Stanley Undergraduate Awards for International Research
English and Creative Writing
Project Title: Why Is Water So Sad?: Examining the Impact of Alfonsina Storni's Poetry on Modern Literature
The Stanley Award for International Research will allow me to travel to Argentina to investigate the life and poetry of the early twentieth century Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938) for my honors project in the undergraduate English and Creative Writing major. Despite Storni’s ten published poetry collections and numerous national Argentine literary awards—including second place for the National Literature Prize (1920), Argentina’s first ever Municipal Prize (1920), and the Annual Award of the Council of Women (1917)—her life and works are barely studied beyond Argentine classrooms, and her ten poetry collections remain mostly untranslated.
Storni’s poetry reflects her struggles with poverty, early motherhood, cancer, and depression. The social infrastructure of the early twentieth century did not provide her with support to face these issues, and Storni ultimately committed suicide. In my honors project, I will produce a novel of magic realism that follows the story of a suicidal American teenager who attempts to drown herself. However, instead of death, the main character washes up on the coast of Argentina and is guided by Storni’s spirit to a better end. Using archival research, interviews, and translation, my two months of research in Buenos Aires with the Stanley Award will allow me to weave Storni’s poetry into a larger narrative of magic realism that examines the status of her work in the international literary community.
French, World Language Education
Project Title: Examining Factors of Language Extinction and Efforts to Prevent It: Occitan and Picard
I am seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research, for May 14- August 1, 2023, to investigate two regional languages present in the Southern and Eastern regions of France – Occitan and Picard. This project’s primary focus will be on the sociolinguistic attitudes of native speakers towards these dialects, and the conservation efforts put in place by local administrations and the government to promote and protect them, and how these factors have impacted speaking populations of each language over the course of time. I will collect this information through pre-arranged interviews with French citizens and speakers of these regional languages and with regional preservation and historical groups, all of which will be contacted prior to the project’s start date. Findings from this research will be put into a report and then onto the University of Iowa’s Language Resources page. Additionally, I hope to provide a framework for further research into endangered languages.
Global Health Studies, Microbiology
Project Title: Analysis of the Palliative Care Models of Non-governmental Organizations in India
Palliative care provision is a growing issue in India. A majority of the Indian population with chronic, terminal, or life-limiting diseases live in a persistent state of pain and suffering. Palliative care is a specialized form of medicine focusing on symptom alleviation for those with serious illnesses. Although there is much academic literature regarding inequalities in palliative care access, stemming from a lack of health infrastructure and a national-level policy, more information is necessary on the organizations that have arisen to combat these disparities. In particular, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play an essential role in providing palliative care to many Indians. I am seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research to examine and record the innovative palliative care models of NGOs located in India. I have chosen India as the location of this research because of my experience as an intern with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movements (SVYM) palliative care program in the summer of 2020. Their innovative palliative care model sparked a curiosity about how other NGOs deliver care to their communities. Ideally, I will examine three NGOs in this study, including SVYM. Research will be conducted from June 27th - August 8th and NGOs will be contacted prior to the start date to ensure participants. Remote interviews via video conferencing software and email correspondence with staff from each NGOs palliative care program will be the main mode for data collection. The purpose of this study is to document and analyze the models of palliative care of NGOs in India.
Comparative Literature, Chinese
Destination: Vietnam, China
Project Title: Antiquated Past and Storm-Tossed Modernity: The Age of “Literary Enlightenment” in Colonial Vietnam and Post-Qing China
I am seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research, from May 31, 2021, to August 30, 2021, to conduct a comparative analysis of 19th century to 20th century literary modernization under imperialism in Vietnam and China. After a thousand years of Chinese domination, Vietnam continued to withstand French colonization. Simultaneously, China endured multiple foreign incursions, from Great Britain’s Opium War to the May Fourth Movement as backlash of Japan’s imperialist mistreatment. These Western imperial forces triggered a struggle of Chinese and Vietnamese intellectuals seeking national independence through literature. Thus, two parallel literary processes of modernization emerged in both nations to reconcile the clash between Eastern and Western values. Intelligentsia attempted to change writing systems and liberate from traditional literature styles, while still keeping the national ideologies that resisted occupation. I will compare how modernizing languages and literatures helped Vietnam and China revolt against foreign occupation, culturally reformed public literacy, and shaped the national identity crisis. By investigating four periodicals and translating texts, I will reveal how modernization initiated a new era of literature in China and Vietnam. My findings will contribute to my honors thesis in Comparative Literature and serve as the basis of my Ph.D. program application. This research will result in a scholarly 20-page paper for journal submission and a designed poster for a research fair.
Global Health Studies, Biomedical Sciences
Destination: Myuna, Ecuador
Project Title: Effects of an Evolving Diet on the Health and Culture of Indigenous Ecuadorian Kichwa
I am seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research for June 29 - August 14, 2020 to study if/how recent changes towards a more western diet in the indigenous Kichwa of central Ecuador has affected their health and culture. My project will involve interviews, surveys, and blood pressure measurements, and will be centered in the Muyuna Health Center in Muyuna, Ecuador. This study is significant because it examines the intersection between changing diet patterns, rapid cultural shifts, and epidemiological health in a historically understudied population. The information collected will be used to understand an alarming trend of increasing hypertension and diabetes diagnoses. I chose this location due to having previously interned in the clinic in Summer 2019 for two months through the Cmiel Scholarship from the University of Iowa Human Rights Center to look at access to health care. As a junior double majoring in Global Health Studies and Biomedical Sciences, this research will benefit my studies as it will be the topic of my Global Health Studies honors thesis and the basis for a future Fulbright research application.
Global Health Studies, Spanish
Destination: Santiago, Chile
Project Title: Front-of-package warning labels: exploring knowledge, perceptions and behaviors about food and nutrition among mothers in Santiago, Chile
I am seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research to determine the effectiveness of front-of-package food labeling in Santiago, Chile, from June 1 – July 13, 2020. In response to high rates of obesity and diet-related health issues, the Chilean government passed a law in 2012 to regulate food labeling and advertising which included the implementation of front-of-package warning labels. Processed foods and beverages high in energy, sugars, saturated fats and sodium are now required to be marked with front-of-package warning labels with the aim of dissuading consumers from purchasing such items. Currently, no research has been conducted to evaluate responses to the regulation after the final stage of implementation in 2019. This research seeks to understand and evaluate mothers’ knowledge and perceptions of front-of-package warning labels and if such labels influence food purchasing behavior. A comparative case study of El Bosque and Providencia, two neighborhoods in Santiago, will be used to investigate this relationship. Research methods include semi-structured interviews, food sorting activities, and participant observation in grocery stores. Findings from this research can be used to inform and influence future nutrition policy changes in Chile and in other countries.
Medical Anthropology and Global Health
Destination: Saragur, Karnataka, India
Project Title: A Qualitative Study of Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies of women in Karnataka, India
I am seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research to study the women’s adaptation strategies to the effects of climate change in Karnataka, India from May 18th to July 11th, 2020. Climate change is expected to adversely impact vulnerable populations in tropical regions of the Global South. More importantly, the effects of climate change are unevenly distributed, where women are impacted more than men. Gendered experiences of climate change in southern India are particularly acute and put women in positions that affect their abilities to cope. Women are often responsible for subsistence and care activities that tie them to the environment such as collecting water and fuelwood in addition to tending to crops and livestock. Additionally, women hold important traditional knowledge of sustainability practices passed down for generations, therefore it is imperative that we examine how women are adapting to the effects of climate change. This project will utilize ethnographic methodology through semi-structured interviews and participant observation in order to document the lived experiences of rural agrarian women living in Saragur, Karnataka in India. I will be working in collaboration with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) to find participants for my research. Women who fit this criterion are those who are doing one or more of the following; collecting water, growing crops, collecting firewood or caring for livestock. The purpose of this research is to describe what rural agrarian women identify as current problems and to gain an understanding of effective adaptation strategies that women are employing during their daily lives.
Destination: Colombo & Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Project Title: Past Experiences and Activities of Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology
Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu), has remained an epidemiological mystery for researchers for over two decades in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is a tremendous burden to individuals and the healthcare system. A gap in the current research are studies exploring patient’s experiences and activities prior to the appearance of the disease. This study proposes travelling to Sri Lanka in the summer of 2020 to conduct audio-recorded, face-to-face interviews with ten respondents. Hour-long interviews would take place in patients’ respective homes with an offer of monetary compensation. Finding patterns of lives of even a few CKDu patients may contribute to the growing body of research to be used to identify CKDu risk-factors.
Global Health Studies, Engaged Social Innovation
Destination: Barcelona & Alegciras, Spain
Project Title: Local Migration Responses: Comparative Case Studies of Algeciras & Barcelona Spain
This ethnographic research project will evaluate local migration policies and responses in two distinct areas of Spain, Algeciras and Barcelona, through a comparative case study. This project will begin with a thorough literary analysis of local and country wide migration policies, population density changes, and the historical perceptions of migrants in Spain, spanning from 1985 to 2018. Three weeks will be spent qualitatively evaluating Barcelona’s local migration policies and responses, including their city council’s Refuge City program. This evaluation will be performed through interviews with local government officials, Refuge City coordinators, professionals and volunteers working within migration agencies, and migration researchers at Universitat de Barcelona. The following three weeks will be spent qualitatively evaluating Algeciras’ local migration policies and responses through interviewing professionals and volunteers of migration agencies, local government officials, and citizens in the area. The interviews will be recorded, transcribed, and categorically coded utilizing a process coding methodology in order to identify key themes and patterns. A comprehensive research paper will then be constructed from this data, with the literary analysis providing necessary background information. This paper will explain the respective local migration responses in Algeciras and Barcelona at this point in time, and what the implications and consequences of these responses may be.
Global Health Studies, Economics
Destination: Mysore, Saragur and Kencheahalli India
Project Title: Physician Perceptions of Counterfeit Medications in Karnataka, India
I am a seeking a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research to examine physician’s perceptions of counterfeit medications in Karnataka, India from July 16th through August 14th. Counterfeit medications are, simply put, pharmaceuticals that are marketed as something they are not. They may contain incorrect amounts of active ingredients, harsh substances, or may simply be mislabeled. These fraudulent medications can pose a serious threat to personal health and undermine trust in medical authority and health systems. Since the 1980’s, the global prevalence of counterfeit pharmaceuticals has risen dramatically. Worldwide, an estimated ten percent of pharmaceuticals are counterfeit. In some areas of Africa, Latin America, and Asia that number could be as high as thirty percent. India has experienced rapid growth in their pharmaceutical industry, and they are now the fourth largest producer of medications in the world. The country exports over 15 billion dollars worth of drugs to nearly 200 countries each year. International reports suggest that India is a primary source of counterfeit medications, however, the actual number remains unknown and highly contested. This project seeks to gain a better understanding of the awareness of counterfeit medications and the risk they pose to patients based on physician perceptions in the state of Karnataka, India. I will use an ethnographic methodology focusing on semi-structured interviews with physicians and pharmacists in two hospitals associated with Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, located in Saragur and the rural village of Kenchenahalli. Health workers are the target interviewees because they will be able to convey both trends concerning their patients’ experiences and personal insights. I will analyze data, looking for themes concerning prevalence of counterfeit medications, patient risk, and possible solutions.
In the spring of 2018, eight undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $20,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Genetics & Biotechnology
Destination: Salvador, Brazil
Project Title: The Use of GIS and Spatial Analysis to Map the Risk of Leptospirosis to Humans in Salvador, Brazil
I am applying for a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research in order to conduct research into assessment of the incidence rate of the bacterial disease leptospirosis in the urban slum areas of Brazil from June to August 2018. Leptospirosis is a bacterial, zoonotic disease, meaning it spreads from animals to humans. The disease is transmitted from an infected rodent contaminating water sources, like sewer run-offs, where humans get infected. It is found in tropical regions like Hawaii and Brazil, but little is known about its incidence worldwide because it is underreported and its symptoms are often confused with those of other diseases. Nonetheless, it is estimated that 60,000 people die from it each year. Leptospirosis has moved into the urban slum regions of Salvador, the third largest city in Brazil and where I will conduct my research. I have established contact and will work with collaborators at the Universidade Federal da Bahia who are conducting community-based participatory research in low-income neighborhoods about the incidence of leptospirosis. For my Stanley research I will use Geographic Information System (GIS) software to create maps from their data that show how infection rates of humans and rats in slums vary with distance to infected water sources and government services like healthcare and trash collection. I will be performing this research in order to fulfill graduation requirements for an honors designation and a degree in Genetics & Biotechnology. Through my coursework in both genetics and GIS, I understand the impact that maps can have on effectively communicating information, whether about chromosomes or leptospirosis.
International Studies (Intl Human Rights)
Destination: Paris, Mont-de-Marsan, France
Project Title: Re-examining Perceptions of 'The Other': Exploring French reactions to and mentalities on refugees and vice versa to bridge the knowledge gap between communities
For this project I will conduct research into the attitudes the French have towards refugees, as well as the thoughts and experiences refugees have in response, and examine solutions to potential problems. The first step will consist of research on the sentiments and reactions, positive and negative, of the recent influx of refugees pouring into the country of France. I will investigate and conduct interviews in two very different places in France: Paris and Mont-de-Marsan; a small town of around 30,000 in the south-west that I have visited before. This research will focus on the core underlying reasons that the French have had issues with refugees and immigrants beyond what the media already portrays. The second component of study will be to ask refugees how they have been treated and thought of in France. This will be done through interviews conducted in French, keeping names and other personal details anonymous to protect the refugees involved. This research will take exactly six weeks, from May 31st, 2018 to July 17th, 2018. I will spend four weeks in Paris and two in Mont-de-Marsan, to make the amount of time I conduct research in each city more proportional to the populations. I want to conduct the study in France because it is the foreign country I know best, and the one that I have spent several years visiting. I am also a fluent French speaker. The research itself stems from my passion for refugee rights that I have been pursuing throughout my college career. I am currently majoring in International Human Rights.
Anthropology (Medical Anthropology)
Destination: Amman, Jordan
Project Title: Assessing Access to Reproductive Care and Contraception Among Syrian Refugee Populations in Jordan
For my proposed Stanley project, I will spend nine weeks this summer in Amman, Jordan studying Syrian refugees’ interactions with reproductive care and contraceptives. As part of my investigation, I will work with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to facilitate contact with healthcare workers at clinics serving refugees. I will acquire my data by visiting clinics to interview reproductive healthcare providers. My questions will center around access to reproductive services in and around Amman, including the Zaatari Refugee Camp. The Stanley Award funding will allow me to travel to Amman, Jordan, gather and compile interviews and observational field data, and ultimately produce an academic paper of my findings. The project will fulfill the requirements of the experiential portion of the Global Health Certificate and contribute to a greater understanding of the refugee reproductive service needs in Jordan.
Anthropology and Global Health Studies
Destination: Kyiv , Ukraine
Project Title: Socially Determined Barriers to Health in Ukraine's State Healthcare System
I am applying to the Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research, in order to pursue research in Ukraine from June 1st to July 27th. I will research the socially determined barriers to health in Ukraine’s state healthcare system by interviewing individuals who engage with said system. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa, studying global health and anthropology, with a minor in the Russian language. After graduation, I plan on pursuing a Masters of Public Health and studying health policy and practices from an anthropological perspective in Eastern Europe and Russia. This research is crucial to my academic progress, as it will give me valuable experience researching health practices in a former soviet state, and help me solidify future contacts in Ukraine.
Biology (Genetics & Biotechnology) and J&MC
Destination: Ghent, Belgium
Project Title: Volatile compounds promote apogamy in the fern Ceratopteris
The sexual life cycle of all land plants alternates between two generations, the sporophyte and the gametophyte. The gametophyte generation produces gametes, once the egg is fertilized by sperm, the zygote develops into the sporophyte generation. Although sexual life cycle is the norm, many plants, including some ferns also have an asexual life cycle. In seed plants, the gametophyte generation is short lived and is dependent on sporophyte to survive. In ferns, both the gametophyte and sporophyte generations are free living. Therefore, the fern gametophyte offers an excellent tool to study apogamy, a form of asexual reproduction in which gametophyte cells directly forms sporophytes bypassing fertilization. Apogamy occurs in nature and can be induced in the laboratory. Our lab showed that media supplemented with 2.5% glucose promotes apogamy (Cordel et al., 2007). Because this level of sugar is stressful for gametophytes, the finding suggests that stress promotes apogamy. It is known that VOCs serve as signals in stress response in seed plants. Therefore, my hypothesis is that 2.5% glucose causes gametophytes to produce VOCs and that the VOCs promote apogamy. I am currently determining the minimum time required for the gametophytes to expose to the VOCs for apogamy promotion.
Destination: Cariacica, Espírito Santo, Brazil
Project Title: Documenting the São Francisco Apartment Building in Cariacica, Espírito Santo, Brazil
I am a junior majoring in sculpture with a minor in Portuguese. My current artwork centers around painting and sculpture influenced by retaining walls in Brazil. I am interested in the houses and apartments behind these walls. The next step for my work will be to go to the neighborhood São Francisco in Cariacica, Brazil and document an apartment building that my grandfather built in the late 1970s. Previously, my grandparents lived in a rural town and this building signifies their transition to an urban lifestyle. The neighborhood is located in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, near the lower half of Brazil’s eastern coast. My research will take place from July 10, 2018-August 10, 2018 and will involve documentation through photographs, sketches, video and audio recordings as well as gathering archival materials, ranging from photographs to blueprints. This project will result in my Art Honors Thesis Exhibition, which completes the requirement for honors in my Studio Art major, as well as for general University Honors. This work will also be displayed in conjunction with my larger, Bachelor of Fine Arts solo sculpture exhibition. I plan to extend similar research in Brazil by expanding it into a Fulbright research proposal, to then apply to a Master of Fine Arts program in sculpture.
Destination: Bogota, Colombia
Project Title: Barriers to Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Adherence in Colombia
The high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) in Colombia poses a public health concern. In order to prevent disability due to chronic disease, adherence to treatment is of primary importance. Barriers to treatment adherence must be assessed as there is currently no research surrounding this topic among the Colombian population. In Bogota, Colombia, I will conduct a pilot study assessing barriers to adherence to prescribed DM2 treatment plans. Data will be collected from two health care facilities associated with Juan N. Corpas University in Bogota, Colombia through subject surveys and qualitative interviews. Data from this pilot study will be used to develop a more robust future assessment of adherence barriers specific to the Colombian health system and population.
Mark Douglas Schoen
Business (Economics) and Art
Destination: Hong Kong
Project Title: Economic Impact of Art Cultural Centers
The Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend 6 weeks in Hong Kong studying the perceived regional economic impact of the developing West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD). The WKCD is one of the biggest arts-based economic development programs taking place in the world, encompassing the building of 15 are and cultural centers, one of the largest modern visual arts museums, and an extension museum of the Palace Museum in Bejing. I will be re-analyzing the economic studies commissioned by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Board for accuracy and future implications of the districts. A review of these economic studies has not been conducted since 2010. Building of the district began in 2013 and several changes have been made to the original conceived project, rendering the studies severely out of date. I will be interviewing members of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Board to gain two things: first, to understand the assumptions made about the project during the previous economic studies; and second, to get a detailed account of the several changes made to the project since the publication of the studies in 2010. The data I collect in Hong Kong will function as a preliminary study for my B.B.A. Economics honors thesis. My honors thesis will be a comparative analysis of the economic impact art cultural centers have on surrounding regions and whether they live up to their pre-construction expectations.
In the spring of 2017, three undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $7,500 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Carolyn Marie Hoemann
B.A. Ethics and Public Policy, Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication Certificate
Destination: Bournemouth, England
Project Title: Barriers to Accessing Reproductive Healthcare for Drug Users
Many people in the U.S. struggle to access healthcare services, especially those in vulnerable populations.Studies consistently show that drug users have particularly low rates of access to and utilization of reproductive health services like STD treatment, contraception, cancer screenings, and pregnancy‐related care. These low rates of access could stem from stigma that drug users face in general society and because of structural inequalities in the healthcare system. To explore the ways that a healthcare system affects reproductive healthcare access for drug users, I will go to Bournemouth, England to study the experiences that drug users have with access to healthcare from the National Health Service (NHS). The United Kingdom provides all people with essential and preventative care without cost through the NHS, and their healthcare system is consistently ranked above many peer-industrialized countries for measures of quality, access, and efficiency. A system that offers free care to everyone should mean that barriers related to cost of care are mitigated for all populations. This will highlight experiences that are unique to drug users when they seek access to reproductive healthcare, as concerns about cost and insurance coverage should not present problems. In this way, this study will quantitatively investigate concerns which are not cost‐related held by drug users when accessing and utilizing reproductive healthcare.
B.M. Voice Performance, Education Certificate
Destination: United Kingdom
Project Title: Gerald Finzi: Towards a New British National Music
The Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research will allow me to study original unpublished scores of two song cycles for solo baritone and piano by British composer Gerald Finzi (1901‐56), Let us Garlands Bring and Love’s Labour’s Lost. This research in the United Kingdom will build on two and half years of my own study of Finzi, allowing me to complete a thesis as a part of requirements for honors in my Bachelor’s of Music. As a baritone I will also be performing lecture‐recitals of these works on and off campus over the next year. According to Finzi’s own letters, these cycles, composed from 1929‐47, were meant to express a sense of British national identity leading up to the Second World War. Their use of Shakespeare’s poetry and British folk melodies also suggest this. While abroad I will study sets of drafts and letters about these cycles at libraries in London, Oxford, and Reading. This will allow me to understand how Finzi helped to create a force to unite the British people under common musical ideals and compete with artistic movements on the European continent.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Math minor
Destination: Itajubã, Brazil
Project Title: Gasification of Refuse‐Derived Fuel Pellets
The Stanley Award would make it possible for me to conduct research for my honor’s thesis . I will do this research at the Federal University of Itajubá, which is in southern Brazil near São Paulo. My lab at the University of Iowa has a partnership with the Federal University of Itajubá. My research advisor, Professor Albert Ratner, and my graduate mentor, Tejasvi Sharma, have gone to Itajubá multiple times to conduct research with their lab. Professor Electo Silva, who I will be working with as a secondary advisor for my experiments, runs the lab in Brazil. My research focus over the summer will be the gasification of refuse‐derived fuels (RDFs), also known as trash. Gasification is a process that takes in trash or other materials and uses it to produce clean energy and fertilizer. Being able to convert trash to clean energy and fertilizer would reduce the immense strain on landfill capacities around the world, and it would help replace fossil fuels as a cheap source of readily available clean energy. The research I will be conducting must be done in Brazil because they have one of the only facilities in the world capable of producing and processing trash. This experience would be central to my undergraduate degree, as it ties together several major mechanical engineering subjects and requires extensive knowledge in each of those areas. These include thermodynamics, combustion, mechatronics, and instrumentation. This will help prepare me for graduate school, where I will be learning about those subjects in even more depth, as well as for my future career, where I will be directly applying those subjects along with the skills I have gained through research. I intend to pursue a career in clean energy research and development, so research in gasification is key to making that goal a reality.
In the spring of 2016, two undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $5,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
B.A., Health and Human Physiology
Project Title: Examining the perceptions of mental health by Tasmanian University students
For my Stanley Research Project I will interview students at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) on their perceptions of mental health. Following the January launch of Rethink Mental Health, a 10 year plan to improve mental health and well-being of Tasmanians, my research will explore healthcare providers’ and students’ narratives of mental health. Narrative interview methodologies are an open narration of participant stories. These allow me as a researcher to identify themes, cause and effect, and the overall structure of personal narratives to illuminate students’ perceptions of mental health. This research project integrates my undergraduate studies, Health and Human Physiology and Writing and will be important to me to understand a research career in these disciplines. Once complete, the data itself will be used as foreign data in a research project focused on defining mental health cross-culturally.
B.A., Interdepartmental Studies (Health Science)
Project Title: The Impact of the Economic Depression on the Practice of Retail Pharmacy in Thessaloniki, Greece
Greece is in an economic crisis and policy changes are being implemented affecting businesses across the country including retail pharmacies. Policies are changing to build stronger businesses however they are disrupting how a pharmacist provides patient care. I will travel to Thessaloniki, Greece for five weeks in the summer of 2016 to observe and interview pharmacists from five different retail pharmacies. I will evaluate how pharmacists in Greece provide individualized patient care, education, and medication. By interviewing and observing pharmacists, I will investigate how policy and economic changes are impacting the healthcare services that pharmacies provide to patients.
In the spring of 2015, four undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $10,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Civil Engineering - Structures, Spanish with a Sustainability Certificate; Las Lagunas, Boaco, Nicaragua
Title: Estimation of Extreme River Levels Using Satellite-Derived Rainfall Products and State-of-the-Art Hydrological Models in Ungauged Basins in Nicaragua
Purpose: The purpose of my research is to validate the estimates made by a hydrological model I am developing that is capable of remotely determining a high and low threshold for the height of a river’s flow, using satellite derived rainfall products provided by NASA’s Global Precipitation Mission (GPM). This methodology may allow for increased efficiency in pedestrian bridge implementation in rurally isolated communities in Nicaragua In addition, this research will take the first steps toward quantifying the benefit of pedestrian bridges in the developing world.
Purpose: The purpose of my research is to determine adolescents' exposure to pro and anti tobacco related media and around schools in Cluj-Napocca as well as determine where students can buy tobacco products near schools. In Romania, smoking has a high rate of social acceptance and is common across the country. I will be examining exposure of adolescents to pro- and anti-tobacco information in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Read about Jessica's experience
Title: Protecting people and the planet by reducing wood consumption for cooking
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to test a small implant designed to be placed inside the traditional stove and reduce wood consumption during open fire cooking. This implant proved very successful in India and I would like to investigate its effectiveness in Ghana. Open fire cooking has many negative consequences both on the people who are cooking and the environment. This implant has the power to decrease wood burned and smoke produced, saving the forests while improving the health of women. This research will provide qualitative data about the effectiveness of the implant. If it proves effective, it can be used by people throughout Africa and India to help reduce wood usage for cooking and, consequentially, improving the health of women and the health of the environment.
Human Physiology and Global Health Certificate
Title: The Impact of a Structured Diet on Type 2 Diabetes in Borovetz, Bulgaria
Purpose: To observe people with type 2 diabetes (late onset) enrolled in a diet program at the Wellness Clinic in Borovets, Bulgaria. I believe that the body can experience extraordinary healing with an adjustment to diet. The clinic is respected and a central location for people hoping to rid themselves of type 2 diabetes by implementing better eating habits. The patients at this clinic undergo an initial physical examination before the diet and a final examination upon their completion of the program. To test my hypothesis, I plan on comparing these final and initial examinations.
Read about Ioana's summer in Bulgaria
In the spring of 2014 four undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $10,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Economics, Political Science & Chinese, China
Title: An Exploratory Investigation into Chinese Public Opinion in Response to Increased Pollution Levels
Purpose: As environmental issues ranging from the Beijing “airpocalypse” to the seven hundred fifty dead pigs located in the Huangpu River become increasingly prominent in the national conversation, there has been a significant response in China to local health and environmental issues through political action. For my proposed Stanley Grant, I plan to travel to Shanghai, China, to study Chinese public opinion on environmental problems. Shanghai has recently introduced emergency measures to deal with unprecedented levels of smog and other effects of air pollution. I will investigate the magnitude of the local reaction to environmental and health problems through conducting personal interviews and social media analysis. Through the process of interviewing professors, government officials, and company personnel, my project will explore the importance of the environment in the minds of Chinese citizens. Moreover, I will gather sample data from social media cites like Weibo and Wechat to reveal another perspective on environmental issues. In recent years, many scholars have predicted there will be increased strain on the Chinese central government due to environmental deterioration. Ultimately, my research will take an in-depth look at China’s commercial capital to analyze the potential merit of these predictions.
“I wonder if U.S. customs will let me bring one back?” thought Kelsey Frisk as she stared with awe at a reindeer during her research project in Northern Sweden.
Interdepartmental Studies with an emphasis in Global Health, Sweden
Title: Perceived Quality of Life of Reindeer Herding Sámi in Sweden between the middle of the 20th Century (1950-1970) and Today
Purpose: For my research I hope to discover what changes elderly Sámi people perceive as being positive or negative or neutral for their health, and provide information to serve as a basis to help ensure their somatic and psychosocial health and traditional lifestyle can be properly maintained in the future.
Environmental Engineering and Mathematics, Nicaragua
Title: Multipurpose Bridges: The Feasibility of a River Monitoring System
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to assess the feasibility of implementing a river monitoring system by modifying a Time Domain Reflectometer to measure the height of the river water. The meter would be modified to be solar powered and transmit data through SMS messages to a website. This research will be the first step in establishing a flood monitoring system for Nicaraguan communities that rely on the height of rivers for their livelihoods.
Nursing, International Studies, Germany
Title: Analyzing Patient Education in Germany and the United States to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to gather data for my senior thesis in Nursing and International Studies.
In the spring of 2013 four undergraduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $10,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Title: The Art of Accelerant
Purpose: I am planning to conduct research in Nicaragua to determine whether the concrete accelerant that is used by Bridges to Prosperity diminished the strength of the concrete. If the structural integrity of the bridge is being compromised then other accelerants should be tested. If these produce the same results and diminish the strength of the concrete then no accelerants should be used.
International Studies & Global Health, Botswana
Title: Feasibility of the Routine HIV Testing Program in Botswana
Purpose: In 2004, the government of Botswana introduced a routine HIV testing (RHT) program into all government-run hospitals and clinics. I will be studying the progress of RHT in several government health facilities in the capital city of Gaborone, Botswana. Little if any literature is available on the progress of the RHT program in Botswana since 2008. I will investigate how the RHT program has been implemented in clinics in Gaborone since 2008, and how its implementation has affected the functioning of other clinical programs, in both positive and negative ways. The objectives of my research are to evaluate how clinical staff have implemented the program in the past four years, whether their attitudes towards the feasibility of RHT have changed now that the program has been in affect for eight years, what barriers have been found in the process of implementing the RHT program, and how the program has affected other clinical programs. My research will also reveal whether, after having been in place for almost eight years, the program has been successful or whether new implementation methods are needed to make the RHT program feasible in clinics that must also care for patients not participating in the program. I am also conducting this study in order to gain international experience working in the global health field in order to receive a Certificate in Global Health from the University of Iowa. This research will ultimately help me to further pursue my goal of obtaining a law degree specifically focusing on issues relating to human rights within the field of international health.
International Studies, Religious Studies & Arabic, France
Title: Islam in Contemporary France: Investigating Methods of Integrating and Sustaining the Religious Practice of Islam in France
Purpose: The purpose of my research is to identify methods in which French Muslims sustain their practice of Islam, while integrating into French culture and society. The interactions, relations, and perceptions of the diversity of different peoples of French society, culture, and religion is evolving. This is especially true for those who practice Islam. As France’s largest religious minority, Muslims have begun to shape current and future political, societal, and religious dialogue, which is crucial to the rapport France holds with the international community and its own citizens.
English, History & Global Health, India
Title: A Narrative Investigation of Motivation in Global Health Development
Purpose: In recent history, the advances in medical technology have been unprecedented, and the field of global health has sought to spread the fruits of modern medicine throughout the world. At times, practitioners and policy makers in medical development have made missteps, and, quite often, these practitioners have been credited with “good intentions” which have not been elucidated. My research will begin an examination of those silent motivations. While participating in a global health program, in which I will be accompanying a team of graduate health-science students led by a nursing professor, in a village, Saragur, in Karnataka, India, I will assess the personal motivations of participants in development, including my fellow students, professionals working with the Vivekananda Memorial Hospital, as well as the community members of Saragur. I plan on gathering and interpreting my research in a short non-fiction book for my honors creative writing thesis.
In 2012, 12 undergraduate students received Stanley Awards of $2,000 each for a total of $24,000. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Alder, Daniel Alexander
Environmental Science Green Track (B.S.), Comprehensive Biology (B.S.), Honduras
Title: “The Impact of Hunting on Populations of Invasive Lionfish on the Island of Roatan”
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to determine whether or not the hunting of invasive Lionfish is having an effect on their population numbers on the Island of Roatan, Honduras. The data I will obtain will also be paired with previous research conducted on the Island at similar sites to give a better estimation as to what degree hunting has affected local numbers of Lionfish. I aim to conduct a comparative analysis between areas where no hunting is taking place to areas where it is. The final intent of this research would be to provide local and international agencies with data that would help them better determine whether or not active hunting of these fish is a viable method for their eradication.
