Historical Studies News
The Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies has released a series of podcast episodes in which three long-time University of Texas at Dallas professors reflect on their memories of World War II.
The series, called “Portraits of World War II,” features Dr. Rainer Schulte, professor of arts and humanities and the Katherine R. Cecil Professor in Foreign Languages; Dr. Frederick Turner, professor of literature and creative writing and Founders Professor; and Dr. Zsuzsanna Ozsváth, professor of literature and history, and the Leah and Paul Lewis Chair of Holocaust Studies.
In his recording, Schulte, founder and director of the Center for Translation Studies in the School of Arts and Humanities, talks about how, when he was a child, the people of his community would try to avoid the bombs that were dropped nearby his hometown and about the many times he and his family spent time in bunkers for protection.
“Planes from the Airport Hahn, which was 30 kilometers away, would continuously fly over our house. We had to continuously avoid the bombs. The phosphorous bombs were the most dangerous, and you had to run. If they hit you, you were gone,” Schulte explains in the episode.
In the second part of the series, Turner recalls V-1 flying bombs in London that missed him and his mother by a few blocks. He also discusses memories of rationing and of seeing propaganda posters.
“My sense of being alive was not like a kid in America now, where much of your experience has to do with friends, school and shopping. It was like living inside a barracks,” he says.
Ozsváth, who is the founding director of the Ackerman Center, explains on the podcast that she was a young child when her family moved from their small town in Hungary to Budapest.
“Had we not moved to Budapest, we would have been killed as all my friends were killed. Not one person under 18 in that town was spared. They were all taken to Auschwitz,” Ozsváth says. She and her family survived the Holocaust in hiding.
In addition to discussing their childhoods, Schulte, Turner and Ozsváth reveal how they all ended up in the Dallas area, where each has made invaluable contributions to their respective academic fields and to the lives of thousands of students at UT Dallas.
The World War II discussions are part of the Ackerman Center podcast, which regularly explores Holocaust-related topics.
The episodes are hosted by Sarah Valente BA’11, MA’13, PhD’19 visiting assistant professor of Holocaust studies, and Dr. Nils Roemer, interim dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, director of the Ackerman Center, and the Stan and Barbara Rabin Professor of Holocaust Studies.
As the UT Dallas community – and the nation at-large – take steps towards better understanding racial differences and histories, faculty from the School of Arts and Humanities have compiled a catalogue of resources for individuals who want to learn about African American studies and race.
Dr. Kimberly Hill, assistant professor of history, said the faculty wanted to provide information to members of the UT Dallas community who have brought renewed attention to racial justice issues.
“Several School of Arts & Humanities faculty and staff offer courses, publications, and public service that can enhance this conversation,” she said. “The topics of race and African American Studies contribute to the ways that we study a variety of fields. The range of publications also suggests the influence of these topics on U.S. and world history.”
Current and Previous Academic Resources Relevant to African American Studies
- ARHM 3342 – Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts and Humanities – The
Harlem Renaissance (Kimberly Hill and Sabrina Starnaman)
- COMM 4350 – Intercultural Communication (Melissa Hernandez-Katz)
- COMM 3351 – History & Theory of Communication (Barbara Baker)
- COMM 3352 – Media & Culture (Carie King, Janet Johnson)
- FILM 3342 – Topics in Film – Race, Gender, & Cinema (Shilyh Warren)
- HIST 1301 – U.S. History to the Civil War (Ben Wright, Kimberly Hill, and Whitney Stewart)
- HIST 1302 – U.S. History from the Civil War (Whitney Stewart)
- HIST 2301 – History of Texas (Whitney Stewart)
- HIST 2330 – The Civil War and Reconstruction (Ben Wright)
- HIST 2381 – Survey of African American History (Natalie Ring)
