2012-2013 Members, Visitors and Research Assistants

Nathanael Andrade

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Oregon
Research Field: Ancient History
Project Title: Syria: Periphery of Empire, Center of Network
Research Abstract: Scholars widely regard the rise of Syriac as a language of literature and public display in late antique Syria (300-800 CE) to constitute the resurgence of a “pure” Near Eastern cultural manifestation. They therefore frame it to be antagonistic to the Greek language and cultural idioms that the process of Roman imperialism had disseminated, and they treat Christianity as a vehicle for expressing this language and, along with it, “Syriac” culture amid the increasing failure of Greek civic institutions and eventually the Roman imperial system. My project, by contrast, maintains that the rise of Syriac as a “Syrian” language was a hybrid cultural formation shaped both by Syrians’ integration into the Roman empire and their ability to network with the global economy of the Indian ocean. By interweaving Syriac with diverse Greek idioms, Syrians positioned themselves against more “mainstream” Roman imperial trends within the immediate context of empire and provincial community. Yet, Syrians’ prosperous commercial connections to the Indian ocean also in various ways enabled them to vaunt Syriac as a language of high prestige and cosmopolitanism. In fact, Syria’s networking with the Indian ocean eventually disseminated the Syriac language across international boundaries and throughout many imperial contexts.

Office: W226 Extension: 8345 Email: nandrade@ias.edu

George Boys-Stones

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Durham University
Research Field: Classics, Ancient Philosophy
Project Title: Philosophy in the Platonist Revival
Research Abstract: The primary evidence for the Platonist movement as it emerged in the post-Hellenistic era (so-called ‘Middle’ Platonism) is not readily available to Anglophone scholarship. What is more, the arguments to which it attests have not been the subject of systematic analysis: Platonism has more often been viewed as an exegetical tradition focused on Plato than as a player in contemporary philosophical debate. This project aims to address both needs by means of a critical sourcebook (contracted to Cambridge UP) in which new translations of primary material will be presented with philosophical commentary. The aim is to make the philosophy of this period (ca. 50 BC - AD 250), and of Platonism in particular, accessible and interesting to philosophers and historians of philosophy in a way that it has never been before.

Office: W219 Extension: 8359 Email: grbs@ias.edu

Alessandro Maria Bruni

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Unaffiliated
Research Field: Byzantium and Eastern Christianity
Project Title: Hirmologion Ibericum Athoum: An Old Georgian Musical Codex of the Late X Century
Research Abstract: Critical edition of the Old Georgian musical codex Ath. 85 (X century) of the Library of the Iviron Monastery at Mount Athos. The manuscript contains a corpus of liturgical hymns with musical notation, grouped into sections, according to the eight modes of Georgian and Byzantine music. This collection corresponds to the Greek Heirmologion, a repertoire of model stanzas, called heirmoi, belonging to the kanōn genre of hymnody. This Georgian monument represents a source of extremely importance for the history of the Greek Heirmologion.

Office: W222 Extension: 8304 Email: ambruni@ias.edu

Christer Bruun

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: University of Toronto
Research Field: Ancient History
Project Title: Ostia in Turmoil? The Civic Identity of a Roman Town in Times of Immigration and Expansion (c. 50 - 250 CE)
Research Abstract: As a fellow of the Institute I intend to conclude my research on the Civic Identity of Roman Ostia and complete the monograph on which I have been working for several years. Civic identity is topic which has generated much interest in recent years, but no one has approached the uniquely rich Ostian material from this point of view. The reasons for this “omission” range from the lack of any single obvious source to mine for information to the fact that with some 6,500 inscriptions Ostia-Portus may seem to provide altogether too much material for a study of the ideological climate and the mentalities among its inhabitants. In reality, there is an abundance of texts that allow us to map the way the elite and the various professional and religious groups perceived of their own role and that of their town within the Roman empire. Two Latin quotes summarize important parts if the local mentality, which persisted regardless of the enormous influx of newcomers and growth of the town after the new imperial harbours were built at Portus: king Ancus Marcius is publicly praised since he ‘primum coloniam civium Romanorum deduxit’ (CIL XIV 4338), while Florus called ‘Ostia cliens et alumna urbis’. Ostia undoubtedly had its own identity in which the close relationship to Rome and to the imperial power were important constituent parts.

Office: W219 Extension: 8359 Email: bruunchr11@ias.edu

Mayke de Jong

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: Utretch University
Research Field: Medieval History
Project Title: Epitaph for an Era: Paschasius Radbertus and his Lament for Wala
Research Abstract: This project is about political thought, rhetoric and action in the decades after the rebellions against Louis the Pious in the 830s. My focus is on the Epitaphium Arsenii, a major polemical narrative which has been a mainstay for modern historiography about ‘the decline of the Carolingians’. It was written in two stages, by an author who was an actor in the events he wrote about, and who was a sharp observer of change. My book will be about the articulation and re-definition of the core values of political elite at a time of crisis, and about the self-representation of a sophisticated biblical commentator, who used older rhetorical and literary traditions to conceptualize his turbulent world and his own place in it.

Office: F302 Extension: 8158 Email: maykedj@ias.edu

André Dombrowski

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Research Field: Nineteenth-Century European Art
Project Title: Painting Time: Impressionism and the Modern Temporal Order
Research Abstract: “Painting Time” considers Impressionism in counterpoint to the development of the ever more precise temporal regulations of the Second Industrial Revolution. The style’s famed quickening of both represented experience and pictorial execution— it has been proposed that Impressionism is the first style about “time” itself—occurred in response to wider scientific, technological and economic shifts within modern time management rarely taken seriously in previous studies of the movement. Yet the possibility of measuring the duration of sensory reaction time in the mid-1860s, the period’s growing electrification of time, or the international agreement on “universal time” in 1884, were decisive cultural developments underwriting, and thus making legible, Impressionism’s depictions of temporal flux. By fusing the history of technology, science and economics with the history of art, this book will provide new accounts of both the rise of Impressionism in the work of Monet and Renoir in the 1860s and the style’s subsequent drift into Pointillism and Post-Impressionism in the work of Seurat and Signac in the 1880s. It will furthermore propose new interpretative means for assessing the “modernity” captured by impressionist painting, including a careful reading of the chronometric devices in early impressionist criticism. Setting the style’s famed depictions of an experiential and temporal plenum squarely within the period’s growing commercialization and globalization of time, this book proposes an intimate connection between the freedom of subjective vision and the socio-technological regulation of time that emerged as one of the hallmarks of the late nineteenth century.

