Spring 2017 CGII Grant Recipients

Faculty

The Nurses of Ellis Island, 1892-1954

Arlene Keeling (Nursing)

Today the United States is faced with questions about immigration policies and the conflict of those policies with the moral imperative to care for people seeking refuge from war torn areas of the world.  This project will document and analyze the role that nurses played in the care of European immigrants who arrived on Ellis Island during the early 20th century, particularly in relation to their work in three major hospitals on the island. The research will fill a gap in the history of nursing and may have implications for health and immigration policies today.


Improvisation Workshop: Indian Music in Practice & Theory

Nomi Dave (Music)

This project is a year-long Improvisation Workshop, exploring social / aesthetic improvisation through a focus on North Indian classical vocal music. The workshop will build a community of practice for participants to collaborate in thinking about, discussing and doing improvisation. We will examine 1) the relationship between composition and improvisation; 2) the ways in which improvisation creates community; and 3) improvisation in pedagogy. These themes / questions will be explored primarily through musical practice – generating ideas and discussion from the process of making music together. Sessions will be led by Nirmal Bajekal, a classically trained vocalist and disciple of Dr Prabha Atre.


Varieties of Residential Capitalism

Mark Schwartz (Politics)

Housing is a central economic ($33 trillion in US housing wealth) and social (how do I make my mortgage?) issue, yet the politics of housing are understudied. This project asks what drove a 30-year shift in rich country housing from a consumption item into an asset? What are the social and psychological consequences of rising housing prices and rents? How have rising prices affected household formation (i.e. why can’t kids get out of mom’s basement)? How is housing finance central to financial markets? The project also will generate a set of country cases examining the extreme instances of these larger themes.


Age of Emergency: Knowledge About Violence in Imperial Britain

Erik Linstrum (History)

How did British society respond to the use of torture, the massacre of civilians, and other atrocities which took place in its overseas empire after 1945?  And, equally, how did it fail to respond?  This project charts the impact of colonial violence on everyday life by focusing on the knowledge produced by professional communities: soldiers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, and activists.  Debates about violence hinged not only on the moral rhetoric of justification and rationalization but also on disputes about facts.  As a result, the same institutions which brought reports of violence to public view often undermined them with skepticism and doubt. 


U.S. Presidents Confront the Russians: A Century of Challenge, 1917--2017

Melvyn Leffler and William Hitchcock (History)

The 2017 Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium, “U.S. Presidents Confront the Russians: A Century of Challenge, 1917-2017,” will explore the contemporary relevance of the history of Russian-American relations. By examining previous presidential efforts to deal with Soviet and Russian leaders, the symposium seeks to offer insights on the historical, ideological, and geopolitical forces that have shaped this crucial relationship, and that continue to influence today's world. “U.S. Presidents Confront the Russians: A Century of Challenge, 1917-2017” will be held on November 8-10, 2017 at the Miller Center.  Participants will include eminent diplomats and former officials as well as some of the world’s most renowned experts on U.S. and Soviet/Russian foreign policy and international history. The goal is to extrapolate lessons from the past that might help guide Russian-American relations in the future. The Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium on American Diplomacy is an annual conference that focuses on contemporary and historical problems of American foreign policy and diplomacy. 


Flight and Refuge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Migration, Sanctuary, and Belonging

Manuela Achilles (German Studies)

Spearheaded by the Center for German Studies and in collaboration with fifteen units at UVa, this year-long initiative will bring some of the top scholars in the field of migration and refugee studies to Grounds for a speaker series and concluding conference. The project will focus on three areas where “flight” and “refuge” converge: (1) people and spaces, (2) cultural encounters, (3) institutional responses. Concrete examples to be discussed range from the promises and challenges of sanctuary cities to the redrawing of walls and borders; from the encounter with refugees from afar to the singling out of “strangers” within; from the impact and legitimacy of executive orders to the various forms and articulations of civic responsibility. We will approach these topics from a variety of methodological and disciplinary angles, including political, anthropological, historical, cultural, ethical, religious and philosophical approaches.


