Center for the Humanities announces Faculty Fellows

The Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences has announced its Spring 2009 Faculty Fellows.

The three recipients are: Guinn Batten, Ph.D., associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences; Andrea Friedman, Ph.D., associate professor of history and women & gender studies, both in Arts & Sciences; and Jennifer Kapczynski, Ph.D., assistant professor of German in Arts & Sciences.

Each will spend a semester in-residence with the center, researching a new book project while attending a variety of presentations and delivering one formal, public lecture about their work.

Batten’s project, titled “English Romanticism and the Ethics of Contemporary Irish Poetry,” is the first book-length study to relate two periods of literary revival — English Romanticism and the current revival of Irish poetry in response to the Ulster Crisis of the late 19th century. Specifically, she addresses how living Irish poets have interpreted and put into practice questions that Romantic poets have been credited with introducing into our conception of the ethical role of literature during a time of political upheaval for which “woman” is at once a symptom and a symbol.

Friedman’s project, “Democracy in (Cold War) America: Gender, Race, and the Problem of Citizenship at Mid-Century,” explores the ways those longstanding contradictions in the contours of American democracy and the practices of American citizenship were sharpened during the early Cold War era.

She will use a series of biographical studies to investigate the racial and gender tensions in Cold War era citizenship to illustrate the ways that the boundaries of postwar citizenship were being tested, defended and sometimes redrawn.

Kapczynski’s book project is titled “Leading Men: Remaking Masculinity in 1950s West German Cinema.” She aims to show that the men of 1950s cinema do not so much lead as they are led.

By examining a wide range of filmic production of the 1950s, Kapczynski will argue that the films of the early Federal Republic privilege a masculinity that receives, rather than takes; one that is borne along by history, rather than actively shaping it, constructing the ideal postwar democratic male subject as an armchair onlooker in the course of world events.

The faculty fellowships, now in their fourth year, are designed to provide both physical and intellectual environments for innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching.

The fellowships are open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Arts & Sciences. Winners are selected by a panel of University faculty and outside reviewers.

For more information, contact the Center for the Humanities at 935-5576 or visit