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

Roster

2008-9 Research Associates


Michael Holland

Michael Holland earned his law degree from Yale and his bachelor's degree, with a major in anthropology, from The University of Texas at Austin. He was recently appointed by the UT School of Law's Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice as a Visiting Researcher and Scholar.

During his year as a Research Associate, Holland will be working principally on two projects. The first is a law journal article that focuses on the "language" of civil rights and civil right movements. For Western legal and political systems, he will argue, the language of civil rights is Christianity. Using American Indians' struggles for civil rights as an example, he will show that groups unable to "speak Christian" or translate their rights movements to fit within that framework suffer as a result of the language barrier. Additionally, he will contend that the consequences extend beyond American Indians and beyond the American system.

The second project focuses on the recent political unrest within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The unrest stems from the Cherokee Nations recent disenfranchisement of descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen – former African slaves, owned by Cherokee citizens, who themselves gained Cherokee citizenship following the Civil War. Taking the form of either a documentary film or a law journal article, the project will examine the legal, social, and political history of Indian-Black-White relations that have led to the current climate within the Cherokee Nation. The project also will explore the ways in which the actions of the Cherokee Nation might influence broader discussions concerning our commitment to sovereignty for all American Indian tribes and tribal nations.


Julie Knutson

Julie Knutson received an MSc in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005. In addition, she holds a BA in cultural studies and history from New York University. Currently, she teaches middle school in the Houston-area.

Inspired by references to the so-called "Southern Underground Railroad" uncovered while participating in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar on the abolitionist movement, Ms. Knutson will examine the mid-19th century movement of former slaves into Mexico. Use of UT's libraries and repositories will help develop a sense of the political, social, and cultural landscapes of 19th century Texas and Mexico in which these fledgling communities were formed, enabling a partial reconstruction of the lives and stories of the estimated 5,000-6,000 ex-slaves who ventured into Mexico. Ultimately, Knutson hopes to gather enough information to write a book of young adult historical fiction on the topic, sharing this little-known story — which touches upon issues of borders and boundaries, as well as on the formation of alliances and communities that transcend racial and linguistic lines — with a broader audience.


James Kraft

James Kraft received his Ph.D. in philosophy of religion at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, in 2000. He also received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at GTU. Dr. Kraft now works at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin.

Within philosophy of religion, Dr. Kraft's main areas of research are in religious epistemology and issues related to religion and violence. More specifically, he is pursuing the following two questions: Does religious disagreement among epistemic peers tend to reduce the confidence each has in the beliefs espoused? Does religious diversity seriously considered tend to lead to religious tolerance? He defends positions that answer both questions in the affirmative. He is currently working on applying a relatively new epistemology called contextualism to issues of religious diversity. Contextualism argues that the ability to assert knowledge changes in different contexts.


Amie Maciszewski

Dr. Amie Maciszewski is a sitarist (who sings), ethnomusicologist, and Hindustani music educator. She trained initially in India under the late Professor Suresh Misra, where she stood first in her B.Mus. batch and went on to earn the M.Mus. degree. She earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1998. An activist scholar, she has published several articles in journals and books and has produced three films documenting her research with courtesan musicians in India. Maciszewski has also performed throughout North America, India, Europe, and Japan and has taught in North America since 1986. She recently was selected for the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster for 2008-10.

Broadly defined, Maciszewski’s research involves musical advocacy on behalf of the music and musicians of North India and Pakistan. This advocacy has two main dimensions: developing community initiatives and engagement among local and regional populations related to Hindustani music education and documenting her work with socially marginalized women musicians in North India. She will be researching methods of making Hindustani music more accessible and engaging for wider audiences and ways to connect her Indian music performance, teaching, and directing with social entrepreneurship and philanthropy. She also hopes to co-author an article with Dr. Regula Qureshi of the University of Alberta for publication and conference presentation on the subject of “Women and Their Work: Social Relations, Musical Production, and Agency among North Indian Courtesans (working title).”


Alison Moore

Alison Moore holds an MFA in Fiction from Warren Wilson College and has published several works of poetry and short fiction. Her most recent book, The Middle of Elsewhere, was published in 2006. Moore is a former recipient of the Dobie/Paisano Fellowship from The University of Texas at Austin for her work on an historical novel about the Orphan Trains of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She is currently touring the state as a Humanities Texas scholar, presenting a multi-media program entitled “Riders on the Orphan Train” and gathering new materials from the families of survivors.

