Graduate Student Awards and Accomplishments

May 1, 2015
Department of Comparative Studies

Our grad students have accomplished a lot this year. They have presented work at conferences, reached milestones in writing their theses and dissertations, had work published, won awards, and won money for research and travel. Here is a report of what our students have been up to this year. 

ZEYNEP AYDOGDU: Zeynep was awarded 2014-2015 Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Small Grant and a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant. She presented a conference paper titled “Visualities of the Veil: Comics and the Shifting Perspectives in Muslim Self-Representation” at the 7th Annual Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies Graduate Student Conference at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM on April 3, 2015. AT the same conference, her paper was granted “The Stefania Gray Graduate Presentation Award” which is given annually as part of the UNM Department of Foreign Languages' Cultural Studies graduate student conference. 
 
CRISTINA BENEDETTI: In November, Cristina presented a paper the American Folklore Society Annual Meeting in Santa Fe titled “Festival Economics: Ludic Labor in Late Capitalism” on the panel “Thinking Through Abundance and Scarcity: Adaptations in Folk Economics.”  In March, she presented some preliminary research on her National Mall project at the DEALL-CFS Symposium on Chinese and North American Folklore. Cristina also participated in a group presentation in December for community stakeholders about Poindexter Village, as part of a public history course during fall semester.  And, as a culmination of her work as Graduate Archivist for the Center for Folklore Studies this year, Cristina is creating online galleries for the Ohio Arts Council Collections (1977-1982), which will help publicize the existence of these collections for future researchers. Cristina also received a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant. Cristina also received the Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Award for 2015 from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The funding will support summer research at the LC and in  other DC archives for her dissertation work on the history of the Mall as a public space. Cristina will also be conducting field observations at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 
 
KAY K. CLOPTON: Kay presented a conference paper at the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association on April 1, 2015. Her paper was entitled "Manga and Silent Film – Building a Bridge Between Modern Gitaigo, Giongo and the Benshi."
 
DAN DiPIERO: Dan presented “Beyond The Event: Contingency and Indeterminacy in Music and Politics” at the UC-Irvine Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference, "N-Determination and Critical Practices of Resistance.” He also presented “No Such Thing: Rancière and Political Art” at the Ohio State University Comparative Studies Departmental Colloquium, “(Un)Disciplined: A Conference Around the Praxis of Interdisciplinarity.” He was on the organizing committee for that colloquium, and the graduate student representative for the Lecture Committee this year. Dan received an Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Small Grant and a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Award to travel to the conference in Irvine. 
 
CAROLYN ELERDING: During the 2014-2015 academic year, Carolyn Elerding became involved with two cyberfeminist pedagogy and research organizations, FemTechNet and the Fembot Collective, and taught courses at OSU in feminist and postcolonial digital humanities, critical theory, and cultural studies of science and technology. She presented papers at two conferences, and her article "Mass Online Education: Dialectic of Enlightenment 2.0" was published in Mediations. She will attend the 2015 summer session of the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University."
 
KATI FITZGERALD: Kati gave the paper “Tibetan Opera as Intangible Cultural Heritage: Ownership & Agency” at The Ohio State University Mershon Research Network in Cultural Resilience conference, “Sustainable Pluralism: Linguistic and Cultural Resilience in Multi-Ethnic Societies,” on September 5, 2014. She also presented “Historicizing Scripts of Tibetan Opera: Bibliographic Significance of the Biography of Nangsa Ohbum” on March 26, 2015 at the International Conference on Chinese Oral and Performing Literature (CHINOPERL) in Chicago. She was the recipient of the 2015 Robert L. and Phyllis J. Iles Award for Graduate Study of Myth for her upcoming project “Performative Mythology: Tibetan Opera in America.” She will be continuing her studies next fall with a generous Chinese FLAS fellowship awarded by The East Asian Studies Center. 
 
MICHAEL MURPHY: Michael has co-written with UCAT Director Alan Kalish the following chapter, which is in press: Kalish, A., & Murphy, M. "Setting and Communicating Learning Goals and Expectations." In L. L. B. Border (Ed.), Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development XX (Vol. 16). Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. He also co-presented a poster at the annual Professional and Organizational Development Network (POD Network) conference in November entitled “Reassessing Goals for Center Social Media: Leveraging Offline Relationships.” 
 
