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Past Visiting Scholars (2013–2014)

Kornel ChangAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers University, Newark. Ph.D. University of Chicago; B.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook. Occupying Knowledge: The Role of Experts in the U.S. Occupation of Korea. This study re-examines the occupation of Korea as a laboratory for U.S. postwar nation-building strategies, where expert officials experimented and honed methods for managing the aspirations of a former colonized people while arresting the spread of communism in Asia. Current Affiliation: Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, Newark.

Jillian HessAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Lecturer, Stanford University. Ph.D., Stanford University; B.A., Bryn Mawr College. Commonplace-Book Stylistics: Literary Technologies, 1790-1910. While Romantic writers liberally revised the words (and often the meaning) of texts they transcribed into their commonplace books, Victorians endorsed a growing celebrity culture as they preserved cartoons and photographs of their favorite writers alongside quotations. My project demonstrates how new systems for arranging gathered information in commonplace books facilitated stylistic trends. Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor of English, Bronx Community College.

Heather HouserAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant Professor of English, University of Texas, Austin. Ph.D., Stanford University; B.A., Reed College. Is Seeing Knowing?: How Environmental Media Describe. My study addresses how recent artists adapt representational techniques from the empirical sciences in order to manage proliferating information about environmental threats. My cross-media project enriches understanding of environmental aesthetics and establishes that cultural form—in particular, description—is essential to how creative works produce knowledge. Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor of English, University of Texas, Austin.

Ju Yon KimAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant Professor, Harvard University. PhD., Stanford University; B.A. Yale University. Suspect Audiences and the Spaces of Asian American Theater. This project investigates how theater, as both a mode of social interaction and a distinct cultural form, has rechanneled persistent suspicions of Asian duplicity in the United States into a critique of those assessing Asian American performances. I trace how the pressures of suspicion compel formal innovations in Asian American theater that redefine what it means to be “suspect.” Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor of English, Harvard University.

Gretchen PurserAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant Professor, Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; B.A., Smith College. Labor On Demand: Dispatching the Urban Poor. Drawing upon extensive interviews, corporate analysis and nearly three years of participant observation working as a day laborer amidst a predominantly homeless, formerly-incarcerated, African-American workforce in the inner-cities of Oakland and Baltimore, this project analyzes the role of the day labor business in the degradation of work, the restructuring of labor markets, and the reproduction of urban poverty. Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Crystal SandersAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University. Ph.D., Northwestern University; B.A., Duke University. Preschool Politics: Black Women and a Radical Head Start. Between 1965 and 1968, working-class black Mississippians fashioned Head Start employment into an opportunity to seek bottom-up change in their state. Their challenge antagonized a white power structure at all levels and provoked opposition that diminished the transformative possibilities of Head Start and other War on Poverty programs. Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University.

Colin WilliamsonAffiliation during Fellowship Year: Ph.D., University of Chicago; B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara. Obscured Histories of Modern Magic and Wonder in the Cinema. I explore a history and theory of secular or modern stage magic as a form of popular visual education and consider how marginalized representations of magic with chronophotography, neuroimaging technologies, time-lapse photography, animation, and digital images shed new light on issues concerning knowledge, enchantment, and imponderability in digital media and modern scientific discovery.

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