Between 1854 and 1929, 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were “placed out” in every state in America from New York through what became known as Orphan Trains. During her tenure as Research Associate, Moore intends to continue her research on this chapter in United States history by exploring the development of rail routes in Texas that determined the dispersal of orphans throughout the state. She will also explore the factors that lead to Texas’ decision to reach out to the state of New York in order to participate in the Orphan Train program, as well as the impact of the migration on both the children who were sent to Texas and their new communities.


Aaron Reisfield

Aaron Reisfield received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University, and subsequently studied plant taxonomy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with research funded in part by the Edgar Anderson Memorial Fellowship in Ethnobotany. His various fieldwork included general plant collecting throughout montane Mexico while emphasizing Salvia (Lamiaceae), as well as ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological studies among the Mazatec People of Oaxaca. His Masters thesis consisted of a review of New World salvias with particular focus upon taxa related to the enigmatic species Salvia divinorum. Mr . Reisfield subsequently published the foundational paper on the botany of this so-called 'diviner's sage' (www.sagewisdom.org/reisfield.html), now well publicized as a potent drug plant and subject of legal, ethical, and commercial controversy.

In Austin, Mr. Reisfield initially split his time between two primary interests—Nature (plants) and art (mostly music), eventually focusing upon an area of overlap between these two lines of inquiry—plant perfumes. He became involved in the essential oil trade, founded and developed a local retail apothecary specializing in aromatics, hosted national courses in medical aromatherapy, researched aromatic plants on the UT campus as a Visiting Scholar in Botany, and developed a project consisting of the acquisition and organization of a broad range of plant perfumes to comprise a reference library for artistic and intellectual investigation. Outreach for this project has included occasional demonstrations, open houses during Austin's 'Studio East Tour,' and a series of 'aroma salons' by which a small group of invitees congregate to sample and discuss a range of aromatic expressions from plants.

Mr. Reisfield's current work involves research for a philosophical novel concerning the relationship of humanity to the Natural World, uniquely assessed by exploring Nature's molecular expressions. The subject of the book is perfume, especially that emitted by plants—a messaging system with no close rival in it's capacity to convey information about the Natural World. As a Research Associate with the Humanities Institute he will gain access to various powerful academic databases that have proved critical for the research.


Nancy Rosenau

Dr. Nancy Rosenau holds a doctoral degree in Counselor Education from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology from Oakland University. She is currently the Executive Director for EveryChild, Inc., a local non-profit that is dedicated to supporting family life for children with developmental disabilities by creating a system of family-based alternatives to the institutions in which many currently live.

Rosenau is particularly interested in exploring the assumptions that underlie public policies that support institutional life for children with developmental disabilities instead of family life. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has established a public health objective that calls for the elimination of congregate, or group, care for children with developmental disabilities under age 17 by 2010. Yet the Medicaid long-term care system spends millions of dollars maintaining congregate care for children and has established a “consumer choice” policy that requires such settings be offered for parental choice. These policies stand in stark contrast to a uniform public policy (known as “permanency”) for children served in child welfare systems in which prioritization of family life is mandated by federal law. Thus, “best interest” becomes an external professionalized decision in the child welfare system while it remains a parental decision in the disability system. Arguably, the rationale for congregate care is that it benefits the child by delivering specialized care and treatment, yet there appears to be no readily available body of literature that provides evidence of this benefit.

In light of this policy discrepancy, Rosenau’s project will research the following questions: What is the history and philosophy that underpins the federal mandate that prioritizes family life for children in child welfare systems, but not in disability systems? What explains the lack of evidence of the benefit of congregate care for children with developmental disabilities? What assumptions impact public policy differences between child welfare and disability services? By the end of her term as Research Associate, she hopes to produce a white paper that could be used to inform public policy.

2007-8 Research Associates


Vanessa L. Davis

Vanessa L. Davis is a historian and education policy analyst interested in higher education, civil rights, democracy, civic engagement, and social justice movements. She is a native Texan who returned to the state after earning her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History at Vanderbilt University and teaching briefly in Missouri. Dr. Davis recently left teaching and began a new career as a Program Director with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She serves on the Board of Directors for Capital Area Reach Out and Read and is also an avid photographer and cyclist.

Dr. Davis is using her Research Associateship to explore the evolution of higher education curriculum in the United States. She is particularly interested in understanding how classical liberal arts curriculum and vocational/technical curriculum developed throughout American history. One of the things that Dr. Davis hopes to understand is the tensions between humanities-based liberal arts education and technical/vocational education in the United States. By studying the ways in which these sometimes competing philosophies have been impacted by changes in American political, economic, social, and cultural history, she hopes to better understand the current status and relationship of both types of curricula in Texas and the possible policy implications of that relationship in the increasingly complex climate of higher education funding. Dr. Davis plans on completing at least one scholarly article during her associateship as well as presenting her work to her colleagues at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


Papa Diallo

Papa Diallo is currently a full-time student at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. He is a graduating senior who will complete his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in May 2008. He currently holds the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) in his major. In addition, Mr. Diallo works as a Resettlement Specialist with Caritas of Austin, a non-profit agency which serves the working poor, persons who are unemployed, homeless, near-homeless and/or documented refugees in Austin/Travis County. In this position, he serves as an advocate for refugee populations. Mr. Diallo is a 2007 United Negro College Fund (UNCF) scholar, a recipient of the Richie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship, and was awarded a United Church of Christ-Avery Arthington scholarship for the current academic year. His future goals include preparing for a career as an attorney. Mr. Diallo was born in the West African nation of Senegal, and resides in Austin with his wife and two children. He is a recreational coach for his son’s soccer team, and has volunteered with agencies such as Refugees Services of Texas.

Mr. Diallo is using his associateship to participate in the Texas After Violence Project (TAVP), a non-profit organization devoted to studying the effects of capital punishment in Texas. He is planning to conduct a series of oral history interviews with people most directly affected by the death penalty, and participate in creating public archives and exploring models of transformative justice.


Barbara Hannon

Barbara Hannon is an Austin attorney with a PhD from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and a UT law degree. She has taught social science at the undergraduate and graduate levels, participated in university interdisciplinary programs and worked extensively in litigation on the court’s side of the practice. She is a current member of the State Bar of Texas Committee on Professionalism.

Her project concerns the emerging and wide ranging movement to reform the practice of law, as seen within the larger context of society. Specifically, in 2007–08 she will be researching the essential role of conflict in law practice against the backdrop of the definition, perception and functions of conflict as interpreted by other disciplines and in other settings.


Michael Holland

Michael Holland earned his law degree from Yale and his bachelor's degree, with a major in anthropology, from The University of Texas at Austin. He was recently appointed by the UT School of Law's Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice as a Visiting Researcher and Scholar.

During his year as a Research Associate, Holland will be working principally on two projects. The first is a law journal article that focuses on the "language" of civil rights and civil right movements. For Western legal and political systems, he will argue, the language of civil rights is Christianity. Using American Indians' struggles for civil rights as an example, he will show that groups unable to "speak Christian" or translate their rights movements to fit within that framework suffer as a result of the language barrier. Additionally, he will contend that the consequences extend beyond American Indians and beyond the American system.

The second project focuses on the recent political unrest within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The unrest stems from the Cherokee Nation’s recent disenfranchisement of descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen – former African slaves, owned by Cherokee citizens, who themselves gained Cherokee citizenship following the Civil War. Taking the form of either a documentary film or a law journal article, the project will examine the legal, social, and political history of Indian-Black-White relations that have led to the current climate within the Cherokee Nation. The project also will explore the ways in which the actions of the Cherokee Nation might influence broader discussions concerning our commitment to sovereignty for all American Indian tribes and tribal nations.


James Kraft

James Kraft received his Ph.D. in philosophy of religion at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley California in 2000. He received his MA also at GTU and his BA at Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Kraft now works at Huston-Tillotson University on the East side of Austin. Within philosophy of religion, Dr. Kraft's main areas of research are in religious epistemology and issues related to religion and violence. More specifically, he is pursuing the following two questions: Does religious disagreement among epistemic peers tend to reduce the confidence each has in the beliefs espoused? Does religious diversity seriously considered tend to lead to religious tolerance? He defends positions that answer both questions in the affirmative.


Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Katherine Durham Oldmixon, a poet, salsa dancer, photographer and supporter of arts and cultures on campus and in the community serves on the board of Texas Folklife and as the current president of Austin Poetry Society, a chapter of Poetry Society of Texas. She is also the Director of the Writing Program and Associate Professor of English at Huston-Tillotson University in east Austin. Recipient of many awards, her poetry, which has been translated into Spanish and Italian, appears in various literary magazines and anthologies, including multiple years of di-vêrse’-city, the anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival, and in the 2008 Texas Poetry Calendar, for which she also provided the cover art.

Dr. Oldmixon is using her Research Associateship to connect the richly talented poets of the Austin community organization she leads this year with the academic resources available to poets and scholars of poetry in the University libraries. She will share articles and books on poetry with vibrant local poetry communities through the Austin Poetry Society newsletter, edited by Robert Elzy Cogswell. Dr. Oldmixon will also use her associateship to produce poetry prompts and exercises based on resources in the Harry Ransom Center holdings that can facilitate curriculum development on her campus and discussions and workshops with poets and writers in the larger community.

2006-7 Research Associates


Debbie Hulsey Cooper is the social worker and family resource specialist for the Open Door Preschool, a non-profit agency in Austin. She has a Masters in Child Development from Texas Woman’s University and has worked on a team of child-therapy trainees in a therapeutic nursery, as a Play Therapist for hospitalized children, as an Assistant Director of a large childcare program, and as an Inclusion Specialist serving children with disabilities and their families for a non-profit, childcare resource and referral agency in Houston.

During her time as a Research Associate, Ms. Cooper will explore the use of art with children, especially preschool children with language delay or behavioral problems. She will also research the use of gardening with preschool children as a means of communication and a way to enhance insight into development and sense of self. She will gather current information on preschool behavior to increase her knowledge base, to support Open Door’s teaching staff in understanding the emotional lives of their students, and to decrease the feeling of burnout that teachers of challenging young children often face.


Picture of Alyssa Harad

Alyssa Harad is a writer, independent scholar and consultant. Her current work includes collaborating with intimate violence therapists to help their clients create public testimony. As part of her longstanding interest in university-community partnerships, she helped to develop the Humanities Institute’s Community Sabbatical and Research Associate programs. She received her Ph.D. in English from UT Austin in August 2003.

Dr. Harad is using the Research Associate Program to work on two projects. First, she will be continuing her work on her book project, “After the Scandal,” a post-history of the 1982 Barnard Conference on Sexuality. Bitter confrontations between conference participants and anti-pornography feminists kicked off the “sex wars” of the 1980’s and laid the groundwork for present-day conversations about sex and desire. With her collaborator Dr. Ednie Garrison, Dr. Harad is tracking the post-1982 lives of the conference’s participants and protestors, and the conference’s continued impact on the following generation of activists, writers and scholars.

Second, she will begin preliminary research for a new project on loss and assimilation. This work, which will take the form of a series of lyric essays and creative nonfiction pieces, draws in part on currently obscured family history. As part Dr. Harad will be researching the attempted assimilation of American Jews like her own parents – the children of Eastern European Jews who left their parents and their ethnicity behind on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. to move to a “deracinated” West.


Picture of Marisa Huerta

Marisa Huerta earned her doctorate in English from Brown University in 2005. She is a native of Texas who has taught at Adelphi University in New York and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her scholarly interests include early modern and eighteenth-century British literature and culture; the early history of the Americas; race, gender, and nationalism; and postcolonial theory.

As a Research Associate, Dr. Huerta is working on two projects. First, she is revising her book manuscript, ‘Race’ in the Long Eighteenth Century: 1660-1832, an exploration of English theories and anxieties about racial purity in the early modern period. Dr. Huerta is also beginning a new project on Mexico, the Confederacy, and the ways that colonized peoples reclaim nationhood and defend their “racial” identity in post-1865 literatures of the American South. Her interest in this project stems from her dissertation research on Sir Walter Scott, whose Romantic novels like Ivanhoe, about the conquered Saxon people of England suffering at the hands of the French Normans, greatly influenced the literature of the “New South.” By the end of her Research Associateship, Dr. Huerta hopes to have finished a paper on the subject and have begun to outline a plan for a longer-length study.


