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Spring 2006 Faculty Fellows

Spring Seminar: Remembering and Forgetting; Collecting and Discarding

Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa directs the Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record in the School of Information, which supports research in the management of documentary heritage, digital archiving, conservation treatment, preservation of the record of cultural communities, and recorded sound preservation. She brings to the seminar a particular interest in practices of selection in heritage decision-making—how cultural objects and records gain status as worthy of preservation—and in how these practices differ across societies and among different groups of social actors in the decision-making process.

Laura Furman, Professor of English, is a fiction writer and memoirist, who teaches courses in short story writing, biography, and memoir. A collector of memory—"collection is emotion gathered and clenched," she writes—she is currently at work on a novel that makes use of the diaries or daybooks of a New York State farmwife living in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and on a group of stories set in the same house over the course of a century that explores the echoes of the past in the present.

Laurie Green, Assistant Professor of History, studies U. S. racial, gender, and labor relations, especially in the context of the American South's transformation in the latter half of the twentieth century as the result of urban migration and the Civil Rights movement. She brings to the seminar a project that focuses on Civil Rights era Memphis, and on the ways in which its working-class black residents negotiated cultural memories of the plantation South and deployed the idea of "plantation mentality" to address contemporary urban problems of freedom, power, and identity.

Geraldine Henderson, Associate Professor of Advertising, studies the intersections of advertising images, marketing strategies, consumption, and race. She brings to the seminar a multi-faceted project on black collectibles or black Americana and issues of collective memory, authenticity, stereotype, and inalienable wealth.

Sanford Levinson, W. St. James Garwood and W. St. James Garwood Jr. Regents Chair in Law and Professor, Department of Government, is a legal and political theorist and Constitutional scholar. He brings to the seminar an interest in the workings of remembering and forgetting in constitutional interpretation and legal arguments from precedent, and a longstanding interest—explored in his bookWritten in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies (1998)—in how societies reshape their public space after moments of significant change.

Nhi Lieu is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Asian American Studies. Her work focuses on Vietnamese American identity formation, gender politics, and cultural production. Her current book project concerns Vietnamese and Vietnamese American memories and cultural negotiations, and American amnesia, of the Vietnam War.

Matthew McGlone, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, is a cognitive psychologist with research interests in cognitive models of communication, mass media information processing, and media psychology. He brings to the seminar current work on the processes and effects of journalistic selection of newsmakers' words, and especially on the sound bite as a principal vehicle of (selective) remembering and forgetting in contemporary mass media.

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Robert Oppenheim, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies, studies the politics of culture and knowledge that flow out of various practices of collecting, selecting, encountering, centering, and materially caring for monuments and other objects in a historic landscape. The focal point of his research has been the historic Korean city of Kyôngju, the site of the first millennium kingdom of Silla, and the way its modern officials and inhabitants have negotiated conflicts between historical preservation and development, archaeology and everyday life. He also brings to the seminar a research project on tapsa, a popular contemporary form of "field study" travel or domestic heritage tourism centering on individual or group visitation to historic monuments, often off the beaten track, in the interest of authentic experience.

Ann Reynolds, Associate Professor of Art and Art History and Women's and Gender Studies, is a scholar of 20th century European and U. S. art and architecture. Her work has examined artists' archives as part of a broader effort to determine the precise historical contexts and historical consciousness of contemporary art and visual culture. Her current project, tentatively entitled "Playtime" after the 1967 film by Jacques Tati, is a study of artistic communities, creativity, and historical memory in 1950s and 1960s New York.

James Sidbury, Associate Professor of History, studies identity-formation, race, and rebellion during the Age of Revolution. His current project concerns the development of a discourse of African identity among free and enslaved black people from the middle of the eighteenth through the first three decades of the nineteenth century and focuses on the modes of cultural mythmaking and the necessary strategies of collective memory and forgetting that enabled ethnically diverse diasporic Africans to produce a "black" or "African" identity in the United States. His work also investigates parallel strategies by which "white" and "Native American" identities were formed in the same period.

Michael Winship, Iris Howard Regents Professor in English Literature, specializes in the history of the book and in the study of those institutions that have created, valued, and preserved the material record of America's literary and cultural heritage. He brings to the seminar, too, an interest in the advent of digital and electronic means of recording, storing, and accessing that heritage, which have raised fundamental questions about the management, durability, integrity, and authority of the record both of the past and the future.

Stacy Wolf, Associate Professor of Theater and Dance, is a theater historian who specializes in the study of American musical theater, its historical contexts, and its cultural work. She brings to the seminar a particular interest in the role of musical theater in American memory formation of the Cold War era and a new project in development on the forms and meanings of nostalgia in American middlebrow cultural production and reception.
Stacy Wolf is now at Princeton University.