Fall 2015 CGII Grant Recipients

Faculty

Schusterman Foundation Composer Residency

Judith Shatin (Music)

Composer Kiki Keren-Huss will be in residence at the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music for the fall semester, 2016. Co-sponsored by the Schusterman Foundation, Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation and the McIntire Department of Music, she will offer colloquia, masterclasses, and participate in performance activities and collaborations at the University and beyond. Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Kiki Keren-Huss is head of the Advanced Studies Program for Experimental Music & Sound Art in the Musrara School for Photography New Media and New Music in Jerusalem and also teaches in the new music department there. She studied at the Rubin Academy of Music and the Musicology department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her work focuses mainly on chamber music, opera and music-theatre, with a strong electroacoustic component. As a composer and sound artist, she often collaborates with choreographers and visual artists. Her compositions are performed in Israel and abroad, including four fully staged chamber operas, and were recorded and broadcast on the Israeli radio, and on television and the internet. During 2013 she held a residency in the Vermont Studio Center as an International Fellow.


The Ruin and Restoration of the Russian Art Empire

Ekaterina Dianina (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

This monograph-length study explores the tragic dispersal of imperial art collections during the early Soviet period through emigration, neglect, and sale and problematizes contemporary efforts in post-Soviet society to repatriate the lost art treasures and reincorporate them into Russian cultural identity.


 Global Thriving Cities

Tony Tian-Ren Lin (Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture)

The Global Thriving Cities Project is an extension of the Thriving Cities Project. It seeks to employ a cultural model for understand urban ecosystems through six endowments that form the building blocks of a Human Ecology. This model offers a new perspective to think about the shape, character, and normative purposes of places and people in culturally and historically interactive terms. In collaboration with scholars in Argentina, this project will contextualize the Human Ecology model for Argentina by defining the six endowments to understand how they might function in Argentine culture.


Considering the Source: Community Consultation Involving Digital Collections

Margo Smith (Kluge-Ruhe Museum)

This project brings scholars and museum professionals together with Indigenous knowledge holders from Central Arnhem Land, Australia, to address issues pertaining to access and management of cultural objects and archival materials in museum collections. The Director of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will attend a gathering at Milingimbi, Northern Territory, to share digital materials and physical objects from the Kluge-Ruhe collection with members of the source community. Through consultation with knowledge holders, we will establish cultural protocols guiding access to collections and empower the community to share their heritage in a way that reflects their values.


Walter Mignolo, Keynote Speaker for "Latin American Studies: Past, Present, Future

Allison Bigelow (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

On 13-14 October, 2016, the Program in Latin American Studies will host a symposium to examine the relationship between global and area studies scholarship. “Latin American Studies: Past, Present, Future” will welcome leading scholars from a variety of fields in the humanities and social sciences to discuss connections between and among Africana, Asian, and Latin/American Studies. In this way, we hope to better understand conceptual frameworks like the Global South and global studies as they overlap and diverge from models of area and ethnic studies. With generous support from the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, professor Walter Mignolo (Duke University) will deliver the keynote address on 13 October, articulating the larger intellectual stakes of the two-day conversation.


Globalization, Culture Wars and Literature Festivals in India and Pakistan

Mehr Afshan Farooqi (Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures)

Beginning in 2006, with the Jaipur Literature Festival, there has been an urgency to host literature festivals in all the major cities of India and Pakistan. Historically, literary-cultural movements have been a corollary to political uncertainties.  I am wondering why there is this cultural hunger for literary events.  Is it driven by a need to create a utopian space amid the escalating, political, social-economic crisis in the country? 

One of the things that interests me is the “cultural conversation” that these festivals initiate both within and across the complex political configurations in India and Pakistan.  I expect to participate in several literature festivals across South Asia in 2016 and publish a series of reflective essays in newspaper columns and popular press.