Geography and International Studies, South Africa
Title: “The Political Ecology of Agriculture & Food Security in Malawi”
Purpose: The purpose of my research is to identify how global, regional, national, and local institutions affect agriculture and food security for subsistence farmers in Malawi. Using secondary and primary research, I will seek to understand how food security is conceptualized and defined by various actors in Malawi, how those perceptions affect different strategies for agricultural production, and the extent to which various farming methods affect food and nutritional security in Malawi, as it is defined by Malawians. My conclusions will be pertinent to assessing the appropriateness of specific development policies on the ground in Malawi. I also plan to compile a photo essay to be used for my ISBA senior creative project, which will focus on perceptions of agriculture, food, and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nursing and International Studies, Uganda
Title: “Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) in Uganda: exploring the knowledge about SCA among parents of children with sickle cell anemia”
Purpose: It is estimated that over 300,000 infants in the world are born with severe sickle cell disease (SCD) each year, three-quarters of whom are born in sub-Saharan Africa. Among those born in Africa, an estimated 50-80 per cent of them will develop and die from sickle cell anemia (SCA) before reaching the age of five. The morbidity and mortality rates of SCA among children in Uganda are among the highest in the world, yet public awareness of SCA in the region is reportedly low. Research indicates a serious lack of knowledge about SCA among parents and guardians of children who have SCA. Many researchers report a knowledge gap between medical providers and parents of children with SCA. In this project, I propose to explore the knowledge and understanding about SCA among parents and relatives of children with SCA in Uganda. The objective of my proposed research project is to provide evidence-based information and knowledge about SCA that will help determine how best to implement culture-specific interventions for preventing and managing SCA. Without research, health care providers and regional and foreign policy makers will lack the information and knowledge necessary to develop strategies for managing SCA.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nicaragua
Title: “The Culture of Concrete: How Mixing Method Affects Material Strength and Cultural Sensitivity”
Purpose: Bridges to Prosperity claims that the "sifting" mixing method produces a stronger concrete than the "volcano" method and therefore must be used during footbridge construction. The community I will work with in Nicaragua is only familiar with the volcano method. Demanding that they change a method that has always worked for them in the past could be offensive to their culture. The purpose of my research is to determine whether the volcano method can produce a concrete as strong as the sifting method. If so, my results can be used to help Bridges to Prosperity make their required implementation methods more culturally-sensitive.
Industrial Engineering, Cameroon
Title: “Extinguishing Flames to Rekindle a Population”
Purpose: A solar cooker is a device that captures the energy of the sun in the form of heat to boil water and cook food. Unlike traditional cook stoves, solar cookers do not burn wood. Thus, this technology has the potential to save forests, save lives, and save time throughout the developing world. In order to maximize these benefits, implementation of solar technology will be compared in three villages (Sabga, Ndop, and Bambili) in the English-speaking province of Nore-Quest, Cameroon, Africa. Each village is currently deforested and dependent on wood for domestic energy. I will be partnering with three organizations – Operation Renewed Hope, Climate Healers, and a local missionary team led by environmentalist Tom Needham – to assess how solar cookers can be used to accomplish the common goal of each organization: ecological restoration and service in Cameroon. The study will identify settings most suitable for solar cookers and provide alternative implementation models for areas less suitable to the technology. This information will directly impact the development of the iHawk Solar Cooker Project currently underway at the University of Iowa's College of Engineering.
South Asian Studies and Human Rights, India
Title: “The Role and Impact of New Social Media on the Tibetan Diaspora Living in India Today”
Purpose: My proposed research idea will examine the role and impact of new social media on the Tibetan diaspora living in India today. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, I will investigate how the Tibetan refugee community forms and expresses its viewpoints to matters critical to the government, in exile and to its people through their use of online news sources, discussion groups, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. I intend to build upon previous research in the field and to also create new primary sources related to this issue, which can only be found by traveling to, and spending time in, these specific communities. My proposed research will take me to several Tibetan communities in India over the summer. including Dehradun, Mussoorie, Dharamsala, McLeod-Ganj, Delhi, and Mysore.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nicaragua
Title: “Agricultural Development and the Impacts on Flood Patterns”
Purpose: I would like to explore the real-world application of engineering principles. I will perform a hydraulic analysis of the region to better understand flooding in the community. Considering the main income of the community is grain production, agricultural land use will be expanding. I will predict how this expansion will affect drainage and river flooding, as well as other negative impacts the land development change will have on the community.
Title: “China's involvement in the Korean War”
Purpose: The Korean War, known as the “forgotten war” to most Americans, marked the United States’ first military commitment in East Asia during the Cold War era. Three years of combat produced 340,000 Chinese casualties and claimed 40,000 American lives, yet the war ended almost exactly where it started in terms of the division of the Korean peninsula between a communist regime in the North and an anti-communist in the South. Just as many Americans do not understand why the U.S. fought in Vietnam, many Chinese today do not know why their forefathers fought in Korea. I will use this grant to research the motivations behind Chinese involvement in the Korean War using archival material in both Beijing and Washington, D.C.
International Studies and Geography, The Dominican Republic
Title: “Food Culture: Local Impacts of International Trade Agreements”
Purpose: My research will examine the changes in local food preferences as a result of CAFTA-DR food policies. Changing food preferences, collected through personal food narratives, are one way to identify cultural and health consequences of international trade agreements. The Dominican Republic is one of many developing countries that has experienced decreased food security because of transforming global food systems. A concrete understanding of the local experiences of people will give greater insight to the extent of these global issues, which is crucial for implementing policy.
Title: “Community Health Benefits Ensuing the Support of Food Sovereignty in Ecuadorian Constitution”
Purpose: The growth of our global population that now exceeds 7 billion people raises many concerns, especially those related to a depletion of resources. An obvious and basic need for all people is food. Food sovereignty is defined as “people’s right to healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems” (Holt-Gimenez 2009, 226). Unsustainable food systems only add to the strain our population has on land and soil, natural resources necessary for food. This project will allow me to observe work that is being done to maintain communities by strengthening sustainable food systems. I will have the opportunity to examine how alternative food systems can be successful, and in what way, if any, these systems add to the overall health and well-being of the local community. As a result of this project, I will gain insight into the opportunities provided by the Article 281, and the effects the article has on the overall wellbeing of these Ecuadorian communities.
International Studies and English, Spain
Title: “Public Space and the Fight for Social Justice”
Purpose: In fall 2012, I will spend six weeks in Spain investigating the historical and current organization and symbolic production of the social movements known in Spain as 15-M and Okupa. I will examine the relationship between the two, as case studies will help us better understand the relationship that exists between radical and more mainstream social movements. I will interview the most active participants in the movements, as well as scholars who have studied the movements. I will use my research to write an investigative essay for my honors thesis in international studies.
Title: “Third World Voices: Responses to the Return of Charles de Gaulle and the French-Algerian War”
Purpose: I am conducting this research for my honors thesis, which will allow me to graduate with honors in history from the university. I am extremely interested in colonial and imperial history and how the modern world has been shaped due to the renewed imperialism of the modern era. Specifically, I am intrigued by French colonial history with an emphasis on North Africa and in particular Algeria’s cultural, political, and social connections to France. My project, with the working title “Third World Voices: Responses to the Return of Charles de Gaulle and the French-Algerian War,” seeks to understand the relationships between public opinion and diplomacy within the Third World during 1958, a crucial year in the Algerian war. My research will contribute to the larger conversation on decolonization, and will answer important questions that have been left unanswered by other scholars.
In 2011, two undergraduate students received Stanley Awards of $3,000. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
B.A., International Studies, Botswana
Title: “Botswana: Investigation of the Successes and Failures of HIV/AIDS Education and Awareness Programs”
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand the measures that Botswana has taken to educate their youth about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Botswana has one of the highest infections rates in the world. It already has taken tremendous efforts to treat those currently infected, however it needs to prevent further transmissions. I aim to find what Botswana is doing in terms of prevention education and what locals and professionals think can be done to reach more people. This information can then be used to create prevention education systems in countries with similar cultural stigmas about HIV/AIDS.
B.A., International Studies, Pre-medicine, Madagascar
Title: “Traditional and Modern Medicine: The Benefits of Two Complementary Health Care Systems”
Purpose: Information and data on traditional health care practices is massively lacking and un-researched in many places around the globe. There have been an outstanding number of situations in which traditional health care providers and herbalists have collaborated effectively with modern or western health care services to improve the health of a community. Due to the luscious rain forestry that covers it, Madagascar has had a long history in plant-based and herbal medicines and is a Mecca for traditional health care. Traditional healers are still commonly sought by a generous portion of its urban and rural populations and often collaborate with modern health care facilities to improve the health of those they serve. Moreover, traditional herbalists and healers’ opinions and practices are highly respected by those who seek their expertise. In effect, the overall health of a particular traditional healer’s community is greatly influenced by his knowledge. Thus, more research on the collaborative efforts between these complementary health care systems and the benefits of traditional medicine is crucial not only for providing effective, culturally-sensitive health care in Madagascar, but for communities around the world as well.
Stanley Graduate Awards for International Research
Acting in Theatre Arts
Project Title: Sankofa
Identity is a complex and necessary part of humanity, it is our sense of self within the universal community. Identity may seem to be defined as spontaneous and autonomous in our present time, however, I believe that the essence of identity is rooted in the understanding of our history. In Ghanaian culture, the past is believed to possess the ability to provide context for the present and the future. There is a word in Twi from the Akan tribe of Ghana called Sankofa which means “go back and get it;” this word is derived from the Adinkra symbol of a bird which is symbolic of returning to one’s past to retrieve what is good in order to usher it into the present. My project intends to do just that, to go back and explore the knowledge of my motherland by utilizing historical artifacts from the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art as living tour guides on my journey to discover what these emotional props have to offer to my personal sense of identity as well as the greater African and Black community here in Iowa City, and more broadly in the United States. This research will also provide experiential insight for my M.F.A thesis on my personal acting method. My professor of Acting, Caroline Clay, is currently on the university tenure track, a renowned working actress, and my personal mentor, will be guiding me in translating this research into a One-Man-Show that I intend to perform at the University of Iowa and in the greater community.
Project Title: Exploring the Sagas in Iceland
For the written component of my MFA thesis at the Center for the Book, I am developing an essay on books and family. The essay is a work of historical scholarship, exploring the book as a physical and cultural phenomenon across time. It is also a work of personal memoir and a meditation on loss. Bridging the academic and the personal is one of the creative challenges of my essay, which I first began to develop in a course titled “Readers and Reading” with Jennifer Burek Pierce in spring 2022 and have since developed further under the one-on-one supervision of Karen Carcia (fall 2022) and Inara Verzemnieks (spring 2023).
Project Title: Translating Sigbjørn Obstfelder
I am applying for the Stanley Grant for Travel to support research that is crucial to my MFA in Literary Translation. The primary reason for travel is to access the manuscripts of Sigbjørn Obstfelder, which are housed in the archives of The Munch Museum in Norway. Sigbjørn Obstfelder (1877-1900) was a Norwegian writer of the late 19th century, close friend of Edvard Munch, and considered to be the first modernist Norwegian writer. His poem “Jeg Ser” is known by all Norwegians and mimics the sense of alienation found in Munch’s famous painting The Scream. Obstfelder and Munch were so close that the remains of Obstfelder’s unpublished work were in Munch’s archives, which are now in the possession of The Munch Museum. I first made contact with The Munch Museum when I translated Obstfelder’s essay “Edvard Munch: A Defense,” published in the art history magazine Caesura. I would like the Stanley Grant to support the research necessary for my MFA Thesis, a critical paratext, as well as a publication of the Collected Works of Sigbjørn Obstfelder.
Project Title: Translating Elke Erb's Kastanienalle
If readers in the US are at all familiar with the literature of East Germany, it is likely through the works of Bertolt Brecht, Christa Wolf,
and Heiner Müller and the lens of literary socialism. Much of GDR literature, especially that which emerged in underground scenes and
challenged state-authorized aesthetics, remains undiscovered by American readers. For instance, Elke Erb, one of the most prominent
voices of the GDR Avant Garde, is largely unknown to the Anglophone world. A celebrated poet in Germany, Erb is famous for her spare and stubborn poems, which calmly but relentlessly interrogate language. While some of these exceptional poems have been translated,
only a small selection is available in English. Furthermore, none of the poems from one of her most innovative books, Kastanienallee,
are accessible in English.
For my MFA thesis in Literary Translation, I intend to translate Kastanienallee and write a substantive critical introduction, which analyzes and historically situates the unique form of reflexive poetic consciousness Erb develops within it. A Stanley Graduate Award in International Research would facilitate this work. The grant would enable me to spend six weeks in Berlin, Germany, visiting the Elke Erb Archive and consulting local poets and scholars, including Erb herself. I also would conduct site-specific research around the street of Kastanienallee, where Erb wrote the collection, and the surrounding neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, which was the home of many pre-Wende publishing houses and art collaboratives.
Francisco Javier Espinosa Momox
Project Title: Herencia Means Heritage
Create an audiovisual documented experience that portrays the collaborative link between me and four artisans with a long trajectory in the field. It is important because I intent to reflect on how we conceive creativity according to our different creative visions.
Creative Writing (Fiction)
Project Title: God’s Own Country: English Institutional and Ecclesial Decline in Fiction
As a first-year at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to spend four weeks in Yorkshire, England, conducting research for my M.F.A. in Creative Writing thesis project, “Throwing Away My Entire Life,” a collection of short stories about evolving religious beliefs in the U.K. and its former colonies. Raised in a blue-collar household, I write about characters of low-and-middle-incomes who are defined by larger trends of absent social support, political turbulence, and institutional decline. I will travel to Yorkshire (known by locals as “God’s Own Country”), which maintains many oral history archives (unavailable online) that should illuminate an unprecedented shift of religious views among the working-class over the last half-century. Just this year the British Office for National Statistics reported a sharp decline in Christian affiliation in the last two decades, from 72% to 46%; while the British Trades Union Congress reports that manufacturing employment in the U.K. experienced one of the steepest declines of almost any advanced economy globally between 1960 and 2015. My research will explore how this correlation has manifested in Yorkshire individuals and ecclesial organizations of the last fifty years.
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Destination: South Korea
Project Title: International Collaboration on Brain Computer Interface for Hearing
Understanding speech in noise is a difficult task, even among normal hearing listeners, but especially for those with a hearing impairment. Right now, the only support available to hearing impaired listeners are hearing aids. While these listening devices do help in most situations, they fail when the listener enters the most difficulty listening situation, speech in background noise. Hearing aid companies boast that their newest devices are the best at understanding speech in noise; however, the problem remains. Hearing aids all have their own proprietary algorithms, but they essentially all do the same thing. When sound enters the external microphones, it is then digitized by the processing chip, amplified, and then leaves through a speaker in the patient’s ear canal. While hearing aids are “customized” to each persons’ specific hearing loss, this still does not tell the hearing aid what to listen for and what to ignore. This becomes especially difficult in situations where what the person wants to listen to and what needs to be ignored are within the same frequency range. For example, when a listener is at a restaurant. The hearing aid will amplify the speech of interest, say the person across the table, but it will also amplify the surrounding speech. Thus, providing the listener with a multitude of sounds, all amplified to aid with their hearing loss. These types of listening situations are among the most difficult for hearing aid wearers and cause a great amount of frustration. Therefore, we aim to develop a brain computer interface (BCI)-based closed-loop hearing aids, which is based on BCI that automatically identifies the target sound the user wants to hear in a noisy environment, selectively amplifies that target and reduces other noises.
Project Title: The Words of Ants
I am seeking a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, from May 21 to June 19, 2023, to conduct research in China’s Jiangyong County for my full-length play. In feudal China, a community of women in Jiangyong created their own script to secretly communicate with each other. They called it the script of ants, inscribing it on handkerchiefs, fans and papers like little ornaments, deemed insignificant by men. This script thus escaped men’s notice and safely circulated among women, providing an outlet for their sufferings and sorrows. It is a script of women’s hardships as well as their secret rebellion against the patriarchy. It remained secret until being discovered by a man in 1954. In 1983, the script of ants aroused international attention and has since been publicly known as Nüshu, the script of women. In my play, the last natural inheritor of Nüshu finds herself in a difficult situation. She refuses to write Nüshu because it only reminds her of past sufferings. Also, it is meant to be shared only among sworn sisters, not for public spectacles. However, the local officials as well as passionate lovers of traditional cultures constantly urge her to preserve this cultural heritage and pass it on. I want to visit Jiangyong County to discover the final decision of my main character. I will visit the Nüshu museum to learn about individual stories surrounding this script and how Nüshu is publicized in modern China. I will also attend the local Nüshu school to study the script and its chanting. This research process will contribute greatly to the building of my characters and I intend to complete the first draft of my play shortly after the trip.
Project Title: Tigers of the Terai
The endangered Bengal tiger is a potent symbol both of the power of the natural world and its vulnerability. In 2022, Nepal became the only country to hit international conservation milestones for tigers, tripling their tiger population from 2009. Soon, what had been a rare conservation success story turned into widespread news briefings about the comparable rise in deadly incidents among local people who live within or alongside the tiger habitats, along with the predation of livestock. With the support of a Stanley Travel Grant, I am interested in investigating and writing narrative journalism about the complex tension between the environmentalism of an idealized natural world, often imposed top-down by the state, and what has been called “the environmentalism of the poor,” which arises from the local communities that are in fact enmeshed with the natural world.
Sun Young Lee
Creative Writing - Fiction
Destination: South Korea
Project Title: Fictionalizing the History of South Korean Film Censorship, 1963–73
Specifically, I am interested in the anti-communist propaganda films Marines Are Gone (Lee Man-hee, 1963), The Dead and the Alive (Lee Kang-cheon, 1966), A Hero without Serial Number (Lee Man-hee, 1966), 8240 KLO (Jung Jin-woo, 1966), Special Agent X-7 (Chung Chang-hwa, 1966), Accusation (Kim Soo-yong, 1967), Flame in the Valley (Kim Soo-yong, 1967), I Want to Be Human (Yu Hyun-mok, 1969), and Testimony (Im Kwon-taek, 1973). This list will grow as I explore the archive and refine my research questions based on my viewings. At the National Archives of Korea, I plan to read and translate primary documents of the Motion Pictures Act of 1963, 1966, 1970, and 1973; related government documentation; and criminal statutes on obscenity.
Project Title: Years of Fewer Sparrows: Culture and Politics in 1960-1990 Hunan
After completing my first year as a fiction student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I will travel to Changsha, China in June 2023 to conduct thesis research at the Hunan Library and the Hunan Museum. My thesis will be a short story collection that follows the Chinese diasporic experience from Hunan to the American Midwest, and spans from the Cultural Revolution to present day. The first half of the collection, which is comprised of three short stories and a novella, is set in Hunan and will be the focus of my research. I will visit the Hunan Museum’s Mawangdui exhibit to gather reference material for my novella. I will also examine regional newspapers in the Ancient Books Reading Room of the Hunan Library to learn about the historical and political context for my stories set in the Cultural Revolution’s aftermath.
Journalism and Mass Communication
Project Title: The Role of Local Radio in Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation in West Pokot County, Kenya
There is a high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in West Pokot County, Kenya, despite local continued efforts by multiple stakeholders – healthcare workers, non-governmental organizations, and media outlets – to sensitize community members about its negative implications. To explore the role of local radio in eradicating FGM, I plan to interview stakeholders in West Pokot County. In the Pokot community, local radio is instrumental in disseminating relevant information to community members. This study will be a foundation for the larger project I intend to do for my dissertation. It will also be vital in adding knowledge to community media, development communication, media literacy, misinformation, and the role of local radio in the Global South.
Writer's Workshop - Fiction
Project Title: Multicultural Modern Dance in Contemporary France: Writing Fiction about the Montpellier Dance Festival
“Outside of Paris, a modern dancer is still not a ‘dancer,’” choreographer Maguy Marin explained to a New York Times reporter in 1983, during the first performances of French modern dance in New York. I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to travel to France after my second semester at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Over five weeks in Paris and Montpellier, I will conduct research for my MFA thesis in fiction writing, a novel about a Philadelphia-based modern dance company, Garza Movement, that participates in the Montpellier Dance Festival (MDF). This project involves understanding how the MDF has shaped modern dance in France, and how France’s multiculturalism manifests in this developing form. The U.S. developed its own modern dance techniques from choreographers like Merce Cunningham and José Limón; France, conversely, prioritized classical ballet until recent decades. I will interview multicultural French dancers and choreographers with whom I connected during a year in Lyon. Library and municipal archives in Paris and Montpellier offer undigitized footage from the festival’s inauguration in 1981. This research will reveal how modern dance is developing in contemporary France, with a particular eye toward how France’s diverse population represents itself in this genre.
Project Title: Post-War Urban and Cultural Transformation through the Diasporic Lens in Ho Chi Minh City
I propose to travel to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam to carry out research for my M.F.A thesis in fiction, a novella about the development of a young artist. It touches on themes of urban transformation, legacies of colonialism, and experiences of the Vietnamese diaspora. HCMC is unique in Vietnam for its cosmopolitanism, mix of global influences, and swift rate of growth and change. The central figure in my novella, which is set in the present day, is a visual artist of Vietnamese descent who has grown up in Australia. She has the opportunity to spend time in HCMC as part of an artist development program. As a consequence, her parents also travel to Vietnam, which they left as refugees.The unifying frame in the text is the protagonist’s work on an art project that interprets and responds to the city’s history of occupation and conflict, as well as its ongoing transformation.
My research focuses on two questions: if art is one of our primary methods of meaning making, how do human beings process rapid urban and cultural shifts through art? How do we construct our senses of self and identity when our original reference points no longer exist? These questions are pertinent not only in reference to the past but to the future, as phenomena like climate change and population ageing will result in significant demographic shifts and migration, reshaping the world. The support of the Stanley grant will allow me to conduct the site-specific research into contemporary Vietnamese art and into HCMC itself that will make it possible for me to complete my project.
Educational Policy and Leadership Studies
Project Title: Understanding Vietnamese Parents’ Perspectives on U.S. Public and Private Universities
International students are increasingly important to the U.S. higher education in terms of their presence, economic contribution and cultural exchanges. To recruit more international students, U.S. institutions need to understand how international students identify US campuses to apply to, and subsequently choose to attend. The literature on college choice is expansive, but few researchers have paid close attention to the nuances of how students in specific nations approach the process. This study will apply a qualitative, phenomenological approach to exploring how Vietnamese parents shape their students’ process of pursuing attendance at U.S. public and private universities. The findings will contribute to the current knowledge of international students’ decision-making process. Furthermore, this study will benefit recruiters of U.S. institutions and high school counselors who need to understand the education trends of Vietnam, one of the leading countries which sent most students to the U.S.
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Project Title: Examining the record of Alpine and Apennine Mountain Building
Deepwater marine systems of the Marnoso-arenacea and Laga formations preserve an extensively studied record of mountain building associated with topographic development and erosion of the Apennine mountains in northern and central Italy. Fundamental questions still remain on the genesis of these strata, primarily regarding whether the sediment was derived from the older (Eocene-Oligocene) western and central Alps or if it was derived from younger (Miocene-Pliocene) Apennine source regions. The distinction is important as the timing of mountain building helps us understand the drivers and provides insight into fundamental Earth processes. This study aims to collect new detrital apatite fission track (AFT) data from the rock formations of interest in order to provide insight into the genesis debate. The proposed research outlines a month-long (31 day) international collaborative laboratory study to collect these data. This project will provide an advanced hands-on learning experience that will ultimately help advance academic and career goals and build international collaborations while living abroad for an extended period of time.
Project Title: The poetics of bodies, blood and water: the transatlantic slave trade
For over three centuries hell was let loose on the African continent. At least 12.5 million of my ancestors—men, women and children—were captured, shackled, sold and smashed into monstrous ships that sailed for the New World where, under heartless conditions, they worked their souls to death in sweltering cotton fields and endless sugarcane plantations. The transatlantic slave trade is a bitter and historical subject, one that is so vast it's almost inexhaustible. This project brings the poetics of bodies, blood and water face to face with the history of the transatlantic slave trade, examining how in that intersection there is an empire of ruin. In the winter of 2023, my creative writing research will take me to Elmina Castle, in Ghana, one of the major slave-holding depots of the transatlantic slave trade in West Africa built in 1482 by the Portuguese.
PharmD & Global Health Certificate
Project Title: The Perspectives of Japanese Women Ages 18-45 on Herbal Medicine and Kampo Use for Premenstrual Syndrome Management
About 75% of women are affected by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and herbal medicine can be a viable option for treatment (OASH 2021). In Japan, Kampo is a subtype of herbal medicine that can be utilized for different treatments. Kampo is an affordable option as it can be covered by the Japanese government based on the National Health Insurance Price List (Maegawa et al., 2014). This study will investigate the efficacy of Kampo use for PMS from the perspectives of Japanese women. My population of interest is Japanese women ages 18-45 who have experienced PMS. I will use online surveys and semi-structured interviews to obtain data through a mixed methods approach. I plan to conduct this study for about 3-4 months in the summer of 2023. Physicians can use the data from this study to understand patients' perspectives and see the benefits from prescribing Kampo as an option for PMS treatment. Other doctors from outside Japan can use this information to integrate herbal medicine into treatment plans, leading to better patient-provider rapport (Tonob & Melby 2017).
Project Title: Students in Solidarnosc: The Collaborations and Tensions between University Association and Labour Unions During Poland's Solidarity Movement
With support from the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, I propose to spend four weeks in Poland, in the cities of Gdańsk and Warsaw, to conduct archival research to inform a historical novel I am writing for my MFA thesis in fiction at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The novel is set in Poland during the pivotal years of the Solidarity Movement between 1976 and the fall of Communist rule in 1989. Understood as both a labour struggle and a national fight for independence, the strength of this movement was made possible by the collaboration between workers and intellectuals (Bloom, 2013). My novel seeks to examine this collaboration, following the story of Basia, a Polish university student actively involved in The Workers Defence Committee and the Student Committee of Solidarity. It is a novel of interconnected narratives, told from the varied perspectives of Basia’s family, friends, and fellow protestors. In particular, it explores the tension between Basia and her father — a factory worker — and the distinct ways they are each impacted by their country’s political situation. By examining archival materials from labour unions and university associations, I aim to gain detailed insights that will enhance a literary depiction of how Polish workers and intellectuals negotiated their differences.
Project Title: Modernizing Irish Keening to Heal from Communal Grief
In the wake of global loss from this pandemic, my proposed Stanley Grant will allow me to revive and modernize the ancient Irish poetic form of keening. For centuries, "caoineadh", or keening, was a necessary part of Irish funerary rituals. The extemporaneous dirges were composed and performed publicly by women to lament their deceased. This tradition allowed entire communities to gather in grief, moved by words and wailing. While there is ongoing research in Irish folklore departments to study the history of keening and some recent work to reimagine it in a modern context, this undertaking of composing a modern-day keen is novel. Through this 34-day research project, I will utilize oral composition methods to produce a modern keen in Cork County, Ireland, where the infamous “Lament for Art O’Leary” was composed by Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill. The resulting poem and performance will be an exploration of grief and mourning foundational to my poetry thesis.
Creative Writing - Poetry
Project Title: Environmental Violence and the Concept of Empire in Lagos: Writing Poems About the Reality of Environmental violence in Lagos, and other cities in Nigeria
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to write poetry of and about neighborhoods in Lagos (the 7th largest economy in Africa) and Ibadan (the largest city in West Africa) in partial completion of my graduate project which responds to the ecological assault in the post-independence phase of Nigeria. In the manuscript, I will explore places like Eti Osa, Makoko, 7Up, Bariga, Festac Town, and Epe in Lagos to visualize environmental waste and pollution, and several markets in Ibadan like Bere, Oja Oba, Molete, Sasha, and Eleyele which are some of the dirtiest places. I will use my poetry to paint these places, interrogate dwellings and question the perception of home. I will visit government-licensed dumpsites, creating poetry about the meanings of structures in places that have been marked for degradations. I will also visit historical landmarks like Osogbo, the home of the river goddess, “Osun” where I will interrogate godhood and sanctity, in contrast with the environmental degradation and the influence of climate change in larger cities like Lagos and Ibadan.
Science Education/Teaching & Learning
Destination: South Africa
Project Title: Epistemic Tool Use in a 'Discursive' Science Classroom for Knowledge Generation: The Role of Argumentation in Inquiry - Based Instruction
The proposed Stanley grant study seeks to examine the role argumentation plays during
epistemic discourse/talk in a typical inquiry-based science instruction. Drawing on two
theoretical frameworks—Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach and Toulmin’s Argument
Pattern/model (TAP)—this study focuses on how argumentation is enacted in a prototypic
knowledge generation science classroom (Greenbowe & Hand, 2005; Loiu, 2006). The 8-week
data collection/study (June-August,2022) would be conducted at African Leadership Academy in
Johannesburg, South Africa. Participant Observation and semi-structured interviews would be the main data collection tools for this project. Given that, inquiry-based science instruction is immersive and the argumentations that characterize such lessons are better noticed during participant observations, the choice of this case-study, fieldwork is in tandem with the decision to undertake on-site participant observation (Stake, 2014). This pre-dissertation study will not only contribute to existing scholarship on knowledge generation, but also prepare me for my Ph.D. dissertation and research practice.
Mass Communication / School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Project Title: Reporting Marginality: News media representations of poverty in Nigeria
For a qualitative research seminar that I took in the first semester of my PhD program, I conducted a pilot study on the coverage of poverty in Iowa. I found that journalists often relied on macro data and quotes from official sources instead of talking to people from low-income communities. Consequently, the daily realities of such people were mostly absent from news: How do they access healthcare? How do they access education? What kinds of choices do they have to make about food and housing? How do they form and maintain social ties? My goal for my doctoral research is to broadly examine how poor people are represented in news and the relationship between such representations and public opinion as well as policy. I intend, with a Stanley award, to explore this phenomenon in the Nigerian context where, according to recent World Bank data, over 40% of the population lives in poverty. As a preliminary study for my dissertation proposal, this study will enable me to investigate an aspect of the aforementioned broad research problem.
Creative Writing, Fiction
Project Title: Friulian Dialect and The Madre Lingua in Translation
After the completion of my third semester of coursework at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I will travel to Aviano, Italy to conduct research for my M.F.A. thesis in fiction–a full-length novel–as well as my Graduate Certificate in Literary Translation. My novel concerns a young American teacher who abandons her post at an Italian air base to search for her estranged mother. It explores the complexities of regional dialect, the Italian idea of the "Madre Lingua," linguistic identity, and family dynamics across cultures. Alongside the drafting of this manuscript, I plan to translate an accompanying selection of Italian writings, as well as a section from my own novel, for my Graduate Certificate in Literary Translation. In doing so, I hope to examine the intersection of fiction and translation in real time–exploring the ways in which the act of translation becomes both a narrator and a character in the stories we tell.
Project Title: German Reputation in Latin America
The Stanley Award would allow me to examine the economic success of the Low-German Mennonite colonies of Latin America by looking at perceptions of Germans (and therefore Mennonites) found in Spanish-language media sources located centrally in the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (IAI). While in Berlin and not Latin America, IAI is one of the leading libraries for Latin American studies in the world (https://www.iai.spk-berlin.de/startseite.html). It is filled with records and sources in this topic (such as: Una anecedota de Humboldt found in Mundo argentino 23 de agosto de 1915) in both Spanish and German). Additionally, IAI is located near the Free University of Berlin, the nexus of the literature on Germans in Latin America. Thus, I will also be able to connect with the major scholars in the field (such as Stefan Rinke), and further develop my dissertation topic:
Dispersed throughout Latin America are small colonies of Mennonites, a Low German Anabaptist sect. Originating in Holland and Switzerland, the persecuted Mennonites eventually moved from East Prussia to Russia then Canada before finally settling in Latin America, but—like other German settlers—the Mennonites have maintained their German language and customs throughout this sojourn. From the hinterlands around Ciudad Cuauhtémoc in Chihuahua, Mexico to the jungles of Western Belize, from the Eastern plains of Bolivia to the pampas of Argentina, Mennonites have formed nearly one hundred colonies within Latin America, and they have been able to accumulate capital and become relatively prosperous in relation to their host country's native population.
Project Title: The Gateway to the Universe: The Nicaragua Canal and the Midwest
Throughout the late 19th century, U.S. politicians viewed Nicaragua as the most promising location for a trans-oceanic canal. The San Juan River, which composed a large part of Nicaraguan’s southern border, meant less dredging than the alternatives and the Nicaraguan route was consistently presented as the cheapest option. In the 1850s, U.S. politicians emphasized the canal’s capacity to unite the United States, facilitating immigration to and trade with the new state of California. While the transcontinental railroad eventually made this a lesser priority, by the 1890s control over a trans-isthmian route signified dominance over Pacific trade. Across the 19th century, Midwestern scientists played an essential role in the continuous canal construction efforts. Numerous botanists, funded by the Nicaragua Canal Construction Company, provided popular sketches of the Nicaraguan environment, culture, and population for Midwestern readers. Physicians and engineers attempted to solve the numerous logistical problems of large-scale tropical construction, while simultaneously projecting an image of the United States to their Nicaraguan colleagues. Upon their return to Midwest, these scientists harnessed their overseas expertise to bolster the reputation of their young universities, including the University of Iowa. At the same time, these professors used their academic credentials and position as objective scientists to stress the validity of the canal project, often at the behest of their corporate financiers.
Sociology and Criminology
Destination: Korea, Australia
Project Title: The Diffusion of Collective Actions for Memorialization: Collective Memories, Discursive Opportunities, and Divergent Outcomes
This project will systematically examine social movements as a carrier of the ideas and definitions that affect historical injustice to contemporary inequality issues. Two contemporary social movements and their cultural impacts will be examined to understand the diffusion pattern of memorialization and its variant outcomes. The campaign to remove Confederate statues is part of the BLM movement in the United States that challenges the western history of racism, and the campaign to build statues of Peace is part of the transnational feminist “comfort women” movement that commemorates the sexual trafficking victims of the Imperial Japanese Army during the WWII. This project will combine traditional quantitative data analysis with qualitative in-depth interviews to examine how social movements affect local discursive opportunities and affect the decision to remove (the United States) or build (Korea and Sydney, Australia) statues. I will examine when and how the Black Lives Matter movement and the “Comfort Women” movement affect the diffusion pattern of memorialization and its variant outcomes.
