Author: Della Zazzera, Elizabeth

Call for Applications: 2023–24 Undergraduate Humanities Research Fellowships

Humanities research fellowships for UConn undergraduates. Apply by February 24, 2023.

The UConn Humanities Institute (UCHI) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) are excited to once again offer year-long fellowships for undergraduate students pursuing innovative research in the humanities.

The fellowship supports a year-long research project supervised by a UConn faculty member. The project should explore big questions about human society and culture and should lead to an original contribution to your area of study. The exact parameters (length, format, etc) will be set by your faculty advisor. Depending on your major and your academic and professional plans, your project may consist of a scholarly research project or a creative product with a significant research component. At the end of the year, students will submit the final project to their faculty advisor, UCHI, and CLAS.

The project should ask questions or explore issues and ideas that feel urgent and exciting to you. We highly encourage proposals for projects that use methods, ideas, and approaches from more than one discipline.

Fellows will be welcomed as members of the Humanities Institute, a lively community of accomplished faculty and graduate student scholars conducting advanced research in the humanities. In addition to immersion in this intellectual community, the fellowship offers:

  • A $2,000 scholarship
  • A desk/work area at UCHI, located conveniently in Homer Babbidge Library for conducting research
  • Bi-weekly check-in meetings
  • A public presentation about the project at UCHI in the spring semester
  • Participation at UCHI’s events (for example, presentations by visiting scholars and artists) and special opportunities to meet with such visiting speakers
  • A field trip or cultural excursion (for example, a visit to a museum or archive) to be announced during the year
  • The opportunity to present your work at the Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium the fall following your fellowship year
  • 6 credits for the academic year, through the successful completion of one 3-credit independent study each semester with the UConn faculty member supervising your project
  • (For non-Honors students) Admission into the Honors Program through the successful completion of this program, if other Honors admissions criteria are met.

Eligibility

Fellowship applicants should be rising sophomores or rising juniors in good academic standing. Rising seniors are also eligible to apply, but preference will be given to students earlier in their degrees.

Fellows from all campuses are welcome. But fellows are expected to be on the Storrs campus for their bi-weekly meetings. In the event that campus is closed for public health reasons, these meetings will be held virtually and the fellowship will be conducted remotely.

The proposed project should be humanities research. Broadly speaking, the “humanities” means the study of human society and culture. Humanities majors or minors typically include but are not limited to: Africana Studies; American Studies; Anthropology; Art and Art History; Asian and Asian American Studies; English; History; Human Rights; Journalism; Latino and Latin American Studies; Philosophy; Sociology; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. If you aren’t sure if your project is humanistic, please email uchi@uconn.edu.

Fellows should check individually with the Office of Student Financial Aid Services to ensure that they are eligible to accept the scholarship.

Application

  1. A Word document with answers to the following questions:
    1. What is your project’s title?
    2. What big question(s) is your project asking, and why are those questions important to you, your community, and society? (maximum 300 words)
    3. What is your plan for the project? What work will you do to try to answer its questions? (maximum 300 words)
    4. How do you think working on this project contributes to your own goals? (maximum 200 words)
    5. Optional question: Are there additional factors in your background or life experience that would help you benefit from this opportunity? Discuss social, economic, educational, or other obstacles, as appropriate. (maximum 300 words)
  1. A writing sample of your best research and writing (for example, your best final paper).
  2. One letter of recommendation from a UConn faculty member that also includes their willingness to supervise the project over the course of an academic year.
  3. An unofficial transcript.

Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023

All questions and application materials can be sent to uchi@uconn.edu.

We are hosting an information session for prospective applicants on January 30, 2023 at 2:30pm in the UCHI Conference Room on the fourth floor of Homer Babbidge Library and on Zoom. Virtual attendees must register.

Please know while we will make every effort to review submissions as soon as possible, the materials you submit may not be reviewed immediately upon receipt. Please note that all University employees are mandated reporters of child abuse or child neglect. In addition, UConn employees have responsibilities to report to the Office of Institutional Equity student disclosures of sexual assault and related interpersonal violence; any information you submit in this application is subject to UConn reporting policies. If you feel you need more immediate assistance or support, we encourage you to reach out to the Dean of Students Office and/or Student Health and Wellness- Mental Health. In addition, if you have concerns related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and/or stalking, we encourage you to review the resources and reporting options available at: https://titleix.uconn.edu

Fellow’s Talk: Kareem Khalifa on Segregation Indices

2022–23 Fellow's Talk: "How Value-Laden are Segregation Indices?" Professor of Philosophy, UCLA, Kareem Khalifa, with a response by Heather Cassano. December 14, 2022, 3:30pm. Humanities Institute Conference Room. This event will also be livestreamed.

