Willson Center Research Fellowship applicants are selected by an interdisciplinary UGA committee of distinguished artists and scholars. Fellowships provide course release from two normally assigned courses in one academic year. Fellowship recipients give a lecture or talk on campus during the academic year as part of the Fellows’ Lecture Series.
2012-2013 Research Fellows
Mark D. Anderson is Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture. His research focuses on the relationships between literature and the environment in Latin America.
Project Title: Writing Nature in Latin America: A Literary History
This book project is a historicist examination of Latin American texts dealing with the environment. It reveals the unfolding of human-nature relations within the specifically Latin American context, including attitudes that are compatible with those that have led us to the current global environmental crisis as well as a plethora of alternative projects and conceptualizations.
Cynthia Turner Camp is Assistant Professor of English Literature. She specializes in Middle English literature, particularly fifteenth-century history and hagiography. She is a co-winner of this year’s Virginia Mary Macagnoni Prize for Innovative Research.
Project Title: Imagining the Holy Past in Fifteenth-Century England
This book project examines the late medieval “afterlives” of five Anglo-Saxon saints in the work of poets, famous and anonymous, who used Middle English poetic “lives” of these saints to define their current ethical and political situations. Combining events from chronicle narratives and earlier saints’ lives, these poets invent a narratively hybrid genre that shapes readers’ sense of both past and present. The book will explore these writers’ historical consciousness and historiographic methods, explicating their visions of insular history and the rhetorical, visual, and material methods they employed to forge (at times unlikely) connections with the distant past.
Adriane Colburn is Assistant Professor of Art. She is an installation artist.
Project Title: Hyperspectrics, Exhibition Production
In the fall of 2012, Adriane Colburn will be producing a large-scale solo exhibition, Hyperspectrics, at Smack Mellon Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. This exhibition is the culmination of research conducted while traveling in the field with scientists over the past two years. This project will look at how the Earth’s last vestiges of wilderness are viewed through the lenses of technology.
Sujata Iyengar, Professor of English, studies and teaches the ways in which different historical and cultural settings transform and employ the works of Shakespeare.
Project Title: Artistic and Artisanal Print Appropriations of Shakespeare in a Supposedly Post-print World
Sujata Iyengar’s new book project argues that the rise of “Bardolatry” or Shakespeare-worship corresponded to the emergence of printed books as familiar, beloved, household objects. She suggests that book artists use Shakespeare to display their mastery of changing media techniques and new publishing environments. Individual chapters discuss fine-print letter-press editions, unique “artist’s books,” limited-run livres d’artiste, mass-market cover art, and amateur crafts “upcycled” from old play-texts.
Ari Daniel Levine is Associate Professor of History. He is a cultural historian of early modern China.
Project Title: Dislocated Memories: Urban Space and Diasporic Nostalgia in Song China
This project will culminate in a monograph about cultural memory and urban space in early modern China. When Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), fell to Jurchen invaders in 1126-7, post-conquest literati of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) responded to this political cataclysm and cultural crisis with a sense of homelessness. Relocated to South China, they left behind a literature of exile and defeat, which expressed nostalgia for the city’s street life and urban spaces. This study explains how Kaifeng became a site of collective memory, and how diasporic literati produced a refashioned past that salved the trauma of personal and national loss.
Dorothea Link is Professor of Musicology. Her research focuses on late eighteenth-century Vienna.
Project Title: Arias for Stefano Mandini, Mozart’s First Conte Almaviva
This book examines the voice and career of Mandini by assembling a portfolio of arias known to have been expressly composed for him by multiple composers. His voice is particularly interesting in that it belongs to a voice category that no longer exists, one in which the singer sang tenor roles one night and bass roles the next.
Michael Oliveri is Associate Professor of Art in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. He is a co-winner of this year’s Virginia Mary Macagnoni Prize for Innovative Research.
Project Title: Inner and Outer Space Images from the Micro to the Macro
This project involves creation of Inner and Outer space images. The Inner-space series are large-scale images using an electron microscope. The Outer-space series are images of the night sky.
