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Past Graduate Student Summer Residencies

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Summer 2016

Shanti Nachtergaele

"Improv in the orchestra: Reconstructing a lost practice in historical double bass playing"

Shanti NachtergaeleClassical musicians today receive little to no training in the art of improvisation; instead, performers are trained to consistently and precisely execute the written score. Historically, however, music was notated in less detail, and early orchestral playing involved a great deal of improvisation. Double bassists improvised in a different manner than most other instrumentalists; while melodic instruments were generally encouraged to add embellishments to their parts, double bassists often played fewer notes than were notated. Yet the exact manner in which players modified bass lines remains obscure. I am interested in tracing the practice of modifying double bass parts from the Baroque era to current orchestral conventions. This will involve looking at the general evolution of orchestral performance and compositional practices, as well as specific developments in double bass playing and pedagogy. I also hope to carry out practice-based research by applying my findings in my own playing.

Andres Amerikaner

Comparative Literature
"Market Realism: Latin American Literary Movements after the Boom”

Andres AmerikanerFor the past three decades, Latin American literary publishers, critics and authors have scrambled to build a viable market presence in the shadow of the unprecedented popular success of the Boom, represented by the likes of Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Carlos Fuentes. While tales of trauma at the hands of cruel dictators in exotic jungle locales still attract a healthy readership, a number of Latin American writers have actively pushed back against the tropes of magic realism in search of an alternate voice. My research focuses on three such moments in recent inter-American fiction, attempting to answer the question: How do you construct a literary generation in the age of neoliberalism? Drawing from Human Rights, Diaspora and Border Studies, I argue that in each of these moments we observe a new version of an old double bind: In attacking outdated structures of meaning, authors and critics often edify new structures that perpetuate the very problems they sought to solve. And, more pragmatically, the double bind translates itself to the market, as publication possibilities are often contingent upon the continued performance of an easily classifiable identity along with a controversy-free political project.

Michelle Huang

English and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies 
"Molecular Aesthetics: Race, Form, and Matter in Contemporary Asian American Literature”

Michelle Huang“Molecular Aesthetics: Race, Form, and Matter in Contemporary Asian American Literature” examines posthumanist aesthetics in post-1965 Asian American literature to trace racial formation at the molecular scale. Works by authors such as Ruth Ozeki, Larissa Lai, and Bhanu Kapil are read through scientific discourses such as quantum physics, evolutionary biology, and disability to demonstrate how Asian American writers use both scientific and formal experimentation to contest the boundaries of the human undergirding generic expectations of ethnic American literature. This project revises the emphasis on the individual subject within Asian American literary studies, unearths racial critique in works not typically read as concerned with identity, and demonstrates literature’s importance in studying racial form in an era of postracial discourse.

Laura Vrana

"Writing Transgressions: Publication Contexts and the Politics of Recognition in Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry”

Laura Vrana"Writing Transgressions" examines African American female poets since the Black Arts Movement and the politics of publication, recognition, and academic institutions, bringing together poetry studies, ethnic American literary studies, and textual scholarship. Discussing such "traditional" poets as Rita Dove and Natasha Trethewey alongside "experimental" writers like Evie Shockley and Claudia Rankine, I argue that the much-touted impact of winning major literary awards and of being "integrated" into academic institutions has had both positive and negative effects for black female poets, effects that include the ongoing marginalization of most black women in American poetry studies. By discussing texts and contexts equally, "Writing Transgressions" aims to dismantle approaches to African American poetry that divide it into the "traditional" and the "experimental" and to expose how such binaries unintentionally perpetuate institutional behaviors that still treat black women writers--from Wheatley to Rankine--as tokens, despite the complexity and diversity of projects these poets engage in to write their own literary genealogies and histories.

Summer 2015

Cali Buckley

Art History

Through the study of two objects--multilayer anatomical prints from the sixteenth century and interactive ivory anatomical manikins of the eighteenth century--I investigate how the material and performative aspects of biological models define their role in society. Single-sheet "Flap anatomies" were first created for a lay audience in Germany and were not accurate, but effectively conveyed the main components of the human body to unfamiliar viewers. With each bodily system forming a flap to be raised, they became wide-spread didactic entertainments. Ivory manikins were also schematic and worked similarly, featuring tiny organs to be removed from the body. Nonetheless, these were very different items, hand-carved from precious elephant tusk. Almost all of them were of pregnant women--likely because they were meant for a new class of man-midwives who would use them to teach. The ivories mimic their forebears, but denote privacy, luxury, secrecy, and ownership of the female body rather than Reformation ideals of making anatomical knowledge open to the public.

