URC – Halle Global Research

Maren Jill Adams, PhD

Associate Professor, Oxford College

New Technologies of Transmission in Post-Bomb Japan

Wartime memories, clearly, are not “dead and gone,” but their landscape is changing as first-hand witnesses die and new generations take over their stories. By the 70th anniversary, in 2015, of the bombings of Japan, the first Atomic Bomb Legacy Successors (or “Memory Keepers”) in Hiroshima and Nagasaki began sharing stories they had trained with first-hand-witnesses to learn and perform, and in 2022 the Legacy Successors program expanded further. To date, English language scholarship has overlooked the memorial innovations of the Legacy Successor program. Yet the program has opened remarkable new terrain for those interested in memorial transmission by combining the authority of the first generation with the affective power of latecomers’ live performances through a variety of memorial technologies.

The URC grant will allow me to complete fieldwork in Japan with Hiroshima and Nagasaki Legacy Successors, study their methods during live performances and trainings, and conduct interviews with performers, audiences, and staff. My project frames the work of the legacy successors as “pedagogical” following my earlier (2022) theorization of memorial pedagogy. I argue that the pedagogy of the Legacy Successors produces crosses generations while transforming them. I suggest that the key to these memorial methodologies—these “technologies of transmission”—lies in what recent scholars term “affective witnessing,” through which I describe how the Legacy Successor teachers impact their audiences through cultivated methods of embodied exchange. Overall, the project offers a new pedagogical model of transgenerational memorial transmission that targets audiences at further temporal and spatial remove from wartime events.

David Guillermo Barba, MFA

Assistant Professor, Ecas, Film And Media

Volver [Return]: a documentary feature film about returnee migrants to Mexico

Three Mexican women, brought to the United States as children and raised as Americans, struggle to rebuild their lives in Mexico following deportation or voluntary repatriation. This feature documentary film focuses on the lived experiences of Viridiana, Maria and Valentina who grew up in Minnesota, Colorado and Georgia respectively. As young adults, they returned to a country they barely knew, struggling to adapt to language and customs foreign to them. Living in different corners of Mexico, the three women’s journeys have points of connection and divergence, emblematic of the hundreds of thousands of stories of those who depart the United States, leaving family and friends behind.

Viridiana (33) lives in the small rural town of Quebrantadero, Guerrero with her two boys. Maria (32) lives in the suburbs of Mexico City in Zumpango, State of Mexico with her partner Jorge and her pit bull Max. Valentina (38) lives in La Paz, Baja California Sur, with her two children. Viridiana and Maria grew up undocumented in the US, while Valentina was there on a visa. The mothers of all three women live in the United States, as does much of their immediate family. Their English language skills have played a critical part in being able to find steady employment and rebuild their lives.

Bumyong Choi, PhD

Senior Lecture, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, Russian And East Asian Languages And Cultures

Examining the Impact of Critical Race Pedagogy on Korean Language Teachers and Learners

The proposed research project aims to investigate the impact of Critical Race Pedagogy (CRP) on the perceptions and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DEI) among Korean language teachers and learners. The study addresses three key research questions: 1) What are Korean teachers' perceptions regarding CRP and DEI practices in their teaching in the United States and Korea? 2) What are Korean learners' perceptions on DEI in their classroom (language learning?) in the United States and Korea? 3) How do people belonging to minority groups in the United States and Korea want to be represented in foreign language classrooms?

The study will use a mixed-methods approach, including surveys, focus group interviews, and observations of teachers' working groups, to collect data from Korean language teachers and learners. The data will be analyzed to understand the perceptions of CRP in the teaching process and the understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the classroom. Additionally, minority group members in the United States and Korea will be interviewed to understand their perspectives on representation in foreign language classrooms.

The research aims to fill a gap in the literature by examining the impact of CRP on the perceptions and understanding of DEI among Korean language teachers and learners, and to provide specific, realistic and feasible procedures for incorporating CRP principles in Korean language education. The findings have implications broadly in foreign language education in both the United States and Korea.