Project Title: Researching and Translating Edvard Munch’s Literary Manuscripts
With a Stanley Graduate Award, I will spend four weeks in Norway researching and translating the literary manuscripts of Edvard Munch and writing the critical introduction to my thesis.
While Edvard Munch’s paintings rank among the most famous artworks in the world, is not well-known that Munch also harbored substantial literary ambitions. His personal notebooks contain drafts of stories, novels, poems, aphorisms, and essayistic diary entries. My aim is to create a book-length collection of translations showcasing the range of Munch’s writing, employing translation practices that foreground the link between Munch the artist and Munch the writer.
Nonfiction Writing Program
Project Title: Aboriginal Divers in New South Wales: Alternate Histories of Diving
I plan to research the relationship of aboriginal peoples in New South Wales, Australia to diving. I will collect oral histories from aboriginal divers and others in their communities to understand the diving culture on-site in New South Wales from June 15th through July 15th, 2022. My data collection will involve interviews with aboriginal peoples, advocates, and researchers in the area. I will shadow divers to better understand their diving practices and their passage from generation to generation. The Stanley Award for International Research is perfect for achieving these goals. My scuba diving certifications, background in biology, and interest in diving outside of the European tradition inform my approach. My research will culminate in at least one robust 6,000-word essay, if not more. The data I collect will serve as the basis for my MFA thesis, which will consist of a series of essays considering the history of scuba diving. This project will take place after my first year of graduate studies, allowing me a head start on research necessary for my thesis.
Project Title: Historical Narratives of Environment in the Netherlands
I’m applying for the Stanley Award for International Research to study the paradox of the Netherlands in the climate crisis. Early Dutch companies and contemporary Dutch megacorporations pioneered the global supply chains that are in part responsible for the modern catastrophe of greenhouse gasses and sea-level rise. But the Netherlands is also extremely vulnerable to rising seas, with more than a quarter of its land below sea level and 17% of its land reclaimed from water. Research into Dutch environmental history and technology will provide a foundation for my poetry thesis on psychological ramifications of climate change and environmental degradation. It will serve as an case study in the historical interaction with the changing environment.
In the Netherlands, I plan to research the history and current state of water management as it has shaped a national and regional character, in particular: the North Sea flood of 1953; land reclamation projects such as the formation of the Flevoland polder; contemporary windmill, levee, and dam engineering projects, especially the Delta Works; and the Polder System, a tradition of political cooperation and a form of mutual aid aimed at maintaining critical water-management infrastructure for the better part of a thousand years. Over the course of this 32-day trip, through on-site and archival research only possible in the Netherlands, I plan to write a series of 10 poems that will be the basis for my poetry thesis.
Sik Suen (Rosemarie) Ho
Destination: United Kingdom
Project Title: British Colonial Suppression of the 1925 Hong Kong General Strike
With support from the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, I propose to spend four weeks in London from mid-June to mid-July for archival research into the 1925-1926 Hong Kong-Canton general strike—specifically the general socioeconomic conditions that led to mass discontent, and the ways in which officers in the employ of the colonial administration and other colonial subjects perceived the dedicated organizing of local unions and activist groups for better economic/political conditions as a threat to the imperialist project. My archival research at the National Archives and the London School of Economics’ special collections will inform the structure and content of my novella about the colonial repression of Hong Kongers, which doubles as my thesis project for my MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
Project Title: Impact of Education on the Imagined Future of Agriculture
The Stanley Award will allow me to conduct 6 weeks of ethnographic research in the rural district of Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh (HP), India, to examine how education shapes youth’s perceptions and visions for agriculture. India’s economic policy of liberalization in the early 1990s influenced (i) the decline in the economic viability of agriculture, as well as (ii) increased employment opportunities in the urban core of the country. This prompted huge numbers of rural youth to enroll in higher education to gain formal employment in urban centers. Despite increased enrollment in education, the attempts to ‘educate oneself out of agriculture have largely been futile especially for marginalized communities. A large body of research documents how India’s “jobless” growth has not enabled widespread formal employment for the rural poor - 60% of the Indian population is engaged in agriculture. While scholars have rigorously documented the dynamics of jobless growth, pursuits of higher education, and agrarian distress, there is surprisingly little research investigating how education may shape the actual practices and future visions for agriculture. The research that does exist on the linkages between education and agriculture offers conflicting findings: while some suggest that education results in youth being disinterested in agriculture, others suggest that education may enable new forms of curiosity and innovation in agriculture. Additionally, historical processes of caste, class, and gender discrimination as well as the continued shadow of colonialism within the Indian education systems has hindered equal access to quality education. A key objective of my research is to investigate the impact of higher education on the future of farming imagined by young men and women from agrarian communities and how this imagination varies along the axes of gender, caste, and class.
Project Title: The Soft Outlines: Hannah Höch's Garden & Weimar Judaism
My proposed Stanley Grant will allow me to see the undigitized, 12,000-artifact estate of renowned Dadaist Hannah Höch in Berlin, Germany. It would also allow me to do on-site research and cataloging of plants in both Höch’s World War Two garden refuge as well as prominent sites of Jewish heritage in Berlin during the Weimar era with hopes of exploring and writing about the subjectivity and resilient joy of people on the fringes during times of intense violence. The grant would pay for travel expense, lodging, numerous trips to at least 3 Berlin galleries, as well as on-site exploration of the gardens and homes of individuals who brought radical, joyous change to the art and media world at a time when Europe was on the brink of destruction. By cataloging plant-life, writing about artifacts and Höch’s gender-nonconforming art practice, and the flourishing of Weimar era Jewish community, I will end with a chapbook-length project of documentary poetry, essay, and ekphrasis.
Language, Literacy and Culture Education
Project Title: Foreignness Explored by Teachers and Learners of Korean Language
I will visit Korea to undertake preliminary research investigating foreignness in Korean as a Second Language (KSL) classrooms in Korea. Instructors of Korean language from a variety of settings will be interviewed to reveal participants ' experiences and thoughts as to how they position themselves when Korean language and culture are globalized and capitalized, demarcating natives and foreigners. Understanding the struggles of instructors of Korean language can also give valuable insights into the present and future of pedagogy for world language education.
Destination: South Africa
Project Title: Printmaking and Print Collaboration in South Africa
During the summer of 2022, I will spend six weeks in South Africa participating in a Print Workshop Residency at the David Krut Workshop in Johannesburg. The David Krut Workshop is an established collaborative print workshop specializing in intaglio and monotype techniques. There, I will observe and assist professional printmakers in collaborating with artists to make editioned fine art prints. I will also visit other print workshops, artists' studios, and museums in South Africa to broaden my understanding of printmaking and the global community of printmakers working today.
Destination: United Kingdom
Project Title: Writing the History of the British Asian Youth Movements in Fiction
I will spend four weeks in the United Kingdom conducting research for my M.F.A. thesis project, Tributary, a novel-in-stories that follows an interconnected group of Pakistani immigrants living in the U.K and the U.S. The novel follows several characters, including Asad, who grew up in the U.K. in the 70’s and 80’s. I plan to do research that will inform a significant section of the novel that follows Asad as a young man coming of age during Thatcher-era Britain, where he is involved in youth-led anti-racist organizing. The research will also shape the chapters on his son Samir’s present-day visit to the U.K. as an adult, where he attempts to reconnect with his father and his radical political past. My cultural and historical research focuses on the Pakistani diaspora in the U.K., and on the Asian Youth Movements, grassroots organizing done in response to institutional racism in Britain in the 1970’s and 80’s. Inspired by the Civil Rights and Black Power movement, working class South Asian youth mobilized against anti-immigration policies, police brutality, and labor injustices. The U.K. holds many of the major archives on this history, including the Bishopsgate Institute, the British Film Institute, and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archive. With this research, I plan to explore the relationship between my character’s ethnic and class identities, and in turn, the legacy of British Asian resistance movements, and I will have greater historical accuracy and a richer characterization of the Pakistani immigrant community in my novel.
Thomas Mira y Lopez
Project Title: Translating José J. Veiga's Little Horses of Platiplanto (Os Cavalinhos de Platiplanto)
José J. Veiga (1915-1999), a contemporary of writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Julio Cortazar, was a Brazilian fiction writer known for surreal, regionalized stories that feature the distinct landscape and culture of Brazil’s interior, often set in his home state of Goiás. While Veiga is a hallowed figure in Brazilian literature, regarded as the foremost practitioner of magical realism and the recipient of Brazil’s most prestigious literary prizes, he remains little known in the Anglophone world. For my MFA thesis in Literary Translation, I am working to bring Veiga’s first book Os Cavalinhos de Platiplanto to English speaking audiences, a task that requires deep immersion in both field and archival research. Perhaps more than anything, Veiga’s work is about a time and place—the first half of the 20th century in Goiás—a version of Brazil that is markedly different from what most English readers are familiar with. The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research would allow me to investigate the many ways that Goiás’ cultural and regional particularities influenced Veiga’s fiction, and would facilitate not only my translation of his work, but future scholarship in order to introduce Veiga to English-speaking audiences.
Linguistic Anthropology/ Anthropology
Project Title: Archival Collections on Tanzania's Language Policy in Education from 1880s-2000s
I am applying for the Stanley Award for International Research to conduct archival research in two Tanzanian cities, Dar es Salaam, and Iringa, for 11 weeks starting May 23rd and ending August 5th, 2022. The purpose of this research is to collect, analyze, and understand different available documents on educational language policy and indigenous language use during the colonial and post-colonial periods years, the 1880s-the 2000s. Tanzania offers a fascinating case to study language policy across these eras as it is a multilingual country that comprises over 120 tribal languages that co-exist with national languages which are Swahili and English. Despite the diversity of tribal languages, Tanzanians are unified by a common post-colonial national language, Swahili; most people are fluent speakers of Swahili. The current national educational language policy was revised in 2014 by president Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete under a program known as Sera ya Elimu na Mafunzo ya Ufundi (Educational Policy and Vocational Training). Apart from recognizing the use of Swahili, English, and Sign language in education, this policy duplicates problematic linguistic divisions in public schools. At the primary level, Swahili is the language of instruction; English is taught as an academic subject. At the secondary and higher educational levels, English serves as the medium of instruction, whereas Swahili is taught as an academic subject. This language policy imposes a barrier to education and learning proficiency for many Tanzanian youths. Thus, to understand the current education policy, language use, and linguistic controversies, it is important to trace language use and national language policies from the 1880s to the 2000s.
Project Title: “To Our Mother Telugu”: Linguistic Nationalism in South India
What makes someone die for a language? In 1952 Madras (now Chennai), a man named Potti Sreeramulu began a hunger strike for a Telugu-language state. Sreeramulu was one of the first people in modern Indian history to actually starve himself to death. His passing prompted violent riots. Within days the Indian prime minister conceded and created a Telugu state. Andhra Pradesh was the first linguistic state formed in independent India, paving the way for organizing the whole country by linguistic lines. As a graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I’m working on a short story collection exploring how linguistic, cultural, and political identity intersect for members of the Telugu diaspora. My story collection, which will become my M.F.A thesis in fiction, has two key objectives. First, through historically-informed fiction, I imagine the lives of political activists and witnesses during the 1940s movement for a separate Telugu state. Second, I explore the complicated afterlives of this movement with stories about Telugu people today, as they navigate complex relationships to their mother tongues through family relationships, political involvement, and South Indian popular culture. I’m applying for a Stanley Graduate Award to spend four weeks doing archival and experiential research in Hyderabad (the former capital of Andhra Pradesh and current capital of Telangana) and Chennai (the center of the Telugu nationalist movement of the 1940s).
Andres Restrepo Sanchez
Project Title: Obstetric Violence and Sex Work in Medellin, Colombia
Obstetric violence is an invisible yet predominant gender-based violence in many countries. Colombia has suffered a particularly violent history that shapes the lives of its population, in which women experience this phenomenon regularly, with a significant incidence in vulnerable groups such as sex workers. This research will use ethnographic theory and methods to understand better how sex workers experience violence within obstetric health to advocate for better practices of humanized care.
Lara Dopazo Ruibal
Spanish Creative Writing
Project Title: Non-fiction Project Based on the Life of a Human Rights Defender
For my proposed Stanley project, I will spend four weeks in Chihuahua and Mexico City, Mexico, interviewing a selected group of people and compiling observations and data for my MFA non-fiction project in Spanish Creative Writing. As part of my fieldwork, I will interview Estela Ángeles Mondragón and travel to the Baqueachi indigenous community. They are the main characters of my project. I will meet experts on Anthropology and Human Rights defenders from the Mexican National Association of Human Rights Defenders (RNDDHM) as well. Through the support of this institution and the Stanley award, I will collect field data, interview specialists, catalog my findings, and revise and draft notes during the period of my grant. The goal of this study is to collect testimonies from Lic. Ángeles and her indigenous collaborators regarding the story of their land; their resistance and the violence they have suffered when defending it. This project will form the backbone of my MFA creative nonfiction thesis. Furthermore, I will seek venues outside of the University of Iowa to publish this work and publicize the crucial work being carried out by these individuals.
Project Title: Play and Collective Healing: Play in the Reunification of Berlin
I am applying for the Stanley Award for International Research to travel to Berlin, Germany, in June - early July 2022 to complete independent research on the role of play in the ongoing reinvention and healing of the city since post-Cold War reunification in 1990. This research will contribute to my thesis manuscript required for the completion of my MFA degree in 2023. My manuscript is a poetic exploration of play as a transformational practice with potential to heal and liberate. For a brief working definition in this proposal, play is activity done for enjoyment, for its own sake, rather than a practical or productive purpose. I’ve been researching play for many years, through autoethnography, exploratory research through creative practice, field research within intentional artist communities, and archival research. Through autoethnography and exploratory research, I’ve used myself and my life to investigate the potential of play to transform the self and heal trauma. This aspect of the research is deeply internal, embodying what I learn about play and putting play into practice as a core value in my life and creative practice. I use play as a method to write and explore poetry, and I document my lived experiments, performances, and play practices through poetry, essay, and other media. While my own experience of transformation through play forms a deep case study, it’s a necessary expansion of this research to consider how play can transform communities and heal division beyond the individual. I’m interested in studying how to integrate play at the collective level.
Project Title: Collaging Ecopoetry After Berlin Dadaists
I am applying for a Stanley Grant to travel to Berlin and write poetry about buildings that reimagine our future energy consumption. Berlin contains a hub of buildings that are carbon neutral or technologically-equipped to reduce emissions. Over 4 weeks I will visit 3 specific buildings and 1 archive to write poems responding to the visions behind these sites’ architectures. The poems will emphasize the possibilities of sustainable design, borrowing stylistic elements from Raoul Hausmann (1886–1971) and Hannah Höch (1889–1978), Berlin Dadaists and pioneers of collage art. Hausmann was also an experimental poet and I will view both their collage archives, which are available at Höch’s estate. This research is relevant to my MFA thesis in Creative Writing because I am interested in executing poetry that discusses technology and the environment, using visual techniques like collage. My thesis will ask the reader to consider how we reconcile a growth mindset with its environmental and social consequences.
Project Title: Fibrolite Axe Sourcing, Trade, and Use in Prehistoric Central Iberia
I am applying for the Stanley Award for International Research to examine the use and distribution of fibrolite stone tools in the Stone Age (Neolithic) and Copper Age (Chalcolithic) in the Madrid province of central Spain (5000-2000 BCE). Fibrolite is a light-colored, durable, and rare mineral used by prehistoric Western European farmers to create small stone tools measuring 2-4 inches long. Prehistoric communities may have used these tools for daily activities such as woodworking and farming, or for religious activities and burials. However, the rarity of fibrolite may mean that these tools also functioned as status symbols for individuals or were traded as valuable goods, similar to amber or ivory. So far, these artifacts have not been studied due to their rarity. Compared to tools made from popular stone materials such as flint, which number in the thousands, fibrolite artifacts have been overlooked despite the role they might have played in the significant cultural changes that resulted from unequal access to resources. From May 25 to July 20, I will work with materials at the two main archaeological collections in Madrid province. These include one hundred stone artifacts held at the Museo Arqueológico Regional (Madrid Regional Archaeology Museum) in Alcalá de Henares, a city northeast of Madrid. Additionally, I will work with fifty-seven stone artifacts held at the Museo de San Isidro (San Isidro Museum) in Madrid.
Project Title: Mobile technology adoption and use in Africa: Assessing how Kenyans are accepting and using mobile technology in healthcare delivery
This study seeks to examine how Kenyans are adopting mobile technology in healthcare delivery. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on international travel, I will be working remotely for eight (8) weeks with DataDiggers Market Research LLC, to collect data from Kenya. DataDiggers are research experts with research partners in Kenya that can help provide me with the data needed to embark on this research without traveling to Kenya. Using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT; Venkatesh et al., 2003), This pre-dissertation research will prepare me for my dissertation fieldwork as well as contribute to knowledge in the health communication scholarship.
Project Title: Lacebark in Jamaica: Possibilities for Revival and Sustainable Use
My research will focus on expanding my knowledge of the lacebark tree (Lagetta lagetto) and the role it played in Jamaica. This tree has only been found in Jamaica, Cuba, and Hispaniola (the island divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic), however most residents of those islands don’t know of its existence. My broader research goal is to sustainably harvest lacebark (the inner bark of the tree with fibers that can be teased apart to mimic lace), create art with it and to rediscover an aspect of Jamaica’s natural history that many are unaware of. By creating art, I want to learn the traditional methods of preparing and using lacebark and to share my work with other Jamaicans. My research will involve reading articles and books on lacebark (including reading some of the earliest written records of plant life in Jamaica from the 17th and 18th centuries), viewing collections in museums remotely and video calling with experts in the area of lacebark, natural history and textiles in Jamaica.
Project Title: Las Cancioncitas and the Sonnet Through a Bilingual Lens
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award to conduct essential research for my thesis, a collection of poetry, in order to graduate with an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. The collection of poems is titled, Las Cancioncitas, which will be comprised of sonnets both in English and Spanish. The sonnet is a poetic form that has been around since the thirteenth century via the Italian sonneteers, and even still its appeal has lasted the test of time. Contemporary poets have since pushed the limits of what a sonnet ought to be and do. My collection aims to pay homage, break molds, and tell a love story through the lens of a bilingual being. I will work with two Chilean collections of poetry written in Spanish by Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. Simultaneously, I will also be examining sonneteers of the English language from past and present.
Destination: New Zealand
Project Title: Tuatara: The Sole Survivor of the Rhynchocephalia Order
I am applying for the Stanley Award for International Research to research the evolution and conservation of the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), an animal found exclusively in New Zealand. The tuatara is a reptile that superficially resembles a lizard, but, importantly, is not one. Tuataras are the last remaining species from the taxonomic order Rhynchocephalia, a category of reptile that emerged around 200 million years ago, predating dinosaurs. I will investigate breaking research on the tuatara, and how it approaches questions regarding genomic data ownership and Māori perspective in ecology. I will also study the history and impact of tuatara conservation in New Zealand culture and ecosystems, how novel approaches led to the species’ survival, and how this knowledge can be used to combat the loss of biodiversity, both in New Zealand and globally. I will research these questions over a period of six weeks, from June 1st to July 13th. I will examine published papers, conduct interviews, search archives, and engage with physical representations of the tuatara. My background in biology, which includes a biology minor, and upper-level courses in genetics and ecology, informs my approach. This research will culminate in a 6,000 word essay. This will serve as the basis for my MFA thesis during my third year in the Nonfiction Writing Program, which will consist of a series of essays about animal science. This project will take place after my first year of my graduate studies. Because my work is heavily research-based, I will spend the time prior to my thesis conducting research necessary to write scientifically accurate essays.
Project Title: Art in Times of Crisis, An Ancestral Study in Hungary
I am an MFA candidate in Fiction at the Writers’ Workshop applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to spend four weeks conducting international research for a hybrid piece of fiction/non-fiction exploring artistic pursuit in the midst of personal and political upheaval. This will be examined through the lens of my maternal grandfather, who was a prodigy violinist in Hungary but had to escape with his mother as a teen during the Holocaust. My research will focus on the intersection of art and politics particularly in Transylvania, Romania and Budapest, Hungary, including at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where my maternal grandfather studied violin. Before his death in 2015, my grandfather completed his memoirs of this time and my work will use this document to mix memory, history, and fiction.
Adam Beaser is the winner of a Fulbright Study/Research grant in Creative Writing to Hungary for 2022-23
Destination: United Kingdom
Project Title: Ultrathin Parchment Making
In Western Europe during the Middle Ages, before the advent of paper, scribes wrote on parchment that was so supple and durable, it could be repeatedly scraped down and written on again to create new texts. This process created a palimpsest, a manuscript that contains hidden layers of text. As a lettering artist, I have written on parchment in various ways for nearly a decade. I am fascinated by its unique ability to withstand multiple cycles of writing and scraping. Due to slowed demand over the last several centuries and mystery surrounding its preparation techniques, parchment as thin as the pages of medieval manuscripts is not available in the market today. This summer, I will prepare three calf skins, aiming to replicate the average thinness of a medieval manuscript page based on my own academic research in the University of Iowa’s Special Collections Library and under the guidance of the foremost parchment maker in the US. Ultimately, I will use these three pieces of parchment for my 2022 MFA thesis show, which will explore the concept of a contemporary palimpsest, an art object that contains several hidden layers.
Project Title: Online Performances of Masculinity Among Mexican "Gaymers"
Masculinities are changing rapidly in Mexico. Yet little is known about the ways online interactions contribute to this process. This project will use digital ethnographic methods to investigate how Mexican “Gaymers” (gay video game enthusiasts) incorporate local and global ideologies of manhood, Mexicanness and sexuality into online performances of gender. It will reveal how these new ways of being men might challenge some, and reinforce other, hierarchies of manhood, race, and nationality.
Project Title: Land is Wealth—A history rooted in bonded labor
Although monetary wealth is the primary interpretation of wealth and prosperity, land is a source of other types of wealth—the intangible currency tied to one’s heritage, family history, oral traditions, cultural practices as well as theological and societal structures. Societies and individuals have been historically motivated and continue to be motivated by the need to take possession of this land wealth, while simultaneously depriving those belonging to oppressed strata of society of the same right. The outlawed system of ‘vetti-chakiri’ or forced, bonded labor once practiced by feudal landlords in the Telangana region of India deprived the bonded classes of ownership and right to ownership of agricultural land, and therefore the multitudes of wealth(s) associated with land possession. As an MFA student in creative writing, I’m working on a historical novel set in Telangana, India. Set to be my graduate thesis, it explores the relationship between the landed, ancestral aristocrats and the indentured, bonded classes in Telangana’s agrarian regions in the 1950s and 1960s; an exploitative relationship that led eventually to a violent, armed communist struggle known as the Naxalite movement. The novel seeks to hold a mirror to the true natures of truth and humanity, exploring political, generational, and familial realms through the plot of two brothers born into the bonded classes, one of whom joins the Naxalite movement while the other attempts to escape his circumstances through access to educational opportunities. I’m applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to spend four weeks examining the links between land dispossession and the very human costs on those belonging to the bonded classes, within the context of the Naxalite move
Project Title: Hierarchies in Publishing: Queer Narratives from India and Bangladesh in Print and Digital Media
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award (Fellowship) for International Research to access and experience queer literature emerging out of India and Bangladesh, with a specific focus on transnational publishing platforms in print and digital media. As a second-year PhD candidate in English, this will serve as a step towards writing the research article that is a required component of my comprehensive exam portfolio. This research is to be undertaken over a period of six weeks, between May and June 2021. It involves close reading of scanned copies of manuscripts and letters from the Hoshang Merchant papers, archived at Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University and accessing Dhaka-based digital platforms like Roopbaan magazine and Oboyob Diversity Circle oral history project. Merchant had edited India’s first gay anthology, Yaraana: Gay Writing from India (1999) which was published by Penguin Random House. In contrast to the visibility of Indian queer literatures in English that have found an international reading market, Bangladeshi queer writers and activists have been relying on digital platforms to create alternate spaces of storytelling in Bangla. In order to understand the regional and linguistic hierarchies of such literary productions in the two countries, I shall interview Merchant, Akhil Katyal, Joya Sikdar, and other activist-artists associated with such platforms. By doing so, I hope to set the ground for my doctoral research around the possibilities and limitations of queer narratives in South Asia.
Project Title: Translating Saša Staniši's Fallensteller (Trappers)
There is a tradition of multilingual writers from Henry James to Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad to Orhan Pamuk who have chosen to write monolingually. As part of my MFA degree in Literary Translation, I am applying for Stanley funds to continue my research and translation of another such writer, the contemporary Bosnian-German novelist Saša Staniši. Staniši, now a citizen of Germany and the EU, was a refugee of the Yugoslav Wars and acquired German as a second language. Today he publishes only in that language, including his recent memoir Herkunft (Origins), winner of the 2019 German Book Prize. As a translator of Staniši, understanding the political and aesthetic significance of his decision to present a minority perspective in a majority language is of the utmost importance. Stanley funds would allow me to conduct remote research in international archives dedicated to migrant Yugoslavian experience in the summer of 2021 while continuing my translation of Staniši. The primary product of this proposal is a fifteen-page critical foreword to accompany my MFA thesis, a translation of Staniši’s 2016 short story collection Fallensteller (Trappers), a series of interlaced tales of contemporary multicultural Europe. This critical foreword is a required component of my thesis, and for readers it would contextualize Staniši and his language(s) in the history of Balkan migration to Germany; it would also allow me to critically interpret his work through a lens of multilingualism and language politics in the EU.
Destination: Sierra Leone
Project Title: Unsettled Resettlement: The Lives of the Krio in Sierra Leone
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will afford me one month to conduct research focused on the lives of liberated Africans from around the world that were disposed in the Crown colony of Freetown, Sierra Leone after the British Empire abolished the Atlantic Slave trade in 1807. The liberated Africans that arrived in Freetown spoke different languages, worshipped different Gods, and practiced different customs, but quickly melded into a new people with a shared language called Krio. I will utilize the Liberated Africans Project, a free digitized repository of historical documents made available by a consortium of governments and research institutes, to learn about the history of the Krio people. This research will form the primary resources essential to my in-progress collection of short stories that will comprise my MFA thesis in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where I am currently a first-year student.
Project Title: The Forgotten Archaeologists of Susa
In 1897, Jacques de Morgan and his team under the auspices of the French government began the systematic archaeological excavation of Susa, Iran. The excavation report published in the early 20th century describes only the quantifiable data regarding the rediscovery of some of the most notable works of Near Eastern art including the Hammurabi Code Stele, and the Stele of Naram-Sin. While the excavated objects themselves have made it to museums across the globe, the majority of the maps, photographs, personal notes, and correspondences of early archaeologists like Jacques de Morgan and Marcel-Auguste Dieulafoy are left out of these early reports. By removing these individuals from the narrative of the object, we are left with only part of its history, tantamount to divorcing the object from its context which drastically impacts our reading and understanding of the object in all respects. This project seeks to reintegrate the archaeologist into the history of the object and the site of Susa through the translation and analysis of the primary source material housed in the Bibliotheque nationale de France and the Academie de Beaux-Art that was not included in the archaeological reports. By reintroducing this material, the letters, notes, correspondences and other documents not fit for the official reports from Susa, we can better understand the objects themselves as well as their impact on Near Eastern art history and art collecting.
Project Title: Romanian Poet Ion Negoiţescu and Queer Literary Censorship in Communist Romania
I am applying for The Stanley Award for International Research to study the work and life of Romanian writer Ion Negoiţescu (1921-1993), one of the few openly gay male writers active in Romania during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu (1965-1989). As an MFA candidate in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, this research will inform my thesis, a 60 page collection of poetry. Being a queer writer with Romanian heritage myself, my thesis will explore the history of dissidence, censorship and queerness as a form of political resistance, and be written in prose, free verse, and couplets. The anti-fascist nature of the poetry of Ion Negoiţescu coupled with him being openly gay resulted in his censorship, arrests, and imprisonment by Ceaușescu. By researching what, why, and how Negoiţescu wrote during this oppressive era, I will have an historically informed framework from which to write this collection of poems. I plan to use the digitized public archives at the Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary to do my research over the course of six weeks. This large repository of publicly accessible documents features Radio Free Europe (RFE) “Information Items” and “Situation Reports” describing the activism of this writer, the conditions of Jilavia Prison where Negoiţescu was held, and the state of literature and life in Romania during the rule of Ceaușescu.
Project Title: Tracing Chris Marker's Epistolary Mode
I am a first year MFA student in the Writer’s Workshop applying for a Stanley Fellowship for International Research in order to spend four weeks researching the French cinematic essayist and audio-visual poet Chris Marker. Using Marker’s films as a point of departure, I will write a cycle of poems addressing the relationship between memory, time and the poem as archive. I will focus on such acclaimed master works as "Sans Soleil", "Le fond de l’air est rouge", "Si j’avais quatre dromedaires", "Loin du Vietnam", "Lettre de Siberie", and "Le joli mai", seeking to broaden my understanding of Marker’s epistolary approach to cinema, and assimilating material to be included in the poetry cycle I compose. I will also integrate my research into my MFA poetry thesis, exploring the emergence and flowering of documentary poetics in the twentieth century.
Project Title: Research on the Catalog of Southern Song Academic Painting
My project critically assesses the Catalog of Southern Song Academic Painting (Nansong yuanhua lu, hereafter CSSAP), a Chinese art catalog from the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), edited by a member of literati, Li E (1692-1752). The CSSAP is of tremendous historical importance because it is perhaps the most comprehensive early primary source to describe academic painting from the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) in China. However, my project argues that many of the citations in the CSSAP are problematic. I show that in numerous cases Li E misquoted or intentionally altered the original sources he cited, resulting in the misinterpretations of those sources. Moreover, I demonstrate that Li E cited a number of other highly questionable sources, some of which might even be fabricated. Different from other art catalogs from that time, the CSSAP showed its preference to academic painting, paintings produced in the imperial painting academy, although this style was deemed to have lesser artistic value than literati painting, paintings created by scholar-amateur artists. By conducting a close reading of this book, I examine to what extent the CSSAP challenged the canon of Qing art and why it deviated from the mainstream at that time.
Project Title: Moving Images: LGBTQ+ Taiwan
I propose to make a short-form film essay/documentary that explores Taiwan’s queer cinema of the past two decades. Consisting of film montages, interviews, and my narration, the film will make thematic connections among Taiwanese LGBTQ+ films, with a focus on queered notions of East Asian family, sexuality, gender, and politics. For the visual component, I will make montages of 10-15 Taiwanese LGBTQ+ films. These montages will be intercut with footage related to LGBTQ+ social developments in Taiwan as well as virtual interviews that I will conduct with relevant artists, activists, and scholars. I will carry out this project with guidance and participation from various (already secured) collaborators, such as the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival. The film’s aesthetic and scholarly development will be guided by faculty at UIowa’s Department of Cinematic Arts and the film scholar Dr. Chang-min Yu and colleagues at National Taiwan University. After completing the project, I will share the film via multiple platforms and institutions, including festivals, LGBTQ+ NGOs, universities, and streaming websites.
Ebenezer Olamiposi Adeyemi
Destination: Lagos State, Nigeria
Project Title: Health Care, Coping, and Malaria in Makoko, Nigeria
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to undertake eight (8) weeks of research, from June 1 to July 20, 2020 in Makoko, Lagos State, Southwestern Nigeria. The research will focus on the malaria epidemic in Makoko, specifically the coping strategies that people employ to access health care despite limited resources and a lack of government services. Makoko is arguably the largest shack settlement in Lagos State, Nigeria and has faced a malaria epidemic for over one hundred years. Life in Makoko is characterized by a lack of safe and hygienic water, paved roads, waste disposal systems, public hospitals, and government services. Due to the foregoing factors, Makoko residents are prone to infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea. The Nigerian malaria epidemic has long served as a point of interest for my research given its scope and social impact. According to the World Health Organization Malaria report (2019), Nigeria accounts for (25%) of malaria infection and death globally, making the country the most affected in the world. My earlier research on the Nigerian malaria epidemic focused on the causes of malaria in Southwestern Nigeria. My current interest in the coping strategies employed to deal with malaria was piqued by my self-sponsored preliminary visit to Makoko during the 2019-20 winter break. Through interactions with Makoko residents, I established that malaria is the most common and widespread health issue in the community. However, while the current literature details several factors that leave communities like Makoko susceptible to malaria, there is a discernible absence of literature that analyzes the mechanisms that people adopt to cope with malaria’s effects. My research will address this gap in the literature through long-term fieldwork on the dynamics of health and inequality in Makoko.
Destination: Berlin, Germany
Project Title: An Immersive Approach to Understanding Repetiteurship
In the changing world, the career path of a piano performance major can unfold in a number of ways, frequently including a smattering of freelance work. One such path is that of the vocal collaborative pianist, opera coach, and répétiteur. However, the standard performance degree does not necessarily prepare a pianist with the tools needed to be successful in this specialized line of work, and many piano students might not stumble on this career until later in their growth as a musician. For my Stanley research, I will spend 8 weeks in Berlin, Germany, a city and country where opera is thriving, as a répétiteur apprentice for the Berlin Opera Academy. I will work in all levels of the opera house, assist the conductor and director in preparing two full operas, study diction and coaching practices, and experience the full immersion of the role as a rehearsal pianist in Europe. The purpose of this fieldwork is to better understand the répétiteur skillset, the differences and expectations in a European as opposed to an American setting, and to one day develop curriculum and pedagogical tools to assist my future students who might hope to pursue this line of work.
