University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Annual Report 2011-12
IAS Residential Fellows

Faculty Fellows

In 2011-12 the IAS hosted twelve University of Minnesota faculty fellows, chosen from among forty-one applicants. This cohort represents thirteen departments from six colleges and divisions on three campuses.

Cawo Abdi (Department of Sociology, CLA-TC), Spring 2012
Project: “Divergent Migrations? Somali Experiences in South Africa, America, and the United Arab Emirates”

Abdi found the experience of being an IAS fellow exhilarating and productive. She made significant progress on her book project, “Journeys of Hope: Somali Migration to South Africa, United States and the United Arab Emirates,” drafting one chapter and starting on a second. The IAS provided a tranquil environment where fellows have plenty of space and autonomy to delve into their own individual projects, yet she found that the environment allowed the fellows myriad opportunities to remain part of a cohort that is very supportive to one another. She writes that she has learned much about the University during her fellowship, getting exposure to work happening in Architecture, History, Anthropology and other units as well as learning from some of our faculty in other University of Minnesota campuses.

Tracey Deutsch (Department of History, CLA-TC), Spring 2012
Project: The Julia Child Project”

This fellowship was crucial to progress on Deutsch’s current book project on the life of Julia Child and the mid-century politics of food.  She developed and gave two presentations about the project, wrote and presented a conference paper on an entirely different aspect of the project, applied for and received one national grant, drafted another grant proposal, and analyzed the data that will inform two chapters of the book.  Less tangibly, she gained a vision of the project, and its spin-offs.  Feedback from this semester’s presentations encouraged two articles that will be “spun off” from the biographical project. She developed arguments with longer reach, so that she can discuss how the details of Child’s life reveal other vital themes in U.S. politics and society.   Her project became framed as one that is of interest to sociologists, public historians, and political scientists as a direct result of the conversations she had at the IAS and the work she did here. She also developed connections with other colleagues, particularly those whom she would not have met anywhere but the IAS. The interest they showed in her work and the questions they asked allowed her to develop a firm vision of the project and its themes.

Jill Doerfler (Department of American Indian Studies, CLA-Duluth), Fall 2011
Project: “Blood v Family: The Struggle Over Identity and Tribal Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg”

Doerfler completed wrote and revised a book chapter, and developed a good set of working notes and plan to draft the book conclusion. She completed the revisions for Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories, co-edited with Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair (University of Winnipeg) and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (University of Victoria). The volume will be published by Michigan State University Press in 2013. She also completed revisions on a chapter in Critical Insights: Louise Erdrich edited by P. Jane Hafen; publication by EBSCO Publishing is expected in 2013. She completed final edits on The White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution (2013, University of Nebraska Press), which she co-authored with Gerald Vizenor. She published two newspaper articles in Anishinaabeg Today and gave two guest lectures and two conference. Doerfler writes that the supportive and engaging environment created by the IAS allowed her to focus on her research and writing, while the weekly lunch presentations by other fellows provided time to engage in a wide range of disciplines and methods.

Gregory Donofrio (School of Architecture, College of Design), Spring 2012
Project: “‘The Container and the Containe’’: The Functional Preservation of Historic Food Markets”

Donofrio completed copy editing and obtained permission to publish images for: “Preservation by Adaptation: Is it Sustainable?” in Change over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment and “Gender Realignment: The Design and Marketing of Gas Stations for Women,” in The Rise of Marketing and Market Research, edited by Hartmut Berghoff, Philip Scranton, and Uwe Spiekermann (Palgave Macmillan, 2012). He coauthored the paper “Teaching Heritage Collaboratively at the University of Minnesota,” which was presented at the Society for American Archeology conference in Memphis in April. He also completed and submitted an article for review.  He found that the time to pursue unplanned opportunities, some initiated by other scholars in residence, may have been the greatest benefit of his IAS fellowship. The IAS provided the physical space, the financial support, and the community of scholars for the intellectual exchange that he needed to develop the project.

Amy Kaminsky (Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, CLA-TC), Fall 2011
Project: “Planting Wheat and Reaping Doctors: Jews, Gender, and Modernity in Argentina”

Kaminsky finished an invited book chapter on the Argentine Jewish visual artist, Mirta Kupferminc, and she began work on the performance of gender roles in relation to Jewishness in the plays of Diana Raznovich. She found the weekly fellows lunches to be intellectually stimulating, both as a member of the audience and as a presenter.  She used the opportunity offered by the lunch presentation format to work out the relationship between her larger book project and the many exciting offshoots from it that have slowed down the progress of the book but forced her into deeper thinking about individual cultural objects (novels, films, plays, works of visual art).  With the input of her colleagues, she realized that the project includes both the book and a series of related articles, and that the project was much bigger and more complex than first anticipated.  She was energized by learning about the work of colleagues.  Engaging with them around their research was stimulating, even if the content and methods of their research are far from those of her own work.

