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Spring 2010 Faculty Fellows


Katherine Arens (Germanic Studies) is a scholar of modern European intellectual and literary history from the late 18th century to the present. The author of Empire in Decline: Fritz Mauthner's Critique of Wilhelminian Germany (2001), Austria and Other Margins: Reading Culture (1996), and Structures of Knowing: Psychologies of the Nineteenth Century (1989), she brings to the seminar a book project on fin de siecle Vienna's intellectual climate, prospectively entitled "Squaring the Vienna Circle: Empiricism, Historicism, and the Epistemology of Science in Turn-of-the-Century Vienna."

Kirsten Cather (Asian Studies) specializes in modern Japanese literature and film and is just completing her first monograph on censorship and obscenity in post-war Japan. Her seminar project explores the relationship between national identity and the scripting of suicide in Japan through an examination of the writings of prominent "suiciders" and responses from intellectuals, the public, and the mass media.

David Edwards (Government) is a scholar of political and social theory, American politics, public policy, and international relations. The author of numerous books and articles, he brings to the seminar several current research projects that explore the relations between social scientific theory and practical policy-making, including a book in progress, prospectively entitled How the World Really Works, on the implications of constructivist theory for foreign policy-making and international change.

Tarek El-Ariss (Middle Eastern Studies) studies the experience of the modern in contemporary Arabic literature, film, and media. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology (with Hannadi El-Samman), Beyond the Arab Closet: Homosexuality and Homoeroticism in Contemporary Arabic Literature and Media. His current project, which he will explore as part of the seminar, focuses on the role of madness and fantasy in literary representation of the Arab encounter with the West from the nineteenth century onward.

Roberta Greene (Social Work) specializes in human behavior theory and in intergenerational caregiving, curriculum development and resilience, particularly among Holocaust survivors. The author of numerous papers on risk and resilience theory in clinical practice (including work with Hurricane Katrina survivors evacuated to Austin), she brings to the seminar a current research project, based on interviews with Holocaust survivors living in the U. S., entitled "Forgiveness, Resiliency, and Survivorship."

Caroline O'Meara (Musicology) specializes in the musical life of the United States in the late twentieth century, with a particular focus on popular music and the avant-garde. She brings to the seminar a book project entitled New York Noise: Music, Place, and Space in Late-Twentieth-Century America, an examination of the ways in which music and musicians were affected by and engaged with urban geography and responded to the post-Industrial economy's transformations of the built environment.

Tom Palaima (Classics) is a scholar of Aegean literature and society, ancient writing systems, and ancient and modern war and violence. He is also a regular columnist and reviewer for several newspapers and magazines, specializing in the broad social and intellectual historical contextualization of modern political, cultural, and institutional crises, including crises in higher education. He brings to the seminar recent work on decision-making and reporting in wartime and a new project on the contexts and processes of decision-making in ancient history.

Elizabeth Pomeroy (Social Work) specializes in the development of social work interventions for individuals and families experiencing crises in their lives, and has worked extensively with individuals, families, and children in mental health and health-related settings. The author of numerous papers on topics ranging from HIV/AIDS to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders to intervention models for women in prison, she brings to the seminar a current research project on the impact of loss and grief on Katrina disaster evacuees.

Denné N. Reed (Anthropology) is a physical anthropologist whose research interests include human evolution, terrestrial paleoecology, taphonomy, and GIS and remote sensing. His current work on human origins explores how changing environmental conditions in the ecology of African ecosystems have influenced human adaptations in early human pre-history. At a moment when the 150th anniversary of Darwin's The Origin of Species continues to inspire heated popular debate, he hopes to engage the seminar in productive dialogue between scientists and non-scientists about the cultural impact of evolution.

Violina Rindova (Management) studies entrepreneurship, value creation, corporate reputation-building, and the ways in which business organizations both contribute to and draw on the intellectual and cultural lives of communities in their creation of new market opportunities. She brings to the seminar current research on the role of cultural resources in the strategic innovation of business organizations and on how producers of everyday goods function as producers of culture.

Sonia Seeman (Ethnomusicology; Center for Middle Eastern Studies) focuses her research on the music of modern Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and Southeastern Europe, particularly within Roma ("Gypsy") communities. Her work focuses on the role of aesthetic practices in constructing and negotiating ethnic and gendered identities. She brings to the seminar her recent research on emergent political identities and representation of Roma during the process of Turkey's European Union accession negotiations. She traces the role of music and dance performances in Roma cultural associations as constructing new political platforms and the politicization of minorities in the face of government-mandated evictions and destruction of neighborhoods.

Stephen Sonnenberg (Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine) specializes in interdisciplinary research involving psychoanalysis and other areas of scholarship. He studies war, violence, psychic trauma and post traumatic psychological disorders, decision-making, addiction and the psychoanalytic treatment of addiction, and psychiatric education and effective teaching methods. He brings to the seminar a current exploration of factors that enhance and diminish the power of intellect in an age of violence. This study uses a psychoanalytic lens to explore the effectiveness of intellectual activity in the practice of politics, and in the areas of artistic and architectural creativity.