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LAURELS: HArCS faculty win learned societies fellowships


By Dateline staff

Coveted fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies will support three UC Davis faculty members in their book projects on medieval French farces, Mark Twain and human rights in the Middle East.

The fellows, their books and fellowship details:

Noah Guynn, associate professor, Department of French and Italian — The Many Faces of Farce: Ethics, Politics, and Urban Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern France, challenging assumptions that medieval French farces were used to entertain the masses while reconciling them to lives of subservience. Instead, Guynn’s book reveals evidence of cultural resistance and political risk at work in a genre that has often been perceived as little more than clichéd, gratuitous jokes. He is the recipient of an ACLS fellowship.

Hsuan L. Hsu, professor, Department of English — Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain and America’s Asia. He describes it as “the first book-length study of Mark Twain’s responses to trans-Pacific historical phenomena such as Chinese immigration, diplomatic relations with China, the annexation of Hawaii and the U.S. regime in the Philippines.” Hsu received a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship, for recently tenured scholars. He said he will spend his fellowship year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, an interdisciplinary research center housed at Stanford University.

Keith David Watenpaugh, associate professor, Department of Religious Studies — Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism, the first major study of the history of human rights and international humanitarianism in the Middle East. He received an International and Area Studies Fellowship, a joint award from the ACLS, the Social Science Research Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“I’m tremendously excited to see the outstanding work of our faculty being recognized by the ACLS,” said Jessie Ann Owens, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.


Photo: Professor John Eadie


Professor John Eadie, a waterfowl biologist in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, received two awards at the 77th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, held March 12-17 in Atlanta.

Wetland Conservation Achievement Award — The nonprofit organization Ducks Unlimited gives six of these awards, including Eadie’s in the research-technical category. Fritz Reid, director of conservation programs, boreal and arctic programs for Ducks Unlimited, said Eadie has been “systematic in discovering” the food resources that migrating ducks rely upon in the Central Valley. “This information on seasonally flooded wetlands and rice land habitats has helped build the conservation model for these critical wintering grounds,” Reid said. He added: “(Eadie’s) strength as an educator has broadened the capacity of graduate students and field ecologists alike.”

National Blue-Winged Teal Award — Presented by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in recognition of Eadie’s work on behalf of the plan. The United States, Canada and Mexico are partners in this effort. U.S. participants include the Fish and Wildlife Service and its Central Valley Joint Project (which nominated Eadie for the award), and four migratory flyways.

Eadie, who runs the Avian Conservation and Ecology Lab, joined UC Davis in 1995 as the first holder of the Dennis G. Raveling Professorship.


Composer-musician Kurt Rohde, an associate professor who will advance to full professor in July, has scored two commissions, a fellowship and a residency.

Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize — For a new work to be premiered by the quartet in the spring of 2013, at Brandeis University, where the quartet is in residence.

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University — Rohde has received a fellowship under which he will be in residence for the 2012-13 academic year, working on two chamber opera projects: one a collaboration with musician Clem Coleman, artist David Humphrey and writer Dana Spiotta; and the other a collaboration with poet Paul Mann.

Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program — Rohde will be in residence at the Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga (Santa Clara County) in the summers of 2013 and 2014, collaborating on a new film project with artist Shelley Jordon.

Commissioning Music USA Award — Given by the independent and nonprofit Meet the Composer, part of New Music USA. Rohde is collaborating with artist Frances McCormack and writer Sue Moon on a work for small ensemble, with narrator and projected images. Five ensembles — eighth blackbird, Firebird Ensemble, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Sequitur and Southwest Chamber Music — are due to premiere the work in the fall and winter of 2012-13.

Eighth blackbird premiered another Rohde piece, This Bag is Not a Toy — A Very Short Concerto for Small Ensemble Without Orchestra, last December, and has scheduled more performances throughout this spring.


The American Federation for Medical Research announced that it will give a Henry Christian Award to the School of Medicine’s Amir A. Zeki for an abstract that he submitted for the federation’s 2012 round of regional meetings.

Zeki, an assistant professor, is a member of the clinical faculty in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, within the Department of Internal Medicine.

His winning abstract, “The Effects of Simvastatin on Human Airway Epithelial Cell Viability and Morphology,” continues Zeki's previous research that has shown statin drugs could be effective in reducing airway inflammation, potentially for people with asthma.

The awards, named after the federation’s founder, are given annually for the most outstanding abstracts in each of several categories.

The Henry Christian Awards Reception and Dinner is scheduled for April 17 in Washington, D.C.


Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to dateline@ucdavis.edu.

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