The University Record, April 9, 2001

Institute for Humanities appoints 2001–02 Visiting Fellows

By Elizabeth Woodford
Institute for the Humanities

The Institute for the Humanities will host a varied group of Visiting Fellows in the coming academic year. During their residencies, these visitors will join the Institute’s 13 faculty and graduate student fellows at their weekly seminar, and will either give a public lecture or present their work in forums with Institute associates.

Institute Director Tom Trautmann invites other programs and departments to take advantage of these visits by engaging the visitors in events of their own, and encourages faculty members and students to meet visitors whose interests they share. He says, “We are pleased to be able to enrich the intellectual life of the University by bringing to campus such acute and interesting minds.”

The Visiting Fellows are:

  • Gayle S. Rubin, a feminist anthropologist who has written on a wide range of subjects. Her classic work of anthropological theory, “The Traffic in Women,” was written while she was a U-M student. It is said to be the most widely cited article in anthropology. Currently, she holds a Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1996, she was the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecturer at the University of California, Irvine. A collection of her essays, Deviations: Essays in Sex, Gender and Politics, is under contract with the University of California Press. Her current projects include The Valley of the Kings, a revised version of her U-M doctoral dissertation, and The Feminist Sex Wars: A Retrospective. Rubin will hold the Norman Freehling Visiting Professorship. In residence fall 2001.

  • Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, where she holds appointments in the Law School, Philosophy Department and Divinity School. Nussbaum also is an associate in classics, an affiliate of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies and a board member of the Center for Gender Studies. Among her more recent publications are For Love of Country (1996), Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (1997), Sex and Social Justice (1998), and Women and Human Development (2000). Her Gifford Lectures, delivered in 1993 at the University of Edinburgh, will be published under the title Upheavals of Thought: A Theory of the Emotions. While she is here, she will deliver the Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture. In residence Dec. 3–5, 2001.

  • Janet Williams, a British-born installation artist who lives and works in the United States. Childhood summers spent along the coast of West Wales developed in her, Williams says, “a love and appreciation for the wild and rugged landscape and nurtured a sense of freedom in that environment.” Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Europe and Asia, and she also has been a visiting artist at many universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1993, Williams co-founded Art Farm, a nonprofit artist’s residency program in rural Nebraska; currently, she is its co-director. Williams’ visit is timed to coincide with the mounting and opening of her “Register Series” installation at the Residential College. This still-evolving series, which will be on display Jan. 18–March 2, springs from her ongoing investigation of the transformation of matter, particularly the transformational role of fire in ceramic processes, as a way of exploring themes of memory and loss. Her residence will be supported by the Institute’s Jill S. Harris Memorial Fund. In residence Jan. 13–27, 2002.

  • Lorelei H. Corcoran, associate professor of art and director of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis. She has lectured widely, including appearances at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the British Museum. Her area of expertise is the iconography of the funerary arts of ancient Egypt, especially those of the Roman period in which she specializes. Besides numerous articles and book reviews, Corcoran has published Portrait Mummies from Roman Egypt (I–IV Centuries A.D.). This is a sociological and iconographic study of mummies with painted portraits from the vantage point of an Egyptologist. In residence Jan. 27–Feb. 24, 2002.

  • Griselda Pollock, professor of the social and critical histories of art at the University of Leeds. Her main research interests lie in the areas of gender, race and class in the formation of modernism in late 19th-century Europe and America. She has been occupied with a project focusing on femininity, representation and modernity (1928–68) that grew out of her interest in the history of women in the visual arts. Now new research interests have drawn Pollock toward issues of trauma, history and memory after the Holocaust, and to the study of Jewish art and modernity. Pollock comes to the U-M at the co-invitation of the Institute for the Humanities and the program on “Looking into Visual Culture: Issues of Women and Gender” at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. During her stay, she will contribute to programs connected with the Museum of Art’s ambitious exhibition, “Women Who Ruled: Queens, Goddesses, Amazons, 1500–1650.” In residence March 10–23, 2002.

  • Rhys Isaac, emeritus professor at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and currently the Andrew W. Mellon Senior Research Fellow in Brown University’s John Carter Brown Library. Isaac’s field is early American history, specializing in the American Revolution in Virginia. His book, The Transformation of Virginia (1982), won the Pulitzer Prize in History. This work and a number of much reprinted articles are examples of a variety of ethnographic (or anthropological) narrative that he and some colleagues—dubbed by Clifford Geertz “the Melbourne Group”—have developed as a distinctive contribution to historiography. Isaac is interested in the stories by which past peoples have lived, defined and—in revolution—redefined themselves. He is now working on a book aimed at revealing the storied world of one of early America’s most prolific recorded tale tellers, the Virginia diarist Col. Landon Carter of Sabine Hall (1710–1778). In residence March 24–April 6, 2002.