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Franke Fellows 2023-2024

April 28, 2023—Announcing the 2023-2024 Franke Graduate Fellows of the Kaplan Humanities Institute!


chen-jinxue-168x210.jpgJinxue Chen
Department of Political Science; Classics Cluster; Critical Theory Cluster

Project: Journey Between East and West: Chinese Intellectuals in the World,1880-1940

"My research project examines modern Chinese thinkers who were active in the United States, Japan, and Europe from the 1880s to the 1940s to understand two things: First, what constituted their “Western Learning” and how did they introduce their newly acquired knowledge into China? Second, what were the opportunities and challenges that they faced as Asian migrants living abroad decades ago? Answering these can help us reflect on notions of membership, identity, and tradition in an age of unprecedented levels of global migration and communication."


le-cesne-madeleine-168x210.jpgMadeleine Le Cesne
Department of Performance Studies

Project: This Mess We’re In: Minor Matter and the Intimacies of Black Ecologies in Lower Louisiana

My dissertation explores the intersections of art and ecology in lower Louisiana, exploring how art and performance emerging from Louisiana’s specific ecological context invite us to reimagine the kinds of futures thought possible in and for lower Louisiana. Honing in on flooding as a phenomenon that has been held largely responsible for the impossibility of sustainable futurity in lower Louisiana, this dissertation interrogates affective attachments that render flooding eclipsingly as disaster, instead asking what might be gleaned by taking seriously the land’s need to flood."


manuel-greg-168x210.jpgGreg Manuel
Department of Performance Studies

Project: Scenes of Disturbance: Eventfulness and Reckoning in a Flammable Place

"My dissertation dwells with the impact of the 2018 Carr Fire on the rhythms of life in Shasta County, California. As local wildlands grow increasingly flammable under the pressures of climate change and settler neglect, I track how survivors manage to live, cope, and think amid the quick and disorienting durations of crisis that have been punctuating the region’s volatile dry seasons."


ray-arianna-168x210.jpgArianna Ray
Department of Art History

Project: Paper Skin: Printing Blackness and Materializing Race in the Early Modern Dutch Atlantic

"My dissertation examines how prints of African diasporic people made in the Dutch Atlantic from 1600-1750 contributed to the construction of Blackness as a racial phenomenon. By overlapping the materialities of paper and skin, I argue printmaking epidermalized race alongside colonial medicine. Throughout, I integrate the histories of real African diasporic individuals to demonstrate how prints collapse ethnicity in favor of race and to recuperate lives otherwise lost to the violence of the colonial archive."


Learn more about the Franke Fellowship Program: