2018 Summer Funding Recipients Report Back

April 22, 2019

2018 Summer Funding Recipients Report Back

Each summer, graduate students may apply for additional funds to support research, workshops, language institutes, conference travel, and other scholarly activities. Here is a brief roundup of how last summer’s funding recipients used their awards:

Third-year PhD student Tanja Beljanski traveled to Germany, where she conducted research at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien. The center’s materials relating to continental media theory, which she explains are quite difficult to access from the US, provide a key foundation for her dissertation research.

Second-year PhD student Katherine Briant attended the Rare Book School’s Advanced Seminar in Medieval Manuscript Studies, led by Barbara Shailor at the Beinecke Library.  Katherine writes: “We spent the week transcribing Latin texts, attending workshops on book production, and analyzing a rich array of manuscripts from across the European Middle Ages.  While at the Beinecke, I worked with a copy of Lydgate’s Dance of Death for a project on the poem’s visuality and manuscript tradition.”  

MA student Rachel Crawford presented at a conference on Sexuality, Capitalism, and Africa, hosted by the University of Johannesburg's Center of Phenomenology. “This opportunity afforded me the ability to further my research on how phenomenological approaches inform madness in literature,” Rachel explains; she adds that the experience helped her to work toward her MA thesis, which focused on Quentin Compson's suicide in The Sound and the Fury.

PhD students Helen Davies, Kyle Huskin, and Alex Zawacki together transported a medieval manuscript from U of R’s Rare Books and Special Collection to Oxford’s Bodleian Library so that it could be studied using a hyperspectral imaging system. The manuscript had previously been analyzed using a multispectral imaging system, under the auspices of the Lazarus Project here at the U of R; bringing it to the Bodleian allowed Helen, Kyle and Alex – along with Dr. David Messinger from RIT and Dr. David Howell, of the Bodleian – to perform the first multispectral and hyperspectral imaging comparison on a cultural heritage object. A paper detailing the results is expected to be published soon. 

Fifth-year PhD student Daniel Kraines traveled to Spelman College to study the papers of poet Audre Lorde. He focused particularly on Lorde’s personal correspondence with fellow poet Adrienne Rich, most of which has never been published.

Fourth-year PhD student Oishani Sengupta attended a workshop entitled “Book Illustration Processes to 1900,” taught by Terry Belanger at Rare Book School. Oishani writes that she “had applied to the course in order to acquire the ability to differentiate between Victorian printing technologies, identify individual prints, and understand the material processes involved in the production of these images. Not only did the course provide me with practical skills to work with primary archival source materials like rare prints and illustrations, but it also encouraged me to consider the interdependence between manual reproductive processes and photomechanical techniques of image reproduction in a way that deeply influences the central hypotheses of my dissertation project.”  

Seventh-year PhD student Daniel Singleton spent the summer consulting materials at UC Berkeley's libraries and the Pacific Film Archive, which allowed him to make significant progress on both his third dissertation chapter and an upcoming book proposal for SUNY's Horizons of Cinema series. 

Third-year PhD student Matthew Skwiat attended the XXVI International James Joyce Symposium at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, where he presented a paper entitled “Tied Together: Ulysses and the Africanist Presence.”