Research News


Published May 24, 2013

The UB Humanities Institute (HI) has named eight Faculty Research Fellows for 2013-14.

“Our fellows are the best. They are innovators—cutting-edge scholars whose work places them at the forefront of their disciplines,” says institute Director Erik Seeman, professor of history.

The Faculty Research Fellowships are among several offered by the institute. They will fund the fellows’ release from teaching two courses in the coming academic year, permitting them to focus on a major research project. In addition, fellows will actively participate in institute programs and present their work as part of the “Scholars @ Hallwalls” lecture series.

“The release time is very appealing, of course, but the fellowship also affords recipients the opportunity to regularly discuss their research with one another and with the public, a process that broadens everyone’s understanding of the work going on here and promotes cross-disciplinary engagement,” Seeman says.

“It is more difficult than it sounds to explain your academic work broadly and discuss its implications for the audience in particular and to society in general,” he says, adding that the fellows enjoy this challenge and say they very much enjoy discussing their work with those who ordinarily would not be exposed to it.

“Our definition of ‘humanities’ is broad,” Seeman says, “which means that our fellows come from many academic fields—literature, history, classics, anthropology, sociology, geography, music, the visual and preforming arts, and more,

“Three of the fellowships are generously supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The OVPR/HI Faculty Fellows are selected from proposals that are particularly strong in the promotion of the interdisciplinary mission shared by the OVPR and the institute,” he says.

The 2013-14 HI fellows and their research projects:

Joe Conte

Joseph Conte

  • Joseph Conte, professor, Department of English. Conte’s project, “Transnational Politics and the Post-9/11 Novel,” suggests that literature produced after Sept. 11, 2001 reflects a shift from the provincial politics of nation-states to those of transnational politics, and confronts issues that require adjudication across national, geographic, cultural, linguistic, religious and racial borders. Conte cites Don DeLillo’s “Falling Man,” Orhan Pamuk’s “Snow” and J.M. Coetzee’s “Diary of a Bad Year” as examples of work that articulates the emergence of resistance to the global hegemony of the market state and explicitly critiques transnational politics that arise as a result of globalization.