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Columbia Faculty Boasts Five John Simon Guggenheim Fellows Among 2003 Recipients

By Colin Morris

This year the Columbia faculty boasts five Guggenheim Fellows among their ranks. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation provides fellows with a grant on the basis of distinguished past achievement with exceptional promise for the future. Guggenheim Fellows utilize blocks of time -- ranging from six to twelve months -- to work freely on their respective creative endeavors. This year, 184 artists, scholars and scientists were selected from over 3,200 applicants for awards totaling $6,750,000.

Zainab Bahrani is Edith Porada Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology. She is a specialist in the art and architecture of the ancient Near East. She has written extensively on Mesopotamian art and on the cultural heritage of Iraq. She is the author of, among other publications, "Women of Babylon: Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia," and "The Graven Image: Representation in Babylonia and Assyria." She was born in Baghdad Iraq, and educated in Europe and the United States.

Bahrani received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Art History and Archaeology from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and her B.A. degree from Indiana University. Prior to her appointment at Columbia, Bahrani taught at the University of Vienna, and the State University of New York, at Stony Brook. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including awards from the American Schools of Oriental Research, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty foundation.

"The Body and Violence in Assyrian Art" is a research project that will lead to a book length manuscript that investigates images of violence in the art of the Neo-Assyrian period (c.9th-7th centuries BC). During her Guggenheim Fellowship year, Bahrani intends to research and document Assyrian reliefs from Northern Iraq now in the collections of the British Museum in London and the Louvre Museum in Paris. Given the recent catastrophic theft and destruction of the cultural heritage of Iraq, she also intends to return to Iraq to assist in the recovery of cultural property, the reconstruction of the museums, and to continue working on the protection of archaeological sites there in association with UNESCO and the British Museum.

Siu-Wai Chan is a professor of materials science in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. Her research specialty is oxide interfaces, including oxide nanoparticles and high temperature superconductors. She is the recipient of an IBM Faculty Award, two DuPont Faculty Awards and the Presidential Faculty Award from the White House and National Science Foundation.

Chan received a B.S. from Columbia in 1980 and a Sc.D. from M.I.T. in 1985. Chan has 82 publications with 49 papers in referred journals, and is a member of the Materials Research Society; American Ceramic Society; The Minerals, Metals, Materials Society (TMS); American Physical Society, and the International Committee of Diffraction Data. Overall, Chan describes her research as aimed at searching for the basic understanding of boundaries and interfaces and applying the knowledge for better engineered electrical properties of materials for applications and new devices.

Matthew Connelly is an associate professor of history. He received his B.A. from Columbia in 1990 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1997. His first book, "A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria's Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era," received the AHA's George Louis Beer Prize for European international history since 1895 and Paul Birdsall Prize for European military and strategic history since 1870. Other publications include articles for the American Historical Review, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is currently working on a history of the international campaign to control population growth to be published by Harvard University Press.

Steven Feld came to Columbia in 2002, having held previous appointments at NYU, UC Santa Cruz, University of Texas, and the University of Pennsylvania. Feld's anthropology of sound research involves intersections of music, linguistics, acoustic ecology and media studies. His main ethnographic project since the mid 1970s, and many of his print and sound publications concern the acoustemology of Kaluli people of the Bosavi rainforest in Papua New Guinea. Since the mid 1980s he has also developed a second research project on music globalization, schizophonia, and the emergence of "world music."

His books include "Sound and Sentiment, Music Grooves, Senses of Place," "Bosavi-English-Tok Pisin Dictionary," "Bright Balkan Morning," and "Cine-Ethnography." Feld's CD recordings include, "Voices of the Rainforest," "Rainforest Soundwalks," "Bosavi: Rainforest Music from Papua New Guinea," and "Bells and Winter Festivals of Greek Macedonia." Feld is a MacArthur Fellow (1991) and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994). He will spend the year writing his book, titled Schizophonia and its Discontents, on music globalization.

David Scott Kastan is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities. He is a specialist on Shakespeare and early modern culture, and is among the most widely read of contemporary Renaissance scholars. His most recent book is an edition of "1 Henry IV" for the Arden Shakespeare, published in the fall of 2002. His "Shakespeare and the Book," based on the Lord Northcliffe lectures at the University of London, appeared in 2001 from Cambridge, and was the catalyst for an exhibition of early modern books in Columbia's Rare Book Room.

Among his other books are "Shakespeare After Theory" and "Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time." He is also the editor of "A Companion to Shakespeare; The New History of Early English Drama," with John Cox, (winner of the 1998 ATHE award for the best book on theater history that year); "Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Hamlet"; and "Staging the Renaissance," with Peter Stallybrass. Kastan is also a general editor of the "Arden Shakespeare" (the first American ever to serve in this capacity in the Arden's hundred year history), and the "Complete Arden Shakespeare," edited by Kastan, Richard Proudfoot and Ann Thompson.

Kastan taught at Dartmouth prior to coming to Columbia, and has been a distinguished visiting professor at University College London, at the American University Cairo, and the University of Copenhagen. He is a former chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. In 2000, he was awarded the Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.

His Guggenheim project is a book tentatively entitled "The Invention of English Literature." This is a study of the institutional conditions that allowed the field of English literature to form, focusing especially on the motives and practices of sixteenth and seventeenth century English publishers, as they brought the literary achievement of the age into print.

Published: May 21, 2003
Last modified: May 20, 2003


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