Destination: Pavia, Italy; Otranto, Italy
Project Title: Translating Maria Corti's Siren Song (Canto delle Sirene)
Many U.S. readers are familiar with Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, or Nobel-winning poet Eugenio Montale, yet their contemporary Maria Corti, one of Italy’s most important intellectuals and writers, is relatively unknown in the United States. This fact has largely to do with much of her work being unavailable in English. For my MFA thesis in Literary Translation, I am translating what is considered to be Corti’s best literary work, Siren Song (Canto delle Sirene), a novel about intellectual seduction. I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award in International Research to spend six weeks in Italy, visiting the archive in Pavia that Corti herself founded to study the original manuscript and drafts of the novel, as well as the Salento region of Puglia, where part of the novel is set, and whose landmarks and specific regional dialects would be essential to the translation.
Destination: United Kingdom
Project Title: The Third Window: Examining the Anchorites’ Renunciant Dream
I am a graduate student pursuing an MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I am applying for the Stanley Award in order to conduct research in the United Kingdom on the women anchorites of the Middle Ages, whose self-imposed isolation was so extreme that they held living funerals, complete with burial rites, before being locked away in a single room for the rest of their lives. This research will form the foundation for a significant portion of my MFA thesis, a collection of works about women who reject the social mandate of caretaking.
Destination: Berlin, Germany
Project Title: No Future : Looking For Boyhood, Transmasculine Identities in Weimar Germany
My research will unearth histories of transmasculine identities in Weimar Germany. I will do in extensive archival research at the Schwules Museum's (queer history museum's) archive. The era, 1919-33, is famous for gay freedom for cis men and women. The era is also known for the beginnings of trans liberation and medicalization via Magnus Herschfeld and his clinic. However, there remains little to no research specifically on transmasculine identities of the time. Much of the sociological and theoretical research of the era remains focused on cis gay men, lesbians and transwomen. This grant will allow me to access first hand documents that shed light on transmen and transmasculine identities of the era that have previously not been studied. Following the Nazi book burning of trans and queer history at Opernplatz in '33, much of what survived the era is kept preciously tucked in archival protection. This grant will allow me the time and access to crucial documents that, connected to my multi-genre novel, will illuminate new angles and shapes of trans history. In addition to a significant amount of pages and content for my novel, my research will culminate in a performance piece in conversation with my research that will take place at Opernplatz, where trans and queer history was scorched by Nazi Germany. I will also offer free writing workshops for trans creatives at Hop Scotch Reading Room.
Destination: Matsumoto, Nagano, and Kawaguchiko, Japan
Project Title: Mokuhanga Study
This summer I will be traveling to Japan for six weeks in total. During the first week I will be studying and photographing Japanese woodcut prints (mokuhanga) at three museums as well as doing landscape photography that will be used for reference in my forthcoming work. I will then spend five weeks learning Japanese water-based woodblock printmaking techniques at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory residency near Lake Kawaguchi. These endeavors will aid in continuing my work on environmental awareness using sustainable practices.
Destination: Charleville-Mézières, France
Project Title: Arthur Rimbaud and the Emergence of Queer Poetic Aesthetics
I am a first year MFA student in the Writers’ Workshop applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to spend four weeks in Charleville-Mézières, France researching the poet Arthur Rimbaud and his relationship to emergence of modern queer aesthetics in literature for my MFA thesis. His hometown of Charleville-Mézières, a small town in northwest France just outside of Brussels, is home to the Arthur Rimbaud Museum which boasts an extensive collection of the poet’s portraits, notebooks, photographs, historical objects and manuscripts. Among these are the extremely rare first drafts of poems comprising his most famous manuscripts Les Illuminations and Une Saison En Enfer. Charleville-Mézières also houses the Arthur Rimbaud Trail, which crosses through sites frequented by Rimbaud during his childhood and adolescence, as well as various sites of public art dedicated to the life and work of the poet. This research will be integrated into my book-length poetry thesis exploring embodied memory and trauma both through developing my understanding of queer approaches to poetic form and style, as well as providing documentary material to be included in the poetry itself.
Destination: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Project Title: Holy Water: an oral history of water scarcity on the United States-Mexico border
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, as the mining industry boomed in northern Mexico and prohibition took effect in the United States, the border region saw a population explosion that drew in migrants from both the east coast of the United States and the interior of Mexico. The twin cities of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico and El Paso in the United States were unprepared for this huge influx of people, and the resulting housing deficits led to the creation of makeshift homesteads without potable drinking water, waste systems or paved streets that extended from the outskirts of the city all along the border. Often these unincorporated properties were “sold” to migrants by unscrupulous developers—a void and predatory transaction, given that the properties were not a part of the city and could neither be bought nor sold. These are the colonias.
Today, there are several different definitions for what constitutes a colonia, but they are generally defined by what they lack rather than what they have. The colonias, however, have also done something incredible: they have survived for a century without basic public utilities and in an era of increasing water scarcity. How have these communities managed to make a lige in such a marginalized state? How do its citizens contend with the lack of basic amenities on a daily basis? How do the colonias provide insight into life in a world of increasing water scarcity? And what does this history of cultural collision have to teach us about the ways people make their lives in uncertain terrain? Through six weeks of research in Ciudad Juarez and its surrounding colonias, I hope to answer these questions. The oral histories and compiled research from this trip will also form the basis of my MFA thesis in Nonfiction Writing at the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.
Destination: Hong Kong
Project Title: Foreign Domestic Helper's Confidence, Beliefs, and Skills to Provide Care for Community-dwelling Older Adults in Hong Kong
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to investigate caregiver practices in Hong Kong. I propose to spend five weeks in Hong Kong to conduct qualitative interviews with foreign domestic helpers (FDH) who provide care to older Hong Kong Chinese individuals (65 years old or older). The qualitative interview questions are grounded in the Social Cognitive Theory and will specifically measure FDH confidence, normative beliefs, and skills to provide care to their care recipients. This project will serve as preliminary research for my Master’s of Public Health applied practice experience working with a Hong Kong FDH organization.
Destination: Paris, France
Project Title: Paris à pied: Black History in Public Space
An MFA poetry candidate and enrollee in the literary certification program, I am invested in American, French, and Francophone creative expression. The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research would allow me to spend four weeks examining the historical representation of blackness in certain public spaces of Paris, France. In Paris, black writers such as James Baldwin and Langston Hughes found solace during the Harlem Renaissance, and their presence has made those spaces literary, historical, and historically black. I will visit many of those spaces à pied (or, on foot), touring Montparnasse, Parc Monceau, Little Africa, Pigalles, and Montmartre with a guide who maintains the oral and local history of the spaces. In Paris, too, is Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac’s Africa Collection. Possessing about 70,000 works from sub-Saharan Africa, the Musée du Quai Branly signifies the ways in which France, as a nation, memorializes an image of blackness emptied of its cultural context. In Paris, and indeed all over France, President Macron’s Africa2020 initiative will provide a platform for exclusively pan-African artistry in visual arts, literature, and more. I will attend several literary presentations to observe a distinctly African perspective that is francophone yet not mediated by the French gaze. My time in France would lend my poetry thesis and translations a historical, political, and social consciousness.
Destination: Killeshandra, Ireland
Project Title: The Map to Every Door: The Potency of Irish Missionaries in Southeastern Nigeria.
This research will yield an ambitious collection of short stories, that deals with the interaction of the indigenous Igbo people (my ancestors) and the Irish missionaries, which was different from the relationship with the English colonial administrators. My hope is that this collection will aside from being published, further humanize the people whose lives I intend to mine for story materials. Showing that we are more alike than we’re different. The ambition is to do what the Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe referred to as a balance stories. Finally, if as I believe the role of a storyteller is to instruct as well as to delight, then the task before me is to write about the particular, the proselytizing, with childlike wonderment, so well that the specific becomes the universal.
Destination: Taipei and Gaoxiong,Taiwan
Project Title: Cultural Appropriation, Religion, and Loneliness in Taiwan 2020
I am a graduate student at the University of Iowa pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. I am writing a work of fiction set in Taipei, Taiwan, which explores ideas of Orientalism, cultural appropriation, and religious experience through the plot of a white ex-patriot who becomes involved in a new religious movement while there. I am applying for the Stanley Award for International Research so that I might travel to Taiwan to conduct interviews, read works housed at the National Taiwan University Library and Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education, and photograph and record notes of key religious locales.
Destination: Berlin, Germany
Project Title: Experimental Instrument Building: Sound as a Sculptural Media
As an artist, my practice explores what it means to treat sound as a sculptural medium. I use electric guitar pickups and steel-core wire to transform gallery space into an acoustic body. What happens when space becomes an instrument used to play something other than music? I am interested in how our bodies resonant with frequencies of sound, how this can affect our mood, or even impact productivity. My work deals with comparisons between different kinds of spaces. For example, in a series of landscape paintings that I turned into guitars with built in effects I was looking at differences between a digital delay effect and shouting across a canyon. The sounds are the same, but it is a difference between an electronic space and a natural one.
I have been invited by film and music blog Ultra Dogme as a visiting artist to Berlin this summer where I will have support to study the sound art history and landscape of the city. In addition, I am meeting with the master experimental instrument builder Yuri Landman who has offered to talk about our processes. I will record sound in urban spaces to create work that explores Berlin’s complicated history. Finally, I will be looking to connect with other institutions that may support my practice and research in the future.
Destination: Krakow, Poland
Project Title: Unraveling the Paleozoic Northwest Passage: strike-slip motion in southwestern Svalbard
The geologic relationships present in southwestern Svalbard offer a unique opportunity to understand the tectonic processes that led to the evolution of the circum-Arctic region. Svalbard, Norway is a key locality for unraveling the kinematics, or movement direction, of faults emanating from the Caledonian continental collision 400 million years ago and subsequent strike-slip translation of crustal fragments throughout the Arctic. The structural geology of this region has long been studied by Polish researchers at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. Through collaboration with Polish researchers, this project aims to constrain the kinematics and timing of strike-slip motion in southwestern Svalbard. The project will be completed by making detailed structural observations of rock samples from southwestern Svalbard and by obtaining radiometric dates of key rock fabrics, both of which activities are only made possible by the expertise and geological background of Polish researchers at AGH-UST.
Destination: Berlin, Germany and Paris, France
Project Title: Human, Machine, Animal: Extra-Institutional Artmaking in Berlin and Paris
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to Berlin and Paris where I will pursue a journalistic investigation into modes of ‘naive’ artmaking. In my work, I will be looking into three unique, but conceptually-related instances of art making specific to these regions that are grounded in an extra-institutional ethos: 1) European painting by naive artists as housed in two permanent collections in Berlin 2) The work of Berlin’s AI artists and thought leaders 3) The work of artist Hubert Dubrat who has, for thirty years, used cocoon-making larvae to build sculpture, and whose entire body of work will be briefly shown this summer at the Paris Museum of Modern Art. Each of these modes can be considered liberally under the umbrella term ‘naive’ art, or art created without formal training. By looking at these works, I will ask into the specifics of how artistic skill develops, and how each of these makers (human, animal, and machine) learn by a process based in trial and error, whether that process is born from intuition, algorithm, or biological instinct. By conducting a journalistic investigation into these spaces, I will gather the research necessary to produce an informative and richly narrative three-part essay that explores how artmaking in the naive mode—especially in these cities—involves a complex relationship between processes of learning, concepts of personhood, and ethical dynamics of power.
Destination: Beirut, Lebanon
Project Title: A Fifth Season to Leave, a translation of the poems by Mohamad Nassereddine
I am applying for a Stanley Award for International Research to conduct research that will allow for the successful completion of my MFA in Literary Translation thesis, in which I will translate a book of poems by the Lebanese poet, Mohamad Nassereddine, and write a critical introduction to his work which will contextualize him in the canon of Arabic and Lebanese poetry. Nassereddine’s books of poetry have not been translated into English, although some works have been translated into French and German. Nassereddine’s work extends a post-war tradition of poetry in Lebanon that centers around the political instability, loss, and reconstruction that has defined Lebanon’s literary culture for the past three decades, and expands upon this tradition by approaching it in unexpected ways, often with playfulness and even humor. It is this playfulness, which Mohamad deploys both on a linguistic level, hinging a poem on the multi-valent word-root that can mean either “blue” or “glaucoma”, for example, and on the level of allusion, referencing culturally specific texts, events, and locations, that requires site-specific research. Of the six weeks I spend in Lebanon, I intend to spend five weeks in Beirut, during which time I will interview Nassereddine about his writing. A translator himself, the conversations we have regarding choices across languages will be invaluable to my thesis, particularly in those cases in which Nassereddine intentionally uses a word that can be read multiple ways, or refers to something foreign and unfamiliar to me. Additionally, I will interview scholars I am in contact with from previous research and study at the American University of Beirut (AUB); in particular, Rana Issa and Rula Baalbaki, both translators and professors at AUB, will assist me in my translation of the linguistic and culturally specific elements of Nassereddine’s poems. Regarding the geographically specific material, I will spend one week near Sidon, Lebanon, where Nassereddine spent his childhood and which appears in his poetry. Finally, I will make use of written materials unavailable to me in the US, from writing of Nassereddine’s that only exists in print journals circulating in Lebanon, to the rich libraries and archives at AUB which contain the post-war Lebanese poetry that Nassereddine’s poems are in conversation with, by poets including Mohammad Ali Shams al-Deen and Abbas Beydoun.
Journalism and Mass Communication
Project Title: Exploring the Role of Digital Media in Community Fundraising and Empowerment: A Case of Kenya’s Joywo Organization
I will spend seven weeks in Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, and Meru Counties in Kenya examining micro-finance groups’ adoption of digital media and their augmentation of services to their members. Joywo is a registered organization whose main objective is to economically empower organized women and youth. It is involved in sustainable livelihood projects such as supporting growth of small-scale business into large-scale investments, supporting members to access market, strengthening identification and incubation of diverse agricultural projects as well as providing scholarships to bright and needy students. Joywo and its subsidiary micro-finance groups get their funding through community fundraising practices. This pre-dissertation research will prepare me for my dissertation fieldwork as well as contribute to knowledge in the domain of digital media, development, and related literatures, especially in the Global South.
Project Title: When I See Them, I See Us: Understanding Black & Palestinian Solidarity
The purpose of my research is to explore contested citizenship in the US and in the Israeli/Palestinian context. Through in-depth interviews with community leaders in Jerusalem, I am going to document historic and contemporary examples of Black-Palestinian solidarity starting with the Black Panthers' public support for the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the mutual support between Black protestors in Ferguson and Palestinian activists in Jersusalem and the West Bank. My interviews and on the ground research will allow me to situate this solidarity in the context of shared experiences of state violence and border militarization.
French and Italian
Destination: Fort-de-France, Martinique
Project Title: The Resurfacing of the Dead: Quimbois and Vodou in the Martinican Canon
With the help of a Stanley Grant I would travel to Martinique in order to conduct foundational research for my dissertation that will explore the implementation and imbrication of Vodou and Quimbois symbolism and myth in the creation of the contemporary French-Caribbean literary canon. Being physically present in Martinique will allow me to accrue indispensable primary sources for my dissertation prospectus. I will spend my time in the Departmental Archives of Martinique, in La Bibliothèque Schoelcher, conducting a series of interviews with world renowned novelist Patrick Chamoiseau, and attending the diverse programming of Fort-de-France's annual cultural festival.
Destination: Oslo & Drøbak, Norway
Project Title: Researching and Translating the Ecofeminist Poetry of Kristin Berget
With the aid of a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, I will spend four weeks in Norway to research and translate the poetry of author Kristin Berget and write the critical introduction for my MFA thesis in Literary Translation. In the US, there is a lack of scholarship on Berget and on the ecofeminist mode of Norwegian poetry in which she writes (a lack I wish to remedy with the scholarly component of my thesis); therefore, it is necessary that I conduct comprehensive research in Norway in order to best translate and contextualize Berget’s work. Ecofeminist poetry emphasizes that both women and nature must be respected. In the light of anthropogenic climate change, it is urgent that we in the US understand the perspective in Norway, where about half of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle, a region predicted to warm faster than anywhere else. Berget’s image- and rhythm-rich poems are set in a precarious ecological landscape. I will spend one week in Drøbak interviewing Berget and three weeks in Oslo where, with valuable access to archives and libraries that require my physical presence, I will examine Berget’s additional five texts, interviews and literary criticism of Berget’s work, and scholarship on Norwegian ecofeminist literature.
Destination: Berlin, Germany
Project Title: Shifting Ground: Past, Present, Palimpsest in Berlin
My Stanley project will take me to Berlin for six weeks to research three radically repurposed structures with troublesome histories: Tempelhof (a former Nazi airport and military base that opened as a public park in 2010, and now also provides temporary housing for over 1,000 refugees), Tropical Island (a climate-controlled tropical theme park constructed inside an airship hanger on the site of a former Soviet airfield), and the Sammlung Boros (a WW2 bunker that became a Red Army prisoner of war camp, a techno club, and finally the home of a private art collection). This research will enable me to complete my MFA Thesis at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: a collection of surreal short stories that investigate both place and the present as shifting ground, caught between projections of the future and ghosts of the past. Stories in the collection will take these sites both as settings and imaginative directives for scenarios that explore the tensions between visible and invisible, display and disguise, refuge and invasion, that charge the spaces – whether showrooms or shelters – we inhabit today.
Destination: Santiago, San Vicente, and Vicuña, Chile
Project Title: Where are the Women: Notes on Gabriela Mistral & the Female Intelligentsia
In a recent translation of Gabriela Mistral’s (1889-1957) poetry, translator Paul Burns admits in his preface that he did not previously know her work; to date, the complete works of Latin America’s first female Nobel Prize-winning poet are not edited. I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award to spend four weeks in Chile researching Mistral’s legacy and relationships with fellow female artists and intellectuals from 1922 to 1955. My poetry investigates the historical, political, and social lives of important, but often forgotten women, and this research will constitute a key part of my thesis for the Writers’ Workshop. Given that my mother’s family were political refugees from Chile, I am furthermore interested in the points of intersection between the stories of those who left and those who did not. For example, Mistral’s established role as an educator strongly evokes the four generations of teachers in my family. The accounts of these overlooked women are not only significant to my thesis, but I also want to use my editorship at the Iowa Review to feature underrepresented female writers inspired by these travels.
Nonfiction Writing Program
Project Title: Recognizing Dakini: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine in Tibetan Buddhism
Within the Tantric tradition of Tibetan Buddhism exists a lineage of the ‘sacred feminine,’ passed down by female spiritual masters, known as dakinis. The teachings this lineage encompasses form a crucial part of Buddhist tantra, yet academic research on this subject remains in its infancy. This is in part because these teachings are not presented in a straightforward manner, such as through religious texts. Rather, they are hidden within esoteric ritual, song and dance, which require time and knowledge to interpret. I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to spend four weeks in Nepal, in order to examine the way spiritual instruction has been woven into temple rituals, dance and song, and to learn how these teachings can inform and empower present-day feminist contemplative journeys. I will use this compiled research as the foundation for my MFA thesis at the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.
Destination: San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy
Project Title: Research and Translation of Sibilla Aleramo: The Woman Who Set the Tone for Modern Italian Literary Feminism
A Graduate Stanley Award for International Research will allow me to visit and utilize the archives at the Centro Vittore Branca on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore off the coast of Milan in Italy. These archives house a collection of primary documents written by and about Sibilla Aleramo (1876-1960), a cornerstone of the modern Italian literary feminist movement. I am currently translating a section of Aleramo's 1912 novella, "Transfigurations", that will be the first section of my MFA thesis, a selection of modern and contemporary Italian feminist writers writing about the female experience. Aleramo, whose writing marks a focal point in modern literary feminism, frames both the project and the other writers' cultural and historical importance both in Italy and abroad. Despite the impact she made in her time as the first Italian feminist author, sending shockwaves through the 20th century European literary scene, her writing has been excluded from the Italian canon. As an extension of that exclusion, she remains largely obscure in America. The selection and translation of her work will advocate Italy's contributions to literary feminism.
Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi
Nonfiction Writing Program
Destination: Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Project Title: Objects, Power, Memory: A documentary catalogue of Chinese migration and capital in Tonga
Since the turn of the century, the Chinese government’s increased involvement in the South Pacific has resulted noticeably lopsided arrangements of Beijing-funded projects and loans in small island nations. This is no more apparent than in Tonga, which, after a range of infrastructure and aid packages, currently owes more than half of its public debt to China. Recent economic investment, however, takes place after many decades of Chinese migration to Tonga, a diverse group of mostly shop-keeping migrants who do not necessarily fit with this broader image of Chinese wealth, frequently subjected to anti-Chinese riots nationwide. These two spheres of the Sino-Tongan relationship, enthusiastic cooperation at the governmental level and quieter apprehension at the local level, are entangled in the material production of everyday life. This creative nonfiction project seeks to narrate these heterogeneous textures of Chinese migration and capital in Tonga, of memory and emergent power, through a documentary catalogue of things, places, and ephemera.
Destination: South Africa
Project Title: In Search of Anti-Racist Theatre Methods: A Study of South African Theatre
A little-known fact about the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa is theatre artists’ role in it. Theatremakers were on the front lines of the fight against apartheid, creating integrated spaces during government-mandated segregation, staging anti-apartheid work in universities where academic freedom sidestepped censorship, and taking up true stories of human rights abuses of the apartheid regime. With a Stanley Grant, I will study the legacy of the South African theatre’s antiapartheid work, interview contemporary theatre directors and administrators, and attend local productions of both new and classic work that does not tour internationally. With the techniques and information I learn, I will stage my MFA thesis: a diversely-cast production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya based, as I believe all plays should be, on a foundation of social justice. This project will also contribute to my long-term career goal of leading a theatre company that serves a truly diverse group of audience members and artists.
Earth and Environmental Science
Destination: Askja, Iceland
Project Title: A Textural Analysis of the 1961 lava flow in Askja, Iceland as an analog for Martian lava flow studies
The purpose of my research is to constrain the textural evolution of the 1961 lava flow in Askja, Iceland for applications in planetary science on Mars. I will be conducting chemical analyses of bulk and trace elements, petrographic studies of mineral phases, and quantifying shape and size of vesicles and minerals in rocks samples from this lava. I will link internal sample textures to surface textures on satellite and air photo imagery. This can help constrain properties that determine the transitions of lava morphology. The 1961 lava flow in Askja, Iceland is the focus for this study because of the similarity to the composition of the basalts that are found on Mars, ultimately giving us a means to gain insight on its volcanic geology.
Destination: Seoul, South Korea
Project Title: Travelers of the Night by Yun Ko Eun: Translation and Research
This summer, with the support of a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, I will spend four weeks in Seoul, South Korea. There, I will perform research and collaborate with a translation collective and Korean literary institutions as I work on my thesis for the MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa. I have already begun translating what will be my thesis: the novel Travelers of the Night by Yun Ko Eun. Independent publisher Profile Books will publish my translation in 2020, and by the summer of 2019, I plan to have a partially completed manuscript. Visiting Korea will allow me strengthen my work-in-progress as I consult with the author and participate in a Seoul-based translation workshop. This will provide me with language-specific feedback on my manuscript that I cannot receive at the University of Iowa, where I am the only Korean translator in the program. Crucially, time in Korea will help me research and compose a translator’s preface to explore the meaning of Travelers of the Night’s dark humor and disaster narratives. In order to get a feeling for the Korean understanding of catastrophe and war, I intend to visit sites of historical violence that mark Korea’s war-torn past and investigate an important question that Travelers of the Night poses to readers: how does Korea reconcile its history of persecution with its current position of international affluence and power?
Destination: Paris, France
Project Title: Summoning the Divine: Epiphanic Moments in the Art of Gustave Moreau
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend five weeks in Paris, France to conduct preliminary studies for my dissertation on the painter Gustave Moreau (1826-1898).The full corpus of his extensive notes, annotated sketches, and sculptures can only be seen at the Musée National Gustave Moreau. This museum is home to his most important paintings which must be seen and photographed in person. Although most of my time will be spent at the Musée Moreau, I need to visit additional archives and museums due to the interdisciplinary nature of my thesis. Not only do I hope to offer a new lens for interpreting Moreau’s paintings, but my project will shed light on the broader epistemological history of late nineteenth-century France by examining the use and abuse of antiquity when filtered through the European traditions of Classicism and Orientalism. By carefully constructing the ancient past, Classical Greece was held up as the heroic ideal, but the ancient Near East represented its primordial counterpart in the form of an “Other.” Moreau’s multifaceted work problematizes this manufactured binary.
Alaa Edden Albashayreh
Project Title: What matters most to the seriously ill patients in Jordan
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend five weeks in Amman and Irbid, Jordan to conduct research on the lived experiences of patients suffering from serious illnesses including health conditions that carry a high risk of death and either negatively impact a patient's daily function, or excessively strain their caregivers. In Jordan, about 65% of patients are not diagnosed until they reach an advanced stage of their illness, augmenting their suffering and complicating their care. Hence, addressing the lived experiences of seriously ill patients, an under-studied population in Jordan, and describing what matters most to them, could have the potential to make a significant contribution to the practice, research, and policy of serious illness. In this qualitative study, I will conduct semi-structured, in-depth interviews with fourteen patients receiving serious illness care at two hospitals in Jordan. This study will help me gain more insight on the care experiences, needs, and expectations of this patient population. Moreover, this study will serve as preliminary research for my Ph.D. dissertation and the basis for my program of research to develop evidence-based interventions and measurements to improve the quality of care for the seriously ill.
Destination: Zurich and Bern, Switzerland
Project Title: Research and translation of Mariella Mehr’s Widerworte in Switzerland
A Stanley Graduate Award will allow me to spend four weeks in Switzerland conducting archival research and translating the writer Mariella Mehr for my MFA thesis. The work I will be translating, "Words of Resistance: Stories, Poems, Conversations, Articles", highlights the breadth of Mehr’s abilities, ranging from politically-charged journalism to poetry and fiction demonstrating her singular writing style and skill. Mehr’s writing is heavily autobiographical, drawing from her experience growing up as a Yenish minority during a violent period of state-sponsored kidnapping and forced assimilation. For this reason, it is vital for my thesis that I conduct careful research on both Mehr and the Yenish to provide informed context for the scholarly portion of my thesis. I plan to spend three weeks in the Swiss National Archives examining Mariella Mehr’s letters, unpublished stories, manuscripts and journals. Also contained in the archive are a wealth of documents pertaining to the history and study of Roma, Sinti, and Yenish in Switzerland, which will prove invaluable for the paratextual, scholarly portion of my thesis. I will also spend one week in Zurich meeting with the co-editors of Widerworte, whose close understanding of the source text will help guide my translation.
Destination: Lyon, France
Project Title: Book Design Survey: Johannes Trechsel in Lyon, France
My work as an MFA student at the University of Iowa Center for the Book centers around geometry, repetition, and structure. I explore the ways people create and disrupt order, using traditional book crafts and design as metaphors for larger cultural structures. As I prepare to start my thesis next fall, I will spend four weeks in May and June doing research in Lyon, France on the slow accumulation of order in printed books as they slowly split away from handwritten manuscript book conventions. My project is to survey twenty-five books printed by Johannes Trechsel held in Special Collections at the Bibliothèque Municipale (public library), focusing on their visual design elements: page size, margin size, text block size, and type size and style.
Destination: The Netherlands
Project Title: Figurative Painting in the Dutch Golden Age
I am applying for the Stanley Grant to conduct research on figurative painting in the Netherlands. I propose to spend four weeks visiting museums in and around Amsterdam, focusing heavily on the Rijksmuseum and their collection of 17th century Dutch paintings. I will study the paintings by making sketches, taking notes on my observations, and meeting with curators. I am especially interested in works by prominent female Dutch painters, whose works are only now coming to the attention of the international art world.
Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
Project Title: Survey of Access to Screening and Treatment for Hypertension in Rural Kenya
The Stanley Award will allow me to conduct a 6-week survey of health care practices related to the screening and treatment of hypertension in rural Kenya. A 2015 nationally representative survey found a 25% prevalence of hypertension in Kenya, but only 15% of those diagnosed were aware of their hypertensive status. Although the prevalence of hypertension was similar in rural and urban inhabitants, the rate of awareness about their condition was much lower for rural dwellers. Using qualitative methods, I will survey local health care facilities in six rural counties about their ability to screen and treat hypertension. I will also visit with local Ministry of Health officials to learn about the policies, programs, and interventions in place for hypertension prevention and management. This project serves as preliminary research for my Ph.D. dissertation about the spatial dynamics of chronic disease screening and access to treatment in developing nations.
Destination: New Zealand
Project Title: Ecology and Emotion Regarding New Zealand’s Endemic Longfin Eels
I am a graduate student pursuing an M.F.A. in fiction. I am applying for the Stanley Award for International Research to obtain funding for archival and environmental research regarding the lives of New Zealand’s freshwater eels and the country’s relationship to that species. This investigation will provide me with the information needed to complete my in-progress novel, which is a work of fiction centering on the eel, both as it exists in nature and as metaphor.
Destination: Amhara, Ethiopia
Project Title: Vector Borne disease in the Metema- Humera region of Ethiopia: emerging collaborative partnerships in East Africa
The neglected tropical disease Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) infects millions and kills between 20-40,000 people annually, in 98 countries (WHO). During the 20th century, India had the highest prevalence of VL compared to other nations; however, due to the efforts of the World Health Organization, the disease has recently declined dramatically in India (1). In contrast, VL has gradually increased in parts of Africa (2). In Ethiopia, the country where this project will take place, VL is one of the most significant vector-borne diseases; with over 3.2 million at risk of infection (3). VL in Ethiopia is a growing health problem that has steady increase in incidence in recent years (4). Research has demonstrated that in some regions of Ethiopia, individuals present with more severe and fatal VL. This severe VL is not driven by co-infection with helminthes (5, 6). Tick-borne co-infections have been shown to influence VL progression in animal hosts, the precise risk factors that have led to the severe VL epidemic in Ethiopia needs to be identified (5, 6). The goal of this project is to measure the burden of ticks and tick-borne diseases among migrant farm workers in Ethiopia, and to assess the association between tick-borne disease co-infection and acute severe VL.
Project Title: Appropriation of Grief in Australian Aboriginal Mythology
My Stanley project will take me to Melbourne, where I will conduct research centering around expressions of grief in Aboriginal mythology and the extent to which this grief has been appropriated in contemporary Australian art, research that will inform a collection of short stories to be submitted for my M.F.A. thesis at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I will conduct interviews through the University of Melbourne’s Australian Indigenous Studies program, visit the city’s many Aboriginal art museums, and take trips to the outback and bush communities of Alice Springs and Yarra Valley, all to understand how Aboriginal grief practices have permeated into the aesthetics of the country’s geography, and how the colonized sites of those grief practices now problematically tow the line between respectful tribute and commercial appropriation. These interviews and field research will form primary resources essential to the realization of an M.F.A collection that treats Aboriginal grief with detail and nuance.
Occupational and Environmental Health
Destination: Onda state, Nigeria
Project Title: Impact of water availability on prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and biomechanical risk factors among rural women and housewives in Ondo state
Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) researches has traditionally focused on the impact of water quality on infectious diseases in children. However, the gendered impact of water-related domestic work on women's health has not been adequately examined in Nigeria, despite a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in rural communities. This comparative cross-sectional study will assess the impact of water availability on the physical demands of water-related domestic work and self-reported musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The study population includes 365 rural women and housewives in two rural communities in Ondo State Nigeria. I plan to travel to Ondo state, Nigeria between June-August 2019, to carry out a survey and exposure assessment using video recordings and other ergonomic instrumentations. The purpose of this study is to quantify the frequency of different biomechanical risks during domestic work that could lead to injury. Understanding the dimensions of water-related domestic work and the influence of water availability on physical demands of domestic work can help develop a novel ergonomic assessment tool unique to the African context of 'women's work' as well as develop a participatory ergonomic (intervention) tool to mitigate the health effects in these low resource environments.
Destination: Spain and Portugal
Project Title: Archaeology of Iberia: Copper and Bronze Age Textile Production
I am applying to the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to evaluate the archaeological evidence for textile production in Spain and Portugal of the Iberian Peninsula, from the Copper and Bronze Ages, dating back to 3000 BCE. This research will be conducted in two parts during the summer of 2019, from June 7th to August 3rd. The first four-week period will be dedicated to meeting and consulting with archaeologists, visiting relevant sites, museums, and collections in Lisbon, Portugal, and Seville and Madrid, Spain. This research will focus on collecting data on the largely understudied loom weights (ceramic weights of different shapes and sizes used to pull the thread tight on warp-weighted looms) found throughout Iberia. I will also be examining more unique textile related finds such as the beaded garments of Montelirio. The second portion of this research will be in Terrinches, Spain, from July to early August, working on the excavation of the Bronze Age ceremonial site of Castillejo del Bonete directed by Dr. Luis Benitez de Lugo and Dr. Katina Lillios. As a first-year student in the anthropology M.A./Ph.D. program, these experiences will provide me with critical information necessary to develop my future Ph.D. research on prehistoric textile production in Iberia.