- HIST 2384 – U.S. Women from Settlement to Present (Anne Gray Fischer)
- HIST 3366 – Themes in Social History – Migration and American Civilization (Kimberly Hill)
- HIST 3366 – Themes in Social History – History of Prisons (Anne Gray Fischer)
- HIST 3390 – Twentieth Century African American History (Kimberly Hill)
- HIST 4376 – Public History (Whitney Stewart)
- HIST 4378 – Topics in History – Slavery in American Popular Culture and Film (Natalie Ring)
- HIST 4384 – Topics in Southern History – Origins of the Jim Crow South (Natalie Ring)
- HIST 4381 – Topics in Comparative History – The African Diaspora (Kimberly Hill)
- LIT 3300 – Western Literary Tradition (Sean Cotter)
- LIT 3314 – Continental Modernist Poetry (Sean Cotter)
- LIT 3329 – Ethnic American Literature – Harlem Renaissance (Tim Redman – retired)
- LIT 3337 – Literature & Military Dictatorship in Latin America (Sarah Valente)
- LIT 3329 – Ethnic American Literature – Foundations of African American Literature, 1850-1950 (Sabrina Starnaman)
- LIT 4348 – Topics in Literature – Literature & Social Engagement (Sabrina Starnaman)
- LIT 4329 – Major Authors – Toni Morrison (Theresa Towner)
- HIST 6320 – Nineteenth-Century America (Ben Wright)
- HIST 6325 – America in the Twentieth Century (Kimberly Hill)
- HIST 6332 – Slavery in America (Ben Wright)
- HUHI 6314 – Thought, Culture, and Society in the United States – Long Civil Rights Movement (Kimberly Hill)
- HIST 7306 – Women and the Holocaust (Sarah Valente)
- HUHI 6346 – New Directions in Southern Studies – Race and Religion in the American South (Kimberly Hill)
- HUHI 6346 – New Directions in Southern Studies (Natalie Ring)
- HUSL 6309 – Continental Modernist Poetry (Sean Cotter)
- HUSL 6309 – Literary Movements – Harlem Renaissance (Tim Redman – retired)
- HUSL 6381 – Critical Approaches to Translation (Sean Cotter)
- HIST 6390 – Topics in History – Slavery in American Popular Culture and Film (Natalie Ring)
- HIST 6390 – Topics in History – History of Prisons and Punishment (Natalie Ring)
- HUSL 6398 – World Literature (Sean Cotter)
- HUHI 6320 – Early American Material Culture (Whitney Stewart)
- HUHI 6390 – Public History (Whitney Stewart)
- Stephanie Cole, Natalie J. Ring, and Peter Wallenstein, eds. The Folly of Jim Crow: Rethinking the Segregated South (University of Texas Press 2012).
- Kimberly D. Hill, A Higher Mission: The Careers of Alonzo and Althea Brown Edmiston in Central Africa (New Directions in Southern History series) (UPK 2020).
- Kimberly Hill, “Anti-Slavery Work by the American Women of the Presbyterian Congo Mission,” in Faith and Slavery in the Presbyterian Diaspora, William Harrison Taylor, Peter C. Messer, eds. (Lehigh 2016), 205-230.
- Kimberly Hill, “Maria Fearing: Domestic Adventurer,” in Alabama Women: Their Lives and Times, Lisa Lindquist Dorr and Susan Youngblood Ashmore, eds. (UGA 2017), 90-107.
- Natalie Ring, The Problem South: Region, Empire, and the New Liberal State, 1880-1930 (Politics and Culture in the Twentieth-Century South) (UGA 2012).
- Ben Wright, Bonds of Salvation: How Christianity Inspired and Limited American Abolitionism (LSU 2020).
- Ben Wright and Zachary W. Dresser eds., Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era (LSU 2013).
- Joseph L. Locke and Ben Wright eds., The American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook (Stanford 2019).
- Amy Louise Wood and Natalie Ring, eds. Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South (Univ. of Illinois Press 2019).
- Anne Gray Fischer, “‘Land of the White Hunter’: Legal Liberalism and the Racial Politics of Morals Enforcement in Midcentury Los Angeles,” Journal of American History, 105, no. 4 (March 2019), 868–884.
- Anne Gray Fischer, “‘The Place is Gone!’: Policing Black Women to Redevelop Downtown Boston,” Journal of Social History, 53, no. 1 (Fall 2019), 7–26.
- Anne Gray Fischer, “Centering Women on Occupied Territory,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights (forthcoming, December 2020).
- Whitney Nell Stewart and John Garrison Marks, eds., Race and Nation in the Age of Emancipations (Athens: University of Georgia, 2018).
- Whitney Nell Stewart, “Fashioning Frenchness: Gens de Couleur Libres and the Cultural Struggle for Power in Antebellum New Orleans,” Journal of Social History 51, no. 3 (February 2018), 526–56.
