theological and jurisprudential scholars and their own conception of communal guidance, Akhtar offers a new picture of premodern political authority and the connections between Western and Islamic civilizations. It will be of use to students and specialists of the premodern and modern Middle East.

Cover of Book "Singing the Resurrection: Body, Community, and Belief in Reformation Europe"
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2011-2012 A.W. Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

Singing the Resurrection brings music to the foreground of Reformation studies, as author Erin Lambert explores song as a primary mode for the expression of belief among ordinary Europeans in the sixteenth century, for the embodiment of individual piety, and the creation of new communities of belief. Together, resurrection and song reveal how sixteenth-century Christians--from learned theologians to ordinary artisans, and Anabaptist martyrs to Reformed Christians facing exile--defined belief not merely as an assertion or affirmation but as a continuous, living practice. Thus these voices, raised in song, tell a story of the Reformation that reaches far beyond the transformation from one community of faith to many. With case studies drawn from each of the major confessions of the Reformation--Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, and Catholic--Singing the Resurrection reveals sixteenth-century belief in its full complexity.

Cover of Book "State and Culture in Postcolonial Africa: Enchantings"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2011-2012 Interim Director, 2007-2013 Senior Fellow, 2005-2006 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Indiana University Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

How has the state impacted culture and cultural production in Africa? How has culture challenged and transformed the state and our understandings of its nature, functions, and legitimacy? Compelled by complex realities on the ground as well as interdisciplinary scholarly debates on the state-culture dynamic, senior scholars and emerging voices examine the intersections of the state, culture, and politics in postcolonial Africa in this lively and wide-ranging volume. The coverage here is continental and topics include literature, politics, philosophy, music, religion, theatre, film, television, sports, child trafficking, journalism, city planning, and architecture. Together, the essays provide an energetic and nuanced portrait of the cultural forms of politics and the political forms of culture in contemporary Africa.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2012-2016 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Duke University Press, 2017
Synopsis: 

In Street Archives and City Life Emily Callaci maps a new terrain of political and cultural production in mid- to late twentieth-century Tanzanian urban landscapes. While the postcolonial Tanzanian ruling party (TANU) adopted a policy of rural socialism known as Ujamaa between 1967 and 1985, an influx of youth migrants to the city of Dar es Salaam generated innovative forms of urbanism through the production and circulation of what Callaci calls street archives. These urban intellectuals neither supported nor contested the ruling party's anti-city philosophy; rather, they navigated the complexities of inhabiting unplanned African cities during economic crisis and social transformation through various forms of popular texts that included women's Christian advice literature, newspaper columns, self-published pulp fiction novellas, and song lyrics. Through these textual networks, Callaci shows how youth migrants and urban intellectuals in Dar es Salaam fashioned a collective ethos of postcolonial African citizenship. This spirit ushered in a revolution rooted in the city and its networks—an urban revolution that arose in spite of the nation-state's pro-rural ideology.

Cover of Book "The Essential Jewel of Holy Practice"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2010-2011 Honorary Fellow
Other Contributors: 
Translator - Jay Garfield
Publisher: 
Wisdom Publications, 2017
Synopsis: 

The Essential Jewel of Holy Practice is a vibrant philosophical and ethical poem by one of Tibet’s great spiritual masters. Patrul Rinpoche presents a complete view of the path of liberation from the perspectives of the Madhyamaka understanding of emptiness and the Mahāyāna ideal of compassionate care refracted through the Dzogchen perspective on experience. This yields a sophisticated philosophical approach to practice focusing on the cultivation of clear, open, luminous, empty awareness and of liberation leading to the transformation of one’s moral capacity and sensitivity. Patrul Rinpoche’s verses speak intimately and directly to the reader and inspire one to develop one’s mind for the sake of ethical perfection and liberation. The translators’ introduction provides a foundation for reading the poem and their commentary to the verses assists the reader in understanding Patrul Rinpoche’s allusions and technical terms.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2004-2005 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Lexington Books, 2016
Synopsis: 

In Action Reconceptualized: Human Agency and Its Sources, David K. Chan examines the sources of human agency that are proposed in causal theories of action—namely desire, intention, and trying—and distinguishes them from each other in terms of their roles in practical reasoning and motivation. He conceptualizes them in relation to each other in a way that is consistent and useful for answering a number of questions that are central to the philosophy of action. The action theory in this book addresses the need to understand human agency for its own sake, but it also serves another purpose. When the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe stressed the need to do philosophy of action before doing ethical theory, what she meant was that moral philosophers should first work out a proper account of the relationship between the inner states of a person and the actions that she performs. This book provides such an account, and makes the case that it is desire, rather than intention, that is the basis for the ethical evaluation of an agent. Action Reconceptualized will be of particular interest to students and scholars doing research in action theory and ethics, as well as to those working outside of philosophy in psychology and cognitive science.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2013-2017 Senior Fellow
Other Contributors: 
Editor - Tejumola Olaniyan
Publisher: 
Duke University Press, 2016
Synopsis: 

Audible Empire rethinks the processes and mechanisms of empire and shows how musical practice has been crucial to its spread around the globe. Music is a means of comprehending empire as an audible formation, and the contributors highlight how it has been circulated, consumed, and understood through imperial logics. These fifteen interdisciplinary essays cover large swaths of genre, time, politics, and geography, and include topics such as the affective relationship between jazz and cigarettes in interwar China; the sonic landscape of the U.S.– Mexico border; the critiques of post-9/11 U.S. empire by desi rappers; and the role of tonality in the colonization of Africa. Whether focusing on Argentine tango, theorizing anticolonialist sound, or examining the music industry of postapartheid South Africa, the contributors show how the audible has been a central component in the creation of imperialist notions of reason, modernity, and culture. In doing so, they allow us to hear how empire is both made and challenged.

Contributors: Kofi Agawu, Philip V. Bohlman. Michael Denning, Brent Hayes Edwards, Nan Enstad, Andrew Jones, Josh Kun, Morgan Luker, Jairo Moreno, Tejumola Olaniyan, Marc Perry, Ronald Radano, Nitasha Sharma, Micol Siegel, Gavin Steingo, Penny Von Eschen, Amanda Weidman.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2008-2009 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Toronto Press, 2016
Synopsis: 

Babylon under Western Eyes examines the mythic legacy of ancient Babylon, the Near Eastern city which has served western culture as a metaphor for power, luxury, and exotic magnificence for more than two thousand years.

Sifting through the many references to Babylon in biblical, classical, medieval, and modern texts, Andrew Scheil uses Babylon’s remarkable literary ubiquity as the foundation for a thorough analysis of the dynamics of adaptation and allusion in western literature. Touching on everything from Old English poetry to the contemporary apocalyptic fiction of the “Left Behind” series, Scheil outlines how medieval Christian society and its cultural successors have adopted Babylon as a political metaphor, a degenerate archetype, and a place associated with the sublime.

Combining remarkable erudition with a clear and accessible style, Babylon under Western Eyes is the first comprehensive examination of Babylon’s significance within the pantheon of western literature and a testimonial to the continuing influence of biblical, classical, and medieval paradigms in modern culture.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2015-2016 Kingdon Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2016
Synopsis: 

Black Natural Law offers a new way of understanding the African American political tradition. Iconoclastically attacking left (including James Baldwin and Audre Lorde), right (including Clarence Thomas and Ben Carson), and center (Barack Obama), Vincent William Lloyd charges that many Black leaders today embrace secular, white modes of political engagement, abandoning the deep connections between religious, philosophical, and political ideas that once animated Black politics. By telling the stories of Frederick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Lloyd shows how appeals to a higher law, or God's law, have long fueled Black political engagement. Such appeals do not seek to implement divine directives on earth; rather, they pose a challenge to the wisdom of the world, and they mobilize communities for collective action. Black natural law is deeply democratic: while charismatic leaders may provide the occasion for reflection and mobilization, all are capable of discerning the higher law using our human capacities for reason and emotion.

At a time when continuing racial injustice poses a deep moral challenge, the most powerful intellectual resources in the struggle for justice have been abandoned. Black Natural Law recovers a rich tradition, and it examines just how this tradition was forgotten. A Black intellectual class emerged that was disconnected from social movement organizing and beholden to white interests. Appeals to higher law became politically impotent: overly rational or overly sentimental. Recovering the Black natural law tradition provides a powerful resource for confronting police violence, mass incarceration, and today's gross racial inequities. 

Black Natural Law will change the way we understand natural law, a topic central to the Western ethical and political tradition. While drawing particularly on African American resources, Black Natural Law speaks to all who seek politics animated by justice.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2011-2012 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2016
Synopsis: 

At the heart of this volume are three trials held in Athens in the fourth century BCE. The defendants were all women and in each case the charges involved a combination of ritual activities. Two were condemned to death. Because of the brevity of the ancient sources, and their lack of agreement, the precise charges are unclear, and the reasons for these women's trials remain mysterious.

Envy, Poison, and Death takes the complexity and confusion of the evidence not as a riddle to be solved, but as a revelation of social dynamics. It explores the changing factors--material, ideological, and psychological--that may have provoked these events. It focuses, in particular, on the dual role of envy (phthonos) and gossip as processes by which communities identified people and activities that were dangerous, and examines how and why those local, even individual, dynamics may have come to shape official civic decisions during a time of perceived hardship.

At first sight so puzzling, these trials reveal a vivid picture of the socio-political environment of Athens during the early-mid fourth century BCE, including responses to changes in women's status and behavior, and attitudes toward ritual activities within the city. The volume reveals some of the characters, events, and even emotions that would help to shape an emergent concept of magic: it suggests that the boundary of acceptable behavior was shifting, not only within the legal arena but also through the active involvement of society beyond the courts.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2013-2014 System Fellow
Publisher: 
Irish Academic Press, 2016
Synopsis: 

Ireland's Memorial Records, 1914-1918 contain the names of 49,435 enlisted men who were killed in World War I. Commissioned in 1919 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and published in 100 eight-volume sets, the Records are notable for stunning and elaborate page decorations by celebrated Irish illustrator Harry Clarke. Drawing from published and unpublished sources, this ground-breaking study provides a fascinating insight into the work of Harry Clarke as an extraordinary war artist and examines the process that led to the Records being commissioned through to their eventual placement within the Irish National War Memorial at Islandbridge (Dublin). With Harry Clarke's illustrations taking center stage in the story, the Records and their genesis are of vital importance to the understanding of how art and commemoration can come together in a powerful visual creation.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2009-2010 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Palsgrave Macmillan, 2016
Synopsis: 

How does a nation become a great power? A global order was emerging in the nineteenth century, one in which all nations were included. This book explores the multiple legal grounds of Meiji Japan's assertion of sovereign statehood within that order: natural law, treaty law, international administrative law, and the laws of war. Contrary to arguments that Japan was victimized by 'unequal' treaties, or that Japan was required to meet a 'standard of civilization' before it could participate in international society, Howland argues that the Westernizing Japanese state was a player from the start. In the midst of contradictions between law and imperialism, Japan expressed state will and legal acumen as an equal of the Western powers – international incidents in Japanese waters, disputes with foreign powers on Japanese territory, and the prosecution of interstate war. As a member of international administrative unions, Japan worked with fellow members to manage technical systems such as the telegraph and the post. As a member of organizations such as the International Law Association and as a leader at the Hague Peace Conferences, Japan helped to expand international law. By 1907, Japan was the first non-western state to join the ranks of the great powers.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2015 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2016
Synopsis: 

While the central ideal of Roman philosophy exemplified by Lucretius, Cicero and Seneca appears to be the masculine values of self-sufficiency and domination, this book argues, through close attention to metaphor and figures, that the Romans also recognized, as constitutive parts of human experience, what for them were feminine concepts such as embodiment, vulnerability and dependency. Expressed especially in the personification of grammatically feminine nouns such as Nature and Philosophy 'herself', the Roman's recognition of this private 'feminine' part of himself presents a contrast with his acknowledged, public self and challenges the common philosophical narrative of the emergence of subjectivity and individuality with modernity. To meet this challenge, Alex Dressler offers both theoretical exposition and case studies, developing robust typologies of personification and personhood that will be useable for a variety of subjects beyond classics, including rhetoric, comparative literature, gender studies, political theory and the history of ideas.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2012-2013 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

When the Japanese began their brutal occupation of the Philippines in January 1942, 76,000 ill and starving Filipino and American troops tried to hold out on Bataan and Corregidor. That spring, after having been forced to surrender, most of those men were thrown into Japanese POW camps while dozens of others slipped away to organize guerrilla forces. During the three violent years of occupation that followed, Allied sympathizers in Manila smuggled supplies and information to the guerrillas and the prisoners.