Project Title: Race, Racism and Racial Identity in Cuba
In the novel that I am writing as my thesis for the MFA in fiction writing, one of the primary protagonists hijacks a plane to Cuba and becomes an exile. The novel is set in the 1970s when Cuba was viewed as a utopian racial alternative for American Black Nationalists. That character is later joined in Havana by her raised-in-America “ Material Girl” daughter and culture clashes ensue. The idea for the novel came to me during a trip to Cuba in 2000. I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research with the intention of conducting an on-the-ground exploration of the history of race, racism and racial identity in Cuba. More specifically, I am interested in understanding how Cuba’s insistence on a unified, national post-racial identity advanced or collided with its support of freedom struggles around the world, including the black power movement of the 60s and 70s and South Africa's anti-apartheid movement.
Destination: United Kingdom
Project Title: Notes on Meat: Writing Poetry on Early Modern Bones, Books, and John Donne
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award to spend five weeks in the UK researching early modern bones, books, and the library of poet and preacher John Donne (1572-1631) for my poetry MFA thesis. By studying ossuaries and graves from the period, Donne’s book collection, and early modern anatomy texts, I will write a book-length poem on how bodies from the early modern period last as images, as bones, and metaphorically as books. Comparing my experiences in visiting charnel houses, studying the visual and textural qualities of early medical books and objects, and researching Donne’s reading materials will help me write a poetry manuscript on the relationships between books, bodies, readers, and memory. This piece will be a core part of my thesis for the Writers’ Workshop, and will help establish my career as a poet-scholar whose work approaches academic material in multi-disciplinary ways.
Destination: England, Scotland, and Italy
Project Title: Neither Friend Nor Foe: Italian POWs in the United Kingdom after the Fall of Mussolini
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to analyze the experience of Italian prisoners of war (POWs) in the United Kingdom between September 8, 1943 and May 8, 1945 – the 20-month period following Italy's surrender in World War II (WWII) in which Italian POWs were no longer considered Axis combatants and yet were also not allowed to return home. Amidst this limbo, some Italians became willing collaborators. Others stewed and schemed in the privacy of their bunks. But it was here, in villages and prison camps across the United Kingdom, that the post-war period truly began, as former enemies were first forced to coexist despite fraught differences in language, nationality, and ideology. Beyond yielding relatively little scholarship to date, this topic offers a host of fascinating questions for our present political moment. At a time of ascendant right-wing nationalism – both in Italy and the UK, as well as the United States – what can we learn from this early laboratory of reconciliation? How did British administrators and their Italian captors both impair and nurture this process? And what does it take, then as now, to unlearn the politics of hatred and fear? Through six weeks of research in England, Scotland, and Italy, I intend to answer these questions. Abroad and upon my return, I will use this compiled research as the foundation for my MFA thesis in Nonfiction Writing at the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program.
Project Title: Research and translate excerpts from Dag Solstad's 70s and 80s novels
I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for International Research to conduct research and fieldwork in Norway. I am currently translating excerpts from Dag Solstad’s early novels, including Teacher Pedersen (1982) and Novel 1987 (1987). These translations require a historical background knowledge I cannot obtain from sources available in the United States. I therefore intend to spend part of my research trip studying archival materials at the National Library of Norway in Oslo. I will then visit locations in Lillehammer, Hamar, and Bergen—each of these having a unique connection to specific events in Solstad’s novels—in order to gain first-hand knowledge of these places.
E. Mariah Spencer
Project Title: Materiality of Margaret Cavendish: Authorial Persona and the Female Publisher
I will study and photograph three of Cavendish's extant manuscripts in order to gain familiarity with her handwriting - this will serve in determining which of the marginal comments made in her texts are autographs. Additionally, I will examine copies of her first and second edition literary works in order to determine the ways in which she used the printed book to intentionally construct an authorial persona.
Education Policy and Leadership Studies
Project Title: Understanding Graduate Education in Kosovo
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend June 2019 at the University of Prishtina (UP) examining graduate education in Kosovo. Kosovo, a young nation actively building its democratic institutions and developing its economy, needs national experts. Due to its unique history and regional relationships, Kosovo’s national development has benefitted from and relied upon international experts. One reason for this reliance is the small number of graduate degree holders within Kosovo. Therefore, my objective is to examine the conditions for development of graduate education in Kosovo, with a primary focus on UP, its only research institution.
Foreign Language and ESL Education
Destination: Beijing, China
Project Title: Exploring Instructions and Test Takers’ Changes on the TOEFL iBT Integrated Writing Task at a Cram School in China
The Stanley Graduate Awards for International Research will allow me to spend eight weeks at Meijiabaili Cram School in Beijing, China to conduct research on TOEFL iBT test preparation and student writing development. According to the washback hypothesis, testing influences teaching and learning. The higher the stakes of a test, the higher the likelihood for test takers to engage in test preparation practices. My research aims to examine the washback hypothesis of the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT), a high-stakes English proficiency test for speakers of other languages when applying for universities or colleges in an English-speaking country. This study will specifically focus on the integrated writing section of the TOEFL iBT, which emphasizes skill integration of reading, listening, and writing by simulating authentic academic tasks that students will encounter at tertiary institutions in English-speaking countries. Because of an increased number of Chinese TOEFL test takers, China has gone through a huge expansion of TOEFL preparation schools, which prepare test takers to help them receive a satisfactory score. Beijing, as the capital of the country, has witnessed the fastest growth of such type of schools. As a result, test takers from different parts of the country have come to Beijing to take test preparation courses. Unfortunately, little is known about instruction in these courses and their impacts on test takers’ changes of writing performance over the duration of one course. Thus, this study will fill out the gap. It hopes to inspire discussions on validity and fairness in test development and ideas on curriculum design. The findings will serve as preliminary research for my PhD dissertation in the field of language assessment.
Destination: Switzerland and Germany
Project Title: Collecting the Collection: The Role Newspapers, Illustrations, and Letters Played in Shaping Robert Walser's Short Story Collections
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to conduct preliminary research relevant to planned translations of two of Swiss author Robert Walser’s (1878-1956) short story collections, Geschichten (1914) and Prosastücke (1916). A first-year M.F.A. in Literary Translation, I am working towards a master’s thesis that will focus specifically on the collection as a unit, and my aim is to research how Walser’s collections were assembled. Over a period of four weeks, my research will involve examining the newspapers in which his stories first appeared, the first editions in which they were ultimately collected, and the author’s correspondences, while also visiting relevant biographical sites in Germany and Switzerland. I will chiefly be located in Bern, Switzerland, where I will be granted a place to conduct research at the Robert Walser Center (RWZ), which houses the first editions and letters. In Bern I will also be able to access extensive collections of Swiss and German newspapers at the Swiss National Library (NB). Other locations that will be visited for biographical research are Biel, Basel, Thun, and Herisau in Switzerland and Stuttgart in Germany.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the spring of 2017, 21 graduate students received Stanley Awards worth a total of $50,000. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
D. Michael Benson
Destination: Mexico City, Mexico
Project Title: German Anthropology and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876 ‐ 1940
For my Stanley Graduate Award, I will survey archival materials critical to the completion of my dissertation prospectus on the history of anthropology and archeology in Mexico. As the sources necessary to complete my work are inaccessible outside of Mexican archives, I will spend five weeks conducting research in Mexico City. My project explores the lives of Eduard Seler and Cecilia Seler‐Sachs, particularly their seven expeditions to Mexico in order to understand the intersections of gender and social science and their impacts on Mexican elite nation building between 1876 and 1940. Originally invited to Mexico by dictator Porfirio Diaz, it is clear that Mexican elites harnessed German science for their own purposes. They used it to reshape notions of nation and race, to identify and define an archeological patrimony, and to help legitimize their rule across the rupture of the revolution. The exact character of that process, however, remains opaque. We do not yet know how, exactly, German scientists and Mexican political and scientific elites influenced each other or how their efforts combined to produce knowledge about the Mexican past and present.
Charles Lounsbury Black
M.F.A. Creative Writing
Destination: Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia
Project Title: Revisiting the Country Estate: Noble and Peasant Interaction in 19th‐Century Russia
I will spend four weeks in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, researching the country estates of nobles in the mid‐19th century. The work will inform the writing of my MFA thesis at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: a historical novel narrating the journey of a military officer who walks from Moscow across the provinces to revisit his family’s lost ancestral estate. Through research at preserved estates and at museums and archives that hold the visual art and artifacts of mid‐19th‐century estate life, I will develop a concrete understanding of the lived experience of the estate from both landowner and serf perspectives. My research will allow me to develop my novel with the historical rigor and insight necessary in using fiction to investigate questions of class in a foreign culture. By publishing this novel as my debut, I hope to launch my career as a fiction writer who explores ideas of class through history and across cultures.
Hope Campbell Campbell Gustafson
M.F.A. Literary Translation
Destination: Rome, Italy
Project Title: Translating Roman "Island" vignettes while fully immersed
A Graduate Stanley Award for International Research will allow me to conduct fieldwork in Rome for four weeks. I want to translate many non‐fiction vignettes from Marco Lodoli's collections Isole (Islands) and Nuove Isole (New Islands). The finished product will become part of my MFA thesis. Research in Rome will consist of both experiencing the locations described in the text while translating it, and discussing my translation with the author. The vignettes were written for Romans by a Roman, with the objective of reminding his audience of the beauty of small, overlooked places in their city. My goal, as a foreigner who has some insight into Rome and its culture, is to become as intimately connected to these places as possible in order to translate the words, images, and feelings for an English‐speaking audience. This fieldwork, and contact with the writer (who likewise immersed himself when writing), will be indispensable for a translation that does the original text justice.
Ph.D. Second Language Acquisition
Destination: Beijing, China
Project Title: Measuring Second Language Speech Fluency in Students Learning Chinese in China
The Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to spend 8 weeks at Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China to conduct research on how students learning Chinese perform in terms of Chinese speech fluency. Speaking fluently in second language is very difficult for adult learners, no matter what kind of second language they are learning. It is not a matter of mastering vocabularies and grammar, but the ability to combine words into a grammatically acceptable sentence in fast‐flow speech. My project is intended to explore students’ speech features such as speech speed, and people’s perception of second language fluency. By investigating the performance of 120 learners from different first language backgrounds such as French, Russian and Korean, I will get a more general idea of the fluency problems learners may have. This can hardly be done in the U.S., where the majority of students learning Chinese are beginners with English as their first language. The research will also help me establish a general profile on the construct of speech fluency in Chinese as a second language, which can be used in future studies on fluency trainings in Chinese classes. This project will serve as preliminary research for my Ph.D. dissertation in the field of second language speech fluency.
Jennifer Caitlin Dibbern
Destination: Seoul, South Korea
Project Title: How is learning a third language different than a learning a second?: Third‐language acquisition of Spanish by Korean‐English bilinguals
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to travel to Seoul, South Korea for six weeks to investigate how the languages a bilingual has already acquired may affect how they perceive or learn consonants in their third language. I will recruit fifteen Korean‐English bilinguals who are learning Spanish to complete tasks identifying and discriminating between consonants in their three languages. This research will serve as a preliminary linguistic study for my Master’s thesis in Spanish Linguistics and is foundational to the work I plan to continue throughout my career. Through analysis of the results, I hope to identify practical instructional techniques to support third language acquisition.
Ph.D. Geography/ Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
Destination: Guyana, South America
Project Title: Expressions of Social Fabric on Vulnerability Indicators
For my Stanley project, I will travel to Guyana, South America to work with the national disaster management agency, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in conducting hazard vulnerability assessments at state and local levels. There I will further develop a hazard assessment methodology which I initially created for the agency in 2014. I will work with local and regional governments, indigenous communities and economic sector representatives to identify physical and social vulnerabilities to hazards in Potaro–Siparuni, Guyana while investigating the impact of social fabric ‐social vulnerability relationship on the expression of vulnerability indicators. The project will improve the quality of tools used to predict social vulnerability while providing real data from a developing world setting. The results will be compared to a similar study to be conducted in Iowa and will test the transferability of the methodology.
M.A./Ph.D. American Studies
Destination: Liverpool, England
Project Title: Enough is Enough: Fan Stadium Performance as Protest in Liverpool
The Stanley Graduate Award would enable me to undertake ethnographic research on soccer fan culture in Liverpool, England from December 16, 2017 through January 15, 2018. Over the course of four weeks, I would conduct participant observation at twelve games and interview twenty fans of four different local teams. My work in Liverpool would build on my previous qualitative studies in Oregon and New York, as the second phase of preliminary research informing my dissertation proposal. For my dissertation, I anticipate a comprehensive research project comparing the relative use of soccer stadiums as sites of cultural and/or political resistance in England and the United States. The Stanley Graduate Award would help fund air travel and accommodations. With the founding of the English Premier League and America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1992 and 1994, respectively, an infusion of corporate capital transformed men’s professional soccer in both countries. Amongst the most visible changes were stricter fan behavior policies in stadiums, raised ticket prices, and increased foreign ownership. In England, fans organized to resist these changes and continue to collectively utilize stadium performance to voice opposition to administrative policies that trouble them. In contrast, the most ardent fans of MLS embraced their new league’s hyper‐commercialized corporate structure and identity. Despite the establishment of fan groups, collective protest has remained muted and marginalized. This study investigates collective fan behavior and activism in Liverpool through the voices of the fans themselves in order to contrast it with American soccer fandom.
M.F.A. Spanish Creative Writing
Project Title: Writing Landscapes: Life and Ruins in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
For my proposed Stanley project, I will spend ten weeks in Colombia compiling written observations, pictures, and video for my M.F.A. thesis in Spanish Creative Writing, a novel set in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta along Colombia’s northern coast. As part of my investigation, I will work with biologists at the Universidad del Magdalena in Santa Marta, botanists at the Jardín Botánico Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, and researchers at the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History in Bogotá so that I may include accurate information about local plant species and archeological sites in my thesis. Through the support of these institutions and the Stanley award, I will collect field data, interview specialists, catalog my findings, make revisions to my thesis, and draft future chapters during the period of my grant.
Lindsey LaRissa Kuhn
M.F.A. Theatre Arts
Project Title: In the Noh: Traditional Japanese Costume Crafts and Their Influence on Contemporary Theatre in Japan for an English and Japanese Speaking Audience
From May of 2017 to September of 2017 I have been invited work in Yokohama, Japan as an intern for the Yokohama Theatre Group. During this time, I will also be taking Noh maskcarving classes through the International Noh Institute. The summer of 2017 is an opportune time to begin this project and explore traditional Japanese theatre crafts, as it follows my enrollment in a Mask and Puppet Crafts course, as well as previous coursework in costume design and construction. Ultimately, I will be able to bring the skills I gain from studying these crafts back with me and explore ways in which these art forms can be applied to my research at the University of Iowa and my professional design work.
Sarah Suzanne Luko
Project Title: Papermaking and Joinery in Japan: The Intersection of Traditional and Modern Practices
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to explore traditional Japanese papermaking and woodworking practices and their historic and modern applications. This research will be integral to my MFA thesis exhibition in papermaking. Japanese artisans employ unique techniques and tools to produce some of the most beautiful paper in the world. However, the numbers of hand papermakers and artisans making these essential tools are declining rapidly. As a maker of both paper and tools, meeting these living resources and accessing the information within select Japanese museum and libraries would be invaluable. My four‐week research project will include collecting and analyzing information from various institutions, visiting temples and other historic structures, and observing the workshops and practices of artisans who are currently using traditional methods.
M.S. Earth and Environmental Science
Project Title: Geochemistry of Basaltic Alkali Glass from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
What is melting and supplying the volcanoes of Iceland is an ongoing controversy. The lavas of the island record of long history of a shifting mid‐ocean ridge and mantle plume. Today, most of the working being done on Iceland focuses on the main rift zones and thus leaves the off‐rift zones poorly understood. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula; an area that was once part of the main rift until it went extinct that is now again experiencing volcanism, is one of these areas. What is different about this area is the generation of alkali basalts, quite different from the tholeiitic basalts seen on the main rifts (Thy 1983). Past works have suggested that there may be a spatial variation in composition across the peninsula. Whether that variation is due to source differences or crustal contamination, no conclusion cannot yet be made. This project will analyze alkali basaltic glasses. The geochemical data will be used to infer lateral trends in source material and crustal assimilation.
Allana Cheyenne Noyes
M.F.A. Literary Translation
Destination: Puebla, Mexico and Mexico City, Mexico
Project Title: Collaboration with Mexican author, Dr. Noé Blancas Blancas, for the English language translation of A la Sombra del Sombrero
I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for international research to spend four weeks in Puebla and Mexico City, Mexico, in order to discuss my translation manuscript with author, Noé Blancas Blancas. I am currently working on a translation of Dr. Blancas’ book of short stories entitled, A la Sombra del Sombrero, and being able to work directly with the author will provide invaluable insight to my translation process. Because of Puebla’s close proximity to Mexico City, I will also travel by bus to Mexico City to conduct research at the Foundation for Mexican Letters. Their library and large database of Mexican authors, as well as their programs for creative writers and translators, will provide me with important connections to other contemporary Mexican authors who wish to have their work translated into English.
Oscar Javier Pachon Torres
M.F.A. Spanish Creative Writing
Destination: Madrid, Spain and Bologna, Italy
Project Title: Feeling rootless: Colombians in Madrid and Bologna
Upon completion of my first year in the Spanish Creative Writing MFA in spring, 2017, my proposed Stanley project will give me the chance to spend six weeks in Bologna, Italy, and Madrid, Spain, collecting information about Colombian migrants living in Europe. This field work will serve as the research component of my MFA thesis, a novel about the rootlessness experienced by Colombians who move to the United States and Europe for professional development. For six weeks, I will be doing a piece of research made up of a general and a specific component. In the general one, I will be having interviews with several Colombians in Madrid (a focus group), and carrying out archive research in a migration literature magazine. In the specific one, I will be doing ethnographic research with two people, who moved to Spain and Italy. I will be sharing their daily routines, interviewing them about their experiences as migrants and visiting places which have had an impact on them.
We will be together in activities such as dining, shopping, going to their work, study places and homes, in order to have a deeper understanding of the way they live. Additionally, I will be able to listen to their life stories in a new country. Such narrations are a very illuminating element in understanding how their migrant experiences have affected their identities and strengthened their feelings of rootlessness. Through direct contact, I will be able to have a firsthand account of the difficulties of migration, which are related to specific values, places and cultural practices. Only immersion in the context where they live will give me the possibility of understanding how the state of rootlessness relates to new cultural and social context, as well as to places.
Ethan Alexander Plaue
M.F.A. Creative Writing
Project Title: Data Capital: Writing Poetry about the Tech Boom in Dublin, Ireland
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to write poetry on the ongoing tech boom in Dublin, Ireland, for my MFA thesis in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. While in Ireland, I will observe the effects of Dublin’s unique tech industry on the changing urban and rural landscape. I will visit Dublin’s numerous corporate tech headquarters, collecting observations on the workplace design and the surrounding urban landscape. In contrast to Dublin, I will go to several outlying coastal towns, paying specific attention to the tech boom’s adverse ecological effects on Ireland’s eroding coastlines. Finally, to contextualize present‐day Ireland within the country’s colonial past, I will visit former British colonial castles, comparing their architecture to the multinational corporate headquarters. In Ireland and upon my return, I will use my field notes as the basis of a long poem entitled "Data Capital" that will piece together the complexities of Ireland’s tech economy, climate change, and the legacy of British colonialism.
Project Title: Representations of Women in Post‐Soviet Russia: How Capitalism Produces New Forms of Beauty
I am traveling to Saint Petersburg, Russia for four weeks to study representations of women in paintings at the Museum of Nonconformist Art and in performance art at the Saint Petersburg Art Residency (SPAR). I plan to record my findings through a photographic and written journal, which will be used upon return to the US to inform my Master of Fine Art in Painting thesis exhibition. My research examines how the work of female artists responds to the influence of Russia’s transition to capitalism, which facilitates an ever‐increasing visual culture that gives primacy to women's self‐image and promotes a beauty which is achieved through labor. My paintings specifically address the abundance of images that women are surrounded by, which are increasingly about diet and exercise, suggesting that beauty is related to self‐discipline and labor. By studying works made directly after 1991 (when the USSR dissolved) and works being exhibited today, I will be comparing shifts in representations of women, to understand how the role of women has shifted short and long‐term since the political change and its relationship to beauty as labor. Formally analyzing the paintings in person is crucial, as a vast majority of the museum’s collection is not accessible on‐line. More importantly, SPAR’s performance art exhibitions are meant to be viewed in person. As someone born in the Soviet Union and raised in the US, I am interested in how a capitalist political structure promotes a version of beauty tied to labor, holding women responsible for their self‐image. Visiting these institutions which specialize in work made at the time of the dissolution of the USSR will allow for a direct examination of how artists were representing women. Furthermore, the research will promote an understanding of how women’s beauty is subjective and impacted by the region’s politics.
Ph.D Cinematic Arts
Destination: Pune, India
Project Title: Divine Cinema: Transnational Imaginaries of Early Indian Mythological Films
My proposed Stanley research project at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) will focus on the intersections of religion and early cinema in South Asia, in particular India. This preliminary research, which I plan on conducting from late May‐late July, will contribute to my PhD degree in Film Studies as one of three areas for my comprehensive examination is South Asian Cinema. Movies came to India in 1896 when the Lumière Brothers sent a man named Marius Sestier to screen their short films to a mostly British audience at Watson’s Hotel. After seeing a lavish film based on the Christian Bible, Dadasaheb Phalke (widely considered to be the father of Indian cinema) reportedly acted upon his urge to see Indian gods and images on the screen by making Raja Harishchandra in 1913. Ever since, religion has been at the forefront of Indian popular cinema known widely as Bollywood. To my knowledge, the relationship between religion and cinema has been under‐examined by scholars writing about Hindi cinema, partly because religion and modernity have often been considered disparate. My project addresses this omission by looking into early mythological films and related para‐cinematic archival materials including reviews, movie posters, newspaper advertisements, and correspondences regarding the production and distribution of these films. This approach allows me to see the central role religion played in acquainting colonial Indian audiences with cinema technology. It also provides a historical contextualization of the religious inflections present in today’s Indian popular cinema narratives and in the production process. On a broader scale, this research is a stepping stone towards understanding the popularity of Indian cinema within the South Asian region, and the origins of cinema in other South Asian countries. For instance, the first film of Nepal, India’s neighbor, was also based on the life of the King Harischandra and was titled Satya Harischandra (1951).
John Joseph Vater
M.F.A. Literary Translation
Destination: New Delhi, India
Project Title: The Politics of Hindi Poet Kunwar Narain: Syncretism, Impartiality, and the Humanesque
My research explores the theories of cultural syncretism, social engagement, and ‘humanesque’ morality in the creative and critical works of Kunwar Narain, one of Hindi’s most renowned poets and public intellectuals. Kunwar Narain (1927‐ Present) achieved prominence during the New Story and Poetry movements of the 1960s and 70s, in which he and other writers expanded Hindi’s expressive range to address anxieties pertaining to India’s identity after independence, its place in the world, and a domestic environment of corruption and moral improbity. While there has been ample research on the New Story Movement writer Nirmal Verma, little research in English has been done on Kunwar Narain. With the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, I will fill this gap by conducting mixed methods research in New Delhi for 8 weeks, in which I will analyze published and unpublished materials at the Narains’ family library and contextualize literary analysis by interviewing writers, critics, and academics. Apurva Narain, the author’s son and translator, has offered me use of their family library at their home in Chitranjan Park, New Delhi, guidance for my readings, and assistance editing Aakaron Ke Aas Paas (Near‐About Shapes), a collection of experimental stories by his father I’m translating for my final thesis. Apurva will suggest readings, facilitate interviews, and clarify challenges pertaining to the complex philosophies and cultural allegories present in his short stories, which will enrich my interpretations and translations and refine my research. I’ll use my research to write a critical essay introducing the collection and to frame future PhD research on the historically contextualized democratic function of and ideal of civic engagement in modern Hindi literature, and work with Apurva to conceptualize and organize a panel commemorating Kunwar Narain’s 90th birthday at the 2018 Jaipur Literature Festival.
Doctor of Pharmacy
Destination: Mysore, India
Project Title: Determining Prevalence and Treatment of Diarrhea in Children Under 5 Years of Age in Rural India
I am seeking a Stanley Award to facilitate my travel to complete a research‐based internship in the Mysore region in Southern India for 8 weeks. This project will help me to accomplish my Scholarship and Research outcome required to complete before graduation from the College of Pharmacy. The research would focus on a determination of the prevalence and treatment of diarrhea in children less than 5 years old. My intent is to examine the frequency of presentation of children with diarrhea and to assess the treatment provided with a specific focus on use of oral rehydration solution (ORS). ORS is the recommended treatment for diarrhea. However, frequently other less effective methods are used. A questionnaire focused on prevalence and treatment of diarrhea and interviews will be administered in 3 remote areas in India. My work will be done in collaboration with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM). Through this organization medical records from their 2 health institutions, the Vivekananda Memorial Hospital in Saragur and the Vivekananda Memorial Hospital in Kenchanahalli, will be accessible for aggregate assessment of trends. Descriptive statics of demographic characteristics and treatment provision will be collected. The final goal is to create an intervention, if necessary, to provide education on the proper treatment of diarrhea.
Project Title: Terrane Accretion and Translation on the Western Margin of Gondwana
The timing and kinematics of terrane accretion on the western margin of Gondwana has long been contentious. In northwestern Argentina, the Western Sierras Pampeanas present the opportunity to study the history and relationship of juxtaposed terranes documented in the region. The Cuyania terrane is proposed to have been accreted and translated along the margin of the Pampean craton via thrusting or transpression between 515‐400 Ma (Mulcahy et al. 2014). The Valle Fertil Lineament (VFL) marks the boundary between Cuyania and other terranes (e.g. Pampia, MARA block), but most early displacement fabrics recording these events have been overprinted by brittle reactivation. Analysis of ductile shear zones in Sierra de Maz, a range that lies along the northern extent of the VFL (Roeske et al. 2008), may illuminate the history and kinematics of the region. 2016 field observations, which indicate at least one period of terrane accretion and transpression, support competing models for either Cambrian MARA block translation (Rapela et al. 2016), or Ordovician to Devonian Cuyania translation (Ramos et al. 2010). Structural and geochronologic analyses will be used to explore which model better characterizes the region and shed light on translation processes at accretionary margins.
Ph.D. Educational Measurement and Statistics
Destination: Zhuhai, China
Project Title: Case Study of First Year Experience Curricula in China
This study will explore the effectiveness of first‐year experience curricula, which are designed to engage students in their college lives and facilitate further learning processes. United International College (UIC), a university on the south coast of China, has been highly innovative in developing their first‐year experience courses for students and is therefore a perfect research site for this project. Their unique program, named the Whole Person Education (WPE) program, utilizes psychological theory in building up students’ overall abilities to deal with life circumstances, an approach that distinguishes it significantly from its American counterparts. The developer of the WPE strongly believes that improving personal qualities in general will benefit students more in the long run than only addressing academic issues. For my research, I will spend 4 weeks at UIC, familiarizing myself with how the courses have been developed within recent years in order to generate the essential theoretical grounding that makes WPE courses so effective. Research will be focused on cultural difference as a crucial determinant of why such programs work well with particular groups of students. A systematic evaluation of this program will make it more possible for researchers and educators to compare the ideologies of China and America regarding first‐year programs. Findings from this study may help educators further improve first‐year experience courses by revealing the strengths of both perspectives, and enabling program designers to learn strategies from the WPE, in particular.
M.F.A. Fiction Writing
Destination: Tel Aviv, Israel
Project Title: Gay and Jewish: Writing Intersections of Sexuality and Religion in Israel
For this Stanley project, I plan to go to Israel to collect material about gay Israeli life, which I will then turn into a collection of short stories for my thesis as a Fiction MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Most of my time will be spent in Tel Aviv, where I will interview gay men through two organizations: Havruta, the largest organization of Orthodox Jewish gay men in the world, and Aguda, Israel’s National Association of LGBT people. I will also spend a week at the Har Etzion institution, the flagship institution for Modern Orthodox Jews worldwide. These interviews, on two sides of the spectrum, will provide me with a necessary and comprehensive take on the gay religious experience, and will serve my interest in a thesis that explores the idea of a modern Gay Jewish Bildungsroman.
M.F.A. Poetry Writing
Project Title: Giving Voices to the Voiceless; Invisible Populations and Invisible Diseases
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award to conduct essential research for my thesis collection of poetry in order to graduate with an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. I will travel to Shenzhen and rural villages in Chongqing to write and research a unique phenomenon of social dislocation in recent history: the voiceless population of left‐behind children (the millions of Chinese children who stay behind in rural villages while their parents find factory work in big cities) and their parents. These interviews, as well as my research at the Shenzhen Cultural Center and Library and Chongqing Library on historical precedents, government economic policy and any current demographic statistics on the state of rural villages in the province, will inform my thesis of docu‐poetry, encompassing investigative poetry incorporating photos and interviews of migrant workers and their children.
In the spring of 2016, 24 graduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $60,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
M.F.A., Creative Writing
Project Title: The Manila Braves
I am proposing to spend four weeks in the Philippines gathering material for a novel set in Manila during the American occupation. My research will focus on the geography, architecture, social life, and politics of Manila between the years 1902 and 1936. In addition to visiting museums, historical archives, and key battle sites, and I will meet with Filipino scholars— particularly those who have studied the lives of the pensionistas, an elite group of Filipinos selected by American authorities for a U.S. education and a career in politics.
Destination: South Korea
Project Title: The Impact of University Rankings on Korean Higher Education
For this Stanley project, I will conduct preliminary qualitative research to examine the impact of university rankings on Korean higher education. This project will investigate the technical, institutional, and cultural changes in higher education provoked by university rankings. I will carry out two months of fieldwork consisting of interviews with university administrators and ranking institution representatives, as well as the analysis of collections of ranking-related research materials. As I have been in contact with key informants, I will be able to proceed with this fieldwork over this summer. I expect that I can accomplish the following from this research: First, it provides an opportunity to identify and develop a set of defined research agendas related to this topic. Second, it is an integral phase of data collection attached to my planned Master’s Thesis project on university rankings. Third, it will help me to develop my long-term academic interest, namely, examining the social construction of public measurements, the various roles of third parties in specific fields, and the contested meaning of academic excellence.
M.F.A., Fiction Writing
Project Title: Energy
My proposed project for the Stanley Graduate Award is to undertake research in preparation for a novel about a sustainable energy community. I will spend one month, from July 15th to August 15th, on the island of Samsø in Denmark, the only renewable energy island in the world. The research I will undertake during this month will enable me to write the first draft a novel, which I will submit as my thesis to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for an MFA in fiction. I will interview Samsø’s residents and the designers of its Ten-Year Renewable Island Energy Project, work on a farm powered exclusively by renewable energy and create a short video documentary of the island, the landscape of which is the blueprint for the setting of my novel. Gaining familiarity with the practical challenges faced by an energy-independent community, will enable me to depict life on an energy island with accuracy, in a way that speaks to real challenges faced by 21st-century communities seeking energy-independent, sustainable lifestyles.
M.F.A., Creative Writing
Project Title: Arrivals and Departures: Places Shaped by Immigration
I am applying for the Stanley Grant in order to conduct research for my MFA thesis in Fiction at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. My thesis will consist of a collection of short stories that explore the way places and communities are transformed by immigration. I plan to spend two weeks in Dublin, researching the history of Brazilian immigration to Ireland at the Old Library of Trinity College and the National Library of Ireland, and two weeks in the town of Gort, immersing myself in the daily life and culture of a town uniquely affected by immigration and displacement. In the late 90s, a meat processing plant opened up in Gort, and an influx of new Brazilian workers brought the town’s Brazilian population to over 30%, a majority of whom were forced to leave after the plant closed down in 2007. This history, and its effects on the town and community of Gort, would greatly inform my understanding of place and transnational identity as I prepare for my thesis work.
Sandra Gomez Todo
Ph.D., Art History
Project Title: Forms of (Un)masked Femininity: Self-fashioning, Identity and Female Agency in Eighteenth-Century Masquerades in Britain
Following the completion of my coursework as a second-year Fulbright doctoral student, I intend to undertake a four-week research trip to the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England and the Assembly Rooms and the Holburne Museum in Bath, England. My goal is to conduct preliminary archival and visual research that will be crucial for the writing of my dissertation proposal on eighteenth-century British art. My project will focus on how the masquerade reached its major heights in leisure culture as the perfect scenario for exploring the boundaries of gender and identity through artistic self-fashioning. This phenomenon produced an extensive visual culture of prints and paintings depicting the festivities. However, due to the popular character of these prints and the understudied status of some of the artists and their work, they are not extensively published or digitized in high resolution. These highly detailed representations of the masquerades, and the often multiple versions of the same work, require a close examination in order to accurately read elements such as the costumes, make-up and the social interactions, which articulated the relations between the act of masking and femininity in eighteenth-century public spaces. Simultaneously, the transference of these motifs to painting demands a thorough comparison between the different media based on a careful visual and iconographical analysis in situ. Finally, familiarizing myself with some of the still existing spaces where these events took place, such as the Ranelagh Gardens in London or the Assembly Rooms in Bath, will enormously enrich my understanding of the context in which the masked balls took place. Ultimately the goal of this investigation is to assert how these events provided a new model for women’s roles in the public space. By examining the existence of agency for women in the past, I wish to contribute to the contemporary discourse on women’s equality through a better understanding of their ancestors’ participation in society and culture.
