Faculty of Arts Fellowship lectures highlight current research

Three professors in the Faculty of Arts at York University, each a recipient of the Faculty of Arts Fellowship for the 2007-2008 academic year, delivered brief lectures describing their research in the Senate Chamber on May 6. The speakers were: Professor Stephen Brooke, Department of History; Professor Carlota McAllister, Department of Anthropology; and Professor Robin Roth, Department of Geography.

Above: From left, Faculty of Arts Dean Robert Drummond, Professor Stephen Brooke, Professor Carlota McAllister and Professor Robin Roth

Brooke spoke about his upcoming book, titled Sexual Politics: Sexuality and the British Left, 1880s to the Present Day. In the book, Brooke examines the relationship between British socialist politics and sexuality through questions about abortion, reproductive control, gay rights and sexual freedom. “I am extremely grateful for the Faculty of Arts Fellowship," said Brooke. "This program is an exceptional mark of the value placed upon research in the humanities at York. The University should be justly proud of it.”

In her lecture, McAllister described her research which is an extension of her doctoral dissertation and has led to an upcoming book titled The Good Road: Conscience and Consciousness in a Post-Revolutionary Guatemalan Village. It traces the genealogy of what villagers in Chupol, a Guatemalan indigenous village, call conciencia, Spanish for both conscience and consciousness. McAllister tracks the evolution of conciencia through Cold War transformations of Guatemalan agrarian capitalism, government modernization programs and pastoral outreach efforts by the Catholic Church. Her research was conducted in Chupol, which was a stronghold of support for the insurgency during Guatemala’s civil war and then a centre for army counter-insurgency operations. “The time this fellowship gave me to dedicate myself to reading and writing qualitatively improved my manuscript, for which I’m immensely grateful,” said McAllister.

Roth used her fellowship to conduct research and begin writing a book manuscript titled “Constrained by Conservation: Livelihood, Territory and the Production of Space in the Thai Highlands”. Roth’s research focuses on the conflict between conservation and development within national parks in northern Thailand. “I want to thank the dean, the awards committee and my department for providing me with the fellowship," said Roth. "It was an excellent opportunity to tackle the writing of this manuscript and to develop my own voice as a relatively new scholar.”

Marie-Christine Pioffet, a professor in the Department of French Studies, was unable to attend the event to offer a presentation. She was awarded a fellowship for her research project titled "Dictionnaire analytique des toponymes imaginaries dans la prose narrative française de 1605 à 1712" (Analytical Dictionary of Imaginary Toponyms in French Narrative Prose from 1605 to 1712). The research project aims to establish a critical compilation of imaginary place names that occur in French narrative prose from 1605 to 1712.

Submitted by David Wallace, communications coordinator, Faculty of Arts