How Value Laden are Segregation Indices

Kareem Khalifa (Professor of Philosophy, UCLA)

with a response by Heather Cassano (Digital Media & Design, UConn)

Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 3:30pm, Humanities Institute Conference Room (HBL 4-209)

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The event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning.

Register to attend virtually

Science’s objectivity is often thought to hinge on its impartiality. Roughly stated, impartiality is the requirement that only epistemic considerations, such as empirical evidence and cogent reasoning, should justify the acceptance of a scientific claim. Yet, the social sciences frequently employ thick concepts, i.e., concepts that both describe and evaluate. Examples include well-being, crime, poverty, and—central to our discussion—segregation. Given their inextricable link with values, it’s tempting to think that scientific claims that deploy thick concepts—so-called mixed claims—cannot be accepted impartially. Using the development of segregation indices and the operational definition of hypersegregation as illustrations, we argue that scientists’ use of thick concepts is compatible with impartial justification of mixed claims. This paper is co-authored with Jared Millson (Rhodes College) and Mark Risjord (Emory University).

Kareem Khalifa is a professor of philosophy at UCLA (2022–present). Prior to that, he was at Middlebury College in Vermont (2006–2022). His research interests include general philosophy of science, philosophy of social science, and epistemology. In addition to authoring over 30 articles, he authored the book, Understanding, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge, 2017) and co-edited Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences (Routledge, 2022). He is currently extending his previous work in these areas to social-scientific conceptions of race and segregation. He is currently a Future of Truth Fellow at the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute. In 2025, he will be the Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Philosophy of Science. In 2017, he received the American Council of Learned Societies’ Burkhardt Award, which funded a five-year project, Explanation as Inferential Practice.

Heather Cassano is a documentary filmmaker and Assistant Professor in the Digital Media & Design Department. Cassano’s first documentary film The Limits of My World (2018) followed her severely autistic brother Brian as he transitioned from the school system to adulthood. The film unpacks what it means to be a nonverbal disabled adult in today’s society. The film won several awards and is now being used as a tool for impact by organizations like Autism Canada and the National Council on Severe Autism.

Access note

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpretation, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

SEWing Circle: Manuel Almagro on Affective Polarization

The Social Epistemology Working Group Presents a SEWing circle workshop: The Concept of Affective Polarization and the Ways to Measure It, Manuel Almagro, Visiting Scholar, UConn Humanities Institute. December 15, 2022. UCHI Conference Room, Homer Babbidge Library.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

The Social Epistemology Working Group presents:

A SEWing Circle Workshop

The Concept of Affective Polarization and the Ways to Measure It

Manuel Almagro

December 15, 2022, 2:00pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room

This event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning. Register to attend virtually.

Affective polarization is usually defined as a tendency to dislike those from other party/parties while holding positive feelings toward the in-group, and it is usually measured by asking citizens if they have cold or warm feelings toward certain political leaders, political topics, or political parties. Thus, the claim “many contemporary democracies have become affectively polarized” usually means that their citizens have become more negative in their feelings toward the other party, moving from moderate levels of sympathy toward increasingly strong dislike. Here I will argue that feelings are just an element—possibly not the most relevant one—of the complex, multidimensional concept of affective polarization. I also review the main challenges the techniques to measure affective polarization face, and discuss the possible benefits of focusing on other dimensions of the concept in order to detect it at an early stage.

Manuel Almagro is a “Margarita Salas” postdoctoral fellow at the University of Granada (Spain), currently visiting the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut and working with Professor Michael P. Lynch. He will join the University of Valencia (Spain) in the summer of 2023 as a “Juan de la Cierva” postdoctoral fellow. He works on political epistemology, philosophy of language, and experimental philosophy. Most of his current research is focused on affective polarization and disagreement.

