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Standard Research Grants 2010

Standard Research Grants awarded to members of the Faculty of Arts in 2010.

(information courtesy of the researchers)

Hans Beck, Classics
Michael Blome-Tillman, Philosophy
George di Giovanni, Philosophy
Elizabeth Elbourne, History
Kathleen Fallon, Sociology
John Galaty, Anthropology
Brendan Gillon, Linguistics
Cecily Hilsdale, Art History
Amelia Jones, Art History
Jose Jouve-Martin, Hispanic Studies
Celine Le Bourdais, Sociology
Robert Lecker, English
Stephen Saideman, Political Science
Junko Shimoyama, Linguistics
Natalie Stoljar, Philosophy
Judith Szapor, History
Robin Yates, East Asian Studies


Hans Beck

Hans Beck
Greek Federal States
Amount Awarded: $ 31,429.00

As Professor Beck observes, federalism is a useful way in which to bring together remote and central governments, accommodate differences between constituent members of state and promote economic redistribution of wealth. However, while it first emerged in ancient Greece, ancient Greek federalism, its inherent mechanics as well as its intellectual history, are not currently fully understood. What is more, much of current scholarship in this area is dominated by reference tools that are largely outdated. Therefore, the goal of this research program is to develop a sorely needed, new, authoritative reference, one which fully integrates new findings (e.g., spectacular epigraphic evidence) and recent conceptual advances. Building on 15 years of research experience in this area, Professor Beck, currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Frankfurt), will lead the research and publication-agenda for this reference, a volume entitled "Greek Federal States," contracted with Cambridge University Press. The book will be co-edited with leading world specialist, Professor Peter Funke (Münster University). It will have chapters on all historically attested Greek federal states, using three innovative thematic clusters, namely (i) ethnicity and federalism, (ii) federalism in interstate affairs, and (iii) federal thought. In addition, Professor Beck will research the Boeotian League, one of the most important states in federal history, for his chapter of the volume. Here he will explore an advanced interpretation of ethnic traditions in Boeotia, in particular, the pattern of 'imagined ethnic commonness' and 'intentional history' to the Boeotian legendary cycle of Kadmos and Seven against Thebes. Student participating in this research program will be trained in the areas of bibliographic research, writing, editing, proof-reading, and publishing. In addition to the publication of "Greek Federal States," Professor Beck will present the results of his research at international, scholarly symposiums and conferences, such as the June 2010 conference of world-leading authorities, entitled Greek Federal States and their Sanctuaries. Identity and Integration, organized by the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics in Modern and Pre-Modern Cultures" of WWU Münster, See http://www.mcgill.ca/files/classics/GFS-Conference-Program.pdf.

Key words: State integration in ancient Greece, nature and concept of federalism in Greek antiquity, ethnic identity


Michael Blome-Tillman

Michael Blome-Tillman
The Language of Knowledge - An Enquiry into the Semantics of Knowledge-Attributions
Amount Awarded: $ 68,706.00

Keywords: Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, Linguistics, Semantics, Contextualism


George di Giovanni

George di Giovanni
The Vocation of Humankind (1800-1832): The pursuit of an Enlightenment theme without Enlightenment assumptions
Amount Awarded: $ 53,090.00

In the last phase of the German Enlightenment, the "vocation of humankind" was variously constructed in ways that continue to influence present day modes of thought. What constitutes "humanity" remains an abiding concern of our time. In this study, Professor di Giovanni will trace the history of the issue in the early period of the 19th century. His point of departure is the repeated publication in the previous century of J. J. Spalding's tract entitled The Vocation Humankind (Die Bestimmung des Menschen). This little book gave rise to a discussion in which all the luminaries of the day participated, culminating in 1800 with Fichte's tract by the same title. By that time, however, the assumptions on which Spalding had based his reflections had long since been challenged. Fichte's tract gave rise to a new phase of the debate -- one that was now conducted without the Enlightenment's organic vision of reality for its premise. Beginning with Fichte's tract and ending with Hegel's final revision of his Logic, Professor di Giovanni will examine the several strands of this new debate. More specifically, his study will show that this early intellectual positioning, which was to act as a blueprint for the rest of the 19th century, was, though no longer governed by Enlightenment premises, still encumbered by prejudices and modes of thought typical of the latter. These relics, which are still part of our present culture, were responsible for the irrationalism that clouded the humanism of the new century. Graduate students shall work with Professor di Giovanni in research tasks including bibliographical and footnoting work, writing reports, and working on a blog which will ultimately assist them to gain a rare grasp of the philosophical ideas that motivated the Romantic Movement. With this study, Professor di Giovanni is providing a follow-up to his 2005 book, Freedom and Religion in Kant and His Immediate Successors: The Vocation of Humankind, 1774-1800.

