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Graduate Student Residencies

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities sponsors three graduate student residency programs:

Graduate Student Semester Residencies

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities is pleased to sponsor a program of semester-long graduate student residencies for academic year 2017-2018. This program will provide up to eight students in the humanities with a $4,000 stipend and possible use of office space which may or may not be shared, enabling them to devote an entire semester to work on their theses/ dissertations. Students are required to be in residence at University Park for the duration of the grant period.

Application deadline (2017-2018): Monday, March 27, 2017

Current Graduate Student Semester Residencies

Fall 2017

Hyoun-A Joo

Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Noel Habashy

Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Spring 2018

Elizabeth Petersen

Art History

Janet Purdy

Art History

View Past Semester Residents

Graduate Student Summer Residencies

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce its Graduate Student Summer Residency program for summer 2015. This program will provide up to four students in the arts and humanities with a $4,000 stipend and possible use of office space which may or may not be shared, enabling them to devote the entire summer to work on their theses, dissertations, or degree-required final creative projects.

Students are required to be in residence at University Park for the duration of the grant period.

The deadline for Graduate Student Summer 2017 Residency applications is Monday, February 13, 2017.

Students are eligible to apply at any point in their studies, though strong preference will be given to students nearing the completion of their terminal degree.

In a departure from past practice, the IAH will not require that applications come through the offices of graduate directors. All students may apply directly to the IAH, though their applications must include a letter from their project advisor or director, and graduate program officers will be consulted for confidential evaluations of candidates.

Proposals that are interdisciplinary in outlook, methodology, media, or scope are especially welcome. Students with projects in the social sciences are eligible to apply if their projects have important implications for the arts and/or humanities. Students on Federal aid should be advised that their Federal package might be affected by the stipend award.

Current Graduate Student Summer Residencies

Summer 2017

Derek Lee


Parascience and Revolution: The Paranormal Mind in Twentieth-Century Literature and Science

The paranormal mind has long been an object of epistemological inquiry, with scientists, artists, and philosophers alike seeking to understand its powers and nature ever since the emergence of the psychological sciences in the nineteenth century. While the standard history of extra-sensory perception (telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, etc.) tends to assert that paranormal discourse rose to prominence in the early decades of the twentieth century only to collapse in the second half due to intensified scientific scrutiny, I reject this narrative. My dissertation reinterprets the parascientific and literary discourse of the post-45 era to argue that the paranormal mind has survived—and thrived—in contemporary culture by perpetually evolving into new epistemic forms, and moreover that science and literature are the very engines powering these transformations. This project consequently takes literature and science as complementary modes of intellectual inquiry fundamental to the ongoing theorization and renewal of heterodox knowledge-forms. 

Andrea Middleton

Art History

To the Good Fortune of Arsinoe PhiladelphusThe Ruler Cult of Arsinoe II

Arsinoe II is a pivotal figure in comprehending the nature of the Ptolemaic ruler cult in its incipient stages.  I study the objects related to the cult of Arsinoe, both as a member of the Theoi Adelphoi (Sibling Gods) and individually as the goddess Arsinoe Philadelphus (Arsinoe the Sibling-Loving).  My dissertation will present a cross-media study of material related to Arsinoe II and worship of her, exploring textual evidence and material remains in order to present a holistic understanding of the singularity of her importance in the establishment of a successful foreign dynasty ruling over the multiethnic populace of third-century BCE Egypt.  During my residency at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, I intend to study the vocabulary of deification, comparing accounts of the death and deification of Arsinoe from surviving primary sources, in Egyptian and Greek.  Two Egyptian stelai, the Mendes Stele and the Pithom Stele, each contain both a hieroglyphic reference to and a visual representation of Arsinoe.  Only one Greek source from the time of her death survives, a fragmentary poem by the court poet Callimachus, which details her apotheosis.  I will translate and analyze these texts in conjunction with each other, rather than trying to authenticate one at the expense of another.  This analysis will be the first chapter of my dissertation, the textual evidence for the cult of Arsinoe II at the moment of its commencement.

