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Announcing the Fellows for 2018-2019

 The Calgary Institute for the Humanities is pleased to announce the results of the 2018-2019 Fellowship Competition.

Next year at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, we look forward to exploring the intersections of history, culture, identity and politics, as our Fellows research topics ranging from Indigenous identities past and present, interpretations of Buddhist doctrines in Sixth-Century China,  entrudo and carnaval after Brazilian independence, and creative interpretations of the surveillance state in Canada.

We’re pleased to announce the first Wayne O. McCready Resident Fellowship for an Emerging Scholar, which recognises a scholar on the verge of a significant scholarly breakthrough. The Frances Spratt Graduate Student Fellowship continues the tradition of supporting a Ph.D candidate whose research contributes to the public good by promoting the core values of the humanities and building bridges of learning to the broader community.

Congratulations to all and we look forward to supporting you in your research.

Annual Fellow 
Hendrik Kraay, Professor, Department of History
“From Entrudo to Carnaval in Nineteenth-Century Brazil”

 This project examines pre-Lenten celebrations and the origins of the quintessentially Brazilian carnaval (carnival) through the repression of entrudo, a celebratory form involving banquets, practical jokes, and water fights with syringes and waxen balls filled with perfumed water or other less savory liquids. Castigated as a “barbarous game” after independence (1822), entrudo was nevertheless practiced by people of all classes in the early nineteenth century. After tracing entrudo’s Iberian origins, the criticisms (and defenses) of it, police repression, this project turns to the institution of new forms of “civilized” celebration in the form of balls and public parades by societies of upper-class men. The conflicts over entrudo constituted a struggle about Brazil’s very nature at a time when new ideals such as citizenship and nationhood, challenges to slavery, and openings to outside cultural influences provoked numerous social anxieties involving questions of race, class, and gender.

Annual Fellow
Wendi Adamek, Associate Professor, Department of Classics and Religion
“Representing Nirvāṇa in Sixth-Century China”

The Buddhist doctrine of tathāgatagarbha (buddha-matrix), positing universal potential buddha-nature, could be considered to challenge the fundamental Buddhist teaching of anātman (non-self). This has been a recurring topic in tathāgatagarbha theorization since its inception in the early centuries of the Common Era. The aim of this book project is to examine selected sixth-century Chinese contexts for the development of tathāgatagarbha influenced soteriology, using the lens of the Nirvāṇa-sūtra characterization of nirvāṇa as permanence, joy, self, and purity (chang le wo jing 常樂我凈). I examine hermeneutical and devotional representations based on the Nirvāṇa-sūtra, demonstrating that such representations were an integral part of evolving buddha-nature discourse in China. The classic Buddhist doctrine of non-self, though it would seem to be disjunctive, was actively assimilated into these representations and interpretations.

Annual Fellow
Daniel Voth, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
“Testing the Ties that Bind: Indigenous Women, Kinship, and Politics in Métis and Halfbreed Identity at Red River”

In 1869/70 Canada sought to expand its territory westward into the Red River Valley. In that act, the settler state encountered indignant Indigenous peoples who called themselves Métis and Halfbreeds. Scholars have struggled to know if these people were a single, unified Indigenous people, or if the Métis and Halfbreeds should be seen as two distinct, and divided Indigenous peoples. The literature on the debate tends to privilege the perspectives of Indigenous male elites, settler clergy, and European identities. My project will take up the question of Métis/Halfbreed identity and cohesion in 1869/70 by focusing on the way Métis and other Indigenous women anchor Indigenous identity and community, and then by examining how this shapes our understanding of the Red River community’s political positions–taken in response to the expanding settler state.

Wayne O. McCready Fellowship for an Emerging Scholar
Susan Cahill, Assistant Professor, Department of Art
“States of Observance: The Art of Surveillance in Canada after 2001”

How is surveillance depicted, visualized, and imagined by creative practitioners within the Canadian context? How can art provoke new ways of seeing surveillance systems in Canada post-9/11, a period marked by elevating concerns about security and intensifying surveillance tactics? Creative practices offer a singular viewpoint into discussions on the topic, because they surveil the agents and systems of surveillance, and present them to audiences in ways that can reveal the often invisible and unquestioned logic that governs them. This research program brings together creative practices as critical contributions to debates on Canadian surveillance systems. It uses the revisualization of surveillance structures offered by artworks to re-imagine and de-stabilize the processes, technologies, and agents that have contributed to normalizing surveillance and surveillant viewing in the present historical moment.

Frances Spratt Graduate Student Fellowship
Joshua Whitehead, Doctoral Student, Department of English
“Feral Fatalisms: An Indigiqueer Manifesto”

In our post-Residential, pro-TRC cultural moment we bear witness and are accountable to a wave of ninety-four calls to action, all of which make Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer livelihoods and politics peripheral. My project aims to answer two primary questions: what is the hi/story of Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer peoples when removed from the romantic, anthropologic, and literary domain of the assigned term “berdache”? And how do we self-define within our communities when those communities adopt heteropatriarchy as tradition? My project braids together Western schools of theory, mainly queer theory and affect studies, with decolonial and Indigenous (nehiywak/Cree) epistemologies and languages in order to etch out space for queerness and Indigeneity to work across boundaries, borders, and bodies of literature. I label my project a manifesto as this form allows me to fuse together critical analysis and oral storytelling to allow a more holistic, land and cultural based approach to reading and writing theory.

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