Picture of Kate Holliday

Kate Holliday is a historian interested in the development of urban landscapes and the architectural profession in America in the 19th and 20th centuries, with an eye toward the interactions between Europe and America. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003 and is currently an assistant professor in the art history department at Southwestern University.

As a Research Associate, Dr. Holliday will be completing a book manuscript, to be published by W.W. Norton, on the Prague-born New York architect Leopold Eidlitz (1823-1908), America’s first Jewish architect and a central figure in the creation of the conception of organic architecture. She will focus on Eidlitz’s social vision for architecture, particularly in his two books: The Nature and Function of Art (1881), which he hoped would usher in a new era in American architecture, and Big Wages and How to Earn Them (1897), an anti-union reform manifesto which he addressed to workers in the building trades. In both cases, Eidlitz was deeply concerned with how architecture could be a tool for engaging and uplifting all people, an issue that still confronts architects today.


Picture of James Kraft

James Kraft is assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Huston-Tillotson University. His scholarly interests are in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, and methodologies for inter-religious dialogue.

The projects Dr. Kraft will be working on this year revolve around two issues: How does the presence of religious alternative seriously considered influence the justification of one’s religious belief, if at all? How does the view in quantum physics of indeterminacy influence cosmological arguments for the existence of God, if at all? In order to answer the first, Dr. Kraft will pursue the fruitfulness of new developments in philosophical epistemology for the study of the “epistemology of disagreement” and apply them to the issue of religious disagreement.

The second project involves looking at recent discussions in philosophy of science about the ontological and epistemological implications of quantum indeterminacy. The project also entails using these recent discussions for evaluating cosmological proofs for the existence of God in philosophy of religion. As a Research Associate, Dr. Kraft plans to talk to faculty in the physics department and to do a thorough literature review using UT library databases and journals.


Picture of Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Katherine Durham Oldmixon is a poet, scholar and teacher, salsa dancer, and supporter of arts and cultures on campus and in the community. She serves on the board of Texas Folklife Resources and works closely with ProArts Collective, a non-profit organization supporting African-American theater in Austin. She is also the Director of the Writing Program and Faculty Development and an Assistant Professor of English at Huston-Tillotson University.

Dr. Oldmixon is using her Research Associateship to pursue her study of the cultural insularity of island communities, as well as those communities segregated or self-isolated from dominant cultures sharing the same territory. She will work on an article detailing her concept of insularity and articulating the connections she is discovering among various “insular cultures.” Dr. Oldmixon will also use her associateship to produce curriculum materials that can facilitate classes and discussions with community groups on her work.


Picture of Chris Strickling

Chris Strickling is currently the director of the Actual Lives Performance Project, an award-winning community-based theatre ensemble of adults with disability that she established with deaf performance artist Terry Galloway in the summer of 2000. In 2006, she taught creative writing to adults with mental illness, each of whom produced a chapbook of original work. She wears many hats, dividing her income-generating time between occupational therapy work, ongoing projects with a non-profit arts and disability organization and an Adjunct Faculty position at St. Edwards University, where she teaches a multidisciplinary course entitled “Introduction to Disability Studies.”

In her first year as a Research Associate, Dr. Strickling used her research privileges to complete an essay entitled “TheActual Lives Performance Project: The Liberatory Pedagogy of Difference,” which will appear in Transformative Pedagogies: Feminism, Theatre and Activism, edited by Kathleen Juhl and Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, forthcoming in the Spring of 2007 from Aunt Lute Books. During 2006-7, Dr. Strickling will research three essays for inclusion in The Encyclopedia of American Disability History, a three-volume reference text that is the first of its kind. She is also developing a disability studies perspective lecture series and accompanying training materials designed to be incorporated into the curricula for occupational and physical therapy students in the five Texas universities that offer professional education for therapists.


Picture of Caroline Wigginton

Caroline Wigginton is a Ph.D. student on leave from the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her M.A. in English from UT Austin in 2005 and will soon return to her position as an Assistant Instructor in the University’s Division of Rhetoric and Writing. Ms. Wigginton is active with departmental organizations, including the Graduate Program Committee, the American Literature(s) Group, and the Native American Literatures Reading Group.

