The University of Iowa


In the spring of 2018, 17 graduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $42,500 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.

Brittany Anderson
Destination: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Project Title: Life after the Plague: Ebola and Biosecurity in Freetown, Sierra Leone
As the deadly 2014 Ebola epidemic raced across West Africa, international and local organizations rushed in to Sierra Leone to contain the pathogenic spread using tested biosecurity measures including quarantine and defend against the deadly transmission. Quarantine acts as an immediate response measure for transmission prevention, interrupting the person to person contact that leads to infection. Quarantine is an effective measure of preventing pathogenic spread, but what are the long-term social impacts of quarantine on individuals and communities? Thus far, academic research has focused on the measures necessary to slow and stop outbreaks through enforcing quarantine on a community level, but the aftermath of house-based quarantine has been seldom examined. Accordingly, my preliminary doctoral research analyzes the possible long-term consequences of quarantine, not only upon the individuals who experienced it, but for communities more broadly through semi-structured interviews and participant observation. If awarded the Stanley Graduate Award, I will spend 8 weeks building on contacts developed during my previous research in Freetown, Sierra Leone and increasing my data set from 26 households to 45 within three affected communities.

Laura Hayes
Destination: Dorset, England
Project Title: The Body Composed: Biology, Movement, and the Victorian Body
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research. I am a doctoral student in the English department, specializing in nineteenth-century British literature, and I plan to travel to the Dorset County Museum, in Dorset, England from May 30th to July 5th 2018. The Stanley project I am proposing will read poet and novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) alongside evolutionists Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) to consider the ways in which Victorian life sciences intersected with fiction at the end of the century to understand the human body as part of the human condition. For example, in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), the narrator describes Tess as a “creature” and depicts her human struggle with fate, living on a “blighted star” as well, as her unity with nature when she sleeps outside. I intend for Hardy’s work to be the final chapter of my dissertation, which will also include chapters on Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and George Barnard Shaw, because Hardy is writing at the end of the Victorian period. His integration of evolutionary biology into his writing shaped the Victorian legacy in the twentieth century and had a profound effect on modern philosophies of the human. 

Tyler Hendrickson
Musical Arts in Viola Performance & Pedagogy
Destination: Glasgow, Scotland
Project Title: Preparing Critical Editions of the Viola Music of John Blackwood McEwen
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to prepare critical editions of three unpublished pieces of viola music composed by Sir John Blackwood McEwen for publication: Sonata for Viola and Piano (1941), the Sonata No. 7 for Violin or Viola and Piano (1941), and the Breath 0’June for violin or viola and piano (1913). I am pursuing the degree of Doctor of Music Arts in Viola Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa, with an anticipated completion in the Spring of 2019. This is a hybrid degree involving both performances of degree recitals and scholarly research for the terminal doctoral project. For this project, I will spend five weeks from May 12 to June 18, 2018 working with the McEwen Collection in the Special Collections and Archives at the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland. This is the only source of manuscripts, fragments, and sketches of these pieces. I will examine McEwen’s process of composing and editing these scores by examining the scribal hands and markings found to those in other relevant works in the collection. Using the information gleaned from this examination, I will prepare editions with critical commentary ready for performance and publication. These works will be included in public performance on my Fall 2018 degree recital and published as part of the terminal doctoral project containing critical editions of neglected high-quality music composed for viola. 

Jack Jung
Creative Writing - Poetry
Destination: Seoul, South Korea
Project Title: Translating Poetry that was Nearly Lost: Preserving Yi Sang in Digital Form
I am applying for the Stanley Award to conduct research on the texts of a Korean poet Yi Sang’s writings (1910-1937). Mainly, I will be gathering primary materials, digitally scanning original copies of poems, prose, and illustrations as they first appeared on print media. This research will also help me finish my translations of his poems and essays, which will be published by Wave Books in 2019. Yi Sang is a seminal figure in the history of Korean literature, whose writings introduced such avant-garde aesthetic movements like Dadaism and Surrealism to Korea. My manuscript, when published, will be the first major collection of Yi Sang’s writings in English. Translating the works of a major foreign writer into English is culturally important in our global age. Translation is also an process for a writer like myself to work on one's craft by imitating the works of a master. Therefore, this translation project will help me develop a unique poetic style to successfully write my creative thesis for the completion of my M.F.A. at Iowa Writers’ Workshop. 

