Faculty Endowment

Harpur College Faculty Development Endowment

The goal of this internal grants program is to promote the scholarly, creative, and artistic activities of Harpur faculty. Priority is given to proposals for new projects or for projects that represent a new direction within an existing project. Priority is also given to projects that are likely to lead to external foundation or government funding.

  • 2022 Recipients (Awarded $79,457) 

    Prenatal methadone effects
    Marvin Diaz - Psychology

    With the ongoing opioid epidemic, there has been a surge in opioid use during pregnancy resulting in increased number of opioid exposed offspring. Additionally, opioids, such as methadone, are the standard of care for treating opioid use disorder (OUD), including in pregnant women. However, the extent of neuro-behavioral and -biological effects in opioid exposed offspring is not well known. We have developed an animal model of prenatal methadone exposure (PME) and have begun to characterize learning and memory behaviors and neuronal function within the hippocampus, a structure known to regulate learning and memory. Interestingly, we found sex-specific effects, with PME adult females having more learning and memory impairments and alterations in hippocampal neuronal function compared to control females. Conversely, PME adult male offspring showed minor alterations. These findings suggest that opioid exposure, particularly opioids used to treat OUD, can lead to long-term alterations in offspring.

    Black Women and Energies of Resistance
    Mary Albanese – English, General Literature & Rhetoric     

    My first book Black Women and Energies of Resistance (currently in production with Cambridge University Press) rethinks familiar narratives of 19th-century modernity. While traditional accounts of modernity have emphasized advancements in communication technologies, animal and fossil fuel extraction, the rise of urban centers and Walt Whitman’s electric body, I propose that women of African descent – including Maria Stewart, Sojourner Truth, Marie Laveau, and Pauline Hopkins - combated these violent regimes through diasporic spiritual beliefs and practices. Drawing from texts in English, Dutch, French, Kreyòl and Spanish, as well as unorthodox methodologies (which includes reading oral histories, Vodou songs, and accounts of performance and religious rite), I expand the archive of hemispheric modernity to include previously neglected Black women. In doing so, Energies of Resistance re-writes the seemingly constrained and gendered local on a global scale.

    History of Drug Addiction in Modern France
    Elisa Camiscioli – History

    This book project recounts the cultural history of drug addiction in twentieth- and twenty-first-century France. It explores the theories of addiction and recovery put forth by physicians, mental health professionals, politicians, and self-appointed experts; the organizations and institutions established to address the problem; as well as the experiences of individual drug users. Focusing on opioids, cannabis, cocaine, and crack, it asks how political and public health regimes have understood addiction at key moments in global French history: the uprisings of the 1960s, the development of social security, immigration from the former colonies, racialized urbanization, and the rise of the security state and far-right populism. It combines a top-down and bottom-up analysis to show how representations of addiction and drug addicts are created by state and non-state actors in medical, legal, and political discourse; and how individuals relay their stories of addiction and recovery.

    Black Enlightenment 
    Surya Parekh – English, General Literature & Rhetoric                          

    Black Enlightenment reads works written by Black authors who become “free” in a society hostile to that freedom. From this perspective, it reimagines the Enlightenment from the position of the Black subject. It reads eighteenth-century Black thinkers, among them texts by Francis Williams (1697-1762), Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729-1780), and Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784), alongside such canonical authors as David Hume and Immanuel Kant.   The book places these authors within a geography that includes the Caribbean, West and South Africa, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia and works with texts in English, German, French, Latin, Spanish and Dutch. By looking at this expanded area, this study invites us to imagine Black Enlightenment authors in their complexity, rather than reducing them to figures of assimilation or covert resistance to slavery. Black Enlightenment teases out an imperfectly foreclosed Black subject necessarily contained within the concept metaphor of the European Enlightenment. 

    Identifying the microbial communities of Neotropical lizards and their potential adaptive functions
    Blazo Kovacevic – Art & Design

    Assisted Immigration (AI) represents a continuation of my creative research into the social phenomena related to conflict, migration, and loss of privacy. Unfortunately, this work is relevant today as it was 15 years ago when I first started looking into this issue. In my recent work, I explored emerging Mixed Reality media such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (a project generously supported in 2019 by Harpur College Subvention Award and currently included in the juried prestigious Cornell Biennial 2022 Futurities, Uncertain Local Futurities satellite show at Cherry Gallery, Ithaca, NY; https://cca.cornell.edu/biennial/2022-biennial-artists-announced /  and https://artpil.com/news/futurities-uncertain-2022-cornell-biennial/  ). In Assisted Immigration project, I wish to explore new creative artificial intelligence (AI) tools that offer new and unexpected perspectives on image making. Primarily I am interested in DALL-E 2 from OpenAI but also in the more recent and arguably more capable applications, including Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. I wish to create a body of new work using these text-to-image and/or image-to-image tools. 

    Support for Publisher’s Layout/Production of “Facsimile Edition” of Cupid and Death (1653)
    Andrew Walkling - Theatre

    Musica Britannica volumes are published by Stainer & Bell, an established British music publisher, but Musica Britannica itself (which is not-for-profit) is responsible for all arrangements and costs of production. If necessary, I can draw from a small amount of departmental funds (possibly $200–300), but support from the Harpur Dean’s Office is crucial to our ambition of producing the Facsimile Edition as a high-quality scholarly resource that will significantly enhance the volume.

    Manga Migration to Zanzibar, 1890-1963
    Nathaniel Mathews - Africana Studies

    During the era of a British protectorate over the sultanate of Zanzibar (1890-1963), thousands of Arabs from the interior of Oman migrated to the two islands in search of economic opportunity. Funding from Harpur will enable me to complete a research project on the social history of these migrants, using data from their 1950s naturalization applications to become nationals of Zanzibar.  

    Socially Valuable Gossip under the Threat of Retaliation
    Ozlem Tonguc - Economics

    Gossip may be valuable in environments requiring collective action as it might help decision makers to form beliefs about their others’ cooperation and make decisions accordingly. However, it relies on the persuasion of individuals. Thus, gossip may not be as powerful in fostering cooperation as an objective reputation mechanism. However, recent studies where third-party gossipers can share unverifiable information show that gossiping nevertheless promotes cooperation and trust. These studies justify the presence of gossip as part of our communication. However, a natural extension to these results is to ask whether these positive effects of gossip are robust to situations in which gossipers have future material interests. For example, it might be the case that in some settings, gossipers may have an incentive to misreport or refrain from reporting behavior because the target of the gossip may later retaliate against them. In this project, I  plan to study utilizing a laboratory experiment whether the possibility of revenge restricts individuals’ desire to gossip to the extent that it does not achieve any efficiency gains over the environment where gossip is not allowed.

