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September’s New Scholars at the Kluge Center

On the first Monday of each month, the Kluge Center welcomes new scholars from any of our numerous chair and fellowship programs. The day consists of an orientation, setting up new residents in their work areas, and an informal new scholar’s lunch. These are busy days, and this month’s was no exception. There are new faces, new research topics, and the occasional scholar lost inside the Jefferson Building trying to find our offices.

This month, the Kluge Center welcomed ten new scholars, representing a diverse array of disciplines, topics, and institutions. Each month we’ll highlight a few of the new scholars and the topics they’ll be researching at the Library of Congress.

One of our new Kluge Fellows is Dr. Nathan Hofer, who will be looking at the rise of Sufism in medieval Egypt related to his project “Sufism, State, and Society in Ayyubid and early Mamluk Egypt.” His proposed work aims to construct a comprehensive account of the institutionalization, organization, and popularization of Sufism in Egypt, a development that had a profound impact on the Egyptian religious landscape and the history of Islam. Hofer’s work will rely heavily on the collections of the African and Middle East Division (AMED) here at the Library. Hofer has stated that the AMED collection is one of only a few in the world that will allow him to work on his project unimpeded. Dr. Hofer received his Ph.D. in Religion from Emory University. He is an Assistant Professor of Islam at the University of Missouri in the Religious Studies Department.

Another Kluge Fellow who arrived this month is Dr. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, who will be working on his project titled “The Indians’ Capital City.” The project examines the visual, symbolic, and lived indigenous landscapes of Washington D.C., from the early-nineteenth century to the present, focusing especially upon the tensions present therein. Dr. Genetin-Pilawa argues that indigenous people not only engaged with the city and its commemorative narrative regularly, but carved out their own space within it, claiming or reclaiming an ownership of the place now called Washington. In doing so, indigenous people informed how the capital came to understand itself as an imperial center. Genetin-Pilawa will be utilizing the manuscript and rare printed materials held at the Library of Congress, specifically using the papers of several prominent nineteenth century statesmen and other prominent families. He recently accepted a position as assistant professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, and received his Ph.D. in United States History from Michigan State University.

Additional scholars who arrived in September are:

  • Surekha Davies, Kislak Fellow, Western Connecticut State University, “Mapping the Peoples of the New World: Ethnography, Imagery, and Knowledge in Renaissance Europe.”
  • Thomas Dodman, Kluge Fellow, Boston College, “Nostalgia: The History of a Deadly Emotion.”
  • James Loeffler, Kluge Fellow, University of Virginia, “The Vanishing Minority: Human Rights as Jewish Politics, 1919-1989.”
  • Nara Milanich, ACLS Burkhardt Fellow, Barnard College, Columbia University, “The Birth of Uncertainty: A Global History of the Paternity Test.”
  • Jeffrey Moser, Kluge Fellow, McGill University, “Excavating China’s First Archaeologist.”
  • Benjamin Reed, Kislak Fellow, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “Oration Devotion in Mexico City, 1657-1821.”
  • Paul Scolieri, ACLS Burkhardt Fellow, Barnard College, Columbia University, “Ted Shawn and the Invention of American Dance.”
  • Peter Zilahy, Black Mountain Fellow, Independent Scholar, “Mapping the Hero’s Quest”

Check back next month for scholars arriving in the month of October. Click here for the full list of scholars currently in residence at the Kluge Center.  

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