During her year as a Research Associate, Ms. Wigginton will pursue a project on a moment of epistolary convergence between three women in eighteenth-century America: Mary Wollstonecraft, Annis Boudinot Stockton, and Stockton’s daughter, Julia Rush. In a 1793 letter, Stockton reflects upon Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to her daughter, thereby linking the three women through the acts of writing and reading. By synthesizing bibliographic research on Wollstonecraft’s treatise and a literary reading of Stockton’s letter, Ms. Wigginton will explore the relationship among women, the public sphere, and early America in a conference-length paper she will present at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference. She will also use her associateship to expand her conference presentation into a journal-length article for submission in 2007.

2005-6 Research Associates


Picture of Marjorie Bernard

Marjorie Bernard is Executive Director of Minority and Special Education Services in Austin, a non-profit advocacy organization in support of children with special education needs. She is a native of Haiti and has studied at both Florida State University and University of South Florida.

Ms. Bernard is using her Research Associateship to access legal and educational resources in the university related to special education advocacy for minority and immigrant parents. She is undertaking her research in support of her work for Minority and Special Education Services. She seeks in her project to improve her ability to educate parents, teachers, professionals, and school administrators on cross-cultural issues relevant to minority and special needs services in the area. In particular, she will use law cases, research materials, and legal databases in the Tarlton Law Library to expand her familiarity with special education and minority legal issues. She will create bi-lingual information literature, training materials, and videotapes for teaching workshops and for marketing her organization. These materials will be used to empower parents to access the public healthcare and school systems more effectively for their children with special education needs. She also will utilize her associateship to locate other university and community organizations with which her organization can collaborate and which can aid it in its ongoing strategic development.


Picture of Ruth Adlof Haak

Dr. Ruth Adlof Haak grew up in a wonderful country school in J. Frank Dobie country, the brush country of Texas. Married at 16, she and husband graduated from then Texas A and I and followed the lifestyle of a small town football coach—town to town. At 37, she was selected for a special counseling institute at the University of Texas at Austin, obtained a doctorate, and then directed a psychological services group for 20 years in Travis County.

As a Research Associate, Dr. Haak is continuing her work on "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, Revolutionary War hero and father of Robert E. Lee. Pushing disciplinary boundaries, Dr. Haak is writing a historical biography of Lee with the training and knowledge of a professional psychologist. Dr. Haak hopes to correct some of the prevalent misinformation and denigration of Lee by illuminating the effects his manic-depression had on his life and providing information from heretofore neglected primary sources, including Lee's personal letters. Having already completed a more than five hundred page manuscript, Dr. Haak will use her Associateship to spend more time with certain restricted-use primary sources and to revise her text with feedback from faculty members of the UT History Department.


Picture of Alyssa Harad

Dr. Alyssa Harad is a writer, independent scholar and consultant. Her current work includes collaborating with intimate violence therapists to help their clients create public testimony. As part of her longstanding interest in university-community partnerships, she helped to develop the UT Humanities Institute's community sabbatical and research associate programs. She received her Ph.D. in English from UT-Austin in August 2003.

Dr. Harad is using the Research Associate Program to work on two projects. First, she is revising her manuscript, "Ordinary Witnesses," an exploration of the way contemporary American literature testifies to the everyday presence of historical trauma and provides opportunities for ethical witnessing that elude clinical and legal testimony. Dr. Harad is also beginning a new book project, "After the Scandal," a post-history of the 1982 Barnard Conference on Sexuality. Bitter confrontations between conference participants and anti-pornography feminists kicked off the "sex wars" of the 1980's and laid the ground work for present day conversations about sex and desire, yet, partly due to the aftermath of these struggles, the story of Barnard is often unknown to the present generation of feminists. With her collaborator Dr. Ednie Garrison, Dr. Harad will track the post-1982 lives of the conference's participants and protestors, and the conference's continued impact on the following generation of activists, writers and scholars.


Picture of James Kraft

Dr. James Kraft is assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Huston-Tillotson College. His scholarly interests are in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, and methodologies for inter-religious dialogue.

