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Announcement, JHI Faculty Research Fellows, 2018-2019

ANNOUNCEMENT: Jackman Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowships

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Twelve-Month Fellowships, 2018-2019

For full biographical and project details, please scroll down.

2018-2019    Reading Faces – Reading Minds
What does it mean to read—a face, a text, an object, another mind? Human beings use a variety of intuitive and deliberate techniques in an effort to gauge what others feel, want, mean, and know, a sort of ‘mindreading.’ But are the faces we see and voices we hear always representational? While face-to-face encounters have exceptional social significance, the ways in which people encounter each other on stage, in print, and on screens are not transparent. What access to other minds do the humanities afford, and how do the humanities connect to developments in cognitive science and neuroscience? How do notions about reading minds transform what we think we do in reading texts? What is it to recognize the face and to know the mind of another?   
 
Michela Ippolito, Department of Linguistics (FAS)
Communicating Through Speech and Gestures

Rebecca Kingston, Department of Political Science (FAS)
Reading Faces, Reading Minds in the Public Realm: Early Modern Translations of Plutarch and their Impact on Conceptions and Practices of Public Life

Jennifer Nagel, Department of Philosophy (UTM)
Extracting Belief from Knowledge

Maria Subtelny, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS)
Physiognomy in the Context of Medieval Islamic Mirrors for Princes

Six- Month Fellowships, 2018-2019

Lucia Dacome, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (FAS)
Medical Encounters: Health, Mobility and Slavery in Early Modern Italy and the Mediterranean

Joseph Heath, Department of Philosophy (FAS)
The Arc of History

Regina Höschele, Department of Classics (FAS)
Image and Desire: Agalmatophilia in Antiquity

Tania Li, Department of Anthropology (FAS)
Plantation Life

Heather Murray, Department of English (FAS)
Toronto Bohemia: The Early Years (1925-1950) of the Gerrard Street Village

Alison K. Smith, Department of History (FAS)
The Case of the Dead Cheese Master: Migration in Eighteenth-Century Europe

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The Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowships in the Humanities
2018-2019


Jackman Humanities Institute Research Fellows: 12 month appointments
Research Fellows hold an office on the 10th floor of the Jackman Humanities Building and are central members of a Circle of Fellows.  They are University of Toronto tenured faculty members by the time of their fellowship, chosen for their distinction in achievements relative to their career stage, the excellence of their proposed project, and its relation to the annual theme for 2018-2019, Reading Faces – Reading Minds.
 
2018-2019    Reading Faces – Reading Minds
What does it mean to read—a face, a text, an object, another mind? Human beings use a variety of intuitive and deliberate techniques in an effort to gauge what others feel, want, mean, and know, a sort of ‘mindreading.’ But are the faces we see and voices we hear always representational? While face-to-face encounters have exceptional social significance, the ways in which people encounter each other on stage, in print, and on screens are not transparent. What access to other minds do the humanities afford, and how do the humanities connect to developments in cognitive science and neuroscience? How do notions about reading minds transform what we think we do in reading texts? What is it to recognize the face and to know the mind of another?   
 
Michela Ippolito, Department of Linguistics (FAS)
Michela Ippolito (Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002) is Associate Professor of Linguistics. She has been a researcher at the University of Tübingen and has taught at the University of California Santa Cruz and Boston University. Her research in linguistics has focused on the formal study of meaning, particularly in subjunctive conditionals, counterfactuals, and modal expressions more generally. She has published a monograph with MIT press and also numerous scholarly articles on topics such as similarity, embedded implicatures, the meaning of focus-sensitive expressions such as ‘only’ and ‘still’, indefinite pronouns, and tense.

Communicating Through Speech and Gestures
This project will take linguistic analysis beyond the realm of words by investigating the contribution of gestures in face-to-face conversations where speech and gestures work together to produce a coherent and coordinated communicative act by analyzing the role of gestures in conversation from the perspective of formal pragmatics within the larger framework of model-theoretic semantics. The starting point of the project are gestures used in conversation by native speakers of Italian. I will pursue the hypothesis that quotable gestures in Italian are speech act markers and that their role in discourse is to signal the speaker’s and hearer’s commitment (or lack thereof) to a given proposition. I hope to advance our understanding of the human ability to read each other in face-to-face communication and, more generally, our understanding of human cognition.