Keywords: German Idealism, Romanticism, Nineteenth Century, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling


Elizabeth Elbourne

Elizabeth Elbourne
Imperial families: Transnational networks and indigenous rights
Amount Awarded: $ 53,000.00

Indigenous peoples' struggle for recognition of sovereignty and political independence across the British white settler empire during the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries is a key topic in Professor Elizabeth Elbourne's research program. So too are the efforts of self-described humanitarians, colonial entrepreneurs and settlers to determine ways in which indigenous peoples would be incorporated into white settler colonies. However, rather than use a more orthodox focus on single men, Professor Elizabeth Elbourne will explore family-based networks and their struggles to control an emerging transimperial public sphere. This will allow her to investigate the role of women, gender politics and social relations implicated in these power struggles. Furthermore, through this work she will argue first, that the language of rights used by early nineteenth century humanitarians failed to deliver indigenous emancipation and second, that the politics of transimperial were often local politics expanded into large-scale politics. These were mediated by kinship networks giving individuals access to an imperial stage. The study will focus on three distinct but overlapping family-based networks: the Bannisters, the Brants and the Buxtons. By examining the relationships of each family to colonialism, she will explore the consolidation of white settler states over this period and the reluctant incorporation of indigenous peoples into settler states. In this way, Professor Elbourne shall examine family networks as a form of globalization which helps us understand the spread of transnational ideas such as "aboriginal" or white settler identity. Archival and qualitative research for this study will be conducted in Britain, South Africa, the U.S., Canada and Australia. This study will train graduate students in transcription, cataloguing and analysis of archival source material, the preparation of bibliographies and literature reviews and the presentation of research findings at scholarly conferences. Through workshops and conference presentations, this study will culminate in the publication of a monograph exploring the themes and issues addressed by this study.

Keywords: empire, history, indigenous rights, humanitarianism, family networks, globalization


Kathleen Fallon

Kathleen Fallon
Transforming Social Policies: The Critical Mass of Women Legislators in Developing Countries
Amount Awarded: $ 52,442.00

Does increased women's legislative representation change social policy outcomes? asks Professor Kathleen Fallon. While numerous studies within developed countries have addressed this important social question, Professor Fallon observes that it remains largely unexamined in the context of developing countries. Through her study, she seeks to expand upon our limited understanding of the general effects of representation on policy passage. She will investigate whether an increased women's legislative representation within developing countries affects the type of social policies adopted. Professor Fallon will conduct an event history analysis with a focus on policies most likely to concern women, including maternity leave, domestic violence, and property rights from 1970 until 2009. Two research questions frame her work: 1) Does increased women's legislative representation affect the adoption of social policies, particularly those thought to be favorable to women, in developing country contexts? 2) If so, does women's influence on policy depend on the level of democracy, character of the democratic transition, electoral system, political alliances, gender quota implementation, or the number of women's organizations present? In her study, Professor Fallon will collaborate with Professor Jon Unruh of the McGill Department of Geography to share data on property rights. The study will train undergraduate and graduate students in research design, data collection, management and analysis. The results of this study will be disseminated through academic and policy related venues. Ultimately, as the first of its kind, this study will address an important gap in our current understanding of women's impact in society, while at the same, consider theory across disciplinary boundaries, and produce policy-relevant data for organizations such as the United Nations, and donor agencies such as CIDA.

