Humanities Institute

Spring 2019 Faculty Fellows

Narrative Across the Disciplines

Charles O. Anderson (Theatre and Dance)  is head of the dance program at the University of Texas at Austin and artistic director of dance theatre X (founded in 2003).  As a Faculty Fellow, Anderson will continue to develop engagement strategies to support his latest performance project entitled (Re)current Unrest, an evening length immersive performance installation ‘ritual’ built upon the sonic foundation of Steve Reich’s three earliest works: “It’s Gonna Rain”, “Come Out” and “Pendulum.”  Anderson is drawing upon his dual roles as educator and artist to investigate legacy, authorship, and the history of black art and protest through kinetic storytelling.

Read about Professor Anderson's project, "(Re)current Unrest," presented on February 21.

Carrie Barron (Dell Medical School) MD, Director of Creativity for Resilience at Dell Medical School is a Psychology Today and DMS blogger, author of the book The Creativity Cure, certified Positive Psychology and Well-being coach, psychoanalyst and talk-therapy oriented psychiatrist. She is exploring clinical conversations and emotional connections that elicit what matters to the patient, the impact of a data-driven versus a narrative-prone culture on wellness and the role of the humanities in healing after trauma.    

Read about Dr. Barron's project, "Boethius, Blogging and Bibliotherapy," presented on May 9.

Juan J. Colomina-Almiñana (Mexican American and Latino/a Studies) received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) in 2009. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies (MALS), and an affiliate of the Department of Philosophy. His books include Los problemas de las teorías representacionales de la conciencia (Tenerife: Universidad de La Laguna, 2010) and Implicaciones de la teoría de los actos de habla (Madrid: EAE, 2011), and he has coedited (with V. Raga) La filosofía de Richard Rorty (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2010.)
 He has also published more than fifty articles in several collected books and international journals. His research areas of interest focus on the boundaries between Semantics and Pragmatics, Philosophy of Language, Linguistic Anthropology, Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness, Philosophy of Science, and Logic. In 2012, he received the Young Researcher Award from the Spanish Society of Logic. He is a member of the Research Group for Logic, Language, Epistemology, Mind, and Action (LEMA) at the University of La Laguna in Spain, whose main project is “Points of View and Temporal Structures”.

Read about Dr. Colomina-Almiñana's project, "The Semantics of Racial Epithets and Other Pejoratives," presented on March 28.

Lauren Gutterman (American Studies/History/Women’s and Gender Studies) studies the history of gender, sexuality, the family, and social movements in the modern United States. Her first book, Her Neighbor’s Wife: A History of Lesbian Desire Within Marriage (forthcoming with University of Pennsylvania Press), traces the personal experiences and public representation of wives who desired women since 1945. Her next project focuses on the evolving historical association between incest and lesbianism. As a Humanities Institute faculty fellow, she will study lesbian and bisexual women’s leadership in the incest survivors’ movement. In particular, she will examine the ways these activists intervened in cultural narratives that cast lesbianism as an adverse symptom of childhood sexual trauma.

Read about Dr. Gutterman's project, "Lesbian and Ex-Lesbian Child Sexual Abuse Survivor Narratives," presented on April 25.

Jonathan Kaplan (Middle Eastern Studies) is a scholar of Ancient Judaism whose research focuses on the study of the Hebrew Bible and the history of its interpretation in the Second Temple and early Rabbinic periods. He is the author of My Perfect One: Typology and Early Rabbinic Reading of Song of Songs (Oxford University Press, 2015). His Spring 2018 Seminar project, “The Biblical Jubilee and Ancient Utopian Visions of Liberty,” engages the theoretical literature of Utopian Studies in analyzing the jubilee legislation of Leviticus 25 and how ancient Jewish and Christian writers employed the Levitical jubilee as a tool in shaping the narratives of their utopian visions.

Read about Dr. Kaplan's project, "The Biblical Jubilee and Ancient Utopian Visions of Liberty," presented on May 2.

Ayelet Haimson Lushkov (Classics) specializes in Latin literature and its legacy in the present day. Her current project explores the related rhetorics of citation and narrative in the Roman historian Livy, where she argues that citation structures not only the story Livy is trying to tell about Rome, but also about himself and his work – and about the relationship of those things to power. For the Faculty Seminar, she focuses on exploring how the rhetoric of citation intersects with narrative creation across the disciplinary spectrum, and especially the mutual relevance of ancient and modern methods of manipulating information.

