JHI Six-Month Faculty Research Fellows, 2020-2021

Marlene Goldman, UTSC Department of English

Marlene Goldman (Ph.D. 1993, University of Toronto) is Professor of English, with specialization in Canadian literature, age studies, and medical humanities. Her most recent scholarly monograph is Forgotten: Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s in Canadian Literature (McGill-Queens Press, 2017). In addition to her scholarly works, she has also written, directed, and produced a short film about dementia entitled “Piano Lessons” based on Alice Munro’s short story “In Sight of the Lake” from her collection Dear Life (2004). Her latest film, “Torching the Dusties” about aging and intergenerational warfare from Margaret Atwood’s recent collection Stone Mattress (2014) premiered at the Fright Festival in London, UK. She is the author of Paths of Desire (University of Toronto Press, 1997), Rewriting Apocalypse (McGill-Queen’s Press, 2005), and (Dis)Possession (McGill-Queen’s Press 2011). For more information about Goldman’s research, film making, and publications, please see her website: marlenegoldman.ca

Performing Shame: Simulating Stigmatized Minds and Bodies

This project uses insights from performance studies, affect studies, and medical humanities to argue that performances of shame have the potential to lessen its negative associations and emotional impact. Rather than promote a flight from shame, almost all of the case studies suggest that only by returning to painful sites of shame, in the context of performance and play, can one hope to undo its malevolent spell. Part one explores performances of shame linked to disability. Part two examines shame’s relationship to sexual desires that North American society deems transgressive. Part three explores the largely disavowed relationship between the art of medicine and the theatrical arts with an emphasis on the use of simulated patients and empathy devices.

Cheryl Misak, FAS Department of Philosophy

Cheryl Misak (D.Phil. 1988, University of Oxford) is University Professor and Professor of Philosophy.  She works on American pragmatism, the history of analytic philosophy, ethics and political philosophy, and the philosophy of medicine. Her books include Cambridge Pragmatism: From Peirce and James to Ramsey and Wittgenstein (Oxford UP, 2016), The American Pragmatists (Oxford UP, 2013), Truth and the End of Inquiry: A Peircean Account of Truth (Oxford UP 1991 and 2004), Truth, Politics, Morality: Pragmatism and Deliberation (Routledge, 2000), as well as edited volumes such as The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Peirce, The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy, and The Practical Turn: Pragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century (with Huw Price). From 2009-2013 she was Vice-President and Provost of the University of Toronto; she is currently Acting Director of the Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.

C.I. Lewis, Gilbert Ryle, and the Relationship between Pragmatism and Analytic Philosophy

Misak’s project is a re-examination of relationship between the philosophical traditions of pragmatism and analytic philosophy. She has argued that pragmatism has had an under-recognized influence on American and British analytic philosophy, and that in fact the epistemology and theory of truth that dominated analytic philosophy from logical empiricism in the 1930s, right through to Quine and Wittgenstein’s reign from the 1950s and onwards, was in fact pragmatism. That is: the most prominent analytic philosophers of the last century—Ramsey, Wittgenstein, Quine, the logical empiricists—were pragmatists. Her current project is to trace the connections between the American pragmatist C.I. Lewis, the English analytic philosophers Frank Ramsey and Gilbert Ryle, and the Vienna Circle. She will go beyond a debate about historical influences of one tradition on others to explore a tension in pragmatism itself. On the one hand, we take our beliefs to be true, or objective, or aimed at getting reality right. On the other hand, our beliefs, and our philosophical ways of understanding their nature and status, have developed in a way that is contingent on all sorts of historical accidents. This productive tension is at the heart of what it is to be human.

Ann Mullen, UTSC Department of Sociology

Ann Mullen (Ph.D. 1998, Yale University) is Associate Professor of Sociology.  Her principal research interests are in the sociology of culture, higher education, and gender.  Her first book, Degrees of Inequality: Culture, Class and Gender in American Higher Education (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010), exposes the powerful patterns of social inequality in American higher education by revealing how students’ social background shapes nearly every facet of their college experiences.  The book was awarded the Outstanding Publication in Postsecondary Education, by the American Educational Research Association, and the Educators Award, by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. She has also published work examining access to higher education, the gendered segregation of fields of study, and competing cultural narratives about the purpose and value of a university degree.

Appreciation: How Artists, Dealers and Collectors Bring Contemporary Art to Life

Drawing on ethnographic research and in-depth interviewing in the contemporary art community of San Francisco, Mullen’s project explores the social processes through which objects achieve meaning, value and the status of legitimate artwork.  She argues that art is a collective accomplishment that relies on the coordinated efforts of three key segments of the broader art community.  Yet, while achieving the status of art requires the interconnected participation of artists, dealers and collectors, the process is far from seamless. Social actors make sense of and engage with art objects in surprisingly diverse and often opposing or contradictory ways.

Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux, FAS Departments of Spanish & Portuguese and Linguistics

Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux (Ph.D. 1993, U. Massachusetts) is Professor of Spanish and Linguistics and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her research on language acquisition examines the development of syntax and semantics in young children. She is the co-author (with Y. Roberge) of Direct Objects and Language Acquisition (Cambridge UP, 2019); and author of many articles and chapters in scholarly publications, and a long list of creative non-fiction essays published in Spanish and English.

Using the Art of War to Eradicate Polio: Narratives of a Collective Action

This project will generate a narrative based in documents, interviews, print and journalism around a campaign to administer the polio vaccine to the entire population of the Dominican Republic in a single weekend. It is a hybrid project that brings documentary, analytic, and argumentative goals into a narrative perspective. This project has grown out of discussions in the JHI Working Group on Entitlement, about the subgenre of deterioration narratives in Latin American fiction and testimonial literature; it aims to offer a counter-narrative about the power and potential of strategic thinking and collective action.

Janet Poole, FAS Department of East Asian Studies

Janet Poole (Ph.D. 2004, Columbia University) is Associate Professor and Distinguished Professor of the Humanities. She is a scholar of modern Korean literature and cultural theory. Her research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and formations of colonialism and postcolonial national division, explored through literature, art and material culture, on theories of translation and literary translation. Her exploration of Korean modernist writers’ response to Japanese fascist occupation during the Pacific War appeared as When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination of Late Colonial Korea (Columbia University Press, 2014) and was awarded the 2015 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize. She is translator of the mid-twentieth century writer Yi T’aejun and has published a collection of his anecdotal essays (Eastern Sentiments, Columbia University Press, paperback edition, 2013) and a selection of his short stories written during the Pacific War and the early years of the Democratic People’s Republic (Dust and Other Stories, Columbia University Press, 2018). Her most recent project, “Going North and the History of Korean Modernism,” was awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant in 2017.

Decolonizing Style: Going North and the History of Korean Modernism

Over a period of five years from Japan’s defeat in the Pacific War and subsequent loss of empire to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 many of Korea’s most celebrated writers and artists crossed over the 38th parallel from the U.S.-occupied southern zone or nascent Republic of Korea (ROK) into the Soviet-occupied northern zone, which was to become the Democratic People’s Republic (DPRK). The fiction, poetry and critical essays written by this heterodox group of socialists lie at the centre of this project, which looks at their attempts to forge a style adequate in its response to the moment of decolonisation and Cold War modes of political belonging. My research aims to recover the lost complexity and nuance of a historical experience that the Cold War reduced to polemical division, refusing the divided rhetoric that silences those alternative histories and alternative possible futures. Precisely because the work of these writers has been subject to an extraordinary array of measures of censorship and silencing—whether through the judicial institutions of anti-communism and post-colonial power grabbing or through more subtle mechanisms of literary criticism and interpretative practices—they are rich material for rethinking the relationship between aesthetics and politics in its mid-twentieth century global context.

Anna Shternshis, FAS Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures and Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies

Anna Shternshis (D. Phil. University of Oxford, 2001) is Al and Malka Green Professor of Yiddish studies and the director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923—1939 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006) and When Sonia Met Boris: An Oral History of Jewish Life under Stalin (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). She has written over 20 scholarly articles in the field of Soviet Jewish history, culture and diaspora, and is currently working on two projects: a monograph on Yiddish Music in the Soviet Union during World War II, and a multi-authored volume on the new definitive history of Jews in the Soviet Union. Together with a group of artists, she created and directed a musical album Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2019.

Last Yiddish Heroes: A Lost and Found Archive of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union

Shternshis will write a book (complete with audio and video components) which will tell the full story of how the voices of people, killed by Hitler, then silenced by Stalin, managed to survive: people who sang in conditions of confinement in ghettos in the occupied Soviet Union, on trains travelling under bombardment of the German Army, or in trenches fighting as members of the Red Army. A second, linked narrative, will tell the story of scholars who managed to record and collect these unique materials during the war, and, shortly after the end of the war, ended up in Stalin’s jails accused of political crimes.


About JHI Six-Month Faculty Research Fellowships

Fellows must be tenured at the time they take up their fellowship. Each receives a six-month leave from the normal teaching and administrative duties in order to undertake research (including travel) on the project proposed in their application and are chosen for demonstrated excellence of their record of scholarship and the merit of the research proposal. Six-Month Fellowships are not required to be relevant to the year's annual theme.  The next competition for Faculty Research Fellowships to be held in 2021-2022 will take place in September 2020.

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