Sohyun Kim
Destination: Seoul, South Korea
Project Title: Dementia Korean Family Caregiver Needs on Informational Supports
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend 8 weeks in Seoul, South Korea to conduct research to determine what informational supports Korean family caregivers of people with dementia want to receive. I will conduct in-depth interviews with fifteen family caregivers who provide care to a loved one at their home. By this research, I will get more insight about what they want to know about essential caregiving knowledge and skills to provide care more effectively. Moreover, this study will serve as preliminary research for my Ph.D. dissertation and the foundation for my future research into the development of interventions for family caregivers.  

Caleb Klipowicz
Destination: Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands
Project Title: Understanding Tuberculosis in the Marshall Islands
This project investigates social factors affecting persistent epidemic levels of tuberculosis (TB) in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Although global health institutions have focused on TB’s social determinants in other countries, no long-term, qualitative studies exist for this context. Building on my own ground-breaking work with Marshallese communities in the US, and my previous experience in the RMI, I will use well-developed concepts and methods from medical anthropology to document how transnational public health efforts to address TB need to better account for the everyday social realities that perpetuate the epidemic. This pilot research will provide needed empirical evidence for improving prevention, education, and treatment outcomes globally, and lay the groundwork for future dissertation research.  

Kaitlyn Knoll
Creative Writing - Fiction
Destination: Germany, France, Switzerland
Project Title: Historic Papermaking Practices from 14th and 15th Century Western Europe
I aim to spend four weeks divided between Davezieux in France, Basel in Switzerland, and Schwarzwald ( or the Black Forest) in Germany, researching historic papermaking practices and mills from the mid-14th to mid-15th centuries. The work will inform the writing of my MF A thesis at the Iowa Writers' Workshop--a novel which combines history and German fairy tales to tell the story of a brother and sister who use their family's paper mill to construct the first bound children's stories. Through research at preserved mills and at museums and archives that hold the tools and artifacts of early paper production sites, I will develop a concrete and detailed understanding of the historic practices of early-industrial papermaking as well as the lived experience of papermakers. My research will enable me to compose my novel with the rigor and insight necessary for writing convincing history-based fiction.

Dallin  Law
Literary Translation
Destination: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico City
Project Title: Research and Translate Juan Vicente Melo's La obediencia nocturna at the Universidad Veracruzana and Mexico City
I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for international research to spend four weeks in Xalapa, Veracruz and Mexico City, Mexico. While there, I intend to conduct research for my translation manuscript and critical thesis introduction at Universidad Veracruzana and Mexico City literary institutions. I am currently working on a translation of Veracruz author Juan Vicente Melo’s novel entitled La obediencia nocturna, and being able to research his work at the university there would be indispensable for my translation thesis. I will also travel by bus to Mexico City to conduct research at the Foundation for Mexican Letters and Vasconcelos Library. These libraries hold large databases of Mexican authors, as well as programs for writers and translators, and will provide me with important connections to other contemporary Mexican authors who wish to have their work translated into English.

Catherine Liu
Book Arts
Destination: Lake Kawaguchi, Japan
Project Title: Traditional Japanese Woodblock Printing at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory
I am applying for a Stanley Grant to travel to Japan to be an artist-in-residence and study traditional mokuhanga—a Japanese woodblock printing technique—under Tetsuo Soyama, master carver and printer at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory (MI-LAB). Mokuhanga utilizes a unique application of ink that allows a soft gradation of multiple colors to be printed at once. Over 35 days I will be learning to carve, apply ink, and print woodblocks to create images. Learning this technique will be important to my MFA thesis because I am interested in utilizing skills that originated in China, passed to Japan, and bridged to Europe. My thesis will focus on the passing of different forms of heirlooms across cultures and their impact on history.