- Whitney Nell Stewart, “The Material Culture of Freedom: African American Women and the Southern Free Black Home after the Civil War,” in Creators and Consumers: Women and Material Culture and Visual Art in 19th-Century Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest, The David B. Warren Symposium, vol. 5(Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2016), 46–58.
- Shilyh Warren, “Recognition on the Surface of Madeline Anderson’s I Am Somebody,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38, no. 2 (Winter 2013): 353-78.
- Richard S. Newman and Ben Wright, eds., The Abolition Seminar: An educational tool for teachers, students, and all who fight for freedom (abolitionseminar.org).
- Joseph L. Locke and Ben Wright eds., The American Yawp Reader: A U.S. History Primary Source Collection (http://www.americanyawp.com/reader.html).
- Undergraduate Success Scholars Mentor (Ben Wright and Kimberly Hill); USS Presenter (Melissa Hernandez-Katz and Carie King)
- Black History Month programming organizer (Kimberly Hill)
- Diversity Awards Ceremony and Multicultural Achievement Ceremony volunteer (Kimberly Hill)
- First Gen Program Supporters (Melissa Hernandez-Katz, Megan Hering Gray, and Carie King)
- Member, Dallas Memorial to Victims of Racial Violence Advisory Board (Kimberly Hill)
- Member, Diversity Scholars Network, National Center for Institutional Diversity (Anne Gray Fischer)
- Dr. Melissa Hernandez-Katz received the 2018 UTD Diversity Award.
The School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas has three new tenured and tenure-track faculty members who bring a wide range of expertise — in gender, race and law enforcement studies, poetry and creative writing, and art history.
“I am excited about our new hires, who already are very accomplished. They bring fresh perspectives in their respective fields and already have expressed an interest in collaborating across disciplines,” said Dr. Nils Roemer, interim dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and the Stan and Barbara Rabin Professor in Holocaust Studies.
Roemer assumed the interim dean role Sept. 1 and continues his position as director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies.
Earlier this year, Dr. Michael Thomas was named director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and teaches classes in art history. The institute, created in 2014 with a generous endowment from arts patron Edith O’Donnell, is the first art history research institute founded in the digital age. Thomas also holds the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair and serves as a professor of arts and humanities while directing the school’s art history graduate studies program.
Dr. Anne Gray Fischer’s research focuses on the ways that women in history have been policed by law enforcement officers — why some are targeted and others are not. She uses the information to examine how and why police power expanded in America in the 20th century. Fischer received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Brown University.
Roemer said Fischer is a true believer in the importance of historical research and thinking.
“Her research and teaching offer a much-needed historical perspective on political issues of our societies,” he said.
Dr. Nomi Stone, an anthropologist, poet and scholar, is writing a collection of poems about science and scientists. Her most recent collection of poems, “Kill Class,” is based on her anthropological fieldwork on American militarism and the 2003 Iraq War. Stone received a PhD in cultural anthropology from Columbia University, a Master of Philosophy in Middle East studies from the University of Oxford and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from Warren Wilson College.
“Students will be excited to travel with her to the boundaries of anthropological fieldwork and poetic creativity,” Roemer said.
In addition to the O’Donnell Institute and the Ackerman Center, the school is home to a number of centers for research and scholarly study, including the newly established Center for Asian Studies. The school offers degree programs in visual and performing arts, art history, historical studies, history, history of ideas, humanities, Latin American studies, literature and philosophy.
New Tenure-Track Faculty
Dr. Anne Gray Fischer, assistant professor of history
Previously: visiting assistant professor at Indiana University Bloomington
Research Interests: gender, race and law enforcement, specifically policing in U.S. cities during the 20th century
Quote: “I’m very excited about the STEM-forward profile of the students at UT Dallas because one of my favorite things to do is to expose history to students who otherwise might not have encountered a lot of these stories. I hope that students, regardless of their future career paths, will feel the lasting benefit and reward of engaging in historical thinking. I’m also very excited to discover collaborative possibilities with faculty across campus. I look forward to seeing what happens when faculty members get together, create an inspired spark and develop new insights.”
