1136 Lane Hall
204 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Current IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars Recipients (2012-13)
(Romance Languages and Literature )
From post-realism to post-sexuality: the impossibility of love in contemporary
"From post-realism to post-sexuality: the impossibility of love in contemporary French novel" is the first chapter of my dissertation, "Thinking Post-Sexual." I study French post-realist novels exploring the experience of desire in the post-modern era as an attempt at introducing the category of "post-sexuality" into the field of queer studies. In this first chapter, I read one post-realist novel of my corpus to emphasize the inadequacy of the categories of sexuality, or resistance to sexuality, to account for erotic lives and subjectivities, and define post-sexuality from historical, political, and theoretical perspectives.
Nicole Greer Golda
(History; Women's Studies)
"America is also for women": Gender and Americanization in Detroit
My dissertation investigates the middle-class reformers and businesspeople who strove to assimilate immigrants and African Americans into the "American" way of life during the early 20th century. I argue, in particular, that men and women clashed significantly over who should control these Americanization campaigns. Exploring these gender divides permits me an opportunity to expose the complicated ways that Americans struggled to come to terms with large-scale change in gender norms during America's transition into an industrial power. Fundamentally shaped by considerations of race and class, Americanizers' competing gender ideologies faced challenges not only from within their own ranks but from their intended immigrant targets. This project seeks to understand how these many conflicts shaped the 20th-century American landscape in terms of national discussions about rights, women's roles in work and reform, the structure of home, and the place of immigrants in American society.
(Art and Design)
The Medicine Show
During the Community of Scholars Fellowship, I will continue my research on queer space in preparation for my MFA thesis exhibition. I am interested in creating a queer or liminal "in-between" space and the elements, objects, or performances that will facilitate entry into this altered and heightened state of consciousness. Because queer space is often situated in the realm of fantasy, play, or ritual, I will combine elements of theater and ritual with the visual and healing arts. I will focus on building a digital photo booth that allows the sitter to create photos of alternative identities.
(Women's Studies; English )
Intimate Histories: The Genealogy of the Tragic Mulatto
My dissertation investigates the sentimental modes of historical consciousness in 19th-century U.S. literature to discern the multiple chronopolitics that were interrupted and negated by professionalization of history at the beginning of the 20th century. Situating professional historiography as a temporal mechanism that regulates biopolitical status regions, producing radically asymmetrical power relations that are fundamentally racialized and gendered, I aggregate texts traditionally divided by period, genre, nation, and language or deprivileged by virtue of their author's gender or race, by foregrounding common modes of historical consciousness used to narrate events that transpired in geo-social contact zones. Read together, these widely circulated texts offer insight into how inhabitants of and witnesses to the developing U.S. imperial nation-state understood the past and its relation to the present, prior to the emergence of a singular hegemonic historicism.
(Women's Studies; English)
Gathering Grounds: Narrating Gardens in Post-Industrial Detroit
This project focuses on women-authored texts that document urban gardening in postindustrial Detroit. I examine the political stagings of gardens in these narratives–as community sites that cultivate feminist and antiracist consciousness, and also as sites that perpetuate violent histories via the disciplining of fertile, "overgrown" bodies of land. I question the degree to which urban gardens can foster liberatory strategies without reinforcing paternalistic patterns of conquest and propriety. In terms of race, wealth, and education, I investigate how gardens serve different functions for different women. Overall, my project argues for the necessity of gender analysis in wider considerations of contemporary urban ecosystems, thereby contributing to scholarship linking ecological crisis and cultural practices.
Ayse Neveser Koker
(Political Science )
"Women's Progress Within Islam": Interpretation of Religion and Traditional in "Ladies' Own Gazette"
Looking at one of the most successful women's magazines in the late-19th-century Ottoman Empire, Ladies' Own Gazette (LOG), I analyze how the editors and authors of this magazine used Islamic values and concepts to makes claims for women's empowerment and progress. Unlike the prevailing interpretations of Ottoman women's movements that see LOG as an example of the imperfection of the Turkish modernization, I study the magazine within the religious-institutional context of the late-Ottoman society, and argue that LOG presents a right site for analyzing the changing conceptions of citizenship and sovereignty in this period precisely because it creates a complex interweaving of religion, tradition, and women's progress.
