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2017-2018 CHAT Fellows

CHAT is proud to announce the following recipients of fellowships at the Humanities Center for 2017-2018. (View Past Fellows or see Fellows News for career news from past fellows.)


Faculty Fellows

Inmaculada M. García-Sánchez, Associate Professor, Anthropology

Fellow portraitInmaculada specializes in linguistic anthropology. Her research focuses on the immigrant experience of children and youth growing up in multilingual and multicultural societies. She is a past postdoctoral fellow of the National Academy of Education, and the author of Language and Muslim Immigrant Childhoods: The Politics of Belonging. Some of her other publications on immigrant childhoods include articles in Linguistics and Education, Language and Communication, Pragmatics, The Handbook of Language Socialization, and Raciolinguistics: How Language Shapes Our Ideas about Race. Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, among other sources.


Miles Orvell, Professor of English and American Studies

Fellow portraitMiles Orvell has written and edited nine books in the field of American studies, among them The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, Photography in America, and The Death and Life of Main Street. More recently he has been working at the intersection of visual studies, historical memory, and place, including his project during the CHAT year, a book called The Morality of Ruins: Photography, Culture, and the Destructive Sublime.


Erin Pauwels, Assistant Professor, Art History

Fellow portraitErin Pauwels is a scholar of American art and material culture, specializing in painting, photography and print media of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her work focuses on the intersections of art with histories of technology, mass media, and consumer culture. She has also written on the history of celebrity, theatrical performance and costume balls in the United States. Dr. Pauwels is currently finishing her first book entitled The Art of Living Pictures: Napoleon Sarony and the Gilded Age Public Image, which examines the complex legacy of a late nineteenth-century celebrity photographer in order to illuminate how the circulation of mass-produced imagery and artistic reproduction shaped the foundations of the American art world..


Jessica Choppin Roney, Associate Professor, History

Fellow portraitJessica Choppin Roney specializes in the history of governance and state formation in early America. Her first book, Governed by a Spirit of Opposition: The Origins of American Political Practice in Colonial Philadelphia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), examines how voluntary associations and a robust civic culture created avenues for ordinary men to participate in and shape government before the American Revolution, and how in turn those developments shaped the coming of the Revolution in Pennsylvania. She is currently working on her second project, A Revolutionary Inheritance, a comparative study of how ideals and realities of state and empire translated into the foundation of new colonies on the western frontier of the new United States and in the Loyalist diaspora to Canada and the Caribbean.



CLA Advanced Graduate Scholars

Kaete O'Connoll , PhD Candidate, History

Evans PortraitKaete O'Connell's dissertation explores the political, cultural, and emotional impact of food relief in occupied Germany. The decision to feed German civilians dramatically altered the tenor of the occupation, providing the foundation for an improved U.S.-German relationship that reverberated throughout the trans-Atlantic community. It also charted a new course for the future of American aid, informing later efforts at development and modernization across the globe. The food negotiations that occurred in occupied Germany demonstrated that American power need not be measured by bombs alone; food cultivated national prestige. Food relief was both good policy and good public relations, providing a narrative that cast the United States as a benevolent power at a critical moment in the early Cold War.


Emma Rhodes, PhD Candidate, Psychology

Fellow PortraitEmma Rhodes studies psychosocial factors that impact cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease. Her dissertation investigates the link between grit, a personality factor related to persistence, and cognitive functioning in older adults. This project examines the impact of grit on episodic memory and executive functioning in a sample of healthy older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It aims to determine if the use of compensatory strategies (i.e., techniques used to support cognitive performance) mediates the association between grit and cognitive functioning in older adults.


Graduate Associate Fellows

Catherine Murray, PhD Candidate, History

Fellow portraitCatherine Murray's dissertation "Captivating a Nation: Women's Narratives and the Emergence of American Nationalism, 1787-1830" explores the relationship between women's Indian captivity narratives and the emergence of a national identity in the early American republic. Indian captivity narratives provided a structure which gave voice to American fears and at the same time contained them, offering an important insight into the ways Americans of the early republic conceived of their nation. Her dissertation traces the ways in which these narratives both acknowledged American vulnerabilities and yet asserted-through the ultimate redemption of captives- the strength of the young nation.


Brian Seymour, PhD Candidate, Art History

Fellow's portraitBrian Seymour focuses on the role of Philadelphia collectors around the turn of the 20th century in shaping publics. He has been awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in art history and is a performing songwriter. His dissertation, Art Collecting, and Shaping Publics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: A Philadelphia Story, aligns the discursive practices of two Philadelphians, attorney John G. Johnson and Dr. Albert C. Barnes. By juxtaposing two very different types of collectors, his work challenges set narratives to consider how individual and collective social actors create new publics around the exhibition of art. His research presents the two men's collection museums as parallel cases studies, particularly with their shared interest in serving the everyday citizens of Philadelphia.