Conference: History of Human Rights Treaty

Mila Versteeg (Law), Kevin L. Cope (Law), James Loeffler (History), Michael J. Smith (Politics), David Leblang (Politics)

The conference entails a multi-day event jointly organized by the School of Law, Department of History, and Department of Politics. The event will constitute the official launch of the UVA Law Library Human Rights Treaty Travaux initiative, introducing the project to the global academic human rights community, with the goal of jumpstarting a global research program. It will bring together both American and non-American scholars from several disciplines—including political science, law, and history—to develop and discuss ways that the travaux project might be used for human rights research across numerous disciplines and methods.


Graduate Students

Licensed Tobacco Retailers and Adolescent Smoking in South Korea

Seok Hyun Gwon (Nursing)

My dissertation investigates associations between geographic distribution (density and proximity) of licensed tobacco retailers (LTRs) and adolescent smoking in Seoul, South Korea. Most adult smokers initiate smoking during adolescence and adolescent smokers get tobacco primarily from LTRs. Most studies regarding this issue were conducted in North America. We need to expand the scope toward Asia because many Asian countries, in South Korea in particular, tend to have a higher population density and numerous LTRs even around schools. My study will combine conventional nursing perspectives about health behavior and an innovative technology called Geographic Information Systems to analyze geographic effects of LTRs on adolescent smoking.


The Dynamics of Care in Urban Uganda: An Interactional Approach to Medicine

Anna Eisenstein (Anthropology)

My PhD research investigates the construction of trust as a way of understanding how people in southwest Uganda navigate the quest for healing. While domestic and international health interventions emphasize biological, environmental and economic barriers to care, the subjective aspects of treatment are often overlooked. But social barriers – such as trust – matter profoundly, both for getting patients into clinics in the first place and for the quality of medical practice itself. Bringing together questions and methods from medical and linguistic anthropology, my fieldwork will analyze both how people talk about trust and the linguistic micro-production of trust in patient-provider interactions.


Culture, Codes, and Schemas, the Habitus in Unsettled Times

Fauzia Husain (Sociology)

This research examines the recent induction of women in a hybrid police-military commando-training unit in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Pakistan, asking: how do commando women negotiate the tensions that ensue when gendered ethnic identities vie
 with globalized military dispositions to discipline their bodies? Employing ethnographic methods, the project tracks first, the acquisition of a new habitus by these
 women as they transition from raw recruit to elite
 commando. Second, it explores how these changes are perceived, understood and managed by the women, outside the context of police work, tracing the women’s interactions with family members and friends, through the transition from recruit to commando.


Disruptive Stimuli

Amanda Silvana Coen (Architecture)

Disruptive Stimuli is a design research project that proposes an alternative management strategy for invasive plant species and challenges existing methods of classification.  It asks how a management strategy can bring together multiple stakeholders to transform biomass that is currently considered waste into a valued resource that supports ongoing management efforts?

The CGII grant will help support material studies to test the range of possiblities for converting local biomass generated from invasive species into useable fibers that could potentially be used for the production of textiles, paper or landscape fabrics. It also supports consultative research trips to meet with material science researchers and leaders in the fashion industry to learn about the sourcing process and the development of new materials.


Win Win: Designing for Rural Relevance in Urbanizing America

Anthony Averbeck (Architecture)

This research examines the future of rural space in a world increasingly characterized by mass migration to megacities. The contemporary focus on urbanism perpetuates the traditional urban/rural divide and dismisses the countryside as an uneventful place in stagnation. Despite this, the countryside is a place of immense opportunity for innovative development. As Rem Koolhaas asserts, the rural is the “frontline of transformation… more volatile than the most accelerated city.” This is evident in phenomena such as seasonal immigration, energy production, investment, massive subsidies, and advancements in big agriculture. The central question, then, is if the rural is to play an important role as a transformative counterpart to the growing city, what will future habitation of the rural look like? 