Dr. Nomi Stone, assistant professor of creative writing and literature
Previously: postdoctoral research assistant at Princeton University
Research Interests: poetry and poetics; anthropoetics; empire and militarism; phenomenology and affect; science studies
Quote: “I love the hybridity and cross-pollination at UT Dallas. I’m an anthropologist and a poet — a scholar who also writes creatively — so this is just the exact right fit for me. Braiding these things together is my passion. I haven’t seen a place that does collaboration as well as this place. I see a real investment in bringing seemingly disparate things together.”
According to Dr. Whitney Stewart, there’s a different way to tell the story of how people lived during the antebellum period in the U.S. By looking at the objects found at old plantations, for example, the disparity of life in the South becomes clearer.
“I study how race as an idea, as a construct, becomes reality through the things we create, consume and discard,” said Stewart, an assistant professor of history in the School of Arts and Humanities and an affiliate of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at The University of Texas at Dallas. “Whether a quilt, a piece of furniture, landscaping or architecture, I’m interested in how we inscribe our own ideas of race into those spaces and objects.”
Stewart is writing a book that explores the racialized nature of “home” in the 19th-century South. In it, she explores plantations in Texas and Louisiana and how African Americans were motivated to create their homes during and after slavery, as well as the ramifications that have come from a racialized understanding of home.
“I want people to remember that these sites were not just sites of labor for enslaved people, but were also sites of living and sites of homebuilding, or what I call ‘home-making.’ Because when we think about home-making and how our society looks at home-making on plantations, we typically focus only on the white families,” Stewart said.
According to Stewart, because plantation tours typically focus on the large, ornate mansions, tourists who visit Southern plantations rarely get the full story of life in the South.
“Tourist sites throughout the South have continued this racialized landscape that evolved in the 19th century through to today. Visitors move through these spaces not realizing that enslavers, the men and women who were enslaving other people, were creating spaces that were meant to privilege whiteness over blackness,” she said.
Stewart has been working with state historians and plantation directors to encourage them to reorient the stories that are shared at Southern plantations.
“I would want to see tours start in the slave cabins and quarters because those actually are the places where the vast majority of people on these medium-to-large plantations lived. And that’s where they sought to build ‘home.’ Then we can expand out and look at the mansion, the fields, and the other areas of labor and living and begin to really understand the complex relationships and lives that were built on these plantations,” she said.
Last summer Stewart visited Southern plantations to research home life in the 19th century. This summer she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the American Antiquarian Society, which will allow her to engage in archival research at the society. She will take the location-based research she has done and, by looking at published materials, broaden it beyond individual plantations to regional and national contexts.
She said her book should provide context and guidance for three different groups: academics, public historians and the general public.
“I want people to ask more questions and to ‘read the landscape’ and their material world in more nuanced ways,” Stewart said.
This article originally appeared in the UTD News Center.
Dr. David Patterson, professor of literature and history and Hillel A. Feinberg Chair in Holocaust Studies, has been appointed to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
The commission was established 10 years ago to ensure that resources about the Holocaust and other genocides are available to students, educators and the public.
“The sense of urgency about awareness of what happened in the Holocaust and why it matters is growing,” Patterson said. “It’s in the interest of citizens and the culture to examine the ethical question of what makes another human being matter. That’s something we are prone to forget or ignore.”
The Texas Legislature created the commission in 2009. Since then, its staff and volunteers have worked on projects to meet the commission’s mission, including educating hundreds of Texas teachers through regional live workshops, developing an online digital library for educators, and recording the audio and visual oral histories of 19 Texans who helped liberate concentration camps.
Patterson, who previously served on the Tennessee State Holocaust Commission, is filling an incomplete term on the Texas commission, which ends in February 2021.
From the legendary book and movie “Giant” to J.R. Ewing’s oil empire, this spring’s American Cultures class was all about Texas.
Assignments in the American studies class included reading works by authors Larry McMurtry and Lawrence Wright and watching the TV show “Dallas” and classic films like “The Last Picture Show” and “Selena” in order to understand the Lone Star State and its place in American culture.
One afternoon, students examined artifacts that were collected along the Texas-Mexico border. The class collaborated on a project with Bredt Bredthauer, an educator who is walking a portion of the border this spring. Students conducted interviews with Bredthauer during his travels.
Bredthauer also sent the class a variety of items to examine: candles with depictions of religious figures, toiletries believed to have been discarded after people crossed the border, and a set of Texas sesquicentennial placemats from 1986.