Richard Desinord

Richard Desinord

Music Theory
"Rite of Swing: Stravinsky’s “Jazz” and Marsalis’ Adaptation of Histoire du soldat

The influence of jazz in Stravinsky’s music has been a subject of debate for many musicologists and theorists as the Janus-faced musician would often give conflicting accounts of his inspirations and methods. However, Stravinsky’s testimonies regarding the inspirations for his compositions must be taken into context, particularly with regard to the timing of his statements and the medium in which his predilections for style were exposed. This thesis will in seek to uncover the possible muse for Stravinsky's “jazz" in Histoire du soldat through a historical analysis of European appropriation of a still-developing African-American genre at the turn of the century, to explore variances in story and narrative of the Faustian tale from which it originated, and to analyze the harmonic coherence and rhythmic structure of Marsalis’ interpretation of Stravinsky’s work in A Fiddler’s Tale as a unifying theme. My contention is that Stravinsky’s concept of jazz influenced his choices while composing Histoire and that Marsalis detected this aspect of the piece and when he reimagined it.


Christina Hanawalt

Art Education
"In Pursuit of Freedom and Self-Authorship: Critical Visual Narrative as a Methodology for Supporting New Art Teachers"

There is concern within the field of art education that the contemporary, postmodern theories of art education pre-service art teachers learn in the university give way to a status quo form of modernist art education when they become new teachers. This dissertation considers the potential for the university to extend support to graduates of the art education program during their first years of teaching through a model of support which uses a process of critical visual narrative in dialogue with peers and a mentor as a methodology for supporting the teachers in the pursuit of freedom (Greene, 1988) and self-authorship (Baxter-Magolda, 2001), especially as these pursuits relate to the implementation of contemporary theories of art education. As a whole, the study methods are intended to allow new teachers to consider teacher identity and school culture as sites of both contestation and possibility. 

Susan Weeber

"Poetics of Interruption: Media and Form in Twentieth-Century American Literature"

Poetics of Interruption takes up 20th-century American poets and novelists whose work incorporates other media in order to interrupt, break, escape, or exceed narrative. The interruptive force of these other media—jazz, photography, cinema—jolts, slows down, and distorts the reading process, drawing attention to their form in order to make the writing strange—to estrange or disorient their readers, an estrangement from narrative that works to disrupt historiography. Such writing interrogates the relationship between aesthetics and identity and imagines the political possibilities of experimental literature. My attention to aesthetics avoids and critiques instrumentalized readings of literary texts while arguing that their very literariness produces the materials for rethinking historical and political possibilities. Ultimately, I argue that experimental, cross-genre American and African American writing disrupts typical approaches to history and narrative.

Summer 2014

Michael Bergmaier

Communication Arts and Sciences

"'I Welcome This Debate': Secrecy, Disclosure, and Democratic Deliberation over National Security Policy in the Obama Administration"

Abram Foley


"By What Strange Channels: Assembling Contemporary Literature"

Hélène Huet


“Le livre décadent: éditer, illustrer, lire" ("The Decadent Book: Publishing, Illustrating, Reading")

Robert Millard

Art History

"Live, Struggle, and Die: A Study of Antique Forms in Late-Quattrocento Sculpted Reliefs"

Summer 2013

Beyza Atmaca-Lorenz (Comparative Literature, Ph.D. program): “Wonders and Curiosities: Itinerant Writing across Ottoman Worlds”

Kristin Barry (Art History, Ph.D. program): “Modern Architectural Interventions at Ancient and Historic Sites”

Laura Brown (Music, M.A. program in Musicology): “The Early Compositional Education of Sergey Prokofiev: A Survey of Pedagogy, Aesthetics, and Influence”

Kelly Knight (History, Ph.D. program): “To the Ends of the Earth: Abolitionist Foreign Missions, Slavery, and the Construction of Race in Nineteenth Century America”