Jessica Larson (Studio Art Discipline, Humanities Division, Morris), Spring 2012
Project: “Primer for a Young Feminist”

As a mid-career scholar at the University of Minnesota, Larson found the IAS fellowship the perfect means by which to reinvest in her research with the luxury of time, but also come to see it with a new and expanded lens because of the diversity of the fellows in the cohort. While at the IAS she developed three series. She considers the resulting work stronger than any she has created in many years, due mainly to the ability to refine and test ideas and processes before committing to final works. She finds herself reinvigorated by the further development of the conceptual basis for the works, especially the new ideas offered by the other fellows.

Christine Marran (Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, CLA-TC), Fall 2011
Project: “Unbecoming Nation: Ecological Alliances in Japanese Poetics and Film”

The fellowship semester allowed Marran to make substantial progress toward completing her book project. She was particularly pleased to receive so much useful commentary on the most difficult chapter of the book—the Introduction—during her fellows lunch presentation. Her book manuscript has received substantial interest, and she has given or plans to give four presentations material that she developed while at the IAS.

J.B. Mayo (Department of Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education and Human Development), Fall 2011
Project: “The Impact of Two Spirit Individuals on Minnesota’s Ojibwe Nation: Cultural Revitalization, Gender Expression, and Social Studies Curriculum”

Mayo was able to develop his ideas, thanks particularly to his presentation at the fellows lunch. He completed and submitted two articles and made a presentation at the National Association of Multicultural Education conference.

Jennifer Rothchild (Sociology Discipline, Humanities Division, Morris), Spring 2012
Project: “Boys in the Kitchen and Girls in the Yard: Social Constructions of Gender and Family in Nepali Orphanages”

Rothchild completed significant work on her book project. She submitted a revised book prospectus and chapter drafts to two major presses, and drafted an article for submission. She received very helpful feedback from fellows as well as IAS program administrators and staff. These conversations strengthened her arguments regarding gender as a process and as a site for resistance and change. She worked with a collaborator on another project involving breastfeeding advocacy programs in rural Minnesota, drafting two articles for submission later in 2012. Finally, she initiated work on a new project on international adoption, securing IRB approval and working with a collaborator to collect life history narratives. With the fellowship, she was able to engage in cross-disciplinary discussions with scholars immersed in other types of research; these exchanges refined her analytical skills, particularly in linking the local with the global in her work.

David Samuels (Department of Political Science, CLA-TC), Spring 2012)
Project: “Inequality and Democratization: A Contractarian Approach”

Samuels drafted three entirely new chapters of his book manuscript, completed and submitted two article manuscripts, and nearly completed work on a third article. He presented papers at the CUNY graduate center in New York City, ITAM and CIDE in Mexico City, Oxford University, University College London, and the Latin American Studies Association meeting in San Francisco.

Rachel Schurman (Department of Sociology and the Institute for Global Studies, CLA-TC), Fall 2011
Project: “‘Science for the Poor’: Firms, Foundations and the new Green Revolution for Africa Humanitarian Agriculture”

While in residence, Schurman read several new literatures, including work on African agricultural systems during the colonial and post-colonial periods, literature on the first Green Revolution, and an emerging literature on the ‘new philanthropy’.  She planned and conducted twelve in-depth interviews with key informants, established an annotated data base of relevant literature, and attended the World Food Prize conference in Iowa where she  engaged in participant observation, conducted interviews, and made critical contacts for my research.  She a conference on “Rethinking Development” at Cornell where I gave a presentation on my new research and elicited some useful feedback. While at the conference, she also organized a small meeting with several U.S. and African scholars that will form the basis for expanding her project into a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort.  Toward this end, she wrote an internal grant proposal to fund a summer 2012 workshop that would bring these and a few other social and natural scientists together to develop a research method to study the effects of this new green revolution for Africa “on the ground” in several African countries. Interactions with fellows were engaging; the colleagues who worked in Africa in particular offered a number of useful suggestions of literatures.

Joseph Staats (Department of Political Science, CLA-Duluth), Fall 2011
Project: “Allies and Adversaries in the Battle to Improve Judicial Performance: Women’s Rights Organizations and the Courts in Seven Former Communist Countries in Central and Eastern Europe”

Staats was able to make unprecedented progress on his book manuscript, and expects it will be ready for submission in 2012. He writes that while he had high expectations for what he might learn in the IAS interdisciplinary community, he did not expect the degree to which he would be affected and enriched by the experience. In a short four months he was exposed to ideas, approaches, perspectives, and agendas that would take him several years (if ever) to accumulate were he to set out on a path of discovery on his own.

Quadrant Fellows



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellows

In 2011-12 the IAS hosted one year-long Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow, selected from a group of thirty-two nominees. These fellowships are funded by the Graduate School.