The images on the placemats depict Texas’ larger-than-life image, Dr. Larissa Werhnyak, senior lecturer in interdisciplinary studies and American studies program head, told students during a recent class.
“The placemats have facts that celebrate the ways that Texas is bigger, stronger and ‘more than’ anyplace else,” Werhnyak said. “There’s the sense that Texas is really preoccupied with bigness and bestness.”
Another item Bredthauer sent the class was a large, weathered black inner tube that had been used to cross the Rio Grande. It sparked the most discussion. Students said the thick rubber tube made them think about the difficult journey of the person or people who had used it.
“I’m trying to put myself in that position. I’m trying to imagine that person and what happened at that moment,” said Sheri Cochran, an American studies major.
The purpose of the project was to gain a better understanding of the border as a region and how it fits into perceptions of Texas and the U.S.
Kendall Kadleck, a psychology major, said she has never traveled to the Texas border but the class has given her a much better understanding of the region.
“I think it’s especially interesting how the culture in other parts of the state varies from the culture here, even though we’re all in Texas,” Kadleck said. “There’s a perception that Texas is all one culture, but you can really break it down by region.”
The American studies program in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies focuses on the institutions, arts, structures and social processes of the U.S. The program includes a range of classes, including American Health Policy, Gender in American Culture, the American Environment, Popular Culture and others.
Elizabeth “Tess” Helfrich, a biology and historical studies junior at The University of Texas at Dallas, hopes a distinguished scholarship will provide the next step in her journey toward practicing emergency medicine overseas.
Helfrich is the first Eugene McDermott Scholar to receive a Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program. She will spend the next year studying modern standard Arabic as well as the local Ammiya dialect at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan.
The Boren Scholarship provides up to $20,000 for study in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East.
Helfrich is the University’s fourth Boren award winner. Aysha Khan received a Boren Fellowship for graduate students in 2017. Hyunjoo “Eunice” Ko received a Boren Scholarship for undergraduates in 2014. Boren recipients are typically students interested in international studies and politics, but Helfrich sees the medical field as another path toward improving global relations.
“In my travels, I’ve seen the impact and honor that comes with being an American citizen more than ever before, but we obviously have some perception problems. Health care is a good way to change that, and UTD has let me find that path,” she said.
Helfrich already has a head start on reaching her goals. Her interest in Arabic language and culture was stirred when she attended a Michigan international high school, where about 45% of the population was composed of Arab Americans, many of whom were Muslim. She also studied basic Arabic for a semester at UT Dallas.
Additionally, Helfrich has medical experience as an emergency medical technician working with the University Emergency Medical Response team at UT Dallas.
“Everything’s different every day. You never know what you’re going to walk in on, and you have to make split-second decisions,” she said. “The EMT squad is so passionate and smart, and it’s so cool to see the care they place in their work.”
And she has experience living overseas. She spent last summer in Sierra Leone, shadowing physicians who were working on clinical trials of an Ebola vaccine in a pediatric ward. That’s where she saw a clash between Western medical training and cultural values.
“Some cultures see the blood as finite, so our standard practice of withdrawing blood is seen as taking their life force,” Helfrich said.
She hopes living in Jordan will give her further insight into cultural differences. She will supplement her Arabic studies by maintaining her UT Dallas coursework through independent study classes on topics such as women in the Middle East and public history. She also will have an internship that focuses on refugee health care.
“With her engagement with global affairs and emergency medical response, Tess is helping to expand the different meanings of national security that the Boren Scholarship seeks to promote,” said Dr. Douglas Dow, associate dean of the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College and clinical professor of political science. “Tess has an adventurous and cosmopolitan spirit in addition to her strong set of diverse academic interests. I’m very happy she will be representing UTD in Jordan next year.”
The tale begins in 1962 when Ozsváth and her late husband, Dr. Istvan Ozsváth, stepped out for supper with some friends in Hamburg, Germany.
When they arrived at the establishment, the group noticed that many of the tables and chairs were stacked to the side. The room, uncrowded when they arrived, swelled with more and more people as the evening went on.
“Suddenly four guys came up on stage,” Ozsváth recalled. “They didn’t look very clever.”
To Ozsváth, a classically trained pianist, the band’s rock ’n’ roll style was like oil is to water. The dinner party soon left in search of a quieter place.