Roberto Lugo (School of Visual Arts, MFA program): “Here-End – The Art of Change”

Sarah Salter (English, Ph.D. program): “The Double’s Mosaic: Patterns of Imagination and Recognition in America and Italy, 1790-1910”

Laura Sivert (Art History, Ph.D. program): “Powering a Nation: The Cultural Landscape of the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1933-1945”

Robert Volpicelli (English, Ph.D. program): “Transatlantic Modernism and the U.S. Lecture Circuit, 1880-1945”

Summer 2012

William Bryan (History, Ph.D. program): “Nature and the New South: Economic Development in an Age of Conservation, 1877-1929”

Juliana Chapman (Comparative Literature, Ph.D. program): “Writing and Reading Boethian ‘musica’”

Andrea Gatzke (Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Ph.D. program): “Language and Identity in Roman Anatolia: An Epigraphical Study in the Use and Role of Latin in Asia Minor”

Peter Graff (Music, M.A. program): “Indian Identity: Case Studies of Three Canonical Hollywood Narrative Films”

Mark Hlavacik (Communication Arts & Sciences, Ph.D. program): “Assigning Blame: Rhetorics of Blame in the Discourse of Education Policy”

Rachel Moran (Women’s Studies/History, Ph.D. program): “Body Politic: Physique and Government in 20th Century America”

Christopher Orr (Music, M.A. program): “Songs of Discontent: The Kabyle Voice in Post-Colonial Algeria”

Emily Schiller (Art History, Ph.D. program): “Unsettled Masses: Transportation in American Art During the 1930s and 1940s”

Summer 2011

Ryan Hackenbracht (English, Ph.D. program) ~ "National Reckonings: The Last Judgment in Seventeenth-Century English Literature"

Melissa Mednicov (Art History, Ph.D. program) ~ “I Only Have Eyes for You: Rock ‘n’ Roll, Fandom, and International Pop Art”

Kelema Moses (Art History, Ph.D. program) ~ “Between Hegemony and Imperialism in Territorial Honolulu: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Visualities of a U.S. City in the Pacific”

Grégory Pierrot (English, Ph.D. program) ~ “The Black Avenger Trope in Atlantic Literature”

James Stone (School of Visual Arts, M.F.A. program) ~ “Robotic, Augmented, and Cyborg Plants

Toby Svoboda (Philosophy, Ph.D. program) ~ “Duties Regarding Nature: A Kantian Approach to Environmental Ethics”

Claire Thompson (Musicology, M.A. program) ~ “The Death of the lieto fine: Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor”

Michelle Toumayants (Comparative Literature, Ph.D. program) ~ “City, Island, Coast: Narratives of the Indian Ocean World”

Summer 2010

Rachel Bara (English, M.F.A. program) ~ "Churching and Other Stories"

Katherine Cleland (English, Ph.D. program) ~ "Fictions of Clandestine Marriage in Early Modern England"

Aaron Grant (Music Theory, M.A. program) ~ "Dualities in Igor Stravinsky's Artistic Process as Embodied in The Nightingale (1908-1914)"

Jared Hibbard-Swanson (Philosophy, Ph.D. program) ~ "A Problematizing Democracy: Dewey, Habermas, and Foucault on Education and Politics"

Philip Hnatkovich (History and Religious Studies, Ph.D. program) ~ "The Atlantic Gate: Aglo-Huguenot Geographies of Expertise in the Western Channel Community, 1558-1685"

Yasemin Mohammad (Germanic Languages and Literatures, Ph.D. program) ~ "Intercultural and Intracultural Novelistic Dialogues as Sites of Resistance and Negotiations in the Works of Arabic-German and Turkish-German Immigrant Authors"

Atia Sattar (Comparative Literature, Ph.D. program) ~ "The Aesthetics of Experiential Medicine"

Paul Sommerfeld (Musicology, M.A. program) ~ "French and German Compositional Influences in Bela Bartok's Early Orchestral Works"

Christine Swisher (Art History, Ph.D. program) ~ "The Home where Order Reigns: Home Economics and Reinvention of the American House, 1893-1939"

Summer 2009

Deirdre Fulton (History, Ph.D. program) ~ “Mapping Different Early Jewish Traditions: The Case of MT and LXX Nehemiah 11-12”

