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Pauline Strong, Director HRC 3.360, Mailcode F1900, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-2654

Fall 2007 Faculty Fellows

Fall Seminar: The Human and its Others

Ari Adut, Assistant Professor of Sociology, has conducted research on political and sexual scandals in France, Britain, and the U.S.  His book manuscript, "On Scandal: Moral Disturbances in Society, Politics, and Art," is near completion.  He brings to the seminar an interest in the moral and sociological dimensions of the dichotomy between humans and commodities, particularly given new markets in organs, babies, and tissues.

Samuel Baker, Assistant Professor of English, specializes on British Romanticism and its relationship to imperialism.  He has just completed a book manuscript, "Written on the Water: British Romanticism and the Maritime Empire of Culture," that explores the relationship between the concepts of Culture and Nature, specifically as it is experienced on the high seas.  His new project explores contemporary theories of human and animal life.

Miguel Ferguson, Associate Professor of Social Work, focuses on people living in poverty, the lives of single mothers, and prisoners serving life terms.   He brings to the seminar an interest in how such people are marginalized and dehumanized.  Currently he is working with a group of prisoners serving life terms who take part in a program called Words Beyond Walls in which they discuss and publish essays, poems, and social critiques.  

Benjamin Gregg, Associate Professor of Government, specializes in modern and contemporary European and American social, political, and legal theory.  His publications include Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration Across Communities of Belief (2003) and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism (2003).  His current research considers the construction of human rights.

K. M. (Kay) Knittel, Associate Professor of Musicology, specializes in the music of Beethoven and Mahler, reception history and theory, German nationalism, and Jewish studies.  She is completing a book manuscript entitled "Seeing Mahler, Hearing Mahler: Mahler and anti-Semitism in Fin-de-siécle Vienna." During the seminar she is particularly interested in exploring the relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-modernism.   

Elizabeth Peña, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, has published widely on speech development, language assessment, and bilingualism.   Her current research explores cultural and historical differences in the definition of language ability and impairment.  She brings to the seminar an expertise in universal and culturally specific aspects of language.

Sonia Seeman, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Middle Eastern Studies, focuses her research on the music of modern Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and Southeastern Europe, particularly within Roma ("Gypsy") communities.  She brings to the seminar an interest in the construction of Roma as others in literature, oral narratives, and visual and aural aesthetic forms—particularly today when national identities are perceived to be under attack by globalization and the European Union.

Michael Young, Associate Professor of Sociology, specializes in political sociology, the sociology of religion, and social theory.   His 2006 book, Bearing Witness against Sin: The Evangelical Birth of the American Social Movement, concerns the distinctive style of protest that emerged in the U.S. in the 1830s.  His current research examines the meaning and emotional force of "grotesque" images used in the antislavery and antiabortion movements.  

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