Namrata Gaikwad (Department of Anthropology, CLA-TC)
Project: “Men Against Matrilineage: Contestations Around Gender Politics in Shillong, India”
Mentors: Simona Sawhney (Asian Language and Literatures, CLA-TC) and Ajay Skaria (History and Global Studies, CLA-TC)

The perfect blending of undisturbed work time along with stimulating intellectual camaraderie was the most significant and memorable aspect of Gaikwad’s fellowship at the IAS. She was able to transcribe interviews and code and analyze data in an expedient fashion and commence on the task of organizing her thesis. This process was not as simple as she had anticipated. The interactions that she had with the other IAS fellows in the Fall semester and the feedback they gave after her first presentation proved crucial in helping her mold her chapter plans. During this period she forged a valuable relationship with a fellow graduate student, with whom she organized a writing group that continues to meet. She found this structure and intellectual feedback invaluable. In the Spring semester she received excellent feedback from the other fellows that strengthened the chapter she presented and helped her to understand the contemporary relevance of her research to non-anthropologists and the need to speak coherently to other disciplines. She writes that she cannot stress enough the significance of the exposure she received from these academics with diverse intellectual trajectories and training.

IAS Graduate Fellows

In 2011-12 the IAS hosted four single-semester graduate students with non-stipendiary residential fellowships.

I-Chun Catherine Chang (Department of Geography, CLA-TC), Fall 2011
Project: “Chinese Green Capitalism and Urban Sustainability: Cases of Shanghai’s Dongtan Eco-City and Tainjin’s Eco-City”
Mentor: Michael Goldman (Sociology, CLA-TC)

During her residency, Chang interacted with a group of interdisciplinary researchers and graduate students, learning about various research projects and the differing research perspectives across disciplines. As a result, she was able to reorganize her research for an interdisciplinary audience. Her project benefited from interaction with IAS director Ann Waltner and faculty fellow Rachel Schurman. Waltner’s expertise in Chinese history and her connections with Chinese academics helped Chang to resituate her project on eco‐city development in the temporal context of Chinese urban development;  . Schurman offered valuable input to the research methods and design. With the progress made during her the stay at IAS, Chang was awarded the interdisciplinary Global Spotlight International Research Grant for 2012-13. During the residency at the IAS, Chang refined the methodology of her doctoral dissertation research.

Anna Rosensweig (Department of French and Italian, CLA-TC), Fall 2011
Project: “Relational Rights and Theaters of Mourning in Seventeenth-Century France”
Mentor: Nancy Luxon (Political Science, CLA-TC)

Kari Smalkoski (Department of Family Social Science, CEHD), Spring 2012
Project: “Performing Masculinities: The Impact of Cultural Practices, Racialization and Space on Hmong Male Youth and their Families”
Mentor: Diyah Larasati (Theatre Arts and Dance, CLA-TC)

Smalkoski discovered through the thorough and thoughtful feedback from the fellows and staff that her dissertation needed historical and comparative components, which were completely do-able within the context of her project. These additions will push the project to new heights and lay a foundation for post-dissertation work. Over the semester she worked on several co-authored articles, three of which are currently forthcoming. Through the IAS, she made contacts at the Minnesota Population Center and attended a session with editors from the University of Minnesota Press. She writes that the IAS has been one of the most instrumental and invaluable experiences for her as a doctoral student. Her time at the IAS has helped shape her thinking about her project and has also offered important connections with scholars who have given her ongoing and generous mentorship. These are the kinds of relationships that graduate students dream of cultivating, but so rarely ever get to have.

Laura Wertheim (Department of Art History, CLA-TC), Fall 2011
“Playing House: Feminine Elusiveness and Fantasy in Contemporary Art Making”
Mentor: Tracey Deutsch (History, CLA-TC)

 Other Visiting Fellows

Brian Horrigan (Minnesota Historical Society, NEH Fellowship recipient), 2011-12
Project: “Charles Lindbergh and Twentieth-Century American Culture”

Horrigan was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to complete a project on Charles Lindbergh and American culture, which he took at the IAS. This offered him the opportunity for fellowship and friendship with a broad range of scholars from disciplines with which he had never before had contact.  In two fellows presentations and a Thursdays at Four presentation he received valuable feedback and, he writes, acquired confidence in the intellectual appeal of his work. He drafted two chapters (or about a third of the book), and a solid proposal to take to publishers; submitted a paper to the Society for the History of Authorship, Readership, and Publication, which was accepted; and began and maintained a blog about the project (

Charles Sanft (Institute for Sinology and East Asian Studies, University of Muenster), Spring 2012
Project: “Communication and Cooperation in Early Imperial China”

The first and most important thing that the IAS provided Sanft was a dedicated workspace, which he found allowed him to get much more done than he would have otherwise. He submitted a book proposal and manuscript for consideration, completed the first draft of an article, and completed and presented a conference paper. He writes that the biggest change in his work came from the interest the other fellows expressed in it, particularly during and after his lunchtime presentation. He had been thinking that the details of his research would be of little interest to scholars in other fields, especially popular and theoretically engaged fields, but the reaction of other fellows demonstrated that this assumption was mistaken, which in turn made a positive shift in how he thinks about future projects and given him much optimism for the future of early China studies.