“We were having such a wonderful discussion,” she said, “but we couldn’t talk, and we couldn’t hear one another because of the unbearable music that was playing.”
Fast forward a few years.
“We had just bought a television. I was in the other room and suddenly Pista [her husband] calls me in to see a band playing on a program,” Ozsváth said. “It was the band we saw at the restaurant.”
A guest soon arrived for coffee and conversation, and Ozsváth asked about the band playing. The friend paused and said, “Well, they’re the Beatles.”
The School of Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas has three new tenure-track faculty members who will teach and conduct research in their respective fields — Middle Eastern history, literature and philosophy.
“The essence of the humanities is to always encourage people to put their ideas into a larger context. We have found three scholars who not only are going to be strong participants and contributors to specific fields, but also have the ability to put their thinking and their teaching in this grander context of the humanities and values,” said Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and Ignacy and Celina Rockover Professor. “We’re making an investment in people who will make a significant mark in their field, in the school and at the University.”
The school offers degree programs in visual and performing arts, art history, historical studies, history, history of ideas, humanities, Latin American studies, literature and philosophy, and is home to several centers of research and scholarly study. In addition, the school houses the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History — a center for innovative research and graduate education in art history with an extensive partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art.
New Tenure-Track Faculty
Dr. Rosemary Admiral, assistant professor of history
Previously: PhD candidate and graduate student instructor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests: Middle Eastern and North African history, pre-modern Moroccan history, Islamic legal studies, gender and feminism
Quote: “Women today have complex relationships with Islamic law. I wanted to see how these relationships mapped onto the past, particularly in the case of North Africa. My research found women engaging with the law in creative and strategic ways, not only through the courts but also by way of a number of less-formal community spaces that they carved out for themselves. UTD’s commitment to research in the humanities within the larger framework of science and technology provides a unique space in which to continue this research and explore the implications for modern legal contexts. I am excited and honored to be a part of this innovative and diverse community.”
Dr. Katherine Davies, assistant professor of philosophy
Previously: visiting assistant professor of philosophy, Miami University
Research Interests: continental philosophy, ethics and feminist theory
Quote: “I am drawn to philosophy because of its slow, careful and critical thinking habits. I take philosophy to be a practice of figuring out how to best align our thinking with what we think about, i.e., the world and everything that makes it up. In my teaching, I work toward practicing this with my students through reading enduring texts from across the history of philosophy that invite this kind of deliberation. These historical texts often nevertheless bear upon some of the most pressing issues in our contemporary world, which we discuss in the classroom. I’ve been so impressed with the eagerness and interest I’ve seen from my students here at UTD already. I look forward to continuing to learn to be a better thinker and philosopher with them and with my impressive colleagues on the faculty.”
Dr. Erin Greer, assistant professor of literature
Previously: PhD candidate and graduate student instructor, the University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests: 20th- and 21st-century British and Anglophone fiction, ordinary language philosophy and critical theory
Quote: “Novels, and the critical acts of reading and writing about novels, provide arenas for imagining possible ways to be: ways for people to be and ways for societies to be. My current project focuses particularly on how novels (along with aesthetic, political and language philosophy) can help us reimagine political discourse — a task that seems increasingly urgent in global politics. Because my work is a dialogue between literature and philosophy, I’m thrilled to join the inherently interdisciplinary arts and humanities school at UT Dallas.”
The Office of Graduate Studies at UT Dallas honored six doctoral students for writing the best dissertations in their respective schools. The 2018 Best Dissertation Awards were presented as part of an April reception celebrating excellence in graduate education.
To be considered for the best dissertation award, the paper must have been completed in the past 12 months. Faculty committees in six of the University’s schools chose the best dissertation. The winning students have all completed their doctoral degrees.
“The doctoral dissertation is an original, substantial piece of creative research that represents a lot of hard work,” said Dr. Marion Underwood, dean of graduate studies and Ashbel Smith Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. “The students that we honored represented the best of the best.”
This year’s recipients included Sumathi Ramanath, BA’05, MA’08, PhD’18, School of Arts and Humanities (Humanities – History of Ideas), Title: “Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science: Mahendralal Sircar and His Science, Morality, and Nationalism”, Research Mentor: Dr. Pamela Gossin.