The student application deadline to participate in Summer 2014 has passed.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2014–2015 academic year.

View descriptions of 2014–2015 research partnership opportunities

Questions? Contact the Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program at or 617-495-3798.

Vernacular Poetics of Metaphor: Middle English and the Corporate Subject

Cristina Maria Cervone
Literature/Medieval Studies

My study argues that metaphor was crucial to how English developed in the 14th century. I focus on how writers use body-based metaphors to represent selfhood, both of individuals and groups. As I work toward the nature of metaphor from medieval thought about self and community, I consider the implications of medieval metaphor for questions of urgent interest today: How does thought work? Is metaphor fundamental to thought? Medieval practice suggests perhaps so. I seek a research partner interested in language—particularly how we get to some “other” or “figurative” sense—for help in tracking down sources and thinking through how metaphor works. Knowledge of Middle English is helpful but not required. Interest in subjectivity, cognitive linguistics, or lordship would be useful. One possible project is a hunt for connections between certain members of the aristocracy; another is identification of objects (probably associated with craft guilds) inscribed with “I” or “we.” Because this study is at an early stage, a student researcher has a particularly strong opportunity to influence my thought; equally, I feel confident in saying anyone working with me will think about “figurative” language in new ways and will have gained significant new research skills in the process.
Time span of job: June–July, 2014

Toward an American Independent Tradition

Nancy J. Chodorow
Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice/Psychoanalytic Sociology

I am working on a book of essays in psychoanalytic theory titled “Toward an American Independent Tradition.” My characterization references the British independent tradition, a way of thinking and working that emerged beginning in the 1940s from theoretical battles in the British Psychoanalytic Society between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein and their followers. I need help creating a bibliography, computer troubleshooting, and other editorial work. The student should be a Mac user who knows and uses Microsoft Word and bibliographic programs and who finds it easy to share such knowledge with the less knowledgeable. It is very difficult in the contemporary university, outside of the humanities, to learn about clinical psychoanalysis and contemporary psychoanalytic theory, and the humanities present a very different approach to that taken by practicing clinicians and theorists. Further, there is no longer the possibility to study psychoanalysis in the social sciences or in psychology. Thus, although the assistance is mainly editorial, a student who is interested in psychoanalytic theory as it applies to practice and social thought would learn a lot.
Time span of job: June–July, 2014

Variant Scenarios

Tamar Diesendruck
Music Composition

This project is a piece for orchestral winds, percussion, piano, and harp. One area of structural interest is branching patterns. I am interested in working with a computer scientist/musician on creating models and can give them preliminary work done by students last year. I expect the right person would benefit by expanding their compositional and technical horizons.
Time span of job: July, 2014

Instruments and Order

Emily Iuliano Dolan

The research partner would help with the collection and organization of primary and secondary sources having to do with the invention and patenting of musical instruments in the 19th century. The research partner would gain experience working with various research tools, while the project would benefit from having a second set of keen eyes exploring the material.
Time span of job: July, 2014

New String Quartet for the Arditti Quartet

Erin Gee

The students will research string quartets written in the last 50 years. I will provide a list of the most important quartets. The student will obtain the scores from the Harvard Music Library and scan and photocopy the scores. The bulk of the project will be the analysis of these string quartets, which we will do together. We will analyze for pitch and harmonic content as well as form, string techniques, and timbres. The student will help by preparing the photocopied scores and will gain knowledge and experience in contemporary analytical techniques as well as increase their knowledge of contemporary string quartet repertoire.
Time span of job: June 1–July 7, 2014

Preparing Manager Leaders for the Challenges of Healthcare

Nance Goldstein
Leadership/Healthcare/Business Management

Organizations fail to prepare managers despite their crucial roles in organizational success. Most new managers fail because they do not know how to lead people. This project creates a manager-leader program that reflects current research on ways people learn and new demands on healthcare leadership. It "flips" current approaches to gain compelling successes from new managers. The student will investigate best practices in manager development and ways the programs measure results. The partner will assess the current learning media and technologies that can best facilitate meaningful experiences for new managers. The student needs online research experience and careful habits—recording searches, detailing findings. The project also depends on the partner asking questions and using her/his curiosity. The student partner will invaluably bring social media savvy to explore how best to create a great experience and great results for new managers. I truly will look to her/him toward enabling me to understand the various strengths and weaknesses of technology-based learning approaches for younger professionals. The student will learn current thinking on a major challenge for business organizations in the new future and will explore alternative approaches for how to persuade organizations to innovate and invest in areas they have ignored.
Time span of job: June 18–July 31, 2014

