Fall 2019 IHC Funding Award Winners

The IHC is pleased to announce the winners of its awards for the Fall 2019 competition. Congratulations to the winners of Faculty Fellowships and Faculty Collaborative Awards!

For one quarter of release time in 2020-21 to concentrate on research projects

Hangping Xu (East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies), “Broken Bodies as Agents: Disability Aesthetics and Politics in Modern Chinese Culture and Literature”

The project probes the narrative-symbolic centrality of disability in modern Chinese culture. Tracking the hegemonic establishment of nationalist ideology of ability, it develops a critical genealogy of “Chinese crip figures”: the madman in national allegory, the “supercrip” from Taiwan, the autistic boy in post-Mao cinema, and the disabled poet in the age of Internet literature. Theorizing disability not as a mechanically social constructionist account but rather as a dialectically affective-semiotic network of embodied subjects, the project argues that since its inception, the Chinese nation-state has been shaped by biomedical-eugenic logics and premised upon a fantasy for a healthy, able body politic.

Awards of up $3,000 for collaborative research or instructional projects during the next twelve months

Asian American Studies at 50

John Park, on behalf of the Department of Asian American Studies

The academic field of Asian American Studies began in 1969 and 1970, when leading colleges and universities in California began offering courses in Asian American history, Asian American literature, and Asian American communities. In 2020, we mark the 50th anniversary of the field.

Gagaku Collaborative Project

Fabio Rambelli, Religious Studies/East Asian Studies
David Novak, Music
Christina McCarthy, Theater and Dance 

A multimedia, interdisciplinary, and experiential approach to Japanese performing arts through Gagaku and Bugaku, the traditional music and dance of the imperial court of Japan and the main temples of that country. Dating back to the seventh century, this is the oldest continuously performed orchestral music and dance repertory in the world. In concurrence with undergraduate teaching and graduate research, accompanied by instrumental music practicums, this collaborative project will bring together faculty from Religious Studies, East Asian Studies, Music, and Dance to explore, together with leading performers from Japan (several of whom are considered “living national treasures”), this venerable genre.

Globalizing Race Before Race

Debra Blumenthal, History Department
Heather Blurton, English Department

Currently, scholars in medieval and early modern studies are engaged in a critical reevaluation of “race”—reevaluating both its utility as a category of analysis in the premodern world and how it has structured their respective fields. While multiple symposia on the topic have been held, most notably, the “Race Before Race” conferences at the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, these symposia have been populated almost exclusively by scholars in Anglophone studies.  Our symposium aims to broaden these conversations by bringing Iberianists, Islamicists, and Europeanists together in a productive dialogue about race in medieval/early modern studies scholarship.

Realisms in East Asian Performing Arts

Jessica Nakamura, Theater and Dance
Katherine Saltzman-Li, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies

Against the prevalence of definitions of “realism” as a representational form with solely Euro-American origins, “Realisms in East Asian Performing Arts” will explore expressions of realism in premodern and modern East Asia. The conference and edited volume will re-center concepts of realism within global contexts, turning to East Asian performance histories to identify alternative origins, forms, and cultural significances. By reconsidering realism as a medium of cultural production with broad relevance, we will ultimately reevaluate questions of the real that are central to theater and performance studies, Asian studies, comparative literature, history, film and media studies, and cultural studies.