Theresa Kaminski's Angels of the Underground tells the story of four American women who were part of this little-known resistance movement: Gladys Savary, Claire Phillips, Yay Panlilio, and Peggy Utinsky - all incredibly adept at skirting occupation authorities to support the Allied war effort. The nature of their clandestine work meant that the truth behind their dangerous activities had to be obscured as long as the Japanese occupied the Philippines. If caught, they would be imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Throughout the Pacific War, these four women remained hidden behind a veil of deceit and subterfuge.

An impressive work of scholarship grounded in archival research, FBI documents, and memoirs, Angels of the Underground illuminates the complex political dimensions of the occupied Philippines and its importance to the war effort in the Pacific. Kaminski's narrative sheds light on the Japanese-occupied city of Manila; the Bataan Death March and subsequent incarceration of American military prisoners in camps O'Donnell and Cabanatuan; and the formation of guerrilla units in the mountains of Luzon.

Angels of the Underground offers the compelling tale of four ordinary American women propelled by extraordinary circumstances into acts of heroism, and makes a significant contribution to the work on women's wartime experiences. Through the lives of Gladys, Yay, Claire, and Peggy, who never wavered in their belief that it was their duty as patriotic American women to aid the Allied cause, Kaminski highlights how women have always been active participants in war, whether or not they wear a military uniform.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2012-2013 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Penn State University Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

The local school board is one of America’s enduring venues of lay democracy at work. In Democracy, Deliberation, and Education, Robert Asen takes the pulse of this democratic exemplar through an in-depth study of three local school boards in Wisconsin. In so doing, Asen identifies the broader democratic ideal in the most parochial of American settings.

Conducted over two years across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Asen’s research reveals as much about the possibilities and pitfalls of local democracy as it does about educational policy. From issues as old as racial integration and as contemporary as the recognition of the Gay-Straight Alliance in high schools, Democracy, Deliberation, and Education illustrates how ordinary folks build and sustain their vision for a community and its future through consequential public decision making.For all the research on school boards conducted in recent years, no other project so directly addresses school boards as deliberative policymaking bodies. Democracy, Deliberation, and Education draws from 250 school-board meetings and 31 interviews with board members and administrators to offer insight into participants’ varied understandings of their roles in the complex mechanism of governance.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2009-2010 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
Synopsis: 

What do Socrates, Hypatia, Giordano Bruno, Thomas More, and Jan Patocka have in common? First, they were all faced one day with the most difficult of choices: stay faithful to your ideas and die or renounce them and stay alive. Second, they all chose to die. Their spectacular deaths have become not only an integral part of their biographies, but are also inseparable from their work. A "death for ideas" is a piece of philosophical work in its own right; Socrates may have never written a line, but his death is one of the greatest philosophical best-sellers of all time.

Dying for Ideas explores the limit-situation in which philosophers find themselves when the only means of persuasion they can use is their own dying bodies and the public spectacle of their death. The book tells the story of the philosopher's encounter with death as seen from several angles: the tradition of philosophy as an art of living; the body as the site of self-transcending; death as a classical philosophical topic; taming death and self-fashioning; finally, the philosophers' scapegoating and their live performance of a martyr's death, followed by apotheosis and disappearance into myth.

While rooted in the history of philosophy, Dying for Ideas is an exercise in breaking disciplinary boundaries. This is a book about Socrates and Heidegger, but also about Gandhi's "fasting unto death" and self-immolation; about Girard and Passolini, and self-fashioning and the art of the essay.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2004-2005 Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow
Awards: 
2014 David Montgomery Award, Organization of American Historians and Labor and Working-Class History Association
Publisher: 
University of North Carolina Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

Most histories of the Civil War era portray the struggle over slavery as a conflict that exclusively pitted North against South, free labor against slave labor, and black against white. In Freedom's Frontier, Stacey L. Smith examines the battle over slavery as it unfolded on the multiracial Pacific Coast. Despite its antislavery constitution, California was home to a dizzying array of bound and semibound labor systems: African American slavery, American Indian indenture, Latino and Chinese contract labor, and a brutal sex traffic in bound Indian and Chinese women. Using untapped legislative and court records, Smith reconstructs the lives of California's unfree workers and documents the political and legal struggles over their destiny as the nation moved through the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction. 

