A story about our students (Alex, with Nadia Hoppe and Serenity Orengo)
A story about our students (Alex, with Nadia Hoppe and Serenity Orengo)
Six professors from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences have been named Conrad Humanities Scholars. They are taking advantage of the new designation to pursue a variety of projects, from studying second language acquisition and black girlhood to researching immigration politics.
Movie fans and scholars alike will soon be able to visualize an entangled network of Indian film stars, the history of Indian cinema, and the trajectory of Bollywood as it shot towards mainstream fame with an interface professor Rini Mehta is developing through a fellowship with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
As cinema industries around the globe adjusted to the introduction of synch-sound technology, the Soviet Union was also shifting culturally, politically, and ideologically from the heterogeneous film industry of the 1920s to the centralized industry of the 1930s, and from the avant-garde to Socialist Realism. In The Voice of Technology: Soviet Cinema’s Transition to Sound, 1928–1935, Lilya Kaganovsky explores the history, practice, technology, ideology, aesthetics, and politics of the transition to sound within the context of larger issues in Soviet media history. Industrialization and centralization of the cinema industry greatly altered the way movies in the Soviet Union were made, while the introduction of sound radically influenced the way these movies were received. Kaganovsky argues that the coming of sound changed the Soviet cinema industry by making audible, for the first time, the voice of State power, directly addressing the Soviet viewer. By exploring numerous examples of films from this transitional period, Kaganovsky demonstrates the importance of the new technology of sound in producing and imposing the "Soviet Voice."
Eric Calderwood has been selected as a Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences for 2018-2023.
Prof. Robert Rushing has received both the campus-level Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and the LAS Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Read more about how Rini Mehta develops interactive tools to better understand a rising industry.
Rebecca Whalen was awarded the Comparative and World Literature Award for Excellence as a senior student.
The Fred S. Bailey Fellowship for Community Leadership, Service, and Activism supports University of Illinois Urbana campus graduate and professional students who have shown passion, creativity, innovation, and commitment through community organizing, activism, and/or service in one or more of the following areas: social justice, environment, global engagement and/or interfaith cooperation.
Professor Rini Bhattacharya Mehta has been awarded a fellowship by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications for a project titled "Indian Cinema in Context: Interactive Film History Archive and Tools."
Through state-backed Catholicism, monolingualism, militarism, and dictatorship, Spain’s fascists earned their reputation for intolerance. It may therefore come as a surprise that 80,000 Moroccans fought at General Franco’s side in the 1930s. What brought these strange bedfellows together, Eric Calderwood argues, was a highly effective propaganda weapon: the legacy of medieval Muslim Iberia, known as al-Andalus. This legacy served to justify Spain’s colonization of Morocco and also to define the Moroccan national culture that supplanted colonial rule.
Writers of many political stripes have celebrated convivencia, the fabled “coexistence” of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in medieval Iberia. According to this widely-held view, modern Spain and Morocco are joined through their shared Andalusi past. Colonial al-Andalus traces this supposedly timeless narrative to the mid-1800s, when Spanish politicians and intellectuals first used it to press for Morocco’s colonization. Franco later harnessed convivencia to the benefit of Spain’s colonial program in Morocco. This shift precipitated an eloquent historical irony. As Moroccans embraced the Spanish insistence on Morocco’s Andalusi heritage, a Spanish idea about Morocco gradually became a Moroccan idea about Morocco.
Drawing on a rich archive of Spanish, Arabic, French, and Catalan sources—including literature, historiography, journalism, political speeches, schoolbooks, tourist brochures, and visual arts—Calderwood reconstructs the varied political career of convivencia and al-Andalus, showing how shared pasts become raw material for divergent contemporary ideologies, including Spanish fascism and Moroccan nationalism. Colonial al-Andalus exposes the limits of simplistic oppositions between European and Arab, Christian and Muslim, that shape current debates about European colonialism.
Ethan Madarieta has been awarded the Gendell and Shiner Fellowship for the Fall Semester of 2019-20.
Alexandra Van Doren was selected for the International Women's Day Award.
An article, "Bridging the gap between medicine and literature" about Stephanie Hilger’s new book “New Directions in Literature and Medicine Studies” is featured on the college homepage.
Professor Rini Mehta has been awarded the 2018-2019 IPRH Faculty Fellowship for her project "Mens Hierarchicus: Race’s Intellectual Labor and the Global Right."
Prof. Eric Calderwood has been selected as a Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor Scholar for the College of LAS for 2017-2019.
Comparative Literature in Historical perspective
I am thrilled to report that Professor Stephanie Hilger has been awarded the CAS Fellowship for 2018-2019 for her project, "Liminal Bodies: Hermaphrodites in the Eighteenth Century."
Congratulations to SLL faculty member Prof. Lilya Kaganovsky, who is receiving the Provost's Campus Distinguished Promotion Award. The Campus Committee on Promotion and Tenure, in forwarding her case for promotion to full professor to the Chancellor, identified her as one of a set of scholars up for promotion "whose contributions were truly exceptional in terms of quality of work and overall achievement."
Everyone please join me in congratulating our new full professors Lilya Kaganovsky, Robert Rushing and Robert Tierney!
Professor Robert A. Rushing’s book Descended from Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body On Screen just won the Film and Media Studies book prize at the AAIS (American Association for Italian Studies).
Eric Calderwood has been awarded a Criticism and Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellowship for 2017-18.
Muscles, six-pack abs, skin, and sweat fill the screen in the tawdry and tantalizing peplum films associated with epic Italian cinema of the 1950s and 1960s.Using techniques like slow motion and stopped time, these films instill the hero’s vitality with timeless admiration and immerse the hero’s body in a world that is lavishly eroticized but without sexual desire. These "sword and sandal" films represent a century-long cinematic biopolitical intervention that offers the spectator an imagined form of the male body―one free of illness, degeneracy, and the burdens of poverty―that defends goodness with brute strength and perseverance, and serves as a model of ideal citizenry.
Prof. Waïl Hassan has been elected Second Vice President of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA). He will serve in that capacity for the first of a three-year term on the Executive Committee (2017-18). In the second year (2018-19) he will become Vice President, then President in the third year (2019-20). After that, Prof. Hassan will become a member of the Honorary Committee as a past president.
The ACLA was founded in 1960 and is the largest professional association representing the discipline in North America, although its membership of over 2,000 includes many who travel to its annual conference from Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America. The ACLA also holds occasional conferences abroad, with the 2017 meeting taking place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in July.