Spring 2016 CG Recipients


Networked Chinawood: The Revealing Paradox of Sino-US Digital Media in China

Aynne Kokas (Media Studies)

China, the country with the world’s most Internet users, offers US media/technology firms important market opportunities.  Yet control of content via China’s major media regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), demands collaboration between American firms seeking to enter the market and Chinese regulators. US media/technology companies have incentive to collaborate with Chinese partners to access users, even as US policymakers press to open China’s Internet. My project examines attempted American digital media ventures in China to understand competition between innovation and control in the global media and technology industries.

Early Modern Manila, A Global Nexus

Ricardo Padrón (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

This project explores the role of the Spanish Manila in the birth of today’s global world.  After its founding in 1571, Spanish Manila became the nexus of the first transpacific trade route, creating the first significant economic and cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas.  Manila itself became an international melting pot.  With support from the CGII, Prof. Padrón will visit Manila in June of 2016 in order to lay the groundwork for a major international conference on early modern Manila that will take place in that city during the year 2019.

Nature and Urban Walking: Comparing India and the United States

Andrew Mondschein (Urban and Enviromental Planning, Architecture)

This study investigates the role of nature in urban walking, examining this relationship across cities in India and the United States.  A cognitive mapping survey will capture how urban walkers balance access to utilitarian destinations such as work and shopping with proximity to nature.  The study is an opportunity to better understand the motivations and benefits of walking across distinct cultures and environments, where tradeoffs between economic opportunity and public health can be observed in the way individuals in India and the US perceive and move through their cities.

Flight and Refuge: The European Crisis in Global Perspective

Asher Biemann (Center for German Studies, Religious Studies)

The Center for German Studies, together with fifteen units at UVa, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and the German Embassy in Washington, DC, is organizing an interdisciplinary conference on the global root causes and implications of the current refugee crisis in Europe. Following the principal premise that the crisis of refugees and for refugees is also a crisis of Europe, the symposium will explore three distinct angles: The European Crisis—The Crisis of Europe, focusing on the impact of refugee and migration on the countries of the European Union; Global Perspectives, discussing the sources of the refugee crisis and offering comparative perspectives; and Consequences and Solutions,  a discussion with experts of migration law and policy-making. Each of these areas will be addressed in a roundtable format with short position papers followed by discussion. The panels will be framed by lectures introducing the topic and concluding reflections by the Berlin writer Esther Dischereit. An opening panel with local refugees in the Charlottesville community will allow our audiences to hear first-hand stories of the refugee experience.

Structuring Material

Jeana Ripple (Architecture)

In the past five years, architecture and building technology industries have experienced a proliferation of "performance-aided design tools" - digital tools that are widely accessible for the first time across disciplines and in the early phases of design. These tools are important becaues of the need for improved efficiency in building technologies ranging from optimized material sourcing to structural or mechanical performance efficiency. New technology makes these objectives increasingly accessible.  How will this change the building profession? What is the range of applications in contemporary practice and in cutting-edge research? The GGII grant will enable further research with European engineering partners and research institutes.

Global History of Black Girlhood Conference: March 17-18, 2017, University of Virginia

Corinne Field (Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

The Global History of Black Girlhood Conference will enable an interdisciplinary network of scholars to frame the emerging field of black girl history.  The project grows out of the History of Black Girlhood Network, an informal collaboration among scholars researching the experiences of black girls from the sixteenth century to present in Africa, the Americas, and Europe.  For more about the conference and call for papers, see Global History of Black Girlhood Conference, University of Virginia, March 17-18, 2017.

Graduate Students

Insurgent Organizational Effectiveness in Civil Wars

Samuel Henry Plapinger (Politics)

My dissertation investigates the topic of insurgent organizational effectiveness in civil wars. Motivated by the rapid rise of ISIS over its rivals in the Syrian Civil War, I ask why some insurgent groups perform better than others during internal conflicts. I argue that the relative rigor of insurgent recruitment practices shapes a group's ultimate ability to perform effectively during conflict, and substantiate this theory through both case studies and statistical analysis. The Center’s generous support will fund the final fieldwork phase of this project in Summer 2016.

International Internship with US Department of Foreign Service

Alison Posey (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

This summer, I will partake in a competitive foreign service internship at the United States Consulate in Lima, Peru. This opportunity allows me to formulate my research questions in a relevant sociocultural setting currently unavailable to me in Virginia. Specifically, I seek to develop detailed questions for future doctoral research in contemporary women’s issues and social justice in developing countries. I will be on the front line of American diplomacy in South America, working to develop a clear understanding of global political issues that affect women in Peru. This internship provides me with excellent on-the-job experience for a future career in foreign service, while its concurrent research opportunities will develop my academic research skills in an immersion environment.

Policing and West African Experience in France: Preparatory Field Research

Bremen Donovan (Anthropology)

I am a PhD student in socio-cultural anthropology, focusing on policing, migration, and visual/sensory methods. My doctoral research broadly addresses how policing is impacting West African youth in Paris and surrounding suburbs (banlieues), investigating more specifically how increased documentation of policing by police and regular citizens—via body cams, for example—is changing policing practices. As an anthropologist and trained media producer, I am interested in expanding and deepening the methodological tools our discipline has to engage such pressing questions. CGII funding will support summer pre-field analysis and logistics as I prepare for intensive dissertation fieldwork next year.

Textual Transmission and Visual Transfer: Tangut Appropriation of Buddhism

Linghui Zhang (Religious Studies)

The research examines the presence of Tibetan Buddhist teachings and ideologies in the Xixia kingdom (1038−1227, mostly overlapping with today’s Ningxia, China) through the lens of the expanding influence of the Tibetan Buddhist revival which started from the end of the 10th century, with special attentions devoted to textual transmission and visual transfer. I intend to explore the inner fabric of the Tangut collection of Tibetan Buddhist sources by connecting at textual and visual levels with the indigenous Tibetan program, and reveal how the Tangut appropriation diverges from the continuing Tibetan endeavor and transforms the religious landscape of Central Asia and China proper.

