The Center for the Humanities awards next year's Faculty Research Fellowships

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Kabria Baumgartner

The UNH Center for the Humanities has awarded three Faculty Research Fellowships for next year. Awardees include:

Kabria Baumgartner, assistant professor of English, for “The Life and Times of Robert Morris: America’s First Human Rights Lawyer,” a biography of Robert Morris, an African American lawyer in 19-century Boston who championed workers’ rights, African American education and the abolition of slavery. Morris has been all but forgotten today, little more than a footnote in the histories of abolition and American jurisprudence. Using newfound archival sources of speeches, court records, account books and letters, this book demonstrates that Morris was not just the first African American trial lawyer in the nation, but the first human rights lawyer. In the face of racial abuse and even death threats, he held steadfast to his values and disarmed his critics with a display of erudition, character and legal knowledge. He was a self-made man who fulfilled his own ambition to become a successful lawyer and a determined activist.


Ileana D. Chirila

Ileana D. Chirila, assistant professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, for “Re-Inventing the Republic: Sino-French Literature in the Cosmopolitan Age,” which will analyze the formation, reception and integration of transcultural Sino-French literature into the national French space, and conceptualize a viable theoretical and critical framework around its emergence and functioning. The literature produced in French by writers of Chinese origins is on its way to institutionalization through media dissemination, national and international prizes, membership in esteemed cultural institutions for its authors, and inclusion in the school curriculum in France and elsewhere (including UNH). Nonetheless, despite this continuous expansion and international recognition, there are only an extremely limited number of works addressing the advent of the Sino-French writers into the literary arena, or the ways these writers cultivate their cultural differences in a French system notorious for its assimilationist practices.


Kate Zambon

Kate Zambon, assistant professor of Communication, for “Integration Nation: Sports, Celebrity, and Scandal and the Making of New Germany,” which will explore how media campaigns, public debates and international sporting spectacles stage discussions of national identity in a global era of rising nationalism. These events contribute to definitions of who belongs in the nation — and who does not. At the center of this discourse, “integration,” which became a watchword in Germany after the introduction of birthright citizenship in 2000, has emerged as a guiding concept to regulate and control cultural difference. The celebrations, scandals and debates analyzed in this book will show how this admission of new citizens has inspired new optimism about Germany’s future, while also being used to sow the seeds of today’s virulent white supremacist movements. 


Funded by the Center for the Humanities' general endowment and the Ben and Zelma Dorson Endowment in the Humanities, faculty research fellowships provide a semester-long opportunity for junior and tenured faculty to pursue humanities research with no teaching obligations. Awardees participate in the Faculty Fellows Lecture Series in the year following their fellowship.