    Mormons & Armenians in the Modern Middle East: The Life and Times of Joseph Wilford Booth, Mormon Missionary to the Ottoman Empire (1898-1928)
    Kent Schull - History

    Based upon LDS Church and Ottoman archives, Mormon-Armenian family histories, and Mormon missionary journals, this book situates the story of these missionaries and their converts within the broader context of Protestant Missionary and Armenian experience in the Middle East during a time of great violence and upheaval.  The Mormon experience in the Middle East is best understood through a framework of compounding marginalization where Mormons and their converts were extremely marginalized by the U.S. and Ottoman governments, their Protestant missionary contemporaries, and the broader Ottoman-Armenian population.  The intersection of this compounding marginalization provides keen insights into non-Muslim experiences within the Middle East during this tumultuous time of rapid transformation.  I propose to use the grant monies to take two short trips to the LDS Archives in Utah and the Ottoman State Archives in Istanbul, Turkey in order to complete my research.

    Bacterial degradation and bioaccumulation of poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in landfill leachate and soils
    Thomas Kulp - Geological Sciences and Yuxin Wang - Environmental Studies

    This proposed study will investigate bacterial populations in landfills and identify strains that are responsible for the breakdown and biodegradation of poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) and their environmental precursor compounds. This initial pilot study will focus on elucidating pathways, rates, and mechanisms of bacterial degradation or biosorption of commercially available PFAS and precursor compounds at elevated concentrations in microcosms and enrichment cultures by endogenous bacterial communities obtained from samples of landfill leachate or PFAS-contaminated soils.  If successful, additional funding will be requested from external agencies including NSF and EPA to apply the developed methodologies to a broader range of PFAS-impacted environmental settings using in-situ PFAS compounds and concentrations, and to identify functional genes responsible for PFAS degradation in isolated bacteria.

    Global Health Impact
    Nicole Hassoun - Philosophy

    Binghamton University Professor Nicole Hassoun on behalf of the Global Health Impact Project is seeking funding for two publications on global health inequality. The first paper will be published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and evaluates existing data on the need for drugs, their efficacy, and their treatment percentages to estimate the impacts of various regimens on the global burden of several neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The second paper will be published in the British Medical Journal Global Health and outlines a mechanism for ensuring equitable access to essential health technologies in pandemic times for potential inclusion in a pandemic treaty or instrument currently under negotiation at the World Health Assembly.

    Late Romanticism and the End of Politics
    John Havard - English, General Literature & Rhetoric         

    "Late Romanticism and the End of Politics: Byron, Mary Shelley and the Last Men" shows how a circle of influential literary writers in the early nineteenth century used "the end of the world" to imagine political change. The argument has implications for thinking about a period of reform and emancipation, the uprooting of entrenched political elites, and the current climate crisis.

    Impact of Adolescent Social Isolation on Oxycodone-Mediated Regulation of Behavior and Neurotransmission
    Seden Akcinaroglu - Political Science

    We investigate the emerging role of commercial satellites in information revelation (IR) in conflict zones. Ukranian-Russian war is defined as the “first commercial imagery conflict” where satellites serve as the open-source intelligence by providing captured images from war. But more importantly, commercial satellites are likely to be the future of wars which is why studying their impact is important. While it is a fact that leaders tell their own version of war events, we know so little about the conditions under which public chooses to believe and continue to believe false rhetoric. We are interested in finding out if commercial satellite images lead to fact checking, and some means of convergence in public perceptions. Or are perceptions sticky, reinforced continuously against all evidence by leader rhetoric? By conducting an experimental survey about the Ukranian-Russian war on the means and credibility of IR, we seek to shed light on the impact and stickiness of fake news, on the factors that shape public perceptions and the room for learning and information convergence in conflict zones.

    The Heart of American Darkness: Empire, Revolution, and Horror in Eighteenth Century Ohio
    Robert Parkinson - History

    The Heart of American Darkness: Empire, Revolution and Horror in Eighteenth-Century Ohio is under contract for publication from Liveright/Norton, to be published in Spring 2024. It is a study of the causes and consequences of a gruesome attack that took place on April 30, 1774, where nine Indigenous people were ambushed and murdered along the Ohio River. It is a dual biography of the two families (one colonist, one Native) who collided on that spring day; the perpetrators and the victims of the Yellow Creek Massacres were members of two of the most prominent families in North America on the eve of the Revolution. Its main themes are to use this incident and these families as a way to explore the bewilderment of empire on the eve of the American Revolution, but explores the themes of settler colonialism, empire, and violence in America from 1740 through the end of the nineteenth century. It argues that these concepts lie at the very heart of the United States, from its founding until today.

    Development and Validation of a Spanish-language Measure of Intimate Partner Violence
    Matthew Johnson - Psychology

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been notoriously difficult to assess. Last year, we collected data that allowed an Item Response Theory (IRT) model to develop a valid measure of IPV. The aim of the new proposed study is to use test whether the Spanish translation of this measure is equivalent in its factor structure and validity. To do this we will collect data from a large group of Spanish-speaking participants and compare them to a large group of English-speaking participants. Once tested, I will apply for funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to validate the measure in other ways, including with at-risk populations. At that point, the publicly available measure will allow practitioners to assess cases of IPV in Spanish or English.

    Protective Policy Index, a Global dataset of origins and stringency of COVID 19 mitigation policies
    Olga Shvetsova - Political Science

    We have developed and made accessible for the multidisciplinary audience a unique global dataset of the behavior of political actors during the COVID-19 pandemic as measured by their policy-making efforts to protect their publics. The dataset presents consistently coded cross-national data at subnational and national levels on the daily level of stringency of public health policies, overall and within specific policy categories. The data on these public mandates of protective behaviors is collected from media announcements and government publications. The dataset allows comparisons of policy efforts and timing across the world and can serve as a source of information on policy determinants of pandemic outcomes, both medical and societal.

    Boccaccio and Exemplary Literature: Ethics and Mischief in the Decameron
    Olivia Holmes – Medieval & Renaissance Studies  

    This book places Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th-century story-collection in the context of the wide array of didactic narrative traditions that his tales are largely based on and frequently parody, including such sources as Aesopic fables, medieval compilations of sermon-stories and saints’ lives, framed narrative collections of Islamicate origin, and classical compilations of historical anecdotes. In Boccaccio’s revisions, the inherited stories suggest very different ethical paradigms (more skeptical, more tolerant of natural impulses) than in earlier contexts. I examine Boccaccio’s texts in relation to both pre-modern notions of literary exemplarity and recent critical claims about narrative’s ability to promote empathy and emotional intelligence. Boccaccio asserts in the Decameron’s Preface that his tales provide readers with useful advice by showing the consequences of human behavior, but the very plethora of variant teachings and outcomes that he proposes undermines the assumption that a specific narrative lesson can ever be universally applied. 

