Powers Travel Grants Send Faculty Overseas

Eleven Oberlin faculty members are heading to Europe, thanks to the disbursement of $34,963 in H. H. Powers travel grants awarded by the College's Committee on Research and Development last semester.

Michael Fisher, professor of history, will visit three sites in England to research the lives and careers of five Muslim Asian faculty members who worked at two British colleges between 1806 and 1844. Their roles in training future British colonial officials and their lives in English society illustrate the complexity of the imperial process during the 19th century, says Fisher, who will incorporate evidence derived from the project into three courses at Oberlin.

Also traveling to England is Sarah Kelen, visiting assistant professor of English, who is researching the economics, material history, and readership of John Urry's posthumously published edition of Chaucer's Works (1721).

Professor of Geology Steven Wojtal will travel to the Swiss Alps, the Axial Zone of the Pyrenees, and north of the Lakes District in England to examine three continental sutures in mountain belts. His research there is a crucial step toward determining the relative sizes of two forces that drive tectonic plate movement.

Leonard Smith, associate professor of history, is working to complete the first section of his monograph project "The Embattled Self: Military Identity and Experience in French World War I Writings." The project comprises chapters on the writing, publishing, and reading of texts written by French soldiers about their experiences in World War I. Smith will travel to locations in France and Switzerland to examine archival collections relevant to the chapters.

Given unprecedented political freedoms, coupled with economic conditions that range from the promising to the nearly catastrophic, why has labor been so quiescent in post-Communist Europe? Stephen Crowley has investigated this question in Russia and is broadening his analysis by conducting research in other post-Communist countries. He will travel to Warsaw and Budapest for a conference he co-organized and follow up on his previous research on the topic in Hungary.

Museums in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Italy are of interest to Professor of Art Susan Kane, who will examine Etruscan bronze statues for a study on Etruscan standing male figures. The study combines with newer ideas about what makes the Etruscan figure not only different from Greek types, but also an influential and unsung precursor of Roman figural types.

James Morgan, visiting assistant professor of Russian and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, will examine archival materials and periodicals in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Helsinki in his study of early 19th-century Russian album verse. He plans to write an article tentatively titled "Poems and Souvenirs: Russian Album Verse at the Intersection of Life and Literature."

Assistant Professor of Sociology Veljko Vujacic heads to Russia and Serbia this summer to collect electoral statistics, public-opinion- survey data, interviews, monographs, and political memoirs for a book he is writing on the politics of nationalism in the two countries.

Spain, Chile, and Argentina are the destinations of Teresa Stojkov, visiting assistant professor of Spanish, who is working on a detailed analysis of the political and artistic collaborations between Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and several Spanish poets during the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War. She plans to publish her results in Revista Iberoamericana. Martin Jones, assistant professor of philosophy, will explore some traditional issues in metaphysics as they are informed by current debates on the interpretation of quantum mechanics. "Such an exploration is sorely needed," Jones says, "to help redress an imbalance in the philosophical thought devoted to that particular physical theory."

Professor of German Heidi Thomann Tewarson will conduct archival research in Berlin, Prague, and Terezin for her book project, A German Jewish Family's Survival in Nazi Germany and Theresienstadt.