2014-15 Public Fellows
Wisconsin Humanities Council
Jesse Gant is a PhD candidate in the Department of History. His dissertation, “Lincoln Slept Here: Western ‘Black Republicans’ and the Racial Politics of Forgetting in the United States,” examines the history of the modern Republican Party during its formative years (1854-1870) from the perspective of its western leadership and activists. A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, Jesse holds an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, and a BA in History and Political Science from Carroll College. In 2013, he co-authored with Nicholas Hoffman, Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State, an engaging and thorough examination of Wisconsin’s rich two-wheeled history. At the Wisconsin Humanities Council, Jesse will direct a new program initiative, “Working Lives,” engaging statewide audiences in conversation about "work," a fundamental human experience, establishing institutional partnerships, and developing public programming.
A PhD candidate in the Department of English, Devin Garofalo specializes in British Romantic and Victorian poetry. She explores these topics and more in her dissertation, “Open Worlds: Nineteenth-Century Poetry, Cosmological Forms, and the Politics of Fissure,” which looks at the intersections between nineteenth-century conceptions of “world” and a poetic experimentation with the open forms of the cosmos. She is also Co-Coordinator of the university’s Middle Modernity Group. A 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Devin conducted research at the Chawton House Library and the University of Southampton as a Visiting Fellow in June 2014. At the Center for the Humanities, she will manage the long-running Great World Texts in Wisconsin literature program. In 2014-2015, high school students throughout Wisconsin will read Rousseau’s Confessions.
Jessica Gross is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies. Her dissertation, “Reassembling the World: Power, Violence, and Vision in Verbal and Visual Narratives,” examines the interrelation of power, violence, and vision in modern world literature, and investigates how worlds dismantled and reassembled lead to understanding the experience of others. A graduate of Grove City (PA) College, Jessica will explore her interest in graphic novels as part of the 2014-15 Public Humanities Exchange (HEX) program. Her project, “Graphic War: Reading Graphic Novels and Comics War Stories with Veterans,” will work with a local veterans group to create community and to engage with their experiences in a new way. At the Madison Children’s Museum and Madison Public Library, Jessica will work on Madison Stories, a humanities and community-based storytelling project designed to engage local youth.
Wisconsin Public Television
A lifelong Wisconsin resident, Anne Helke is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies. She is currently working on her dissertation, “Post-Conflict Dialogue and the Possibility of Community: The Work of Women Imagining a Different Future,” which looks at the creative work of gendered dialogue in community building in the aftermath of violence. She is particularly interested in the textiles, music, and photography created by women in Africa and Latin America. Anne is a graduate of St. Norbert College, earning a BA in International Studies and English Literature. This year, Anne will be the Online Content Producer for Wisconsin Public Television’s new series, Wisconsin Life, finding and sharing stories about Wisconsin’s people and places, generating original online work, producing interactive features, and engaging with the show’s audience.
Fair Share Community Supported Agriculture Coalition
Dadit Hidayat is a PhD candidate in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He is particularly interested in ways community-university partnerships can facilitate actual and viable change within grassroots communities, and how groups can effectively promote sustainability and other environmentally friendly behaviors through social movement and engagement. At the Fair Share CSA Coalition, Dadit will put his research interests into practice, assisting in outreach campaigns and resource development, and overseeing an oral history project to record both the experiences of long-term farmers transitioning into retirement and young farmers choosing farming as their career path. Dadit holds an Architecture degree from Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia), and an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison.
University of Wisconsin Foundation
A specialist in the intellectual and socio-political history of Modern Japan, History PhD candidate James Homsey delves into the relationships between civilian organizations and intra-military institutions within prewar Japan in his dissertation, “The Nation’s Army: Civil-Military Relations in Urban Prewar Japanese Society.” In 2012-13, James was awarded a Fulbright-IIE Dissertation Fellowship, undertaking dissertation research at Tokyo University. A graduate of Lafayette College, James will work with the University of Wisconsin Foundation on several projects related to an upcoming, comprehensive fundraising campaign, playing a key role in facilitating conversations between Foundation staff and department chairs, center directors, and administrators that are engaged development and donor activities.