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Announcement, JHI Graduate Fellows for 2018-2019

We are delighted to announce our doctoral fellows for the 2018-2019 year, on the theme of Reading Faces -- Reading MInds:

Doctoral Fellows at the Jackman Humanities Institute, 2018-2019

Chancellor Henry N.R. Jackman Graduate Fellows in the Humanities


Brigidda Bell, Study of Religion
Moved by the Spirit(s): Credibility and Normative Models of Spirit Practices in the First and Second Centuries of the Mediterranean
Brigidda’s dissertation analyses prophetic insight in the Graeco-Roman world. She asks how the legitimacy of the claims to truth by spirit-practitioners was gauged, looking beyond the content of speech alone.  Signalling theory, a framework from the cognitive sciences, allows the analysis of signals or traits that influence the behaviour of others, and assesses what makes signs credible or not. Through this framework, Brigidda examines four ancient literary sites where claims of prophetic truth were interrogated: in movements of the body, in marks of ethnicity,  in visible social networks, and in the varied cultural markers of moral character.

Bradley Hald, Classics
Auditory and Visual Affect in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War
Bradley’s research examines the intersection of sensory perception, affect, and historical causality in the text of Thucydides. Visual and auditory perception operate as transmitting media for emotional affect, and these sensory conduits for affect serve both as conduits of individual power and as autonomous force, moving beyond human will to the collective perceptivity of whole political groups. The effect of this analysis is a view of Thucydides’ craft as historian: the visual-affective dynamics in discrete narrative episodes perform the evaluative processes the author avows: and in the process, provide a way to read the mind of the historian.

Mason Westfall, Philosophy
Understanding Minds
Mason’s thesis offers an account of how we understand ourselves and other people. He rejects the commonly-held claim that introspection is a necessary precursor to understanding others, arguing rather that perception of relevant physical features provides the necessary knowledge of others, and that the role of introspection is to generate understanding of why mental properties cause the behaviours that they do.

Amilcare Iannucci Graduate Fellow in the Humanities

Deanna Del Vecchio, Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Borders and Shadows: Participatory Photography at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Deanna’s research addresses the possibilities and dilemmas of using photography to document border struggles, with a focus on youth participatory photography in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Through interviews and focus groups with photographers and project facilitators, she investigates the use of images to explore young people’s relationships to place, drawing on Indigenous theorizations of refusal and resistance to consider what it means to position images as a “gesture towards” in participatory photography.


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