Rebecca Kingston, Department of Political Science (FAS)
Rebecca Kingston (Ph.D. McGill University, 1997) is Professor of Political Science. She has taught (and previously tenured) at Saint Francis University and is a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. She is the author of Public Passion: Rethinking the Grounds for Political Justice (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2011) and Montesquieu and the Parlement of Bordeaux (Librairie Droz, 1996) as well as many articles on Montesquieu; a volume co-edited (with Elizabeth Sawyer) of Plutarch’s Writings is forthcoming from Cambridge UP. Her research has been driven by a longstanding interest in the role of emotions in the historical development of political theory, and more recently, in the reception of Classical texts in political thought.

Reading Faces, Reading Minds in the Public Realm: Early Modern Translations of Plutarch and their Impact on Conceptions and Practices of Public Life
This is a part of a larger study of the reception of Plutarch’s Lives and Moralia in French and English political thought 1500-1800. From the beginning of the 16th century, Plutarch's work was circulated and translated into the vernacular by a number of scholars with a keen interest in matters of public life who reflected on the nature of public life and its expectations in terms of how those in a public role both saw and were seen. During her time as a JHI fellow she will focus on her research related to the latter part of her project and in particular with a focus on the ways Plutarch was invoked in political argument in France and England in the 17th and 18th centuries. This will contribute to her broader objective to offer a new account of the development of political thought in France and England in the early-modern and modern period.

Jennifer Nagel, Department of Philosophy (UTM)
Jennifer Nagel (Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 2000) is Associate Professor of Philosophy. Her research covers both historical and contemporary topics in the theory of knowledge, ranging from 17th century debates about skepticism to current controversies about the context-sensitivity of the verb “to know”. Much of her recent work focuses on epistemic intuitions—natural instincts about knowledge—and the question of exactly what these instincts can tell us about knowledge itself. Nagel has worked collaboratively with social and developmental psychologists on problems in mental state attribution. She is the author of Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2014), and numerous articles on epistemic intuitions, skepticism, knowledge, and knowledge ascription. She is currently writing a book entitled Recognizing Knowledge: Intuitive and Reflective Epistemology.
 

Extracting Belief from Knowledge
This project explores the relationship between belief and knowledge, extracting evidence about this relationship from our instinctive abilities to attribute these states to ourselves and others. The project brings philosophical theories of knowledge into contact with developmental research on mental state recognition in young children, comparative studies of the social intelligence of human and non-human animals, and linguistic work on verbal mental state attributions. Convergent evidence from all of these fields suggests that belief attribution emerges from a more basic capacity for knowledge attribution. When we predict and explain the actions of others, we naturally start from calculations about what they know, and then adjust these calculations to take into account what they believe. With a more detailed understanding of the strengths and limitations of instinctive mental state attribution, we can draw a sharper picture of the underlying states of knowledge and belief.

Maria Subtelny, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS)
Maria Subtelny (PhD, Harvard University) is Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies. Her areas of expertise are the history of medieval Iran, classical Persian literature, Perso-Islamic mysticism, and Islamic political philosophy. She is the author of Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran (Leiden, 2007) and Le monde est un jardin: Aspects de l’histoire culturelle de l’Iran médiéval (Paris, 2002), as well as numerous articles on Persian and Islamic topics ranging across cultural history, literature, and religion, including contributions to The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Encyclopaedia Iranica, and The New Cambridge History of Islam. She is currently preparing an edition, translation, and commentary of a fifteenth-century Persian mirror for princes entitled Akhlaq-i muhsini (“Ethics for Prince Muhsin”), composed for a descendant of Tamerlane.

Physiognomy in the Context of Medieval Islamic Mirrors for Princes
Assessing character by scrutinizing physical features had a long history in the Islamic world, thanks largely, although not exclusively, to translations into Arabic from ancient Greek treatises. I propose to examine the role and literary presentation of physiognomy (firasat) in Persian and Arabic works of political advice for Muslim rulers—the so-called mirrors for princes—to determine how Greek and Islamic conceptions of physiognomy may have melded together in a kind of Platonic ideal of the philosopher-king, who was portrayed as possessing spiritual insight and occult powers thanks to his divine election.

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Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowships in the Humanities
Six-Month Fellows, 2017-2018


Tenured faculty at the University of Toronto, each receives a six-month leave from the normal teaching and administrative duties in order to undertake research (including travel) on the project proposed in their application, and are chosen for demonstrated excellence of their record of scholarship and the merit of the research proposal.