Jonathan Greer (History and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Ph.D. program) ~ “Dinner at Dan: Ritual Feasting and Social Dynamics at Iron Age Tell el-Qadi”

Julius Lobo (English, Ph.D. program) ~ “Documentary Poetics and American Modernism from the Great Depression to WWII”

Chad Schrock (English, Ph.D. program) ~ “The Consolation of Narrative: Figural Selves from Augustine to Thomas More”

Alison Thomas (Music, M.M. program) ~ “Voice Student's Competence and Self-Perception--The Impact of Teacher's Feedback”

Mia Tootill (Musicology, M.A. program) ~ “Post-Wagnerian Readings of a Greek Myth”

Edit Tóth (Art History, Ph.D. program) ~ “Situating the Subject: Modernist Spaces in Hungarian Art. Budapest-Vienna-Berlin, 1918-1930”

Rachel Williams (French Literature, Ph.D. program) ~ “Women Translators in Nineteenth-Century France: Genre, Gender and Literary Creativity”

Summer 2008

Janalee Emmer (Art History, Ph.D. program) ~ “Reflections of the Self: Woman Artists in Nineteenth-Century France”

Brian Franklin (New Media, M.F.A. program) ~ “Game Day”

Mary Haman (Communication Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. program) ~ “Wild Women of the Progressive Era: Rhetoric, Gender, and Agitation in the Age of Reform”

Jesse Hicks (English, M.F.A. program) ~ “Bullet Tracings: Violence, Spectacle, and Post-War America”

Masato Ishida (Philosophy, Ph.D. program) ~ “C. S. Peirce’s Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics”

Niamh J. O’Leary (English, Ph.D. program) ~ “Acting in Concert: Female Camaraderie in Early Modern Literature”

Alanna V. Ropchock (Musicology, M.A. program) ~ “The Impact of Corpus Christi and other Eucharistic Devotions on the Music and Liturgy of Medieval Germany”

Nicole L. Sparling (Comparative Literature, Ph.D. program) ~ “Womb Genealogies: Conceiving the New World”

Summer 2007

Valentina Cesco (History) ~ a dissertation titled “Elopement and Kidnapping of Women for Marriage in the Venetian Republic from the Late Sixteenth until the Early Eighteenth Century”

Erik Clayton (Music) ~ a Master’s thesis titled “Leo Ornstein: Impetus of American Modernism”

Denise Costanzo (Art History) ~ a dissertation titled “The Lessons of Rome: Architects at the American Academy, 1947-1966”

Nicole Jacobs (English) ~ a dissertation titled “Transforming the English Political Romance, 1590-1660”

Lisa LaJevic (Art Education) ~ a dissertation titled “Arts Integration: An exploration of the dis/connect between theory and lived practice”

Alissa Mazow (Art History) ~ a dissertation titled “Plantae, Animalia, Fungi: Transformations of Natural History in Contemporary American Art”

Deberniere Torrey (Comparative Literature) ~ a dissertation titled “Finding the Modern Subject in 19th Century Korean ‘West Believers’”

Rochelle Zuck (English) ~ a dissertation titled “Nations within Nations: Race, Gender and Liberal Citizenship in American Culture, 1816-1924”

Summer 2006

Christine Brill (Landscape Architecture) ~ a thesis titled “Advancing Community Design through Dialogical Art Practice”

Daniel Haxall (Art History) ~ a dissertation titled “Politics, Form, and Identity in Abstract Expressionist Collage”

Yun-Fei Hsee (Music Education) ~ a dissertation titled “Investigating the Contexts of Musical Interactions of Young Children in Early Childhood Programs: Scaffolding Their Musical Experiences”

Leigh Johnson (Philosophy) ~ a dissertation titled “The Democracy to Come: Race, Reconciliation and Justice in the Postcolonial Era”

Luz Kirschner (Comparative Literature) ~ a dissertation titled “Gender and Diasporic Experience: The Cases of Latin American-Jewish, German-Turkish and Chinese-American Women Writers”

Alexa Schriempf (Philosophy and Women’s Studies) ~ a dissertation titled “Material Witnesses: A Feminist Disability Theory of Testimony”

Erin Wyble (Women’s Studies) ~ a dissertation titled “Contested Sites: Negotiating Narratives of Christianity and Feminism”