    Digital Codicology: Medieval Books and Modern Labor
    Bridget Ruth Whearty – English, General Literature & Rhetoric

    In Digital Codicology I argue that the rules of book history and codicology (the study of manuscripts as physical objects) do not end (or even change very radically) when a medieval book is copied into a digital form. Thus, we can—and I contend, we must—extend the same familiar modes of inquiry in order to understand digitized copies of medieval and early modern books as complex objects in their own rights. On the one hand, we must continue to ask where and when a particular physical manuscript was first copied (for example, c. 1480, in London). At the same time, we must also more rigorously historicize digitized manuscripts in the moments of their own creation: a digital facsimile made in Berkeley, CA in 1998 is a very different object than one made in London in 2017. We must understand how medieval manuscripts were made, but we must also understand how they have been reproduced across media—from the rise of print in the later 15th century, to the rise of photography in the mid 19th century, to the rise of the internet in the later 20th century and beyond. Digital Codicology does this work, connecting medieval manuscripts to their much longer copying history in order to more rigorously understand the past, present, and future of medieval books (and of digital humanities cultural heritage more broadly). 

    Passionate Peace: Emotions and Religious Coexistence in Early-Modern Germany 
    Sean Dunwoody – History

    In the German city of Augsburg in the sixteenth century, Protestants and Catholics lived side-by-side in peace, at a moment in European history that witnessed large-scale and widespread religious violence elsewhere. In my book, I use the case study of this community to demonstrate how emotional practices—a novel conceptual framework recently crafted out of conversations in History, constructivist Sociology, and cognitive Psychology— were central to Augsburg’s religious coexistence. Rather than focusing on ideas or norms, my project shows how emotions—religious, civic, and social; and framed within the various spaces of this community—were central to the ways in which Augsburgers thought about themselves. By examining changes over time in the relative salience of different emotional practices I show that emotions are the keystone to understanding what fostered and what undermined peaceful coexistence in a religiously mixed community.

    Identifying the microbial communities of Neotropical lizards and their potential adaptive functions
    Laura C. Cook and Lindsay Swierk – Biological Sciences

    Microbes play a vital role in the health of ecosystems and the survival of individual species. Despite their importance, the microbial communities of some taxa are severely underexplored despite intriguing potential host-microbe relationships, like fungal disease prevention or other beneficial adaptations. The skin (cutaneous) microbial communities of reptiles are almost entirely unexplored, with the exception of a single published study that suggests that reptilian microbial communities are much more diverse than those of their co-occurring amphibian species. We propose a study to explore cutaneous microbial diversity in Costa Rican lizard species, with special emphasis on a semi-aquatic lizard (Anolis aquaticus) that we hypothesize may use its cutaneous microbial communities to aid in underwater respiration. A combination of metagenomics and 16s rRNA sequencing will allow us to examine the community on organismal and genetic levels.  

    German Conquistadors in Venezuela: The Welsers’ Colony, Racialized Capitalism, and Cultural Memory
    Giovanna Montenegro - Comparative Literature

    This book investigates one of the strangest episodes in the conquest and colonization of the Americas––the governance of the Province of Venezuela by German bankers, the Welsers, in the sixteenth century. It also recovers the production of this episode’s cultural memory on the German and Venezuelan sides in subsequent centuries. I argue that in the sixteenth century, amidst nascent European-centered globality that saw the demand for world commodities by an increasing number of European consumers, German, Genoese, and Flemish merchant capitalists provided needed capital to European monarchs to embark on the colonization of the New World. In the case of the Welser Company, the German bankers would lend money to Hapsburg Emperor Charles V (who was also King Charles I of Spain) and soon after received certain privileges that gave them a free pass for many commercial ventures, including the production and trade of commodities such as sugar in Madeira, La Palma (Canary Islands), and Hispaniola; the exportation of illicit New World drugs such as balsam; the trafficking of humans in the Atlantic slave trade; and the conquest of indigenous peoples in the Province of Venezuela.

    Towards an understanding of the Kuroshio Current Extension during warm climates of our past and future
    Molly Patterson - Geological Sciences

    By 2100, projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations will range from 430 to >1000 parts per million in the atmosphere. Over the past decades, western boundary currents have been warming at a rate of 2–3 times faster than the rest of the ocean. These systems are vastly understudied regions of the world ocean, and have huge potential to influence weather and climate patterns. This proposal will use sediments from Ocean Drilling Program Site 1207, drilled on the northern edge of the Kuroshio Current Extension, to create a robust age model from 3.4–2.9 million years ago, the last time in Earth’s history when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were above 400 ppm. These new geochemical data are imperative to infer the timing of change in the current related to warming, and will provide a basis for future studies using different proxies.  

    Mapping Musical Aspiration in Jim-Crow Houston
    Paul Schleuse - Music

    This book-length project will be the first study of the Coleridge-Taylor Choral Club, a Black community chorus that thrived in Houston, Texas in the 1920s and 30s. Its founder, C.F. Richardson, was the publisher of The Houston Informer and other important Black newspapers, a leader of the Houston NAACP and the National Negro Business League, and an outspoken activist against the KKK and the white primary in Texas. The book will track the people, institutions, and venues associated with the Choral Club across Houston’s segregated neighborhoods, including its annual festivals at the City Auditorium. This concert hall was also home to the all-white Houston Symphony, which will provide a contrasting example of musical activity in the fast-growing city. Richardson’s enthusiastic promotion of the Choral Club in his Houston Informer columns resonates with contemporary Black theories of racial uplift associated with W. E. B. DuBois and the “New Negro” writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

    Politics of Good and Evil: Conspiracy Theories’ Role in Democratic Erosion
    Ekrem Karakoc - Political Science

    Conspiracy theories have always been widespread - secret societies ruling the world, potential alien invasions, or suspicious assassinations of political figures,  - and until recently, those who entertained such beliefs had widely divergent political ideologies. But what happens when rival politicians use popular conspiracy theories against each other, or citizens rely on these ideas to inform their political decisions? How do such claims impact people’s understanding of democratic politics? What does this conspiracist challenge mean for the future of democracies? This project explores the consequences of conspiracy beliefs, emphasizing a recent wave of partisan conspiracy theories from Turkey and the U.S.A. - two significantly different countries with surprising resemblances. Having identified what major conspiracy theories in both countries, this project, then traces when conspiracy theories become relevant and influential in mainstream politics either as divisive and destructive to democracy or unifying and helpful to democratic forces.

    Subsurface Mapping with Ground Penetrating Radar
    Jeff Pietras - Geological Sciences

    Ground penetrating radar is a geophysical tool used to image features in the subsurface or within human-made construction. The Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies has a modern suite of GPR equipment used for environmental, geological, and archeological studies. While this equipment is used for a broad range of topics with the ability to resolve centimeter-scale features in the first meter of the subsurface and larger features several meters into the subsurface, the ability to map geologic features deeper than 5 to 10 meters is restricted due to the lack of very low-frequency antennas. One application that would benefit from a deeper depth of penetration is mapping the thickness of sediments (top of bedrock) on land and in lakes. Bedrock mapping is useful for hydrological studies and to understand ancient river or glacial systems among other topics. Lacustrine sediments commonly contain paleoclimate records, and determining their thickness is crucial prior to coring. Funding for this project will be used to purchase a set of 50MHz antennas that will be used to map bedrock and sediment thicknesses at Green Lake in Fayetteville, NY.

