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.

Matthew H. Bernstein, PhD

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

Columbia Pictures

In 2023, I will complete with my co-author, the independent scholar Dr. Eddy von Mueller, a comprehensive history of Columbia Pictures. As of January 2023, we have written over half of our 8 chapters; we plan to complete the remaining chapters by early mid-summer and begin revisions late summer. I have written the chapters on the studio’s classical era (1924-1958, when founder Harry Cohn died); Dr. Mueller has written the chapters on Columbia’s history since; and we exchange and revise each other’s work constantly.

I seek a single course release to enable me to complete this work, for the manuscript is due in December 2023. The book will be published in 2024, the centennial of Columbia’s founding. We have an advance contract in Routledge’s Hollywood Centenary Series, which has commissioned new histories of many major studios (e.g, MGM, Paramount, Universal, etc.).

Columbia Pictures is an example of Hollywood business history, based on an array of primary documents; we focus on production policies in relation to the studio’s creative talents (directors, screenwriters and stars)--and beginning in the 1950s, its creative partnerships. The importance of this work resides in Columbia’s fascinating history, from Frank Capra’s populist comedies of the 1930s to its contributions to today’s blockbuster franchise era (e.g. the Spiderman series), and our exploration of how its films speak to American and international audiences. No one has ever written such a full account; we aim for ours to be definitive.

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

TThe 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.

Anouar El-Younssi, PhD

Assistant Professor, Oxford College

The Experimental Turn in the Moroccan Novel (1974-1989)

The impact of post-1960s immigration on American Christianity and religious life will likely be more extensive than the previous, predominantly European, wave that peaked about a century ago. In both cases the vast majority of new immigrants are Christian. But the current wave of immigrants is more numerous, more diverse (in terms of national origin and religious traditions), overwhelming non-white, and more connected to global networks. Scholarly assessment of the long term religious contribution of new Christian immigrants is limited. Yet, the substantively Christian character of America’s new immigrants has significant bearing on analyses of America’s shifting religious landscape, including ongoing changes in religious belonging and how faith traditions contribute or respond to major developments in American society. African immigrants constitute a small but rising segment of this current wave. Despite limited scholarly attention, their growing presence and ministries factor in the browning of American Christianity (its decreasingly white character) and add new elements to debates around assimilation, racial justice, and the nature of the black Church. This project, which builds marginally on my 2008 study, investigates how African immigrants and their immediate descendants are contributing to transformations in American Christianity at a time of major transitions, including long time decline in White Christianity, resurgent Christian nationalism, growing religious pluralism, extensive demographic change, and spirited debate about America’s global influence. The research plan incorporates appraisal of select Christian movements on the African continent (with energetic international reach) and survey of up to 100 African immigrant congregations in the U.S.

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.

Bayo Holsey, PhD

Associate Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, African American Studies

Tyrannies of Freedom: African Exceptionalism, Imperial Logics, and the Millennial Global Order

"Tyrannies of Freedom: African Exceptionalism, Imperial Logics, and the Millennial Global Order" examines Anglo-Atlantic constructions of Ghana as an exceptional African nation-state. It tracks the emergence and spread of such narratives since the turn of the millennium including those highlighting U.S. economic development efforts, humanitarian aid, and foreign direct investments. Politicians, media pundits and others have portrayed these projects as moral triumphs that have led to increased African freedom. In doing so, they have contributed to Ghana’s reputation as a neoliberal success story and favored U.S. partner. Yet, Ghana has faced ongoing poverty and rising inequality. Moreover, U.S. interventions have in fact led to increased surveillance, endangerment, and exploitation. In this context, I argue that these narratives play a crucial counterrevolutionary role. They serve to legitimate U.S. global hegemony in the context of continuing opposition.

The focus on the concept of freedom within these narratives is, I argue, no accident. Given Ghana’s once famed status as a beacon of Black freedom, its transformation into a neoliberal success story and U.S. partner performs a powerful epistemological task. It defangs the radical potential of conceptualizations of African sovereignty. For this reason, I theorize what I call the tyrannies of freedom or, in other words, the dangerous consequences of the cooptation of the concept of freedom to describe the effects U.S. global power. In this way, my book manuscript and two related articles will contribute to the interrogation of global white supremacy and its impact on the African continent.