Keywords: women's legislative representation, developing countries, social policies


John Galaty

John Galaty
An ethnography of social complexity and strategic choice: How pastoralists in East Africa respond to drought, poverty, land fragmentation, and globalization
Amount Awarded: $196,000.00

Globally, from China to Africa, occupants of the arid and semi-arid lands are under stress. Professor Galaty asks, how do such populations respond to the complex and changing contexts in which they live? What decisions do they make, what information informs their choices and strategies, and how are their actions anchored in their institutional and cultural resources? In order to address these questions, Professor Galaty and co-researchers Tim Johns (Nutrition, McGill), Jon Unruh (Geography, McGill), Joost De Laat (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Caroline Archambault (University College Utrecht) will carry out an ethnographic study of the strategic responses of East African pastoralists to upheavals in their life-conditions. The main focus will be placed on understanding how they access, process and act on new information related to four important systems currently undergoing major transformation: 1) drought, land use and food security, 2) population growth, poverty and livelihood, 3) landscape fragmentation and land use, and 4) globalizing institutions and resource allocation. Conducting fieldwork at 8 field sites in Maasai districts of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania Professor Galaty's study builds upon a decade of research in rangeland communities of East Africa and will explore how subjects draw resources from a diversity of institutions that shape the social landscape, including education, literacy, communication technologies and other global and modernizing institutions. Finally, this research will assess whether the directions of change, patterns of choices, processes, strategies and styles of decision-making are most characteristic of East Africa or apply more generally to the global rangelands. This assessment will be undertaken in part through collaboration and exchange with other scholars engaged in cross-African comparisons and the 'Sino-African dialogue on the rangelands' with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Graduate student will be trained and integrated into the research activities of the entire program, participating in the co-ordination of research, as well as data collection, analysis and presentation of results. Given its strong policy implications, the results of this research will be presented to local community and policy-maker groups in addition to scholarly journals and conferences.

Keywords: pastoralism, East Africa, rangelands, drylands, decision-making, land tenure, development, rangeland


Brendan Gillon

Brendan Gillon
Language and Context
Amount Awarded: $ 72,873.00

Context dependence is central to major issues hotly debated in a variety of areas of contemporary philosophy and to problems pivotal to theoretical and computational linguistics. As Professor Gillon explains, the understanding and formulation of an utterance depends on context, taken in a very broad sense. Many factors contribute to the understanding of an utterance: the words used, their literal meanings, their grammatical properties, the grammar of the utterance (morphology and syntax), how it is pronounced (phonology), but also on the situation in which it is uttered, and even on the beliefs of the utterer and the listeners. In this interdisciplinary research program, Professor Gillon and his research team, including Professors Michael Blome-Tillman, Iwao Hirose and Andrew Reisner from McGill's Department of Philosophy, and Concordia University Professors Alan Bale (Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics) and Sabine Bergler (Computer Science and Software Engineering) will bring philosophy together with theoretical and computational linguistics in order to obtain a rigorous understanding of linguistic context dependence. With this understanding, the team will re-examine the philosophical debates in decision theory, moral theory and epistemology and improve methods of text annotation and text mining in computational linguistics. More specifically, the program has two sub-objectives: to distinguish, in a principled way, between grammatically and non-grammatically based linguistic context dependence and to apply the results to address issues raised in computational linguistics and in philosophy. The students involved in this study will participate in regular research meetings and the preparation of publications and presentations; they will receive training and provide research support through preparation of bibliographies, summaries, and inventories. Results will be disseminated through the team's website, at several professional conferences and in scholarly journals.

Keywords: context, context sensitivity, context dependence, context sets, deixis, utterance, pragmatics, semantics


Cecily Hilsdale

Cecily Hilsdale
The Ends of Empire: Byzantine Art and Diplomacy in an Age of Decline

The primary goal of Professor Hilsdale's research program is to investigate how political and economic decline re-figures the visual culture of empire. Her research examines the intersection of two key thematics—the imperial image and the gift—as they are reconceived in the final two centuries of the Byzantine Empire (1261-1453), an era most often characterized in terms of decline and nostalgia. Situated at the convergence of art, empire, and decline, this investigation promises to expand discussions of cultural exchange and boundary crossing by prompting us to question how the concept of political decline redefines categories of wealth and value, categories that lie at the core of cultural exchange. The research program will train graduate students in the methods of primary archival work paired with critical disciplinary rigor.
Keywords: Art History, cultural exchange, Byzantium, diplomacy, gift-giving, gender, patronage