Frontiers In Global Development Seminar Series

Sandip Sukhtankar (Economics), Isaac Mbiti (Batten), Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner (Politics)

Over the past fifteen years, a new wave of empirical research in the field of global development has emerged that aims to examine the most pressing challenges facing individuals, households, and firms in developing countries using advanced quantitative techniques. Researchers from the social science fields of economics, politics, and public policy are all closely involved, with interdisciplinary research common. We propose a new speaker series that will bring innovative and current quantitative research in global development to grounds. The series would provide a venue for faculty and students to interact and discuss cutting-edge empirical work in global development.


Democracies on the Brink: Looking at the French Elections from a US Perspective

Janet Horne (French)

Democracies on the Brink: Looking at the French Elections from a US Perspective” April 27th, 1- 6 pm, Rotunda, Multipurpose Room.

This one-day symposium brings together UVA faculty, outside scholars of French politics from the US and France, a journalist, and a current French political advisor, to examine the significance of the French elections through the lens of Europe today. This event will occur between the first two rounds of the French presidential election and is intended to encourage lively and pertinent dialogue with the wider university community.

Sponsored by the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, the Department of French, the Department of Politics, the Batten School and the European Studies Program.


Graduate Students

Forging "Pure" Religion: Baroque and Enlightenment Catholicism in the 18th C

Rachael Givens Johnson (History)

The Center’s funds enabled me to present a conference paper based on my developing dissertation. My project examines the encounters between Enlightenment and Baroque devotional imaginaries in the Spanish eighteenth-century, paying close attention to the impact of the Spanish empire's racial, geographic, and cultural diversity. I was invited to present as part of an interdisciplinary panel exploring more historically sensitive "postsecular" treatments of eighteenth-century studies. My paper illustrated how Enlightenment values and assumptions have crept into Western historiography and obscured the unique religious and cultural trajectory of Latin culture and its challenge to Western narratives of secularism and modernity.


Loca Sancta in the New World: The Creation of Sacred Spaces in the Spanish California Missions

Nenette Arroyo (Art)

My dissertation investigates the visual and material culture of the California missions in order to understand the interplay of form and practice in bringing about religious conversion within a colonial context. By examining architectural spaces, devotional art, ritual objects, and accounts from both colonizer and colonized, I seek to capture the sensory and performative aspects of religious life at the missions, and to illustrate the contestation of belief systems in its frequently hybrid expressions. My study aims to situate this period in American history within a global tradition of creating sacred spaces as sites of constructed meanings and negotiated identities.


Building the Bubble: Architecture of High-Tech in Japan in the 1980s and Now

Jennifer Hsiaw (Architecture)

This project will investigate the impact of high-tech corporate construction on urban and suburban conditions in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. I seek to understand how these corporate structures changed the landscape of Tokyo by visiting past and current sites of factories and offices and their surrounding settlements. I am interested in the quotidian experience of these spaces and the interactions of these private enterprises with the public city. As venture-capital investment flows increasingly to startup hubs around the world, the spatial consequences of the influx of money and subsequent development are crucial to the quality of life for a growing number of people. Through close encounters with these projects, I aim to produce drawings and analyses of their effect on everyday life.


Uniting Nations from Stolkholm to Rio: Global Environmental Politics, 1972-92

Abeer Saha (History)

Our current crisis of climate change was preceded by the crisis of stratospheric ozone depletion and the subsequent "hole in the ozone layer," in the 1970s and 80s. A tension between “development" and "environmental sustainability” was at the heart of global environmental politics at the United Nations during this period. This project seeks to ask how this tension was overcome during the exceptionally successful Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. By 1992 it had been ratified by most developed as well as developing countries. Unraveling the paradox of this distinct moment of international consensus during a larger period of intense disagreement, may lend crucial insights into the global political impasse on climate change.


