Faculty Research Fellows


Summer 2011

Minju Kim (Modern Languages)


Dr. Kim concentrated her research on topic markers and the meaning of contrast in Korean an Japanse.  In both languges, topic markers can express not only topic but also contrastive meanings.  When a topic is foregrounded in a conversation, other elements become backgrounded, and this invites the inference of contrast between the topicalized item and the other elements. This study examines these contrastive meanings in Korean and Japanese.  Furthermore, it demonstrates how this contrastive meaning could engender a new Korean grammatical marker, hakonun, which denotes the speaker’s disapproving attitude.  This study was presented at the Cognition, Conduct, and Communication conference in the University of Lodz, Poland in October 2011, and Dr. Kim is currently working on converting her study into a journal article.

Seth Lobis  (Literature)

Dr. Lobis used his grant to work on an article entitled “‘Quickening What’s Dead’: Vitalism and Literary Art in the Restoration Tempest.” In mid-seventeenth-century England, vitalism, or the belief that the natural world represents a single, interconnected, living organism, enjoyed a kind of heyday. For political and religious radicals in the 1640s and ’50s, it lent itself to ideological recruitment, providing an authoritative foundation for “turning the world upside down.” If every part of nature was alive, so was every part of the polity, and common life could be taken to imply common rule, even common property. The Restoration dashed the hopes of political vitalists even as developments in natural philosophy were calling into question the idea of universal vitalism itself. In “‘Quickening What’s Dead,’” Dr. Lobis argues that, in their adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, first performed in 1667 and published in 1670, John Dryden and William Davenant subjected the vitalism suffusing the Shakespearean original to satiric deflation. In the Restoration Tempest vitalism is not a true doctrine, but a naïve error, a kind of proto-Lévy-Bruhlian “primitive mentality.” For Dryden and Davenant, vitalism has become a source of comedy. In the course of making a mockery of vitalism, of heightening its presence for comic effect, Dryden and Davenant effect a transfer of vitality from nature to literature. The life that can no longer be understood to pervade the natural world is transplanted to the work of art, the very “revival” that the two authors are producing.  To expand his treatment of Dryden’s conception of, and writing about, literature, Dr. Lobis used the summer to do research in the Dryden collection at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA.

Ellen Rentz (Literature)

Dr. Rentz spent the summer writing the fourth chapter of her book, Imagining the Parish, which considers the social and devotional purpose of the parish.  “On Finding and Not Finding the Parish in Piers Plowman” argues not only that parish ideology is at the center of Langland’s epic dream vision, but also that the protagonist’s search for truth ultimately constitutes a search for the parish and its meaning. And yet if the dreamer’s search for truth can be understood as a search for the parish, that it is also a search for what the parish is not; in addition to exploring Langland’s treatment of the spaces, rituals, and practices that make up the parish church, she also considers his scathing critique of the friars as external predators who feed on the parish and its people. In keeping with the book’s interdisciplinary emphasis, this chapter situates Piers Plowman in a broader cultural context that includes both literary and visual sources. Dr. Rentz's analysis of the poem also makes use of several unedited Piers Plowman manuscripts and offers an original transcription of an unedited prose tract on the parish, the clergy, and the laity that appears in a late medieval religious miscellany now housed in the British Library.

Lee Skinner (Modern Languages)

The Gould Center supported the development of the fourth chapter of Dr. Skinner's Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Latin America, 1850-1920, which analyzes the question of modernity and its connections to gender in Latin America during that period.  Chapter Four examines attitudes toward technology and industrialization in a variety of texts, mostly from the 1880-1920 period, which coincides with a period of increasing (albeit still partial) industrialization and urbanization throughout Latin America; railroads linked once-remote areas to one another and to urban centers, and urban mass transmit meant easier access to factory jobs for men and women.  Therefore, the discussion of technology and industry in this chapter also leads into the shifts in writing about, and attitudes toward, modernity in the fin-de-siècle period and early twentieth century.  On the one hand, some writers began expressing anxiety about the effects of modernization, while on the other hand, others, particularly women, advocated even more forcefully for increased female involvement in the modernizing project.  As higher concentrations of populations in urban areas meant that universities could become true intellectual centers, for example, supporters of women’s rights promulgated women’s access to higher education and often stressed the need and desirability for women to obtain scientifically-based education and even advanced degrees in the sciences.  Other texts by women praised technological advances as examples of the modernization that had to take place in order for Latin American nations to become the equals of European and North American countries, and worked to insert women into that modernizing process by representing them as users of technology and productive elements in the industrial process