The Political Theory Workshop Presents Dana Francisco Miranda

THE POLITICAL THEORY WORKSHOP PRESENTS

“The Conspiracy of Peace”

Dana Francisco Miranda, Philosophy, UMass Boston
with commentary by August Shipman, Political Science, UConn
December 5, 2022 from 12:15–1:30pm, Oak 438 and Zoom.

In the 1968 documentary drama, Tell Me Lies, the Pan-African organizer Kwame Ture states: “There is a difference between peace and liberation, is there not? You can have injustice and have peace. Isn’t that correct? You can have peace and be enslaved. So, peace isn’t the answer. Liberation is the answer.” Political orders free from disturbance or “at peace” have long served as the ideal. Yet, states can be functional, can even thrive, through the production of social interactions wherein some are subject to non-relations, or treated as nonbeings. The maintenance of non-relations often requires the subjection and violent subordination of such groups. Peace is maintained through disorder. Drawing on the works of Martin Luther King, Jr, Frantz Fanon, Roseann Liu, and Savannah Shange, this work interrogates how “peace” functions in conspiracy with domination and oppression and describes the solidarities necessary to combat and upend dysfunctional orders.

With generous support from the UConn Humanities Institute.

Questions? Email jane.gordon@uconn.edu

Publishing Now: Access, Representation, Collaboration

Publishing Now and DHMS present: Publishing Now: Access, Representation, Collaboration Victoria Hindley (MIT Press) and Allison Levy (Brown University Digital Publication) November 30, 2022, 2:00pm Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room

Publishing NOW and the Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative present

Publishing Now: Access, Representation, Collaboration

Victoria Hindley (MIT Press) and Allison Levy (Brown University Digital Publications)

November 30, 2022, 2:00pm

Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room

This event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning. Register to attend virtually.

Victoria Hindley and Allison Levy will be talking about publishing in the context of larger concerns such as diversity, access, and collaboration and their work with their “On Seeing” series—an experiment in multimodal publishing that hopes to shape new conversations about how we see, comprehend, and participate in visual culture.

Victoria Hindley is Acquisitions Editor of Visual Culture and Design at the MIT Press and the founding organizer of the Press’s Grant Program for Diverse Voices. Known for its forward-looking intellectual rigor and distinctive design, the MIT Press has been publishing groundbreaking work since the 1960s.

Allison Levy is the Director of Brown University Digital Publications.

ACCESS NOTE

This event will offer automated captioning. If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

DHMS: The Ends of Knowledge

The Ends of Knowledge. Seth Rudy and Rachael Scarborough King, with a response from Michael Lynch. November 16, 2022, 1:00pm. UConn Humanities Institute Conference Room. This even will also be livestreamed.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative presents:

The Ends of Knowledge

Rachael Scarborough King and Seth Rudy

November 16, 2022, 1:00pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room
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This event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning. Register to attend virtually.

Toward interdisciplinary exchange, this event addresses the following questions: What would you say your discipline’s goals are, when it comes to advancing knowledge? How are they like or unlike the “ends” of other disciplines? The speakers, Rachael Scarborough King (UC Santa Barbara) and Seth Rudy (Rhodes College) put such questions to a historian, a physicist, a literary scholar, a computer scientist, a biologist, a digital humanist, a legal scholar, a journalist, an AI researcher, an activist, as well as scholars working in gender studies, environmental studies, Black studies, cultural studies, and more. Each scholar wrote up an essay in response, and these are collected in the forthcoming volume, The Ends of Knowledge: Outcomes and Endpoints Across the Arts and Sciences (Bloomsbury).

UCHI Director, Michael Lynch, will be acting as respondent to the two speakers.

Rachael Scarborough King is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Writing to the World: Letters and the Origins of Modern Print Genres (2018) and editor of After Print: Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Cultures (2020). She is the Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Ballitore Project, an archives- and digital humanities-based research project.

Seth Rudy is Associate Professor of English at Rhodes College. He is the author of Literature and Encyclopedism in Enlightenment Britain: The Pursuit of Complete Knowledge (2014).

Fellow’s Talk: Joseph Darda on Race and Fantasy Sports

UCHI Fellow's Talk 2022–2023. Owning Le'veon Bell and other White Fantasies. Associate Professor of English, Texas Christian University, Joseph Darda, with a response by Sandy Grande. November 16, 2022, 3:30pm. UConn Humanities Institute Conference Room. This event will also be livestreamed.