Baseline Study: Implementation of Police-Worn Body Cameras in Urban France

Bremen Donovan (Anthropology)

My dissertation is about how body-worn recording technologies in policing are affecting the production, admissibility, and evaluation of evidentiary claims. With CGII support, I will conduct a baseline study this summer in Paris, France to lay the groundwork for ethnographic fieldwork there beginning September 2017. I will conduct interviews with police and other law enforcement officials, as well as researchers, lawyers, non-governmental organizations, and activist collectives whose work is directly related to the deployment of body cams and/or issues of racial profiling and policing in France. This study will serve to contextualize current decisions regarding the adoption of these devices, map the actors involved, and elaborate relevant legal and technical considerations.


Research Institute on Immigration, Roma (CSER)

Nicole Bonino (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese)

My dissertation project is focused on the Italian migration to Argentina. The phase from 1870 to 1914 enormously contributed to the formation of new vernacular linguistic and cultural forms. These movements, with their material legacies and linguistic creativity in Latin America and Southern Europe, connected with diasporic communities throughout the Global South, have long been understudied, or at best have been investigated with a focus on the linguistic influence on the Argentinian variety without considering the Italian contribution to this process. The CGII Summer Grant will provide me with the great opportunity to investigate the historical context of these movements in the Fondazione Centro Studi Emigrazione – Roma (CSER), an institution created in 1963 that studies the migration phenomena through an interdisciplinary approach considering the sociological, demographical, historical, economical, linguistic, and cultural aspects of human mobility.


Burying Those Touched by God: Uncovering Mortuary Practices in Byzantine Thebes

Justin Mann (Art)

My project explores the creation of sacred space and the treatment of ‘special dead’ (victims of the plague and leprosy) within a newly excavated cemetery in Late Antique Thebes, Greece. This project will draw from a variety of architectural, material, and spatial evidence. Therefore, the study of ancient Thebes and its mortuary practices necessitates a holistic approach, one which includes methods drawn from across the humanities and social sciences. By classifying and contextualizing the cemetery finds, this project will aid in elucidating the spatial and cultural relationships constructed by ancient Thebans that connected grave, object, and sacred landscape.


Towards an Empathetic Reading of Contemporary French Abortion Narratives

Holly Runde (French)

My dissertation focuses on an empathetic reading of narratives about abortion by French women writers and filmmakers. The CGII grant will facilitate a summer stay in Paris during which I will complete archival research in the Archives Nationales and participate in an exchange with the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales. I will attend EHESS seminars related to my dissertation research, concerned with confronting questions about the ethical and ontological status of the fetus, and of its loss, within abortion narratives. In the archives, I will consult sensitive archival material concerning the prosecution of housewives who performed clandestine abortions during WW2.


Being Maroon: Music, Memory and Trauma in Jamaican Maroon Identities

Tracey Stewart (Music)

This dissertation explores how music and musical performances are used to mediate trauma and memory, and the influence that these mediations have on identities at individual and community levels. The CGII grant will support ethnographic field research in Jamaica, where I will study musical performances as historical and contemporary texts. My community of focus are Jamaican Maroons, descendants of Jamaica’s inhabitants who fought against the British and won their freedom. By conducting interviews, participating in performances, and documenting personal observation of daily interactions, I will explore the ways that Maroons use musical performances to define themselves in the 21st century.


Declassifying the Unclassifiable: The Moriscos and their Forgotten Legacy

Andrea Pauw (Spanish)

My dissertation examines the often-neglected Aljamiado texts composed by Spanish Muslims during the sixteenth century. Written in a combination of Spanish, Arabic, and Aljamiado (Spanish transliterated with the Arabic alphabet) the manuscripts provide critical insight into the realities of Spain’s persecuted Muslim population, known as Moriscos. This summer, I will continue my research on various Aljamiado manuscripts housed in Spain’s National Library. The CGII’s generous support will enable me to make the most of my extended stay in Madrid by enrolling in intensive Arabic courses while concurrently consulting manuscripts. This project seeks to understand the Moriscos’ textual legacy from an anthropological perspective, rather than a philological or linguistic one as was often done in the past. The Moriscos’ marginalized literature and their posterior historiographical representations shed light on the most pressing questions of the 21st century.


