College of Liberal Arts

2013 HRA Recipients Wrap Up Their Research

Fri, Apr 1, 2016
For details on how to apply, visit
For details on how to apply, visit

Established in 2009 by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, the Humanities Research Award supports faculty efforts to complete an in-progress research project in the humanities by awarding select tenured and tenure-track faculty with $5,000 for three consecutive years, for a total of $15,000.

Below are the 2013 award recipients, each of which used their prize to travel around the globe to libraries, archives and museums to gather data and submerge themselves into their research. Click on their names to hear about their research!

Marc Bizer

In researching the role of decision-making in tragic texts, French studies professor Marc Bizer realized a reoccurring theme throughout the texts: submission, or the refusal to submit. Building on this, Bizer argues that tragic protagonists are faulted with what he calls “the anti-tragic impulse,” where the protagonist meets a terrible fate due to his refusal to give in to a higher power.

Juliet Hooker

Juliet Hooker, an associate professor in the Departments of Government and African and African Diaspora Studies, analyzes the accounts of four prominent African-American and Latin American political thinkers to challenge simplistic comparisons made in popular media between U.S. and Latin American racial politics and to fully understand Latin American and U.S. ideas about race.

Randy Lewis

American studies professor Randy Lewis’ upcoming book “Surveillance of the Heart: Fear and Loathing in Fortress America” explores how it feels to live in a surveillance-obsessed world driven by both rational and irrational fears. He addresses the “soft tissue damage” of modern surveillance practices to answer the question: Does it make us sleep better at night, or does it aggravate the problem?

Marc Pierce

Germanic studies professor Marc Pierce take a new look at the history of Germanic linguistics in North America in his book “Towards a New History of Germanic Linguistics in North America.” Contrasting from the traditional idea that German philology was discarded around WWI, Pierce suggests that German linguistics was steady up until World War II, and scholarly networks thrived soon after the war ended. 

Nancy Stalker

Nancy Stalker, an associate professor in the Departments of Asian Studies and History,  examines the growth and globalization of the art of Japanese flower arrangements throughout the 20th century, arguing that many fundamental changes in the practice and production of the art stemmed from responses to international pressures, and global economic and geopolitical trends.

Circe Sturm

After 165 years of seeking remedy, the Cherokee Freedman’s case for tribal sovereignty has finally arrived in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision that will affect the standing of tribal sovereignty for all American Indian nations. Cultural anthropologist Circe Sturm examines the tensions between civil rights and tribal sovereignty to reveal the deeper racial politics behind contemporary struggles.

Lisa B. Thompson

Lisa B. Thompson,  an associate professor in the Departments of  African and African Diaspora Studies, English and Theatre and Dance, examines how the post-Brown V. Board of Education generation have enjoyed some of the civil rights movement triumphs while also experiencing the persistent resistance and erosion of those victories in her book-in-progress, titled “Black Millennial Stages: Reimagining History, Memory and Identity.”

Jeffrey Walker

In a translation with commentary of “The Synopsis of Rhetoric” by Joseph Rhakendytes, Jeffrey Walker revives classical rhetoric in its simpler, more traditional form, while digging deeper into the theory that Rhakendytes was the author of the last of the Ptochoprodromos poems — a set of vernacular satires written in political verse that some see as opening a door to modernity.

Alexandra Wettlaufer

In her upcoming book, French studies professor Alexandra Wettlaufer examines the textual relationship between two of the most influential women writers of the 19th century — Aurore Dupin Dudevant and Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Sand and George Eliot — to gain a better understanding of their individual bodies of work, as well as the narrative form of the novel itself.

Hannah Wojciehowski

English professor Hannah Wojciehowski’s book project presents Michel Foucault’s evolution as a philosopher and the events of the late 60’s that radicalized his thinking. Wojciehowski examines how his relationships with student activists and abuse from the Bourguiba government, lead to new understandings of surveillance, control and censorship.

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