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Announcement of Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities, 2014-2015

We are very pleased to welcome the following three doctoral candidates in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who will be joining us as Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellows in the Humanities in 2014-2015 on the theme of Humour, Play, and Games.

Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellows in the Humanities, 2014-2015

Jeanne Mathieu-Lessard, Comparative Literature
Humour and Imprisonment in Twentieth-Century Fiction
Jeanne’s dissertation is a comparative study of the role of imprisonment in modernist humour.  Whether a concrete spatial setting or a metaphorical image, confined spaces provide a setting and a trigger for humour, often as a form of resistance.  Jeanne’s work brings the ideas of Luigi Pirandello, Henry Bergson, Wyndham Lewis, and Mikhail Bakhtin to bear on fictional works by Pirandello and Lewis. She also considers texts by Giovannino Guareschi, Romain Gary, and Vladimir Nabokov to trace the paradigm of humour and imprisonment through modernism and across genres and national literatures.

Matthew Risling, English
Burlesque Natural Philosophers: Sorting out the New Sciences in Eighteenth-Century England
Matthew’s research examines anxieties surrounding class and authority in relation to the emergence of scientists in eighteenth-century England. Focusing on the literary form of burlesque caricatures of socially “inferior” scientists, his dissertation plans a series of case studies including both theatrical and literary representations of scientists by authors such as Henry Fielding, Jonathan Swift, and Margaret Cavendish. These authors textually framed—and mocked—scientists, whose developing authority challenged older forms of class-based power.

Youcef Soufi, Study of Religion
Playing with the Law: The Disputation and Islamic Legal Reasoning
Youcef’s work examines the disputation—the mode of argumentation that characterizes the Islamic legal tradition—as a game whose goal is to best the legal reasoning of an opponent. Legal principals are seen anew, not as absolute rules, but as potential moves and countermoves in a dialogical disputation, whose outcome is the product of the skill of the disputants. Youcef examines the works of two leading premodern jurists of the Shafi’i school of law, Imam al-Ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī (d.478AH /1085 CE) and Abū Isḥāq al-Shirāzī (d.476AH/1083 CE), debating a series of substantive legal questions in Nishapur in 1078. The format of this debate, the munazara, was the site of a structured rhetorical game, and the analysis of this argument as game opens a series of fundamental issues in legal theory including the understanding of language and the construction of legal meaning and authority.

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