Amelia Jones

Amelia Jones
Material traces: duration and embodiment in contemporary art
Amount Awarded: $ 118,838.00

Is art an object or a process? Is it a material or a trace? Professor Amelia Jones frames her research program with these fundamental questions, which reside at the intersection between "live" or "performance" art and the visual arts, between the tangible and the transcendent. In aesthetics, art is defined as object, more or less static in meaning and value over time. However, over the past 50 years, international world art centers have begun to challenge Enlightenment to modern conceptions of art through the emergence of an innovative, hybrid form of art which foregrounds action, engagement and embodiment over object. Proof of the importance of this shift has been the recent explosion of interest among artists, performers, scholars, and curators in live art re-enactments; installation and new media art engaging visitors or spectators in temporal, narrative exchanges; and practices which construct psychologically charged spaces to affect visitors' sense of embodiment. This program will explore the history of this fundamental shift and develop a new model for interpreting and understanding the trend towards art as situational, durational exchange of subjects and objects in space and over time. Neither art history, with its continued tendency to reduce art to object, nor performance studies, with its privileging of trace over space and bodies, have proven adequate to understand the significance of this trend. Professor Jones will develop a nuanced, historically informed, and cross-disciplinary account of the development and effects of this hybrid work. She will also establish a historical context and new theoretical framework, drawing upon art history, performance studies, media theory, philosophy and cultural history. Research results will be posted in an on-line archive and disseminated at through scholarly publications, at international events and conferences, at a series of seminars and visiting lectures (funded by alternative sources), culminating in an exhibition and major international conference addressing the foregrounding since 1950 of art as "material trace. The research program will integrate graduate students into all components of the study, providing training and experience in the areas of interviewing, transcription, archival research, the organization of lectures, symposia, and exhibitions, and the presentation and publication of research findings.

Keywords: art history, performance and live art, new media


image of jose jouve-martin

Jose Jouve-Martin
Death, Kingship, and Writing in the Spanish Colonial Empire (1560-1886)
Amount Awarded: $ 65,670.00

The death of a reigning king was a solemn and momentous occasion commemorated throughout the Spanish Colonial Empire with elaborate funerary ceremonies. These obsequies were complemented by the work of various artists including architects, musicians, silversmiths, carpenters and tailors. However, among all of these arts, writing had the most important role. Writers and poets were in charge of creating texts, hieroglyphs and emblems that decorated the colonial cities, literally transforming the urban setting into a lettered space in which the King was at the same time mourned and celebrated. Prof. Jouve-Martin's research will study the evolution of these funerary ceremonies and the circulation and development of royal accounts of obsequies in the Spanish overseas possessions. Chronologically, it begins in 1560 with the publication the obsequies for Charles V in Mexico City and ends three hundred years later and half a world away in the Philippines with the publication in 1886 the City of Manila obsequies of King Alphonse XII. The study of this corpus will allow him to analyze how royal funerary ceremonies and accounts evolved over three centuries and also to examine the way in which each colonial region developed its own ritual and artistic traditions despite their apparent conformity to pre-imposed Iberian molds. The diachronic study of these accounts will also enable him to analyze the changes to the conceptions of death and piety resulting from new forms of Catholic religious expression. Finally, his project will shed light on the role played by these books as means of articulating of a political discourse by colonial elites. The graduate student assisting in this research will participate in transcription, classification, and analysis of books, colonial decrees, and legislation related to the study. Professor Jouve-Martin will present his results at both national and international conferences and publish a monograph in addition to posting findings on a study website.