Lucia Dacome, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (FAS)
Lucia Dacome (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 2000) is Associate Professor and Pauline M.H. Mazumdar Chair in the History of Medicine. She has worked on themes at the intersection of the social and cultural history of medicine, the history of the body, gender history, the history of the self, and the history of visual and material cultures of medicine. She is currently researching the history of health-related practices and knowledge production in the pre-modern Mediterranean world and in the context of the Mediterranean slave-trade. Her book Malleable Anatomies: Models, Makers, and Material Culture in Eighteenth-Century Italy (Oxford University Press, 2017) reconstructs the socio-cultural settings in which anatomical modelling was developed as a reliable source of medical knowledge, and traces the fashioning of anatomical models as social, cultural, political, as well as medical, tools. Her research has also appeared in journals such as Past and Present, the Journal of the History of Ideas, History of Science, History of Psychiatry, Renaissance Studies, and Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, as well as in other venues.

Medical Encounters: Health, Mobility and Slavery in Early Modern Italy and the Mediterranean

This research project considers the place of health in the context of migration, slavery, and travel in the pre-modern Mediterranean world. It explores health-related practices, agencies, material cultures, and patterns of knowledge making and transfer that took place in Mediterranean sites of encounter, with a special focus on Italian port cities and territories. I will investigate health-related pursuits that developed in settings characterized by the interaction of different communities, such as slave quarters and quarantine stations, to reconstruct how the practices and forms of knowledge emerging in these settings participated in shaping the early modern world of healing.

Joseph Heath, Department of Philosophy (FAS)
Joseph Heath (Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1995) is Professor of Philosophy. He has worked extensively in the field of critical theory, philosophy and economics, practical rationality, distributive justice, and business ethics. Heath is the author of several books, both popular and academic. His most recent, Morality, Competition and the Firm (Oxford, 2014), is a collection of papers on business ethics and the normative foundations of market economies. Enlightenment 2.0 (HarperCollins, 2014) is a call for a return to a more rational political discourse. Filthy Lucre (HarperCollins, 2009) is an analysis of economic fallacies and the role that they play in popular debates. Following the Rules (Oxford University Press, 2008), reflects on the phenomenon of rule-following and its significance for rationality and social interaction. Communicative Action and Rational Choice (MIT Press, 2001) studies the work of the philosopher Ju?rgen Habermas. Finally, The Efficient Society (Penguin, 2001) is an articulation and defense of the logic of the Canadian welfare state. Heath is also the co-author, with Andrew Potter, of the international bestseller The Rebel Sell (HarperCollins, 2004). His papers have been published in academic journals such as Mind, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
 
The Arc of History

My central objective in this research project is to develop a new approach to social contract theory, taking the “evolution of cooperation” literature as a point of departure. My ambition is to show how a thorough understanding of the state of research on the evolutionary constraints that limit the emergence of cooperation can be used to develop a cultural-evolutionary model that lends support to several of the normative claims traditionally associated with social contract theory. Cultural transmission, on this view, is biased in the direction of norms that can more easily be the object of unforced agreement, which not only favours increased cooperation, but subjects these cooperative arrangements to egalitarian pressure over time (and thus the arc of history “bends toward justice.”)

Regina Höschele, Department of Classics (FAS)
Regina Höschele (Ph.D. University of Munich, 2007) is Associate Professor of Classics.  Her main research interests lie in the area of Hellenistic and Latin poetry as well as Greek Imperial Literature, with a particular focus on ancient erotica and the cultural interactions between the Greek and Roman world. She has published four books, including two monographs on ancient epigram collections (2006, 2010), a bilingual and annotated edition of Aristaenetus’ erotic letters (2014, with Peter Bing), which offers the first English translation of this late-antique work in 300 years, and a Greek/German edition of Theocritus’ poems (2016).

