Summer Grantees to Conduct Research Around the Globe

Brandon Schneider News, Research

Funding from the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) will allow four graduate students to travel to China, Jordan, Germany, and Washington D.C. this summer to further their respective research projects. Support for these grants of $2,000 to $4,000 is provided by the Frank and Leslie Yeary Endowment for Ethics in the Humanities, established to support research and scholarship in ethics.

Descriptions of these students projects, and a list of past winners of BCSR Graduate Student Summer Research Grants, are included below.

2017 Recipients of BCSR Summer Research Grants:

David Bratt, East Asian Languages + Cultures

My work focuses on the way that the authority of the master was conceived of and rhetorically employed in Chinese religious texts of the first several centuries of the Common Era. This summer I will travel to Jiyuan, China as part of an international research team led by Professor Jia Jinhua of the University of Macau. Together with other members of the team, I will study stele inscriptions and other relevant materials at two temples near Jiyuan so as to better understand how religious authority and canonicity were understood in different religious contexts in premodern China.

Ashwak Hauter, Medical Anthropology

My dissertation examines shifts in the practice and conceptual framework of biomedicine as the Middle East comes to terms with recent political upheavals and scientific developments. My ethnographic research, based in medical centers among physicians, medical scholars, patients, and muftis (jurisprudents) in three urban sites (Jeddah, Sana‘a, Amman), shows that physicians use ethico-religios concepts such as amāna (obligation/covenant), ḍamīr (conscience/heart), and hads (intuition by empiricism) to stake a claim to progress—not by renouncing tradition, but instead by embracing faith and local practices as a global ethical practice. With the support of the BCSR summer grant, I will return this summer to Amman, Jordan to conduct participant observation of everyday life with doctors, residents, and patients at the Jordan University Hospital and Islamic Hospital.

Timothy Wright, History

I will be traveling to Berlin and Munich to collect primary sources for the final two chapters of my dissertation project, “Hidden Lives: Mystical Praxis and Alternative Christianities in Late Reformation Europe, c. 1700.” Both cities both boast national libraries (Staatsbibliothek) which hold the key printed texts by the main subjects of my introductory chapter, Christopher Besoldus (1577-1638), Justinian von Welz (1621-1668), and Joachim Betke (1601-1663). The devotional and polemical writings of these 17th-century Protestant mystics give voice to a broader discontent with the lack of an ascetic, monastic option within Protestantism. And it is this keen awareness of a ritual “deficiency” which spurred the development of new types of Protestant mystical communities and practices in the years around 1700, the subject of my later chapters.

Jane Raisch, Comparative Literature

My summer research will take place in Washington D. C., where I will be dividing my time between the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Library of Congress, and the Dumbarton-Oaks Library and Collection. I will primarily be examining early seventeenth-century editions of Greek patristic, scriptural, and Byzantine theological texts printed primarily, though not exclusively, in England. My research will focus on the Biblical scholarship of Patrick Young (1584-1652) and more generally on the exchange of manuscripts, printed editions, and even printing presses between the Greek Orthodox and Anglican churches in the early seventeenth century. My challenge will be to understand how the technology of print and the circulation of Greek theological manuscripts intervenes within and shapes practices of scriptural textual editing. In this politically and religiously charged intellectual climate, where the Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches are looking to find theological common ground, what are ethical implications of editing? This project comes of my dissertation, which explores early modern English Hellenism and the relationship between textual scholarship and fiction as speculative modes of historical and ethical inquiry.

Past Recipients of BCSR Summer Research Grants:

Melissa Cradic, Ancient History & Mediterranean Archaeology
Jason Price, Anthropology

Kris Anderson, Buddhist Studies
Youssef J. Carter, Anthropology
Kathryn Crim, Comparative Literature)
Katherine Ding, English
Maggie Elmore, History
Kathryn Heard, Jurisprudence and Social Policy
Jason Klocek, Political Science
Sara Ludin, Jurisprudence and Social Policy
Milad Odabaei, Anthropology
Spencer Strub, English and Medieval Studies
Rachel Trocchio, English
Hannah Waits, History

Lauren Bausch, South and Southeast Asian Studies
Erik Born, German
Graham Hill, Sociology
Nicholas Junkerman, English
Jean-Michel Landry, Anthropology
Christopher Mead, English
Samuel Robinson, History
Tehila Sasson, History
Kris Trujillo, Rhetoric