Postgrad Project Management Fellowships

The Spatial Humanities Initiative offers two full-time, benefits-eligible Project Management Fellowships each year to recent Rice humanities doctoral graduates. Students in their final year of study may apply for one-year positions the year after graduation. They will serve as project managers on up to four projects, which might entail working with faculty, programmers, geographers, and librarians; learning and implementing new technologies; establishing workflows and ensuring deadlines are met; training and overseeing student workers; establishing and maintaining web sites; and other tasks specific to the projects. The HRC Director and Associate Director, as well as the faculty leads on the projects and members of the library staff, will offer guidance and support to the Project Manager Fellows. These positions will bolster graduates’ CVs for both the academic and non-academic sectors, introduce them to new career trajectories, connect them with scholars and other professionals outside of Rice University, and provide them with support as they prepare for job markets. Application

 

2019-20


Joe T. Carson | Spatial Humanities Project Manager
Ph.D. English, Rice University
American Anthropocenes: Race and Deforestation in the Novel

Focusing on the intersection of environmental history and literary aesthetics, American Anthropocenes: Race and Deforestation in the Novel traces the interwoven environmental and racial histories of deforestation from the eve of the Civil War to the Great Depression. From the plantation to the Great Dismal Swamp, the antebellum novel to the contemporary novel, my project illuminates a persistent yet evolving ecological entanglement between human history and environmental change. Taking its cue from late 19th century African American author Charles Chesnutt, my book project reads the pivotal relationship between the black laboring body and the tree, and my research shows the hitherto now unexamined importance of deforestation and timbering in shaping the politics of race and labor in the American south. In turn, by attending this history, we see how American authors use boards, timber and deforestation as aesthetic vehicles to grapple with history, futurity and finality. I argue this archive of timber and race not only anticipates contemporary theories of the Anthropocene, but it illuminates the limits of the Anthropocene as means to imagine new worlds.


Michael F. Miller | Spatial Humanities Project Manager
Ph.D. English, Rice University
Proximity by Proxy: Contemporary Literature and Cultural Theory in the Age of Social Media
Mapping New Media: Theory, Aesthetics, and Politics by Design
 
Michael F. Miller received his PhD in English from Rice University in 2019. He is co-editor of the forthcoming volume Understanding Flusser, Understanding Modernism, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Arizona Quarterly, Modernism/modernity, boundary 2, and Contemporary Literature, among other venues. He is currently at work on two projects. The first, Proximity by Proxy: Contemporary Literature and Cultural Theory in the Age of Social Media, looks at many recent texts that can be loosely defined as “postdigital” or “post-literary” novels, and it argues that the spatial and affective logics of connection have come to define readers as information users and authors as servers or hosts. The second project, Mapping New Media: Theory, Aesthetics, and Politics by Design, interrogates the networked, computational media that are crucial to the Spatial Humanities. Emphasizing the “designed” nature of the computational media that shape both the Spatial Humanities and the internet—and contemporary internet culture in particular—this project locates and maps the complex relations between computational media technologies, “born-digital” cultural production, and their wide-ranging effects on theoretical, political, and cultural discourses.
 

 

2018-2019


Sydney Boyd | Project Manager Fellow
Ph.D. English, Rice University
Narrative Durations

Sydney’s project focuses on how musical performances engage with specific environments to map sound acoustically and theoretically. Her dissertation, "Narrative Durations", studies how musical duration affects literary perceptions of temporality in the twentieth century novel and necessarily investigates conceptions of spatiality. The project led her from authors to composers whose work presses against convention to formulate new abstractions of the human by using sound environments to manifest varying temporal experiences. Works written explicitly for listening to a fluctuating environment (such as Cage’s 1952 so-called “silent” work 4’33”) give way to work that relies on a specific architecture, such as Alvin Lucier’s 1981 “I am Sitting in a Room,” a work that comprises increasingly abstract acoustic frequencies of a voice recorded and re-recorded in a room. Tracing these ideas means accepting a transformation of contemporary awareness, where bodies exist in space and time, where we listen to and create alternative environments that provoke new experiences, and in turn, where we continually redefine what it means to be human.

Mark Bebawi | Project Manager Fellow (Fall 2018)
Ph.D. Candidate, History, Rice University
The Muslim Brotherhood Reconsidered: Interactions with Secular Nationalism, Military Authoritarianism, and Western Imperialism, 1928-1956 

Mark is studying The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from the group’s creation in 1928 to the 1956 Suez War. His dissertation is titled “The Muslim Brotherhood Reconsidered: Islamism’s Interactions with Secular Nationalism, Military Authoritarianism, and Western Imperialism, 1928-1956.” Mark's study is focused on the impacts of Egyptian, regional, and global political environments on the Brotherhood, and the Brotherhood’s evolving political discourse through its interactions across those environments. Arguing that the Brotherhood simultaneously occupied national (Egyptian) and transnational (Muslim) spaces, Mark is reconsidering the Brotherhood outside of conventional analytical frameworks based on nation states by examining the Brotherhood on its own spatial and geopolitical terms in conjunction with the more familiar terms of nation and empire. 

Laura Richardson | Project Manager Fellow (Spring 2019)
Ph.D. English, Rice University
Houston in the Roaring 20s

Laura studies American and British modernisms. Her book project, Critical Women: Alternative Modernist Hermeneutics, uncovers alternative methods of literary analysis from female poet-scholars between 1920-1945. Laura's Spatial Humanities traveLog project, Moves Like Louis Armstrong, 1901-1922, follows the early years of Louis Armstrong’s life, mapping his movement from his roots in New Orleans through his experiences on a Mississippi River steamboat. The combination of location points with audio recordings of Armstrong’s style in a string of specific geospatial and temporal locations allows for a clearer visualization of Armstrong’s contribution to the migration of Dixieland jazz from its origins in New Orleans to the urban Midwest.

 

2017-2018


Laura Richardson | Project Manager Fellow
Ph.D. English, Rice University
Houston in the Roaring 20s

Laura studies American and British modernisms. Her book project, Critical Women: Alternative Modernist Hermeneutics, uncovers alternative methods of literary analysis from female poet-scholars between 1920-1945. Laura's Spatial Humanities traveLog project, Moves Like Louis Armstrong, 1901-1922, follows the early years of Louis Armstrong’s life, mapping his movement from his roots in New Orleans through his experiences on a Mississippi River steamboat. The combination of location points with audio recordings of Armstrong’s style in a string of specific geospatial and temporal locations allows for a clearer visualization of Armstrong’s contribution to the migration of Dixieland jazz from its origins in New Orleans to the urban Midwest.

Kyle G. Sweeney | Project Manager Fellow 
Ph.D. Art and Architectural History, Rice University
The Travelog of Antonio de Beatis, 1517-1518

Kyle studies the relationship between Gothic architecture and the social, spatial, and ritual topography of towns and cities in late medieval France. He is examining the travelog of Don Antonio de Beatis, a chaplain and scribe who accompanied Cardinal Luigi of Aragon on a grand tour of western Europe (1517-1518). By plotting the sequence of towns and specific monuments as encountered by de Beatis, Kyle aims to create a comparative, critical framework that relates the chaplain's descriptive accounts of châteaux, monasteries, cathedrals, churches, castles, towns, and cities to his movement across space over time. Perhaps then we can begin to understand why de Beatis dismissed Notre-Dame de Paris as "not very beautiful," while others, like the cathedral of Nantes, were praised for their "very fine" impressions. Indeed, mapping de Beatis' range of responses reveals that he had a high degree of visual literacy for a time that featured myriad architectural styles across many cultures.