Short-Term Visiting Fellows

During intensive three-to-five-day periods, these Fellows lecture and participate in classes, colloquia and informal discussions. The Program was created with a gift from Frank E. Taplin, Jr.'37 in honor of Whitney J. Oates, the distinguished classicist and founder of the Humanities Council. The Short-Term Fellows Program also hosts Virginia and Richard Stewart Fellows in Religion and Edward T. Cone ‘39*42 Fellows, named in memory of the eminent composer, musicologist, professor and benefactor of the arts and humanities.

Chris Abani, African novelist, poet, playwright and critic, wrote his first novel when he was sixteen. A more recent and much-hailed novel, GraceLand, tells the story of a teenage Nigerian Elvis impersonator who hopes to escape poverty and his alcoholic father’s abuse. Professor at the University of California, Riverside, he is a guest of Comparative Literature in November.

Warwick Anderson, historian of science and medicine at the University of Sydney, works at the intersections with anthropology and postcolonial science studies. In The Collectors of Lost Souls, he describes how the cannibalistic mortuary practices of the Fore people in New Guinea spread a virus that fostered the degenerative disease kuru. The History department is hosting his December visit.

Akeel Bilgrami, philosophy professor and former director of Columbia University’s humanities center, writes about political theory and moral psychology, belief and meaning. In “What is a Muslim?” he argues that religious identification in the modern world has less to do with beliefs about origins and destiny than with collective meaning-making. He is a Stewart Fellow in Religion in November.

Mary Pat Brady works at the crossroads of Chicano and Latino Studies, Gender and Sexuality, American and Ethnic Studies. Her Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies: Chicano Literature and the Urgency of Space examines the relations among space, race and culture, showing how sites and spaces matter and they can help us analyze multi-ethnic literature. A professor of English at Cornell, she will be a guest of African American Studies in March.

Joan Fontcuberta is a Spanish-Catalonian photographer and conceptual artist whose work figures in major collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA. He is concerned with the relation between photography and truth, dream and reality, artistic and scientific representation. His October visit, hosted by Spanish and Portuguese, coincides with an exhibit of his work at the Princeton Museum.

Alan Hajek comes to the Philosophy department from the Australian National University where he studies probability and decision. One of his best-known arguments is a refutation of Pascal’s  wager which figures in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on that famous episode. A graduate alumnus of Princeton, he returns as a Fellow in April.

John Hamilton is a specialist in reception studies, the life of antiquity after antiquity. Trained in Classics and German, he studies ancient lyric, especially Pindar, in relation to 18th and 19th-century German intellectual history, philosophy and literature. Professor of Comparative Literature and chair of the “Classical Tradition” project at Harvard, he will be hosted by Classics in March.

Paul Kiparsky of Stanford University studies poetry through the lens of contemporary linguistic analysis, bringing his expertise to the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and to poetic form and function more generally. As a guest of Comparative Literature in September, he will talk about linguistics and verse.

Gert van Tonder, a neuroscientist who specializes in vision science at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, has an abiding interested in vision and aesthetics. His passion for Japanese Zen Gardens has led him to study how these gardens interact with the neurological processes of visual perception. He will be a guest in Comparative Literature in April.

Marina Rustow from Johns Hopkins studies Jewish communities in the medieval Mediterranean world and, more broadly, medieval Middle Eastern history. Working on a set of documentary texts written in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic, she asks what they can tell us about the Jewish community that preserved them and the governments that produced them. In December she will be a Stewart Fellow in Near Eastern Studies.

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