Cosmopolitan Circuitries: Relocating John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn

Elizabeth W. Doe (History of Art and Architecture)

My dissertation situates John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn within a transnational artistic community in the late nineteenth century. Scholarly discussion of these prominent, contemporaneous European artists, best known for their portraiture, tends to consider their careers in terms of clearly delimited national boundaries: by interpreting each artist’s oeuvre as a reflection of his national identity or as emblematic of his culture. In spite of their parallel geographies and the striking resonances among their artistic projects, there has yet to be a comprehensive study that critically examines their intersecting networks, both social and spatial. By situating these artists in direct dialogue and establishing their broader community of international portraitists, my project thus aims to disrupt notions of national exceptionalism and, instead, highlight nodes of international encounter, exchange, interdependence, and entanglement.

Comparing Migrant Health Policies in EU Countries with Migrant Health Outcomes

Claire Constance (Public Health Sciences)

I will be working with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Geneva, Switzerland doing a comparative assessment of how migrant health policy in EU countries has effected migrant health outcomes over the past five years. I will be analyzing health and demographic data of refugees and asylum seekers generated through health assessments coordinated by IOM. I will evaluate the extent to which policies of EU countries have (1) addressed health vulnerabilities associated with migration (e.g. sexual violence and mental health), (2) minimized barriers to accessing health services, and (3) accounted for fundamental necessities of survival (e.g. housing, employment, food aid). The final outcome of my research will be a report with a ranking of the most effective migrant health policies in the EU and a set of future policy recommendations for governments that receive a low ranking.

Making Art in Migration: Global Countercultural Movements between Italy, Spain and Argentina

Nicole Bonino (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

The project I am currently working on, concerning migration and artistic frontiers in Argentina, is conceived to be the first step of my final dissertation “Making Art in Migration: Global Countercultural Movements between Italy, Spain and Argentina”. Even though they are silent or, at least, not widely recognized, the cultural movements I am investigating are the manifestation of a reality of repression and a wave of abused voices trying to find expression in a global sense of artistic community that involves not only southern Europe, but also Latin America. Thanks to the CGII Grant, I will be able to participate in the Bologna-Duke Summer School on Global Studies and Critical Theory Program that will help me create links and connections between the political, social and theoretical realities outside of Western Europe.

The Lions' Land: People, Lions, and the Environment in the Gir Forest, India

Sheena Singh (Anthropology)

Building on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in the Saurashtra peninsula of Gujarat, India, this project explores the politics and peculiarities of coexistence between pastoralists and lions. Once a vast forest, the last century has seen increasing restrictions on movement of both people and animals in and around the Gir region. Funds from CGII will be used to travel to the British Library for access to the India Office Records. Maps and population records from this archive will be used to enrich the ethnographic data, providing a picture of the how the forest, people, and lions have looked, changed, and moved across time.

Trilingual Tibetans: Redefining What's Possible

Andrew Frankel (Curry School)

Just how pervasive among teachers, students, and communities are state-supplied narratives of what constitutes legitimate knowledge and academic achievement? Using an ethnographic approach to explore how Tibetan teachers and students in China conceptualize and negotiate the extremes of assimilation and exclusion, I analyze how nationally standardized schooling might engender both challenges to and opportunities affirming ethnic identity for minoritized peoples. This research also aims to inform the limits and possibilities of Critical Pedagogy in increasingly multicultural nation-states that are characterized by a plurality of lifeways and epistemologies.

Interview with Franco-Algerian Author Malika Mokeddem

Whitney Bevill (French)

Urgent questions on migrancy have brought mass movement, the Mediterranean, and North Africa together in the political and academic spotlight. My dissertation explores nomadism in these spaces through the novels of Franco-Algerian author Malika Mokeddem.  She treats the themes of home and belonging while pushing generic and linguistic conventions in order to reflect a nomadic literary style that creates textual movement and literature-charged spaces.  Her work challenges the nationalist rhetoric surrounding identity and biopolitics, proposing the creation of a "nomadic self” that is free of national, religious, and gender constraints, demonstrating how space, freedom, movement, and text are inextricably intertwined.

Domestic Spaces in the Roman West: Architectural Adaptation in Gaul, Britannia, and Germania

Sean Tennant (Art)

My dissertation focuses on the variation in building materials, construction techniques, and architectural plans of Roman domestic structures in the provinces of Gaul, Britannia, and Germania, and what that data can say about the interactions between the Romans and their provincial subjects, often referred to as barbarians. My work fits into the larger debate on the subject of "Romanization," or how provincial populations assimilated into Roman culture, while still retaining their own unique cultural practices. By examining the remains of domestic architecture in northwestern Europe, I aim to collect a dataset that can be used to explore patterns in the use and diffusion of Roman building practices into the provinces, which in turn engages the wider debate on how the conquered peoples integrated themselves into the culture and society of the Roman Empire.

Migration Landscapes: Beekeeping Practices in Turkey

Batul Abbas (Landscape Architecture)

This is a research proposal to investigate the beekeeping practices of the Kars region of Turkey. The northeastern Anatolian region where Kars is located is a leading global honey producer, a place of strong women's entrepreneurship and business, and a place of great floral biodiversity. The region is effected by climate change and migration, two forces that have changed local beekeeping practices. How have entrepreneurs adjusted to climate change? What particular species are effective for pollination and hardy to climactic changes in the region? How have beekeeping practices adapted culturally to the climactic changes? These questions are crucial to understanding changing cultural practices as a result of changes in the landscape and climate.

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