Maroon Indigeneity and the (Re)Emergence of Caribbean Nature

Johnathan Favini (Anthropology)

My research centers on a nascent collaboration between conservationists and Jamaican Maroons. While conservationists wish to protect a “pristine nature” that is apart from humanity, Maroons care for the same spaces precisely because of their communities’ long term interactions with local ecologies. As such I query the utility of conservation's ethos of human/nonhuman separation and its pretense toward universal applicability – wondering what locally meaningful climate action might look. In this same moment, Maroons have begun to articulate indigenous identity in Jamaica, initiating a conjoined identity and environmental politics which has opened up intriguing possibilities while posing new constraints.


Conceptualising and Creating a Digital Edition

Nora Benedict (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese)

I hope to use the tools and skills acquired from Jennifer Stertzer and Cathy Hajo's Digital Humanities Summer Institute course on "Conceptualising and Creating a Digital Edition" (June 5-9, 2017; University of Victoria, Canada) to begin work on a digital critical edition of one of Jorge Luis Borges's canonical works of non-fiction (_Otras inquisiciones_ 1952). In light of the fact that many of his essays were first published in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals prior to their incorporation into edited collections, it is essential to track the changes and variants between versions of his writings. What is more, the use of a digital medium for a critical edition also allows for a more complex presentation of graphic and lettered texts, as well as the potential to track and navigate multiple texts simultaneously. With the financial support from the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, I will be able to attend this course and gain key insight into the process of moving print editions to the digital realm, familiarity with new digital humanities tools, and information regarding copyright and distribution issues.


Between Homelessness and Homecoming: Tibetan Nationalism and Citizenship in Twentieth Century India

Swati Chawla (History)

My work approaches Tibetan migration to India in the second half of the twentieth century through the longer history of lay and monastic movement in the region to ask new questions of nationalism and bureaucratic regimes of citizenship in South Asia, and how they interacted with itinerant populations such as monastics, beggars, and performers. The proposed research underscores the bureaucratic suspicion of borderland populations who were customarily on the move (such as monastics) in the decades immediately after Indian Independence (1947). The Indian Home Ministry’s handling of their applications shows a profound mistrust and incomprehension of the routineness of itinerancy within the Tibetan Buddhist monastic tradition. I attempt to show how the imagination of a Tibetan cultural region (comprising large parts of northern and eastern India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet) for these monks and nuns was at odds with the quickly tightening borders of these nation-states, and to bring out the difficulties of traversing one of the most challenging escape routes in the world. I will also show how these applicants were retracing older routes of migration established through inter-marriage, religious patronage and trade, that predated the emergence of India as a sovereign state and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (1949). Secondly, my work excavates histories of co-operation and communal construction and management of shared resources across the Himalayas, such as grazing pastures, animals, water bodies, monastic and legal institutions. I aim to show the violence—both physical and epistemic—inherent in prohibitions on free exchange through erecting national borders, and enacting citizenship laws that aim to divide and exclude communities who had been tied together in organic co-dependent networks.


Climate Change Knows No Borders: Adaptive Models for Relocation of Climate Refugees into Urban Arrival Neighborhoods

Meredith Blake (Architecture)

Part of acknowledging the new epoch we live in, the Anthropocene, requires we redefine our politics to acknowledge that climate change knows no borders. Our relationship to the planet we live on, the land we occupy and the policies that govern our movement need a new paradigm that allows migration as an adaptive strategy to respond to sea level rise, desertification, drought, and/or soil degradation. My research project is taking a rust belt city, my hometown, Erie, Pennsylvania, and using it as a pilot model to become an arrival city for planned migration and relocation of climate refugees. My research focuses on the agency of the neighborhood, and works to establish migrant-created urban quarters that support both the integration of vulnerable populations while generating a new creative and commercial class that economically supports the growth of the city. My research is beginning in Amsterdam and Berlin and looking at these cities tactics currently being employed because of the influx in political refugees. My project is as much of an urban design project as it is a critique and rethinking of how the entire refugees system could operate. My the project will culminate in a migrating exhibition that will tour through ten rust belt cities, illustrating this imagined policy and arrival neighborhoods.

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