AUSTIN, Texas—Three professors in the College of Liberal Arts have received prestigious fellowships for the 2014-15 academic year:
Patience Epps, associate professor of linguistics, was awarded a year-long fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to support her project Linguistic Diversity and the Amazonian Puzzle. Epps' research explores how sociocultural practices have helped to maintain the extensive linguistic diversity found in Lowland South America. She argues that interaction, as much or more than isolation, has kept diverse languages intact as groups used language as a tool for maintaining identities distinct from other groups in the region.
Oliver Freiberger, associate professor of Asian studies and Religious studies, will work on his book manuscript Discourse Comparison: Revisiting the Comparative Method in the Study of Religion as a fellow in residence at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany during the 2014-15 academic year. Freiberger offers a critique of comparative practices in religious studies, arguing that comparison should center on discourse surrounding religious phenomena rather than on the phenomena themselves.
Marjorie Curry Woods, the Blumberg Centennial Professor of English and University Distinguished Teaching Professor, was awarded a residential fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin for the fall 2014 semester to work on her book Weeping for Dido: Male Writers and Female Emotions in the Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Classroom. The project explores the medieval educational practice of having male students perform speeches in the voices of famous female historical and mythical figures. The practice, Woods suggests, gave boys a vehicle for exploring the often intense emotions attributed to these characters. Woods received exploratory funding for this project through the College of Liberal Arts Humanities Research Award. Go to Life & Letters for more about the Humanities Research Award.