M.F.A., Literary Translation
Project Title: New Voices from Cuba: Translating Feminist literature from “Special-Period” Havana
I plan to study contemporary women’s literature in Havana, Cuba upon completion of my first year of study as an MFA student in Literary Translation. I am specifically interested in fiction that explores experiences from the economic crisis during the 1990s, also known as the "Special Period". Literature by women in particular became more prominent during this time, yet is scarcely available outside of Cuba. The recent thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba has inaugurated an increased interest in Cuba and its culture, yet the majority of literature written in the last few decades remains untranslated. In Havana, I will gain a greater familiarity of the social, political, and economic climate through access to books that are unavailable in the United States, and by attending local literary events at the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC), an organization and venue that serves as a hub for cultural gatherings. My research will build on the work I have already done with Cuban literature, most recently translating work by literary critic and novelist Margarita Mateo Palmer for Cubanabooks Press. Most importantly, I will be able to work personally with the authors whose writing I will translate. This will be fundamental work for my MFA thesis, for which I will complete a book-length translation project of contemporary Cuban fiction. The Graduate Stanley Award will be crucial for building my knowledge of Cuban literature, as well as my relationship with the Cuban literary community, so that I may complete my MFA thesis and continue to pursue my work as a professional translator.
Project Title: The Poetics of Visual Narrative: Translating the Language of the Bayeux Tapestry
My poems and research are interested in two major questions: how can one translate the logic of a visual medium in a textual form, and how can one render the texture of a foreign language in English? I am applying for a Stanley Grant for International Research to spend ~5 weeks in Bayeux, France, studying the Bayeux Tapestry, and interviewing people from different social classes and education levels about it. My observations, photographs, interview transcriptions, research on the tapestry’s history, and responses to the installation of this massive work will allow me to write a set of poems which will make up a significant portion of my MFA thesis in poetry.
Ph.D., Art History
Project Title: Dying for Love: Love Induced Madness and Death in Victorian Art
In the summer of 2016, I will travel to London to conduct preliminary research for my Ph.D. dissertation in nineteenth century English art. My research focuses on the inherent dangers of love for the fragile and impressionable Victorian lady, and how love could lead to her destruction. The Tate Britain, Victoria & Albert Museum, British Library, and the British Museum hold a number of archival materials, paintings, drawings, and prints depicting this theme. Many artists influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and their colleagues were drawn to poems and stories that portrayed love as an all-consuming emotion capable of driving a woman to madness and sometimes to her death. My four-week research project will examine the Pre-Raphaelite ideal of love, the consequences of transgressive passions that consume every aspect of a woman’s being, and the absolution granted by death. London’s museums hold a vast number of Victorian artworks that depict this theme of love induced madness, suicide, and murder, including images of the Lady of Shalott, Isabella and the Basil Plant, Medea, Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamund, and Ophelia. Artists with dissimilar backgrounds, views, political leanings, and personalities portrayed these stories of love leading to the destruction of women. The ever-present fear of sexual women did not only present itself in hyper-sexualized femme fatales, but in the belief that women who were consumed by lust and love would harm themselves.
Destination: South Africa, Namibia
Project Title: Geochemical sourcing of archaeological ochres in South Africa and Namibia
The purpose of my research is to test a human territoriality model with the sourcing of southern African ochre (red and yellow mineral pigments) from Middle and Later Stone Age archaeological contexts. This model will be tested by determining the distance in which ancient humans traveled in order to procure ochre for paint production. Sourcing of ochres from archaeological contexts involves determining the geochemical makeup of the individual ochres and comparing them to the makeup of raw material sources. I will do this by collecting raw ochre samples and archaeological ochres from several locations in South Africa and Namibia and then submitting these samples for Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyses upon my return to the USA.
M.F.A., Book Arts
Project Title: Book Arts in Mexico: Pre-Columbian to Contemporary Art
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to gather materials, techniques, and cultural contexts for my MFA thesis exhibition in Book Arts. I will travel to Mexico to research Pre-Columbian art and contemporary book arts – printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding, natural dyes, and indigenous writing. My research will include museum visits, artist book responses to archaeological sites, an artist residency, learning traditional beaten bark papermaking from native craftsmen, studying plant dyes, and engaging with artists. This integrative research will further develop my skills and material resources culminating in my thesis exhibition that will emphasize hand-printed, hand-dyed bark paper books inspired by the bark paper codices of the ancient empires of Mexico.
Scott A. Olson
Project Title: Tied Together: Techniques of Regulation and Intimacy in Berlin BDSM Clubs
To speak of sadomasochistic sex clubs conjures the image of somewhere dark and anonymous, where individuals commit uninhibited, dangerous, potentially violent acts without regard for safety or comfort. However, as I discovered in previous ethnographic work in sex clubs, these spaces spend considerable administrative energy regulating the behavior of their patrons, both to ensure safety, and to promote comfort and intimacy. For this Stanley Award Project, I intend to use semi-structured interviews and observation to investigate the connection between the way BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism) sex clubs in Berlin, Germany develop and enforce rules regarding acceptable behavior, and how those rules inform the way attendees express physical and emotional closeness with one another. In contrast to the violent and antisocial mainstream image of BDSM, the experiences of many BDSM practitioners point instead to intense and innovative forms of intimacy within these organized and regulated social-sexual spaces. Regulations set by sex clubs in this way appear to be significant not only in preventing unsafe and dangerous behavior, but in shaping the way people in the club express intimacy and affection. As such, this project speaks not only to BDSM clubs and the people who frequent them, but to how institutional regulation and power shapes expressions of intimacy more broadly. With this in mind, I focus on a central research question: how do techniques of regulation in a public BDSM club shape expressions of interpersonal physical and emotional connection between BDSM practitioners? By examining how people connect with each other in these clubs alongside club regulations, this research will shed light on the role institutions play in interpersonal connection more broadly. Furthermore, this project will provide a vital preliminary fieldwork opportunity for a larger dissertation project which extends the current research question to include state power in Germany and public space more broadly. With this in mind, Berlin, Germany’s history with both strong state-based sexual regulation and a vibrant public sex scene makes it a critical site for this research.
Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition
Project Title: Investigating the Use of Chinese in Collaborative Writing among Chinese Language Learners of Different First Languages
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to travel to Shanghai, China from June to August, 2016, to conduct a preliminary linguistic study for my Ph.D degree in Second Language Acquisition. I plan to go to East China Normal University (ECNU) to recruit intermediate-level Chinese learners that do not speak the same first language, and pair them to write essays together in Chinese. I can only conduct this research in China because the Chinese language classrooms there are composed of learners speaking many different first languages. Such research is rarely possible in the U.S., because students in intermediate-level Chinese classes here predominantly speak English as their first language. I will investigate the ways in which these learners use Chinese, their only common language, to communicate with each other, overcome language barriers and solve problems in the process of writing. The findings will help instructors better understand the features of collaborative writing in Chinese to improve instruction, as well as prepare me for my dissertation and future professional development.
Ph.D., Mass Communication
Project Title: Newspapers and identity-construction among Malayali migrants in Qatar
For my Stanley project, I propose to examine the role of print newspapers in producing a sense of community among Malayali migrants in Doha, Qatar. This pre-dissertation research will contribute to my doctoral degree in mass communication by enabling me to interview readers and editors of Gulf Madhyamam (GM)—the largest Malayalam-language newspaper in Qatar. GM is published by Malayalis, the dominant indigenous ethnic group in the south Indian state of Kerala as well as the largest immigrant group in Qatar. My fieldwork will illuminate how Malayali migrant workers use the newspaper to negotiate their social position in Qatar where they do not have rights as citizens. With the ongoing Syrian civil war and its spillover in parts of the Middle East, journalism has assumed greater importance not only because of its function to disseminate news, but also to build community among members of Malayali migrants. The examination of news media as an instrument of community building is a growing area of research. Yet, scholars have seldom discussed this in fluid societies like the Middle East. My project addresses this research gap and will contribute to understanding the connections between media and identity.
Ph.D., English; M.F.A. Literary Translation
Destination: London and Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Project Title: Uncovering the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Herbert: Traveler, Convert, Philanthropist, Translator
The Stanley Graduate Award will be used for travel to the United Kingdom to conduct research during the summer of 2016 for at least five and possibly six weeks on the life and writings of Lady Elizabeth Herbert (1822-1911). Lady Herbert’s writings have unfortunately garnered little in the way of popular or scholarly interest since the early twentieth century. The major proposition to be examined by my research is to explore how Lady Herbert’s conversion to Catholicism and her ardent faith represent key reasons for this historical neglect, as well as to further examine Lady Herbert’s relationship with the important figures of her day, her reasons for traveling to destinations ignored by her contemporaries, and her approach to literary translation. I will employ archival research methods, accessing and assembling heretofore unexamined papers and personal correspondence by Lady Herbert, as well as those of some of the major figures of the Victorian period who she counted as close friends.
M.S., Geosciences; M.S. Earth and Environmental Science
Project Title: Quantifying morphological and chemical trends in mafic eolian environments from Askja, Iceland as an analog to Mars
Research on Martian sediments, sands, and regolith is an expanding field in planetary geology. The basaltic eolian sediments on Mars may record a long history of local and global climate change. It has been proposed that Martian sand dunes were potential habitats for living organisms where water, nutrients, and organic carbon mixed below the surface. Analog studies provide a way to quantify these processes on Earth and apply our understanding to Mars. Basaltic sands, the most relevant composition to Mars, have not been characterized as well as felsic sands. Evidence suggests the eolian-dominated weathering we see at Askja volcano, Iceland may have occurred on Mars. I have developed a project that will generate geochemical and morphological trends from the Askja sands and link those trends to weathering and depositional processes. We can then compare that to data on Martian sands and that comparison may provide insight into past and present weathering processes on Mars.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing
Project Title: Historical Narrative and the Decorated Farmhouses of Halsingland
My proposed Stanley Grant will examine the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Decorated Farmhouses of the region of Hälsingland, Sweden from June 5 to July 7, 2016. Of Hälsingland’s over one thousand richly decorated farmhouses, built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by wealthy independent farmers and lushly painted in rococo style by local folk artists, UNESCO has designated only seven as being worth preserving. I plan to examine what historical narratives are presented, and how, in these UNESCO houses, as well as how I create historical narrative from my own living space, a non-UNESCO decorated farmhouse. The project will result in a fifty-page essay essential to my degree in Nonfiction Writing, and in particular my thesis on historical narrative and heritage tourism.
Angela Toepp (Schneider)
Project Title: Quasi-experimental intervention study to determine the R0 of vertical transmission in the dog population of Natal, Brazil
For my Stanley project, I aim to determine the R0, basic reproductive number, of vertical transmission of leishmaniasis, a dangerous parasitic disease. I will do so by working with collaborators in Natal, Brazil to perform a quasi-experimental intervention study in the canine population and then utilize information gathered to model disease transmission within canine and human populations. Ninety percent of visceral cases of leishmaniasis occur in six countries, including Brazil. In Brazil, the disease is endemic in humans and dogs with dogs acting as a major domestic reservoir. Design of a mathematical vertical transmission model in dogs can be utilized to make models for vertical transmission in humans allowing assessment of public health interventions and the rate of human leishmaniasis infections. This project also serves my academic and career goals as this project will be an aim of my dissertation work and will provide me with field experience dealing with infectious diseases in a global health setting.
Ph.D., Music Composition
Project Title: What is the Darmstadt School today?: a practical approach to the contemporary trends in new music composition
With the assistance of a Stanley Grant, I will conduct independent research in Darmstadt, Germany as part of my PhD in Music Composition. Over a period of three weeks I will study the current schools and aesthetic approaches in composition as represented in the 2016 Darmstadt Festival for New Music. The Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt is the most important new music festival organized biannually since 1946, where internationally acclaimed composers meet to engage in a public discourse on new music. While the festival gave rise to a voluminous scholarship on the compositional styles of the group of composers who attended the meetings in ‘50s, known as the “Darmstadt School”, there is little scholarship devoted to the later decades and almost nothing pertaining to its post-2000 directions. I will travel to Darmstadt to attend concerts, take part in presentations and discussions on new music in the Festival. I will study works by guest composers, and scholarly writings found in the library of Darmstadt’s International Institute for New Music. This will allow me to collect and edit data on the main compositional trends based on an assessment of technical strategies and aesthetic directions. The outcomes of this research will be published in an article that will elucidate the impact of contemporary music in the post-2000 music scholarship and assess the role of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse today.
Ph.D., Modern Germany History
Project Title: From Provincial Convents to Imperial Courts: Women Nobles and Local Claims to Power in the German Empire
For my Stanley Graduate Award, I will survey archival materials critical to the completion of my dissertation prospectus on the gender and social history of Imperial Germany (1871-1918). As the sources necessary to complete my work are inaccessible outside of German archives, I will spend five weeks conducting research throughout the northern states of Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein. My project examines four convents for the Protestant nobility (Damenstifte) in the northern region of Schleswig-Holstein in order to understand the intersections of class, gender, and religion in claims to political power by the provincial elite. Damenstifte symbolized local aristocratic control at the same time as they amplified the social standing of noble families across Germany. At a moment of heady economic and political change, Damenstifte allowed Schleswig-Holstein’s nobility to access the levers of federal power while simultaneously reasserting their regional influence. Yet Damenstifte are understudied players in Imperial German social and women’s historiography. In shining a light on the role of women nobles as conduits to power, I hope to demonstrate the uniquely gendered components of social and political life in Wilhelmine Germany.
Project Title: Contested Authority in the Provinces: Local Governors and the Implementation of Peace in Picardy
With support in the form of a Stanley Grant, I will visit departmental and municipal archives in the Picardy region of northern France to conduct research on the implementation of peace (the enforcement of royal peace edicts) in the region during the French Wars of Religion (c.1560-1600) for my master’s thesis. My research will concentrate on the manner whereby local governors, royally appointed judicial and/ or military leaders of fortified towns, acted as a conduit between the will of the French monarchy and municipal governments of the towns in which they served. I will explore and analyze the ways that the governors influenced the implementation of peace in towns (through forming leagues, influencing royal peace commissions or local courts, or using their military powers) and whether the local populace approved or contested the actions of the governors. The sources for this analysis are entirely in manuscript form and can only be consulted in the French archives. They include unpublished correspondences, municipal council proceedings, military and judicial records, and the papers of royal peace commissions present in the province.
M.F.A., Dimensional Practice
Project Title: Confronting Ecophobia Through Combinations of Art and Ecology
I am proposing a self-directed, academic research period in Ireland from July 1st-31st, 2016, for the purpose of collecting analytical and visual documentation to be used for my MFA thesis in Sculpture. For my thesis I am investigating effective ways to combine Art and Ecology to eliminate ecophobia in marine based, environmental education. Ecophobia is the negative response or automatic desensitization to visual images of environmental disasters. As a result of ecophobia, environmental educators, both in the private and public sphere, are censoring or all together eliminating marine threats from the curriculum. I theorize that there are efficient methods to combine Art and Ecology to exhibit primary source documentation without inducing ecophobia. To facilitate this hypothesis, I propose a thirty-day research period where I will volunteer, collaborate with, shadow, and interview professionals at Environmental and Marine Research Institutions in Galway; Environmental and Marine Conservation Organizations; and an Academic Institution that specializes in Art & Ecology programs, where I have also been awarded an Artist Residency for the proposed research period.
Project Title: Predictions for sub-lexical information in online reading – data from Chinese readers
The Stanley grant will allow me to spend 5 weeks this summer in Beijing, China to carry out an experiment investigating how readers of Chinese move their eyes during natural reading, and to collect norming data for new experiments. The results of the experiment will provide novel insight into how readers generate and assess predictions as they read in a logographic writing system. This project will provide preliminary data that will help me refine the goals, objectives, and hypotheses that I plan to pursue in my dissertation work. More broadly, conducting this experiment on Chinese readers will broaden the scope of my research and help me achieve my career goal of becoming a psycholinguistic researcher.
Ph.D., Film Studies
Project Title: The Fog-Drowned Singing: Max Ophuls’s Divine and Sans lendemain
My proposed Stanley research project at the Bibliothèque des Archives Françaises du Film and the Cinémathèque Française will focus on the neglected French films made by Max Ophuls from mid-July to mid-August. This preliminary research will contribute toward my PhD degree in Film Studies as one of the areas for my comprehensive examination is French cinema. Born in Germany, Ophuls is primarily known for his French films (e.g. The Earrings of Madame de … ) which are structured by baroque cinematic movements and subtle depictions of femininity. Despite abundant scholarship on Ophuls’s films in the 1940s and 1950s, his first French period (1935-1940) is largely ignored by critics, as if these films themselves were only stepping stones to latter triumphs. My project intends to challenge this bias by looking into Ophuls’s close relation to 1930s France from archival materials, including reviews, scripts, production designs and letters. This approach allows me to see the important role played by French culture, poetic realism in particular, in shaping Ophuls’s films in the 1930s and enables a broader cultural dialogue between this transnational director and a specific French context. This research is crucial to my area of interest in French cinema and its polymorphous manifestations in the 1934-1938 tumultuous time of the Popular Front.
Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition
Project Title: Learning to read Chinese: Native English Speakers Studying Abroad in China
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to conduct a qualitative study in Chinese applied linguistics. I will investigate how native English speakers develop their reading skills in Chinese when they study abroad in China. My participants will be 10-20 native English speakers who are enrolled in an intermediate-level Chinese reading course at Beijing Language and Culture University in the Spring 2016 semester. I will focus on three settings that potentially impact the participants’ reading in Chinese: their reading classes, their daily living environment, and their interactions with native Chinese speakers. During the five-week period of data collection (May 16–June 17), I plan to (1) observe the reading classes; (2) interview the participants individually and in small groups; and (3) observe their reading strategies and processes through think-aloud sessions. By documenting the participants’ reading environment in China and collecting the participants’ accounts of their experiences, I will learn how the study abroad environment shapes their perspectives about and their reading processes in Chinese. This Stanley project will serve as preliminary research for my Ph.D. dissertation.
In the spring of 2015, 20 graduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $50,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Educational Leadership/Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Bali, Indonesia
Title: The principals' role in implementing a new teaching reform in Indonesia
My Stanley project will examine the role of elementary public school principals in supporting their teachers as they implement a new educational reform. The new reform requires teachers shift
their teaching approach from predominantly lecture style to project-based learning. I plan to spend eight weeks interviewing and observing four elementary school principals in northern Bali, Indonesia, as they interact with teachers over matters pertaining to the new teaching approach. I will use the findings from this study to develop a survey and test an interview protocol for a larger study I intend to conduct for my dissertation. Additionally, this project will provide the foundation for my further research career in an international non-profit organization with a focus on education in developing countries.
Intermedia/Studio Arts & Arts History; Ghana
Title: Black diaspora: performance and autobiography
I seek a Stanley Graduate Award to travel to Ghana to research contemporary, urban Ghanaian culture. My research-based creative practice uses both performance and installation art to venerate Black culture through provocative reconfigurations of urban life and race relations with autobiographical elements. During the four weeks of research, I will spend two weeks in the capital city of Accra and two weeks in Cape Coast, with side trips to Elmina. My research will include cultural immersion, a daily journal practice, photographic documentation of the urban environment and museum visits, including individual meetings with curators and art historians. This research will allow me to develop my MFA exhibition—an autobiographical performance and installation work incorporating elements of Black American and Ghanaian culture.
Asma Ben Romdhane
Teaching and Learning (Foreign Language and ESL education); Tunisia
Title: Learning spoken Arabic: American college students' social interaction experience during a short-term study abroad program in Tunisia
My proposed Stanley Project is to travel to Tunisia in order to collect data for the pilot study of my dissertation. The purpose of this research is to investigate the impact of social interaction on the acquisition of spoken Arabic during a study abroad program. My participants will be American college students participating in a 10-week Intensive Arabic Language and Culture Studies in Tunisia Program called “CET”. Data collection will take place in Tunis, Tunisia, during summer 2015. One language proficiency test will be given: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Pretests of OPI results will be compared with post-tests results; then, correlated with a Language Log analysis. In order to explain the outcomes of my quantitative findings, I will look at how engagement with native speakers influences the CET participants’ spoken language proficiency level. Learners’ attitude towards social interaction will be taken into account. The qualitative data will be collected by means of interviews and post-experience questionnaires. The data and the findings of this study will not only fill a gap in the literature of teaching Arabic as a foreign language, but also analyze if an emphasis on social interaction helps improving Arabic programs by directing Arabic language learners to reach fluency. In addition, the outcomes of this research will pave the way to suggest promising possibilities for further research.
School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Jakarta, Indonesia
Title: The growth of Indonesia's English-language press
With a Graduate Stanley Award for International Research, I will go to Indonesia to interview editors, publishers and reporters at the Jakarta Post and Jakarta Globe newspapers about the reasons they decided to publish in English. The growing use of English as a lingua franca in Asia has significant political, economic and educational implications not only for Indonesia but also for other countries where English is a foreign language. The experiences of Indonesian editors and reporters who publish in English offer insight into how beliefs about English in Indonesia and the region are affecting journalism. While there have been extensive studies of the spread of English as a global language, few examine it through the lens of online and print English newspapers in Asia.
Carver College of Medicine/Iowa Writers' Workshop; Nigeria
Title: A cross-cultural study of anesthesia use in rural Nigeria
I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for International Research in order to conduct a 4-week cross-cultural study of anesthesia practices in three rural hospital settings in Nigeria. I will do so by interviewing anesthesiologists and anesthesia providers about the rationale behind their techniques and the day-to-day difficulties they encounter. These questions are of particular importance to me as a fourth year medical student because my parents are from Nigeria and I have visited Nigeria several times but not in this professional capacity. Were I born under different circumstances I might have been an anesthesiologist or a patient undergoing surgery in rural Nigeria. This specific project will be IRB approved and serves my interests as a Western trained medical student with a focus on global health to gain direct experience in the field. The findings from this project will be used to raise awareness of the unique challenges rural Nigeria faces in surgical care through physician-patient narratives and a visual presentation.
Communication Studies; Sao Paulo, Brazil
Title: Sacred communication: electronic media and religious artifacts in Brazil
This Stanley Award will be used to conduct an ethnographic case at Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG)) in Brazil. In addition to electronic communication media—such as television and radio—the rapidly growing UCKG uses both Christian and Jewish religious artifacts to spread its views and communicate with its followers. I believe the perspective and experiences of UCKG followers are necessary for understanding the connections between these hybrid religious artifacts, the Church’s use of electronic media, and its popularity. However, very little scholarship has addressed these Church followers’ perspectives specifically. I will spend four weeks in Rio de Janeiro (Rio) and São Paulo, Brazil observing UCKG religious services and conducting preliminary interviews with its followers. This project will successfully launch my PhD dissertation research on communication and religion in Brazil and open up news ways for understanding the cultural and political implications of changes in contemporary religious communication.
Musical Arts doctorate in Organ Performance; Basel, Switzerland
Title: An analysis on the composition Variazioni e Toccata sopra “Aurora lucis rutilat,” Op 52 by Alberto Ginastera, a work for organ
My research analyzes the organ work Variazioni e Toccata sopra “Aurora lucis rutilat,” Op 52, written by celebrated Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. It is one of the pinnacles of the organ repertoire in
the 20th century due to the craftsmanship and intricacy of its structure. My study centers around an investigation of the performer-composer relationship that developed between renowned American organist Marilyn Mason ─ who premiered the work during the 1980 convention of the American Guild of Organists in Minneapolis ─ and the composer Ginastera. Ultimately, I expect that my research will show that this composition was a result of the collaborative efforts between Ginastera and Mason, whose long distance discussions about the development of the work are recorded in their correspondence from during the months prior to the premiere. These documents hold the key in understanding how much this composer-performer association affected the compositional development and performance of the
work during the convention, its subsequent rendition in print, and its later reception by American organists. The Mason-Ginastera correspondence is housed in the archives of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel (Switzerland), along with Ginastera’s manuscripts and sketches for the piece. The only way to access this information is to visit the archives in Basel since the Foundation does not lend or allow photographic copies to be made or used outside their premises. For this reason it is essential to my project that I spend four weeks in Basel to read the correspondence, make a transcript of it, and likewise study and hand-copy the unedited manuscript original. This research will become the topic of my DMA thesis.
Geographical & Sustainability Science; Stockholm, Sweden
Title: Predicting impacts of salts on drinking water supplies
For my Stanley project, I will travel to Stockholm, Sweden to understand how the Swedish Road Administration identifies groundwater sources at risk of contamination. I will work directly with Per-Erik Jansson and Bo Olofsson, two researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology who have been studying the environmental impacts of deicing salt since 2002. This project will improve the quality of tools used to predict water quality impacts from winter road maintenance practices, such as salting and brining paved surfaces. It will also introduce such tools to Iowa, where we currently conduct no such measurements to determine vulnerability of our drinking water supply.
Spanish Creative Writing; Spain
Title: The other diaspora: Moriscos in early modern Spain
As an MFA student in Spanish Creative Writing, I will spend eight weeks doing research in three different cities in Spain: Madrid, Granada, and Cuenca, where four important historical archives are located. There I will explore texts from 1492 to 1650 related to the “morisco issue” –a term coined to refer to all discussion, political or religious, concerning those Muslims who converted to Christianity. My research will focus on analyzing texts which sought either to control or integrate moriscos as well as evaluating inquisitional trials, all of which are central to the writing project I am preparing for my MFA thesis. While in Spain, I will consult texts that are not otherwise accessible, in order to compose a novel about the history of this religious and social minority. This project endeavors to relate identity, alterity, and human relationships in an effort to rethink Spanish history and social self-image. The Stanley Graduate Award will provide me with the opportunity to study unpublished texts in the archives which are essential to my purpose.
Iowa Writers' Workshop; Johannesburg, South Africa
Title: Ordinary life in the Transvaal
I plan to spend four weeks at the Brenthurst, South African National and William Cullen Libraries in Johannesburg, South Africa, researching public and private life in the former Transvaal—particularly the lives of Africans, Afrikaner women and slaves. I will also conduct interviews with traditional oral historians. The Transvaal is Johannesburg’s birthplace—then a small town on the world’s richest gold deposit. The British Empire built the first concentration camps here in a war lost to a fledging Afrikaner Republic. This is also where a young Mahatma Gandhi staged his first nonviolent protests—a strategy that transformed American, Indian and South African civil rights movements. My research concern is understanding daily life against this rich and complex backdrop. My findings will inform the novel manuscript component of my MFA thesis. Research will comprise collecting data from library archives in Johannesburg and interviewing academic experts and traditional oral historians. While in South Africa, I will build relationships with key research sources and institutions pivotal to the work I envision over the course of my career as a writer.
Literary Translation; Berlin, Germany
Title: Translating the collective: contemporary performance poetry in Berlin
Upon completion of my first year of coursework at the University of Iowa, I will travel to Berlin, Germany, to conduct research for my Master’s Thesis in literary translation. This thesis will culminate in a book-length translation of one or several members of the German poetry collective G-Dreizehn (G-Thirteen in English), published by the Berlin independent publisher, kookbooks. This group is rather prolific within the German literary community, but not much of its work has been translated into English, and English-language readers are barred from the exciting work these authors generate.
In Berlin, I will benefit from frequent interpersonal access to the contemporary poets I translate (in particular Rike Scheffler and Tristan Marquardt). My translations will improve if allowed direct engagement with their authorship, but they shall also profit from participation with the G-Dreizehn’s community-wide collaborations, readings, and events, which testify to the performative and localized features of the G-Thirteen poetic movement. Finally, I will certainly benefit from the established English-language translation industry in Berlin that might afford me particularized guidance in my own craft.
Linguistics; Bali, Indonesia
Title: The morphology of the Balinese language (Indonesia)
The purpose of the research outlined in this proposal is two-fold: to elicit data on Balinese morphemes and to record a shadow puppet performance. The focus of this project is the morphemes that affect the syntactic structure of Balinese sentences, particularly in changing the transitivity of a verb or the number of objects selected by the verb. A shadow puppet performance will be recorded in order to provide data for the use of these morphemes in discourse. Moreover, data on the structure of these morphemes in different constructions will be elicited from several informants and analyzed. As Balinese is a language spoken only by 3.3 billion people, this project will provide important information about an understudied language and contribute to our understanding of the range and variety of sentence structures that occur in the languages of the world.
Iowa Writers' Workshop; Istanbul, Turkey
Title: Fatma to Adalet: Feminist fiction in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey
I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to complete critical research for my MFA thesis in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I am writing a full-length manuscript of short stories which examine, through fiction, feminism’s evolving position and influence in Christian and Islamic societies. I will spend four weeks in Turkey conducting archival research on Fatma Aliye Topuz, who is credited with being the first female novelist in the Islamic world, at the Atatürk Kütüphanesi (Ataturk Library), and complementing this with research on Adalet Ağaoğlu, a celebrated modern writer, at the Adalet Ağaoğlu Research Room at Boğaziçi University. I will also be consulting experts at the Istanbul Kadin Muzesi (Istanbul Women’s Museum) to discuss my evidence. These two artists took almost contradictory approaches to feminism, and by researching their personal lives and views, I will write informed, well-characterized fiction necessary to my thesis. This manuscript will contribute to the field of feminist literature and address a gap in the English-language research on female writers in the Ottoman Empire. My research will address three questions: How did Topuz and Ağaoğlu synthesize their religious and cultural beliefs with their feminist views? What personal experiences did they have which facilitated or complicated their approaches? To what extent did their public or writing persona differ from their private nature?
Read about Delaney's adventures.
Title: Christianity in Unyamwezi c.1870s-2010s: some aspects of social and religious change
I am applying for the Stanley travel reimbursement award for international research in order to gather materials for my Ph.D. proposal that I will defend in fall, 2015. My project examines two issues. First, it explores the contribution of Christianity to the transformation of pre-existing social structures of Unyamwezi in Western Tanzania. From the first half of the nineteenth century, trade in ivory and slaves created different social groups that defined the population composition of the town of Tabora in Unyamwezi. Among the established social categories were slaves, noble wealthy class/merchant class, porters, and uncivilized ordinary men and women. Secondly, the project examines the influence of Christianity on the transformation of pre-existing indigenous beliefs and practices. The study attempts to show what entailed in the shift from indigenous beliefs and customs to Christianity, and how the people responded and experienced such a change. My study also seeks to show how indigenous beliefs and practices have continued to influence Christian practices in Unyamwezi.
Iowa Writers' Workshop; Paris, France
Title: Language and ethnicity in displacement and the Avant-garde
My research focuses on Romanian poets of the DADA/Surrealist period writing in Paris in French as well as on the work of the artist Constantin Brâncuși following the influence of Romanian folklore in their work, life and philosophy. I am applying for a Graduate Stanley Award for International Research in order to conduct research for seven weeks in Paris where I will collect materials to be incorporated in my MFA thesis at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: by looking at the personal correspondence of Tristan Tzara, as well as other documents pertaining to the Dada/Surrealist movement and also analyzing the reconstruction of Brâncuși’s studio following the trail of Romanian folklore within the context of a foreign artistic space. This research will give me the material I need for a collection of poems of displacement, the immateriality of the concept of native language, a layering of ethnicities and the transcendence of language in a poetic space, poems that will be a large part of my MFA thesis. I will also create translations of Tristan Tzara’s correspondence and his untranslated poetry, which will be incorporated in the Dada/Surrealist archive of the University of Iowa’s Special Collections Library.
Earth and Environmental Sciences; Barcelona, Spain
Title: Disentangling high frequency climate phenomena in a volcanic setting
I will spend 5 weeks at the University of Barcelona, Spain, working in the Lab of Dr. Santiago Giralt. His lab contains equipment necessary for the completion of my M.S thesis that is not available at the University of Iowa. This time will also give me the opportunity to work on statistical modeling with Dr. Giralt. At these facilities my work will focus on extracting high resolution Carbon and Oxygen isotopes and U-Th ages from lake sediments I recently collected at Laguna Lejia, Chile. The isotope data from these sediments provide an exceptional proxy for ancient temperature and rainfall and are important for constructing a climate history of Earth’s past.
Mechanical Engineering; Itajuba, Brazil
Title: Study of gasification and combustion off biomass in partnership with Universidad Federak de Itajuba
I am applying for the Graduate Stanley award for an opportunity to visit the Universidad Federal de Itajuba to understand their gasification methodologies. This experience will provide me with a solid
foundation upon which I would start my Ph.D. studies. I will be collaborating on different experiments with Professor Electo and his students. The University of Iowa is already collaborating with the University Federal de Itajuba on a gasification project. The grant covers the cost of traveling for Professor Ratner (my advisor), Professor Electo, and his students. The Universidad Federal de Itajuba is
one of the leading research universities in Brazil that is involved in the study of biomass gasification and combustion. It is heavily equipped and experienced with gasifiers, turbines and combustion engines. I am interested in gasification technology as it has the potential to bring clean energy to many developing countries around the world using readily available unwanted resources, such as trash. When I return to Iowa, I will use the knowledge acquired to begin my Ph.D. research.
Cinematic Arts; Stirling, Scotland - United Kingdom
Title: This Wonderful World: John Grierson's negotiation between cinema and television documentary
This five week research project at the University of Stirling's John Grierson Archive, will focus on the visionary Scottish writer, producer, and director's theories of cinematic and television documentary.
Grierson worked in both media: he guided, sponsored, and influenced British filmmaking between the 1920s and 1960s. His work remains debated within documentary studies. A Stanley Graduate Award for International Research will allow me to explore Grierson's donated collection of writings and personal notebooks as well as those of his primary biographer, Forsyth Hardy. My expectation is that these documents will reveal the changing nature of non-fiction storytelling in Britain. This research and project is crucial to my areas of interest in documentary film and mass communication in the post-World War II United States and Britain. The project will empower my forthcoming dissertation prospectus by providing key archival documentation available nowhere else in the world.