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.

Sarah McPhee, PhD

Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, Art History

Art & Technology: The Eye of the Etcher/Envisioning Baroque Rome

How can contemporary technology engage art produced by technologies of the past, and what can be crafted in narrative and digital form to propose an answer. This project involves the completion of a monograph, entitled "The Eye of the Etcher. A Brief Life of Giovanni Battista Falda," and a portion of a closely related digital humanities project, entitled “Envisioning Baroque Rome.” The monograph treats the life and work of the seventeenth-century Italian etcher Giovanni Battista Falda (1643-1678) who, in a career of just fifteen years, produced two maps and 300 urban views. His collective works offer the closest record we have of a comprehensive vision of the city of Rome ca. 1676. The digital humanities project involves rebuilding this two-dimensional corpus in the three-dimensional environment of a virtual world. The projects have evolved in tandem, informing one another in essential, productive, and unexpected ways. The technologies at stake are early modern architectural etching and engraving translated and redeployed through twenty-first century modeling and texturing to create a correctly scaled, topographically accurate, walkable reconstruction of the Baroque city. Falda’s publisher, Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi, beckoned viewers of Falda’s great map to "stroll the streets with your eyes." With the technology of the virtual world, we are able to enter and walk the streets of the historic city. A URC Grant would allow me to complete the book and to build out critical regions of Rome in the virtual world for exhibition.

Walter C. Rucker, PhD

Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, African American Studies

The Birth of a Notion: A Century of Racial Violence and Mass Incarceration in America

"The Birth of a Notion" analyzes postbellum constructions of Blackness as deviant and dangerous. This notion departed, significantly, from antebellum stereotypes—namely, "Mammy" and "Sambo"—depicting enslaved peoples as obedient to white supremacist, patriarchal, and paternalistic regimes. In the collective imaginary of slavery's apologists, emancipation precipitated the reversion of loyal servants into "untamed" African "savages"—the so-called "Brutes," "Beasts," and "Colored Amazons" populating the criminal "New Negro" class of the postbellum era. Ultimately, both sets of racialized tropes provided psychopolitical rationales for the twin paradoxes of slavery and Jim Crow in the land of freedom and equality.

The creation of the savage/criminal "New Negro" undergird the histories and legacies of lynching, race massacres, and mass incarceration—framing a long continuum of thought, action, "memory," and race making in the U.S. That notions of emancipated people reverting to savage form occurred in the same decades as the march towards European imperial domination of the African continent is no coincidence. By the 1880s, the African "savage" in the European mind gave ideological support for devastating campaigns of terror and violence throughout Africa. By the 1890s, the New Negro "Brutes," "Beasts," and "Colored Amazons" in the American imaginary resulted in the deaths of many untold and told thousands and the dispossession and imprisonment of millions more in the following century.

Didem Uca, PhD

Assistant Professor, Emory College Of Arts And Sciences, German Studies

Coming of Age on the Move: The Contemporary Transnational Bildungsroman in German

I am applying for URC financial support for two course releases in one semester of the 2023-2024 academic year in order to facilitate the completion of my monograph. My monograph-in-progress, Coming of Age on the Move: The Contemporary Transnational Bildungsroman in German, analyzes novels written over the past 25 years that rewrite the traditional genre of the novel of formation by centering protagonists who are first- or second-generation immigrants and refugees. These young protagonists travel, migrate, and seek refuge due to different sociohistorical, economic, political, familial, and personal factors, learning to negotiate various national, cultural, and linguistic contexts while also facing intersecting forms of marginalization due to factors such as race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, nationality, and linguistic background. As the only extended study of transnational German literature to consider age alongside other intersecting components of identity, my monograph seeks to investigate sociocultural and narratological methods through the development of an analytical framework that gives equal weight to issues of identity, politics, aesthetics, structure, and form. By featuring young protagonists coming of age amidst literal, linguistic, and figurative border crossings, these texts play on, reimagine, and burst open tropes of the traditional Bildungsroman genre and thus constitute the heretofore unaddressed subgenre: the contemporary transnational Bildungsroman in German. This book identifies and defines this emergent subgenre as one that reveals the lack of agency granted to young multiply othered protagonists in German-speaking cultures and presents their ability to self-define and self-narrate despite and against these societal limitations.

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.