Novel and New Media: Challenging Liberal Systems in the New Century

Jap-Nanak Makkar (English)

My dissertation studies global novels in relation to digital media, arguing that the former use the innovative techniques of the latter to imagine alternatives to liberal society and neo-liberalizing world markets. In one chapter, the centerpiece of the dissertation, I argue that Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go shows us how media can inculcate modes of passivity and non-autonomy in mass society; I contextualize this text alongside a discussion of London’s city-wide surveillance media, which secure the global city by targeting masses and exceptions (using “control” or algorithmic techniques) instead of targeting individuals. While non-autonomy and mass surveillance seem like negative developments begotten by digital media, their emergence also marks the disintegration of protections offered to the liberal individual.


Energy Futures: Between Infrastructure and Public Space

Tom Bliska (Architecture)

This grant funding will allow for critical diagramming and comparative graphic analysis between Tokyo and Charlottesville, exploring the friction between energy infrastructures (particularly power transmission lines) and experience of public space. Building on my previous research re-situating spaces of electrical transmission in Albemarle County to the public domain, this project engages with hybrid infrastructural spaces in a city rapidly pushing redevelopment in the lead in to the 2020 Olympics, and draw lessons of co-habitation with and resilience of energy infrastructures. I will use drawings to explore distinctions between formalized transects and informally layered distribution systems, and how this distinction can inform a new understanding of energy landscapes in rural conditions.


Healthy Environments to Support Mental Wellbeing in University Communities

Spring Braccia-Beck (Architecture)

This research addresses the current crisis of rising mental health issues among students within universities through the design of the built environment. While we know that architecture impacts our health and wellbeing in many ways, research concerning mental health and the built environment is lagging behind. Students are a population at risk, with several factors contributing to escalating mental illness and suicide rates at universities, such as the transition to new responsibilities and environments. This work looks at the influence that the design of student living environments, spaces that are at the heart of student life, could have in supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing.


Geography of Exception

Seth Salcedo (Architecture)

Geography of Exception attempts to provide a foundation with which to understand the complexities of Guantanamo Bay as a both a historical anomaly and a geopolitical grey zone all in an effort to project an architectural future for the site. In light of renewed negotiations with Cuba and President Obama’s persistent attempts at closing the infamous detention center, Guantanamo Bay—regularly described as a Heterotopic State of Exception—presents itself as a unique opportunity to challenge cartographic conventions, understand post-colonial relationships, and shed light on alternative, often-forgotten networks of exterritorial phenomena worldwide.


Cultivation of the Faithful, Ethical, and Healthy Christian: A Comparative Study

Xinyan Peng (Anthropology)

As an anthropology Ph.D. student, Xinyan conducts ethnographic research on closely connected Christian communities in Charlottesville, Virginia and Shanghai, China, to explore the intersection of religiosity, spirituality, morality, and mentality shaped by Chinese and American cultures and specific localities. With a comparative approach,  and a focus on transnational ties between local Christian communities, her research asks how Christianity is lived in as a religion and ethics in different cultural and local contexts.  In particular, she asks how issues related to spirituality, ethics, and mental health are intertwined in the daily lives of Chinese Christians to shape Christianity in different cultures, and how individual Chinese cultivate themselves to be "faithful," "moral," and "healthy" Christians in the U.S. and China. The CGII grant awarded supports her ongoing fieldwork in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Between Homelessness and Homecoming: Tibetan Nationalism and Citizenship in Late 20th century India

Swati Chawla (History)

Since the Fourteenth Dalai Lama escaped into India in 1959, three generations of Tibetans have cultivated land, established small businesses, and built administrative and monastic institutions in settlements spread over South Asia. But even as these refugees kept alive a struggle for freedom and the memory of a lost home, they simultaneously evoked a longer history of lay and monastic movement across the Tibetan cultural region. I propose to approach Tibetan migration to Indian in the second half of the twentieth century by excavating these histories that bound the Tibetan cultural region in a network of monastic institutions, transcending colonial and postcolonial markers of identity, such as national borders, exclusive religious affiliations, and singular “places of origin.”

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