Office: F320 Extension: 8315 Email: adrombrowski@ias.edu

Mark Driscoll

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of North Carolina
Research Field: East Asian Cultural History
Project Title: J-had: Japanese Terrorism, Chinese Humanism and Decolonial Modernity in East Asia, 1842-1945
Research Abstract: My project concerns the connection between terrorism and humanism in Japanese and Chinese intellectual discourse and practice of the mid-late nineteenth century. Focusing on the secret societies Genyˆosha in Japan and the Triads (Sanhehui) in China, I contest the standard historiography that Japan (from 1868) and China (from 1895) obediently adopted the templates of Western modernization. Rather, there was a selective borrowing from the West for the purpose of banishing Euro-America from Asia, a process I call “decolonial modernity”. I argue that the historical experience of Japan and China shares much with recent calls for jihad/struggle against the West.

Office: W106 Extension: 8355 Email: markdriscoll@ias.edu

Marco Fantuzzi

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: Università di Macerata
Research Field: Classicsm, Greek Literature
Project Title: An Interpretation of the Tragedy "Rhesus" Ascribed to Euripides
Research Abstract: Literary and historical investigation of the “Rhesus”, which follows the conclusion of a detailed commentary of the play (forthcoming Cambridge UP). The essay will investigate the play in the context of late 5th and 4th century drama, and its meaning for history of culture (it will contribute to illuminate the idea of “mannered” imitation, which so far has been investigated for the 4th cent. mainly by art historians).

Office: W224 Extension: 8363 Email: marcofantu@ias.edu

Ingrid Furniss

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Lafayette College
Research Field: Chinese Art and Archaeology, Musicology
Project Title: Music from the Margins: The Art and Archaeology of Lutes in Pre-Modern Chinese Society
Research Abstract: As the easternmost participant in Silk Road trade and cultural exchange, China was deeply impacted by the sedentary and nomadic societies at its periphery. Travelers from Persia, India, Central Asia, and possibly Rome—regions that early Chinese regarded as peripheral and even barbaric—brought their religions and cultural traditions with them to China. My book project is an archaeological, art historical, and textual study of the impact of Silk Road trade on one major aspect of pre-modern Chinese society and culture: its music. Music from the Margins will argue that the lute, a musical instrument that likely originated in the Near East or Central Asia, was a highly charged object replete with associations of ethnic and political identity, emotion, and gender in China. As such, the lute was a crucial vehicle for understanding the interaction between the Chinese “center” and the non-Chinese “periphery.”

Office: W105 Extension: 8162 Email: furnissi@ias.edu

Alex Gottesman

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Temple University
Research Field: Ancient History
Project Title: The Athenian Street: Politics and Performance in Democratic Athens
Research Abstract: The project examines extra-institutional forms of Athenian politics. Students of Athenian politics have focused primarily on the many ways in which Athenian citizens were integrated into forms of knowledge-production and –circulation through institutional channels, such as assemblies, courts and theaters. I suggest that studying non-institutional forms of political action (such as festivals, rituals and various “publicity stunts”) allows us to see some ways in which non-citizens were also implicated in the Athenian democracy. By considering how performances could be used to affect public opinion we can trace the outlines of a public sphere that was broader and more robust than institution-centric representations made it out to seem.

Office: W224 Extension: 8363 Email: agottesman@ias.edu

Jeffrey Gould

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Indiana University
Research Field: Latin American History
Project Title: Politics and Grassroots Utopias in the Salvadoran Revolution.
Research Abstract: This project deals with the problematic relations between the Latin American left and its grassroots bases. In particular, it focuses on minor utopian experiments promoted by peasants and workers in El Salvador during the late 1970s and the ways in which the left leadership reacted to those movements which they promoted. The narrative of these critical events is analyzed through the original concept of descencuentro, combining and extending the English meanings of misunderstanding, disagreement, and failed encounter. The book will examine these critical desencuentros in El Salvador and throughout the continent.

Office: F312 Extension: 8339 Email: gouldj@ias.edu

Yannis Hamilakis

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Southampton
Research Field: Greek Archaeology, Classical Reception
Project Title: The Social and Emotive Lives of Classical Ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean
Research Abstract: This project examines the social biographies of primarily classical archaeological monuments, artifacts and sites in Greece and the broader Eastern Mediterranean, from the early modern period to the present. It focuses on local, vernacular attitudes, discourses and practices, in other words on local, “indigenous archaeologies”, and their clash with and eventual transformation by the ideas and practices of national, modernist archaeology, and more recent, globalized processes. It is based on sources such as travel writing, folk tales, and the practice of spolia, as well as on ethnographic research, photographic evidence, and interdisciplinary secondary literature. It pays particular attention to the sensorial/embodied properties of material culture and its mnemonic qualities. The conceptual tools of this study derive from the previous theoretical and empirical work of the author on indigenous archaeologies and Indigenous Hellenism, on archaeological ethnography, and on the archaeology of the senses. The membership at the IAS will allow me to write up this project as a monograph, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Office: W218 Extension: 8358 Email: yhamilakis@ias.edu

James Harris

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of St Andrews
Research Field: 18th-century British Intellectual History
Project Title: Completion of an intellectual biography of David Hume (1711-1776)
Research Abstract: My project is to complete an intellectual biography of the eighteenth-century British philosopher and historian David Hume. The book is under contract with Cambridge University Press, as part of a series of biographies of philosophers of early modern and modern periods, and at present the first three out of seven chapters are complete. I shall write another chapter before the autumn of 2011. At the Institute I would write the final three chapters, and prepare the manuscript for publication. Because Hume devoted himself principally to the writing of history in the second half of his career, the Institute would be an especially apt place to complete the book.

Office: W209 Extension: 8317 Email: jharris@ias.edu

Charles Hartman

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: The University at Albany, State University of New York
Research Field: Chinese History
Project Title: The Making of Song Dynasty History: Power versus Precedent in Chinese Politics, 960-1279
Research Abstract: I propose to utilize IAS resources during the fall of 2012 to finish writing my book, The Making of Song Dynasty History: Power versus Precedent in Chinese Politics, 960-1279, which will present the culmination of my research on the historiography of the Song dynasty. In this work, I modify prevailing scholarship, which has emphasized the Confucian, literati character of the Song state, and accentuate the contrasting role of imperial military and economic power. I argue that the surviving sources for Song history exaggerate literati supremacy in Song politics because the framing narratives of these sources originate in the literati’s own unsuccessful efforts to wrest control of state resources away from the monarchy and the military. In the first half of the book, I show how the twelfth-century political struggles of civil officials associated with the Neo-Confucian reform movement, the Learning of the Way, against the Song monarchy and its agents generated a distinctive historical view of earlier Song history as an allegorical battle between good and evil. Into this allegory, they wrote their historical heroes as moral exemplars and themselves as their political and moral descendants. The second half of the book demonstrates that beneath these contrived moral polarities reposed a deeper structure of Song government that pitted two contending views of the state and two quite real systems of administration against each other in a struggle for state resources. The wide-spread adoption of paper currency in the twelfth century as a vehicle to fund state debt, much of it diverted into military corruption, exacerbated these tensions and formed the political and economic context that underlies the making of Song history.

