2010/2011 Warren Center Graduate Student Fellows
STACY A. CLIFFORD, the George J. Graham Jr. Fellow, is a doctoral student in political science. Her dissertation, “Indispensable Idiocy: The History of Cognitive Disability Within Political Theory,” examines how the development of modern citizenship is informed by the exclusion of cognitive disability. Political theorists have used images of disability to limit the meaning of full personhood and to define political obligations, which Clifford demonstrates by analyzing the works of John Locke, John Rawls, Martha Nussbaum, and Eva Kittay. By combining theoretical analysis with insight from disability rights self-advocacy groups, her work revises the meaning of citizenship to promote a more robust account of justice.
ELIZABETH R. COVINGTON is the Elizabeth E. Fleming Fellow at the Warren Center. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, she received her master’s degree in religion, magna cum laude, from Yale Divinity School. Covington is a doctoral candidate in English literature and the recipient of the 2010 Robert Manson Myers Graduate Award in the Department of English. Her dissertation, “Reclaiming Memory: Literature, Science, and the Rise of Memory as Property 1860–1945,” explores the connection between the memory sciences and late Victorian and modernist literature. In her work, she theorizes that literature responded to memory sciences by positing individual memories as a kind of personal property.
CHRISTINA M. DICKERSON, a summa cum laude graduate of Spelman College and 2008 recipient of the John Carter Brown Library Associates Fellowship, is a doctoral candidate in history. Her dissertation, “Diplomats, Soldiers, and Slaveholders: The Coulon de Villiers Family in New France, 1700–1763,” is a microhistory of New France in which she examines the interactions between the Coulon de Villiers family and various Indian groups through diplomacy, warfare, and slavery. Her dissertation re-contextualizes the infamous 1754 Jumonville Affair, which occurred between Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville and a young George Washington. Dickerson has presented talks based on her research at the 2009 and 2010 Native American and Indigenous Studies Associations conferences.
JENNIFER M. FOLEY is a doctoral candidate in anthropology. Her dissertation, titled “When Worlds Collide: Examining the Effects of Cross Cultural Interaction on Ancient Maya Identity and Community,” analyzes excavation data from the Ancient Maya site of La Sufricaya, Guatemala. She seeks an understanding of the role the inhabitants of La Sufricaya played in regional sociopolitical developments during the Early Classic period (A.D. 200–450), and to what extent the ruling elite engaged in cross-cultural interaction with the Mexican site of Teotihuacán. Drawing on art historical analysis and social theory, her work examines the impact of foreign interaction on Maya identity.
SARAH JANE GLYNN earned her bachelor of arts in women’s studies at UCLA before coming to Vanderbilt. She is a doctoral candidate in sociology whose dissertation, “You Think it, They Ink it: Tattooing as Interactive Service Work,” examines the intersections of culture, identity, and the service economy in postmodern society. She argues that while people construct and communicate their identities through the display of tattooed bodies, the process through which they are acquired is a meaningful component of consumptive identity formation. Her dissertation seeks to illustrate that interactive service encounters are an important way of constructing narratives of who we believe ourselves to be. Glynn is the American Studies Fellow.
CLIVE HUNTER, a doctoral candidate in French and Francophone literature, is the Warren Center’s Visiting Fellow from Queen’s University, Belfast. His thesis, titled “Masculinités Francophones: An Exploration of Textual Performances of Gender in the Contemporary Male Authored Novel in French,” examines how the traditional idea(l) of masculinity is variously negotiated, performed, and/or contested in three different but interrelated categories of contemporary male writing. Hunter’s dissertation looks at the white heterosexual novel, the gay novel, and the black novel, focusing primarily on the works of Michel Houellebecq, Hervé Guibert, and Dany Laferrière, respectively, as he elaborates a critical framework for reading male narratives from a masculinities perspective.
JASON THOMAS PARKER, the Mary and Joe Harper Fellow, is a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish. His dissertation, “From Page to Stage: Journalism, Theater, and the Birth of the Modern Spectator,” focuses on how gradual processes of media change in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spain exercised powerful influences over the development of modern cultural and artistic sensibilities. Parker examines how the rise of the mass print industry in nineteenth-century Madrid engendered new mental frameworks through which to engage modernity and also paved the way for massive innovation in the production and reception of theater and film. He demonstrates that contemporary debates over the rapidly changing media landscape are the latest iteration of a recurring phenomenon in Western culture.
SARAH TYSON, the Ethel Mae Wilson Fellow, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy. Her dissertation, titled “Models of Engagement: Genevieve Lloyd, Luce Irigaray, Michele Le Doeuff, and the History of Philosophy,” considers efforts to reclaim women’s work in the history of philosophy. Tyson examines and compares the models for engaging women’s writing offered by these three influential feminist philosophers. Using the Seneca Falls Declaration as her case study, she explores the complementary and conflicting ways these thinkers bring women’s writing to philosophical attention and the implications the different methods have for both feminist and philosophical practices.
ELIZABETH R. ZAGATTA earned a Master’s of Divinity, magna cum laude, from Yale Divinity School. She is a Ph.D. candidate in religion, psychology and culture in the Graduate Department of Religion. Her dissertation, titled “The Reclamation of Sexual Pleasure in Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology,” examines the inclusion of sexual pleasure in Christian sexual ethics, and demonstrates that the relationships between theological, cultural, and ethical understandings of sexual pleasure are divergent and complex. She argues that Christian sexual ethics and pastoral theology need a deeper, more critical, understanding of sexual pleasure to transform sex education, combat sexual injustices, and improve how people of faith understand their sexual experiences from a psychological, physiological and spiritual perspective.
For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.
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