GABRIEL PISER: Gabriel Piser's chapter "Participation and Transformation in 21st Century Appalachian Scholarship" has been selected for inclusion in a forthcoming volume from University of Kentucky Press called Appalachia Revisited: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives On Regional Continuity And Change. He presented his paper “Conflict, Solidarity, Imagination: Affect in Appalachian Development” at the 2015 Appalachian Studies Association Conference, where he also was offered membership in a number of the Association's standing committees. He was selected as a panel participant at the 2015 Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference, where he delivered a paper entitled “Subjectivity and Resistance: Recording/Recoding Circuits of Energy in Land-based Political Movements.” He presented his paper "Becoming Bodies: Affective Circuits in the Bakken Gas Fields” with poet and scholar Brett Zehner (MFA) at the 2014 Anthropocene Feminism Conference. At the 2014 conference for the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences he presented his paper “Engaged, Collaborative, and Transdisciplinary: Experimentation in Anthropocene Environmental Studies.” He was also recently brought by Whitman College to run a non-violent civil disobedience practicum as part of their Power and Privilege Symposium. He has received support through the Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant, the Appalachia Studies Conference Scholarship, and the Imagining America Conference Scholarship.
 
AMANDA RANDHAWA: Amanda Randhawa received a travel grant from the Sawyer Seminar, “Crossroads: Culture, Politics, and Belief in the Balkans and South Asia” (supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) and a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant.. In November, Amanda also presented her paper, “Meenakshi's Other Face: Agency in the Construction of the Rural Divine in Tamilnadu,” at the American Folklore Society Annual Conference. In June she presided as chair on the panel “Linking Fluidities: Rural-Grey Areas and Class Mobility,” at the Conference for the Study of Religion in India. Amanda has also been very busy with the Religious Studies Roundtable and she founded the South Asian Graduate Studies Association. 
 
AFSANE REZAEI: In November 2014, Afsane presented a paper at the American Folklore Society’s Annual Meeting in Santa Fe, NM. The paper entitled “Political Humor in Trying Times: The ‘Thanks Rouhani’ joke cycle and its conflicting interpretations” was presented as part of the panel “Common Ground, Slippery Meaning: Humor, Liminality, and Emergence in Iran, Turkey, and Armenia.” The paper was awarded the Third Annual Bill Ellis prize given by the “New Directions in Folklore” section at AFS for the best graduate essay combining research and analysis on folklore and new media. My essay has also been submitted for peer review and publication in the section’s journal, New Directions in Folklore. Afsane was awarded a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant as well as the Arts and Humanities Small Grant for presenting her research at AFS. In April 2015, she presented a paper entitled “'My Stealthy Freedom': Gender, Power, and Narratives of Public Unveiling in Iran” at the 8th IU/OSU joint conference in Folklore and Ethnomusicology in Bloomington, Indiana.
 
SARAH JASMINE STORK: Jasmine was the graduate representative for the Undergraduate Studies Committee. She acted as panel moderator for “’I Thought if I Worked Hard...’ Women and Work in Atypical Professions” at the 2014 National Women Studies Association Conference. She also received a Ray Travel Award and a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant to give a paper entitled “Asexual-izing Sherlock: Asexuality in Sherlock Fanfiction” at the 2015 Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference.
 
VIDAR THORSTEINSSON: In the Fall of 2014, Vidar presented his research on the gendered cultural representation of finance capital at the annual conference of the American Studies Association as well as presenting a working paper on the history and theorization of consumer finance at the Political Theory Workshop hosted by the OSU Department of Political Science. In Spring 2015, Vidar gave a paper at the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, this time on banking and finance in contemporary post-finance crash Icelandic fiction. Also, he gave a paper on the theme of circulation and economic form in Eliot’s Daniel Deronda at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies conference. He was awarded and Arts and Humanities Small Grant and a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant.
 
J. CAROLINE TOY: With assistance from the Department of Comparative Studies and an Arts and Humanities Small Grant, Caroline attended the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference in New Orleans, April 1-4, where she presented a paper titled “Fan Language and Folklore: Star Trek's Tamarian Strategy in Everyday Use.” She has served the department as the graduate student representative to the Graduate Studies Committee for 2014-2015, and assisted with events for the Religious Studies Roundtable.
 
ZIQI YUAN: Ziqi presented “Does World Literature Resemble a Market?: The Idea of World Literature in 1920s China,” at the 24th Columbia Conference on East Asia in Columbia University on February 20th. 
 
ENRICO ZAMMARCHI: Enrico presented a paper at the 2015 National Council for Black Studies conference, in Los Angeles, CA. He received a Comparative Studies Graduate Travel Grant and an Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Small Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences. He was one of the members of the organizational committee for the 2015 Hiphop Literacies Conference, “Hiphop Studies Futures,” at The Ohio State University. Together with the OSU Italian Club, he coordinated the visit of Italian-Ghanaian documentary director Fred Kuwornu.