Owning Le’Veon Bell and Other White Fantasies

Joseph Darda (Associate Professor, English and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies, Texas Christian University)

with a response by Sandy Grande (Political Science and Native American & Indigenous Studies, UConn)

Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 3:30pm, Humanities Institute Conference Room (HBL 4-209)

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The event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning.

Register to attend virtually

This talk situates the rise of fantasy sports––a now $20 billion industry––in a post–civil rights, post-feminist moment of retrenchment. Telling the stories of boardgame inventors, early fantasy leagues, moneyball statheads, billion-dollar gambling startups, and the fans who consume it all, Joseph Darda asks whose fantasy we are living when we draft, trade, and cut real-life professional athletes. While some celebrate the rise of fantasy sports and sports analytics as a “revenge of the nerds,” in which unathletic math whizzes stormed the gates of a world dominated by former prom kings, Darda shows how it has functioned as something else: a racial managerial fantasy, a fantasy inviting an audience of mostly white men to imagine themselves not as their favorite athletes but as owners of predominantly Black teams.

Joseph Darda is an associate professor of English and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University and the author of three books on the cultural life of race in the United States: The Strange Career of Racial Liberalism (Stanford University Press, 2022), How White Men Won the Culture Wars (University of California Press, 2021), and Empire of Defense (University of Chicago Press, 2019). His current project, “The Naturals: How Sports Make Race in America,” investigates what our most popular culture, sports, has taught us about race since civil rights.

Darda has published articles in American Literary History, American Literature, American Quarterly, Critical Inquiry, and Representations, among other journals, and contributed essays to the Los Angeles Review of Books. With Amira Rose Davis, he is coeditor of a forthcoming special issue of AQ titled “The Body Issue: Sports and the Politics of Embodiment.” Darda completed his PhD in 2015 at the University of Connecticut.

Sandy Grande is a Professor of Political Science and Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Connecticut with affiliations in American Studies, Philosophy, and the Race, Ethnicity and Politics program. Her research and teaching interfaces Native American and Indigenous Studies with critical theory toward the development of more nuanced analyses of the colonial present. She was recently awarded the Ford Foundation, Senior Fellowship (2019–2020) for a project on Indigenous Elders and aging. Her book, Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought was published in a 10th anniversary edition and a Portuguese translation is anticipated to be published in Brazil in 2022. She has also published numerous book chapters and articles including: Accumulation of the Primitive: The Limits of Liberalism and the Politics of Occupy Wall Street, The Journal of Settler Colonial Studies; Refusing the University in Toward What Justice?; “American Indian Geographies of Identity and Power,” Harvard Educational Review; and, “Red-ding the Word and the World” In, Paulo Freire’s Intellectual Roots: Toward Historicity in Praxis. She is also a founding member of New York Stands for Standing Rock, a group of scholars and activists that forwards the aims of Native American and Indigenous sovereignty and resurgence. As one of their projects, they published the Standing Rock Syllabus. In addition to her academic and organizing work, she has provided eldercare for her parents for over ten years and remains the primary caregiver for her 94-yr. old father.

Access note

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpretation, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

Dissertation Grant Writing Workshop

UConn Humanities Institute. Dissertation Grant writing workshop. November 7, 2022, 3:00pm. UCHI Conference Room (HBL 4-209). A workshop to assist graduate students in the preparation of dissertation fellowship applications in the humanities and associated disciplines.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

Dissertation Grant Writing Workshop

November 7, 2022, 3:00 pm

UCHI Conference Room, Homer Babbidge Library. Registration is required.

The UConn Humanities Institute (UCHI) is offering a workshop to assist graduate students in the preparation of dissertation fellowship applications in the humanities and associated disciplines. Any UConn graduate student interesting in applying to UCHI’s dissertation research fellowship is especially encouraged to attend. UCHI Director, Michael Lynch (Philosophy), and Director of Academic Affairs, Alexis Boylan (Art History and Africana Studies), will lead the workshop.