Keywords: Death in literature, Book circulation, European colonialism, Imperialism and monarchy, Funerary, rituals, Transatlantic connections


image of celine le bourdais

Celine Le Bourdais
Mariage et procreation au Canada: les fondements de la famille à la croisee des chemins
Amount Awarded: $ 119,990.00

Since 1970, the family has radically changed in western countries, observe Professors Céline Le Bourdais and co-applicant Evelyne Lapierre-Adamcyk (Université de Montréal). Its traditional foundation, legal marriage, has lost its exclusive status as the framework within which couples live together and raise children. At the core of this shift, common-law union has flourished and fertility has settled under replacement levels. The main goal of this research program is to examine the significance of these changes and their impacts on society. By reexamining demographic data from multiple sources, such as Quebec's Registry of birth statistics, Professors Le Bourdais and Lapierre-Adamcyk will pursue three main objectives: 1) to reexamine existing similarities and differences between marriage and common-law union, in terms of fertility and dissolution rates; 2) to analyse recent fertility trends in a context of postponement of the age at childbirth and the impact of family policies on these trends; and 3) to study the combined impact of reduced fertility and high conjugal instability on family networks during old age. They aim to reinterpret these recent changes by framing them within the context of the "second demographic transition," the currently predominant theory in population studies. Given their past involvement with public policy, family law and community organizations, Professors Le Bourdais and Lapierre-Adamcyk fully anticipate their research findings to contribute to the on-going debate on – and development of – family law and family-related policy in Quebec and Canada. Research results will be disseminated through scholarly seminars, conferences and publications, and also through government related organizations and expert committees, and through the media. Students will be integrated in all phases of this research project, including conducting data analysis, publishing articles, and presenting results at conferences.
Keywords: famille, union libre, mariage, fécondité, reseaux familiaux, seconde transition demographique, analyse longitudinale, life course, personnes agées, politiques familiales


Robert Lecker

Robert Lecker
Nationalism and the Canon in English-Canadian Literary Anthologies
Amount Awarded: $ 82,132.00

The first of its kind, this study will produce a history of English-Canadian literary anthologies from 1837 to present. Professor Lecker is uniquely positioned to carry out this research. His study revolves around a central question: What is the relation between Canadian anthologies, literary canons, and the idea of nation? To this end, he will focus on three central issues: 1) the ways in which these anthologies contributed to the formation of a Canadian literary canon; 2) the extent to which this canon was tied to an ideal of English-Canadian nationalism implicitly or explicitly supported by anthology editors; and 3) the material conditions accounting for the production of anthologies from the nineteenth century to the present. In responding to these issues he will weave together biography, history, economics, government policies on culture, and literary analysis in order to explore the network of associations and negotiations that influenced the development of anthologies in English Canada. The research activities for this study will include visits to 17 archival collections at the National Library and Public Archives in Ottawa. This research program will train graduate students in bibliographic, archival and rare book research, statistics and critical analysis, writing and presenting research results. The results of this research will culminate in the publication of a monograph.
Keywords: Canadian Literature, Literary Theory, Canonicity, Literary History, Anthology Formation, Literary Nationalism, Material Construction of Literature, Publishing and Literature


Tom Mole

Tom Mole
Making new connections in book history using digital technologies
Amount awarded: $39,867

For the past three decades, Book History – the study of how the technologies of communication between 1700 and 1900 played a formative role in the shaping of modernity – has been quietly revolutionizing the study of humanities. Multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual, Book History shows how the mediating force of print shaped the socio-cultural, economic and political landscapes of the modern world. Yet Book History's greatest strength – working across traditional academic boundaries – is now stalling its further development. As scholars reach across diverse source materials, they find themselves blocked from tracing the necessary connections between disciplines, media, historical periods and national contexts by the traditional disciplinary boundaries and linguistic barriers built into currently available bibliographic databases. Working with Dr Mark Algee-Hewitt, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Arts, and Prof Alan Liu at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Tom Mole will develop an innovative online bibliography incorporating a three-layer "recommendation engine" which relates texts to one another using 1) specialized keywords, 2) semantic clustering techniques and 3) collected usage statistics. The resulting relationships can then be visualized within an interactive topography that allows the user intuitively to navigate the field of knowledge in Book History. Undertaken in three phases of critical research, experimentation and testing, this research project will train doctoral and undergraduate students to create new keyword indices and collect and process semantic data on textual resources. Through experimentation with computational and lexical indexing and the utility of usage statistics, the project will develop a working database with dynamic functionality. A research workshop will be used both to present and test the tool. Research results will also be communicated in scholarly publications on the methodology and implementation of the database.
Keywords: print culture, book history, digital humanities, history, culture, Europe