    Around the Dead Sea
    Shay Rabineau - Judaic Studies

    In all of recorded history, only one group of people is known to have walked all the way around the Dead Sea. In 1934, nine Jewish teenagers from British Mandate Palestine circled the world’s lowest body of water during a grueling two-week trek, and wrote a book about it.  Shortly afterward, outbreaks of violence turned the area around the Jordan River and the Dead Sea into a militarized border zone. Treasure hunters scoured nearby caves for scrolls and artifacts of enormous monetary and political value. Israeli and Jordanian exploitation of the area’s water and mineral resources drained the sea and rendered its southern basin an industrial wasteland. In Fall 2022, I plan to undertake the second-ever circumambulation of the Dead Sea. The expedition will be the basis of a book that examines the origins of one of the world’s worst environmental crises, encounters the human communities affected by it, and explores the political paralysis that has forestalled practical solutions.

    Capitalist Outsiders: Oil Politics in Mexico and Venezuela 1938-2000
    Leslie C. Gates - Sociology

    Before Trump, there was Vicente Fox: Mexico’s capitalist outsider. Sporting a cowboy hat, this swaggering former Coca-Cola executive rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment to his nation’s presidency in 2000, much as Trump did in 2016. The trend is not only vexing; it is also perplexing. Just two years before Mexicans elected Fox, Venezuelans shunted their Fox-like capitalist outsider and elected Hugo Chávez. Similar to Fox, Chávez was an outsider to the political establishment. In stark contrast to Fox, however, Chávez was a former lieutenant colonel who railed against the capitalists privileged by neoliberalism. Why do political outsiders like Fox, who are tight with capitalists, win despite circumstances seemingly propitious for anti-capitalist outsiders like Chávez? This book demonstrates how capitalists, capitalism, and their history so often empower pro-capitalist, over anti-capitalist, outsiders with two instances of divergent outsider politics in Mexico and Venezuela: in the neoliberal era and mid-20th century.

    Impact of Adolescent Social Isolation on Oxycodone-Mediated Regulation of Behavior and Neurotransmission
    Anushree N Karkhanis - Psychology

    Opioid epidemic was already on high rise at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic-related mandate on social isolation has synergistically heightened the opioid epidemic, with increased cases of overdoses. Unfortunately, we do not have an FDA-approved treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) that is effective in all individuals. This is partially the result of a gap in our understanding of neural mechanisms that promote the development of OUD. This project uses a translational rat model of addiction vulnerability in which rats are housed in social isolation throughout adolescence to first identify the impact of social isolation on oxycodone consumption. Then the same model will be used to assess dopamine transmission in one of the reward and emotion processing centers of the brain, the ventral pallidum. Finally, we will identify the locus of opioid receptors on different neuron populations in the ventral pallidum to understand how opioids modulate neural activity.

  • 2021 Recipients (Awarded $42,784)

    Endless Intervals: Cinema, Psychology, and Semiotechnics around 1900
    Jeffrey West Kirkwood - Art History

    My monograph, under contract with MIT Press and the University of Minnesota Press, is entitled Endless Intervals: Cinema, Psychology, and Semiotechnics around 1900. It reframes early cinema—traditionally viewed as the exemplary medium of modernism—as a key technical and theoretical foundation for the digital age. I argue that cinematic technologies were not only instrumental in understanding the human psyche as a machine defined by series of discrete operations, but that they also showed how such operations could be assembled to form continuities of thought, imagination, and meaning. This is what I refer to as “semiotechnics,” which bridges between nineteenth-century machine theories to the semiotic theories of the information era. What early cinema offers is thus a groundwork for cybernetics, contemporary neural nets, and a path from pure binary to artificial intelligence. The resulting theory the book pursues introduces an information-age understanding of early cinematic technologies, arguing that cinema evolved to regulate intervals and create an entirely new model of the psyche—a model that was at once mechanical and semiotic, physiological and psychological.

    The Many Pasts and Futures of Guiana and El Dorado: Colonial Fantasies and Environmental Resistance
    Giovanna Montenegro – Comparative Literature 

    Many Pasts and Futures of Guiana and El Dorado explores how the multi-national region of Guiana (Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Suriname, and French Guyana) has been and continues to be represented as a utopia of unguarded natural resources since European contact. The El Dorado legend, steeped in fantasy––including treasures of gold guarded by Amazons within the shifting waterscape of Lake Parima— has shaped how Guiana has been read as territory open to penetration and extractive practices since the sixteenth century. The book essentially aims to revise not only how Guiana’s environment has been read and mapped, but also how indigenous and enslaved labor forces have resisted colonial and neocolonial environmental practices.  It also will tell the story of the region’s recent indigenous resistance and environmental victories against loggers and miners.

    Cleaning chemicals from the environment utilizing mycoremediation: the capacity of six species of fungi to intercept perfluorooctanoic acid
    George Meindl – Environmental Sciences

    Toxic contamination of our water, soil, and air has been increasingly documented over the past few decades by chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is found in fluoropolymers present in non-stick pan coatings and stain resistant fabrics in clothing and rugs. It is pervasive in the environment and resists degradation, which has led to its presence in low levels within human blood worldwide. However, to date no research has identified biological means for complete removal or degradation of PFOA from the environment. This project seeks to determine the capacity of six different species of fungi to intercept environmentally-relevant concentrations of PFOA. Towards this goal, we will expose fungi mycelium to PFOA solutions at three concentrations for 28 days. We will assess the interception capacity of the fungi species by measuring the amount of PFOA contained in the fruiting body, mycelium, and solution. This research will contribute to protecting the health of humans and organisms via affordable and non-invasive bioremediation efforts which aim to remove harmful PFOA from the environment. 

    Caribbean Gore: Capitalism, Crime, and Community in Contemporary Puerto Rican and Dominican Literature and Film
    Sandra M. Casanova-Vizcaíno – Romance Languages & Literature 

    My book manuscript Caribbean Gore: Capitalism, Crime, and Community in Contemporary Puerto Rican and Dominican Literature and Film analyzes 21st century narratives about “bichotes” (drug lords), “gatilleros” (hitmen), smugglers, and thieves. These stories are primarily about drug and human trafficking, sex work, crime, and gang and state-sponsored violence, but they are also stories about love, survival, and the construction (and sometimes violent destruction) of identities, familial ties, and friendships. I explore how these stories reconfigure Caribbean society and geography by demonstrating how key concepts, such as national borders, identity, heteronormativity, kinship, and community construct the region as a space that both experiences and reproduces violence, and that is constantly redefining the ways in which its inhabitants come together to care for each other. By looking at the ways in which these texts and films create new worlds that come into dialogue with our own lived experiences and perceived worlds, my book proposes the creation of a new narrative canon as well as the creation of new epistemologies that redefine these two Caribbean nations from within. 