Peter D. O’Neill is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature. His interests include state theory, transnationalism, comparative racialization, cultural studies, and ethnic American literature.
Project Title: The Transatlantic Irish and the Racial State
This book project analyzes relationships among race, culture, and the state through study of the 19th-century transatlantic Irish, who helped form the U.S. racial state as they took their places within it. The work interweaves state theory and biopolitics; contrasts the Green and Black Atlantics; examines Chinese and Irish relations, with special emphasis on gender; and compares conservative Catholic Irish American literature with radical transatlantic Irish writing.
Jennifer L. Palmer is Assistant Professor of History. She is interested in the social and cultural history of eighteenth-century France and its colonies.
Project Title: An Ocean Between Them: Race, Gender, and the Family in France and its Colonies
In eighteenth-century France, the height of the Enlightenment was also the height of the slave trade. This book project demonstrates how slavery and colonialism shaped family and gender roles both for people who journeyed across the ocean and directly participated in the plantation system, and for their compatriots who never set foot outside of France.
Akela Reason is Assistant Professor of History. She is a cultural historian with interests in American material culture and urban history.
Project Title: Politics and Memory: Civil War Monuments in Gilded Age New York
As the financial and cultural center of postbellum America, New York City erected some of the most visible, costly, and ambitious Civil War monuments in the nation. Yet the city also achieved notoriety for divisive local politics coupled with an infamously corrupt system of municipal political patronage. Through a close examination of major public monuments by the leading architects and sculptors of the era, this research challenges recent scholarship suggesting that the need for national healing and sectional reconciliation defined Civil War commemoration in this period. New York’s monuments instead tell a tale of national remembrance hijacked by corrupt local politicians.
Jon Swindler is Assistant Professor of Art.
Project Title: Pressure-Sensitive Project and Artist Residencies
The Wilson Center’s Junior Faculty Research Fellowship supports two distinct creative-research projects. “Pressure-Sensitive” is a traveling collaborative printmaking project, which aims to link numerous geographic locations and disparate artistic sensibilities through the execution of large-scale print media-based collages. Both the process and product will embrace the suspension of individual artistic identity through large-scale 2D collaboration. The fellowship also supports a pair of artist residencies culminating in new print-based works leading to multiple solo-exhibition opportunities.
Ana Vivancos is Assistant Professor of Spanish Culture, Literature and Film. She is interested in questions of representation of the nation in Spanish popular film.
Project Title: From The Mouth of Babes: Images of Children in Spanish Film
The aim of this project is to analyze how images of innocence (or perversion) of children in Spanish cinema from the 1970s to the early 2000s serve as a metaphor for the limits imposed by social codes, and to support generalized cultural practices. The project will research the ways children stand for the marginal and the repressed and therefore provide audiences with melodramatic stand-ins that justify mechanisms of power.
Martijn van Wagtendonk is Associate Professor of Art, and Chair of the Art X: Expanded Forms area. Most recently he claims to be a kinetic sculptor, even though the room-filling, interactive environments that he constructs are as much engineering and theater endeavors as they are sculptural installations.
Project Title: Song of Lift (The title has changed since project was awarded a Willson Center Fellowship. The old title was Surge)
Song of Lift is a five-minute-long, fully automated, viewer sensitive opera. A 14-armed circular structure hangs in the center of a gallery’s 20-foot ceiling. Its 12-foot arms hang down like a closed umbrella. From the arms, strings hang 144 winged objects just above the ground. This is the center of the play. A quarter machine, like you might find on mechanical horse rides for kids, allows the viewer to set the opera in motion.
Andrew Zawacki is Associate Professor of English and director of creative writing. His new poetry book,Videotape, is due in spring, while his translation of Sébastien Smirou, My Lorenzo, has just appeared.
Project title: See About: Translating Sébastien Smirou’s Beau voir
This project aims to complete an English translation of a poetry book by one of France’s most exciting, innovative emerging poets. A bestiary divided into eight chapters of eight lyrics, each comprising an octave of lines, Beau voir is part inventory, part invention. Its weird menagerie features barnyard animals, safari fauna, pets, an insect, and even the extinct dodo.