Read about Dr. Haimson Lushkov's project, "Livy and the Poetics of Citation," presented on February 14.

Youjeong Oh (Asian Studies) is a cultural and urban geographer. Her first book, Pop City: Korean Popular Culture and the Selling of Place (Cornell, 2018), examines the use of Korean television dramas and K-pop music to promote urban and rural places in South Korea, illustrating how the speculative, image-based, and consumer-exploitive nature of popular culture shapes the commodification of urban space. Her focus in the seminar is to explore the trans-boundary storytelling across urban space, entertainment media, and social media, examining how such constant circulation of stories across multiple domains transforms the social, economic, and spatial dynamics of cities in the digital age.

Read about Dr. Oh's project, "Digital Storytelling and Changing Urban Landscapes in South Korea," presented on April 18.

Gabriela Polit Dueñas (Spanish and Portuguese) Gabriela Polit Dueñas (Spanish and Portuguese) is a literary and cultural critic working on contemporary Latin America. In her previous work, she explored issues of gender, representation and political power (Cosas de Hombres, Escritores y caudillos en la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX, 2008), and violence and representation (Narrating Narcos. Culiacán and Medellín, 2013). In her forthcoming book Unwanted Witnesses. Journalism and Conflict in Latin America, (2019), she explores journalistic narratives about violence, social suffering, displacement, forced disappearances, migration, corruption and impunity. The analysis includes ethnographic observations of the journalists’ working conditions and of the emotional tolls implied in writing about such topics. Research shows that although the stories talk about many forms of violence and trauma, they are product of the journalists’ empathy, care, and a search for justice. While the narratives give account of conflictive political realities and humanitarian crises, they also show the strength of shared words as the most effective form of healing and building community.

Read about Dr. Polit's project, "Unwanted Witnesses," presented on April 11.

Ann Reynolds (Art and Art History) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In her research and teaching, she focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century art and visual culture in the United States and Europe. Her project for the Faculty Fellows seminar is entitled “Imagining an Altogether: How Individuals Share Culture Through the Stories They Tell Each Other.”

Read about Dr. Reynold's project, "Imagining an Altogether," presented on February 7.

David Ring (Dell Medical School) is associate dean for comprehensive care and professor of surgery and psychiatry at Dell Medical School. His interests include trauma and post-traumatic reconstruction in the arm, quality and patient safety, common arm illnesses and psychosocial aspects of arm illness. His Faculty Fellows project will be entitled “Health Benefits of Writing and Storytelling.”

Read about Dr. Ring's project, "The Health Benefits of Writing and Storytelling," presented on January 24. 

Suzanne Scott (Radio-Television-Film) is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Radio-Television-Film in the Moody College of Communication. Her scholarly monograph, Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry, will be published by New York University Press in Spring 2019, and she is the co-editor of the 2018 anthology The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom. Scott's project will build on her prior work to explore the concept of "transmedia erasure," or instances in which minority characters are isolated on the narrative or paratextual periphery of a transmedia franchise. This concept will also be used to consider how content creators and industry stakeholders discursively disavow or clamp down on the distribution or recirculation of specific media texts, and the narrative impact this has on fans.

Read about Dr. Scott's project, "Franchising, Fans, and the Textual Politics of Transmedia Erasure," presented on January 31. 

Suzanne Seriff (Anthropology) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology. Her Faculty Fellows Project will be entitled When Time Stops: Folk Art Narratives in Times of Trauma,” which will discuss narrative and storytelling in folk arts.

Read about Dr. Seriff's project, "Recycled, Re-seen - Revisited," presented on February 28. 

Scott R. Stroud (Communication Studies) specializes in the intersection between rhetoric and philosophy. Much of his research extends the thought of the American pragmatists into the realms of rhetorical experience and democracy. He is the author of John Dewey and the Artful Life and Kant and the Promise of Rhetoric. His time with the Humanities Institute will be focused on the rhetorical functioning of autobiography in the struggle against caste oppression in India. This is part of his ongoing work on a book manuscript exploring the influence of Deweyan pragmatism on the Indian politician and anti-caste activist, Bhimrao Ambedkar.

Read about Dr. Stroud's project, "How Do Narratives Argue?," presented on March 7.