Spring 2018 CG Recipients


Global South Studies: A Symposium and Workshop

Anne Garland Mahler (Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese)

The Symposium and Workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary and multinational group of scholars in March 2019 to generate dialogue on the impact of contemporary capitalist globalization on diverse spaces and peoples and the transformative futures envisioned from these spaces, and advance the field of Global South Studies and solidify UVa’s reputation as its leading intellectual center. This event builds on the digital project Global South Studies: A Collective Publication with The Global South, found at globalsouthstudies.as.virginia.edu. The project will host a workshop, led by directors of Global South centers, dedicated to the discussion of program building and curriculum.

Translating the Untranslatable

Mehr Farooqi and Jane Mikkelson (Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures)

There are oceans of writing in Urdu and Persian that have not been translated into other languages. In the case of  Indo-Persian, a slew of texts became “homeless" because of territorial divisions. Historians of modern India often view Persian as a language of the medieval Mughal court and find it unnecessary to explore Persian texts of modernity. Iranian literati view Persian texts produced outside Iran as unworthy of attention.

The great nineeth century poet Ghalib’s Persian prose output has suffered because it does not fit in the historio-cultural milieu of India or Iran. Yet, the struggle of a writer who is not ethnically Persian to win recognition across literary, historical, geographical borders is a story that merits deeper attention. Translation is perhaps the only way to bring Ghalib’s ideas to a bigger audience.  We hope our translation of Ghalib’s Foreword to his Persian poetry collection will open new doors.

Cinéma-monde: Film, Borders, Translation

Alison Levine (French)

I am currently working on documentary films from within and outside of France that address trauma suffered by migrants and asylum seekers in Europe. I plan a trip to Scotland to share some of my work in a small workshop that includes an invited collection of international scholars focused on an emerging, globally-oriented field called "cinéma-monde." The term ‘cinéma-monde’ has developed in recent years to respond to a shift in both the Francophone film industry and the way in which Francophone film is studied. In Paris, I plan to conduct several interviews with filmmakers working on this topic.

Funding the Migration and Refugee Crises in the European Union

James Savage (Politics)

This project analyzes how the European Union and its twenty-eight member states financed and budgeted for the expenses associated with the migration and refugee crises.  Between 2015 and 2017 some 2.6 million migrants and refugees entered Europe and applied for asylum.  EU rules declare that member states are obligated to provide housing, food, and healthcare for the asylum seekers.  Additional expenses include providing education, language training, and job training, as well as security costs, processing asylum claims, and efforts to exclude asylum seekers.  How Europe responds to the crises has broad implications for Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Islands of Integrity: A Database on the Good Organizations in Bad Environments

Yingyao Wang (Sociology)

Corruption in many governments of the developing world is considered pervasive and intractable. Yet, it is not uncommon to see corruption-free organizations were able to emerge and sustain themselves in otherwise exceedingly corrupt environments. This project aims to build a database on such “islands of integrity” across national contexts, encompassing information on the attributes and histories of the organizations and their relationships with other parts of the state. The database will be helpful for detecting shared causes and patterns of variations that underpin the extraordinary survival of the “good” organizations, and eventually contribute to advancing an organizational-level approach to corruption studies and anti-corruption practice.

Establishing the Foundation for the Collaborative Study of Post-Custodial Projects Between the University of Virginia Library and the National Archive of Asunción, Paraguay

Miguel Valladares-Llata (Academic Engagement, Library)

By supporting the participation of Professor Arrua Avalos (Director of National Archive of Asunción) at SALALM 2018 (Mexico DF, July 1‐4, 2018), the CGII grant will have multiple benefits: 1) It will help the University of Virginia Library to plan future post-custodial initiatives in Latin America with Latin American institutions; 2) It will promote an initial direct contact between the National Archive of Asunción and the Center for the Research Libraries (214 US research institutions). Besides disseminating specific new electronic Paraguayan initiatives among United States institutions, this first encounter will provide the opportunity to delineate possible future collaborations to open new primary resources to Latin Americanist around the world.

Now and Then: Retracing the Steps of Xu Xiake

Ran Zhao (East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)

Xu Xiake (1587-1641) was a Chinese geographer and travel writer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He traveled throughout China for over 30 years, leaving detailed and extensive records of his travels. Xu’s writing is also acclaimed for its high literary quality, including engaging personal narratives and elegant prose and poems on natural scenes in classical Chinese. This project will retrace Xu Xiake’s steps, and along the way film images and videos, and write my own travel diaries. I would like to compare the now and then of the places Xu Xiake traveled to and documented around 400 years ago. This project will help develop a digital platform (a mobile app or a website) that integrates all the available resources (Manuscript, Classical Chinese, Modern Chinese, English Translation of Xu Xiake Youji), essays and research papers on Xu Xiake, and multimedia materials, including what I will be able to contribute after my trip/field work.

Frontiers In Global Development Seminar Series

Sandip Sukhtankar, Isaac Mbiti, Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner (Economics, Batten, 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 and qualitative techniques. Researchers from the social science fields of economics, politics, and public policy are all closely involved, with interdisciplinary research common. The Global Development Seminar series brings innovative and current research in global development to grounds. The series provides a venue for faculty and students to interact and discuss cutting-edge empirical work in global development.