Image and Desire: Agalmatophilia in Antiquity
Images can affects their viewers in various ways, eliciting feelings ranging anywhere from repulsion to admiration and erotic stimulation. In rare cases, the image itself may become the object of desire, the viewer of the artwork turn into a lover whose passion is bound to remain unrequited. Significantly, the writings of Greco-Roman Antiquity are full of tales about people falling in love with statues, paintings or other types of images—a condition nowadays known as “agalmatophilia”. My study examines this peculiar phenomenon from a literary-cultural point of view against the backdrop of Greco-Roman erotic and ekphrastic literature. Through close readings of all agalmatophilia tales within their respective context (from the famous story of Pygmalion via the legends surrounding Praxiteles' Knidian Aphrodite to little known anecdotes of image-love), I will determine underlying narrative patterns and investigate what such stories and related anecdotes may have to tell us about ancient conceptions of art and beauty.
 
Tania Li, Department of Anthropology (FAS)
Tania Li (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 1987) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy and Culture of Asia. Her publications include Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Duke University Press, 2014), Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia (with Derek Hall and Philip Hirsch, NUS Press, 2011), The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics (Duke University Press, 2007) and many articles on land, labor, development, resource struggles, community, class, and indigeneity with a particular focus on Indonesia.
https://taniamurrayli.wordpress.com/

Plantation Life
This project will craft ethnographic research conducted in Indonesia's extensive oil palm plantations into a book that explores the everyday experience of plantation life.  The book will examine the history of land acquisition for plantation  establishment, and the lasting effect of land struggles on social  and cultural relations; plantations as social and cultural systems,  with unique forms of hierarchy, ethnic and gender segregation, and  modes of organizing collective life; power, politics,  and the forms of predation characteristic of plantation zones; and future challenges, especially for young people who grow up in a rural landscape dedicated to industrial oil palm, with scant space for their own life projects.
 
Heather Murray, Department of English (FAS)
Heather Murray (Ph.D. York University, 1984) is Professor of English and a member of the Graduate Collaborative Program in Book History & Print Culture. She also is a past-president of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English.  Her books are Working in English: History, Institution, Resources (1996) and Come, Bright Improvement: The Literary Societies of Nineteenth-Century Ontario (2002). She has published widely in the areas of the history of English studies, the history of reading, and Canadian cultural/intellectual history. She also has authored a number of policy and professional reports, including an historical study of hiring patterns in English departments in Canada.
 
Toronto Bohemia: The Early Years (1925-1950) of the Gerrard Street Village
For more than half a century, the Gerrard Street Village was known as Toronto's Bohemia or as Toronto's Greenwich Village. While there has been a growing public recognition and remembrance of the Village in the '50s and '60s (as an enclave of modern art and design, and of coffee house culture), very little is known of the earlier decades of Village life, when artists, artisans, and authors (many of them immigrants or first-generation Canadians) first set up shops and studios at the northern end of The Ward, Toronto's most densely multicultural district. My research explores how these cultural practitioners carved out a space for divergent expression in “Toronto the Good” of the 1920s, created survival systems during the lean 1930s, kept culture alive during the Second World War, and then welcomed a new generation of internee and refugee artists.

Alison K. Smith, Department of History (FAS)
Alison K. Smith (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2000) is Professor of History. Her research examines the social, cultural, and administrative history of Imperial Russia by focusing on food history and on social status and mobility. In a series of articles and in her first monograph, Recipes for Russia: Food and Nationhood Under the Tsars (DeKalb 2008), she focused on the ways that food practices were read as meaningful by Russians and foreign observers alike, and in particular, how they were part of the construction of a Russian national identity. Her second major research project examined the means by which individual subjects of the Russian empire could alter their legal social status (soslovie). In her book For the Common Good and Their Own Well-Being: Social Estate in Imperial Russia (New York 2014), she examined the structures of tsarist Russian society, the choices individuals could make, and the constraints placed upon them by the state. As she argued in “Freed Serfs without Free People: Manumission in Imperial Russia” (American Historical Review 2013), these constraints and choices affected conceptions of freedom.

The Case of the Dead Cheese Master: Migration in Eighteenth-Century Europe
This project is a microhistory based around the life of one obscure historical individual, the cheese master François Tinguely, a native of the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland, who lived, worked, and then died in Russia in the 1790s. His story illuminates larger patterns of migration, both of ideas and of people, in late eighteenth century Europe. His story is both a story of the Russian empire—he worked as a cheese maker at the palace of Gatchina, one of the palaces owned by first Grand Duke, then Emperor Paul (r. 1796-1801)—and of the larger European context. The story of his life and death is embedded in a larger history of technological innovation, in changing cultures and tastes, and in questions of property and ownership.



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