Leland Tabares


Asian America in the Age of Professionalization

While first-generation Asian Americans tend to occupy working class labor industries or model minority professions (i.e., medicine, law, and engineering), second- and third-generation Asian Americans are increasingly turning toward more diverse industry fields. These newer generations of Asian American working professionals are acquiring rights over the products and profits of their labor, their own individuality, and the potential for upward mobility. However, they also encounter new workplace racisms. My dissertation employs professionalization as a critical analytic to interrogate the institutional structures that legitimate, manage, and racialize Asian American professionals across contemporary labor economies. Professionalization often gets conceived as a set of norms that govern one’s participation within a particular field. Yet, professionalization has now become more dynamic, multivalent, and less isolated to an individual industry, as it operates through evolving forms of inclusivity, diversity initiatives, and overlapping institutional structures that systematize institutional control over minority labor. As model minorities, with unique perspectives on institutional access, Asian Americans are crucial to revealing the technologies that transform racial exclusion into forms of incorporation and management across professional workspaces. Considering the profound transformations in the meaning of labor, labor markets, and commodities, my project reconceptualizes Asian American racialization for the twenty-first century. 

Anya Wallace

Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 
Curving Spacetime: On Performance, Pleasure, and the Imaginary in Black Girlhood Sexual Politics
This project examines the performance of Black girls amidst the powerfully constructed layers of space and time established by whiteness, patriarchy, and respectability. Black girls’ performance in this sense, is logically constructed as a black hole where performance, art, interaction, and cultural production initiated by Black girls’ work—their intellectual and physical labor—and their play become an explosive site of convergence. Further, this work investigates how the sexual, physical, and emotional pleasure generated in Black girlhood spaces steer this convergence revealing Black girls’ extreme influence on social movement, aesthetics, and systems.
Stimulated by long-lasting narratives of the Black female body, this work invokes the legacy and the fantastic potential of historical narratives such as Sarah Baartman, known as the Hottentot Venus. Concurrently, the work hails representations of Black female deviancy embodied by contemporary artistry of icons like Nicki Minaj. By entangling both types of representations, the work positions Black girl pleasure(s) and the imaginary as a portal for Black girls (and anyone who acknowledges her) to access freedom. Moreover, these portals are the sources of cultural production historically overlooked in quests for social, political and educational progress.
Black girlhood pleasure and the imaginary are explored in “Curving Space-time On Performance, Pleasure and the Imaginary in Black Girlhood Sexual Politics” through the narrative, as this tool maintains Black girl voice, our purest connection to the explosive center of the black hole, a site of truth and abundance. Through the imaginary present in the Black girls’ ability to tell her story, the narrative is presented in a reimagined existence in U.S. American education, Art, and Women’s Studies. From her vantage point in space-time, the Black girl and her story are key to concentrated truths and vital in crafting the sites of a progressive world future.

Juliette Hawkins


A Modernist Aesthetics of Opacity: the Pleasure and the Ethics of Embodied Difference

This project explores a phenomenon I have termed the “aesthetics of opacity” in Anglo-American literary modernism. In contrast to dominant accounts of modernism, which emphasize the depth and interiority represented in modernist works, my engagement with modernism concentrates on the opaque surfaces of bodies, texts, and objects—surfaces both alluring and resistant to understanding. Such opacity is pervasive, in particular, in the fiction and poetry of women writers who interrogate the rapid and jarring transformation of the modernist sensorium, including Virginia Woolf, Michael Field, Jean Rhys and Gertrude Stein. These writers turn away from a hierarchizing visual mode that pierces and pins its objects, and toward a newly fleshy aesthetic of the haptic, kinesthetic and proprioceptive senses: an aesthetic of the “licking eye” and the “knowing hand.” By modeling styles of being that refuse the invasion or incorporation of other bodies, this aesthetic compels readers to cultivate a hospitality toward otherness, and to attend to the intimate seams by which self and world are co-constituted. Using a theoretical approach that combines affective aesthetics and feminist phenomenology, I argue that modernist opacity reveals the ways in which the aesthetic shapes the contours of our embodiment, and thus our access to the very conditions of ontology. In its eager but restrained probing of impenetrable surfaces, this opacity offers both an ethics and a pleasure—in fact, it ensures that these two things depend upon each other. 

View Past Summer Residents

The Humanities Initiative Dissertation Support Program

This program is open to graduate students in the College of the Liberal Arts who are eligible for the Humanities Initiative Dissertation Support Semester Release. Graduate students whose dissertations are directly related to the humanities and/or the arts can choose to be affiliated with the IAH for a Fall or Spring semester-long fellowship. IAH Dissertation Fellows are an integral part of the Institute’s intellectual community and receive a $1000 research grant. In addition, office space at Ihlseng Cottage may be available to Fellows.

See the above link for dates and procedures. For more information please contact .

2017-2018 Humanities Initiative Dissertation Awardee

Bethany Doane

English, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

In Excess: Contemporary Horror Fictions and the Limits of the Present