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Past IAH Scholar

2013-14 IAH Postdoctoral Scholar

Craig Eley 

Craig Eley

“Hearing Humans Hearing Nature”

Craig Eley earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. His project while at the IAH is "Hearing Humans Hearing Nature," which comes out of research for his recently completed dissertation, "Making Silence Audible: Sound, Nature, Technology, 1890-1970." That project focuses on the history of commercially released environmental sound recordings and their impact within a broad range of technological and cultural practices, including film sound, museum display, ornithology, psychoacoustics, experimental music, and environmental activism. He is currently working on expanding and transforming portions of that dissertation into a digital humanities project on the history of the sonic boom. He is also working on Field Noise, an online commons for sound studies research and pedagogy.

In the spring semester, Craig will teach a class called "The Nature of Sound / The Sound of Nature," which will be a historical and theoretical inquiry into how humans have historically defined "natural" sounds and their relationship to them. In addition to traditional coursework, the class will include the opportunity for students to engage with and critically examine contemporary environmental sound practices such as field recording and sound walking.

Craig Eley's Class

Ida Meftahi 

Ida Meftahi

"Body National in Motion"

Ida Meftahi earned her Ph.D. in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, and holds a Master’s in Dance from York University, Canada. Ida has presented and published in fields ranging from Iranian and Middle Eastern Studies to Dance Studies.

During Ida's scholarship, she will be co- organizing a lecture series on Tehran, while developing a book built upon her Ph.D. dissertation. Through a transdisciplinary historiographical exploration of the dancing body, and discourse on dance in the twentieth-century Iran, Ida's research offers a genealogy of modern Iranian biopolitics and the political economy of public performance and entertainment.

In the spring semester, Ida will teach an interdisciplinary historical course on the performing arts in the Middle East. Utilizing literature on history and the performing arts of the Middle East; the pertinent theoretical perspectives on nationalism, modernity, gender and representation; and a variety of multimedia materials, the course will encourage the students to question and possibly revisit their understanding of the region.

Ida Meftahi's Class


2012-13 IAH Scholar

Phoenix Savage

Phoenix Joy Savage

MFA (sculpture), Georgia State University
“Human Touch”

Phoenix Joy Marie Savage is a native of Philadelphia, PA. Her scholarly work during her IAH Scholarship will be an extension of the research she conducted while a Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria. In her prior research, Savage employed her background as a Medical Anthropologist and explored human relations in juxtaposition to her own head’s response to emotional environmental changes that occurred during human interactions.  Within Yoruba culture, one’s head is the highest attribute of both humans and spirits. 

Savage completed graduate work at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, majoring in Sculpture, in addition to a graduate degree in Medical Anthropology received from the University of Mississippi. Savage holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia State University, with a concentration in cast Iron Sculpture.  Phoenix is also the co-author of two books, African Americans of Jackson, and African Americans of New Orleans. Savage maintains an active exhibition schedule nationally and internationally.

While serving as a Being Humans Postdoctoral Scholar and Visiting Artist and Scholar at Penn State, Savage will create a new body of work, Human Touch. The Human Touch Project will continue Savage’s aesthetic explorations of the relationship between human and ethereal connectivity. More specifically, Human Touch investigates and addresses the invisible space that exists when human beings connect by way of a simple touch. The synergy and emotionality imbedded in the initial touch will be retained as subsequent human touches via the exhibition audience further Savage's exploration of object, emotion and idea creating a palimpsest experience.  

Savage will teach a seminar in the spring of 2013 called 400 + 1. The course title is based on the Yoruba theory of expansion. The course is designed to allow students to locate themselves globally and communally within the context of their individualism through the exploration of artistic practices and practice-based art forms.

For more information, visit the Human Touch Facebook Page.

2011-12 IAH Postdoctoral/MFA Scholars

Jennifer Rhee IAH Post Doc

Jennifer Rhee earned her Ph.D. from the Program in Literature at Duke University in 2010. Her dissertation is entitled “Anthropomorphic Attachments in U.S. Literature, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence”; her research is distinguished by its extraordinary range and depth, from the early work of Alan Turing and the 1956 Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence Conference, to Japanese cultural representations of robots, to the works of roboticists including Rodney Brooks, Cynthia Breazeal, and David Hanson, to the work of novelist Philip K. Dick, futurist Ray Kurzweil, and performance artist Stelarc. We’re especially lucky that Jennifer will be here for (and will be happy to contribute to) events surrounding the School of Theatre’s spring production, for which Dan Carter has commissioned a new play by Anthony Clarvoe–a production inspired by Karl Capek’sR.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots).

Kris Weller IAH postdoc

Kris Weller holds a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California Santa Cruz. Prior to beginning study at UCSC, she graduated from the joint degree program in Law and Women's Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her doctoral research focused on the figure of the human in U.S. law, exploring how the relational aspects of the liberal subject work to exclude potential legal persons in order to maintain an illusory human ideal of independence and autonomy. Kris is currently finishing a postdoctoral scholarship at Duke University, where her research focuses on conceptions of the human in competing models of translational neurological research. Her postdoctoral project at IAH, “Humans on Earth: Planetary Hospice?” asks how understanding the intricacies of care giving and identity in cases of psychiatric disability might help humans learn to be more responsible inhabitants of the planet in this age of environmental change.