Humanities Institute

Spring 2015 Faculty Fellows

J.K. Barret (English) recently completed her first book manuscript, Untold Futures: Time and Literary Culture in Renaissance England. It is the first book-length study of the futures imagined within sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature. Barrett intends to use the Faculty Fellows seminar as a springboard for beginning her second book manuscript, Pandora’s Clock: The Ethics of Time in English Renaissance Literature, which traces how literary sensitivities to temporality shape ethical and aesthetic questions in the poetic and dramatic works of influential early modern writers.

Mary Angela Bock’s (Journalism) research is primarily guided by one question: How can visual journalists do a better job?  Her publications thus far address theoretical and practical implications of that question. Her manuscripts under review explore the metaphors of visual framing, technology’s impact on narrative, and media coverage of perp walks. She intends to use the seminar to consider the future of photo journalism as a form of professional performance and visual journalism’s contribution to public notions of morality.

Paola Bonifazio (French & Italian) received the 2011-2012 NEH/A.W.Mellon Foundation Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. She is currently working on her second manuscript, Women’s Popular Culture in Italy (1945-1968), which is an interdisciplinary study on Italian film, photonovel, and television, from the late 1940s to the late 1960s, featuring women-centered narratives and female protagonists.  She sees the Faculty Fellows seminar as an opportunity to consider the future of gender as a concept and feminism as a politics in both academic and public spheres.

Craig Campbell (Anthropology) has spent fifteen years researching the history, ethnography, and visual culture of Siberia. He recently published Agitating Images: Photography Against History in Indigenous Siberia (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), which explores the socialist dreamworlds of early twentieth century Siberia. He intends to use the “Imagined Futures” seminar to begin his new project, Tunguska Events, which will study the catastrophe and cultural representation of a mysterious meteorite that hit Siberia in 1908, juxtaposing that history against a proposed dam development in Siberia that would displace thousands of Evenkis living downstream.

Mia Carter (English) received her PhD in English and Modern Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her project, Virginia Woolf, History’s Child: Heritage and Imagination, is an interwar to late-modernist study of Virginia Woolf’s philosophical and imaginative investments in childhood and adolescence as embodiments of futurity. She intends to use the “Imagined Futures” seminar to further study the ways in which Woolf’s use of the Hogarth Press, her own expressive works, and her support of a younger generation of writers aimed to reinscribe the social imaginary, reform British Society, and resuscitate utopian and democratic ideals after the Great War.

Wenhong Chen’s (Radio-TV-Film) research has been focused on the social implications of digital media and communication technologies. Chen proposes to apply Ulrich Beck’s risk society theory to the US Embassy’s PM2.5 program in China, which tweets hourly the current air pollution conditions in Beijing. Chen will examine the process and consequences of risk definition and assessment using this case study. She is particularly interested in how digital media technologies, such as Facebook and Twitter, contribute to the creation of notions of risk in societies.

Gloria Lee’s (Art & Art History) applied work has been directed towards issues of organizational systems, communication, and the role that visual communication can play, with an emphasis upon participatory design methods. Drawing upon her tactical communication and collaborative design projects with students here at UT and her Difficult Dialogues Course, “Reframing Sustainability,” Lee will use the Faculty Fellows Seminar to explore the issues of dialogue, role-shifting, and participation in relation to the visual rhetoric of and collaboration on sustainability projects.

Xavier Livermon’s (African & African Diaspora Studies) research exists at the intersection of popular culture, gender, and sexuality in post-apartheid South Africa and the African Diaspora. He is currently completing a manuscript tentatively entitled Its About Time: Kwaito and the Performance of Freedom, which examines post-apartheid youth culture. He will use the Seminar as an opportunity to advance his second book project, Queerying Freedom: Black Queer Visibilities in Post-Apartheid South Africa, in which he investigates the possibility of an African queer future from a black South African perspective.

Marilén Loyola’s (Spanish & Portuguese) research looks at the cultural, literary, and especially performative expressions of post-dictatorship “healing” in contemporary Spain and Latin America. She comes to the “Imagined Futures” Seminar with the interdisciplinary lenses of memory studies, cognitive studies, and theater and performing arts studies, which will be applied to the study of national responses to post-traumatic stress. She is especially interested in how a meaningful narrative created by pubic theater, in response to national trauma, contributes to the possibility of imagining a shared, national future.

Violina Rindova (Management) holds the Zlotnick Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Herb Kelleher Chair in Entrepreneurship. Her research has focused on strategy, firm culture, value creation and reputation, especially in the context of emerging markets. She wishes to use the Humanities Institute Faculty Fellowship as an opportunity to expand her understanding of how business leaders envision the future—a focus, she argues, that is lacking in current business strategy and management research.

Allan W. Shearer (Architecture) is Co-Director of the Center for Sustainable Development and Associate Professor in the School of Architecture. His research centers on how individuals, communities, and societies create scenarios of the future and how these descriptions of possible tomorrows are used to inform present day decisions. In addition to developing an undergraduate course on sustainable futures, Dr. Shearer intends to use the Seminar to re-read and re-consider several foundational futures studies' texts toward what will be a series of lectures, exercises, and, ultimately, publications on how the future has been perceived in periods of crisis.

Allison Skerrett (Curriculum & Instruction) has researched how literacy and language arts education may capitalize upon the cultural, language, and literacy practices and experiences of diverse student populations in US and Canadian schools. With the Faculty Fellows seminar, she will extend this research focus into the arena of transnational youths and their education by imagining approaches to literacy and language arts education that can support the academic development of transnational youths while also benefitting the academic growth of their mono-national peers who sit beside them in classrooms.

Kathleen Stewart (Anthropology) is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Stewart writes and teaches on affect, the ordinary, the senses, and modes of ethnographic engagement based on curiosity and attachment.  She intends to use the Faculty Fellows seminar to complete her book on worlding—a term she uses to trace a relatively new and proliferating phenomenon in the United States in which communities of co-presence and co-experience form around conditions, practices, pleasures, scenes of absorption, forms of attunement and attachment, and often fleeting strategies for self-transformation.


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