As a Research Associate, Dr. Kraft is at work on three papers about religious philosophy and epistemology. First, he is updating and revising a paper describing philosopher of religion Philip Quinn's solution to the challenge of religious diversity. In late November 2005, the paper will be read at the annual meeting of the American Association of Religion. He is also revising a second paper that compares different epistemological approaches to religious diversity and argues for the importance of the contextualist approach. His third paper relates the theological perspective on the middle knowledge of God to the problem of skepticism in philosophical epistemology. By the end of the 2006 Spring semester, he hopes to send this paper to the journal Religious Studies.


Picture of Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Dr. Katherine Durham Oldmixon is a poet, scholar and teacher, salsa dancer, and supporter of arts and cultures on campus and in community. She serves on the board of Texas Folklife Resources and works closely with ProArts Collective, a non-profit supporting African-American theater in Austin. She is also the Director of the Writing Program and Faculty Development and an Assistant Professor of English at Huston-Tillotson University.

Dr. Oldmixon is using her Research Associateship to pursue her study of the cultural insularity of island communities, as well as those communities segregated or self-isolated from dominant cultures sharing the same territory. Dr. Oldmixon's work stems from her dissertation entitled "Otherworlds/Otherness: The Cultural Politics of the Middle English 'Breton' Lays," a recent study of Caribbean literatures and cultures facilitated by a six-week NEH Summer Seminar on Caribbean Theater and Culture Performance at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, and her ongoing involvement with Texas non-profit organizations. She plans to expand her study to include conceptual, or perceived, insularity such as that of historically black colleges and universities. Dr. Oldmixon seeks to produce curricula for an upper-division college-level course in this area, a series of presentations and articles suitable for community forums, as well as at least one scholarly article.


Picture of Matt Oliver

Matt Oliver has devoted the past seven years of his life to being a songwriter and musician, currently of the popular music band SOUND team. He lives in Austin.

Mr. Oliver is using materials available through the Research Associate Program to develop song ideas for two full-length albums to be recorded by his pop/rock group SOUND team. As a songwriter and researcher, Mr. Oliver describes his composing process as one of "distillation"—a process that "demands constant renewal of the materials at hand." Access to manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center, rare recordings, and UT's electronic databases is broadening and deepening Oliver's range of materials, and helping to shape the voices, characters, and moods of his songs.


Picture of Marva Overton

Marva Overton spent most of her professional career working in the fields of Human Resources and Information Technology prior to making the decision to change career paths and focus on volunteerism. Most recently she was employed by IBM Corporation as an SAP Software Consultant. Ms. Overton received her B.S. degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Overton is actively involved in her community and currently serves on the advisory board of the Alamo Recreation Center and the executive committee of the Blackland Neighborhood Association. She is a member of the Austin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Taskforce on African American Health Care Disparities, and she also volunteers with CASA of Travis County.

Ms. Overton is using her access to the University's library services to research volunteerism within the African-American community on a national and local level. Through her research she hopes to answer the following questions: Is there a need for greater advocacy in the Austin African-American community regarding volunteerism? If there is a need, what specific programs can be implemented and how will its results be measured? Is this an issue of importance to the African-American community and/or the larger community?


Picture of Chris Strickling

Dr. Chris Strickling completed her doctorate in English at the University of Texas in May of 2003. She is the current director of The Actual Lives Performance Project in Austin, Texas, a theatre ensemble comprised primarily of crips with attitude performing all original autobiographical material. Her scholarly work focuses on performance by and representations of people with disability and ways in which representation impacts public policy and social practice.

Dr. Strickling is using her Research Associateship to explore two articles. The first examines representations of disability as they impact the eroding state of the Americans with Disabilities Act, illustrates effects of and responses to Clint Eastwood's recent film "Million Dollar Baby" and the Terry Shiavo debacle, and identifies examples of disabled performance that "disidentify" the stereotypical images of mainstream culture. The second article studies how representation influences rehabilitation practices, particularly the dissociation of adult disability from childhood disability. Dr. Strickling believes that changing the ways in which disability is represented, relocating disability in the cultural systems of power and reshaping the "therapeutic relationship" to include a wider knowledge and respect for the productivity of difference might energize rehabilitation services.



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