New director, scholars join Society of Fellows

Princeton NJ -- A New director and three new postdoctoral scholars have joined the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts this year.

The program, begun in 2000-01, is intended to attract some of the best recent Ph.D. recipients in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to the campus each year. It is made possible through the generosity of Trustee Emeritus Lloyd Cotsen.


The new director is Leonard Barkan, the Arthur Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature. He succeeds Alexander Nehamas. Barkan came to Princeton in 2001 from New York University, where he had been the Samuel Rudin University Professor of the Humanities and professor of English and fine arts since 1994. He also served as director of the New York Institute for the Humanities from 1997 to 2001. Previously, he was a faculty member at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University.

Barkan's fields of interest are Renaissance literature and art history, as well as drama. His publications include "Unearthing the Past: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture," "Transuming Passion: Ganymede and the Erotics of Humanism" and "The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism." He has also edited a series of books on Renaissance drama published by Northwestern University Press. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Barkan earned his master's degree from Harvard University and his doctoral degree from Yale University.

The new fellows were chosen from among 520 applicants for three-year terms. Based in the Joseph Henry House, the Cotsen Fellows teach half-time in their academic department or the Humanities Council and pursue their own research. They are:


• Francisco Prado-Vilar, who recently received his Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture at Harvard University with a dissertation titled "In the Shadow of the Gothic Idol: The 'Cantigas de Santa Maria' and the Imagery of Love and Conversion." His research project will expand on his dissertation, developing an alternative model for understanding Gothic visual culture. He also will continue his research on Spanish painting.

Prado-Vilar has published on topics ranging from the discourse of the gift at the caliphal court of al-Andalus to the poetics of the body in Romanesque sculpture. An award-winning teaching fellow at Harvard, he has taught courses on topics such as general introductions in art and visual culture, theory and methodology of art history and the meanings of abstraction in the 20th century. This semester, he is part of a faculty team in humanistic studies teaching the first half of an interdisciplinary introduction to Western culture, "From Antiquity to the Middle Ages." In the spring, he will teach a medieval studies/art and archaeology seminar on "Visions of Love, Sacred and Profane, in the Medieval Mediterranean."


Alexander Rehding, who received his Ph.D. in musicology in 1999 from the University of Cambridge. His dissertation on musical thought in Wilhelmine Germany, "Nature and Nationhood in Hugo Riemann's Dualistic Theory of Harmony," will be published by Cambridge University Press. His publications also include a prize-winning article on the origins of modern musicology, an edited volume of essays on the history of music theory and articles on Liszt, Wagner and Stravinsky. While at Princeton, he will pursue a new research project on musical monumentality and the critical ambivalence it elicits by examining a number of 19th-century musical works and their contexts.

Rehding has held fellowships at Cambridge and at the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught a broad range of subjects, from "Music and Society in Weimar Germany" to "Musical Acoustics." This fall, he is leading a graduate seminar in musicology titled "Monumentality in 19th-Century Music." In the spring, he will team teach the latter half of an interdisciplinary introduction to Western culture offered by humanistic studies, "From the Renaissance to the Modern Period."


Hairong Yan, who just received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington with a dissertation on "Development, Contradictions and the Specter of Disposability: Rural Migrant Women in Search of Self-Development in Post-Mao China." Her research project will expand on her dissertation by analyzing the notion of "suzhi," or quality, promoted by the post-socialist state as an agent for economic development and as a measure of human value.

Yan has published articles on Chinese proverbs, modernization in East Asia and the debates around the positioning of the native anthro-pologist. She has taught both anthropology and international studies courses on East Asian modernities. This fall, she is precepting "Introduction to Anthropology" with Isabelle Clark-Deces. In the spring, she will teach an undergraduate seminar titled "Anthropology of Value" in the same department.

The three new fellows join five from the inaugural year of the program and five from last year who are continuing their work at Princeton in 2002-03.

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