Office: W107 Extension: 8164 Email: chartman@ias.edu

Helmut Heit

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Technische Universität Berlin
Research Field: Philosophy
Project Title: Truth and Effect: Background, Content and Currency of Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science
Research Abstract: The aim of this project is to provide an historically and philosophically informed treatise about Nietzsche’s philosophy of science. The main focus concerns the systematic topicality of Nietzsche’s arguments and perspectives: What may he contribute to our ongoing dispute about science? In order to evaluate that, a reconstruction of the content of his ideas and positions is needed. A reliable reconstruction of Nietzsche’s philosophy of science, however, requires certain knowledge about his scientific and cultural historical background. That is why these three aspects will be combined to achieve a full account of Nietzsche’s philosophy of science.

Office: W102 Extension: 8354 Email: hheit@ias.edu

Yitzhak Hen

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Research Field: Early Medieval History
Project Title: Western Arianism: Politics and Religious Culture in the Early Medieval West
Research Abstract: The subject of the proposed study is the nature and role of Arianism in the early medieval West. By looking at each of the post-Roman Barbarian kingdoms, with an emphasis on the place of Arianism within each, it will seek to offer a new perspective on the function of Arianism in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. It will also clarify the importance and significance of religious phenomena to the understanding of the social as well as the political history of the post-Roman world.

Office: W304 Extension: 8173 Email: yhen@ias.edu

Yonglin Jiang

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Bryn Mawr College
Research Field: Chinese History
Project Title: Negotiating Justice: Local Adjudication and Social Change in Late Imperial China
Research Abstract: This project studies the dynamic process of local justice construction during the last century of Ming dynasty China (1368-1644). Drawing on a large body of little explored local court records, this study examines how justice was constructed in local adjudication and how justice construction and social change affected each other at times of drastic social change. Using the historical perspective of “encountered cultures,” the sociological perspective of “negotiated order,” and legal aspect of justice study, I argue that as creating actors, magistrates and litigants together defined their socio-legal situations and created “equitable justice”—a “fair” yet unpredictable and particularistic ruling. During the process of justice negotiation, while local adjudication both defended the dynastic order and facilitated social change, changing society also invested the dynastic legal system with new meanings. As the first English book that comprehensively studies the interaction between law and society in the late Ming based on local court records, this project contributes to the study of Chinese socio-legal history on both historical and theoretical levels.

Office: W109 Extension: 8166 Email: yjiang@ias.edu

Mark Jurdjevic

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Glendon College, York University
Research Field: Italian Renaissance
Project Title: Desperation's Remedies: Machiavelli's Correspondence and the Transformation of the Humanities, 1498-1527
Research Abstract: Desperation’s Remedies will show how a debate in the late Renaissance between Machiavelli and small group of scholars, historians, and politicians about how to transcend the chaos of their times led to a Kuhnian paradigm shift in political, historical, and philosophical analysis. The historical and political writings of Machiavelli and his friends Francesco Guicciardini, Francesco Vettori, and Filippo de’ Nerli famously ushered in a new culture of inquiry rooted in secular and relative realism. Before the formal composition of those writings, however, their authors engaged in an expansive epistolary debate that generated the necessary intellectual consensus about those new modes of inquiry. Desperation’s Remedies excavates the pre-history of that intellectual transformation.

Office: W210 Extension: 8282 Email: jurdjevic@ias.edu

David Kennedy

In residence for: September 1 to November 16 (visitor)
Home Institution: University of Western Australia
Research Field: Roman Archaeology and History
Project Title: Arabia Petraea: A Roman and Byzantine Landscape in Provincia Arabia
Research Abstract: The south of Roman Arabia is dominated by Petra. The city has been intensively researched but the hinterland - Arabia Petraea, is relatively unknown and undeveloped. Thickly strewn across it are the traces of several thousand ‘sites’ from roads through villages to field systems. The published data is extensive and now complemented by extensive aerial survey, offering a rare opportunity to interpret and map, define and explain the dynamics of an extensive “Roman” landscape.

Office: W105 Extension: 8162 Email: dkennedy@ias.edu

Jungwon Kim

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Research Field: Korean History
Project Title: Families in Trials: Local Courts and Legal Culture in Late Choson Korea (1392-1910)
Research Abstract: This book project, Families in Trials: Local Courts and Legal Culture in Late Choson Korea (1392-1910), explores multifaceted yet vibrant socio-cultural-legal aspects of late Choson Korea by locating legal agencies of the state, local authorities, and clientele in the making of pre-modern Korean local courts. Through micro-historical examination of legal cases and disputes involving multiple families, this study addresses how Korean people used law and legal archives, as well as legal processes, in complex and sophisticated ways to further their familial interests. Focusing on interactions between the court and its ordinary users, it reveals the power of individuals in local communities who were responsible for much of the legal interpretation while negotiating with and through the court. Therefore, this study not only revisits the ideals, limitations, and accommodations of the late Choson local court, but sheds important light on the texture of socio-familial relations, the nature of local conflicts, and the impulses of individual actors in the legal terrain when attempting to achieve their goals.

Office: W108 Extension: 8165 Email: jwkim@ias.edu

Derek Krueger

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Research Field: Religion, Late Ancient and Byzantine Studies
Project Title: Liturgical Subjects: Christian Ritual and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium from the Sixth to the Ninth Century
Research Abstract: This project considers how religious ritual forms identity by examining a critical period in the development of Christian Orthodoxy. Between late antiquity and medieval Byzantium, Christian liturgists disseminated and laity adopted new patterns of worship that constructed a distinctly Byzantine conscience. The changing shape of the eucharistic rite, the composition of hymns for vigils and festivals, and the rise of the cult of images heightened a correspondence between liturgical action and biblical narratives. Biblical and saintly figures served as exemplars against which lay Christians judged themselves. An examination of liturgical texts, hymns, architecture, art, and devotional objects yields insight into how Christians understood themselves as subjects of divine judgment and mercy.

Office: F311 Extension: 8326 Email: dkrueger@ias.edu

Anna Krylova

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Duke University
Research Field: Modern Russian History
Project Title: A History of the Soviet: The Lingua France of Soviet Modernity
Research Abstract: This project sets out to question a longstanding convention, in and outside academia, that has allowed scholars, including myself, to conflate in their work such basic cultural categories of modern Russian history as the “Soviet,” the “Marxist,” and the “socialist.” It turns the pivotal term of modern Russian history – the “Soviet” – into a historical problematic and undertakes a near-century long (1900s-1980s) interdisciplinary study of cultural change at a time of social, economic, and generational transformation. At its most ambitious, the book seeks to make possible a new cultural history of Russia in the twentieth century as well as a rethinking of the history of totalitarianism, worldwide trafficking of the Soviet model, and the very conceivability of the perestroika reforms of the mid-1980s.

Office: W104 Extension: 8161 Email: annaykrylova@ias.edu

Stephen Lambert

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Cardiff University
Research Field: Ancient History, Greek Epigraphy
Project Title: Athenian History 352/1-322/1 BC: The Evidence of Inscribed Laws and Decrees
Research Abstract: The proposal is to write a monograph on the city of Athens in one of the most eventful periods of its history, from the perspective of a body of evidence that has been hugely underexploited: the city’s inscribed laws and decrees. It represents the final phase of a project which has also involved preparation of a new corpus of these inscriptions. There will be thematic chapters analysing the historical implications of categories of decrees (e.g. religious regulations, decrees relating to foreign policy) and generic chapters, looking e.g. at theoretical and methodological aspects of the use of this type of inscription as historical source, and the information they yield about the character of the classical Athenian democracy in its final phase.

Office: W220 Extension: 8360 Email: sdlambert@ias.edu

Renée Levine Melammed

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies
Research Field: Medieval History, Jewish Studies
Project Title: Jewish Woman in Mediterranean Society
Research Abstract: The Cairo Genizah collection has provided an entrée into what is aptly described by S. D. Goitein in A Mediterranean Society as “the world of women.” For more than a decade, a few researchers, especially Joel Kraemer, have uncovered a large corpus of over 160 letters written by and to women; I have been teaching portions of this and additional material published by Kraemer, Goitein, Cohen and others in women’s studies programs and history departments. The Israel Science Foundation has just approved my proposal to coordinate a four year project aimed at publishing this and additional material dealing with women found in the various Genizah collections. (The funding from the grant is solely for employing two Judeo-Arabists and for technical services.) As coordinator, I am responsible for the historical analysis of this material as well as translating it. It is rare to hear Jewish women’s voices at all in the medieval world and these publications will provide unexpected insights into the realities of women’s lives in the medieval Mediterranean World. Since I can coordinate all the work on this project from any locale, I would be delighted to be working in the collegial atmosphere at the Institute with the library’s excellent resources and with the time to devote myself fully to this project.

Office: B203 Extension: 8322 Email: rlm@ias.edu

Munkh-Erdene Lhamsuren

In residence for: year
Home Institution: National University of Mongolia
Research Field: Central Eurasian Studies
Project Title: Making Mongolia Multi-Ethnic: Knowledge, Power and Identity
Research Abstract: By analyzing the ethnographic study of Mongolia and Mongolian state’s nationality policy through a wide range of original sources such as textual and archival documents including hitherto untapped archival documents on Mongolia’s nationality policy, this research aims to demonstrate that modern Mongolia was made multi-ethnic. It was made multi-ethnic by the combined power of a Russo-Soviet ethnically framed vision of Mongolia and Mongolian state’s Soviet imposed and inspired nationality policy and a Communist “regime of truth”. The research will radically challenge the conventional ethnically framed evolutionary understanding that represents Mongolia as consisting of multiple ethnic groups that evolved out of pre-modern tribes. Instead, it will argue that while a Russo-Soviet ethnically framed vision construed Mongolia’s various former politico-administrative units into a uniform category of “nationalities”, Mongolia’s revolutionary interventionist state, following the Soviet lead, subjected its population to a large-scale “small nationalities building” project and ethnically framed Marxist-Leninist indoctrination. Thus modern multi-ethnic Mongolia was produced under the power of the ethnically framed “scientific” knowledge and social engineering of the revolutionary state and the Communist “regime of truth”.

Office: F301 Extension: 8192 Email: lmunkh@ias.edu

Maria Hsiuya Loh

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University College London
Research Field: History of Art
Project Title: The Future Belongs to Ghosts: Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master
Research Abstract: Despite Roland Barthes’ declaration of the Death of the Author over forty years ago, the “Artist” persists as an indestructible category in the history of art in all periods. Making sense of this survival and of the profound desire that these figures generate is the underlying challenge of this book. This project traces the historical process and material means by which the Italian Old Masters became early modern “celebrities.” It investigates the theoretical and practical implications of this new form of secular stardom as it came into being in the sixteenth century and then in its subsequent permutations from Giorgio Vasari to the modern artist bio-pic. It asks the question: what happens to artists and artistic practice when image makers become images themselves?

Office: F321 Extension: 8160 Email: mloh@ias.edu

Carolyn Merchant

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Research Field: History of Science
Project Title: Ideas of Nature: Emerging Concepts of Nature and Law in the Scientific Revolution
Research Abstract: The goal of this work is to examine the history of the idea of nature as an active force with respect to the history of science of the 17th century. What was the relationship between nature as actor/actress (active and potentially uncontrollable) and nature as law (rational, predictable, hence potentially controllable) in this period? I will focus this study on the meaning of “nature naturing” (natura naturans)— nature as creative force, and “nature natured” (natura naturata)—nature as created world—as historically understood and articulated. Looking at the history of these two historical concepts offers a new approach to the history of the (so-named) Scientific Revolution. I examine the background of these terms in the Greek and Roman eras and the Middle Ages. I ask where and how the concept of natura originated, what role the terms natura naturans and natura naturata played in the Renaissance and 17th century, and in what ways they were significant to the history of science. I conclude the study by looking at the implications for the idea of nature in the present era. I plan to complete a monograph or book during my proposed period at the IAS from July 1 - Dec 31.

Office: W101 Extension: 8177 Email: merchant@ias.edu

Christian Meyer

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Erlangen-Nurenmberg
Research Field: East Asian Studies
Project Title: The Role of the Traditional Formula "Shendao Shejiao" in the Processes of Negotiating and Appropriating the Western Concept of "Religion" in Modern China, 1890-Present
Research Abstract: The aim of the proposed project at the School of Historical Studies is to examine the eminent role of a traditional formula related to the important Chinese concept of Dao (Tao, “Way”, “cosmological and moral order”) in the processes of appropriating and negotiating the new Western concept of “religion” (translated as “zongjiao”). This project builds up on my previous research on the emergence of the new discipline of “Religious Studies” (zongjiaoxue) and is part of my wider research on the adoption of the concept of “religion” in modern China. While the earlier project focused on the academic discipline and its Western approaches as a completely new phenomenon influencing especially the intellectual-academic sphere of modern China, the new project adds a complementary perspective, focusing at traditionalist recipients and their more indigenous re-interpretations of “zongjiao.” In these circles the particular formula “shendao shejiao” played an instrumental role in the processes of appropriating the new concept. However, thereby the use of the formula changed greatly from its traditional application in “Confucian” discourses on local cults of popular deities to one within the new terminological framework of “zongjiao” (”religion”) which included theistic religions (shendao, such as Christianity) as well as non-theistic ones (such as Confucianism). The project analyzes the role of the newly interpreted formula as an illuminating example of a conceptual history of “religion” in modern China. The continuity of the related discourses and uses even into most recent times demonstrates the relevance of the unsolved conceptual question. However, its origins lead back to the period of major political and social transformations in late 19th and early 20th centuries China which constitutes the our main period of investigation.

