Published May 24, 2013
The UB Humanities Institute (HI) has named eight Faculty Research Fellows for 2013-14.
“Our fellows are the best. They are innovators—cutting-edge scholars whose work places them at the forefront of their disciplines,” says institute Director Erik Seeman, professor of history.
The Faculty Research Fellowships are among several offered by the institute. They will fund the fellows’ release from teaching two courses in the coming academic year, permitting them to focus on a major research project. In addition, fellows will actively participate in institute programs and present their work as part of the “Scholars @ Hallwalls” lecture series.
“The release time is very appealing, of course, but the fellowship also affords recipients the opportunity to regularly discuss their research with one another and with the public, a process that broadens everyone’s understanding of the work going on here and promotes cross-disciplinary engagement,” Seeman says.
“It is more difficult than it sounds to explain your academic work broadly and discuss its implications for the audience in particular and to society in general,” he says, adding that the fellows enjoy this challenge and say they very much enjoy discussing their work with those who ordinarily would not be exposed to it.
“Our definition of ‘humanities’ is broad,” Seeman says, “which means that our fellows come from many academic fields—literature, history, classics, anthropology, sociology, geography, music, the visual and preforming arts, and more,
“Three of the fellowships are generously supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The OVPR/HI Faculty Fellows are selected from proposals that are particularly strong in the promotion of the interdisciplinary mission shared by the OVPR and the institute,” he says.
The 2013-14 HI fellows and their research projects:
The theremin cello was one of the first electronic musical instruments and the first to be mass produced. Golove tested and developed the instrument’s playing mechanisms—as well as techniques for playing it since there were no established methods—and created a repertoire for the instrument. As a fellow, he will continue repertoire development and produce performances—including a UB concert—and recordings of this new repertoire and of the few works previously composed for the instrument. He will document the entire process in the form of a monograph.
Hakala holds that dictionaries, glossaries and vocabularies he will study constitute a vital record of both dominant ideological structures and emergent social and political formations over a broad swath of South Asia.
“The history of our regional terrain, its use and misuse are an integral part of the economic development and collapse of the area,” Linder says. “This project takes a slow look at the man-made environmental atrocity, which prompted the creation of the “Superfund” and now exists like an unmarked grave, a mundane field grown over with wild flowers and a chain link fence.” The work will culminate in an exhibition; the mobile studio will be open to the public while she’s working.
But the economic shifts of the past decade have moved many centers of production to China and elsewhere, costing workers 100,000 jobs in the Dominican Republic alone. This raises questions, she says, about what the promise of development holds for places and workers included and excluded from this production circuit. Werner’s project explores categories of meaning and strategies mobilized by owners, managers, workers, the state and development agencies to make sense of and reproduce livelihoods lost through this wrenching economic change.