"Ladies Scorn Dates!": Women's Retrospective Life-Writing and Victorian Historical Consciousness
My project analyzes the way that British women's retrospective life-writing helped to create the Victorian popular conception of the Regency period. Examining Harriette Wilson's Memoirs, Lady Blessington's Conversations of Lord Byron, and Elizabeth Abell's Recollections of the Emperor Napoleon, I discuss how these writers strategically use nonchronological narration and prioritize the reporting of conversations, portraying the Regency as a period outside of time, defined by the speech patterns of its prominent men. Collectively these texts represent an overlooked literary mode of thinking about history, in which female testimony helps to position these writers as the living embodiment of bygone era.
The Extremely Precocious Child: Gender and the Construction of the Child Prodigy in Russia, 1880s-1960s
This dissertation examines the gender construction of child prodigies in and through the responses they evoked in scientists, artists, educators, and the lay public of Russia from the late-19th century to the 1960s. Through a series of case studies, the project analyzes how gender conceptions have structured the scientific, literary, and artistic representations of child prodigies of both sexes and how, in turn, these representations played a key role in the solidification of sex-gender (in)equality and difference, simultaneously threatening and reasserting the stability of the social order in late Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.
(English Language and Literature; Judaic Studies)
Writing the 'Jewish Ghetto': Gender, Intertextuality and the New York Cityscape
"Writing the 'Jewish Ghetto'" is a chapter-length study of autobiographical and fictional narrative written by Jewish women between WWI and the onset of the Great Depression. Focusing on a group of understudied texts by Rose Cohen, Fannie Hurst, Rose Pastor Stokes, and Anzia Yezierska, this project examines the impact of gender on literary understandings of urban space in the largely working class, immigrant neighborhood of Manhattan's Lower East Side. Yezierska, whose writing contains thinly veiled portraits of the three other writers, is the unifying figure in this study. Her work provides insight into a vital intertextual dialogue that reshaped the image of the "Jewish ghetto" as it emerged in American writing.
(Psychology; Social Work)
Sexting, Stalking, and Snooping: The Gendered Nature of Dating Violence in Digital Media
My project investigates the gender dynamics of "digital dating abuse" (DDA), a pattern of behaviors intended to control, pressure, or harass a dating partner using digital media (Internet and cell phones). As young people increasingly utilize digital media to communicate with dating partners, it becomes a potential context and tool for dating violence. I investigate gender dynamics in the motivation, experience, and consequences of DDA among adolescents and young adults. Is the perpetration of DDA the same phenomenon for women and men? In what ways are gendered hierarchical power structures maintained and perhaps challenged by women's and men's participation in DDA?
Diaspora and Desire: Toward Queer Arab American Studies
My dissertation investigates the representation of non-normative gender and sexuality in Arab American cultural production as mediated through three icons of diasporic femininity: the storyteller Scheherazade, the belly dancer embodied in Samia Gamal, and the revolutionary Leila Khaled. Each figure indexes complex theoretical and material terrain that affects the discursive and lived realities of Arab Americans, especially given the figures' profoundly transitional and cross-cultural legacies. I trace the icons' appearance and disappearance in the work of Arab and Arab American artists where their invocation and evacuation reveal negotiations of gendered and sexual politics within the Arab diaspora.
Antislavery and Colonization: African American Women in 19th-Century West Africa
This project examines the ways African American women shaped colonization and abolition, not only in the United States, but also in West Africa. In my dissertation, I uncover the heretofore-neglected histories of African American women who voyaged to Sierra Leone and Liberia as colonists and missionaries. Additionally, I argue that African American women's experiences in contesting colonization became a launching point for abolitionist work in the Anglo-Atlantic world. By focusing on the lived experiences of black women, my dissertation substantially deviates from other studies of colonization in Sierra Leone and Liberia to examine how African American women used debates around colonization to advocate for political rights, both at home and abroad.
"The Community of Scholars symposium was a very interesting panel and great evidence of the terrific strengths of the COS grant program. Such promotion of interdisciplinarity only happens at UM!"
Prof. Sandra K. Danziger
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work
Research Professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy