In May 2017 the Institute for Advanced Study moved from its offices on the second floor of Eigenmann Hall to a new home on Third Street. The new location, across the street from Maurer School of Law, is in a converted house and features many amenities that make the new location quite “homey.” The IAS now has a full kitchen and its own seminar room, both of which have facilitated hosting a variety of events that would not have been possible in our previous location. The house has been beautifully restored with breathtaking hardwood floors on the first floor and striking mantle pieces in two of the offices. We also have a spacious front porch, which is an ideal place for informal conversations.
IAS Moves to New Location
Our first Branigin lecture of 2017 was Dr. Janie Cole. Cole is a visiting professor at the University of Cape Town's Center for African Studies and the South African College of Music. She is the founder and executive director of Music Beyond Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of contemporary music history related to crimes against humanity, sociopolitical conditions of repression, violence, protest and freedom. She is also a research fellow on "Re-Centering AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations in the Pre-Colonial Period 700–1500 AD," a Mellon Foundation-funded project based at the University of Cape Town that seeks to increase scholarship on pre-colonial South Africa and move beyond colonial and Eurocentric biases in existing scholarship.
Her lecture, "‘Soiled by Black Lips’: Music, Resistance, Race, and Incarceration in Apartheid South Africa” drew on Cole's research on South African music, protest, and oral history during the struggle against apartheid. Cole is currently working on a book on the subject and, with her nonprofit organization Music Beyond Borders, is creating a digital oral history archive and a documentary film related to apartheid prisons. During her time at IU, Cole also spoke at the Black Film Center/Archive, the Center for Documenary Research and Practice, the African Studies Colloquium, and the Historial Teaching and Practice Seminar. Her visit was cosponsered byt he African Studies Program, Center for Documentary Research and Practice, The Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, Jacobs School of Music, Office of the Vice-President for International Affairs, and the Departments of Anthropology, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and History.
Our Fall 2017 Branigin Lecturer was Dr. Alondra Nelson, Professor of Sociology and Dean of Social Science at Columbia University. On September 1, 2017, she became President of the Social Science Research Council, an organization that has been dedicated to advancement of social research for the public good for more than nine decades. A sociologist who has published broadly on the intersections of science, technology and social inequality, her books include The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome and Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination.
Her lecture, "Reconciliation Projects: The Vexed Racial Politics of Genetic Ancestry Testing," discussed the ways cutting-edge DNA-based genealogical techniques are being used in myriad ways to grapple with the afterlife of racial slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for reparations specifically based on ancestry.
Wells Distinguished Lecture
In 2017 IAS revived the Wells Distinguished Lecture Series with "The Temptation of Executive Authority: How Increased Polarization and the Decline in Legislative Capacity Shaped the Obama Presidency" presented by Dr. Edward G. "Ted" Carmines. This lecture was a follow up to a lecture that Carmines presented for the Institute at the start of the Obama presidency. His talk was followed by comments from Professor Marjorie Hershey, moderated by Professor Emeritus of Law George P. Smith II (Catholic University). The talks were followed by a reception at the Institute.
Edward G. Carmines is a Distinguished Professor, Warner O. Chapman Professor, and Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. He is also the Director of the Center in American Politics and the Director of Research at the Center on Representative Government. His research focuses on American politics including public opinion, elections, and political behavior. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
IAS continued and expanded its Residential Fellows program. In 2017 we debuted our Residential Fellowship with course release program. The partnership between the IAS and the College of Arts and Sciences grants a two-course release to one associate professor. The goal of the program is to give faculty much-needed time for research and writing as they move toward promotion to full professor. Our inaugural fellow, Marissa Moorman, was able to use the time to finish the manuscript for her book, Powerful Frequencies: Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1931–2002.
“I started the semester with patchy drafts of the book’s six chapters,” Moorman says, “These drafts were patchy in their coverage of the ideas and material I hoped to cover and they were poorly connected to one another, as I had written nearly all of them for conference and presentation deadlines and venues that each required different framing. By the end of the spring semester of 2017, I had much cleaner, leaner, and coherent chapters that allowed me to then finish the manuscript and submit it in late July. The fellowship offered me the possibility and accountability of having a workshop on my introduction. This forced me to produce a full introduction and to get the feedback from colleagues whose opinions I greatly respect but rarely have the time to engage relative to my own work. The colleagues were tough but encouraging readers and their questions and suggestions helped me clarify my thinking."
Moorman submitted her manuscript in July 2017 and planned to spend the rest of the year working through the reader's reports she received. She hoped to submit the revised manuscript to the press in July 2018.
Our second recipient of the residential fellowship with course release was Shannon Gayk from the Department of English. Gayk had this to say about her time at the Institute:
“Although I was already well into the writing of my second book, my progress toward completing it had stalled under the pressures of teaching and of directing the Medieval Studies Institute. A semester of teaching leave and the distraction-free writing space provided by IAS allowed me finish two chapters, revise portions of others, and get feedback on that work. This type of progress simply would not have been possible without the support of an IAS fellowship. I am deeply grateful for the support. And, thanks to my semester as a residential fellow, the book is finally nearing completion.”
De Witt Douglas Kilgore
Department of English
Kilgore used his residential fellowship to work on his book project, The Galactic Club: The Search for a Postracial Universe in Science/Fiction, in which he explores the expressive traffic between the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence [SETI] and science fiction in literature and film. He is particularly concerned with the ways that SETl-inspired narrative has sought to avoid the conventional trope of aliens as either antagonistic or assimilable racial others, a simple projection of contemporary American social order onto a galactic stage. This strategy produces literary and cinematic narratives that seek to define extraterrestrial civilizations as hopeful models for a postracial, posthuman future. Linking the history of science with popular fiction and film my work seeks to transform the way we think about why certain sciences gain significant currency in American life.
Ayana Okeeva Smith
Department of Musicology
Smith used her residential fellowship to work on the early stages her second book, provisionally titled Specularity: Opera, Art, and Science in Rome, 1680–1710. This work aims to reconstruct the catalogue of Giovanni Giacomo Komarek (1648–1706), a Roman publisher of Bohemian extraction, who was a central force in gathering and disseminating works in a variety of fields, with an emphasis on seeing and believing. Reconstructing Komarek’s catalogue reveals not only the larger currents in intellectual and visual culture in Rome, but also traces the legacy of Queen Christina as an important patron of science and the arts. Smith's project constructs an interdisciplinary lens for understanding and interpreting opera. She juxtaposes each area of Komarek’s catalogue—whether drawn from science, art, or literature—with related operatic narratives, demonstrating how opera engages in debates around seeing and believing, in projecting visual frameworks, and in representing mirrors and other ocular devices on stage.
Marissa J. Moorman
Department of History
Marissa Moorman used her residential fellowship to complete the manuscript for her book Powerful Frequencies: Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1933–2002. Thise monograph analyzes how radio technology works as an object and an institution,thereby recasting Angola’s twentieth century history. The book’s key contention holds that human actors and failures in infrastructure and technology compromise colonial and independent state projects to extend rule and impose modernity with technology-laden plans. Powerful Frequencies addresses three key areas of scholarship: the global Cold War; technology and technopolitics; and communication studies. Radio broadcasting and listening played a pivotal role in Angola’s anti-colonial struggle, the postcolonial state’s attempts to forge national unity after independence, and the drawn out partisanship of a civil war entangled in regional and Cold War politics. Focusing on radio in the hands of individuals and as an institution used by liberation movements and states (colonial and independent), this book reframes the conventional history of the Angolan nation from one of anticolonial and civil wars fueled by external forces (colonial or Cold War) to local politics, ingenuity, and practices with transnational ramifications. Likewise, it reorients histories of radio, highlighting contingency and the technological limits on state and movement projects.
Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology
Mary Waldron used her residential fellowship to learn the software language R in order to create genetically-informed survival modeling using R-based software
packages and apply these models to twin data on adolescent substance (alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis) use. Waldron planned to use R-based modeling to examine genetic risk associated with timing of first substance use. Genetically-informed survival models permit parsing of genetic and environmental influences on timing of substance use events, offering clear advantages over categorical approaches, particularly when individuals who have yet to use a given substance (but may do so in the future) are included in the sample. During her fellowship Waldron worked on an article manuscript for submission to a leading journal in addictions.