Stephen Saideman

Stephen Saideman
Dangerous Diasporas? Understanding the Impact of Emigré Ethnic Groups
Amount Awarded: $ 98,429.00

Among the causes of ethnic civil conflict and violence, the role of transnational ethnic kin is poorly understood, observes Professor Stephen Saideman. Little research has been done on trans-national linkages among those living in the diaspora and their kin in the home country, with the exception of a few cases that may bias our understanding. So, the question is when and how kin residing outside the homeland will play a radicalizing or conflict engendering role. When kin groups can and do have such an impact, is it in the direction of radicalization or moderation? Professor Saideman and his team will determine the conditions under which actors residing outside their homeland mobilize politically and exacerbate or mitigate ethnic conflicts involving their kin. Along with research collaborators Erin Jenne of the Central European University and Kathleen Cunningham from Iowa State University, Professor Saideman will collect data on all of the significant diaspora segments in the world since the end of the Cold War and then quantitatively analyze this new dataset. To further explore transnational linkages at the micro-level, Professor Saideman will also examine a number of case studies of specific ethnic group segments in and outside of Canada. By developing a better understanding of the more general properties of diasporas, as Professor Saideman explains, we can move forward our understanding of the sources of ethnic conflict. Graduate and undergraduate students hired to work on this research program will be trained in data coding and analysis as well as case study research. Results from the project will contribute to both academic and policy discourses about ethnic conflict and conflict management, and will be disseminated through conferences, articles in major academic and policy-oriented journals, a book, and a website to be updated throughout the project.
Keywords: diaspora, ethnic conflict, nationalism, identity, foreign policy, civil war


Junko Shimoyama
Degree constructions cross-linguistically: the case of Japanese
Amount Awarded: $ 95,238.00

Degree constructions (e.g. "Mary is taller than Bill") are linguistic expressions of comparison, a basic human cognitive ability. Four decades of research have significantly advanced our understanding of degree constructions. For example, we know that the degree system interacts closely with a whole range of other areas of grammar - including wh-movement, focus, ellipsis, modification, quantification, modality, and negation. However, a major limitation of the current state of the art of research in this area is that vast majority of relevant work deals with English. Along with co-investigator Professor Bernhard Schwarz of McGill's Linguistics department, Professor Junko Shimoyama will address this shortcoming by conducting the first comprehensive description and analysis of the degree system in the Japanese language. Because Japanese is typologically unrelated to English, this study is guaranteed to uncover novel and theoretically significant patterns. Professors Shimoyama and Schwarz will carry this study by establishing and analyzing an inventory of degree constructions in Japanese, in order to compare key differences between Japanese and English. This research program will contribute to theories of language variation, language universals and Japanese structure and meaning, as well as to practical areas such as machine translation tools. Students participating in this study will receive training in theoretical foundations, linguistic argumentation, data collection and assessment, oral presentations and paper writing and database management.
Keywords: degree constructions, comparatives, superlatives, equatives, syntax, semantics, syntax-semantics interface, cross-linguistic variation, cross-linguistic semantics, Japanese, East Asian linguistics, indeterminate pronouns, focus, ellipsis, quantification


Natalie Stoljar

Natalie Stoljar
Autonomy and oppression: a relational analysis
Amount Awarded: $ 73,500.00

Can agents who are oppressed be genuinely free agents? Can they be genuinely self-governing even if their ability to make choices and adopt preferences is curtailed by the social circumstances of oppression in which they are embedded? These two key questions establish the point of departure of the research program of Professors Natalie Stoljar and collaborator Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie University, Australia). Professors Stoljar and Mackenzie will continue to explore the subfield within moral psychology of "relational autonomy." The subfield began a decade ago with their pioneering, co-edited collection of essays entitled Relational Autonomy. Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency and the Social Self (OUP 2000). The current research program will provide a 10-year update of the subfield: address significant gaps which have emerged over this period; and further clarify and develop different conceptions of autonomy by drawing on resources from moral psychology, political philosophy and feminist philosophy. Three intersecting hypotheses will guide their work: the first is that, because agents are social beings, capacities such as autonomy are relational features of agents; the second is that the conditions required for autonomy are substantive and normative, and not purely procedural or formal, and the third is that a relational, substantive account of autonomy will help to illuminate and explain the ways in which oppression violates agents' freedom. Results will be communicated through research seminars, a workshop, scholarly conferences and publications. Students involved in this research will participate in weekly meetings, and receive mentoring and training in the areas of literature reviews, writing and research presentations.
Keywords: autonomy, agency, oppression, moral psychology, moral philosophy, political philosophy


