Michael D. Bess, Spence and Rebecca Webb Wilson Fellow and associate professor of history, is a co-director of the 1999/2000 Fellows program. He specializes in twentieth-century European history and is particularly interested in the relationships among technology, politics, and culture in France, Britain, and Italy during the postwar period. He is the author of Realism, Utopia, and the Mushroom Cloud: Four Activist Intellectuals and Their Strategies for Peace, 1945-1989. At present he is working on a book on the rise of environmentalism in postwar France.
Beth A. Conklin, associate professor of anthropology and religious studies, specializes in medical anthropology and the study of indigenous peoples of lowland South America. She has worked among the Wari' Indians of western Brazil, pursuing a particular interest in their cosmology and mortuary practices. Her book, Consuming Grief: Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society, is forthcoming this year from University of Texas Press. She has also published articles on the political and environmental activism of native peoples in South America.
Leonard Folgarait, chair and professor of fine arts, is the author of Mural Painting and Social Revolution in Mexico, 1920-1940 and So Far From Heaven: David Alfaro Siquerios' "The March of Humanity and Mexican Revolutionary Politics." He has lectured widely on a variety of topics in modern and contemporary art, and is beginning work on a book on Picasso and cubism. In particular, he is pursuing the question of how "natural" subjects such as landscapes and nudes figure in the development of a cubist art that challenges the very existence of stable "natural" models.
Kathy L. Gaca, assistant professor of classical studies, is interested in the transformation in human understanding of nature that occurred when Christian monotheism supplanted the ancient Greek religion and cosmogonies. She has published articles on the representation of sex and desire in the New Testament and in patristic Greek texts, and is currently completing a book, The Making of Fornication, for the University of California Press.
Richard Grusin, William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow and visiting associate professor of English, is chair and associate professor of the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His book in progress, The Reproduction of Nature: Art, Science, and the National Parks, 1864-1916, examines the establishment of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon as national parks, using a cultural historicist approach to investigate the beliefs and practices that made the creation of these parks possible. His previously published books include Remediation: Understanding New Media and Transcendentalist Hermeneutics: Institutional Authority and the Higher Criticism of the Bible.
Laurie R. Johnson, assistant professor of German, is beginning work on a project that investigates various constructions of the natural world in nineteenth-century German philosophy, psychology, and literature. She has published articles on Friedrich Schlegel, Gottfried von Strassburg, and Ingeborg Bachmann. Her book, Remembering and Recollection in German Early Romanticism, is currently in the review process.
Jay S. Noller, assistant professor of geology, specializes in soil geomorphology. His work investigates the influence of environmental factors and human activity on the formation of soil. He has published widely on the history and physical features of seismic faults in California, and is currently completing projects that examine El Niño's effects on the soils of the Peruvian desert.
David A. Weintraub, associate professor of astronomy, is pursuing research on the imaging and analysis of emissions from nebluae, and on theories of planet formation. He has published extensively in astronomical journals and has participated in programs to bring science education into local elementary schools.
David C. Wood, Jacque Voegeli Fellow and professor of philosophy, is a co director of the 1999/2000 Fellows program. He is the author of Philosophy at the Limit and The Deconstruction of Time, as well as articles on Heidegger, Escher, and Italo Calvino. His research interests include the rethinking of ethics and identity in a post-humanistic context, the construction of nature within the Western philosophical tradition, and the conceptualization of time.
For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.
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