Office: W112 Extension: 8144 Email: cmeyer@ias.edu

Jan-Werner Mueller

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Princeton University
Research Field: European Intellectual History
Project Title: Christian Democracy: A New Intellectual History
Research Abstract: The project traces three strategies for finding a place for Christianity – and Catholicism in particular – in the modern democratic order: the creation of a Christian demos, a demos constrained by Christian institutions, and Christian Democratic party politics. The geographical focus is France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, with occasional excursions into parts of the globe. Apart from reconstructing an important, but neglected part of modern political thought, the project also draws larger normative lessons from this history – especially for thinking about the relationship between Islam and democracy.

Office: F303 Extension: 8272 Email: jwmueller@ias.edu

Hyun Ok Park

In residence for: September 1 to November 16 (visitor)
Home Institution: York University
Research Field: East Asian Studies
Project Title: Democracy as Market Utopia: From National Unification to Transnational Korea
Research Abstract: I am completing a book, “Market Utopia: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea.” It investigates the ways that the task of rapprochement of the two Koreas has been changed to the formation of ethnic sovereignty in the post-Cold War era. It concerns a democratic politics which imagines the market as a mechanism of reparation, peace, and human rights.

Office: W111 Extension: 8060 Email: hopark@ias.edu

Marcus Payk

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Humboldt University Berlin
Research Field: 19th and 20th century European History
Project Title: At the Margins of Sovereignty: The Paris Peace Treaties of 1919-20 and International Law in the early 20th Century
Research Abstract: The legal dimension of the Paris Peace Treaties (1919/20) has often been ignored in historical research. In contrast, I argue that legal claims, concepts, and experts have played a major role both in the emergence of the treaties as in their failures as effective peace order. The project situates the Peace Conference against the backdrop of 19th century jurisprudence and analyzes the influence of international lawyers on the negotiations. In addition, it will also conduct case studies on the legal implementation of the Treaty of Versailles in 1920s Germany. By embedding the role of international law and international lawyers in a broad political and cultural context, this study aims to expand our understanding of the procedures that define “politics” and “law” in modern societies. It also offers a historical contribution to recent debates on the nature of international legal regimes and on the contingent and constructivist character of modern state sovereignty.

Office: F209 Extension: 8314 Email: payk@ias.edu

Roberta Pergher

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Indiana University
Research Field: European History, Fascism, Empire
Project Title: "Nazione impero": Nation-building, Empire and Population Settlement in the Fascist Era, 1922-1943
Research Abstract: My book project lies at the intersection of two narratives: the history of Fascism and that of interwar colonialism. Drawing on the study of migration and borderlands, it analyzes Fascist population settlement in the recently annexed provinces in northern Italy and in Italy’s expanding empire across the Mediterranean. From the Alps to Africa, the settlement of Italian families became the preferred route to transforming contested territories into Fascist homelands. In analyzing Fascist grand plans, settler experiences, and the often contradictory results on the ground, my book challenges the customary distinction between nation and empire in studies of Italian fascism. It instead treats both national annexations and colonial acquisitions as borderlands that prompted similar kinds of intervention and transformation. Looking at Fascist Italy from the margins allows us to rethink Fascist governance and to show central tensions in the regime’s goals and self-understanding. In particular, my work shows that the Fascist goal of creating a “nazione impero” muddled the fraternal and egalitarian project of the national community with the hierarchy and heterogeneity of empire. In both the northern periphery and hitherto marginal colonial holdings these incompatible ideals were pursued simultaneously. Thus, in both realms Fascist policies wavered between inclusion and exclusion, homogeneity and racial hierarchy. I argue that the contradictions of Fascist policy in these peripheries reflects a specific interwar climate, in which the struggle for empire was cloaked in and competed with discourses of national self-determination and radicalized notions of race and ethnicity.

Office: F302 Extension: 8158 Email: rpergher@ias.edu

Anne-Lise Rey

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University Lille I
Research Field: Philosophy and History of Science
Project Title: The Leibnizian-Newtonian Synthesis: The Construction of a Composite Natural Philosophy in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century
Research Abstract: The priority dispute over the infinitesimal calculus as well as the debate about the nature of space in the correspondence between Leibniz and Clarke (1715-1716) quickly established the idea that there is a profound contradiction between Leibniz’s natural philosophy, whose physics is based on metaphysics, and modern science, as embodied by a Newton who “does not imagine hypotheses,” two incommensurable paradigms. One goal of my work is to show that, in spite of the significant differences between the philosophical and epistemological positions of Leibniz and Newton, many thinkers of the first half of the eighteenth century attempted, often from different perspectives, to combine these two ways of thinking. The object of my research would be, therefore, to understand how these often creative attempts to explore nature through these two very different thinkers met the needs of the period. It is the inventive force of these connections that this project intends to examine, thereby affording a fresh look at modern science in the eighteenth century.

Office: W214 Extension: 8347 Email: anneliserey@ias.edu

Juhyung Rhi

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Seoul National University
Research Field: Art History
Project Title: How Does Iconography Work or Not Work?: Examining Methodological Premises in Buddhist Iconographical Scholarship
Research Abstract: My research project proposes to examine methodological premises that has prevailed in Buddhist iconographical scholarship since its formative stage, as part of my bigger agenda of seeking a new outlook in reading early Buddhist art in India and East Asia.

Office: F323 Extension: 8348 Email: jhrhi@ias.edu

Marijana Ricl

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Belgrade
Research Field: Ancient History and Greek Epigraphy
Project Title: Anatolian Sanctuaries in the Hellenistic and Roman Period as Places of Cult and Human Communities
Research Abstract: The research project “Anatolian Sanctuaries in the Hellenistic and Roman Period as Places of Cult and Human Communities” aims to investigate the role of local sanctuaries in everyday life of the following regions of Anatolia: Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia, Pisidia, Isauria, Lycaonia and Galatia in the Hellenistic and Roman period. Along with the available literary sources (Strabo, Aelius Aristides, Pausanias, Athenaeus, Greek novelists, Acts of Christians Martyrs, Early Christian authors, Greek and Byzantine Lexicographers, etc.), inscriptions, coins and material traces of known sacred places will serve as the base for this investigation of sanctuaries as human communities, unities of persons and things and not simply places of cult.

