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2014 WIHR Research Projects

Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research

2014 Competition Awarded Projects

2014 Awarded Project

Antionette DeNapoli: Religion at the Crossroads: Forms of the Modern and the Changing Faces of Gender and Renunciation in North India

Based on ethnographic fieldwork with Hindu renouncers in North India, the project examines the contexts and processes by which renouncers are reconfiguring renunciation and, by implication, Hinduism through their uses of communication technologies.


2014 Awarded Project

Eric Nye: Penetrating the Secrets of the Past in Literary Manuscripts: Reflectance Transformation Imaging and the Modern Palimpsest

When John Kemble deleted dozens of lines in his 1830-1 manuscript journal, what was he trying to hide? Today the secret may be yielded up to a new technology for analyzing artifacts in the humanities called Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). Using inexpensive equipment and software developed by the nonprofit Cultural Heritage Imaging Corporation, I will attempt to recover the content of those lines so successfully overwritten or obliterated to the naked eye.


2014 Awarded Project

Joanna Poblete: Common Subjectivities: American Sāmoan and Pacific Islander Labor Migrant Experiences under U.S rule, 1900 to the present

Through research and oral histories in American Sāmoa, this project investigates the history of imperialism that native people and migrants to the region experienced through U.S. rule. Many Pacific Islands face similar conflicts of indigenous versus settler rights, where native sovereignty is seen as oppositional to immigrant struggles. My project provides a new perspective to this divisive binary.


2014 Awarded Project

Elizabeth Hunt: Digital Photography for The Count's (Im)Pious Prayers: The Psalter of Guy of Dampierre, Count of Flanders, 1278-1305

My study compares the uses of heraldry and marginalia in the Dampierre Psalter to manuscripts by the same illuminators to those connected to Guy’s family, allowing for reassessment of the Count’s audience.


2014 Awarded Project

Marianne Kamp: Reappraising an Uzbek Literary Hero

My purpose for this grant is to support the final research and writing of a paper on cultural memory after an ideological earthquake. This research concerns culture, history and memory: how does the rise and fall of a hero illustrate change as a nation sunders itself from a socialist past and forges an Islamic present?


2014 Awarded Project

Conchita Domenech: Don Quixote in the American West: A Fourth-Centenary Celebration (1615–2015)

Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote is often read, especially, though not exclusively in the Hispanic tradition, as a vital key to understanding humanity, not to mention, the humanities. Unfortunately, our comprehension of a multitude of aspects of this “key” remains incomplete, even obscure: particularly the Second Part of Don Quixote (1615) suffers from a relative lack of critical interest and requires further analysis. We hope to shed additional light on Part Two of Don Quixote, attracting regional and international attention to Cervantes’ text, impacting the way it will be read from now on.


2014 Awarded Project

Caroline McCracken-Flesher: Homecoming: A Scottish Phenomenon?

Exile and the hope of return pervade Scottish culture. I research this phenomenon through to today. To determine what “home” means to resident and emigrant Scots, and what role “homecoming” plays in the construction of modern Scotland, I will attend clan gatherings and a reenactment of the battle, and interview figures in the independence campaign.


2014 Awarded Project

Marcus Watson: Are Digital Technologies an Alienating Form of Communication? The Case of the Bulsa of Ghana’s Upper East Region

Digital technologies (DTs) promise to make communication instantaneous. But does instant contact with faraway others depend on feeling increasingly alienated from those who remain physically present? This question anchors the proposed project, which involves a month and a half of ethnographic study in the summer of 2014 among the Bulsa of Ghana’s Upper East Region.


2014 Awarded Project

Andrew Fitch and Danielle Pafunda: Post-Narcissist Poetics: Rewriting After Freud

This book project (accessible to therapists, academics, and lay-readers) revisits Freudian texts, particularly those that contemporary critics casually dismiss. Reconstructing the collaborative solitude of analysts-in-training, reengineering fraught analyst/analysand gender dynamics, we’ll seek new inroads into Freud’s texts—literal inroads by reenacting Freud’s daily walks and long discussions, and conceptual inroads by writing daily responses to his texts and each other’s.


2014 Awarded Project

John Dorst and Bailey Russel: Capturing Animals at the Intersection of Art and Science: A Comparative, Humanities-based Examination of Animal Trapping Photography and Taxidermy

Using the tools of fine art photography and ethnographic documentation, the principal participants will examine two forms of “animal capture,” each of which straddles the line between art and science. This project will look closely at these two forms of animal capture as examples of human artisanship. Our two main tasks will be to assemble thorough records of these forms of human practice and, based on this documentation, to generate productive humanities thinking about how they construct relations between humans and non-human creatures.


2014 Awarded Project

Isadora Helfgott and Nicole Crawford: Museums and Reconciliation in Cambodia: A Cross Cultural Collaboration between UW and the Sleuk Rith Institute

The project is a three-stage collaboration with the Sleuk Rith Institute in Cambodia, the leading organization for commemoration and remembrance of atrocities committed under the Khmer Rouge. The project will begin a long-term collaboration between UW and the Sleuk Rith Institute involving faculty from multiple units and visiting scholars from Cambodia.



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