Christopher Roberts, PhD Candidate, Africology and African American Studies

Fellow's portraitChristopher Roberts' dissertation examines the cartographic implications of memory and meaning illuminated by Black people's efforts to both remove physical monuments to white supremacy and venerate ancestral sites of Black affirmation. Focusing on sites in the United States, England, and South Africa, he uses ArcGIS StoryMaps to visualize what he argues is the epistemic polyrhythmic relationship between these seemingly divergent sites of ancestral violence and affirmation. This dissertation pushes back against simplistic notions of diversity/inclusion; where more monuments of, and more places named after Black people equals progress. Roberts queries whether Black people should desire inclusion at all, and instead, excavate ancient and chart new landscapes of Africana epistemologies of memory.


Caroline Tynan, PhD Candidate, Political Science

Fellow's portraitCaroline Tynan's dissertation examines the domestic motivations behind the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen begun in 2015. Through contrasting this conflict with Saudi Arabia's more limited Yemeni intervention in the 1960s, this project seeks to compare how and why Saudi Arabia has responded differently in recent years to regional revolutionary threats as opposed to the Arab nationalist revolutions it faced in the 1960s. The puzzle is two-fold: how do state-society relations within an authoritarian regime affect that government's foreign policy, and what processes lead to shifting conceptions of national and religious identities in the Arab world. She argues that national and religious identity are both products of the dialectical relationship between state and society, and as such are fluid.


Digital Humanities Scholars

Jeff Antsen, PhD Candidate, Political Science

Fellows portraitJeff Antsen's dissertation, "Why Bother Choosing Anyway? : LGBT Framing, and the Role of Etiological Narratives," examines the different narratives that media outlets have drawn on over time, regarding the LGBT community. He studies the ways LGBT issues are framed, and the aspects of the community that are focused on in mass communications. He uses content analysis of media publications over the last 40 years to help understand how narratives have arisen, interacted, and diminished: over time, across the country, and in response to historical events.


Emily E. Cornuet, MA Student, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, Fox School of Business

Fellow portraitI am looking to build a plastic shredder machine to begin creating a micro-scale plastic recycling shop at Temple University. The machine would be utilized by the Office of Sustainability as an educational tool to explain the recycling process and how materials are transformed into new products. The Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) would use the machine for academic research, and also to create a more sustainable process for recycling unwanted 3D printed prototypes or print mistakes. The goals of this interdisciplinary project are to showcase sustainable design, and product development utilizing experiential learning and the lean manufacturing process, and also to increase the university's recycling rate through expanded educational programming.


Anna Korsunska, PhD Student, Media and Communication

Fellow portraitI am a student in the Media and Communication PhD program, with a focus on health science communication. In my research I wish to explore how and why over simplified, contradictory or outright false health news based on real health research is broadcast in the media. I will be using web scraping, tracking, and text analysis technology that will help me figure out what happens as new studies get picked up by various media outlets. I hope to make a small, yet significant impact in this research area, and I think Digital Research will be a vital piece of the puzzle.


Andrew Litts, PhD Student, Music Studies - Composition and Music Theory

Fellow portraitData sonifiers seek aural applicability of their data, mapping research findings and other forms of data onto sonic parameters such as frequency, amplitude, rhythm, and timbre. A common thread among discussions in the field is the relevance of data sonification to music: at what point does the sonification become music, if it even should? I am sonifying the open-source data provided by SEPTA, Philadelphia's public transit authority, to turn real-time data about train location and timeliness into sound users can use on their ride to find out the status of their train or to learn about the system in whole.


Alodia Martin-Martinez, PhD Student, Spanish and Portugeuse

Fellow portraitMy project analyzes the interrelations between art and literature in the representation of real and imaginary spaces in the Middle Ages. Consequently, my research reveals the material nature of texts, and the textual nature of visual experiences. My plan is to digitally recreate spaces described in Spanish literary works that include illustrations of that space in order to explore the relation between how this space is described artistically and literally (which elements are stressed and which are not) and how it actually should look. By doing so, I want to provide a better understanding of the culture that created those works. The way in which a specific society represents time and space can illustrate how they think of the world they inhabit, that is, their worldview.


Connor L.D. Philips, PhD Student, Media and Commnunications

Fellow portraitFake news has become a hot topic of conversation, especially on social media, but are we all describing the same thing? Judging from the many news sources who have been labelled "fake news" -from the New York Times and CNN to Breitbart - it would appear the term has no clear, singular meaning. The goal of this project is to understand what those meanings are and how people use them. I am using digital techniques to scrape social networking sites, like Twitter and Reddit, identify influencers, and analyze and visualize the different meanings and uses of "fake news."


Rachel Wildfeuer, PhD Candidate, Sociology

Fellow portraitRachel Wildfeuer's planned dissertation will analyze the influence of place in the United States using the concept of the American Dream. Rachel, a PhD student in the department of sociology, plans to explore the extent to which place matters for the American Dream (confidence in it and achievement of it) because of the people that live there, because of the context of the place, and because of changes over time. Her digital project will include textual analysis of the concept of the American Dream and mapping geocoded data to visualize the influence of place.


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