Abigail Dumes (Anthropology) is working on a dissertation titled “Divided Bodies: The Practice and Politics of Lyme Disease in the United States,” advised by Marcia C. Inhorn. In it, she examines the controversy that surrounds the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in the United States. She investigates why, in an era of evidence-based medicine, there are two emergent standards of care for Lyme disease and how these standards of care are connected to political power and positions on the environment. Drawing from 18 months of intensive ethnographic fieldwork among Lyme patients, physicians, and scientists throughout the Northeast, Abigail analyzes shifts in competing claims about the medical, political, and environmental aspects of the disease. She has a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jennifer Lambe (History) is writing “Baptism by Fire: The Making and Remaking of Madness in Cuba, 1857-1980,” advised by Gilbert Joseph. Her research traces the history of the Mazorra Mental Asylum, Cuba’s first and, until 1959, only public psychiatric hospital. Under Spanish, U.S., and Cuban stewardship, Mazorra bore witness to, and was rocked by, multiple cycles of revolutionary agitation. Jennifer explores the enduring symbolic investment in the hospital as a patriotic icon and argues that the mental asylum “offers an intimate window onto the evolution of the Cuban state and the medical, social, and cultural history of Cuba more broadly.” She earned her BA and MA degrees from Brown University.
Sara Protasi (Philosophy) explores fundamental philosophical questions about envy in her dissertation, “Envy: Varieties, Evils, and Paradoxes,” advised by Tamar Gendler. She compares accounts of envy in ancient and early modern thought and posits four kinds of invidious emotions: emulative envy, inert envy, aggressive envy, and spiteful envy. Using this psychological approach, she analyzes the morality of envy and contends that envy is, “paradoxically, the dark side of love; the same conditions that foster love also make us envious.” Sara earned a BA at the University of Rome and a graduate degree at the University of Bologna before coming to Yale.
Roman Utkin (Slavic Languages and Literatures) was a member of the editorial team that worked to complete Russians Abroad: Literary and Cultural Politics of Diaspora (1919-1939), by Yale alumna Greta Slobin (PhD 1978, Slavic Languages & Literatures), who died in 2011, before the book was finished. Russians Abroad was published this past summer by Academic Studies Press.
“Greta left many quotes and citations in her manuscript notes without identifying authors and titles of the texts with which she worked,” Roman says. “My role was to go back to archives and libraries, mainly at Yale, and find the sources she used with the aim of specifying editions and page numbers, and, ultimately, making sure the content of her notes was consistent with printed materials.” He also proofread all the passages in Russian and reviewed translations. The book presents perspectives on the vivid cultural and literary politics that marked the period immediately after the October Revolution of 1917, when Russian writers had to relocate to Berlin and Paris under harsh conditions. The book’s other editors are Professor Katerina Clark (PhD 1971, Slavic Languages & Literatures), with Nancy Condee (PhD 1978, Slavic Languages & Literatures), Mark Slobin, and Dan Slobin, the author’s sons.
Roman was one of only three graduate students selected to participate in last June’s National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “America’s Russian-Speaking Immigrants and Refugees: Twentieth Century Migration and Memory.” All the other participants were faculty members. The institute met for three weeks at Columbia University.
Roman’s dissertation, titled “Russian Berlin: Émigré Culture between German Modernism and the Soviet Avant-Garde” and advised by Katerina Clark and Katie Trumpener, focuses on Russian literature and art in Berlin during the early 20th century with an emphasis on the interwar period. He uses previously unexplored sources from the Beinecke, such as unpublished correspondence and manuscripts from the papers of Nina Berberova, Vladimir Korvin-Piotrovsky, Nicholas Nabokov, and Pavel Tchelitchew.
In October, Roman spoke at NYU on LGBT issues in Russia today. His talk, “Kvir po-russki: Language and Sexual Identity in Russia,” was on the linguistic means of forging a public discourse concerning Russia’s queer citizens. Last year, as an Associate in Teaching, he co-taught “Modernist Berlin, Petersburg, Moscow” with Katerina Clark. He also coordinated the Slavic Colloquium for his department. A native of Tatarstan, Russia, Roman earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kazan.
On November 15, all three authors will host a discussion and public forum about LGBT myths. Details TBA.
Ryan Hall (History) is the only graduate student in recent memory to have won the 2012 Vernon Carstensen Memorial Award, given each year by the Agricultural History Society. His winning essay, “Struggle and Survival in Sallisaw: Revisiting John Steinbeck’s Oklahoma,” appeared in volume 87, no. 3 (Summer 2012) of Agricultural History. The paper on Sallisaw began as a thesis project at the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.
In the article, Ryan explores the historical experience of Sallisaw, the Oklahoma community Steinbeck fictionalized in his 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck’s portrayal “used frontier mythology to tap into American nostalgia for yeoman agriculture and anxiety about its perceived collapse during the 1930s,” he says. He argues that although many aspects of the novel reflected reality, “the roots of local farmers’ social and economic marginalization ran far deeper” than Steinbeck described. Farmers “responded in a variety of ways to the catastrophe of the Depression, turning to federal relief, conservation, and marginal farmland when confronted with hard times.”
Ryan’s current research, advised by John Mack Faragher and Ned Blackhawk, focuses on the American West and American Indian history. His dissertation is a social and political history of the Blackfoot peoples of Montana and Alberta between 1782 and 1870, and explores the many ways native people adapted to and controlled the plains fur trade.