Office: W216 Extension: 8356 Email: mricl@ias.edu

Bruce Rusk

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: University of British Columbia
Research Field: History of Early Modern
Project Title: Truth in Chaos: Authenticity and its Opposites in Early Modern China
Research Abstract: This project examines the creation and assessment of authenticity in China during the late Ming (1368-1644) to early Qing (1644-1911). Nothing, contemporary sources suggest, was trustworthy: many things were fakes, people were phonies, and words were lies. From diverse ways of not being genuine and techniques for detecting falsehood emerges the central value of authenticity (zhen), an elusive universal pursued by philosophers, artists, merchants, and anyone who had to trust another person. The study will show how this ubiquitous concept was defined through its opposites, ubiquitous failures or subversions that made zhen a rarity. Although concerns and solutions were different in each field of action or inquiry, they were never wholly separate and a full picture emerges only as a composite.

Office: W107 Extension: 8164 Email: barusk@ias.edu

Ortal-Paz Saar

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Tel Aviv University
Research Field: Middle Eastern History, Judaic Studies
Project Title: Babylonian Incantation Bowls: A Socio-Religious Textual Typology
Research Abstract: The project I would like to propose consists of a textual analytic investigation of Babylonian incantations bowls. These are ritual objects originating in pre-Islamic Mesopotamia, mostly dating from the 5th to the 8th centuries CE. They were employed by all the religious groups who inhabited that region during late antiquity: Jews, Christians, Mandaeans, Manichaeans, Zoroastrians, etc. To date, more than 200 bowls have been published, and they will serve as the basis for the proposed project. I intend to explore the similarities and differences between the major religious groups who produced and employed these incantations, as reflected in the ritual formulae they left behind. The typology will provide a useful tool for scholars researching incantation texts from late-antique Mesopotamia, a region renowned for its amalgam of faiths and religious traditions, by supplying a framework through which all such texts can be analyzed.

Office: B204 Extension: 8346 Email: ortalsaar@ias.edu

Adam Sabra

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
Research Field: Islamic Studies
Project Title: Aristocracy and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: A family History of al-Sada al-Bakriya
Research Abstract: This project is a study of an aristocratic family in Ottoman Egypt (ca. 1500-1800). Arguing that families can be considered historical actors, I will attempt to explain the success of one family in advancing and preserving its political, economic, and cultural status over a period of three centuries. The methodology includes social history based on extensive archival research, as well as cultural history based on a wide range of literary sources.

Office: B200 Extension: 8361 Email: asabra@ias.edu

Ron Sela

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: Indiana University
Research Field: History and Historiography of Islamic Central Asia
Project Title: The Development and Meaning of Turkik Identity in Central Asia
Research Abstract: In this study I examine the formation, development, and range of meanings of Turkic identity in Central Asia. I introduce and contextualize a broad range of written sources from the region, authored in Chaghatay Turkic, Persian, Russian and Arabic, that illustrate expressions of self-representation from the early encounters of Turks with Islam down to the nineteenth century. I explore the delineation of cultural boundaries (in language, narration of the past, myths of origin, rituals and symbols, labels and perceived stereotypes, and asserted forms of Islamic practice) among Turkic peoples and vis-à-vis Iranian, Mongol, and Arab prestige groups, with particular emphasis on the 16th-19th centuries - the least studied period in Central Asia’s history.

Office: B203 Extension: 8322 Email: rsela@ias.edu

Mitra Sharafi

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: University of Wisconsin
Research Field: History of Law and Medicine in South Asia
Project Title: Medical Jurisprudence in Colonial India
Research Abstract: This book project uses the largely untold history of medical jurisprudence in colonial India to explore the themes of truth and trust in empire. Medical jurisprudence was an extensive body of knowledge and practice from the 1850s on. It was expected to reduce courts’ dependence upon South Asian witness testimony, and to teach Indians rule-of-law and western scientific values. However, the absence of medical consensus among experts, the interference with medical evidence by British officials for political purposes, and the lack of knowledge about indigenous toxicological practices and pharmacopeia undermined the field’s credibility. The late colonial rise of Indians as medico-legal experts also thwarted the aspiration to reduce reliance upon South Asians in the legal system.

Office: W104 Extension: 8161 Email: msharafi@ias.edu

Weirong Shen

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Renmin University
Research Field: History, Philology and Buddhist Studies
Project Title: History through Textual Criticism: Tibetan Tantric Buddhism in the Tangut Xia, Mongol Yuan and Chinese Ming
Research Abstract: I have been working on Chinese texts concerning Tibetan tantric Buddhism dating from the 11th to 15th centuries for many years and published several individual articles in both English and Chinese on the topic. Now time I want to complete a book project on the history of Tibetan tantric Buddhism outside Tibet through textual criticism. Based on the preliminary research results of my previous philological studies on these texts I intend to reconstruct the colorful history of cultural and religious encounters in Central Eurasia along the Silk Route from the 11th to 15th centuries. The main task of my book is to write the history of Tibetan tantric Buddhism in the Tangut Xia, Mongol Yuan and Chinese Ming.

Office: W110 Extension: 8007 Email: wrshen62@ias.edu

Evrydiki Sifnaiou

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: The National Hellenic Research Foundation
Research Field: Economic and Social History, History of the Diasporas
Project Title: Re-Mapping Odessa: A "Peripatetic" Approach to a Port-City
Research Abstract: I intend to study the intersection of the economic and social activities among the different ethnic groups that constituted Odessa’s social tissue in the nineteenth century. The allocation of ethnic groups in the city’s space during a period of extreme growth and dramatic social restructuring, their “tendency” to exert certain professions, their different patterns of entrepreneurship and their contribution to the creation of the public sphere are at the core of my interests. By examining urban demography, social interaction and economic collaboration, I seek to provide a corrective to the standard historical narrative of Odessa’s development, which has been presented as fragmented across ethnic and religious lines.

Office: W217 Extension: 8362 Email: evrydiki@ias.edu

Nigel Smith

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Princeton University
Research Field: Comparative Literature and History
Project Title: "True Freedom" and Literature in the Dutch Republic
Research Abstract: An original consideration of the theme of ’freedom’ in the literature of the Dutch Republic from c. 1580 to c. 1695 (territorially in its Netherlandish homeland and its global outreach) as part of a larger comparative study of the relationship between states and the literature produced within them in early modern Europe. The study compasses poetry, drama and prose, and locates literary endeavor in a political, religious and economic context as part of a conscious and collective effort to define and embody a number of ideas of freedom, especially the ’ware vrijheid’ of a true republic. The focus is on this literature as vitally reactive and polemical in contrast to the customary understanding of Dutch literature as more remotely didactic. Unity is provided not merely by thematic continuity but also by a set of real connections, collaborations and interactions between personnel within a given period and through time. The Dutch Republic provides an example of a new state with a little known literature engaged in defining what had been created; a compelling example of early modern republican literature and theatre, a topic of great interest recently to scholars of most European literatures and history. My project appeals to all early modernists (with implications for all humanists) since it crosses disciplinary boundaries - between studies of different vernaculars, comparative literature, and history.