    Luchino Visconti and the Alchemy of Adaptation
    Brendan Hennessey – Romance Languages & Literature

    My book, Luchino Visconti and the Alchemy of Adaptation, is under contract with SUNY Press and will be published within the next year. The book examines the cinema of Italian director Luchino Visconti  (1906-1976). Visconti is among Italy's greatest 20th century directors, regarded as one of the forefathers of Italian cinema as it developed after WWII. Specifically, I focus on those Visconti films based on books. Of the eighteen movies he directed between 1942 and 1976, twelve were literary adaptations. Alongside such figures as Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, and Stanley Kubrick, Visconti’s legacy will be forever entwined with the cinematic transformation of literature. Yet, more than forty years since his death and through a voluminous scholarship dedicated to his cinema, there is no concentrated study that moves beyond one or a few individual adaptations. The absence of such a unifying monograph is revealing. It is embedded in the contradictions of the artist himself, but also in the thorny question of adaptation that his films disclosed. 

    Verification of methane emissions from orphaned oil and gas wells in New York State.
    Timothy S. de Smet  - Geological Sciences and Environmental Sciences

    Methane-emitting oil and gas wells present a significant environmental concern and an impediment to economic development in regions of the US where such wells have been drilled prior to the introduction of regulations detailing their location and condition. The problem is particularly pronounced in New York State, which was the locus of some of the earliest hydrocarbon exploration and production activity in the 19th century; recent estimates suggest that there are as many as 35,000 oil and gas wells orphaned across the state. In a recent study, our research group demonstrated that magnetic anomalies associated with the metal casing of abandoned oil and gas wells are detectable in UAV aeromagnetic surveys collected at an altitude slightly above the regional tree line. We are seeking support to verify the location and condition of wells initially detected in the aeromagnetic survey, their level of methane emission, and priority as for environmental mitigation efforts in New York.

    Capitalist Outsiders: Oil Politics in Mexico and Venezuela
    Leslie Gates - Sociology

    Before Trump, there was Vicente Fox: Mexico’s capitalist outsider. Sporting a cowboy hat, this swaggering former Coca-Cola executive rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment to his nation’s presidency in 2000, much as Trump did in 2016. The trend is not only vexing; it is also perplexing. Just two years before Mexicans elected Fox, Venezuelans shunted their Fox-like capitalist outsider and elected Hugo Chávez. Similar to Fox, Chávez was an outsider to the political establishment. In stark contrast to Fox, however, Chávez was a former lieutenant colonel who railed against the capitalists privileged by neoliberalism. Why do political outsiders like Fox, who are tight with capitalists, win despite circumstances seemingly propitious for anti-capitalist outsiders like Chávez? My book demonstrates how capitalists, capitalism and their history so often empower pro-capitalist, over anti-capitalist, outsiders with two instances of divergent outsider politics in Mexico and Venezuela: in the neoliberal era and mid-20th century.  

    New Methodology for the Study of Early Modern Government Maps: Computer-Based Analysis of the Venetian Republic’s Map Collection (the First GIS)
    Karen-edis Barzman - Art History

    This pilot project introduces computer-based analysis to assess the earliest geographic information system (GIS). This system was assembled by the republic of Venice, the first state to collect comprehensive geographic data about its territories, then store and transmit the data via images (rather than written description, as was typical.) Adapting certain features of landscape painting, the maps otherwise departed from contemporary art and cartography with their precision in representing distances and relative location in unobstructed “bird’s eye” views. Harpur funding will permit acquisition of high-resolution scans of selected maps and collaboration with BU’s Geophysics and Remote Sensing Lab. The purpose is to digitally cross-reference the maps with modern maps and what is still on the ground, generate elevation models, and establish sightlines and possible viewpoints for the mapmakers, to assess the maps’ accuracy and the practices behind their production.

  • 2020 Recipients (Awarded $38,034) 

    Olga Shvetsova - Political Science
    Project Title:
    Hazards of Federalism in COVID-19 Pandemic 

    The COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the traumatic and uncertain phase of its initial global onset, has created new patterns of political accountability. Specifically, deaths not prevented, have become a new factor in the political incumbents’ calculus of survival in office. In comparison to unitary states, federations offer political incumbents a different range of constituent incentives, and the accountability patterns in federations, furthermore, vary across levels of government. In this essay we show how the emphasis on the new, deaths not prevented, aspect of political accountability, has affected policy making in federations. We propose a formal model which argues that subnational governments have relatively stronger incentives to institute protective public health policies, with the implication that in countries, where subnational policy authority is more extensive, higher level of public health policy protection would be available to the population. We then use the data from the COVID-19 Public Health Protective Policy Index Project (Covid-19 PPI) to draw comparisons in support of the predictions of the model. 

    Jessica Hua – Biological Science
    Project Title:
    Developing Personalized Management Plans for Diverse Environmental Issues

    The highly context-dependent nature of environmental issues is a major hurdle for developing effective conservation and management solutions. Similar to the “Personalized Medicine” concept where medical treatment is tailored to individual characteristics of each patient, this proposal seeks to develop best practices for generating “Personalized Environmental Management Plans.” While tailoring management plans to an individual stakeholders’ specific property can lead to more effective efforts, increased time investment is an important criticism to address. Thus, the goal of this proposal is to implement and refine a newly developed three-phase protocol for generating Personalized Management Plans. By working with local stakeholders, this award will also strengthen the relationship between lifelong environmental stewards and graduate students which is paramount to the development of future engaged scientists. Finally, funding will allow graduate students to integrate a high-quality and interdisciplinary field component into their thesis research, providing invaluable flexibility for students working in the face of COVID-19 lab-space constraints.

    Sabina Perrino – Anthropology
    Project Title:
    Narrating Ideologies in Northern Italian Barzellette

    In this project, I will finalize the data collection for my second single-authored academic book, entitled "Narrating Ideologies in Northern Italian Barzellette." This book centers on the specific and powerful performativity of Italian barzellette, or ‘short funny stories’, as they are enacted in various and varied northern Italian regional settings and across different types of speech events. Stemming from an old, and well established, literary genre, barzellette have been part of Italians’ daily discursive practices for many centuries. Today, barzellette tellers help aliment sociocultural, political, and racialized ideologies in contemporary Italian society and beyond, given the transnational reach of these jokes in the digital realm as well. While barzellette are known for their performative, interactional dynamic, their digital presence has indeed increased tremendously in recent times, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. 

