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Resident Graduate Scholars

We are delighted to introduce the 2022-2023 Resident Graduate Scholars at the UIC Institute for the Humanities.  

The Institute's Resident Graduate Scholars receive competitive one-year appointments, during which they receive office space and other resources to complete their dissertations, which are deemed as important contributions to the humanities.

Resident Graduate Scholars join the vibrant community of scholars at the Institute. Each will present a chapter of ongoing research as part of the Interdisciplinary Dissertation Workshop series.

Scroll down the page for links to past years' Graduate Resident Scholars.

Caterina Scalvedi, Department of History Heading link

Caterina Scalvedi

Education in Fascist Italy’s Colonial Empire: Ideologies, Policy, Experiences (1922-43)

Drawing from archival and printed sources located in Italy, France, Greece, the UK, and the US, my doctoral project explores the intellectual and social history of education in fascist Italy’s colonial possessions of Eritrea, Somalia, Libya, Ethiopia, and the Dodecanese Islands (1922-43). First, it argues that policymakers, experts, and grassroots actors engaged in an open, lively, and international discussion on the scope of colonial schools while experimenting with different but connected educational projects in each colony. Second, it explores the interactions and incongruities of educational discussions and policy with teachers and students’ experiences at colonial schools, arguing that top-down definitions of Italian nation, race, and citizenship collided with localized practices of education across the empire. Telling the first colonial history of fascist education, my research questions the colonizer/colonized binary and a state-centered approach in the study of both colonialism and fascism; complicates univocal understandings of “fascist” vis-à-vis “liberal” education and colonialism; and uncovers so-far neglected local agencies in the colonial situation and their connections to nationalizing school projects in Europe and North America.

Kaveh Rafie, Department of Philosophy Heading link

Kaveh Rafie

Pleated Modernity: Modern Art in Iran, 1941 – 1979

As Iranian artists became disillusioned with internationalism and frustrated with attempts to create a democratic Iran in the 1950s, they began exploring local cultural traditions as the basis for a new culture. They gradually sought refuge in a communal identity, or “return to the fold,” so to speak. I claim that the infatuation of many of these artists with fabric should not be solely associated with a propensity for indigeneity of design concepts—which was in part true—but also with a desire for a certain way of worldmaking embodied by the fold. My study examines the ways in which the state, cultural operatives, and artists contested the meaning of Iranian modern art to promulgate a sense of national identity between 1941 and 1979. Furthermore, it proposes a framework for navigating between national and transnational art historical approaches, which often err on the side of isolating localism or blandly general globalism. Because modern art in the late Pahlavi period consistently holds the opposing forces of centripetal nativism and centrifugal cosmopolitanism on the same plane, it is best understood to engage in a folding operation that brings a traditional, even “primitive” past into jarring juxtaposition with the aesthetic languages of a global capitalist marketplace in which “nations” compete for economic sovereignty.

2021-2022 Resident Graduate Scholars

2020-2021 Resident Graduate Scholars

2019-2020 Resident Graduate Scholars

2018-2019 Resident Graduate Scholars

2017-2018 Resident Graduate Scholars

2016-2017 Resident Graduate Scholars

2014-2015 Dissertation Fellows

2013-2014 Dissertation Fellows

2012-2013 Dissertation Fellows

2011-2012 Dissertation Fellows