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Hall Center announces 2015-2016 research and creative work fellows

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center has announced its Humanities Research Fellows and Creative Work Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year. Elizabeth MacGonagle, Santa Arias, Jessica Gerschultz and Gregory Cushman were selected as Research Fellows. Megan Kaminski was awarded a Creative Work Fellowship.

Hall Center Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process. Fellowships provide a semester of release from teaching, an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts or a large-scale work of art.

MacGonagle, associate professor of history and African & African American studies, will work on her book project “Situating Slavery at African Sites of Memory.” She will engage with the tensions among history, memory and identity that arise in Africa from the enduring legacy of enslavement. Her research examines four sites connected to the history of slavery in Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa to provide a more complete picture of how Africans contextualize slavery, persistent racism and past injustice on the continent over time.

Arias, professor of Spanish & Portuguese, will work on her book project “Entanglements from San Juan: Bourbon Geopolitics at the Caribbean Frontier,” a critical inquiry into the historiographical efforts of the Benedictine Friar Agustín Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra. He was an ambitious cleric who began his ecclesiastical and bureaucratic career as secretary to the bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Rico, and through his interventions on the island, he played an influential role in the design of new imperial transatlantic politics for the Caribbean.

Gerschultz, assistant professor of African & African American studies, will work on her book project “Decorative Arts of the Tunisian École: Fabrications of Modernism, Gender, and Class in Tunisia (1948-1972).” Through its focus on the medium of textiles, this book project will show how gender and class distinctions were construed within Tunisia’s modernizing project and its attendant art historiography. A critical analysis of materiality, gender and transformations in artistic industry and agency in postcolonial Tunisia will enable the re-evaluation of the decorative arts and will signal how artists negotiated wider sociopolitical chasms at the crux of Tunisian modernity.

Cushman, associate professor of history and environmental studies, will work on his book project “The Anthropocene and the Age of Revolution: A People’s History of the Earth Under Human Domination,” aimed at historians, scientists and general readers that explores the deeper causes and human values that have brought human-nature relations to the juncture of the Anthropocene. Cushman will produce an original interpretation and concise overview of the history of the idea of the Anthropocene and of large-scale human effects on the environment, and he will evaluate the range of competing alternatives that have been proposed for the timing and cause of its onset.

Kaminski, assistant professor of English, will work on “Gentlewomen, a Collection of Poems,” which focuses on women and their voices through an exploration of allegorical figures. The poems explore gender constructions, especially as related to issues of class and social justice, through a revision of gendered domesticity and a reimagining of the voices of female allegorical figures.

For more information about the Hall Center Humanities Research or Creative Work Fellowship, please contact the Hall Center at or call (785) 864-4798.


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