Office: W215 Extension: 8357 Email: nsmith@ias.edu

Jörg Sonntag

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: Technische Universität Dresden
Research Field: Medieval History
Project Title: Entertaining the World: Medieval Monasticism as Generator and Mediator of Games and Sports
Research Abstract: This research project deciphers the apparent contradiction between contemplative monastic life and the playing of games for entertainment. It discovers, within the bounds of western monasticism, the potential for the innovation, reception and transmission of games and sports and seeks to clarify their ethical, political, and theological meanings and messages within medieval society. Indeed, religious communities and Orders did not only invent new games. They were also able to incorporate elements of play from another culture, to transform or purify them, to provide them with new origin myths, and thus to make them meaningful and usable for the world outside the monastery. Since the game of a homo ludens is not least a core aspect of every society, a book is being prepared in which the intersection of social anthropology, cultural history, and religious sciences will lead us along a previously unknown path to a better understanding of life in the Middle Ages.

Office: F303 Extension: 8272 Email: jsonntag@ias.edu

Nicola Terrenato

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: University of Michigan
Research Field: Roman Art and Archaeology
Project Title: The Romanization of Rome: Chaging Material Culture in 4th-2nd centure BCE central Italy
Research Abstract: Rome has always been assumed to have been a source (or at least a mediator) of culture for the peoples it conquered. And yet, recent archaeological and historical evidence shows that many constituent traits commonly associated with Roman material culture, from bathhouses to amphorae, actually originated elsewhere and arrived in Rome later than in other parts of central Italy. Rome itself had to be ’Romanized’ in the 3rd and 2nd century BCE before it took the form that we are familiar with. Carefully tracking the intricate web of mutual influences amongst the peoples of central Italy makes it possible to contextualize this phenomenon, while at the same time deconstructing traditional assumptions about the direct connection between socioeconomic dominance and cultural diffusion.

Office: W217 Extension: 8362 Email: terrenat@ias.edu

Stephen Tracy

In residence for: long-term visitor
Home Institution: American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Research Field: Greek History and Epigraphy
Project Title: Greek epigraphy, Hellenistic history, Greek and Latin epic poetry
Research Abstract: I am currently preparing a new edition of the decrees of Attica of the years 229 to 168 BCE for Inscriptiones Graecae in Berlin and working on a study of Athenian inscribers of the first half of the fourth century BCE.

Office: B100 Extension: 8340 Email: stracy@ias.edu

Francesca Trivellato

In residence for: first term
Home Institution: Yale University
Research Field: Early Modern European History
Project Title: On Good and Bad Credit: An Unwritten Chapter in European Debates about Jews and Capitalism
Research Abstract: I use a forgotten but once widespread legend about the alleged medieval Jewish invention of two key European financial instruments (marine insurance and bills of exchange) in order to make an empirical and methodological contribution to the history of the power of credit to create and destroy wealth and therefore to shape institutions, societies, and cultures. Unlike most of the scholarly literature, I focus on private credit rather than the public debt or the stock market, and on ordinary merchants’ books rather than high-brow thinkers. I show how concerns about Jewish usury persisted and evolved after the Middle Ages.

Office: W203 Extension: 8321 Email: trivellato@ias.edu

Frans van Liere

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Calvin College
Research Field: Medieval History, History of Biblical Exegesis
Project Title: The Crhistian Myth of Hebrew Truth
Research Abstract: While many individual studies exist on various detailed aspects of medieval Christian Hebraism, so far no general study has been undertaken examining Christian Hebrew scholarship as the history of an idea. The crucial idea underlying Christian Hebraism is that of Hebraica Veritas: the belief that the Hebrew Bible, as it was transmitted in rabbinical circles in the first centuries of the common era, was the “original” Old Testament text, and that, to recover the original text, one needed to turn to the Jews, who were guardians both of the sacred text itself and of the language in which it was written. As this study will show, both of these notions proved to be somewhat fictional, since there was more textual variety and instability in the medieval Hebrew Bible text than Christians suspected at the time, and the Jews and Christians had a different hermeneutical agenda in their approach to the text. The proposed project is to study the development of this Hebraica Veritas in the medieval period, to show how it shaped both the Christian understanding of the textual history of the Bible, and Christian attitudes towards Judaism as a historical entity and as a living culture. This study should not only be of interest to scholars of medieval religious thought, but should also contribute to the understanding of inter-religious dialogue and dispute in our own time and age. The story of medieval Christians’ encounter with Jewish Scripture shows that medieval Christians came to acknowledge that the Jewish traditions were neither written in stone nor frozen in time, an acknowledgement which deeply influenced their attitudes towards Jews in this period.

Office: F310 Extension: 8328 Email: fvliere@ias.edu

Anthony Vidler

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Cooper Union
Research Field: Architectural and Urban History
Project Title: Architecture after 1945
Research Abstract: The completion of the final draft of a history of architecture from 1945 to the present commissioned by the Oxford History of Art, in its intellectual, social, and political contexts. The book considers developments in Europe (including the former Eastern block countries), Asia (including Russia, the former Republics, South Asia, China, Japan), and the Americas. Emphasis is placed on the role of architecture in urban development, from post-war reconstruction to the megacities of global expansion.

Office: W203 Extension: 8321 Email: ledoux@ias.edu

Adelheid Voskuhl

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: Harvard University
Research Field: History of Technology
Project Title: Engineering as Institution: Technical and Social Elites in Germany and the US, 1870 to 1930
Research Abstract: The first sustained debates about the “consequences” of technology in society occurred during and after the industrial revolutions of the nineteenth century. Protagonists asked about the impact of rapid technological change and, at a more fundamental level, whether humans and societies had become more and more “like machines.” Such concerns have remained pressing to this day and have recently included questions about post-industrial electronic technologies and their effect on human relations and politics. My project is grounded in such debates carried out among and between engineers in Germany and the United States in the period around the First World War. In particular, I explore how American and German engineers – through reading and writing philosophical texts – first tried to formulate “philosophies of technology.” As a trained physicist, philosopher, and practicing historian, I aim to integrate in more depth, in this project and my work overall, technological phenomena with histories and theories of western civilizations. I study engineers’ trans-Atlantic philosophical conversations in the contexts of the “Conservative Revolution” in Germany and the “Efficiency Movement” in the United States, taking into account the two nations’ distinct histories of industrialization, state-building, and engineering cultures. Doing so, I develop novel ways of apprehending the role of technology, and of technological experts, in industrial and social modernities.