Vietnamese Translation of Asymmetry and International Relationships

Brantly Womack (Politics)

The Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the research and training arm of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has proposed translating Brantly Womack’s book, Asymmetry and International Relationships into Vietnamese.  The book was originally published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.  This will be the first translation of a book on international relations theory to be sponsored by DAV, and it will be used in their classes on foreign affairs.  Womack’s individual research grant covers part of the cost of translation, and it is supplemented by smaller grants from the East Asia Center and the Politics Department.

Graduate Students

Filming and Adjudicating Policing: A Genealogy of the Fabrication of Proof in Contemporary France

Bremen Donovan (Anthropology)

Over the summer I will be investigating how videos of policing made by law enforcement and ordinary people are being introduced into French judicial proceedings. Through fieldwork in Paris and surrounding banlieues, I will be seeking to better understand: 1) How video recordings of policing may be affecting what counts as a legitimate claim for people who are differently positioned in relation to law enforcement, and accordingly; 2) How mobile recording technologies, and the practices connected to them, may be affecting the possibility of certain populations to have their claims adjudicated or accorded legal status. This dissertation project is concerned with a fundamental global challenge: how do people and institutions make cultural assumptions about what is true and just.

Étienne-Maurice Falconet and the Matter of Sculpture: Marble, Porcelain, & Sugar in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Alicia Caticha (Art and Architectural History)

My dissertation takes up the eighteenth-century French sculptor Étienne-Maurice Falconet and the emulation, replication, and commercialization of his oeuvre in marble, porcelain, and sugar from 1750 to 1770. The replication of his marbles in porcelain and sugar, not only challenges the status of the original, but dramatically expands the center of eighteenth-century sculptural production beyond France. My research positions Falconet as a central figure linking together diverse centers of artisanal and sculptural production, including the guilds of Paris, the slave plantations of the French Antilles, and the sculpture ateliers of Saint Petersburg.

The Death and Return of Female Revenants in Tibet

Kamaoji (Religious Studies)

This dissertation is a study of the biographies of female revenants or delok (Tibetan, ’das log). Delok is a Tibetan word that literally means "passed on and returned," which generally refers to someone who has undergone a death experience but returned from death to deliver messages from those she encountered on her journey through the postmortem realms. These delok narratives are thus important sources for reconstructing Tibetan beliefs, especially ethics, to help us better understand “popular religion” in Tibet to complement our understanding of monastic Buddhism and other highly literate elite practices. Through understanding the ethics in lived religion of Tibetan Buddhist beliefs and practices regarding death and afterlife, the social world, gender, their cosmology and Hell from these narratives, I argue that a bridge can be discerned between Tibetan cosmology and Tibetan Buddhist ethics, which has been largely ignored by scholarship on Tibet in general. 

The City and its Image: How Visual Culture Reframes and Reimagines 1930s Shanghai, Paper for AASIA 2018

Kelly Ritter (Architecture)

I will serve as chair and participant on "Material Matters: (Re)envisioning “China” with the practice of art and architecture," a panel focused on architectural history at the 2018 Association of Asian Studies in Asia Conference at Ashoka University, New Delhi. My presentation investigates how social and cultural debates pictured in a pictorial magazine, Modern Sketch, changed the meaning of buildings, landscapes, and neighborhoods in 1930s Shanghai. This grant presents an opportunity to work with colleagues from universities around the world to develop and hone research from my dissertation, and learn from the research and methods that they mobilize in their own work.

Intersections of Buddhism and Psychology: An Ethnographic Study of Contemplative Practice in Bhutan

Michelle Walsh (Religious Studies)

This project analyzes the influences shaping the transnational flow of Buddhist meditative and contemplative practices. As neuroscientists have produced research suggesting that Buddhist-derived meditation practices can be effective treatments for certain types of mental health issues, I will examine how people are developing innovative approaches to contemporary meditation using traditional practices in a Buddhist society. Investigating the elements and factors surrounding one's experience of contemplative practice in a changing Buddhist environment with emerging mental health concerns, I incorporate discourses of modernity and secularism and offer a view of a culture in the midst of the process of globalization.

Social Differentiation in Minoan Crete: A Zooarchaeological Approach to Regional and Temporal Variation

Ekaterina Sevastakis (Anthropology)

In my proposed project, I will investigate the different modes of interaction concerning humans, animals, and animal iconography across the sociopolitical and ideological realms of Minoan Crete, specifically the transition from the Early to Middle Minoan Periods. I argue that zooarchaeology offers a unique lens into Minoan society, as animals are both ubiquitous across the landscape, and yet also powerful symbols in a variety of social arenas. I hope to identify ways that animals and animal iconography were used to express social inequalities, specifically through the changing management of animal resources, the hosting of feasting events, and the use of prestige objects or iconography that utilized animals.