Smith reveals that the state's anti-Chinese movement, forged in its struggle over unfree labor, reached eastward to transform federal Reconstruction policy and national race relations for decades to come. Throughout, she illuminates the startling ways in which the contest over slavery's fate included a western struggle that encompassed diverse labor systems and workers not easily classified as free or slave, black or white.

 

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2009-2013 Senior Fellow
Publisher: 
Northwestern University Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

The classical period in France presents a particularly lively battleground for the transition between oral-visual culture, on the one hand, and print culture on the other. The former depended on learning from sources of knowledge directly, in their presence, in a manner analogous to theatrical experience. The latter became characterized by the distance and abstraction of reading. How Do I Know Thee? explores the ways in which literature, philosophy, and psychology approach social cognition, or how we come to know others. Richard E. Goodkin describes a central opposition between what he calls “theatrical cognition” and “narrative cognition,” drawing both on scholarship on literary genre and mode, and also on the work of a number of philosophers and psychologists, in particular Descartes’s theory of cognition, Freudian psychoanalysis, mid-twentieth-century behaviorism, and the field of cognitive science. The result is a study that will be of interest not only to students of the classical period but also to those in the corresponding disciplines.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2011-2012 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Ohio State University Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

In Search of an Alternative Biopolitics: Anti-Bullfighting, Animality, and the Environment in Contemporary Spain by Katarzyna Olga Beilin takes readers on a journey through the history of alternative thought that challenges mainstream understandings of the relations between the human and nonhuman realms. Weaving through the works of Mariano José de Larra, Eugenio Noel, Luis Buñuel, Luis Martín-Santos, Pedro Almodóvar, Pablo Bérguer, Juan Mayorga, and Rosa Montero, Beilin convincingly demonstrates that “the question of the animal” has long been of particular significance for Spanish culture.

Analyses of the synergy of press debates on bullfighting and the War on Terror, as well as media debates on King Juan Carlos’s hunt in Botswana and his resignation, reveal how the concepts structuring human/animal relations condition national biopolitics. Beilin traces a main principle, where sacrifice of some lives is deemed necessary for the sake of others, from bullfighting, through environmental destruction and immigration policies, to bioeconomy. Ultimately, In Search of an Alternative Biopolitics argues that to address ever-increasing threats of global warming and future catastrophes, we urgently need to redefine concepts structuring the human and the nonhuman realms.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2007-2017 IRH Director
Publisher: 
Columbia University Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

Drawing on a vast archive of world history, anthropology, geography, cultural theory, postcolonial studies, gender studies, literature, and art, Susan Stanford Friedman recasts modernity as a networked, circulating, and recurrent phenomenon producing multiple aesthetic innovations across millennia. Considering cosmopolitan as well as nomadic and oceanic worlds, she radically revises the scope of modernist critique and opens the practice to more integrated study.

Friedman moves from large-scale instances of pre-1500 modernities, such as Tang Dynasty China and the Mongol Empire, to small-scale instances of modernisms, including the poetry of Du Fu and Kabir and Abbasid ceramic art. She maps the interconnected modernisms of the long twentieth century, pairing Joseph Conrad with Tayeb Salih, E. M. Forster with Arundhati Roy, Virginia Woolf with the Tagores, and Aimé Césaire with Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. She reads postcolonial works from Sudan and India and engages with the idea of Négritude. Rejecting the modernist concepts of marginality, othering, and major/minor, Friedman instead favors rupture, mobility, speed, networks, and divergence, elevating the agencies and creative capacities of all cultures not only in the past and present but also in the century to come.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2006-2007 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Minnesota Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

Theorizing vision and power at the intersections of the histories of psychoanalysis, media, scientific method, and colonization, Scenes of Projection poaches the prized instruments at the heart of the so-called scientific revolution: the projecting telescope, camera obscura, magic lantern, solar microscope, and prism. From the beginnings of what is retrospectively enshrined as the origins of the Enlightenment and in the wake of colonization, the scene of projection has functioned as a contraption for creating a fantasy subject of discarnate vision for the exercise of “reason.”

