Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
I currently (2015-2016) hold one of the inaugural Postdoctoral Research Fellowships from The Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. As a Fellow, I am revising my dissertation into a book manuscript and writing two articles for journals (more information can be found on my In Progress page). During the Fall 2105 semester, I taught Global Early Modern Europe. In Spring 2016, I am teaching Witches, Workers, & Wives. I will present a chapter from my book manuscript in Spring 2016 as a Fellow.
Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History has provided a dynamic space for scholarly inquiry and exchange. Embodying the history department’s commitment to excellence in research and teaching, the Institute organizes international conferences, fosters scholarly presentations and roundtables, promotes critical discussion of historical themes and methods, and encourages reflections on the origins and legacies of historical events.
Through its multifaceted programming, the Institute for Historical Studies serves as the intellectual heart of the history department, offering a venue for scholars to share their work and building bridges to other department and centers at the university, as well as the broader Austin community. Each year, the Institute sponsors an international residential fellowship competition around a specific theme of critical importance to the historical profession and of general relevance to understanding the problems of the contemporary world. The Institute’s annual theme culminates in a spring conference that brings together academic scholars from around the nation and the world.
2015-2016 Theme: Histories of Darkness and Light
There are many associations with darkness and light in all cultures, yet their historic origins, implications, and evolution are less well known. The association of darkness with racial and ethnic prejudice is perhaps the most obvious, but its negative connotations are equally prominent in religion (the darkness of the universe before God created light in Genesis; the darkness of Hell; the witches’ Sabbath); astronomy (black holes); psychology (fear of the night, seasonal affective disorder; the dark side of personalities); anthropology (the use of black in funeral rituals); and medical science (the loss of consciousness and death). Conversely, light has often served both as a metaphor for virtue, success (“light years ahead”), and historical progress (“the Enlightenment”), and as a catalyst for social and cultural transformation (electrification).
New Works in Progress
In April 2015 during my last stage of dissertation writing, I presented a paper based on a chapter of my dissertation to the IHS New Works in Progress Series. This program highlights new research by advanced graduate students at the University of Texas and visiting graduate scholars from other institutions. The meetings are hour-long lunch workshops, each of which focuses on one pre-circulated paper.
Paper: “Colonial Children: Crux of French Imperial Strategy”
Commentator: Steven Mintz, Professor of History, UT Austin, and Executive Director, Institute for Transformational Learning, UT System