Department of English
Shannon Gayk used her residential fellowship to work on the manuscript fro her book Instruments of Christ: The Arma Christi in Early England, 800–1800. This book focuses on one of the most popular iconographic and literary motifs in medieval and early modern Europe: the arma Christi. The arma, or the arms of Christ, are the collection of tools and objects associated with the Passion of Christ, including the cross, the crown of thorns, the nails, the scourges. Despite much attention to representations of the suffering body of Christ in medieval literature and culture, considerations of the instruments that brought about that suffering have been curiously few and far between. Considering the evolving uses and understandings of these objects in image and text from the ninth through the eighteenth centuries in England, Instruments of Christ will be the first monograph to study this cluster of sacred objects.
Department of Sociology
Tim Hallett used his fellowship to work on his book project, Learning the Administrative Way: Men and Women of the Policy School. Whether in government, nonprofits, or the private sector, people with MPP, MPA, and MPAd
degrees have important roles in creating and implementing policies that shape education, economic behavior, social inequality, and the future of work in the U.S. Since these policies have an essential place in the improvement of social and living conditions in America, Hallett argues we need to know more about these graduate degree programs and the people that they help to create. He uses the lens of inhabited institutionalism, which emphasizes the recursive relationships between the cultural rationales that exist in the broader institutional environment (such as accountability), and the interactions through which people—inside of and across organizations—respond to these cultural pressures, and in turn shape them.
Department of Musicology
Giovanni Zanovello used his residential fellowshiop to work on his monograph tentatively titled Beyond Frottola: Reappraising the Italian Fifteenth-Century Song. Zanovello sides with scholars who recently deconstructed the term frottola and proposed that Italian songs were more varied in style and provenance than hitherto realized. Also, by proposing that cathedral schools in the Veneto region played a crucial role in the early genesis of certain kinds of songs I contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the social and cultural basis of Renaissance art music. As I hope to demonstrate, musically trained members of the urban laboring classes became crucial in merging popular culture, international musical literacy, and courtly culture to create a new constellation of song genres.
Jean-Françios CottierJean-François Cottier, Professor of Latin at Paris Diderot University, came to Bloomington to collaborate with IUB Professor Eric MacPhail (French and Italian). Cottier is currently conducting research on the poetics of paraphrase (Biblical epics, paraphrases of the Scriptures) and the humanistic exegesis of the Bible, while continuing the translation of great medieval and modern texts such as the Book of Gomorrah by Pierre Damien, treatises on epistolary writing by Erasmus, and the De Alea by Juste Pasquier. His presentation, “'Learning is Necessary to the Prince' (Plutarch): Reflections on the Image of the Prince in Humanist Writings," examined a variety of Renaissance era writings on subject of advice to sovereigns.
Maurizio FerrarisDr. Maurizio Ferraris is Professor of Philosophy at the Univeristy of Turin and President of the LabOnt--Laboratory for Ontology. He came to Bloomington to collaborate with Professor Ronald Day (Information and Library Sciences) and his visit was cosponsored by the Departments of Information and Library Sciences and Informatics. His IAS-sponsored presentation, "What is the Web?," argued that the Web is recording, not just communication; action, rather than just information; production, rather than just transmission; real, not just virtual; mobilization, not just emancipation; emergence, not just construction; and opacity, not just transparency.
Born in Tanzania, Jane Bryce was educated there, in the UK and in Nigeria. She has published cultural and literary criticism in a range of academic journals and essay collections, specializing in African and Caribbean popular and contemporary fiction, representations of gender, cinema (with special interest in Nollywood), and visual culture. She is Professor Emerita of African Literatures and Cinema at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. She came to IUB to collaborate with Professor Vivian Halloran (Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies) and take part in the CLACS-sponsored conference, “A Hundred Years of Migration (1917–2017): Stories of Caribbean Exile and Diaspora.”
Esteve Corbera is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). His research focuses on the governance of landuse management options for climate mitigation across scales, including analyses of climate-policy and biodiversity conservation related instruments. He came to IUB to collaborate with Associate Professor Rebecca Lave (Geography) and his presentation examined the social scientific networks informing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group III.
Adam L. Kern
Adam L. Kern is professor of Japanese Literature and Visual Culture at University of Wisconsin–Madison. He came to Bloomington to collaborate with IU Professor Emeritus Sumie Jones on her NEH-sponsored translation project. He also gave a presentation titled "Comixing Cultures! The Shocking Transnational Affair of Japanese Manga and Euro-American Comics."