Aisha Finch, PhD

Associate Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, Women's, Gender And Sexuality Studies

Cimarronas: Black Feminist Thought, World-Making, and Historical Memory in the Caribbean and Latin America

This book project, Cimarronas: Black Feminist Thought, World-Making, and Historical Memory in the Caribbean and Latin America, offers a new intellectual history of Black feminist theory and praxis in Latin America, with particular attention to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. This project will draw from three sources: archival materials in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; oral histories with African-descended feminist activists and scholars; and close textual readings of early feminist publications. In so doing, it seeks to map out the historical emergence of a field that is gaining increasing visibility in the US academy. This summer, I will initiate the early stages of field research for this project, beginning with archival research in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. I am requesting support to develop the book’s first chapter on the ways in which Black feminist thinkers have mobilized the history of slavery and marronage to articulate their own political imaginaries. Maroonage – the widespread practice of escaping from slavery – was endemic to slave societies throughout the Americas, and has become a powerful and ubiquitous symbol for activists throughout Latin America in the current moment. In this chapter, I take a unique approach to the question of historical memory, examining archival materials that document the encounters of maroon women and fugitive communities with the colonial state. I explore what these historical experiences of captivity and self-liberation can illuminate about how contemporary Black feminist scholars and activists frame their own critiques of state violence and their dreams of freedom.

Arun W. Jones, PhD

Associate Professor, Candler School Of Theology

Scottish Subjects in North Indian Kingdoms, 1866 – 1947

The research project focuses on the relationship of Scottish missionaries to Indian rulers and larger society in the independent native states of Rajasthan, India, during the British imperial era, from the advent of mission work in those states in 1866 until Indian independence in 1947. Indians ruled their states due to the Empire’s strategy of indirect rule. Using data gathered from archives in Scotland and interpreted within Hindu religious and political frameworks, the project argues that the Indian rulers, not the British Empire, were paramount in setting the terms on which the missionaries could carry on their work in those states. The rulers, moreover, governed their kingdoms according to Hindu understandings of royal government, in which service providers (traditionally nobles with standing armies and priests of religious institutions) were incorporated into the kingdom through gifts of land and money. Missionaries were service providers, albeit of another sort than military men, in the kingdoms where they operated. They offered medical, educational, and religious services to various persons and communities in society. These services were incorporated into the reign of local kings through the traditional indigenous mechanism of gift-giving. Indian rulers donated land, buildings, goods and even cash to Scottish missions and missionaries. Conversely, if missionaries were not desired by a particular ruler of an independent native state, mission work could not take place there. As the world historical context changed from the 19th into the 20th century, the relationships between missionaries and Indian rulers and society also adapted and changed.

Jinsook Kim, PhD

Assistant Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, Film & Media Studies

Sticky Activism: Online Misogyny and Feminist Anti-Hate Activism in South Korea

This book project approaches digital media as a key battlefield in the intense cultural and political confrontations between feminists and misogynists in South Korea over the past decade. Through textual, discursive, and institutional analyses of digital media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, and wikis) as well as in-depth interviews with feminist activists, this book examines how new modes of feminist activism have contested the widespread yeoseonghyumo (misogyny) in that country. While it is often viewed as a global leader in information communication technology in terms of digital connectivity and saturation, I argue for a rethinking of what digitally saturated life actually entails by highlighting complex and painful efforts to create better conditions for women and marginalized groups amid the constraints and sheer volume of toxicity in digital cultures. With a theoretical basis in digital, feminist, and global media studies, this book foregrounds the concept of “sticky activism” by bringing together various academic discussions of “stickiness” to describe the circulation and accumulation of affect, capacity of media, mobilization of participants’ everyday activities, and transformation of cultural and social institutions. Thus, I discuss how certain affects stick to certain bodies and objects, how everyday activism becomes inseparable from the participants in it, and how feminist activism mediates and connects online and offline efforts. I argue that sticky activism has contributed to the formation of feminist counterpublics by articulating affective dissonance, opposing misogyny and gender violence in society and culture, and developing new feminist subjectivities in South Korea.

Brian Vick, PhD

Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, History

The Internationalization of Science and Politics in the Nineteenth Century

This monograph project and related peer-reviewed article explore the surprisingly early development of international ties between national scientific organizations and of a form of international politics predicated on scientific authority. While the literatures on both the internationalization of politics and on scientific internationalism typically put the origins of these trends in the 1870s and see earlier institutions as national and nationalist in nature, my work shows how the connections between the international and national levels and between science and politics were integral to the formation of the national organizations already from the 1830s, with implications for how we think about the interplay of science, politics, and national borders today. The study analyzes the underlying networks and sociability as well as the scientific politicking revealed in correspondence among scientists and political activists in such causes as the movements for peace, prison reform, and abolition of slavery, and between these and government officials. While emphasizing the structural exclusions of marginalized groups from the institutions of both science and politics in this era, my research also spotlights the presence of women and people of color in these activities, alongside European-descended men. In addition to the fields of German, Austrian, Italian, and French history, the research engages with and contributes to scholarship in the history of science, international relations, and gender history. The project ultimately illuminates the place of science in the formation of the modern international order and that of politics in the formation of modern scientific institutions.