    Colin Lyons – Art and Design
    Project Title:
    The Laboratory of Everlasting Solutions

    A Harpur Faculty Research Grant will provide essential seed funding for developing an ambitious art installation titled The Laboratory of Everlasting Solutions, that will be presented at Unison Arts Center (New Paltz, NY) in 2021, and l'Œil de Poisson (Québec City, QC) in 2022. The Laboratory of Everlasting Solutions is a printmaking-based installation that proposes speculative climate prototypes which borrow from practical alchemy and contemporary geoengineering models. The installation will be powered by an experimental rooftop battery fueled by etching plates and acids, and much of the base material will be drawn from regional brownfields, mine tailings and industrial ruins. Its intricately etched sheathing will utilize alchemical symbolism to provide a map for the proposals held within; weaving together historic and speculative narratives ranging from proposed geo-engineering trials to desalinate and re-freeze arctic waters, phytoremediation via invasive plant species, and ocean fertilization using dissolved industrial artifacts.

    Mark F. Lenzenweger – Psychology
    Project Title:
    Psychometric Development of a Measure of Fearless Resourceful Resilience

    The current proposal seeks support for a validation study of a new psychological measure that will be useful in the selection and assessment of personnel that work in high-intensity, high-stress environments such as work in first-responder contexts, operational contexts (e.g., law enforcement, intelligence community, special operations), and other emergency services. The proposed measure, which has already gone through basic development, is now ready for a trial in a national adult sample drawn from the community. Such a trial would allow for mathematical evaluation of the technical properties of the measure, a crucial step in the development of any high-quality psychological measure. The measure has 147 questions that to tap three central psychological factors: fearlessness, resourcefulness, and resilience. The current version of the measure will be administered along with other measures to evaluate its validity. This novel measure includes all three domains in a compact instrument.

    Marvin Diaz - Psychology
    Project Title:
    Long-term effects of prenatal methadone exposure on anxiety

    The recent opioid epidemic has resulted in a multitude of issues worldwide, including increased use of opiates during pregnancy. In particular, methadone, an opioid agonist, is commonly used to treat opioid addiction in pregnant women. However, little is known about the long-term consequences of prenatal methadone exposure (PME) in offspring. Human and animal studies have identified alterations in emotional processing (i.e. anxiety) in offspring exposed to opiates in utero. However, the mechanisms underlying these behavioral alterations remain unknown. We have developed a highly translational model of PME that produces alterations in neural function and dopamine receptor gene expression in the basolateral amygdala, a brain structure associated with emotional processing. The objective of this proposal is to assess alterations in anxiety-like behaviors in PME offspring and to determine if dopamine levels are affected within the basolateral amygdala following PME. Successful completion of this study will provide us with sufficient and essential preliminary data necessary to develop a competitive R01 grant application through the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Olga Shvetsova - Political Science
    Project Title:
    Traditional Authority in the Native Nations in the United States

    I will research interactions between indigenous authorities of Native American Nations with constitutionally defined governmental authorities in the US. I will visit Native American studies research institutions and do on-site work at the locations of the governance bodies of Native Nations. At this stage, I plan to visit only the governance locations within the State of New York. This project continues my research program of studying the balancing of legitimacy between indigenous and modern constitutional governance structures. This work has been previously conducted in African (JMAS 2019) and global comparative (“Bargaining . . .” with Carol Mershon) contexts. The queries are the following. Where do the competing sovereignties of Native Nations and American government stand in terms of their perceived legitimacy by the Nations? How do these competing sovereignties affect decisions of incumbents across governing structures? How do political shifts in Native Nations affect their standing with constitutional actors? My goal is to account for the ebb and flow of exercised sovereignty as affected by the political processes inside and outside of the Native Nations.

    Guifang Fu - Mathematical Sciences and Statistics
    Project Title:
    Integrating functional data analysis with the newest machine learning skills

    Advances in next-generation data collection technologies require concomitant advances in data science methodology. Prevailing functional data analysis approaches either focus on modeling time-varying dynamic trends for curves or perform poorly for high dimensionality. The overarching objective of the proposed research is to develop innovative methodologies to detect important associations between a high-dimensional curve response and a high dimensional set of predictors, while accurately capturing complex structures such as nonlinear or high-order interactions. The proposed methodologies will be applied to a wide range of disciplines, which not only produce testbeds but also expand its scope. Successful completion of this proposed research will expand on traditional statistical approaches for functional/curve data to a new level by utilizing the newest machine learning skills, providing ground-breaking methodological support for data science, and ensuring that data analytical strategies keep pace with high-end technologies that generate datasets, while boosting the progress of multidisciplinary collaborations.

    Matthew Wolf-Meyer - Anthropology
    Project Title:
    Unraveling: Remaking Personhood in a Neurodiverse Age

    My in-press book, Unraveling: Remaking Personhood in a Neurodiverse Age (UMN Press, 2020), develops a cybernetic theory of subjectivity that shows how subjectivity is produced processually through complex human-environment interactions which rely on symbolic, material, and physiological capacities and their social facilitations. The book describes fieldwork with neuroscientists, psychiatrists, educators, and support groups, and analyzes memoirs and scientific monographs. At the book’s heart are a series of profiles of families, each of whom has a member diagnosed with a biologized “neurological disorder.” Analyzing how these families facilitate the inclusion of and communication with their disabled family member, I show how dominant models of subjectivity rely on neurological reductivism, symbolic anthropocentrism, and narrow materialism, and thereby exclude both specific individuals and whole categories of neurological difference from full personhood. One of the key causes of these exclusions is the belief that communication— and language especially—is central to human claims to personhood and subjectivity and based in a biological predisposition in humans as a species and its absence is widely accepted as disabling. By focusing on the lives of families with disabled members and situating their experiences in a capacious cybernetic framework that extends Gregory Bateson’s work, I argue that an integrative approach that draws on material experience, embodied interactions, and diverse forms of communication helps to overcome these biases in conceptualizing subjectivity and personhood as based in an exclusionary model of human biology.

    Robert Parkinson - History
    Project Title:
    Thirteen Clocks: How Race Made America Independent

    The book Thirteen Clocks: How Race Made America Independent is an abridgement of sorts of my prize-winning book published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2016, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution. That book won two national prizes, the James A. Rawley Prize for the best book on U.S. race relations given by the Organization of American Historians, and the History Division Book Award for the best book on journalism and mass communication by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). It earned rave reviews in the New York Review of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal (starred), William & Mary Quarterly, CHOICE, Reviews in American History, Journal of American History, American Historical Review, English Historical Review, American Quarterly, among others.

    Meg Leja - History
    Project Title: Embodying the Soul: Medicine and Religion in Carolingian Europe

    The work for which I am requesting funding is my book manuscript, Embodying the Soul: Medicine and Religion in Carolingian Europe, under contract to be published with the University of Pennsylvania Press in their Middle Ages Series. This monograph has been the focus of my research activities since I started employment at Binghamton in 2015, and it is the culmination of work that began during my doctoral dissertation. My research has thus far been supported by the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion, the Mellon Foundation, Binghamton’s own Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and a Harpur Dean’s Research Semester. These sources of funding have enabled me to undertake significant amounts of new archival research for the book project, examining manuscripts held in libraries across Europe. The book is consequently not simply a revision of my dissertation; it has been entirely re-written, with a different structure and several original chapters.

