Faculty Summer Research Fellows

Summer 2003

Full grants of $4,000 each were awarded to each of the following faculty members for summer research projects:

Gary Gilbert (Department of Philosophy/Religious Studies), for continuation of a study theological and political positions developed in Luke-Acts and its influence on later Christian thought. Professor Gilbert writes:

[This study] also contributes to a broader investigation into Christian pronouncements of universal truth. The claims have shaped the history of Christianity, European societies, and ways in which religious communities have or have not developed an appreciation for those outside its intellectual and institutional boundaries.

Jay Martin (Department of Government), for research on, and the writing of, a one-volume biography of Andrew Jackson. Of the project, which he will complete by September, 2005, Professor Martin writes:

... [M]y aim has always been to compose works that will constitute enduring contributions. In fact, not one of by biographies [on Conrad Aiken, John Dewey, Henry Miller, Nathaniel West, and others] has ever been superseded. ... I will read through [Jackson’s] presidential papers in the Library of Congress ... and study the Jackson materials in the papers of other presidents and statesmen (Polk, Van Buren, Calhoun, etc). Next, I will read Jackson’s and collateral papers in the Tennessee Historical Society; the Tennessee State Library and Archives ... and the University of Tennessee Special Collections Library ... Finally, between January and September 2005, I will write and revise ... in a rapidly-paced 150,000 word, one-volume biography. I am confident that it will be greeted by excellent reviews, extensive publicity and vigorous sales.

John Roth (Department of Philosophy/Religious Studies), for support for his work on a book entitled God and Evil: Dialogical Collisions after Auschwitz. Professor Roth writes:

The premise of this volume is that the issues surrounding the relation between God and evil, an ancient problem, have been complicated by the Holocaust in ways that had scarcely been imagined before. The nature of these issues, moreover, shifts according to the religious or non-religious outlook of the one asking the question. ... The book will both contend and show that the best ways to explore these issues include dialogue among Jews and Christians, dialogue that may be highly charged but undertaken in good faith and with an interest in arriving at a deeper understanding of the questions at hand. The book’s contributors—eleven in all—include philosophers, theologians, historians of religion.

Diana Selig (Department of History), for preparation of a book that expands on materials and issues addressed in her doctoral dissertation, Cultural Gifts: American Liberals, Childhood, and the Origins of Multiculturalism, 1924-1939. Professor Selig writes:

The project challenges the standard interpretation of the conflicts over ethnoracial difference in interwar America, arguing that cultural pluralism was a widespread social as well as intellectual phenomenon. It demonstrates that while nativist and racist trends revived after World War I, a counter-trend also emerged. In the 1920s and 30s, thousands of ordinary citizens took part in programs designed to celebrate the “cultural gifts” that immigrant and minority groups brought to American life. Antiprejudice activities found their way into schools, child study groups, and churches across the country.

Grants of $2,000 each were awarded to:

Audrey Bilger (Department of Literature), for continuation of her research and writing on comedy and feminism in the works of 18th- and 19th-century British women writers. Drawing upon current feminist criticism, comic theory, and the methodologies of literary history to provide a context for re-assessing the works of such authors as Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen, Professor Bilger's study examines these writers' contemporary cultural milieu to expose the rebelliousness inherent in their work. She then connects eighteenth-century comic theory to gender issues of their day to show how each writer exemplified Enlightenment feminist humor.

Carrie Chorba (Department of Modern Languages), to complete a book manuscript entitled Mexico from Mestizo to Multicultural: National Identity and Recent Representations of the Conquest. Professor Chorba's book examines Mexican national identity and the ways it is produced and reproduced in both official government discourse and a number of artistic genres. In her book, Chorba identifies and analyzes shifts in Mexican national identity which have occurred in the past decade.

Lisa Forman Cody (Department of History), for completing her book, The Birth of a Nation: Man-Midwifery and the Conception of Britain in the Eighteenth Century. Professor Cody's study joins together several different fields within European cultural, medical, and gender history, and is based on more than a decade's research in over thirty British, French, and American archives and libraries.

Robert Faggen (Department of Literature), for a definitive critical edition of the poetry of Herman Melville. Professor Faggen writes:

Dismissed by early reviewers and even later by Melville scholars as either “clumsy” or “insignificant,” Melville’s three books of lyric poems—Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War, John Marr and other Sailors, and Timoleon (as well as his epic narrative poem, Clarel, A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land)—have begun to receive not only serious scholarly attention but even high accolades for both their profundity and remarkable skill from the most discerning of critics.

This volume will include a critical introduction and detailed annotations.

James Morrison (Department of Literature/Film Studies), for a project entitled Rosebud in Xanadu: Hollywood, Mass Culture and the Sublime, 1920-1960. Professor Morrison writes:

This book-length project proposes to examine Hollywood narrative films over the four decades regarded as the “classical” era of Hollywood filmmaking, through the lens of concepts of the “sublime.” The objective of the project is to trace the shifting relation of “high” culture to “mass” culture in American film and society during this period. A key effect of mass culture, I argue, is to produce in its subjects the illusion of mastery in various forms; theories of the sublime, meanwhile, have traditionally treated the sublime as an aesthetic or natural experience entailing the loss of control, or the denial of mastery, whether pleasurable or not. ... Studying the relation of “high” culture to “mass” culture has been one of the most fruitful areas in recent cultural studies, but my definition of mass-culture, in terms of the concept of mastery and the idea of the sublime, presents a new avenue of approach to the topic.