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Chad Anderson (History) examines the rela- tionship between changes to the built and natu- ral landscape of the New York frontier and the meaning attached to this landscape in a proj- ect titled “The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia: Landscape and Memory on the New York Fron- tier, 1750-1840.” Anderson explores how settlers imposed a new vision of the landscape on Iro- quoia, invented new traditions associated with this transformation, and remembered or distort- ed the land’s Indian past.

D.A. Caeton (Cultural Studies) investigates how the pursuit of a standardized method of litera- cy for blind people was informed by divergent beliefs about blind people’s assimilability into the dominant sighted culture. His dissertation, “Reading Between the Dots: The Somanorma- tive Silhouette of Braille in U.S. Culture, 1830- 1938,” engages questions around citizenship and belonging in nineteenth-century America.

Vivian Choi (Anthropology) creates a critical ethnography of disasters both natural and man- made in her dissertation, “After Disasters: The Persistence of Insecurity and Violence in Sri Lanka.” Choi compares the aftermaths of the tsunami and war, assessing the possibilities of peace through new processes of nation-building and reconstruction in a post-tsunami and post- war context. By examining how both disasters unfolded socially and politically, she hopes to unsettle the very terms by which we understand phenomena as either “natural” or “man-made” – that is, “natural” or “cultural.”

Matthew Russell (Spanish and Portuguese) com- pleted a dissertation titled “Postmemory, the Ho- locaust and the Re-Moralization of the Spanish Civil War in Contemporary Spanish Cultural Production” that examined how contemporary Spanish novelists, filmmakers, graphic novelists, and authors of testimony use the moral trope of the Holocaust to understand, mediate, and con- struct memories of Spain’s contentious history of violence. Russell’s study suggests a more nu- anced view of memory discourses and explains how the trope of the Holocaust informs and hin- ders local memory practices.

d h i . u c d a v i s . e d u 09



Made possible through the generous support of the UC Humanities Network with additional funding from

the UC Davis Deans of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies and Social Sciences, Dissertation Year Fellow- ships enable a select group of advanced graduate stu- dents to spend a full academic year completing their dissertations. The fellowships are awarded to those projects that will make significant and original contri- butions to research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Two of the Dissertation Year Fellows in 2011-2012, Vivian Choi and Matthew Russell, were in- vited to participate in the UC Society of Fellows in the Humanities, an interdisciplinary network of outstand- ing graduate student and faculty fellows whose research receives support from the UC Humanities Network.

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