School of Medicine; Ghana
Title: Assessment of adult and child mental health resources in rural compared to urban communities in Ghana
This summer, I plan to obtain data concerning the availability and utilization of adult and mental health resources in two rural and two urban communities in Ghana. I also hope to report on the
extent to which child and adolescent mental health needs are being met in these four regions. I plan to do this by administering a survey to primary health care providers concerning their knowledge and use of resources, as well as the frequency of patients presenting with symptoms of trauma. The information I report will be useful to Ghana's health ministry regarding policy and allocation of resources in the context of an ongoing mental health reform. Additionally, this report will inform mental health workers about the extent to which trauma is adequately addressed during clinic visits and help direct attention towards assessment of trauma in certain populations. Information about child and adolescent mental health needs will be of benefit to current and future efforts to establish mental health services for children and adolescents in Ghana. Completion of this project helps me meet requirements for the global health distinction track at Carver College of medicine.
Art and Art History; Iceland
Title: Examining climate change in Iceland through ecotourism and textiles
I am applying for a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to gather material for my MFA thesis exhibition in Printmaking and Intermedia. For the Stanley project, I will
spend five weeks in Iceland. I will investigate contemporary and historical Icelandic textiles as well as study the ecotourism industry and experience first-hand the impacts—both human and
environmental—of climate change in Iceland. Iceland has rich textile traditions and is also faced with drastic environmental changes due to global warming, making it an excellent site for my fieldwork. This research will build upon my previous artistic work on climate change, and it will be integrated into my final thesis exhibition scheduled for Fall 2015, which through textiles, video, and installation, addresses humans’ emotional relationship to climate change.
In the spring of 2014 twenty graduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $50,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Title: Sentence structure in the Kutó-Kuté dialect of the Sasak language (Indonesia)
Purpose: For my second research project in the PhD Linguistics program, I will travel to Lombok Island, Indonesia in order to collect Sasak language data in the form of a folktale as well as elicited sentences. This combination will allow for documentation of the language and culture, as well as linguistic analysis.
Earth and Environmental Sciences, Iceland
Title: Differences in the Crystallization Habits of Off-Axis Magmas vs. Main Rift Zone Magmas on Iceland
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand how magmas migrate through the lithosphere from the source of melting in the Earth's mantle at depths of ~100 km to their eventual eruption at the Earth’s surface. The study will use the chemical composition of basalt lavas (and crystals) erupted on the Snaefellnes Peninsula of Iceland to map out the plumbing system beneath a non-rift volcanic zone. We know a lot about how magma transport and storage takes place beneath the main rift zones on Iceland where most volcanism occurs, but the details are less well known of the magma feeder systems for the rarer off-axis eruptions that can take place >100 km away from the rifts where the crustal structure is different. This research will apply well-established compositional methods that have already been used on lavas from the main rift zones, to these non-rift lavas in order to accurately determine the depths of crystallization that will allow reconstruction of how these magmas ascended through the crust.
Title: African diaspora in Japan: Subpopulations and labor market participation
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to investigate the labor market participation and livelihood experiences of Japan’s sub-Saharan African population. This community has been steadily evolving since the 1980s and has since penetrated a variety of areas within the Japanese economy. However, social discourses paint the African involvement in the Japanese economy as largely negative and in some cases criminal. This research will examine the labor market participation of Africans and will pay particular attention to how wage-earning activities influence and are influenced by personal relationships. What has the African experience in the Japanese labor market entailed? What kinds of networks (i.e. national, ethnic, linguistic, and religious) are utilized throughout the migration process to secure employment? How do various forms of work affect the personal lives of Africans? This study will serve as the foundation for my doctoral dissertation. After returning to the US, I will identify more specific themes that will be investigated in my doctoral fieldwork next year.
Title: An Acoustic Analysis of Vowel Assimilation in Mandarin Chinese and its Effect on the Acquisition of English Vowels
Purpose: I am applying for the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research in order to collect linguistic data in Chengdu, China and Qingdao, China. In collecting this data, I hope to determine whether the linguistic process of Mandarin vowel assimilation can explain the difficulties that Chinese learners of English have in acquiring English vowels. This project will eventually lead to a dissertation on the acquisition of English vowels by non-native speakers of English. It will also provide information that will lead to improved pedagogical guides for the teaching of English pronunciation to native speakers of Mandarin.
Title: The Classification of Serial Verb Constructions in the Lao Language
Purpose: The purpose of this trip is to gather language data about a particular sentence type in the Lao language. My dissertation is investigating how speakers represent the events described by certain sentence structures in their mind. To do this, I will be running an experiment that utilizes two different types of sentences and looks for changes in how speakers break up the stream of motion around them into discrete events. Prior to running the experiment, however, the various sentence types need to be described and classified. The data gathered on this trip will be foundational for both my dissertation prospectus as well as the experiment that will be the focus of my dissertation.
Creative Writing Program, France & Switzerland
Title: Lucia Falls: Recreating Lucia Joyce's Lost Writing in Poetry
Purpose: I will travel to France (three weeks) and Switzerland (two weeks) in order to collect crucial archival research for my MFA thesis in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a book-length manuscript of experimental poetry. I am creating a form of poem that can contain archival evidence in order to write a book of poems in which I both attempt to recreate a missing modernist text (that of James Joyce's daughter, Lucia) and account for the process of trying to recreate this lost novel. Key collections and documents in libraries in Paris and Zurich that will shed light on Lucia's artistic influences, which will make my attempted recreation more authentic and relevant to the disciplines of experimental poetry and gender and women's studies.
Title: Ancient Food Practices at the Crossroads of the Roman Empire
Purpose: The purpose of my research will be to contribute new information to the archaeological record in Sicily, to answer questions concerning the ancient religious practices of the interior of the island and the connections to agriculture and food consumption.
Second Language Acquisition/ Division of world languages, literatures, and cultures, China
Title: A performance data – driven approach to Chinese OPI: How do Intermediate-High and Advanced-Low learners differ in grammatical complexity?
Purpose: For my Stanley research project, I plan to interview foreign language learners of Chinese at two universities in Wuhan, China and analyze the oral language data they produce in response to the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). This will provide empirical evidence of the OPI rating scale and promote the interrater reliability of this oral language test. I will identify the distinguishing grammatical features between the Intermediate-High and Advanced-Low learners by means of a wide range of measures of grammatical complexity and a hierarchy based on the properties of some selected grammatical categories. Overall, the purpose of this Stanley research project is threefold: (a) to contribute insights to the validity of the OPI model for assessing oral proficiency; (b) to promote the interrater reliability on the border of two major proficiency levels: Intermediate and Advanced; (c) to lay the foundation of my Ph.D. dissertation and provide me with the empirical data required for my dissertation proposal.
Title: Issues Surrounding Béla Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 1 during his First Concert Tour of the United States (1927-1928)
Purpose: The purpose of my research at the Budapest Bartók Archives is to investigate the conditions leading to a change of program for Bartók’s debut performance in the United States that initiated a trend of negative press commentary on the composer. Through this research I will also shed light on Bartók's preparation for the American concert tour that followed his debut performance in the country. I will achieve both of these goals through the examination and analysis of selected letters, telegrams, musical manuscripts and editions, photographs, and other documents from 1925-1930 found only at the archives in Budapest, Hungary. This research will be foundational for my Ph.D. dissertation.
Creative Writing, Iceland
Title: Thingvellir: Poems from the Rift
Purpose: I am an MFA candidate in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and am applying for a Stanley travel grant in order to spend thirty-five days in Reykjavík, Iceland, researching for my graduate thesis, a book-length collection of poetry.
Theatre Arts, Portugal
Purpose: My MFA thesis will focus on writing and staging a play with music at the University of Iowa that translates and engages with the untranslatable Portuguese concept of saudade - roughly defined as loving someone or something that is lost and can never return - in theatrical performance for American audiences. I will study the original, handwritten manuscripts of Fernando Pessoa (a metaphysical poet who wrote on saudade), whose heteronyms and characters will form foundations for the characters in the play. I will also witness performances of fado, a Portuguese blues-like genre of music that aims to elicit saudade from performer and audience. Lastly, I will travel to various sites throughout Lisbon and amass photographic and descriptive research for staging and design inspirations for the play.
Religious Studies, United Kingdom
Title: Heroism, asceticism and ethical self-fashioning: Vaishnava devotionalism in 19th C Svāminārāyana Sampradāya in western India
Purpose: Having initiated preliminary research in India in preparation for my dissertation project, I am in need of examining British records to gain an alternate perspective on the events and processes of interest. Since Britain’s presence in India was the most recent and the most drastic in terms of literary production in India since its classical age, it would be a hindrance to my project to form conclusions based on "one-sided story." Though I am a first year doctoral student, my proficiency with the languages I need for my study and prior research experience make me a strong candidate to receive money to conduct research at the next logical location.
Book Arts, South Korea
Title: The Role of Spirituality in Korean Papermaking
Purpose: To investigate the connection between traditional Korean handmade paper and Buddhist spirituality in Korea.
Cancer Etiology/Department of Epidemiology, Nepal
Title: Oral Cancer Risk Behaviors among Patients Visiting the National Cancer Center in Nepal: Exploratory Research
Purpose: To understand the risk factors associated with oral cancer in Nepalese population.
Art and Art History, Greece
Title: The Parthenon: Modern Restoration History Revealed Digitally and Translated into Paintings and Drawing
Purpose: The purpose of my independent research is to study excavation reports and architectural plans that document the modern restoration elements of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. I will be examining modern restoration efforts from two different campaigns during the last one hundred and fifteen years. I plan to identify layers of restoration that have transformed the Parthenon, which is the most recognizable of ancient Greek temples. My goal is to create an interactive, digital model of the interior and exterior sides of the Parthenon that pinpoints restoration elements or impacts. I want to research how modern this ancient ruin actually is and then to share this information with visitors and non-visitors in a consolidated digital format.
Art History, Paris
Title: Measuring the Past: Studying the Geometry of Reims Cathedral
Purpose: I need to go to France, especially to Reims, to conduct some preliminary research for my dissertation. I will be studying the design of Reims Cathedral, and will specifically measure key points throughout the building to further examine the geometric analyses of the Reims Cathedral conducted by Gothic architectural historians, Robert Bork and Nancy Wu.
Management & Organizations, China
Title: A study of social capital among bank employees in China
Purpose: The purpose of the proposed research is to investigate bank employee's view and motivation of building, maintaining and utilizing social capital, and the effectiveness of the current reward system promoting the use of social capital through qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys.
In the spring of 2013 twenty graduate students received Stanley Awards worth $2,500 each for a total of $50,000 awarded. The recipients and their project summaries are listed below.
Dental Public Health, India
Title: Post-Surgical Evaluation of Cleft Lip / Cleft Palate Patients
Purpose: The Purpose of my research is to evaluate cleft lip/palate treatment outcome in terms of wound healing and patient perception of oral health related quality of life among patients from the state of Tamilnadu, India. The world-wide prevalence and psycho-socio-economic impact of the condition makes this project on comparatively less studied population relevant as well as important.
English, United Kingdom
Title: The Politics of Conversion Narratives: Religion, Secularism, and Gender in Victorian Colonial Writing, 1850-1914
Purpose: For the Stanley Project, I plan a five-week research trip to the British Library and particularly the India Office Library in London. My aim is to study and collect rare or unpublished nineteenth-century British fiction and non-fiction on the subject of colonial (Indian) religion and conversion produced between 1858 and 1914. I will be examining this material to conduct a post-secular theoretical analysis of late nineteenth-century British writings on Indian religion. This is the primary research for my dissertation which analyzes the Victorian colonial discourse on Indian religion by revisiting the ‘secular thesis’ that underpins most historical and critical narratives of nineteenth-century Britain. Peter Van der Veer in Imperial Encounters explains the ‘secularization thesis’ as that which was till recently the most successful element of any sociological theory of modernization.
Title: Altered “first-responders”: Investigating changes in neutrophils from Brazilian patients with leishmaniasis
Purpose: For my Stanley project, I propose to travel to Salvador in the state of Bahia, Brazil to examine the immune response of Brazilian patients suffering from the parasitic disease leishmaniasis. Leishmania parasites are endemic in Brazil causing a range of human infections including scarring skin ulcers and fatal inflammation of internal organs. Currently, no vaccine and only limited treatment options exist. My thesis advisor has ongoing collaborative studies of leishmaniasis with colleagues in northeast Brazil. Guided by our collaborator Dr. Edgar Carvalho, I propose to travel to a clinic in rural Bahia and study novel aspects of the human immune response in patients suffering from leishmaniasis. Specifically, I will examine changes in the body’s most abundant type of white blood cell – neutrophils. Neutrophils are “first responder” cells that quickly migrate to sites of infection and die soon thereafter. Because they are short-lived, investigators have not previously thought that neutrophils could play any role in controlling the chronic infections caused by Leishmania. My preliminary research in mouse models has indicated that neutrophils could play an important role in exacerbating or maintaining chronic leishmaniasis. I propose to investigate whether neutrophils play similar roles in humans by comparing neutrophils from healthy people versus patients with leishmaniasis. Working with physicians and staff at the treatment clinic, I will isolate neutrophils from consenting patients and healthy controls. I will examine the perturbations in neutrophil functions during Leishmania infection, and how these perturbations might impair the function of other essential immune cells in the blood. This study could illuminate novel therapeutic targets that may lead us to better and more logical approaches to treating patients suffering from leishmaniasis.
Religious Studies, Germany
Title: Consistory Records and Lingering Catholicism in Reformed East Frisia
Purpose: The purpose of my research is to better understand how congregants in East Frisia reacted to the Protestant Reformation. Examining how the church consistories dealt with congregants who resisted the Reformation and held on to Catholicism will provide fascinating insights that will allow for a more complete understanding of religious change, particularly in the context of the Protestant Reformation.
International Studies, Portugal
Title: Economic Crisis in the European Union: Comparing Portugal’s Economic Decisions from Colonial Past to Contemporary Times
Purpose: The purpose of my proposed trip is to complete preliminary research for my thesis. Currently I am pursuing a MA in International Studies. Through my studies, I plan to explore and analyze why Portugal is in their current economic crisis. I also will examine their colonial history and compare economic policies from their past to present day. I will conduct research in Portugal about economic policies for two different time periods, Napoleonic Wars-Independence of Brazil (1803-1824) and Transition from Estado Novo to current day European economic integration (1974-present). Not only will I look at Portugal’s economic policies, but also focus on domestic and international politics that influenced them. While in Portugal my intent is to visit libraries and museums for archival records, collections, and raw data focusing on different aspects of Portuguese economics and politics. The institutions I will utilize are the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (BNP), Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Biblioteca da Universidade de Aveiro – European Documentation Centre (CDE), and the British Historical Society of Portugal. Ultimately with these different institutions, my purpose is to collect data on various trends, patterns, and ideologies that connect with both colonial Portugal and contemporary Portugal while uncovering the reasons why Portugal is currently in an economic crisis.
Title: Aesthetic Influence of Japanese Traditional Performing Arts on Contemporary American Playwriting
Purpose: My thesis will focus on analyzing the elements of traditional Japanese theatre and tracing their influence both historically and formally on American playwrights. I intend to travel to Japan this summer to conduct immersive cultural research mostly focusing on the observation of performances of Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku as well as interviews with theatre artists and critics throughout the country. I will use this exploratory research to contextualize my historical and analytical research and include my experience of the ephemeral qualities of performance in my argument connecting these two distinct theatrical traditions.
Writer’s Workshop, Federal States of Micronesia
Title: Upon a Stone Altar: Loan Words, Place Names, and Poetry in the Pacific
Purpose: I will spend five weeks in the city of Kolonia on the island of Pohnpei in oder to collect material for my graduate work at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: a series of poems about Micronesian place names and loan words, which will ultimately become my MFA thesis. My research will focus on gaining familiarity with the Pohnepeian language through immersion and volunteer work in a local public library. Micronesian languages and landscapes are both threatened today due to local cultural shifts and global climate change and are central to the poetry I write. While in Pohnpei, I will gain familiarity with a language and community with which I hope to work as a writer, translator, and editor throughout my career.
Language, Literacy, & Culture/Teaching & Learning, Honduras
Title: Social Movements and Teachers in Honduras
Purpose: My proposed Stanley research project’s main component is to spend two months during the summer of 2013 in Honduras, observing the ways in which teachers use social movements to influence society outside of the school. Observations and interviews will not allow a full understanding of the motivations of teachers to participate in social movements. This research project, however, can contribute to bringing teachers’ perspectives to the forefront of the dialogue about education in Honduras.
Pharmacy Practice & Science, Netherlands & United Kingdom
Title: Exploring International Career Opportunities for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students at the International Pharmaceutical Federation
Purpose: Through this project I will identify international career paths and opportunities for pharmacists and pharmacy students. I will work at the International Pharmaceutical Federation in The Hague, Netherlands, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in London, United Kingdom. The International Pharmaceutical Federation is an international organization that represents pharmacists and national associations of pharmacists. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is the professional body for pharmacists in the United Kingdom.
Title: Dongba Teaching Interactions in Lijiang
Purpose: This summer, I will travel to Lijiang, the center of Naxi culture and tourism, to learn how these developing practices of teaching Dongba writing are affecting the Naxi community. This study will add to the work being done by other scholars on the relationship between transnational engagement through tourism and the preservation of endangered ethnic traditions. My research in Lijiang will form the basis of my MA and serve as an initial study for my PhD research, allowing me to develop connections with local individuals and institutions and laying the groundwork for further research.
Dental Public Health/Preventive and Community Dentistry, Mexico
Title: Factors Related to Tooth Decay Etiology in Children in Xicotepec, Mexico
Purpose: I aim to investigate several factors that contribute to high rates of tooth decay in children in a community in central Mexico called Xicotepec. I will do so by administering in-person questionnaires to parents of elementary and preschool children, as well as written surveys to local dentists and pediatricians. The community of Xicotepec has an ongoing relationship with a service-learning course at the University of Iowa and a number of Iowa Rotary Clubs, and the findings from this project will be used to inform and improve future oral health promotion activities that are a part of this service-learning course.
Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Spain
Title: Optimal Scheduling In Wireless Systems
Purpose: Over the past two decades, technological advances have thrust wireless networks from obscurity into ubiquity. WiFi, 4G, and GPS are a few examples of wireless networks that have become household terms. This wireless network explosion has outpaced research, and there is still much work to be done to optimize the operation of wireless systems. This summer I will travel to Bilbao, Spain, to work with wireless network optimization experts at the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics. We will design a mathematical model, derive and test different solutions, and record simulation data. The goal of my research is to formulate an algorithm that will improve wireless network efficiency. Such an algorithm could have widespread applicability, especially in the telecommunications industry.
International Studies, Mexico
Title: Garbage Presence in the City of Veracruz
Purpose: My purpose is to quantitatively ascertain the current garbage presence situation in Veracruz, Mexico, as the last research on the subject was completed in 1997 and was qualitative, at best. I will also discern the composition of trash being discarded on beaches and city streets. My study expands on this ‘extreme’ level of garbage presence by discovering what the current state of garbage presence is in Veracruz over 16 years later. Is it still considered ‘extreme’ today? If so, I will quantify what ‘extreme’ garbage presence means with measurements spanning over an eight week period.
Translation/World Literature & Languages, Poland & Germany
Title: Depictions of Post-Communist Identity in the Work of Janusz Rudnicki
Purpose: To complete the research for my MFA thesis in Translation, I intend to travel to Poland and Germany to spend a month investigating how individual and collective identity has been depicted in the post-communist Polish literature of Janusz Rudnicki.
Janusz Rudnicki, a nonfiction and short story writer, is considered one of the most important voices of the 90’s Brulion generation, the “Future Barbarians,” as they were called for their defiant, West-influenced prose. Rudnicki's work documents the emergence of a new post-communist consciousness at the crucial moment of transition between the fall of the Iron Curtain to Poland’s inclusion in the European Union in 2004. Through personal interviews with the writer, prominent critics, and socio-historical research at the National Library, and the University of Warsaw Library, I intend to develop my thesis with an introductory essay and a selection of Rudnicki’s work in translation that will be capable of representing his challenging work to the English speaking audience.
International Studies, Brazil
Title: South-South Regional Trade Agreements, an Alternative to North-South Free Trade Agreements: A Look into Mercosur and Brazilian Social Movements
Purpose: The proposed research will be an essential component of my International Studies master’s thesis. Furthermore, my personal main goal is to acquire complete fluency in the Portuguese language by living amongst Portuguese native speakers and engaging in daily archival research in the Library of Congress Overseas Office in Rio de Janeiro. North-south free trade agreements have long been criticized for causing social harm to global south countries; south-south regional trade agreements serve as an alternative for trade and economic growth and development. Generally, my research will focus on south-south regional trade agreements in Latin America and their connection to local social movements. Specifically, the proposed research will focus on Mercosur and its response to social regional needs and Brazilian social movements as indicators of social dissatisfaction and potential reform.
Art History, France
Title: The Nature of Womanhood: Representations of Eighteenth-Century Mothers and Children in Revolutionary France
Purpose: Upon the completion of my second year of coursework at the University of Iowa, I will travel to Paris to conduct preliminary research at the Louvre Museum and its historical archives for my Ph.D. dissertation in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century French art history. My four-week research project will analyze the shifting ideals of the “happy mother” and her family as represented in the artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s genre paintings, portraits, and drawings during the revolutionary period in France.
Title: A Comparison of XRF, pXRF, and LA-ICPMS Technologies for Sourcing Granite and Amphibolite Ground Stone Tools
Purpose: The purpose of my research is to cross-examine the efficacy of new non-destructive technologies for sourcing ground stone artifacts with respect to traditional destructive methods of thin section research and x-ray fluorescence (XRF). My work will also contribute to the understanding of exchange networks for ground stone tools. I will be conducting a survey of the Maya Mountains in central Belize in order to gather hand samples of each distinct granite source. I will then compare a data-set of archaeological artifacts from the Maya site of San Estevan that were constructed of granite to my potential source locations in order to trace ancient exchange routes.
Cinema & Comparative Literature, France
Title: The Moralistes of Film
Purpose: As a film scholar focused on French film with moral issues at the forefront, I want to devote this summer to conducting research on French-language films in the tradition of French moral literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using the archival holdings at four Parisian institutions – The Film Library (BIFI), which also uses the resources of the Cinémathèque française, The National Library of France (BNF), The National Audiovisual Institute (INA), and the Forum des Images (the audiovisual memory bank of Paris) – the purpose of my research will be to identify, explore and analyze the contemporary criticism (in journals and periodicals) and reception (in newspapers and newsreels) of films in the moraliste tradition. The films by Robert Bresson, Eric Rohmer, and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne focus less on the actions of their characters than on the motives and reasons for their actions, which places these films, I argue, in the long literary tradition of the French moralistes. Because I have self-identified this “corpus” of films, it is crucial to my future research and analysis that I discover how these films were received by the critics and the public in France at the time of their release. The most comprehensive collection of criticism and reception of these films can be found only in the archives in Paris. This research will lay the groundwork for my dissertation project on French-language films that are tied to the tradition of moral literature.
Nonfiction Writing, Philippines
Title: Point and Shoot: The Construction of the Communal Self in Early Twentieth Century Photography in Cebu
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to gather and examine material related to early twentieth century modes of expression and construction of Cebuano cultural identity. It specifically seeks to examine how photographic practices during this period facilitated, complicated, and helped shape the construction of a city’s identity.
Management & Organization, China
Title: Temporal Constraints and Work Motivation
Purpose: The formalized rules and policies about time use at work, known as temporal constraints, have been regarded as hindrance factors at work in the literature of management and psychology. Previous studies found that these constraints tend to increase work stress and decrease employee satisfaction. However, the current research proposes that they will have a positive impact on employee motivation, satisfaction and performance, if work designers focus on enabling function rather than coercive function. I would like to find out how work designers can guide effective time use at work through implementing formal rules and policies and how these design efforts influence employee motivation, performance and satisfaction.
In 2012, 16 graduate students received Stanley Awards of $2,500 each for a total of $40,000 awarded. A list of the Stanley Award recipients and their own summaries of their research projects follows:
Ph.D., History, Italy
Title: “Violence and Atrocity in Roman and Greek Warfare”
Purpose: Massacre, mass enslavement, mass deportation, and urbicide—acts that would unquestionably qualify as atrocities in modern warfare—recur to the point of redundancy in ancient Roman and Greek military narratives. Yet uses and reactions to such violence are not consistent across the time and space of the ancient Mediterranean, suggesting that the acceptability of mass violence could fluctuate considerably in ancient warfare. My project will examine the fourth through second centuries BCE in Italy and the Greek world in order to understand how and why atrocities occurred in Greco-Roman warfare, focusing especially on the social and political factors that promoted or limited their use as well as the reasons for different attitudes across time and cultures. The nature of this topic will inevitably lead to dependence on literary sources, but it is my intention to integrate archeological findings wherever possible; this type of evidence will be especially crucial for early Italian warfare, for which we have no contemporary written sources. Thus in the summer of 2012 I intend to do archeological fieldwork at ancient Gabii, Italy, and extensively photograph the ancient fortifications at the nearby sites of Ardea, Segnia, Norba, Terracina, Setia, and Alba Fucens. The hands-on study of these central Italian towns will yield important clues about the nature of warfare in ancient Italy and potentially act as a check against late, unreliable literary sources. Moreover, first-hand archeological experience on the Gabii Project will increase my familiarity with the methods and limitations of archaeology as an essential research tool, while allowing me to assess the broader applicability of archaeological evidence in my project.
Nonfiction Writing Program, Slovenia
Title: “The Life and Death of Film Critic Nika Bohinc”
Purpose: In Slovenia, I plan to explore the powerful consequences of an unsolved murder in the international, independent film community. During her career from 2004 to 2009, Nika Bohinc became the most prominent film journalist in Slovenia. She relocated temporarily to the Philippines to be with her partner, Alexis Tioseco, in January 2009, and on September 1 that same year, Nika was murdered along with him in a supposed robbery at his home. It was three weeks before Nika’s 30th birthday. The true motive for her murder remains unknown. What remains clear is that Nika Bohinic’s life—steeped in an upcoming love for film, art, and her partner Alexis – remains influential across the globe, and deserves close, careful attention. By traveling to Nika Bohinc’s homeland, visiting her beloved Slovenian landmarks, and immersing myself in her personal and professional circles, I will research my first book-length, nonfiction work. For my MFA thesis project in the Nonfiction Writing Program, my goal is to investigate both personal and political implications of a European national dying under suspicious circumstances abroad. Most importantly, I want to understand and offer an international audience the deeper meanings of Nika Bohinc’s life beyond the tragedy that ended her.
Jackson, Abigail Naomi
M.F.A., Creative Writing, West Indies
Title: “Star Side of Bird Hill”
Purpose: I will spend eight weeks in Barbados conducting research for my thesis project, a novel, “Star Side of Bird Hill.” This novel is set in 1989 Barbados, where two sisters, aged 10 and 16, are sent to spend the summer with their grandmother in Bird Hill, an insular community on the east coast of the island. Their mother is in distress back in Brooklyn, experiencing a nervous breakdown, before she eventually kills herself and is buried at home. The girls’ father returns to fetch them, and the novel hinges on whether they will go home with him or stay in Barbados. My research will focus on gathering information that will provide historical and cultural context as well as emotional depth to my novel. Traveling to Barbados would help me with accurate characterization and dialogue for the Barbadian characters, and allow me to better understand how small, insular communities function on the island. There are four research questions that a trip to Barbados will help me answer: What is the history of midwifery and obeah (an African-based spiritual practice) in Barbados? How are the mentally ill treated in Barbados? What are the common speech patterns and idiomatic expressions of Barbadian people? What is life like in a small, insular community on the island?
Cinema and Comparative Literature, Germany
Title: “Exploring Uwe Tellkamp's Dresden in Search of a Vanished Past”
Purpose: In 2008, German writer Uwe Tellkamp was awarded the prestigious German Book Prize for his novel The Tower (Der Turm), in which he chronicles the last decade of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) through the story of one family. In addition to garnering literary accolades, Tellkamp received a political prize for his novel because of its historicism in portraying a vibrant East German cultural life that counters most people's notions about the Cold War era. The consensus among German critics is that The Tower is the most considerable work of East German literature to date—and yet Tellkamp's name remains unknown in the United States because his novel has not yet been translated into English for American readers. With the support of a Stanley Award, I would conduct site-specific research in the former East Germany, gathering the cultural wool of the unique places associated with Tellkamp's novel, in order to assess whether producing an English-language version of The Tower would make for a viable MFA thesis in literary translation.
Johnson, Noah C. G.
Ph.D., Anthropology (Sociocultural), Japan
Title: “Tradition and Authenticity in Shorin Ryu Karate-do”
Purpose: The history of Okinawa has been shaped under the influence of Chinese, Japanese, and, most recently, American military domination. This history has led to a current context wherein issues of cultural identity are imperiled and contested as the Okinawan people struggle to maintain their own distinctive sense of culture despite the need to accommodate the demands of these larger powers. One of the most recognizable products of Okinawan culture is karate, at base a martial art but also a cultural practice inscribed with relationships and ideas inherited from wider Okinawan society. What happens to a cultural practice with such localized meanings when the social context changes? The proposed research consists of ethnographic fieldwork in Okinawa in order to establish a baseline for a broader study, focusing on the ways in which karate has been transformed through its introduction into North America and other parts of the world, and how this dissemination has in turn motivated Okinawans to reassert their proprietary claim to karate as an element of their intangible cultural heritage.
Counseling Psychology (College of Education), Guatemala
Title: “Assessing the Impact of a Comprehensive Care Center for Abused, Guatemalan Women”
Purpose: Guatemala has the highest rate of femicide in the world. Due to significant local and international pressure, in recent years the Guatemalan government has not only codified legal protections for abused women, but has begun to enforce the state's responsibilities. In one important demonstration of its commitment to reducing violence, the Guatemalan government hired Generando (a non-profit organization) to manage the first regional social service organization devoted to the treatment of female survivors of interpersonal violence. However, despite significant demand for its services, little is known about the actual effects of Generando’s efforts. My objective is to investigate the activities and impact of Guatemala’s first regional comprehensive care center for female survivors of interpersonal violence. Multiple research methods and informants will be utilized to investigate the ways in which Generando positively impacts the lives of the women it serves. Specifically, research objectives will be accomplished by analyzing the demographic characteristics of the women who seek Generando’s services, reviewing archival data from the organization’s standard intake forms, and interviewing Generando staff, allied health and social service workers, and some of the women Generando serves.
Nonfiction Writing Program, China
Title: “Strange Music: Variations on English in the Middle Kingdom”
Purpose: I plan to spend four weeks in China to conduct research for a work of long-form nonfiction that will use the form of the travel narrative to explore the ways in which English in China has been encoded, infused with culturally specific allusions, and borrowed syntactical arrangements, relationships, customs, and values. It will be a tour of the English language in China: my guides will be the brochures, signs, curatorial placards and menus that I encounter in urban centers and tourist sites as well as less-traveled destinations. There are two intertwined threads to this journey: I wish to chart the process of estrangement by which a native English speaker must abandon familiar contexts for words so that they may be interpreted in entirely different milieus; and to embark on a tour of the multivalent ways in which China—which is becoming globalized in a distinct and endogenous manner—expresses itself to both domestic and international audiences.
Political Science, China
Title: “The Roles of Media and Culture in the Formation of Foreign Policy Opinion”
Purpose: I am initiating research for my future dissertation project on public opinion formation in China. For the first stage of my research, I plan to investigate the question: what leads Americans and Chinese to support different foreign policies in cases of external civil wars? In a study about tolerance for the Ku Klux Klan (Nelson, et al. 1997), researchers found that media frames affected public opinion by altering perceived importance of public order values (free speech versus social order). My analysis (forthcoming) finds a similar dichotomy in U.S. and Chinese coverage of events in Libya; and Chinese news frames emphasize the importance of individual civil values in the formation of public opinion toward foreign policy in China. I plan to conduct a media experiment at Sun Yat-sen University in Guanzhou, China. Given recent evidence that domestic public opinion can constrain China’s foreign policy options (Shirk 2011, Gries 2004), this study is also useful from a theoretical standpoint, in that conducting a framing media experience in China introduces cultural and environmental parameters that are understudied in current literature. Therefore, the study will contribute to our understanding of generalizability of the present literature.
School of Art and Art History, metals and jewelry, Italy
Title: “Metals and Enameling Apprenticeship”
Purpose: I have been given the amazing opportunity to apprentice with Linda Darty in Certaldo Alto, Italy. I will spend four days a week, 8 hours a day, for 3 months, studying metalsmithing, jewelry, and enameling with Linda. She is a highly-revered metalsmith/enamellist who has invited me to work with her for three months in the fall of 2012. This work will provide me with an exceptional learning and professional experience from which I can build my post-graduate career.
Title: “Hospital-based Surveillance of Staphylococcus aureus in Lagos, Nigeria”
Purpose: The goal of the research project is to increase surveillance of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus within hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos, Nigeria, is the second-most populous city in Africa and one of the fastest growing cities in the world, yet transmission of S. aureus in Lagos is poorly understood. Gaining insight about S. aureus in Lagos, Nigeria, could improve antibiotic prescription methods within Nigeria and minimize the spread of hospital-acquired infections in other highly-populated urban communities. Potential hospital infection control measures as a result of the research include: improved data collection and management of prescribed antibiotics, decolonization of hospital employees and patients with S. aureus, and bolstered hand hygiene education for surgeons, nursing staff, and visitors. Understanding genetic and molecular typing of the S. aureus strains in Nigeria will ensure proper treatment of patients infected with this bacterium in the city of Lagos and throughout the country.