Coalition Building in Ethnically Polarized States: The Evolution of Arab-Jewish Alliances in Israeli Municipal Elections

Elena Grissom (Politics)

As part of the field research for my master's thesis in Comparative Politics, I will be traveling to Israel this summer with a fellowship from Hebrew University. My research involves tracing the formation of cross-group alliances between Arab and Jewish political parties in municipal elections. I am interested in the institutional and external factors that cause these alliances to form, even when they are seemingly contrary to in-group interests. Practically, I will be conducting archival work in two selected municipalities, as well as qualitative data collection involving interviews and focus group discussions leading up to the election period in the fall.

A Written Reclamation and Declaration of  Jewish Identity in Minsk, Summer of 1941

Tierre Sanford (Slavic Languages & Literatures) 

On June 28, 1941 Nazi soldiers literally paraded into Minsk, the capital of Soviet Belarus, and began posting orders around the city. One such proclamation, decreed that all Jews must relocate or be shot. This designated area of the city became known as the Minsk Ghetto.

My dissertation project examines published memoirs penned by survivors of the Minsk Ghetto. I aim to translate many of the survivors' words into English for the first time, while also examining the transformation of Jewish self-identification during the first summer in the Minsk ghetto and introducing the body of Minsk ghetto memoir literature to the fields of Russian Literature and Holocaust Studies as well as to the general public.

2018 Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory: The Human in Question

Joanne Britland (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

My dissertation focuses on cultural production in the aftermath of the global 2008 social and financial crisis in Spain. With the support from the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, I will be able to attend the 2018 Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory Summer School in Bologna, Italy. The theme of this year’s course, “The Human in Question,” focuses on social movements and human crises in the twenty-first century. The opportunity to attend the academy will enable me to engage with and learn from innovative researchers making strides in this field of study. The seminars will enhance the theoretical framework in my research and provide me with new critical approaches to examine cultural production and crisis.

Working with Luce Irigaray

Lorena Ochoa Campo (Spanish, Italian and Portuguese)

In June, I will participate in a seminar with feminist scholar Luce Irigaray at the University of Warwick, UK. This seminar gathers researchers from varied disciplines from around the world and is a unique experience of global academic collaborations. Each participant presents their project and receives feedback from other researchers and professor Irigaray. We also work together in developing critical definitions of fundamental theoretical concepts that apply to our fields. My summer project involves expansion and revision of an article on female genealogies in A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernández.

Documenting the Slow Violence of Nuclear Disaster

Hannah Holtzman (French)

My research focuses on French nuclear cinema and aims to reframe the way we think about nuclear movies. The visual arts allow for creative representations of and responses to nuclear events, the effects of which reach beyond national borders and are mostly imperceptible. This project will begin in Amsterdam where I will share some of my work on French nuclear cinema with the interdisciplinary and international Nuclear Waste and Deep Time research group at Vrije University. I will then move to Paris to consult the newly opened Chris Marker archive at the Cinémathèque française. Marker's works are of particular interest for their quotidian evocations of nuclear, a counter-model to the spectacular and sublime representations found in many classic nuclear movies. 

Enclose, Enact, Embody: The Creation of Spanish Colonial Sacred Space

Nenette Arroyo (Art and Architectural History)

I will travel to either the Sierra Gorda in Mexico or Tucson, Arizona, both sites of architecturally significant Spanish missions built by Franciscan friars in the 18th century. This project provides comparative context for my dissertation on the Spanish California missions, which analyzes the interplay of architecture, enforced spatial practice, and the material culture of religion in the efforts to Christianize indigenous people. I also look for evidence of local resistance and cultural persistence in the visual, material, and textual documents of the period, making an effort to include scant but important native perspectives.

Agents of the Regime? Polling Station Officials and Electoral Manipulation in Kenya's 2017 Election

Brenton Peterson (Politics)

In many newly emerging democracies, incumbent leaders use their control over election administration to gain unfair advantages at the ballot box. This study investigates the case of Kenya’s 2017 election – which was nullified by Kenya’s Supreme Court in light of widespread administrative irregularities – assessing the mechanisms by which candidates and their agents committed fraud.  I study the role of election officials, who were appointed by the incumbent regime, to assess whether those officials with ethnic ties to the regime inflated vote counts in favor of their coethnic candidates. I also study whether the presence of partisan domestic election observers reduced fraud.  Using data from Kenya’s approximately 40,000 polling stations, I am able to assess both the extent of local-level electoral fraud and the pathways by which electoral manipulation occurs.

The Presence of Italian Culture in Buenos Aires: Global Migration and Linguistic Insecurity

Nicole Bonino (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)

Which are the political reasons behind the migration movements involving the Global South at the beginning of the 20th Century? Did the socio-political reaction of South America towards the migratory diaspora leave a trail still visible today? The aim of my research is to help people to understand how global movements, if protected by solid institutions and supported by governmental activism, can positively affect the target countries’ culture. To comprehend these dynamics is particularly important today. In a reality characterized by global movements, it is fundamental to offer a voice to the countries of the Global South by creating links and connections between the political, social and theoretical realities outside of Western Europe.


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