Office: W101 Extension: 8177 Email: avoskuhl@ias.edu

Aihe Wang

In residence for: second term
Home Institution: The University of Hong Kong
Research Field: Chinese Studies
Project Title: Underground Art Communities during the Cultural Revolution
Research Abstract: I am preparing a book on underground art and art communities during China’s Cultural Revolution. Centered on the Wuming painting group and encompassing related art and culture groups active in the 1970s, it examines the interconnections between such art practice and community formation, and their social and political consequences. I ask an exploratory question: along with the subversive artwork, how did such creative practice also produce solidarity, active agency, and alternative forms of modern subjectivity? This is not a question simply about resistance, but about social imagination that generated new visions of the world, meanings of life, and social realities. Ultimately, it is about how human creativity became a transformative force of epochal change, gathering at the bottom and fringes of an authoritarian society. This study devises an interdisciplinary approach integrating anthropological fieldwork, historical research, and art historical analysis. It will modify our understanding of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese socialism, and authoritarianism; enrich existing scholarship on art and politics, community invention, grassroots movements, and the public sphere; and contribute to theoretical debates on modernity and its critique in a global and comparative context.

Office: W111 Extension: 8060 Email: awang@ias.edu

Ittai Weinryb

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Bard Graduate Center
Research Field: History of Art
Project Title: Bronzescapes: Art, Technology, and the Making of the Medieval Mediterranean
Research Abstract: The study aims to revise our understanding of the production of art, and the place of material culture in the long twelfth century. By focusing on a complex and highly creative moment of technological development and its influence on the production of material things, the project focuses on the rediscovery of the technique of lost wax casting in western Europe and its influence on the reception and production of objects around the Italian peninsula and the greater Mediterranean basin from the second half of the eleventh century through the end of the thirteenth century. The study shows how the vital force which lies within the bronze objects, something that is derived from the techniques of making and reception through newly translated scientific texts, and their apparent dislocation enhanced by their installation in the public domain, was a profound category within the newly constructed environment of the medieval Mediterranean, and contributed to their appreciation as sometime ‘living’ or animated objects.

Office: F322 Extension: 8338 Email: weinryb@ias.edu

Frédérique Woerther

In residence for: year
Home Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Research Field: Islamic Philosophy
Project Title: Averroes' Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle: Work Leading to an Edition, Translation, and Commentary
Research Abstract: The Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics was written up by Averroes in 1177. The Arabic version is lost with the exception of thirty small fragments contained in the marginal notes of a manuscript preserved in Fez that also includes the Arabic translation, probably by Ishaq b. Hunayn, of the Nicomachean Ethics. The fragments, published by Berman in 1967, come mostly from books III, IV, and VIII (9, 10, and 7 fragments respectively) and to a lesser extent from books V, VII, and IX (2, 1, and 1 fragments). The Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics was translated into Latin by Hermann the German in Toledo in 1240, then about a century later, in 1322 into Hebrew by Samuel of Marseilles. Today the Latin translation exists in thirteen manuscripts, of which one contains only a single fragment and three others contain a collection of fragments. The Latin translation also exists in at least thirteen printed books which appeared between 1483 and 1575 in Venice and Lyon. My project constitutes the first stage of a larger research program that includes an edition of the Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics accompanied by a French translation and a commentary. The first task is to produce an edition of the Arabic fragments of the Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics in the Fez manuscript. The second task will focus on the passages represented in the fragments, and on the passages in the Nicomachean Ethics on justice and the relationship of ethics and politics, in order to produce a systematic analysis both of the problems raised by the Arabic translation (based on the edition of Dunlop) for the Greek text of Aristotle, and of the problems raised by the Latin translation of Averroes’ commentary. These purely textual analyses will be augmented by a precise study of Averroes’ exegetical methods, in order to make clear the specific features of his doctrine when it diverges from or complements Aristotle’s text. The proximity of Princeton’s Firestone Library will make it possible, in addition, to work at the same time on the reception of Averroes’ Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics in the Latin world and the Arabic world.

Office: B202 Extension: 8302 Email: woerther@ias.edu

Chen-Pang Yeang

In residence for: year
Home Institution: University of Toronto
Research Field: History of Science and Technology
Project Title: Conceiving Noise from Fin de Siècle to the Beginning of the Information Age
Research Abstract: Irregular deviations from expected results have been an unavoidable experience in scientific and technological practice. In the first half of the twentieth century, a specific approach to controlling, understanding, and appropriating them emerged. This approach conceived unwanted fluctuations in terms of an originally sonic attribute: noise. It translated the fluctuations into malleable sound, curves, and numbers; adopted analytical techniques from statistical physics and probability theory; and accordingly constructed various mechanisms to “filter” the fluctuations. Such a conceptualization of noise has underlined the treatments of an enormous range of problems from telephone’s hissing tone and the universe’s origin to pilots’ flight patterns and water’s phase transition. How did noise evolve from discordant sound to a ubiquitous designation of our imperfect world? Was there an essential difference between the theory of noise and the statistical worldview formed in the nineteenth century? What material, technical, and social cultures shaped the abstract conceptualization of noise? This project examines the rise of the science and engineering of noise from the dawn of modern physics to the beginning of the Information Age. First, I argue that the prevalence of sound-reproducing technologies (gramophone, telephone, and radio) in the 1870s-1920s facilitated the meaning change of noise. As inventors and engineers working on those technologies introduced various instruments to inscribe sound into generic “signals,” they also set stage for a broader connotation of noise as random changes of any measurable quantity over time. Second, I follow how such a generalization inspired physicists and mathematicians in the 1900s-40s to develop new techniques and concepts in analyzing abstract noise. The theory of stochastic processes, which studied the evolution of random phenomena, was the major product of this intellectual pursuit. Third, I claim that the abstraction of noise did not dissociate with its technological contexts. In the 1910s-50s, engineers also contributed to the studies of noise and applied them in the design and analysis of, among other things, communication systems. Their work would bring crucial legacies to information sciences. Thanks to the interdisciplinary characteristics of noise, my study will contribute to multiple areas in the history of science and technology. In the history of physics, it employs the recent historiographical focus on material culture and scientific practice to examine an engineering context of modern statistical mechanics. In the history of mathematics, it complements the rich literature on classical probability and statistics by highlighting the new development of stochastic processes. In the history of technology, it expands the horizon of the emerging sound studies as it explores the connection between coping with cacophonous tones and conceiving uncertainties in general. Finally, the historical inquiry of noise offers a unique perspective to the origin of information sciences: Inspecting how cyberneticians, information theorists, electrical engineers, and computer scientists circa World War II handled irregular fluctuations reminds us that information was not only an abstract conceptual scheme but also a heterogeneous body of knowledge to deal with problems in engineers’ and scientists’ daily work.

Office: W103 Extension: 8333 Email: cpyeang@ias.edu