Stephen McMillan
Destination: Donostia, Spain
Project Title: Spin Transport at the Metal/Organic Interface
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend two months, from 1 April 2018 to 1 June 2018, at the nanoGUNE cooperative research center in Donostia, Spain. Here I will study the interface between metals and organic semiconductors through collaboration with the world-class resident research team led by Professor Luis Hueso. As a fourth year Ph.D. student in Condensed Matter theory, this experience will deepen my understanding of the experimental process and build my proficiency in modeling complex behavior of electrons at metal/organic interfaces. This work is a natural extension of my previous efforts modeling charge and spin transport in metals and organics separately.

Seo Jung (Linda) Park
Destination: Seoul, South Korea
Project Title: English Loanwords in Korean: Generational Differences in Their Usage among South Koreans
With the Stanley award, I will travel to Seoul, South Korea from June 1 to June 28 to collect data for my master’s thesis on generational differences in the use of Korean words adopted from English. While in Korea, I will meet native speakers of different age groups. Utilizing my native proficiency in Korean, I will conduct interviews with the participants and record their speech to observe their use of English loanwords. Loanwords are words adopted from one language into another, and they are often modified to sound more like the language adopting them. My research focuses on loanwords from English into South Korean (Korean hereafter). I am pursuing this topic because loanword usage shows the complex relationships between various languages; however, there is no research done on the generational variations in the use of English loanwords. I deeply care about how language plays a role in society and distinctively affects people of various social status. Through this research, I aspire to pursue my master’s thesis and also expand the understanding of Korean language and its speakers.

Angela Pico Pinto
Spanish Creative Writing
Destination: Bogota/Medellin Colombia
Project Title: A Pilot's Life in the Wake of the Drug Wars: A Colombian Novel
For my M.F.A. thesis in Spanish Creative Writing, I will write a historical novel, for which I need to do a preliminary investigation project in the Colombian cities of Bogota and Medellin to gather historical information in archival centers. I plan to spend a month for this research project. During the 1980’s, Colombia underwent a drug war that led to one of the most sanguinary times in the country. One of the most notorious drug lords, Pablo Escobar, impacted the entire population and forced countless lives to work within his terrorist agenda. As a Colombian, I am aware of the extent to which this historical chapter greatly affected my family. One of my cousins participated in Pablo Escobar’s operations: he was one of his pilots. During one of his flights he was caught in Costa Rica transporting illicit merchandise, where he was consequently imprisoned. He spent 10 years in jail after two escape attempts. He went back to Colombia and resumed his life as a commercial airline pilot. In 2004, in one of his flights in which he flew a prominent senator, his engine failed leading to a plane crash in the Magdalena River. My cousin drowned in the river. This is a story of a man who found redemption and healing in the aftermath of a turbulent individual and societal past. I will retell an important period in Colombian history through a more personal perspective, necessary for the humanization of a conflict that is often misrepresented. Going to Colombia is necessary to gather invaluable source material for the development of my historical novel, which I hope will add a personal and biographical dimension to a chapter of Colombian History.

Anna Polonyi
Fiction Writing
Destination: France
Project Title: The Beast of the Gévaudan: Uncovering local narratives and women's voices in an 18th century crisis of survival
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award to conduct archival research in France for my final thesis in order to graduate with an M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I plan to travel to Clermont-Ferrand, Le Puy-en-Velay and Montpellier, three cities that hold regional archives of interest to my novel-in-progress. The historical fiction project draws on the 18th-century story of a man-eating creature, one of the last instances of a wild animal preying on human beings, and one of the first human interest stories to be reported on internationally in Europe. 

