Center for the Humanities

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Congratulations to our Fall 2014 Grant Winners!

Faculty Subvention Grants:

 Leslie Kealhofer-Kemp, Assistant Professor of French, for her forthcoming book: Muslim Women in French Cinema: Voices of Maghrebi Migrants in France (Under contract with Liverpool University Press)
This study engages in on-going contemporary debates relating to the place of Maghrebi (North African) migrants and their descendants in France and the ways in which these matters are addressed through cinematic cultural productions. It seeks to fill a critical gap in scholarship and in doing so further knowledge in the humanities by analyzing the cinematic representations of a part of the Maghrebi population in France which, in comparison to youth of Maghrebi descent, is rarely in the public spotlight or the focus of media attention: first generation Muslim women from the Maghreb.


Kim Hensley Owens, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, for her forthcoming book: Writing Childbirth: Women’s Rhetorical Agency in Labor and Online
Kim’s forthcoming book honors and explores the rthetorical choices of everyday women- everyday women whose vocations range from stay-at-home mother to lawyer to bus driver- who write birth stories and post them online. These everyday women are using writing and technology to share and understand their experiences, and often as ways to write against/about patriarchal control and institutionalized medicine. The book examines the rhetorical functions of those birth stories, and the sites in which they are housed. It examines women’s rhetorical choices and influences as birthing women and as writers.

  Galen Johnson
, Professor of Philosophy, for his forthcoming book: Merleau-­Ponty’s Poets and Poetics

Maurice Merleau- Ponty (1908-1961), the leaning French phenominolgist of the twentieth century, is best known within aesthetics for his writings on modern painting. Nevertheless, the scope of Merleau-Ponty’s interest and writings on the arts went far beyond modern painting to sculpture, photography, music, cinema, and literature. Merleau-­Ponty’s Poets and Poetics will be the first study devoted entirely to Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of literature. Galen has been working on this project with two co-authors who are philosophers in France, Emmanuel de Saint Aubert (École Normal Supérieure, Paris) and Mauro Carbone (University of Lyon 3).

Graduate Research Grants:

Rachel May, English, for her project: The Vanishe- Yesterday: 1798-1952
The Vanishe- Yesterday: 1798-1952, is a detailed study of the Crouch-Cushman quilt tops whose fabric and paper ephemera hold two-hundred years of history. The quilt tops are unique not only as evidence of one family’s connection between Providence and Charlseton during the Civil War, but also because they track Rhode Island’s textile history, marking the transition from hand-woven to machine-made cloth, changes in printing techniques, and Rhode Island’s connection with the slave trade.
Rachel is also the author of Quilting with a Modern Slant, which has been featured and reviewed in The Providence JournalThe Chicago TribuneThe LA TimesPublishers WeeklyLibrary Journal, and on

Johanna Tower, Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design, for her project: “Fresh and Fashionable Goods”: The Account Books of Elijah Boardman, Connecticut Merchant, 1784-1811 
Johanna’s research examines a sampling of the account books of Elijah Boardman spanning roughly form the end of the American Revolution to in 1783 to the beginning of the War of 1812, a period of great significance to the history of American dress. Her project seeks to illustrate how rural New Englanders responded to the changing landscapes of fashion and the textile industry during this period based upon goods such as the satins and calicoes purchased at the Boardman store in Litchfield Connecticut.

 For a complete list of past grant winners, please click here! To learn how you can be next, check out the requirements for our Spring Grant Cycle!

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