2020-21 EVC Fellows

 

David Anthony

Associate Profesor
History
South Africa’s Young Men’s Christian Association has been an understudied site of dynamic, intergenerational engagement with state attempts to contain popular assertion in pursuit of greater democratic and social rights, mainly in the 20th century, with implications for the 21st. This represents a palpable tension between the conservative ostensibly apolitical ethos of the trend and the manner in which it was subtly and at times dramatically transformed in critical moments of crisis, notably during eras of segregation (1865-1948) and apartheid (1948-1990). Facilitated by a century of missionary proselytization and expansion furthering several decades of expropriation of African indigenes, and coinciding with the Mineral Revolution (1865-1886), it was overshadowed by extraction, local and worldwide economic change, shifting British-ruled imperial South Africa from an outlying fiscal backwater to a global source of gold and diamonds. Moreover, sociocultural, linguistic and faith tensions between Anglophone, Afrikaans-speaking, Bantu-speaking, Khoisan, Mixed-Race, Asian and subdivisions within these groupings were rife. Even though Protestant Christian in composition, Y’s entered into far more intricate landscapes. Popular responses to these larger processes, however, took various forms, typically cultural and social rather than narrowly or easily labeled as “political.” These frequently reflected awareness of the centrality of literacy and other key skills rooted in a Christian-defined church-state nexus. With “race” as a crucial barometer of limitations of ‘Y’ theory and practice, the emergence of alternate leaders with creative counter-strategies, principally from grass roots-focused Black (African, Mixed Race and African-American) communities, training schools, colleges and urban townships, refocused ‘Y’ labor, rendering it relevant to perceived needs of ignored constituents. With the advent of apartheid, these tendencies reached their highest expression, as State and popular partisans sought to defend and restrict privilege and extend democracy, respectively.

Noriko Aso

Associate Profesor
History

Professor Aso's manuscript, “Aquarium: Envisioning Marine Futures for Modern Japan,” draws together cultural history, science and technology studies, and childhood studies in examining the establishment and proliferation of these distinctive sites for research, education, and entertainment. The political and economic ambitions of the Japanese state as well as private entrepreneurs have profoundly shaped the nation’s aquariums since the nineteenth century. However, when children became a core constituency, play and alterity intertwined with more instrumental visions of an oceanic future. Japan’s history with aquariums provides a revealing focal point for assessing its ongoing efforts to imagine futures as an island nation in the face of climate change, among its other challenges.

Elizabeth Beaumont

Associate Profesor
Politics

Professor Elizabeth Beaumont’s fellowship project grapples with the white nationalism of our era by examining the recurring influence of the Ku Klux Klan and related groups on American citizenship and identity. Although the Klan is known as a problematic group in American history, studies of American legal and political development have not recognized its patterns of influence. From the 1860s through the present, groups operating under the mantle of the Klan have been a significant reactive political force, seeking to shape constitutional meanings, political parties, and law, together with local political cultures and civic life. While the Klan is predominantly associated with racial extremism and extralegal violence, this view is too limited. Klan-aligned groups have also undertaken efforts to affect governance through cultural discourse and a wide range of civic and political activism cloaked in patriotism. An examination of Klan publications, historical newspapers, governmental investigations and debates, trials, and other studies reveals how waves of Klan-linked movements have sought to elevate an “original” and unreconstructed Constitution, promote “100% Americanism,” and limit full citizenship and rights to white Protestants. This project analyzes how four major eras of American political and legal development have been marked by the Klan’s cycles of contention over the definition of citizenship and the boundaries of rights and political power.

Christine Hong

Associate Profesor
Literature

“Pyongyang Lost: North Korea in the American Geopolitical Imagination” examines the cultural politics of U.S. regime-change fantasies around North Korea. The oft-cited impenetrability of North Korea, dubbed a “black hole” by the CIA, has had the effect of obscuring the far-reaching sway of a counterrevolutionary U.S. intelligence construction of “North Korea” that originated in Cold War U.S. intervention on the Korean peninsula. As this project demonstrates, North Korea’s portrait as rogue nation, which serves as orthodoxy in contemporary media analysis and human rights activism, derives from an unexamined politics of unending asymmetrical warfare. As a durable structure of perception rather than neatly demarcated event, the Korean War has naturalized our view of North Korea. By examining satellite images, defector narratives, human rights critique, war comics, and what Professor Hong calls literature of intervention, this project returns our attention to the fog of war through which U.S. understandings of North Korea have long been filtered.

Amy Lonetree

Associate Profesor
History

Professor Amy Lonetree’s book project, Visualizing Native American Survivance: A Photographic History of the Ho-Chunk Nation, 1879-1960, explores family and tribal history, tourism, and Ho-Chunk survivance through an examination of two important photographic collections: the Charles Van Schaick Collection and the H.H. Bennett Collection. Both collections comprise an amazing visual legacy for Ho-Chunk people and are rich historical resources documenting a long-neglected period in Native American history. The stories that the images convey of the significance of kinship, place, modern labor, cultural performance, settler colonialism, and survivance are central to understanding the Ho-Chunk experience in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This book will address these intersecting themes and the ongoing meanings that these images have in the present.

Soraya Murray

Associate Profesor
Film and Digital Media

Technothriller: Technoscientific Imaginaries in Film and Visual Culture is a critical examination of "thrillers” from the 1960s to the present that approach advanced technology such as computers, artificial intelligence, drone warfare and bio-technology through suspense, anxiety,  trauma and paranoia. It addresses how popular culture negotiates political and cultural attitudes toward technological change. In short, this work is about the troubled, sometimes catastrophic relationship between humans and their technological innovations.

Gregory O'Malley

Associate Profesor
History

The Escapes of David George: An Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom in the Revolutionary Era offers a biography of a man born enslaved in Virginia, who ran away repeatedly—to backcountry settlements, to Native American communities, and finally to the British Army during the Revolutionary War. As a refugee, he then moved to Nova Scotia and finally to the British colony of Sierra Leone for emancipated slaves. Since George’s life spanned the revolutionary era, his story offers a counterpoint to the many biographies of America’s white founders. Instead of typical narratives about political freedom from British monarchy, George’s life presents a parallel quest for freedom from American slavery. To achieve his own independence, George fled the U.S. at its creation, and even in freedom he always lived in the shadow of slavery.

Mary Beth Pudup

Associate Profesor
Community Studies

Professor Mary Beth Pudup is completing a book about the community gardening movement in San Francisco as manifest in a succession of pivotal moments in that continuing history. The project began as a case study of the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners (SLUG) that was founded in 1983 and eventually became the city’s leading green organization—before “green” had gained cultural currency—by spearheading a wide variety of garden and horticulture related projects—from community gardens to street beautification to garden-based youth entrepreneurship. Professor Beaumont's research revealed SLUG’s rollicking history was embedded in a longer and important historical geography of community gardening in the city and the focus therefore widened to examine post WW2 community gardening in San Francisco more generally, with the rise and fall of SLUG as one—but only one—pivotal moment. As has been amply documented in scholarly literature, the historical geography of organized garden projects in the USA is highly episodic and garden projects are part of a recursive pattern of social intervention (witness the again sudden interest in gardening during the pandemic). The book is structured around key postwar era garden projects that each in their own way manifest the transformation of San Francisco from a manufacturing and port city to the creative class technopolis of today.