Communication Studies, India
Title: “Being Political in the Indian Transnation: Theorizing the Diaspora's Role in Altering the Discourse of Development”
Purpose: For my dissertation, I plan to map the transnational political practices of an Indian diasporic volunteer movement, named Association for India’s Development (AID), as a way of understanding the changing modes of citizenship that emerge through and in response to globalization. This larger, multi-sited ethnographic project will examine how AID’s activism both in the U.S. and in India, their use of public spaces, and rights claiming practices challenge the way we currently understand citizenship, nationalism, and the role of the diaspora in development. My objectives for this summer project are two-fold. First, I propose to establish personal contact with AID’s network of fulltime social activists (jeevansaathis and saathis) in India, whom I can draw on for interviews over the next two years. Second, with assistance from these activists, I hope to identify ethnographic research sites, in both AID offices in cities and individual projects, that I can return to for fieldwork next year.
Renaud, Jeffery B.
Spanish and Portuguese, Chile
Title: “An Optimality Theoretic typology of three fricative-vowel assimilations in Chilean Spanish”
Purpose: This research examines three phonological processes that affect certain consonants in various dialects of Latin American Spanish. I focus on the case of Chilean Spanish given that all three processes have been claimed to occur in this dialect. The currently available data for the sound properties are found in sociolinguistic studies principally dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. However, no phonetic studies measuring the sounds’ acoustic properties have been carried out. These sound variations are of interest because speakers do not use them consistently, which raises the question of whether there is a greater or lesser tendency to use them depending on the preceding or following sound. Furthermore, similar phonetic variations seem to have existed in some earlier stages of Spanish. A better understanding of the factors underlying these sound alternations may shed light on processes of historical change. In order to gain such an understanding, fieldwork in Chile is required, as access to these unique dialects that exhibit all three of these properties cannot be found elsewhere.
Science Education/Teaching and Learning, South Korea
Title: “Investigating Inquiry-Based Science Classrooms in South Korea”
Purpose: Using inquiry as a tool for learning in science classrooms has been shown to be integral to science education. Although the United States places a strong emphasis on the importance of inquiry in science classrooms, our students still fall far behind globally in science achievement. I propose studying in South Korea, where science scores rank in the top positions globally, to examine how teachers set up classrooms for inquiry and, in particular, how they use writing as a means for negotiation in the science classroom. Preliminary results with our colleagues have shown the implementation of the Inquiry-Based Science Writing (SWH) approach in Korean classrooms has additionally improved scores above those high rankings previously reported. I propose to observe and analyze Korean classrooms, with a particular focus on how instructors set up the writing environment, to gain and understanding of how we could implement some of the same methods in the United States.
Title: “Reading the Premonstratensian Landscape: Woman, Space and Patronage in Medieval France”
Purpose: The purpose of my trip is to carry out the first-stage research which will be the foundation of my dissertation proposal. My main research interests are medieval French monastic communities belonging to a Catholic religious order known as the Premonstratensians, who have not previously been extensively researched. Most of the documents relating to these monasteries have not been published, and exist only in manuscript copies held in French archives. I have compiled a preliminary list of the documentary sources and narrative accounts relating to the order and hope to examine them, and to make the list an exhaustive one, during my research trip to Paris and Troyes between May and August 2012. To these written sources, I hope to add topographical, geographical and archaeological surveys which will be of great use given the interdisciplinary nature of my work. The French national cartographic agency also has a collection of topographic maps and aerial photographs on monastic sites that I intend to use, in conjunction with the holdings at the Archives photographiques and the Centre de recherches sur les monuments historiques. This summer’s research will form the core of my dissertation prospectus, and then of my dissertation. It will help me identify the departmental archives and regional libraries whose collections will be most useful to me during my later research, enabling me to continue to work efficiently and productively during the academic year here in Iowa.
Ph.D., History, Germany
Title: “Creative Alternatives: Art Scenes and Cultural Politics in Berlin, 1976-1999”
Purpose: A Stanley Graduate Award for International Research would provide me the opportunity to visit multiple archives and libraries around Berlin and perform the initial research on my dissertation project, "Creative Alternatives." This preliminary research abroad will enable me to apply for major grants in fall 2012 and complete my dissertation proposal by spring 2013. Materials contained in these archives include art exhibition catalogs, underground publications, promotional posters, as well as documents from state- and municipally-supported cultural organizations. Drawing from a diverse source base allows me to examine the relationship between East and West Berlin artists, audiences, and cultural administrators before and after unification. Berlin art scenes in the 1980s and 90s present an innovative platform for studying alternative cultures under democracy and state socialism and for exploring the role of artists in forging a united Berlin.
M.D., Carver College of Medicine, Tanzania
Title: “A Needs Assessment of the Social and Medical Hardships of Persons with Albinism in Tanzania”
Purpose: The treatment of persons with albinism in Tanzania has been described by UNICEF as a “systematic violation of individual human rights that must be dealt with decisively.” Tanzanians with albinism face discrimination on a daily basis and constant threats of attack, murder, and rape. There are pervasive beliefs spread throughout East Africa that persons with albinism possess magical powers that other people may obtain by ingesting potions made from their skin, tongue, heart, and genital organs. As a result, Tanzanians with albinism live in a constant state of fear. Additionally, Tanzanians with oculcutaneous albinism face nervous health issues, including blindness and early onset fatal skin cancer. Poor medical treatment and insufficient local resources exacerbate these problems. The Tanzanian government and several non-governmental organizations have recently begun to address these issues, but it is unclear how effective their intervention has been. This summer, I will be spending 10 weeks at Nyakato Health Center in Mwanza, Tanzania. In addition to providing care at the health center for all community members in need, I will be obtaining information regarding the obstacles to care, safety, and integration into society faced by Tanzanians with albinism. I will combine my experiences in Tanzania with background reading and knowledge to formulate possible solutions to the medical and social challenges faced by Tanzanians with albinism. Upon my return, I will be applying to present my findings at global health seminars and research conferences in order to spread awareness of these issues.
In 2011, 27 graduate students received Stanley Awards of $2,000 each for a total of $54,000 awarded. A list of the recipients and their own summaries of their research projects follows:
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Title: “Vincentian Identity: Its Construction and Inheritance”
Purpose: In order to complete ethnographic research for my M.F.A. thesis in Nonfiction Writing, I intend to travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. My academic and creative interests lie in issues relating to the formation, inheritance, (mis)recognition, mutability, and rejection of identities with a focus on race, gender, sexuality, and ingroup/outgroup dynamics within familial structures. I propose to investigate the historical, ethnic/racial, socio-cultural nature of Vincentian identity and its transmission to the American-born offspring of Vincentian émigrés. Over the course of four weeks, I intend to conduct ethnographic and genealogical research via the country's vital records offices, videotaped interviews, and multimedia documentation.
Ph.D., French, France
Title: “When the Male is Lacking Words: Representation of the Father Figure in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean”
Purpose: I would like to go to Aix-en-Provence, France, to conduct research at the Colonial Archives, where all government documents of the French colonies are. The advantage of going to Aix-en-Provence is that the documentation is centralized there so I will not have to travel to the three different islands. Also, I am presenting a paper at the annual meeting of the ConseiI International d’Etudies Francophones, a well-known association in Francophone Studies. Presenting a paper and doing research in Aix-en-Provence are excellent opportunities to develop my academic growth and work in general, my comprehensive exams, and my dissertation proposal that I will both take during the next academic year.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, France
Title: “A Nation Redefined: The Shifting Cultural Dynamic of France”
Purpose: The purpose of this research grant is to investigate shifting cultural tolerance and the preservation of national identity in France. In particular, I am interested in the impact ongoing immigration (both legal and illegal) from northern African countries may have on the country and the identity of its citizens. I'm also interested in how contemporary political events—including the recent ban on burqas in French schools, the escalating threats of terrorism in and around France, and the ongoing political unrest in Egypt and in much of northern Africa—may be effecting or emphasizing this issue in France. During the fall of 2007, I had the opportunity to live and study just outside of Marseille, France, one of Europe’s largest and most influential port cities and the largest site of legal and illegal immigration from northern African countries to France. While in France, I witnessed firsthand the effects of immigration reform on the people who lived there. Since my return to the United States, I have continued researching French policy on immigration and immigration reform. I have also become captivated with the revolution of the Egyptian people, and deeply believe their future will impact cultural tolerance and understanding in all Western countries. With this grant, I aim to investigate the influence of shifting cultural tolerance—not only in practice, but in its effect on human beings, families and cultural norms. I plan to conduct the majority of my research in Marseille, primarily through personal interviews and meetings with members of the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman, or French Council of Muslim Worship. With this grant, I will examine the ways in which the ambition of individuals inherently reconstructs the identity of a place. The material gathered in Marseille will be used in essays in my book-length collection.
Ph.D., History, Germany and Switzerland
Title: “Entangled in My Gender and Race: Mary Church Terrell, African American Women’s International Activism, and the Rhineland Campaign, 1919-1923”
Purpose: I am initiating archival research for my future dissertation project “Entangled in My Gender and Race: Mary Church Terrell, African American Women’s International Activism, and the Rhineland Campaign, 1919-1923.” My master’s essay, which I am currently completing, investigates the involvement of Mary Church Terrell, a prominent African American activist, in the controversy surrounding Germany’s racist propaganda campaign to remove French black colonial troops from the Rhineland territory shortly after World War I. For the dissertation, I will explore Mary Church Terrell’s extensive career as the framework for discussing an even larger issue, African American women activists in the international sphere. This project crucially restores international activism to the history of African American women and an African American presence to the history of transatlantic feminist organizing. I propose to use the Stanley Graduate Award to travel to Berlin, Geneva, and Washington D.C. to examine primary documents necessary to carry out my research objectives.
Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition/FLARE, Russia
Title: “Remapping of Nominal Features in the Second Language”
Purpose: Generative second language (L2) research so far has been largely concerned with the role of Universal Grammar (UG) and parameters in L2 acquisition: to what extent L2 learners’ grammars are constrained by universal principles and whether L2 learners can reset parameters. A vast number of L2 studies have shown that adult L2 learners have access to UG and parameters can be reset. Nevertheless, unlike first language (L1) acquisition, which is guaranteed to converge on the target adult grammar, the majority of adult L2 learners exhibit non-target-like grammars, which raises a logical question: if adult learners have access to UG and can reset parameters, what makes it so difficult for them to achieve native-like proficiency in the L2? Taking this question as its point of departure, this study investigates degrees of difficulty in L2 acquisition and possible barriers to successful acquisition by examining the L2 acquisition of definiteness and referentiality in an article-less language, Russian. In this study, learners of Russian from two different L1 backgrounds will be compared: L1 with overt articles (English) and L1 without overt articles (Korean). Therefore, this study requires a large number of participants (both native speaker controls and learners). To recruit participants, a round-trip travel to Russia will be necessary. Findings of the study will provide new insight into the effect of the native language on L2 learnability, which can expand our understanding of the nature of L2.
M.A., Anthropology, Equatorial Guinea
Title: “An Investigation into the Molecular Diversity, Ecology, and Evolution of the Bioko Monkeys”
Purpose: Bioko (Equatorial Guinea, West Central Africa) is an island off the coast of Cameroon. As part of a biodiversity hotspot it harbors one of the most species rich insular primate communities in the world. Five of the seven members of this community are listed as Endangered or Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as they suffer from illegal hunting, extremely restricted habitat ranges, and habitat destruction. The purpose of this study is to complete the first population based genetic research of the Bioko primate. This research will greatly enhance our understanding of how insular populations evolve over time, react to human disturbance, and how speciation takes effect. It will also add in the protection of these species with the goal of preserving biodiversity.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, The Netherlands
Title: “Japan’s WWII Internment Camps in Indonesia: Conditions and Effects on Dutch Civilian Prisoners of War”
Purpose: In 1941, the Japanese entered World War II with a wide-scale invasion of the Pacific. This included an invasion of Indonesia, then known as the Dutch East Indies, a colony of the Netherlands. The Japanese interned nearly 200,000 Allied-nation civilians there, including my father, a Dutch citizen, who was a ten year-old boy when the invasion occurred. He was put into a men’s labor camp, where he survived near starvation and periodic beatings and whippings by Japanese guards before being reunited with his family at the end of the war. As part of my research for my M.F.A. thesis in Creative Nonfiction, which will explore this period through my father's personal accounts, I intend to spend two weeks in Semarang, Indonesia, to conduct fieldwork before traveling to the Netherlands to spend an additional five weeks doing research at the Dutch National Archives and Dutch Institute for War Documentation, in The Hague and Amsterdam, respectively. This research will provide much needed verification and historical context for the interviews I have done with my father about his experiences in the camps and the circumstances surrounding this part of history. Despite extensive investigation and the Japanese camp guards being found guilty by a war crimes tribunal after WWII, very little is known by the average person in the United States about the Japanese-run concentration camps. This work aims to change that, and will culminate in a nonfiction thesis which will recount my father’s story and detail the experiences of civilian prisoners of war inside Japan’s concentration camps.
M.D., Medicine, Brazil
Title: “Evaluation of Initial Results from the Brazilian National Ponseti Program”
Purpose: Congenital clubfoot is considered to be the most common congenital birth defect of the musculoskeletal system. Neglected clubfoot is one of the most common physical disabilities in the world. In Brazil—where the prevalence of clubfoot is estimated to be 1/1000 births—affected individuals face diminished prospects for education and employment, leading to a dependency on family or external aid (e.g., begging) for survival. Though abundant evidence already supports the effectiveness of the Ponseti method as the ‘gold standard’ for clubfoot treatment in developed countries, less is known on under-resourced regions where 80% of children with clubfoot are born. Therefore, it is imperative to evaluate programs in these regions to optimize the effectiveness and define the limits of the treatment in under-resourced areas. Due to the noninvasive nature of the procedure and the relatively short course of treatment, generally lasting from five to eight weeks, the results of this study could have a profound effect in under-resourced countries where inexpensive, effective treatments such as the Ponseti method are essential.
Ph.D., Anthropology, Japan
Title: “The Reconfiguration of Religious Space in Contemporary Japan”
Purpose: Modern Buddhist temples and Shintō shrines in contemporary Japan are currently in a difficult position. Traditionally temples and shrines in Japanese society were not perceived merely as spaces in which a set of religious observances were carried out. Temple and shrines in communities served as the hub for a host of over activities such as markets, seasonal festivals, family outings, dance or music recitals and presentations, among others, so that their importance to the community was predicated on more than just a religious basis. But today's highly mobile contemporary society had left behind the concept of the temple/shrine as community center, leaving its priests, families and staff in financially precarious situations and in search for other means to supplement their small incomes and insure the compound's survival. What means, then, are available to these shrines and temples to secure themselves financially and ensure their survival? From offering yoga classes to opening cafés, shrines and temples are engaging in a fascinating transformation that fuses the concept of the shrine/temple as traditional community center with modern marketing techniques that successfully disseminates a positive image of this religious space as a space in which friends, families and colleagues can visit in order to relax and enjoy themselves in a warm, friendly setting… and hopefully these visits will encourage them to become more interested in religion at the same time. My aim then is to explore the means by which these religious spaces seek to bring into modernity the traditional role of the shrine/temple as a community space by employing marketing, mass media and spatial transformation as a means to bring back into popular consciousness the conception of these religious spaces as community centers and an integral part of social life in contemporary Japan.
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Socioeconomics, Mexico
Title: “An Action Research Approach to Examining Perceptions and Needs in Diabetes Care in a Community in Mexico”
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to examine the provision of health care for diabetes and the inherent relationships that exist among patients and families, health care teams, and community partners related to diabetes care in Xicotepec, Mexico. I am interested in assessing patient and health care provider experiences, problems with the health care organization's ability to provide the necessary care for diabetic patients, and its links to the community; as well as the health-related beliefs associated with diabetes and treatment of various stakeholders within the community. This research is needed to better understand how the dynamic components inherent in patient care provision in the health care organization and the community are affected by the challenges that arise in shifting the focus from acute care to care for chronic conditions, especially in terms of accessibility to care and treatment for diabetes in rural resource-poor communities. This study is intended to inform us about these issues in a community in Mexico.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, Iceland
Title: “Collection History of the Icelandic Phallological Museum”
Purpose: The Icelandic Phallological Museum declares itself "probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country," and I don't doubt it. But what fascinates me is what a universal story this niche museum actually represents. The collection is the work of one man, a former headmaster who stumbled into collecting phallus specimens after receiving a gag gift, and yet proceeded to amass a collection that 23 years later became a museum. Despite the institutional authority we tend to associate with museums, the Icelandic Phallological Museum strikes me as emblematic of how haphazardly many museums actually get started. That curious serendipity is an idea I'd like to add to the thesis work I'm doing writing a collection of essays about museums. Specifically, I would like to write about how this collection became a museum and what that museum is now. To that end, I intend to visit the museum, expand the interview I've thus far conducted by email with the curator/founder, review collection records stored at the museum, and visit sites important to the museum’s history (like its first home in Reykjavik or the secondary school in Akranes where the curator received the specimens that started the collection). My personal familiarity with these details will crucially inform both my understanding and my power to describe the place in writing.
M.A., Art History, Burkina Faso
Title: “Carving Wood and Casting Lots: Lobi Sculptors and Diviners in Burkina Faso”
Purpose: The Lobi of Burkina Faso are well-known for their carved wooden figure sculptures (bateba) that are placed on shrines to maintain relationships with spirits (thila). The nature of this relationship is directed by a diviner. Bateba provide assistance to their owners in dealing with a variety of issues such as illness, grief, marital relations, moral indemnification, and protection against malevolent spirits. During my extended stay in Burkina Faso this summer, I will visit the local museum and surrounding villages to study the contemporary nature of relationships among sculptors, diviners, bateba, and thila.
M.F.A., Art – Sculpture, Czech Republic
Title: “Listen and Speak: Marginalized Stories and Our Cultural Points of Entry”
Purpose: My research examines how different communities tell their stories, and in particular, how certain stories become silenced in different cultures. In Iowa, I work extensively with incarcerated women, whose stories are often marginalized by the larger culture. I develop my creative work (sculpture, installation, and poetry-plays) and academic research in tandem, in an attempt to bridge a gap in our historical and artistic record. I work in public and private venues, such as the prison (private, closed) and Pubic Space One, Iowa City, (public, open) to create a community dialogue that discusses the value of the human voice and our collective story-making. This summer, I will travel of Prague, Czech Republic, to work with a team of international artists, creating a public art installation that examines displacement and abandoned architectural spaces within a large city. I will also interview Rolf Abderhalden Cortes, the director of this project, regarding his work with MapaTheatro (Paris and Bogota). Cortes' projects bring the stories of displaced communities into public life, connecting storytelling, sculpture, theatre, and installation art. Further, our work in Prague coincides with the Prague Quadrennial, a major international arts event, and so I will speak with artists from multiple countries who create new, compelling intersections of art and theatre. I will interview volunteers from the Pranrak Prison and the artists of Divaldlo Theatre, who make alternative work that aims to cross language barriers. As the stories of "lesser voiced" communities is the core of my thesis, and the intersection of theatre, sculpture, and installation is the aim in my creative work, this research is invaluable as I compile my MFA thesis.
Ph.D., History, Japan
Title: “Manchuria Kenkoku University, 1938-1945: Japan’s Pan-Asianist Ideals in Action”
Purpose: The purpose of my proposed research trip to Japan is to obtain written and oral records for my dissertation about Manchuria Kenkoku University, Japan’s colonial educational institution in northeast China in the 1930s and 1940s. To acquire written records, I will visit Tōyō Bunko (The Oriental Library) in Tokyo that houses the largest collection including several sources that appear to be the only extant materials. To obtain oral records, I will visit Osaka City and conduct interviews with six former students of Kenkoku University. I have established contacts with these alumni, who have agreed to share their stories about the school. When meeting with these former Japanese students, I plan to request that they will introduce me to some other alumni, possibly non-Japanese members. Both of these written and oral records will provide valuable data for my dissertation.
Ph.D., Art History, Benin
Title: “The Palace of Dahomey, After Colonization”
Purpose: I propose to research Benin’s Royal Palace of Dahomey, and specifically its relationship to the national, cultural, and religious identity of colonial Dahomey and post-colonial Benin. In order to accomplish this, I will investigate the palace as a center for political struggle, as a museum and cultural center, as a tourist destination, and as a religious site. I will investigate what physical transformations the palace complex underwent in relation to its changing and multifaceted roles. While in Abomey, in addition to making a photographic record of the surviving portion of the palace, I will also make a detailed study of the city plan and local architecture to investigate if and how the royal history and palatial architecture have affected both. Having read pre-colonial and colonial accounts of the religious ceremonies that worship the deified posthumous kings, I will also, by attending the local present day religious ceremonies, determine the royal architecture’s religious importance. Archival research in the city or Porto-Novo will help me determine what African and European players contributed to the transformation of the palace into the National Museum and to present day restorations of portions of the palace complex. The material I will gather will provide necessary information for my dissertation and for later published works on the subject. I expect this research to contribute not only to the growing body of post-colonial research, but also to the sparse but important publications on African architecture.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, Venezuela
Title: “Baseball Culture in Latin America”
Purpose: I plan to travel to Valencia, Venezuela to study the fanatical baseball culture in Latin America, and gain knowledge about the leagues and schools put into place to help develop young men into players that can make it into American professional baseball. This research will contribute to a book length project about the world of minor league baseball that will be my thesis for the Nonfiction Writing Program. I spent the spring and summer of 2010 in Clinton, Iowa, following a minor league team, getting to know the players. Many of the young men that I met and focused on in Clinton were form Latin American countries and had been chasing their dream for years, toiling in smaller, local leagues. My research in Venezuela will show me the lives that my subjects led before making it to Clinton. In Valencia, I will observe games in the Venezuela Summer League, where many of my subjects played. I will also interview coaches and scouts about the player development process, as well as baseball historians to help me understand the changing, significant presence of baseball in Latin America. Over the course of this study, I want to experience firsthand how important baseball success is to Latin American players, as well as to the coaches and families around them, and their home countries. I want to understand the sacrifice, both emotional and economic, that it takes to produce future international baseball stars.
Ph.D., History, Germany
Title: “Matter Over Mind: Medicine, Magic, and Other Material Means of Manipulating Mood in the Later Middle Ages”
Purpose: This project will examine medieval concepts of different physical causes of mood and feeling, namely issues with the body which have an influence on the psyche. It will then inquire into what sort of manipulation of physical circumstances could have an impact on the mood and to what extent physical causes could be solved by physical cures rather than pure acts of will. Factors like diet, climate, the stars, and even music were believed to influence mood. This project will investigate the mechanisms by which these physical factors were supposed to influence a person’s mood and feelings. It will also examine how people attempted to control their own moods by manipulation of these physical causes, like health regimens, phlebotomy, astrology, travel, and herbal and alchemical medicines. This project is informed by research in a variety of overlapping disciplines, including history of medicine, history of scholastic thought (focusing on scholastic approaches to psychology, especially in commentaries on Aristotle’s De Anima), and history of emotions. In the broadest sense, it will investigate how medieval individuals understood the relationship between mind and body and between self and body. To execute this research, I will examine relevant late medieval manuscripts held in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich.
M.A., History, France
Title: “Militant Monasticism: How Two Religious Orders Profited from the Second Crusade, 1145-1149”
Purpose: In order to raise money for the Second Crusade (1145-1149), Gerald and his brother William sold their family’s property to the Commanderie de Richerenchés, a Templar monastery located in southeastern France. Monks recorded this transaction in a land charter, which they then deposited in their official record book. When the Second Crusade failed, Gerald and William’s heirs were left without an inheritance. The Templar monks, on the other hand, now possessed a new piece of property. Historians have studied how kings and emperors financed their journeys, but men like Gerald and William have received comparably little attention. This leaves us with a one-sided picture – most crusaders, since they were not part of the royal army, had to pay their own way. I propose to partially fill this gap in our knowledge by comparing Templar and Hospitaller land charters from southern France with papal confirmations of their properties. In addition to providing the first systematic analysis of crusade charters, this comparison will shed light on the extent to which the Second Crusade contributed to the growth of monastic institutions.
M.D., Medicine, Brazil
Title: “Identification of Barriers to Bracing Compliance in the Ponseti Method Treatment of Clubfoot in Brazil”
Purpose: I am hoping to spend the summer of 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, working on a research project that will address barriers to care for pediatric patients with orthopedic disabilities. I will be working with a Brazilian collaborator, Monica Nogueira, to develop a survey that will ask patients, parents, and health care providers what they feel are the most significant barriers to care. In particular, we will be asking about usage of the abduction brace, which is an orthopedic device that must be worn following surgery to correct club foot. If the abduction brace isn’t used appropriately, relapse occurs. By determining what prevents patients from seeking care or completing treatment, we hope to use our data to make recommendations about how to increase the percentage of patients who can access care and appropriately utilize the abduction brace. We hope that these recommendations can improve the overall quality of treatment and prevent relapses following surgery.
M.F.A., Dance, South Korea
Title: “Participatory Research in Traditional and Contemporary Korean Dance Forms”
Purpose: By participating in traditional and contemporary Korean dance classes, I plan to turn my artistic attention to viewing dancing bodies as repositories of social and cultural rituals and beliefs. It is essential for my ongoing research as a contemporary artist to be immersed in new cultural, social, political and demographical settings in order to inspire the evolution of my artistry and dance making. I have been given an exciting opportunity to teach and perform at Gwangalli Beach for the 24th Busan International Summer Dance Festival, located in Busan, South Korea. I would use the Stanley Graduate Award to expand this experience with participatory research in Korean contemporary and traditional dance forms.
M.A., Public Health – Epidemiology, Mongolia
Title: “Investigation of S. aureus and MRSA in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia”
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to investigate S. aureus in Mongolia. S. aureus is the bacterial species responsible for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. While there has been a high level of research focusing on this pathogen throughout the world, very little has been done investigating it in Mongolia. This proposal will take me to Mongolia to aid in the isolation of S. aureus strains from hospital patients in Ulaanbaatar. Isolated samples of S.aureus will then be sent back to Dr. Tara Smith's lab at the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa's Oakdale Campus. Once they have reached Tara's lab, they will be tested for susceptibility to various drugs and undergo genetic analysis to determine which strains of S. aureus are prevalent in Mongolia. Once these analyses have been done, this information will be communicated back to my colleagues (Dr. Bulgan and Dr. Altankhuu) in Mongolia. This information will ensure that S. aureus is properly treated and managed within the country. This information will also be useful for the study of S. aureus throughout the world, and will be presented to at the College of Public Health's poster session and an epidemiology seminar upon my return from Mongolia next fall semester.
M.F.A., English – Creative Writing, Vietnam
Title: “The Effect of Industrialization on Vietnamese Poetics”
Purpose: My research in geopolitical poetry will track how movements and shifts within environment become reflected in poetry. The purpose of my research is to investigate how Vietnamese poetics are altering in relation to the industrialization occurring within the country. Due to the pressures of industrialization that replace farms with factories and privatize existing farms, I will research how poetry that is traditionally focused on agrarian culture is experiencing a transition in aesthetics to cope with these social changes. My research will track how Vietnamese forms of poetry correlates with social and geographical alterations resulting from industrialization. In addition to gathering researched information on poetry and industrialization, I will conduct open-ended interviews with agrarian and factory workers, street poets, and folk singers; my research will investigate if poetics face formal pressures that reflect society’s economic pressures.
Ph.D., Art History, Italy and Egypt
Title: “Tradition in Transformation: The Egyptian Temples of Cleopatra VII and Augustus”
Purpose: In the summer of 2011 I will conduct preliminary dissertation research by spending nine weeks in Italy and Egypt photographing and studying the monuments that form the basis of my Ph.D. dissertation on the Egyptian temples built by Cleopatra VII and the Roman emperor Augustus. My dissertation is an interdisciplinary study at the intersection of art history and archaeology and will consider Augustan additions to temples in Egypt within the context of Egyptian pharaonic and Ptolemaic temple building traditions as well as in comparison with the temples associated with Augustus in Rome. Preliminary research leads me to believe that after defeating Cleopatra VII at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE and annexing Egypt into the Roman Empire, Augustus changed the artistic nature of Egyptian temples. Furthermore, my research suggests that Augustus applied similar principles to his building projects in Rome and in Egypt and that detailed study of his monuments in both countries will yield more information about this vibrant period in history. I have three main goals for my summer research project. My primary goal is to study and photograph the Egyptian temples that will form the core of my dissertation. My secondary goal is to compare Augustan artistic projects in Egypt and Rome by studying and photographing surviving Augustan monuments in Rome. My tertiary goal is to participate in the American Academy in Rome’s Summer Program in Archaeology in order to gain hands on archaeological experience and learn the archaeological skills essential to the successful completion of my dissertation research.
Ph.D., Religious Studies, India
Title: “Role of the Prakrit languages in the development of pre-modern vernacular literary cultures in east India”
Purpose: There are two reasons why I wish to undertake a study tour to India over the summer break. First, I intend to receive advanced level training in Prakrit languages from the regional scholars. The summer language training will be organized by the American Institute of Indian Studies, Chicago at the Deccan College, Pune in India. An advanced level competence in Prakrit is necessary for evaluating the state of literary cultures in pre-modern India. In recent times, India has witnessed an upsurge in the political movements that demand the re-organization of Indian states on the basis of linguistic identities. These political agitations weave their narratives on ‘identity’ around vernacular cultures. Most historians locate the roots of vernacular cultures in Prakrit languages that flourished in medieval times. However, the reasons for the decline of Prakrit languages and the rise of vernacular cultures are not yet clear. Therefore, I am interested in the exploring the early roots of vernacular literary cultures in east India. Since I wish to study the relationship between Prakrit languages and pre-modern vernacular literatures, I must develop advanced language skills in Prakrit with the help of regional experts. Second, I wish to procure relevant primary texts from the archives of the Khuda Baksh Oriental Library, Patna and the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. Both libraries preserve rare manuscripts of pre-modern times. I want to search their reserves for those earliest extant records that can help me understand the development of pre-modern vernacular literary cultures in east India.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, Japan
Title: “Uncommon Inhabitation: Displacement and Abandonment on Hashima Island”
Purpose: To complete research for my MFA thesis in Nonfiction Writing, I plan to travel to Nagasaki, Japan to study the abandoned island directly off its coast to investigate the ways in which we make sense of inhabitation and, in turn, isolation and vacancy. Once the most densely populated plot of land on earth, Hashima, a former coal mining facility occupied by displaced workers and forced laborers, sprung up on an almost uninhabitable island, earning its peek profits during times of war. It was vacated in 1974 after coal prices dropped, leaving thousands homeless and most without job prospects. I will spend three weeks in Nagasaki and surrounding towns interviewing former residents and conducting on-site and archival research, seeking to answer the following questions: 1) What does it mean to create communities when one has no choice? 2) What can we learn about migration and displacement from a city built atop once-unlivable rock? 3) What does it mean when one community's survival is contingent primarily upon the destruction of another? 4) How do we work to understand or associate with places that serve as beckons of abandonment and aftermath throughout history?
Hashima's proximity to Nagasaki will help me examine the contrast between resilience, rebuilding and continued desolation. This research will inform the title piece of a book-length collection of essays centering on the theme of aftermath.
M.A., International Studies, Brazil
Title: “Advantages and Disadvantages to Sustainable Coffee Production in Brazil”
Purpose: The proposed research will be the basis for my master’s degree in International Studies. I plan to live and work with private landowners throughout three different states in Brazil, including Goias, Minas Gerais, and Parana. The focus for the proposed research is on Utz certified coffee, created in 2002 as an attempt to market specialty coffee in the mainstream market. Utz certified coffee is best described as a combination of Fair Trade and Organic coffees, targeting social and financial stability. In the effort to sell specialty coffee in the mainstream coffee market, Utz certified coffee exists on mostly medium to large-scale coffee plantations. Therefore, my interest in visiting these cooperatives in addition to family farms is to collect a broad data range of perspectives to determine the advantages and disadvantages to sustainable coffee production. The proposed research offers a unique opportunity to draw attention to the struggles and successes found in sustainable coffee production, leading to informed consuming habits in regards to coffee certifications.
M.F.A., Nonfiction Writing, Latvia
Title: “Special Exile: A Narrative of Latvia’s Siberian Deportees”
Purpose: In order to gather material for my M.F.A. thesis in Nonfiction Writing, I plan to spend one month in Latvia, researching how individual and collective identities are shaped by mass-exile. During the Soviet occupation of Latvia following World War II, over the course a single day in 1949, more than 42,000 Latvians were picked up by authorities and deported to Siberia. Referred to as "special exiles," they were not kept in prison camps. Instead, the land itself was used as a prison. Dropped off in remote regions, these exiles were expected to fend for themselves. The special exiles occupy a relatively unknown place in the history of Siberian deportations under Stalin. Through personal interviews with survivors and their descendants, as well as archival research at Riga's Museum of the Occupation, the repository for national scholarship on the experiences of Latvians exiled to Siberia; the National Oral History Project at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Latvia; and the State Historical Archives, I plan to trace the after-shocks of these forced relocations, from both individual and historical standpoints.