Two Talks by Distinguished National Phi Beta Kappa Scholar Ricardo Padrón

A lecture from a distinguished National Phi Beta Kappa Scholar sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa. The Location of China: Spanish Encounters with the Middle Kingdom, 1521–1621. Ricardo Padron. Professor of Spanish, University of Virginia. November 3, 2022, 4:00pm. UCHI Conference Room.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

A lecture from a distinguished National Phi Beta Kappa Scholar sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa:

The Location of China: Spanish Encounters with the Middle Kingdom, 1521–1621

Ricardo Padrón

November 3, 2022, 4:00pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room

This event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning. Register to attend virtually.

Spain’s colonization of the Philippine Islands led to an encounter with Ming China that was somewhat different from those experienced by the Portuguese and the Jesuits, one that generated questions about the location of China both in the geography of the globe and in the emerging hierarchy of the world’s cultures, as imagined from Europe. Were the Chinese as civilized as they seemed to be? Or were they just another version of the “barbarian” countries that the Spanish had already conquered in Mexico and Peru? What did it mean to be civilized anyway, and how could one tell? In this lecture, I introduce this little-known episode in the history of early modern European, arguing that it was the nature of Chinese government, not religion, that proved to be crucial.

In addition to the talk sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa, Ricardo Padrón will be giving a talk hosted by UVA’s Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures

The Indies of the Setting Sun: How Early Modern Spain Mapped the Far East as the Transpacific West

Ricardo Padrón

November 4, 2022, 10:00–11:30am
Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room

This event will also be livestreamed. Register to attend virtually.

The Indies of the Setting Sun: How Early Modern Spain Mapped the Far East as the Transpacific West (Chicago 2020) examines the place of Pacific and Asia in the Spanish concept of “the Indies.” Padrón’s research for this book has taken him to China, Japan, and the Philippines, and has been sponsored by U.Va.’s Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, Arts & Sciences at U.Va., and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ricardo Padrón is a specialist in the literature and culture of the early modern Hispanic world who has published extensively on questions of empire, literature, cartography, and the geopolitical imagination. His 2004 book, The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature and Empire in Early Modern Spain, has become a touchstone for the study of early modern Hispanic cartography. His recent monograph, The Indies of the Setting Sun: How Early Modern Spain Mapped the Far East as the Transpacific West (2020) challenges established narratives of “the invention of America” by looking at the various ways that sixteenth century Spaniards attempted to imagine the New World and Asia as connected spaces. His work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Renaissance Society of America.

SEWing Circle: Neftalí Villanueva Fernández on Crossed Disagreements

The Social Epistemology Working Group Presents a SEWing circle workshop: Crossed disagreements: semantical and epistemological issues. Neftalí Villanueva Fernández, Professor of Philosophy University of Granada.October 6, 2020, 2:00pm. UCHI conference room.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057. We can request ASL interpreting, computer-assisted real time transcription, and other accommodations offered by the Center for Students with Disabilities.

The Social Epistemology Working Group presents:

A SEWing Circle Workshop

Crossed Disagreements: Semantical and Epistemological Issues

Neftalí Villanueva Fernández

November 1, 2022, 2:00pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Humanities Institute Conference Room

This event will also be livestreamed with automated captioning. Register to attend virtually.

Crossed disagreements are instances of public discourse where the parties involved give clear signs of conceiving the debate under different lights. One might be thinking of the dispute in factual terms, for example, while the other might be taking the dispute to be one of a normative nature. An overwhelming presence of these disagreements can be linked to the rise of polarization. Because of its connection with polarization, they can be identified as forms of political propaganda. The purpose of this talk is to reflect on two different questions: 1. Do crossed disagreements stand in the way of knowledge? 2. What kind of restrictions do crossed disagreements impose on a theory of meaning? We will also dwell on the connection between epistemological and semantical issues, both with respect to the past literature on disagreement, and the future research on the topic. We will argue for a “promiscuous” approach, one in which epistemological and semantical questions remain intertwined.

Neftalí Villanueva is Profesor Titular and Head of the Department of Philosophy I at the University of Granada in Spain. Most of his work focuses on applying the philosophy of language to classical questions in the history of philosophy and to political and social problems. He is currently Principal Investigator on three separate research projects on polarization and disagreement: “Contemporary Expressivisms and the Indispensability of the Normative Vocabulary: Scope and Limits of the Expressivist Hypothesis,” “Public Disagreements, Affective Polarization and Immigration in Andalusia,” and “Offensive language, Inverse Planning, and the ‘Abstract/Concrete’ Dissonance: New Proxies to Measure Affective Polarization.”