Alex Acs – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Ph.D., Princeton
University; M.P.A., Columbia University; B.A., Georgetown University. Implementing
Health and Safety Regulation in a Polarized Political Environment.
An examination of the implementation of health, safety and environmental regulation
over the past thirty years, investigating how the implementation of the regulatory
regime developed in the mid-1960s fared in recent decades, particularly given the
subsequent mobilization of the business lobby and the increasingly polarized political
Michael Brownstein – Affiliation during Fellowship Year:
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, CUNY/John Jay College. Ph.D., Pennsylvania State
University; B.A., Columbia University. On the Virtues and Vices of Spontaneity.
This book integrates empirical research in social and cognitive psychology with
philosophical questions about the mind, action, and ethics in order to consider
the positive and negative roles spontaneity plays in our lives. Particular attention
is given to research on skill, expertise, and “flow,” on the one hand, and impulsivity,
heuristics, and implicit biases, on the other.
Brent Cebul – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Ph.D.,
University of Virginia; M.A., University of Virginia; B.A., Hamilton College.
Developmental State: The Politics of Business, Poverty, and Economic Empowerment
from the New Deal to the New Democrats. Developmental State is a comparative
history of the determinative role local businesspeople played in pioneering, shaping,
and administering federal economic development and antipoverty programs since the
New Deal. By illuminating Sunbelt and Rustbelt businesspeoples’ kindred creation
of public-private, local-national partnerships, the manuscript critically revises
the dominant narratives of twentieth century U.S. political economy: the fall of
liberal Keynesianism and the rise of market conservatism or neoliberalism. Mapping
the proliferation of public private growth partnerships reveals instead the persistence
of localism, the significance of shifting models of fiscal federalism, and the profound
impact of racial and regional competition in determining the winners and losers
of public development and antipoverty policies. By illuminating local private sector
capture of federal development and antipoverty programs, the book offers a higher
degree of empirical and historical specificity than the current literature in revealing
when, for whom, and under what conditions truly “free market” policies have been
Maggie Gram – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Ph.D.,
Harvard University; M.A., Harvard University; B.A., Columbia University.
Matters of State: American Literature in the Civil Rights Era.
“Matters of State” is the first broad literary history of the American civil rights
revolution. Its central claim is that midcentury American writers engaged with that
revolution by turning their attention to matters of juridical citizenship: how the
state ought to relate to its subjects and what binds together those subjects as
members of a political community. Beyond this project, I have interests in media
studies and in human-centered design.
Emily Remus – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Ph.D.,
University of Chicago. M.A., University of Chicago; B.A., Swarthmore College.
Consumers' Metropolis: How Monied Women Purchased Pleasure and Power in the
New Downtown examines the incorporation of monied women into commercial
public life. The site is Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century—when the city,
rising like a phoenix after the great fire, became a center of debate over capitalist
urbanism. The project explores the new practices of public consumption that ladies
pursued on the streets of the city's expanding retail district and in the restaurants,
hotels, department stores, and theaters built by entrepreneurs who invited their
patronage. It also brings to light the conflict evoked by ladies’ public presence,
as reformers, city officials, and men of business responded to ladies’ conspicuous
new habits of consuming in an urban public sphere that had once been the preserve
of men. At stake, the project demonstrates, were competing visions of urban commerce,
the place of women, and the cultural legitimacy of new forms of consumption. In
probing these conflicts, Consumers’ Metropolis illuminates how gender shaped
the creation of a moral ethos and built environment that sustained the rise of American
Robin Scheffler – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Ph.D.,
Yale University. M.Phil., Cambridge University; B.A., University of Chicago.
Cancer Viruses and the Construction of Biomedicine in the United States.
The path of cancer viruses through the twentieth century connects public health
and vaccination to molecular biology and biotechnology. Cancer viruses are thus
useful objects to follow in order to understand many questions associated with the
evolution of biomedicine and American society. Why do particular diseases become
public problems while others do not? Who has authority to direct disease research?
What relationships have been drawn between biological research and therapies for
human disease? How has biomedical research helped shape our understanding of the
relative roles of philanthropy, government, and private enterprise in advancing
Claire Seiler – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant
Professor of English, Dickinson College. Ph.D., Stanford University; M.Phil., Trinity
College Dublin; B.A., Middlebury College. Midcentury Suspension.
The project fuses formal analyses of a range of texts, original research in mid-twentieth-century
print and public culture, and the “keywords” tradition of Raymond Williams to create
a new account of imaginative literature of the decade after World War II. While
literary scholars still tend to describe the middle of the twentieth century as
notable primarily for witnessing the dusk of modernism or the dawn of postmodernism,
many postwar writers understood their moment as bearing what Wallace Stevens called
“the weight of primary noon” (1947). “Midcentury Suspension” credits such literary
gestures to the experience of the middle of a century already defined by two global
wars and newly threatened by a nuclear future. The project offers new readings of
works by W.H. Auden, Samuel Beckett, Elizabeth Bishop, Elizabeth Bowen, Ralph Ellison,
and Frank O’Hara. Claire is an assistant professor of English at Dickinson College.
Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Contemporary Literature,
Modernism/modernity, and Twentieth-Century Literature; edited
collections on Auden, Shirley Hazzard, and rights and citizenship; and elsewhere.
Sunny Yang – Affiliation during Fellowship Year: Assistant
Professor of English, Louisiana State University. Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania.
B.A., Swarthmore College. Fictions of Territoriality: Legal & Literary Narratives
of US Contestation Zones. From 1803 to 1914, the U.S. secured all of the land now
associated with the contiguous 48 states, held overseas possessions in the Caribbean,
Central America, and the Asia-Pacific, as well as imposed its jurisdiction over
sovereign nations such as China and Japan. This unprecedented extension of American
authority, particularly over spaces primarily inhabited by peoples deemed to be
non-white, raised key questions about the legal status of territories, as well as
the relationship between race, rights, and U.S. citizenship. My project investigates
these debates through the legal and cultural clashes that emerged when U.S. sovereignty
was imposed over territories with at least one other preexisting legal and/or cultural
system. I focus on five such “contestation zones”—Louisiana Territory, extraterritorial
port cities in China, the Mexican Cession, Indian Territory, and the Panama Canal
Zone—where U.S. understandings of race, rights, and just governance collided with
at least one other competing system. Drawing on legal and cultural texts ranging
from Supreme Court opinions to Boy Scout adventure novels, this project uncovers
the narratives (what I term “fictions of territoriality”) deployed to rationalize,
as well as resist, U.S. governance during this period.
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