Radcliffe Institute Announces 2010-2011 Fellows and Their Projects

May 27, 2010

Cheryl Klufio

Cambridge, Mass.—The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has announced the 48 women and men selected to be Radcliffe Institute fellows in 2010–2011. These creative artists, humanists, scientists and social scientists were chosen––from an international pool of nearly 900 applicants––for their superior scholarship, research or artistic endeavors, as well as the potential of their projects to yield long-term impact. While at Radcliffe, they will work within and across disciplines.

Two Radcliffe Institute professors will join the community of fellows next year. Joanna Aizenberg, the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at Radcliffe and the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will lead a thematic cluster in biomimetics, and Nancy E. Hill, the Suzanne Murray Professor at Radcliffe and a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will study cultural belief systems and ethnic group variations in parenting and children’s development.

“We welcome these distinguished fellows to the Radcliffe Institute and we enthusiastically await the important discoveries, artistic creations, and collaborations––within Radcliffe and in the wider Harvard and local communities––that will emerge during their time here,” said Barbara J. Grosz, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

A leader among the world’s institutes for advanced study, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard annually hosts award-winning artists, academics and professionals, including musicians, mathematicians, filmmakers, anthropologists, biologists and writers.

Examples of the 2010–2011 fellows within each of four broad disciplinary areas (creative arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences) appear immediately below; a full list of the 2010–2011 fellows appears at the end of this document.

Creative Arts
The creative arts fellows include:

  • Suzanne Rivecca, a development associate at the Homeless Youth Alliance and an independent writer, who will work on a novel (under contract with W. W. Norton) tentatively titled The Habitants. The book explores the personal, creative and artistic revelations that shaped Walt Whitman during his brief stint as a reporter for a fledgling newspaper in New Orleans.
  • Amy Sillman, a visual artist and a cochair of the painting department at Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Her award-winning work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among other places. At Radcliffe, she will continue to paint and draw and also develop a video/text work about painting practices in New York City.
  • John Tiffany, who has been the associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland from its inception in 2006. His critically acclaimed plays include Black Watch, which garnered a Laurence Olivier Award and a Critics’ Circle Theatre Award and which will tour the United States and other countries in 2010–2011. His Radcliffe project is an investigation of how a person’s voice communicates his or her identity to the world.

Among the humanities fellows are:

  • Caroline Bruzelius, the Anne M. Cogan Professor of Art History at Duke University and a historian of French and Italian medieval architecture, who will complete a book on mendicant architecture and the medieval city. Her book centers on the argument that the economic structure of mendicant orders conditioned their construction projects.
  • Margot Canaday, assistant professor of history at Princeton University and the author of The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton University Press, 2009), a book said to be “the most expansive study of the federal regulation of homosexuality yet written.” At Radcliffe, she plans to do research that demonstrates how the workplace––which is often overlooked by historians of sexuality––has shaped gay life in the 20th century.
  • Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His Radcliffe project, titled “River of Dark Dreams: Slavery, Capitalism, and Imperialism in the Mississippi Valley’s Cotton Kingdom,” is a history of slavery in the Mississippi Valley between the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War.

Social Sciences
The social science fellows include:

  • Abigail English, a lawyer who is the director and president of the Center for Adolescent Health and the Law (CAHL). At Radcliffe, she will explore ways in which lawyers and health care professionals can collaborate to develop policy recommendations and an agenda for stemming the sexual exploitation and trafficking of adolescents as well as protecting the health of victims.
  • Jennifer S. Lerner, an experimental social psychologist, a professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the recipient, in 2004, of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She will work on a book about emotion and decision making, beginning with the premise that public policies will be more effective if they take into consideration the impact of emotions on decisions.
  • Rose McDermott, a political psychologist, a professor of political science at Brown University and the author of several books on subjects including international relations and emotion and decision making. Her Radcliffe project is a book that synthesizes and integrates experimental work she has conducted over the last eight years on sex differences in aggression.

Among the science fellows is:

  • A biomimetics cluster, led by Joanna Aizenberg, that includes Elisabeth Logak, professor of mathematics at Université de Cergy-Pontoise (France), and Lev Truskinovsky, research director in the Laboratoire de Méchanique des Solides at École Polytechnique (France). In a project titled “Biomimetics and Quantitative Biology: Conceptual Interpretation and Mathematical Modeling of the Adaptive Design Strategies in Biological Materials, Structures and Mechanisms,” the cluster will fabricate a new class of biomimetic “hairy” surfaces that respond to environmental cues and develop new theoretical and computational models to capture and predict their behavior. By uniting applied engineering, natural sciences and pure mathematics, the team aims to establish principles for designing artificial systems that exhibit unprecedented biomimetic functionality.

Now in its 10th year, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program has awarded fellowships to more than 500 accomplished and promising artists, scientists and scholars. Past fellows include Elizabeth Alexander, the fourth U.S. presidential inaugural poet; Mulatu Astatke, founder of the hybrid musical form Ethio Jazz; Debra Fischer, who has participated in the discovery of roughly half the known extrasolar planets; and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Tony Horwitz.

About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions and creative arts. Within this broad purpose, the Institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender and society. Please visit www.radcliffe.edu or call 617-495-8608 for more information.