Rose Schreiber-Stainthorp
Literary Translation
Destination: Santiago, Magallanes Region, Chile
Project Title: Exploring environmental narratives in Juan Marín’s 'Paralelo 53 Sur' in support of its English language translation
I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for international research to spend four weeks in the Magallanes region of Chile in order to experience firsthand and better understand the environmental narratives depicted in Juan Marín’s novel, Paralelo 53 Sur. I am currently collaborating with two researchers at Williams College in Williamstown, MA on an anthology of Latin American ecocritical texts. As a further extension of my interest in environmental literary criticism, I plan to focus my MFA dissertation on Paralelo 53 Sur, a widely-acclaimed modernist Chilean novel that revolves around issues of environment, indigenous land struggles and disenfranchisement in the Magallanes region of Chile. By becoming intimately acquainted with the places and cultural world depicted in Paralelo 53 Sur, I will gain invaluable insight that will support my translation process. Furthermore, I have successfully reached out to numerous Chilean academics who specialize in environmental humanities, literature of Araucanía, indigenous literary perspectives, Latin American modernism and landscape in the Chilean novel. While in Santiago, I will meet with them to discuss specific socio-cultural, ecological and linguistic issues pertaining to this text. Finally, due to the lack of available digital information on Juan Marín, I plan on visiting the National Library in Santiago, Chile in order to search their archives for material relevant to this author. No doubt, this type of fieldwork will shed light on the world depicted in this novel, heighten my sensitivity toward crucial underlying eco-cultural issues, and enrich the subsequent translation of Paralelo 53 Sur.  

Jennifer Shyue
Literary Translation
Destination: Havana, Cuba
Project Title: Women on Paper: Translating Anna Lidia Vega Serova's Estirpe de papel
I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for International Research to spend four weeks in Havana, Cuba working with writer Anna Lidia Vega Serova on my translation of her short-story collection Estirpe de papel. The resulting manuscript will form the basis of my MFA thesis. In Havana, I will meet with Vega Serova to discuss translation difficulties that arise as I translate her stories. I will also meet with two editors to hear their perspectives on contemporary Cuban literature written by women; this will help me better situate Vega Serova in her context in the critical introduction to my MFA thesis. Finally, I will attend events at three literature-focused cultural institutions in order to gain firsthand knowledge of the writers being celebrated in Cuba today, which can be difficult to accurately gauge from abroad because of the country’s relative isolation.

Claire Whitehurst
Fine Art
Destination: Bars, Dordogne, France
Project Title: Ancestral Shapes - Finding Imagery in French Cave Paintings
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to gather sketches and preliminary documentation of the Chauvet and Lascaux caves in the Vézère Valley in Bars, Dordogne, France. Chauvet (31,000 BP) and Lascaux (17,000 BP), both UNESCO World Heritage sites, are some of the first examples of inventive ritualistic painting and art-making that we have. The artists who painted these walls invented scaffolding to reach higher surfaces, made animated scenes of wildlife using the surface of the walls in conjunction with the light from their torches, and made some of the world’s first pigments and paints. My month long stay in France will be used to take field notes, make sketches, and research the development of these cave systems on site to make a series of work in my second year of my MFA program here in Iowa City. I have seen numerous reproductions of the caves in my life, but have read many accounts saying that seeing the caves in person is the only real way of understanding the scope of what they are. Near the site of the original Lascaux, is Lascaux II, a replica cave where viewers can go inside and closely observe the same textures, paintings and scale of the original, which was closed to the public in the 1960s, due to deterioration of the cave walls. This fabricated experience, in conjunction with access to other caves, will give me a better idea of how these artists used space and organized their compositions on the walls. This will further my own largescale painting and drawing on walls, that I use in my graduate work here in Iowa.

Ghyas  Zeidieh
Music-Cello Performance
Destination: Sweden and Germany 
Project Title: Nouri Iskandar's Cello Concerto
Syrian music is especially unique due to its location and influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe. However, many works and compositions have been destroyed because of the Civil War and risk being lost to memory. The Cello Concerto written by Nouri Iskandar (b.1938) is the only cello piece of its kind to have been written by a Syrian composer. Due to the war, Iskandar left Syria and relocated in Sweden. Many of his personal manuscripts were destroyed, although his Cello Concerto survives in an incomplete digital version that still lacks final annotations and performance markings. Iskandar and I have had many Skype conversations, but because of his age and lack of experience with technology, I must travel to Sweden to interview him in person. I will also need to travel to Germany to interview his daughter Sousan Iskandar, a specialist in Syrian music, and Syrian cellist Fadi Hattar, who premiered the concerto. By consulting with these musicians in person, I will be able to determine final revisions of the work and provide instructions and context that will bring international attention to this Syrian composition.