Jill H. Casid demonstrates across a range of sites that the scene of projection is neither a static diagram of power nor a fixed architecture but rather a pedagogical setup that operates as an influencing machine of persistent training. Thinking with queer and feminist art projects that take up old devices for casting an image to reorient this apparatus of power that produces its subject, Scenes of Projection offers a set of theses on the possibilities for felt embodiment out of the damaged and difficult pasts that haunt our present.

Image of book cover for 'The Idea of Anglo-Saxon England 1066-1901' black background with image of a statue holding a sword
Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2004-2009 Senior Fellow
Publisher: 
Wiley-Blackwell, 2015
Synopsis: 

Six hundred years of Anglo-Saxon rule came to an abrupt end with the Battle of Hastings in 1066. That same date marked the onset of a surprising number of myths and misinformation regarding the Anglo-Saxon era and the origins of the English people. The Idea of Anglo-Saxon England presents the first systematic review of the ways in which the study of Old English language and literature – and the concept of the Anglo-Saxon past itself – evolved from the time of the Conquest, through the Early Modern period, up to the year of Queen Victoria’s death at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Tracing this evolution stage by stage, the book’s chapters reveal how documents dating from the Anglo-Saxon period have greatly influenced modern attitudes toward nationhood, race, religious practice, and constitutional liberties, even if sometimes through flawed acts of recovery. Over time, the idea of Anglo-Saxon England thus grew ever greater in influence, serving as a myth of origins for the English people, their language, and some of their most cherished institutions. The Idea of Anglo-Saxon England reveals how present concepts of Englishness might look very different were it not for the discovery – and invention – of the Anglo-Saxon past.

 

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2007-2008 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

During the High Middle Ages, members of the Anglo-Norman clergy not only routinely took wives but also often prepared their own sons for ecclesiastical careers. As the Anglo-Norman Church began to impose clerical celibacy on the priesthood, reform needed to be carefully negotiated, as it relied on the acceptance of a new definition of masculinity for religious men, one not dependent on conventional male roles in society. The Manly Priest tells the story of the imposition of clerical celibacy in a specific time and place and the resulting social tension and conflict.

No longer able to tie manliness to marriage and procreation, priests were instructed to embrace virile chastity, to become manly celibates who continually warred with the desires of the body. Reformers passed legislation to eradicate clerical marriages and prevent clerical sons from inheriting their fathers' benefices. In response, some married clerics authored tracts to uphold their customs of marriage and defend the right of a priest's son to assume clerical office. This resistance eventually waned, as clerical celibacy became the standard for the priesthood.

By the thirteenth century, ecclesiastical reformers had further tightened the standard of priestly masculinity by barring other typically masculine behaviors and comportment: gambling, tavern-frequenting, scurrilous speech, and brawling. Charting the progression of the new model of religious masculinity for the priesthood, Jennifer Thibodeaux illustrates this radical alteration and concludes not only that clerical celibacy was a hotly contested movement in high medieval England and Normandy, but that this movement created a new model of manliness for the medieval clergy.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2013- Senior Fellow
Publisher: 
Princeton University Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

In the Louvre museum hangs a portrait that is considered the iconic image of René Descartes, the great seventeenth-century French philosopher. And the painter of the work? The Dutch master Frans Hals--or so it was long believed, until the work was downgraded to a copy of an original. But where is the authentic version, and who painted it? Is the man in the painting--and in its original--really Descartes?

A unique combination of philosophy, biography, and art history, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter investigates the remarkable individuals and circumstances behind a small portrait. Through this image--and the intersecting lives of a brilliant philosopher, a Catholic priest, and a gifted painter--Steven Nadler opens a fascinating portal into Descartes's life and times, skillfully presenting an accessible introduction to Descartes's philosophical and scientific ideas, and an illuminating tour of the volatile political and religious environment of the Dutch Golden Age. As Nadler shows, Descartes's innovative ideas about the world, about human nature and knowledge, and about philosophy itself, stirred great controversy. Philosophical and theological critics vigorously opposed his views, and civil and ecclesiastic authorities condemned his writings. Nevertheless, Descartes's thought came to dominate the philosophical world of the period, and can rightly be called the philosophy of the seventeenth century.

Shedding light on a well-known image, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter offers an engaging exploration of a celebrated philosopher's world and work.

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