Humanizing Shariah: The Human Face of a Legal Practice

Hauwa Ibrahim

The research project is a book, which is 70 percent completed. The book addresses issues of religion (Shariah), extremism, gender, and human rights. The book opines that regardless of one’s beliefs, convictions, and ideology, we could all unite around our common humanity and desire for justice and fairness. Behind the idea of the book lies a belief that there exists a common thread—an understanding for and appreciation of the values we all share. This common thread is not only possible, but indispensable. I need a student whose mother tongue is English, or is very fluent in English, to read through and discuss their understanding of each of the six chapters. Because the book is addressing contemporary issues with a broad readership, a student with a global perspective will add value to the clear concept of the book. The student will be involved in research of the few books I will need. The skills needed include proficiency in English, ability to work flexible hours, and resilience. I hope the project will give the student a global perspective of the intersection of human rights, religion, and scholarship. The student will benefit as well from the pool of my scholarship and global networking.
Time span of job: June–July, 2014

China and the Writing of English Literary Modernity

Eun Kyung Min
English Literature (18th Century)

I am finishing a book project on the relationship between China and 18th-century English literature.
Time span of job: July 7–31, 2014

Sperm Bomb: Art, Feminism, and the American War in Vietnam

Mignon Nixon
Art History/Gender Studies/American History

Sperm Bomb is a book about art, sex, and war. It considers the responses of six feminist artists to the American war in Vietnam. I began the project at Radcliffe in 2010–2011 and am now completing it. This summer, I aim to draft the final chapter while following up research leads in the Harvard and Schlesinger Libraries. During my Radcliffe Fellowship year, I found working with a Research Partner (in History and Literature) a particularly productive dimension of the intellectual community at Radcliffe and would welcome the opportunity to collaborate again. My project is grounded in art history and feminism but is to some extent cross-disciplinary, engaging with gender theory and US history in the period of the war in Vietnam. A Research Partner with interests in American art post-1960, feminism, pacifism, the anti-war movement, or the war in Vietnam and a good hands-on knowledge of the Harvard and Schlesinger Libraries might find this project of interest. Apart from the more mundane work of bibliographic research and reference checking, the Research Partner’s contribution would depend on her or his particular areas of interest. We would work together to formulate a stimulating brief.
Time span of job: July, 2014

Untitled Video Ethnography Project

David Redmon
Documentary Filmmaking/Sociology/Ethnography

I am looking at specific ethnographic techniques that focus on lived experiences in contemporary documentaries. Students will be involved in identifying and summarizing articles, chapters, and documentaries. Students will benefit by developing research skills and becoming more aware of contemporary nonfiction cinema.
Time span of job: June–July, 2014

Feminist Poetry Pedagogies/Rutgers at Radcliffe

Brenda Shaughnessy

I am currently working on a research project—essays about feminism, teaching, and poetry—and know that there is a remarkable history of women poets at Radcliffe and Harvard. The archives, papers, and holdings of Widener Library, the Woodberry Poetry Room and Listening Booth, and the Schlesinger Library are rare and important collections. Two of my essays-in-progress—“Anger and Other Hungers: Feminism and Poetry” and “Prayer, Performance, Pain: Poetry and the Supernarratives”—are concerned with feminist pedagogies in poetry. I am very interested in discovering how feminism shaped or changed learning, teaching, and writing styles or subject matter in all of these women’s work. A research assistant would locate relevant books and manuscripts in Widener and Schlesinger libraries and help me with photocopies, scanning, and other administrative tasks. The student should have good organizational skills and be able to conduct independent library searches while being able to document the findings. This will help organize my research for later writing. The student, if interested in the topics, will learn about the history of women in poetry at Harvard and Radcliffe.
Time span of job: June 17–July 5, 2014

Music of Falling Paper

Z. Jane Wang
Interdisciplinary—Art and Science

This project seeks dedicated students with skills in one of the following areas: video recording and editing, electronic music, computer animation, sound engineering.
Time span of job: July, 2014

Asia and the Great War

Guoqi Xu
History/Asian studies

I would like to have a student researcher who can use French, Japanese, or Vietnamese easily. The student researcher will help me work with materials in French, Japanese, or Vietnamese and discuss their possible use in the book. By having a hands-on experience in helping with this book, I hope the student will learn how to write an academic volume and gain deep knowledge about Asia and the First World War.
Time span of job: June–July, 2014