2022-2023 Faculty Fellows

Shuhua Fan
Fall 2022

"Empire, Commerce, Language, and U.S.-China Interactions: Francis P. Knight, Ko Kunhua, and the Origins of Sinology at Harvard, 1877-1882"
This book project is the first comprehensive, empirical, and multi-archival study of the first Harvard Chinese class. It examines the broader context (Chinese, American, and international), operation, and legacy of the introduction of Chinese instruction and origins of Sinology at Harvard in the late 19th century. Briefly defined as the study of Chinese language, literature, history, culture, and society, Sinology at Harvard dated its origins back to the late 1870s and early 1880s, being a direct result of Francis P. Knight's educational scheme for a Chinese class at the University. Knight, U.S. merchant and consul in Newchwang (Niuzhuang) in old Manchuria (today’s northeast China), suggested to Harvard President Charles Eliot in early 1877 that a chair in Chinese language be established at Harvard, and one or two native Chinese teachers be invited from China to teach the language, with the aim of promoting American imperial, commercial, and missionary interests in China. Knight based his educational scheme on his fifteen-year living experience in China, the expansion of U.S. commercial and missionary interests in China, potential job opportunities in a changing China where the government launched a reform movement in the early 1860s, and the development of Sinology in Europe and at Yale in America.

Christopher Fremaux 
Spring 2023

“Crusius’s Guide to Living Rationally: A Translation”
This project aims to produce the first full-length translation of Christian August Crusius’s Guide to Living Rationally (or Anweisung vernünftig zu leben) as part of the New Texts in the History of Philosophy series with Oxford University Press. Crusius was a major figure in eighteenth century German philosophy whose writings represent the high-water mark of the Thomasian-Pietist school of thought. The Thomasian-Pietists were particularly concerned with combatting the thought of Christian Wolff and his followers, who they took to be proposing a heavy-handed rationalism that they found antithetical to authentic Christianity and its corresponding philosophical worldview. The Guide to Living Rationally was published in 1744 and is the definitive articulation of Crusius’s moral philosophy. In the Guide, Crusius moves in a systematic fashion from his account of the theoretical and psychological foundations of morality to the application of those principles in religion, politics, and social life. However, even in light of his considerable influence and the highly original nature of his thought, Crusius has been largely overlooked in philosophical scholarship. This translation aims to shine a spotlight on Crusius by making his writings accessible to a wider audience and furthering our understanding of the philosophical richness that characterized eighteenth century German thought.

Billie Tadros 
Fall 2022

“‘As a queer woman and the daughter of an Egyptian immigrant,’ or, Parts of an (Auto)Ethnography and Autotheory”
This hybrid full-length poetry book will be comprised of poems and autotheory, a term that has gained traction since the publication of poet, writer, and theorist Maggie Nelson’s book The Argonauts in 2016. “Autotheory” describes “the practices of artists, writers, and other art and culture workers who move between the worlds of contemporary art, literature, and academia, in spaces where practice and research, writing and studio art, self-reflection and philosophical study meet” (Fournier 8) and “works that exceed existing genre categories and disciplinary bounds” (2). As a poet-scholar, I find that much of my work “exceeds existing genre categories and disciplinary bounds,” and this project, as a whole, will be autotheoretical. Specifically, this work will build thematically from my book of poems (arguably a memoir in verse) The Tree We Planted and Buried You In, published in 2018 by Otis Books, and will build both thematically and formally on my chapbook of poems inter: burial places, published in 2016 by Porkbelly Press, on individual earlier poems published in literary journals and anthologies, and on recent work I presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention.

Paul Sampson 
Spring 2022

"Ventilating the Empire: Environmental Machines in Britain, 1700-1850”
"Ventilating the Empire" is a book project that will examine the scientific and social history of ventilation during the long eighteenth century. Emerging amidst the enlightened craze for technological "improvement," the first ventilating machines aimed to extend the providential balance of the atmosphere to freshen hospitals, prisons, and slave ships. I will argue that while ventilating machines were initially designed to mitigate the danger of disease posed by crampedand unsanitary imperial institutions, this rationale changed in response to a new medical discourse that emphasized the danger of hot, humid, “tropical” environments. In response, ventilation devices were redesigned and ventilation was reconstituted as an infrastructural technology that would insulate respectable society from environmental danger – and from their poor and non-white neighbors. By tracing the history of ventilating devices, "Ventilating the Empire" will provide a cautionary tale of how racial and class dynamics can exert a strong influenceon technological projects to avert environmental danger.