Fellowship

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DISSERTATION FELLOWS

The Antipoetry Work of Carlos Martínez Rivas: Parody, Humor, Pessimism and The Neo-baroque Program
Tomás Emilio Arce, Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures

This work aims to define the antipoetry work proposed by Carlos Martínez Rivas. My research will demonstrate how his poetic work challenged the major poetic styles in the Spanish American poetry tradition, during the second half of the 20th. The defy was directed against the cultural establishment and its part of a neo-baroque program.

My research will address the following topics: 1. The influence on his poetic view of the pessimistic notions proposed by Arthur Schopenhauer. 2. The purpose of his neo-baroque program and how he deployed this plan. 3. How he achieves to combines in his poetry, elements from popular culture such as cinema and popular music in permanent tension with cult art expressions. 4. Identify the parodic dialogue that his poetic work had with the well-established poets of his era, like Octavio Paz and Ernesto Cardenal.

My theoretical frame is based on the semiotic approach of Michael Riffaterre. The philosophical work of Schopenhauer. The Literary theories regarding the neo-baroque aesthetic and culture proposed by Omar Calabrese, Irlemar Chiampi, and Bolívar Echeverría. The work on literary parody was proposed by Linda Hutcheon. The cultural studies approach of William Rowe and Vivian Schelling and Nestor García Canclini to popular art in Latin America.


Treatable Conditions: Boundaries for a Mental Health Ontology
Andrew Evans, Philosophy

This project is an answer to the question: What conditions should the mental health community treat? While it may seem that there is already an adequate answer to that question—the mental health community treats mental disorders—I argue that the concept “mental disorder” is flawed. “Mental disorder” implies the presence of dysfunction. But people are rightly treated by the mental health community all the time without the presence of dysfunction. Therefore, I argue for a treatment and suffering centric account of mental health conditions. If we are able to reformulate our concept of what the mental health community does, the stigma of mental health treatment will be reduced, since people will not connect mental health treatment with something being “wrong with them.” I further develop this idea by exploring the ontological implicates of such an account. I argue that only a biopsychosocial process ontology would make sense for mental health. Given that, our currently mental health ontologies are inadequate.


Powerful Emergence
Bradley A. Griggs, Philosophy

Emergence appears to be everywhere, but few among us are willing to accept it. Emergent phenomena depend on something else for their existence and are in some sense novel with respect to their dependence base. Both special science entities and ordinary objects appear to meet both criteria. Nevertheless, many of us are hesitant to accommodate emergent phenomena into our ontologies because their existence seems to be inconsistent with physicalism. Debates about emergence tend to assume a Humean ontology that takes a deflationary stance on causal powers. I argue for an anti-Humean ontology of irreducible causal powers and develop a powers theory of emergence that is consistent with physicalism and overcomes the main challenge that faces its Humean competitors: Jaegwon Kim’s causal exclusion argument.


Statistical Downscaling of Climate Model Projections
Ayesha Kumari Ekanayaka Katugoda, Mathematical Sciences

We propose statistical downscaling methodologies to combine coarse-resolution climate model outputs and high-resolution remote sensing data to produce fine-resolution projections of climate change. Two methods are proposed with complementary properties, one with superior computational efficiency and the other with a coherent uncertainty propagation. We will apply these proposed methods to downscale the sea surface temperature over coral reef regions over the globe. Numerical analysis will be carried out to compare the proposed methods with the state of the art. We also propose a spatial statistical model to exploit the downscaled climate projection and to investigate its relationship with extreme events. In particular, we will use this model to study the coral bleaching conditions at the Great Barrier Reef.


The Philosopher’s Path to San José: Toward a Cross-Cultural Radical Embodied Cognitive Science
Jonathan McKinney, Philosophy

This work contributes to, and expands upon, two emergent movements in philosophy and cognitive science. The first is the move in the Western world to study non-Western and non-canonical philosophical traditions in a comparative and cross-cultural context. The second is the shift in contemporary cognitive science toward phenomenological approaches in embodied cognition, including 4E (embodied, enacted, extended, & embedded) cognition, ecological psychology, distributed languaging, and enactivism. This intersection promises to be especially fruitful because it is relatively unexplored, there is resonance between the many perspectives of embodiment around the world and problems faced by each movement are complementary. Instead of looking to this work for a single path toward a genuine cross-cultural cognitive science without borders, it should be understood as an invitation to consider how each tradition fits within the same world and then to reconsider our places within it.


The Migration of Women from Nepal for Domestic Work to the Gulf States and the Impact of Nepal Government’s Policies Banning Out-Migration for Domestic Work
Sayam Moktan, Political Science

Nepali women have been migrating for domestic work for decades, particularly to the Gulf States. What makes Nepal especially useful to study is that as of 2017, the Government of Nepal imposed a ban on the out-migration of maids, formally preventing any women from migrating abroad for domestic work. Moreover, this is not the first time that a ban has been put in place. The government has periodically imposed several prohibitions on the migration of women for domestic work, mainly to the Gulf states, yet has never prohibited male-out migration. Although there is significant evidence that women face harm and exploitation when they migrate for domestic work and the bans imposed by the Government of Nepal might appear to be an appropriate response on one level, this disregards the economic needs, rights, and agency of poor and working-class women in Nepal for which migration for domestic work may be their only option. Through policy analysis, and in-depth interviews, I examine the reasons for and the impacts of this ban and earlier bans to determine if such “protective” measures, which do not extend to male migrant workers, endanger women more and what alternatives there may be to such measures.


Willful Objects and Feminist Writing Practices
Rhiannon Scharnhorst, English & Comparative Literature

My research focuses on writing tools and emotional labor in feminist composing practices. I am keenly interested in how the tools we use to write help us navigate how to write, as well as shape what gets written. For my dissertation, Willful Objects and Feminist Writing Practices, I examine a diverse array of objects used by women writers throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the typewriter, the kitchen table, the endpapers in cookbooks, and the hashtag. Drawing on feminist archival methodologies, Willful Objects begins not with a particular personality or writer but with the object itself, exploring how the affordances of an object shape, guide, and accompany writers. This expansive perspective on agency rejects anthropocentrism, starting instead with the assumption that all things have agentic potential. For scholar-teachers across the disciplines, my work draws attention to the everyday object and its overlooked impact on composing habits, an area of study particularly valuable for understanding the challenges students face when writing.


 

 

PAST DISSERTATION FELLOWS:

 

Dissertation Fellows
2020 - 2021
2019 - 2020
2018 - 2019
2017 - 2018
2016 - 2017
2014 - 2015
2015 - 2016
2013 - 2014
2012 - 2013
2011 - 2012