    David Bisaha - Theatre
    Project Title: American Scenic Design and Freelance Professionalism

    American Scenic Design and Freelance Professionalism rewrites the history of scenic design by calling attention to a less-examined area of its practice – the establishment of the profession itself. In the interwar period, American scenic designers raised the relative status of their careers by dissociating their labor from earlier generations of scenic artists and establishing a professional identity consciously aligned with the white-collar professions of architecture, medicine, and law. This new identity embraced freelance, contract labor and defined the way the scenic design field is known today: as a form of creative artistry, a professional discipline, a component of university study, and a key element of American performance culture. Simply put, American Scenic Design and Freelance Professionalism is a cultural labor history that explains why American scenic designers work the way that they do.

    Jeanette Patterson - Romance Languages and Literature
    Project Title:
    Making the Bible French: the Bible historiale and the Medieval Lay Reader

    My monograph is about how Guyart des Moulins’s 1295 Bible translation “makes the Bible French” for a general target readership of French-literate lay aristocrats, as well as how its large and varied manuscript tradition adapts it to the personalized circumstances of individual intended readers. Vernacular readers’ reasons for reading the Bible, their ways of reading (or listening to) it and their capacity for interpreting it in a manner congruent with established orthodoxy would all have differed from those of the biblical scholars and clergy who would have read it in Latin, using Jerome’s Vulgate translation. Making the Bible French meant not only translating its language but also enacting a cultural translation for medieval French-speaking lay aristocrats. It meant making biblical narrative intelligible to lay readers who lacked advanced education in theology; making it enjoyable to avid consumers of courtly French literature; and helping those readers apply biblical lessons to the practice of their faith and to their wider social and political lives. To achieve these goals, the translator constructs a fictional dialogue with readers to answer anticipated questions, assuage their doubts and fill in narrative gaps: “Did insects bite before the Fall?” “How did Eve convince Adam to eat the forbidden fruit?” “How did the animals on Noah’s Ark not kill each other?” “Where is Noah’s Ark now?” Meanwhile, as was typical of hand-copied books in an age before print, manuscript compilers, scribes, and artists adapt each copy’s contents to the needs of individual readers as well as large- scale trends of the time: adding, removing or updating units of translated text or glossing programs, adding treatises, acrostic prayers and localized litanies of saints, tailoring illustration programs to reflect current events or a particular recipient’s self-image, and in a few cases, even marking verses deemed important for a specific intended reader. Each hand-copied and hand-illustrated copy asks and answers anew: what is the Bible, and what should it do for its reader?

    Robyn Cope - Romance Languages and Literature
    Project Title:
    The Pen and the Pan: Food, Fiction and Homegrown Caribbean Feminism(s)

    The Pen and the Pan: Food, Fiction and Homegrown Caribbean Feminism(s), my comparative study of a cross-section of works drawn from the past quarter-century of Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean culinary fiction, brings something new to the table. The Pen and the Pan is the first comparative study of food imagery in Caribbean women’s writing across linguistic, racial, ethnic and sexual orientation lines. It examines fiction by Guadeloupeans Maryse Condé and Gisèle Pineau, Haitian Edwidge Danticat, and Trinidadians Lakshmi Persaud and Shani Mootoo. I read food imagery in these Caribbean women’s writing not only for what it can teach us about the colonizer-colonized binary, but also in order to gain insight into power dynamics within the Caribbean itself—between generations, ethnic and racial groups, religious and political affiliations, social classes and sexual identities, and most especially between women. In this way, my reading showcases Caribbean women writers’ gendered perspective on past and present intra-Caribbean relationships, symbolized by interactions in the kitchen and at the table, and on future possibilities for coalition-building, figured by the central trope of the shared meal.

  • 2019 Recipients (Awarded $86,680)

    Seden Akcinaroglu, Associate Professor of Political Science
    Project Title: Strategic Use of Social Media by Non-State Armed Actors

    As a result of this grant, we applied for the Cite-Data Experimental Omnibus Grant.  If we receive the grant, it will allow us to conduct a conjoint experiment that will further examine the impact of various communication strategies on social media. In addition, a student has been gathering data on terror group websites and is creating a dataset and we have agreed with a survey company in Turkey to conduct a national survey (14,000 people) on the project.

    Timothy de Smet, Environmental Visualization, Research Assistant Professor
    Alex Nikulin, Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies
    Project Title: Drone-based Thermal Infrared Detection of Plastic Antipersonnel Landmines

    Currently the research has resulted in three peer-reviewed publications. The project also recently won Create the Future 2018 Award in the Aerospace & Defense Category beating NASA teams.

    Hans Gindlesberger, Associate Professor of Art and Design
    Project Title: Imaging the Form of Photography

    Working on making prototypes for the project and pursuing grants to support this work from the NY Foundation for the Arts and Creative Capital.

    Bryan Kirschen, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages, Literatures, & Linguistics
    Project Title: Documenting Judeo-Spanish (Ladino)

    In the process of collecting, scanning, transcribing, translating and uploading materials written in Judeo-Spanish in Solitreo, which will constitute the core of the archive.

    Andy Merriwether, Professor and Chair of Anthropology
    Project Title: The Cost of Education: The impacts of psychosocial stress on health through epigenetics as seen in college undergraduates
    He has 100 participants enrolled in the study and the team is collecting survey data for statistical analysis. DNA extractions are expected to be completed this semester.

    Diane Miller Sommerville, Professor of History
    Project Title: Motherhood and Madness in the American South

    Undertook research in Richmond, Virginia, at the state records annex and the main Library of Virginia focusing on “lunacy papers” and asylum records.

    Elizabeth Mozer, Associate Professor of Theater
    Project Title: Natural Causes - a new play

    Conducting meetings and interviews on the west and east coasts with individuals engaging in the embodied acts of civil disobedience. These meetings and interviews are the creative sources and fuel for the new play. 

    Plamen Nikolov, Assistant Professor of Economics
    Project Title: Immigration and Labor Market Outcomes in the E.U.
    In the process of collecting data and conducting analyses, as well as integrating undergraduates into the project. 

    Jeff Pietras, Associate Professor of Geology Sciences & Environmental Studies
    Tim Lowenstein, Distinguished Professor of Geology Sciences & Environmental Studies
    Project Title: Mapping Environmental Conditions and Deposits in Modern Saline Lakes

    This grant opened up opportunities for additional funding from startups and FRI to purchase a very complete piece of kit which is now on campus. Jeff Pietras is in talks with aquatics to get it in the pool. Field work in NY is planned for better weather, field work in Utah is scheduled for the second week of June, and the first external grant is being written for a March 15 deadline.

    Benita Roth, Professor of Sociology
    Project Title: Fighting the opioid epidemic in Upstate New York: marginalized voices, activism, and community

    She has hired graduate student researchers to begin data collection from Broome, Tioga, and Tompkins counties for comparison of the politics of the opioid crisis in Central New York.   