The 2010–2011 Radcliffe Institute Fellows and their projects are:

Joanna Aizenberg*
Harvard University
Biomimetics and Quantitative Biology: Conceptual Interpretation and Mathematical Modeling of the Adaptive Design Strategies in Biological Materials, Structures, and Mechanisms

Angela Ards
Southern Methodist University
Cultural Studies Theory and Practice
Affirmative Acts: The Ethics of Self-Fashioning in Contemporary African American Women's Autobiography

Donald Berman
Tufts University
Musical Performance
Dead or Alive: Resurrecting Forgotten Treasures from the Harvard Music Libraries and Performing Them

Daphne Brooks
Princeton University
American Studies
Subterranean Blues: Black Feminist Musical Subcultures—from Minstrelsy to the Post–Hip Hop Era

Caroline Bruzelius
Duke University
Architectural History
The Dead Come to Town: Preaching, Burying, and Building in the Medieval City

Margot Canaday
Princeton University
North American History
Perverse Ambitions, Deviant Careers: A Queer History of the American Workplace, 1900–2000

Yu-Hui Chang
Brandeis University
Music Composition
Composition of a Chamber Opera and Other Chamber Works

Bevil Conway
Wellesley College
Color: Neural Mechanisms and Art Practice

Taylor Davis
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Visual Arts
Boardroom: The Company of Objects

Paul Desenne
FESNOJIV (El Sistema) (Venezuela)
Music Composition
A Coffee Opera

Julie Dorsey
Yale University
Computer Science
Sketch-Based Exploration of the Relationship Between Built Form and Landscape

Abigail English
Center for Adolescent Health & the Law
Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Adolescents: Health, Law, and Human Rights

Irving R. Epstein
Brandeis University
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Cross-Diffusion and Pattern Formation in Chemical, Biological, Ecological, and Social Systems

Kristen Ghodsee
Bowdoin College
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Nationality, Religion, and Church-State Symphony: An Ethnographic Study of Secularisms in Southeastern Europe

Daniel Gilbert
Harvard University
Personality and Social Psychology
Reality, the Movie

Linda G. Griffith**
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New Approaches to Probing Autocrine Growth Factor Loops in Stem Cells

Henrietta Harrison
Harvard University
Asian History
The Missionary’s Curse and Other Tales: A Catholic Village in China, 1700–2000

Nancy E. Hill
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Developmental Psychology
Cultural Worldviews and Belief Systems: A Nuanced Understanding of Ethnic Heterogeneity in Family Dynamics and Children's Development

Anna Maria Hong
DigiPen Institute of Technology
The Green Box

Evan Horowitz
University of North Texas
English Literature
Literature and the Question of Beauty

Erica Caple James
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Charity, Security, and Disparities: Haitian Quests for Asylum

Gene Andrew Jarrett
Boston University
English Literature
Paul Laurence Dunbar: The First African American Poet Laureate

Walter Johnson
Harvard University
North American History
River of Dark Dreams: Slavery, Capitalism, and Imperialism in the Mississippi Valley’s Cotton Kingdom

Ann Jones
Independent Writer (United States)
Nonfiction and Current Issues
When War Comes Home

Lynne Jones
International Medical Corps (United Kingdom)
Outside the Asylum: A Child Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Working in Conflict and Disaster

Barbara B. Kahn
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Medical Sciences
Structure and Function of Novel Lipids in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Karen Kramer
Harvard University
Evolutionary and Organismic Biology
Evolutionary Perspectives on Childhood and the Human Capacity for Population Growth

Carrie Lambert-Beatty
Harvard University
Contemporary Art History
Just Art: Imagining Art’s Efficacy

Susan Landau
Sun Microsystems
Computer Science
Civilian Control of Cybersecurity

Jennifer S. Lerner
Harvard Kennedy School
Personality and Social Psychology
Emotion and Decision Making

Elisabeth Logak*
Université de Cergy-Pontoise (France)
Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
Biomimetics and Quantitative Biology: Conceptual Interpretation and Mathematical Modeling of the Adaptive Design Strategies in Biological Materials, Structures, and Mechanisms

Irene Lusztig
University of California at Santa Cruz
Film, Video, Sound, and New Media
The Motherhood Archives

Rose McDermott
Brown University
Political Science
Sex Differences in Aggression

Kiri Miller
Brown University
Virtual Performance: Interactive Digital Media and Amateur Musicianship

Susan Muller
University of California at Berkeley
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Dynamics, Kinetics, and Manipulation of DNA, Vesicles, Capsules, and Cells Via Microfluidic Trapping Flows

Mignon Nixon
Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (United Kingdom)
Contemporary Art History
“Sperm Bomb”: Art, Feminism, and the American War in Vietnam

Shankar Raman
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
English Literature
Before the Two Cultures: Literature and Mathematics in Early Modern England

David Redmon
Carnivalesque Films
Film, Video, Sound, and New Media
Noah’s Arc

Suzanne Rivecca
Homeless Youth Alliance
The Habitants: A Novel of Walt Whitman in New Orleans

Joan Ruderman
Harvard Medical School
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Transgenic Zebrafish Embryos: Versatile Sensors for Environmental Estrogens

Amy Sillman**
Independent Artist (United States)
Visual Arts
Painter Painting

Diana Sorensen
Harvard University
Comparative Literature
Geographic Imaginaries for the Twenty-First Century

Kathleen Thelen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Political Science
The Future of Egalitarian Capitalism, in Light of Its Past

John Tiffany
Independent Artist (United Kingdom)
Theater Performance
I Speak Therefore I Am

Lev Truskinovsky*
École Polytechnique (France)
Mechanical Engineering
Biomimetics and Quantitative Biology: Conceptual Interpretation and Mathematical Modeling of the Adaptive Design Strategies in Biological Materials, Structures, and Mechanisms

Nick Turse
Columbia University
Nonfiction and Current Issues
Kill Anything That Moves: US War Crimes and Civilian Slaughter during the Vietnam War

Bettina M. Voelker
Colorado School of Mines
Earth and Planetary Science
Do Aquatic Organisms Use Reactive Oxygen Species to Manipulate Their Geochemical Environment?

Barbara Weinstein
New York University
Latin American History
Race, Region, Nation: São Paulo and the Formation of Brazilian National Identities

*Bioengineering cluster
**Fall semester

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