Jepson Fellows for 2011-12 and Their Project Summaries


Jepson Fellows for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Project titles and summaries provided by the authors are listed below.

1. Surupa Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and International Affairs (Political Science)

   Anticipating globalization: the politics and economics of farm sector restructuring in India 

Project Summary:  The re-negotiation of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, which began in 2002, provided the impetus for a long-awaited debate on farm sector restructuring in India.  The pressure from these negotiations and political and economic ground realities within India helped initiate a series of agricultural reforms during 2001-2010.  This project seeks to understand why some reforms were successfully launched while others had to be abandoned.  Did domestic politics trump international factors and politics win over economics? . . . 


2. Jason James, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology (Anthropology) 

   “Between Monument Avenue and Lumpkin’s Jail: Slavery and Race in Richmond’s Commemorative Landscape 

Project Summary:  My project is to turn an ethnographical lens on current initiatives and debates surrounding the commemoration of the Civil War and slavery in Richmond.  I want to probe what local commemorative efforts and discussions reveal not only about the current status of a past that remains troublesome for many Americans, but also about racial identities, sentiments of local and national belonging, and discourses of victimhood that find expression in discussions of whether and how to commemorate the past. 


3. Mary Elizabeth Mathews, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion (Religion) 

   “’Every Grace That Brings You Nigh’: African Americans, Fundamentalists, and the Great Migration 

Project Summary:  This project will examine the connections between early Fundamentalists and African Americans between 1919 and 1935 to determine what relationships these two groups built and to what extent racial prejudices prevented a more lasting alliance.  By completing this work, I hope to challenge assumptions about the role of theology in the African American churches, as well as provide a new dimension in the scholarship of early Fundamentalist leaders.


4. Gary N. Richards, Associate Professor, Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication (English)

   “A Queer Quarter: Literary Imaginings of Gay New Orleans 

Project Summary:  This project seeks to move my book-length survey of literary representations of gay New Orleans nearer completion by developing for publication a long chapter (or multiple chapters) that addresses nineteenth-century representations of male gender transitivity and same-sex desire associated with that city in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851: 1852), George Washington Cable’s The Grandissimes (1880) , and various short stories by Kate Chopin.


5. Jess M. Rigelhaupt, Assistant Professor, Department of History and American Studies (History)  

   “Building A Popular Front: Civil Rights, Unions, and Workers’ Education in the Mid-Twentieth Century (And How the San Francisco Bay Area Got to Be the Way It Is) 

Project Summary.  The San Francisco Bay Area’s Popular Front, which formed during the 1930s, has continued to impact local and national politics into the twenty-first century.  This project, a book-length study, seeks to explain how progressive politics became a defining characteristic of Northern California life by examining the history of the civil rights-labor-left coalition building in the San Francisco Bay area from the 1930s to the 1970s.