WHO’S HERE? A brief introduction to new fellows joining CRASSH this Michaelmas Term. Find out more about CRASSH’s Fellowships Programme. Please feel free to contact our fellows and join our weekly Research Practice seminars.
Rebecca Barr is a Crausaz Wordsworth Fellow at CRASSH until March 2023. Her project will read fiction as, and against, moral philosophy to show how eighteenth-century women writers participated in the period’s ‘Great laughter debate’. Although eighteenth-century philosophy is generally silent on the subject of women’s laughter, literature by women is frequently not merely funny but also deeply invested in the moral dimensions and gendered dynamics of visibility. The project will ask how the philosophy of laughter might look differently if studied in novels by women, and how novels by women read differently when contextualised by philosophy.
Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom is a Visiting Fellow at CRASSH until June 2023. During her fellowship, she will work on a project on ‘The effect of manifestations of religion in the public space on sociopolitical integration’. Her project examines the causal effect of exposure to cultural symbols in the public space on sociopolitical acculturation. Her team conducts cross-cultural experiments in different contexts which bring to bear different approaches to integration, using innovative VR and AR technologies. She has so far collected data in France and Israel, and so arrived at Cambridge ready to focus on England from a comparative viewpoint.
Jessica Berenheim is an Early Career Fellow at CRASSH this term. The central theme of her research is the role of visual culture in documentation, historical knowledge, and political power. She has particular interests in the aesthetics and materiality of writing; museum studies, archives, and archival theory; philosophy of history; inscriptions; medieval art and architecture; classical reception studies; history of the book; and medieval cultural history.
Matheus Duarte is a Visiting Fellow with gloknos until December 2022. Matheus is a post-doctoral research fellow (2020–2025) at the University of St Andrews, with the Wellcome-funded project ‘The global war against the rat and the epistemic emergence of zoonosis‘. In the project, he investigates the social and scientific history of rat-catching practices developed in Brazil, the USA, and in the French and British Empires during the first half of the twentieth century, and how these practices transformed the rat into a global actor on plague studies and intervention.
Malvika Maheshwari is Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at CRASSH this term. In her project ‘National Akademies of Art and the making of India’s democracy: the politics of administering aesthetics in postcolonial India’ she seeks to understand the political and intellectual origins and the trajectory of the National Akademies of Art on its own terms–its history and core principles, its internal contestations, and how its language, functioning and the ideological discourse supported interests of various state and central government policies, as much as shaping the complexities of the art world, and through it, ideas of citizenship and the public.
Charis Olszok is an Early Career Fellow at CRASSH this term. During this time she will be progressing with her current monograph project, ‘Strange energies: ecocritical readings of the Arabic novel’, which makes the argument for a link between literary experimentation and changed climates, landscapes and relationships to water management and agriculture. Addressing canonical figures from within the modern Arabic literary tradition, it will draw new connections between them and highlight significant, overlooked aspects of their writing. Primarily, it reads their writing through the prism of the uncanny – of doubles, phantoms, and strange mutations – and how this gives voice to ongoing energy anxieties and growing ecological awareness and concern.
Antti-VilleVillén is a Visiting Fellow at CRASSH, affiliated with Clare Hall College. During his visit, he aims to finish a monograph manuscript entitled Introduction to Olfactory Cultural Studies. The underlying research concentrates on the role of smells and olfaction in meaning-making and knowledge production in the context of art and the media. Particular emphasis is laid on the role of olfactory phenomena in the construction of cultural identities and thus on the importance of odours in intersectional postcolonial societal and cultural dynamics.