Sujata Moorti (Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies) has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled Transnational Surrogacy and Feminism. The grant will enable Sujata to travel Bengaluru, India, during her 2014-15 leave to visit surrogacy centers that draw people from a wide variety of countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. She plans to witness interactions between all parties involved in the practice of surrogate parenthood in her quest to better understand this transnational practice and the feminist responses to it. This experience will enable her to update her course “Mobile Women: Transnational Work Patterns” and will also affect other courses that touch on transnational feminism.
Eilat Glikman (Physics) has received a grant from Research Corporation, a private foundation that aids basic research in the physical sciences. This research will study growing super-massive black holes (aka quasars) and the effects they have on their host galaxies. Since all galaxies are believed to grow a black hole at some point in their history, this research will help explain how the galaxies we see today, such as the Milky Way, formed their detailed structure. At least three undergraduates will be involved in this work over the next two to three years. The project is titled Quasar/Galaxy Co-Evolution Caught in the Act: Understanding the Physics of Feedback.
Michael Sheridan (Sociology-Anthropology) has received a Dumbarton Oaks Project Grant for a project titled Ethnobotany, symbolism, and property rights institutions in tropical agrarian societies. The grant will support his ongoing research on botanically similar plants that delineate property lines, mark graves, and symbolize peace throughout tropical Africa, the Caribbean and Oceania. During his 14-15 leave, he will revisit St. Vincent, Cameroon, and Tanzania for ethnographic fieldwork on these plants and expand the project to Polynesia. “Boundary plants” remain meaningful despite social and ecological change because they embed both property rights and social values into landscapes. The resulting work will describe the symbolic, social, and ecological commonalities of these plants in agrarian societies, and explore how these focal points of property, identity, and meaning shape tropical landscapes.
Jessica Teets (Political Science) has been awarded a grant to conduct a one year outreach program in a local elementary school with a goal of promoting awareness of China and sparking an interest in learning more about China on the part of the students and teachers at the school; the program will be designed so that it can be taken over by organizations with other afterschool programs. This Outreach Grant marks the culmination of support that Jessica received through her selection in 2011 as a Public Intellectuals Program fellow of the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Frank Winkler (Emeritus Professor, Physics) has been awarded funding from the NASA-funded Space Telescope Science Institute for a his role in a collaborative research project led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University. This project, involving new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, is titled Discovering and Characterizing the Young Supernova Remnant Population in M101. The team will use will use the new data, archival Hubble images, and data from other space- and ground-based observatories to better understand the types of stars and general environment that lead to stellar explosions known as supernovae.
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Clarissa Parker (Psychology & Neuroscience) has received a 2013 NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation that wholly funds her project titled Genome-Wide Association for Conditioned Fear in the Diversity Outbred Mouse Population. The grant provides materials and supplies for two years of research into genetic influences on fear in mice, which may have implications for anxiety disorders in humans.