Judith Szapor

Judith Szapor
Where have all the feminists gone? Hungarian women, the suffrage, and the politics of gender, 1918-1922
Amount Awarded: $ 31,500.00

In a period of less than two years between the fall of 1918 and the summer of 1920 Hungarian society experienced a series of seismic events, including military defeat, the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, armistice, continuing war, revolution and counter-revolution. Women played significant roles as subjects and actors during this extraordinary series of events, and yet their valuable contributions to this tumultuous period in Hungary's social and political history are conspicuously absent. Professor Judith Szapor's research program will provide the first comprehensive study of Hungarian women and women's movements between 1918-1922, to offer an important correction to European comparative women's and gender history. She will examine a period which witnessed a marked increase in women's political activism, affected women's citizenship through a series of electoral laws, and drastically altered the dynamics of the Hungarian women's movements. Representing opposing, liberal and radical right-wing agendas of women's emancipation, these movements were tested during the revolutionary period of 1918-19. They clashed again during the elections of right-wing coalition governments in 1920 and 1922, largely influenced by the first en masse voting of Hungarian women. With research collaborator Anna Borgos (Institute for Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Szapor will explore the role of right-wing woman activists in shaping the interwar period's dominant, right-wing political rhetoric and the gendered language and imagery used to legitimize authoritarian measures. Her results will be communicated through conference presentations and articles in peer-reviewed journals and non-academic outlets such as an exhibition of woman activists and a compilation of documents. Graduate students participating in this research program will be trained in the compilation of bibliographies; in locating, reading and analyzing primary sources; in the translation of documents; and in finding, analyzing, organizing and digitizing textual and visual sources.
Keywords: Hungarian social and gender history, History of Hungarian women and women's movements, European comparative women's and gender history


Robin Yates

Robin Yates
Women and Law in Society in the Early Chinese Empires (3rd Century B.C.E. to 10th Century C.E.): Re-thinking the Early Development of the Pre-Modern Chinese Gender Order
Amount Awarded: $ 65,000.00

The formative period of the Chinese empires (Qin through Tang dynasties, ca. 250 BCE-900 CE) was a period of profound, political, economic, and social change. Early Chinese society was characterized by multiple competing cultural systems and ideological prescriptions, influenced by Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist philosophies, and the cultural practices of nomadic, Turkic-speaking tribal peoples of northern East Asia. Professor Robin Yates asks how did the position of women in law, society, ritual, and ideology change, throughout this time of remarkable societal transformation? In doing so, Professor Yates challenges prevailing paradigms that one, describe a progressive "Confucianization" of the law from the Qin to the Tang dynasties and two, assert that the pre-modern gender order was clearly established in Chinese society during these centuries. Instead, his analysis will explore the various competing discourses about women, their position in law and their roles in social life in relation to changing ritual, religious, and ideological prescriptions. Empirically Professor Yates will examine a broad range of sources, including abundant new archaeological discoveries of early Chinese legal documents, state administrative records, transmitted textual sources, including medical texts, visual media preserved in Buddhist cave temples, and other inscriptional sources. His theoretical approach will be informed by history and legal anthropology, ritual theory, and the theory of practice. Graduate students trained through this study will gain experience and expertise in reading, translating, transcribing and interpreting difficult primary texts and newly discovered sources in classical literary Chinese. Finally, in understanding the changing historical position of women in Chinese law and society, Professor Yates will be participating in the preparation of a new 2-volume work, the Cambridge Comparative History of Ancient Law and will present findings at international academic conferences and in media venues.
Keywords: Women in China, History of Chinese law, gender, law, Chinese social history