    Pam Smart, Associate Professor of Art History and Anthropology
    Project Title: The Technical Production of Affect: Restoring the Rothko Chapel

    Conducting field work at Rothko Chapel in Houston, which has expanded the project into a new book for broad readership. 

    Katherine Wander, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
    Project Title: Trade-offs in Milk Immunity

    Data collection is in process, and this semester they will complete the analyses of milk specimens, with the plan to present preliminary results at conferences in the spring.

    Xiangjin Xu, Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences
    Project Title: Some problems on Geometric PDEs and Harmonic Analysis on Manifolds

    Completed a research trip to China over winter break that included a visit to Shanghai Center for Mathematical Sciences and Fudan University, Shanghai, China. In addition, I attended and gave an invited talk on workshop on “Harmonic Analysis and Applications” at Tsinghua Sanya International Mathematics Forum (TSIMF), Sanya, Hainan, China, and completed one paper. 

    Chuan-Jian Zhong, Professor of Chemistry
    Project Title: Demonstrating a New Sensor Array Coupled with Pattern Recognition for the Development of Point-of-Care Breath Early Detection of Lung Cancer

    In the past three months, the team’s work has focused on preparation and testing, and the establishment of a working sensor platform with the initial sensor hardware and software for the project. The team is currently working with simulated breath samples and work is in progress to develop the initial database.

  • 2018 Recipients (Awarded $48,409)

    Brian Callahan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Project Title: Protein-nucleic Acid Ligation Using Biological Catalysis

    This project seeks to develop the first enzyme-based technology for protein-nucleic acid ligation. The grant will fund a graduate student and supplies in support of the high risk/high gain research in biomedical technology.

    Marilynn Desmond, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature
    Project Title: The Fall of Troy and the Origins of Europe: The Trojan Diaspora and the Vernacular Cultures of the Medieval West

    The goal of the project is to complete the research for the final chapter of her current book, which includes examination of medieval manuscripts in the UK, Italy, and France.

    Arnab Dey, Assistant Professor of History
    Project Title: The Business of Knowledge: Scientific "Expertise" and State Authority in South Asia, c. 1810-2010

    His study aims to highlight the historical stakes, practices, and legacies of the relationship between science and "expert" knowledge in colonial and postcolonial India. The research entails travel and acquisition of archival materials, data collection, imaging, and permissions for this new second book project.

    Ekrem Karakoc, Associate Professor of Political Science
    Project Title: Political Risks and Strategic Responses of Business and Society in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

    The aim of this research is to identify and explain different types of political risks (e.g., military coup, revolution) and strategic responses of business and society in MENA. The project requires travel and field work in Tunisia and Turkey to conduct the research.

    Neha Khanna, Professor of Economics
    Project Title: Using Satellite Data to Measure Air Emissions from Shale Gas Development

    The project will quantify the change in local air quality due to the emission of particulate matter in the Marcellus shale areas of Pennsylvania from 2005 onward. An advanced Economics PhD student will be hired to work on the project.

    Tomonari Nishikawa, Assistant Professor of Cinema
    Project Title: Wabi-sabi, a film about Japanese aesthetics – transience, decay, and imperfection

    The project is a short film about Wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetics that appreciate the transience, decay and imperfection. Footage will be captured at Ginkakuji, one of the most famous Zen temples in Japan, which was built during the period when the idea of Wabi-sabi was flourished.

    Jennifer Stover, Associate Professor of English
    Project Title: Living Room Revolutions: Black Women and Latinas' Record Collecting and Selecting in the 1970s Bronx and Beyond

    Research and interviews will be conducted to be used for a new book project about Black and Latinx women in early hip hop. The study will allow for a new understanding of the role of collecting records in the lives of women of color and will amplify the overlooked ways in which black women and Latinas have been crucial in developing major social, artistic, and political movements.

  • 2017 Recipients (Awarded $19,550)

    Elisa Camiscioli, Associate Professor of History traveled to France three times to do archival work for two interrelated book chapters from Trafficking Stories, a study of illicit migrations within France and its empire and between Europe and Argentina.

    John Havard, Assistant Professor of English conducted archival work in Edinburgh and London related to his book project The Last Men: The Ends of Politics in the Byron Circle. This project examines a pervasive language of world-ending in writings by Byron, Mary Shelley, and their circle that reverberated with topical political reference points and concerns specific to the Romantic age and that has in turn acquired sharpened resonance in our own time.

    Tim Lowenstein and Joseph Graney, Professors of Geology purchased supplies needed to run a laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer: LA ICP-MS, including gases (argon-fluorine, nitrogen, helium), and a glass standard for instrument calibration to study changes in the chemistry of ancient seawater.

    Claudia Marques, Assistant Professor of Biology conducted research on chronic infections with the goal to determine whether the host recognizes and responds to the presence of persister cells, using an in vitro model with THP-1 macrophages and developed a Drosophila melanogaster in vivo model.

    Wendy Martinek, Professor of Political Science hired a graduate student during the summer of 2018 to collect and clean an original dataset of decisions made by state courts of last resort judges. The goal of the project was to disentangle the influence of legal and extralegal factors on judicial retention, which is largely ignored by the literature on different judicial retention mechanisms.

    Matthew Sanger, Assistant Professor of Anthropology took graduate students on a four-week field program on Hilton Head Island, SC where they conducted archaeological research on ancient Native American shell sites.

    Thomas Wilson, Professor of Anthropology conducted initial interviews and explored possible sites for future ethnographic research, in Northern Ireland on issues related to the creation of a hard or soft border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland as a result of the UK's departure from the European Union in 2019.

  • 2016 Recipients (Awarded $27,530)

    Carmen Ferradás, Associate Professor of Anthropology conducted preliminary fieldwork in Argentina to unravel the political, economics, and environmental entanglements of the new industrial complex of cattle production.

    Tomonari Nishikawa, Assistant Professor of Cinema created a short film ("Perimeter of the Night") about the landscape and people's activities at night in the area next to the restricted zone in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

    Gerald Kutcher, Professor of History traveled to several libraries in the United Kingdom to study the use of colloidal lead to treat cancer during the interwar period by the famous gynecologist William Blair Bell and his team at the University of Liverpool.

    Wendy Wall, Professor of History funded a graduate assistant and traveled to several libraries in the US in pursuit of her book project to explore the Cold War and grassroots politics as they ultimately produced and shaped the landmark Immigration Act of 1965.

    Dave Clarke, Professor of Political Science conducted a pilot project and collected data on repression events, to foster his work with the Political Instability Task Force (PITF) on protest events captured government repression during protests, but not outside of those protest events.

    Kenneth Kurtz, Associate Professor of Psychology traveled to New Zealand and NY City to work with co-authors on his projects on machine learning and human learning.

    Andrew Walkling, Associate Professor of Theater traveled to Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX, and several cities in Europe to collect material for his book project: "Instruments of Absolutism: Restoration Court Culture and the Epideictic Mode."

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