Talle Faculty Research Awards

The Talle Faculty Research Fund represents a critical investment in the future of CLA. With this fund, the College recognizes and invests in the next generation of faculty who are poised to lead CLA as it pursues greater heights of excellence and who are engaging in new lines of research and creative activity that will shape their fields and the intersection of fields.

Funded by a generous gift from Ken and Janet Talle, this award provides $300,000 of research support each year over five years, with 8-10 recently promoted associate professors receiving an award each year.

2017-18 Talle Research Awards

From Black Power to Black Lives Matter: Toward a Black Radical Demosprudence in the US & England

Joyce Bell

Associate Professor Joyce Bell
Department of Sociology

While there is a rich literature on the legal strategy of the US Civil Rights movement, scant attention has been paid to how the Black Power movement—with its international reach— interacted with the law. Undertaken with a British colleague, the proposed project seeks to understand how radical movements shape the law. Relying on extensive archival research, legal analysis, and discourse analysis (of both news sources and secondary sources), the project investigates the relationship between the law and the Black Power movement in the US and England. This research will allow us to develop the concept of “Black Power Law,” analyze how Black Power activists in both countries used the courts in the service of resistance, and compare state sanctioned repression of Black Power.


A Profession in Crisis Covering Crises: Journalism, Public Discourses and Policies about Migrant and Refugee Movements and Integration in the European Union and the Americas

Professor Giovanna dell'orto

Associate Professor Giovanna Dell'Orto
Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Building on my published and in-progress work on the impact of journalistic practices and news discourses on international affairs and particularly on migration in the transatlantic space, the proposed project seeks to study the role of the news media in policy debates over the major refugee and migrant movements and integration in Europe and the United States in the mid-2010s.

Using as principal case studies the flows and integration of refugees from the Middle East into Greece and Germany (as exemplars of the border/integration challenges in Europe) as well as from Central America into the United States, the study aims to produce a book that examines how journalists have covered these issues on the ground, what news discourses have emerged, and how they relate to trends in public opinion and actual policies toward refugees.


Reconstruction and Its Legacies in Gullah/Geechee Nation

Professor Kate Derickson

Associate Professor Kate Derickson
Department of Geography, Environment, and Society

This project traces the enduring legacies of reconstruction in the contemporary American southeast to provide new empirical and theoretical insight into the concept of the “racial state.” Informed by 5 years of ethnographic research with the Gullah/Geechee people of the southeastern United States, this work brings together four distinctive bodies of scholarship: history and historiography of Reconstruction, the political economy of the racial state, postcolonial scholarship on ‘theory from the periphery,’ and feminist theory and epistemology on the ethical practice of scholarly knowing.

My goal is to write a monograph that resonates across a range of social sciences and humanities disciplines, and to contribute to ongoing conversations as to how to interpret the legacies of Reconstruction and memorialize American history.


Military Medicine and the Changing Costs of War

Professor Tanisha Fazal

Associate Professor Tanisha Fazal
Department of Political Science

Recent improvements in US military medicine have driven up the long-term costs of war in ways that are underappreciated by policy makers and the public. For centuries, the ratio of wounded-to killed in battle held steady at 3:1. Today, the United States’ wounded-to-killed ratio lies somewhere between 10:1 and 17:1. As a percentage of those deployed, more US military personnel return home today, often with wounds that would not have been survivable in previous conflicts.

The US Government bears significant financial responsibility toward the returned wounded, and they and their families more directly bear the human costs of war. I am requesting funding for archival and interview research travel and one survey experiment. In a series of academic writing and outreach activities, I seek to reframe public consideration of the human and financial costs of war by training attention on the many costs borne by and for the returned wounded.


Corporate Money and the Financing of Civil Rights Advocacy

Professor Michael Minta

Associate Professor Michael Minta
Department of Political Science

Funding from the Talle Faculty Research Award will help me complete the archival research and coding and analysis of data for assessing the influence of corporate and foundation donations on minority interest group activity. This is the first systematic study to gauge the impact of money on the advocacy efforts of minority nonprofit organizations. The study shifts the focus from exclusively examining whether money from organized interests influences federal officials to examining whether money impacts the groups that attempt to influence legislators.

Using data from lobbying disclosures reports, witness testimony, and voting score cards, I construct advocacy measures that capture how much time and effort civil rights groups devote to lobbying federal officials and testifying at hearings in the areas of civil rights, health, education, labor/immigration, criminal justice, social welfare and housing from 1950 to 2016.


Reconstructing Neanderthal and Modern Human Behavior Through Stone Tool Residue Analysis

Professor Gilliane Monnier

Associate Professor Gilliane Monnier
Department of Anthropology

One of the most important questions in human evolution is “How did Neanderthals and modern humans differ behaviorally?” This question is at the heart of a major debate regarding the disappearance of Neanderthals from Europe shortly after the arrival of modern humans 35,000 years ago. The most direct way of reconstructing Paleolithic hominin behavior is by studying stone tools, which are present by the thousands in the archaeological record. Yet, archaeological research in this domain has been impeded by our lack of understanding of the functions of these tools. I have spent almost a decade working on this problem by studying organic micro-residues on stone tools. My efforts to improve methods of residue analysis has taken me deeper into the emerging field of archaeological chemistry.


Past Time: Troubled Visions of the Good Old Days

Professor Paul shambroom

Associate Professor Paul Shambroom
Department of Art

Past Time is a visual art project using original photographs and existing images to explore an idealized American past. It examines changing and perceived values by contrasting popular culture images of mid-century America (from film, television, art, magazines, and theme parks) with photographs of contemporary life taken in locations that helped form the notion of the “good old days,” such as the home towns of Walt Disney, Andy Griffith, Norman Rockwell, Ronald Reagan, and Thomas Kinkade. This project integrates original and sourced images, bridging my previous social-documentary photography with my more recent explorations using found images. This work will be published as a book and exhibited in museums and other fine art venues.


Undercover, The Hidden History of America's Girl Stunt Reporters

Professor Kim Todd

Associate Professor Kim Todd
Department of English 

I propose to research and draft an 80,000-word work of literary nonfiction: Undercover, The Hidden History of America’s Girl Stunt Reporters. The book tells the story of the female journalists dubbed “stunt reporters” who followed in Nellie Bly’s wake in 1880s and 1890s and argues that, while they were criticized as “sensational,” these women changed the trajectory of both journalism and memoir.

Undercover makes the case that the line between “respectable” and “lurid” has much to do with discomfort around the female experience, leaving writers who take women’s lives as their subject to navigate the narrow, rocky passage between tame and scandalous. By writing these investigative journalists and this forgotten genre back into history, Undercover illuminates the background of this double standard and pushes back against the persistent notion that women's literature is trivial and unambitious.