Global Studies Research Fellows 2014-15
The Center for International Education has selected five Global Studies Fellows for the 2014/15 academic year. The Global Studies Fellows program, established in 2010, aids faculty in advancing their research on interdisciplinary topics relating to globalization, its cultural, political, social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Global Studies Fellows meet monthly to share their progress and devise research strategies. They will also share their work at a series of colloquia, and participate in CIE's next annual conference in April 2015.Joel Berkowitz
Director of the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies and Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature
Project:Yiddish theatre and drama flourished in eastern Europe, the Americas, and other places around the globe, particularly from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th, when Europe's Yiddish speakers, and their language and culture, were decimated by the Holocaust. Nevertheless, a number of important dramatists examined the implications of Hitler's rise to power, and the devastation it ultimately wrought. This phenomenon is the subject of Joel Berkowitz's current book project, tentatively titled "In the Days of Job: Yiddish Drama and the Holocaust," which examines how Yiddish playwrights confronted Nazism and the Holocaust, from the rise of the Nazi party to power in 1933, through the attempted annihilation of European Jewry during World War II, and on to the years immediately following the war. His study focuses on a handful of dramatists who each wrote several plays on the subject, and most of them worked in other genres too. Some of these plays were performed widely in Yiddish, and in a few cases in other languages as well; others were published without ever being performed. Whether staged or only printed, though, this body of work adds an important but largely overlooked chapter to the story of how the Holocaust was depicted in drama and theatre, and how Yiddish culture grappled with these cataclysmic events and their aftermath.
Chair of the Department of Exceptional Education
Project: Elizabeth Drame will work on a book project exploring the historical impact of colonialism on the development of educational systems in francophone West Africa, the implications of the structures of these systems when considering implementation of regional and international inclusive education mandates, the perspectives of families and children with disabilities on the continent of Africa, and intersections between other identities, images and spaces and dis/ability. This book project aims to present varying perspectives and experiences of key stakeholders in West African communities on dis/ability. The goal of the project is to increase awareness of the ways in which societies in different African countries can either encourage or minimize the active engagement of citizens with disabilities in all aspects of daily life. This work is an extension of research conducted by Drame in Senegal, West Africa as a Senior Research Scholar through the U.S. Fulbright African Regional Research Fellowship Program.
Assistant Professor of Dance
Project: Maria Gillespie's choreographic research project, Translating Metaphor Through Embodiment, is a two-year project and cross-cultural dialogue, which looks closely at how metaphor circulates through dancing subjects in performance. Collaborative investigations and performances will illuminate the literal and poetic ways bodies are transcultural, living archives and authors of language. With research partners in Beijing and in Mexico City, Gillespie will create and present choreographies that investigate the cultural specificity of embodiment, memory, and the translation/apprehension of language through a dancers' system of signs. In Translating Metaphor, Gillespie will utilize time-based explorations to investigate the following questions: How does the dancing body create and communicate meaning? How does performance re-present our identities, our histories, and move archived knowledge into circulation? Through the intersection of digital media and video manipulation in performance, Gillespie and her collaborators explore expressive behavior to understand and present how the body manipulates the flow between linguistic interpretation, corporeal archive, and theatrical metaphor. Drawing from the works of Diana Taylor, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, George Lakoff, and Mark Johnson, this project embraces the paradox that dancing subjects are both repositories for a culture's language and the agents of translation.
Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies
Project: Xin Huang's research focuses upon transplanting feminism in contemporary China. Using the case of the study of gender construction in contemporary China, her project examines the translation, adoption, and extension process of various foreign feminist theories about gender in contemporary China, by situating the development of Chinese feminist studies within the dynamic interplay between China and the rest of the world, including China's semi-colonial history, the Cold War and China's socialist past, as well as current transnational context of knowledge exchange and production. It traces how feminist theories and concepts are called upon and applied to help conceptualize themes and issues, and in the process, being revised and transformed, by examining Chinese scholars' writings on gender construction in contemporary China both in English and Chinese.
Associate Professor of English
Project: Samuel Beckett's life and work emerge out of and are committed to exploring the problems of translation. Beckett translated the majority of his mature work himself, a process that often led him to rewrite the primary text; it was the original that displeased him, not the translation. Apart from the common meaning of translation, how to capture the rhythms and nuances of one language in another, Beckett's theatre and writing revolutionized the way in which abstract concepts such as time, doubt, memory and being could be translated onto the stage. A single stage direction, "A country road, a tree," with two men waiting by it, has become a symbol of attempting to translate unfathomable loss. At yet another level, Beckett's aesthetic engages translation. He moved through his career from one medium to another. In pushing each to its limit (a radio without voice, a novel with no story, a play with no action) his texts explore the potential and translatability of each medium. Crucially, too, Beckett translates contemporary political questions about surveillance, entrapment, torture, and ecology (lack of resources) into art. His literary texts are haunted by spaces. Beckett's sense of place can be terror-inducing, a setting of irrational imprisonment. But moments of free wandering, or the memory of such mobility, can provide solace, too. Beckett is always translating geography. Andrew Kincaid will continue to examine, via Beckett's oeuvre, each of these elements of translation through a reading of Beckett's major works. Most specifically, Kincaid is interested in the question of how Beckett grapples with the problems of translation and art in the ruined geographical landscape of post-WWII Europe.
Associate Professor of Translation and Interpreting Studies
Project: Lorena Terando's research project is entitled "Wartime Women in Translation." The testimonial story is non-fiction. Linking protest and affirmation, and judgment and evidence, it re-writes the author's identity as a political analysis of a larger social body, while also re-writing historical memory from perspectives that diverge from the official portrayal. Her project centers on the translation of the testimonial of women in wartime and explores the translator's role in the process. Drawing on the (task and) translation of Colombian writer/scholar's Elvira Sanchez Blake's Espiral de silencios as a springboard, Terando explores facets of memory and loss in Colombia's ongoing political and social conflict, and the roles translators play as mediators and voice for and with women in situations of conflict.