Jul 09 2015

Recent Developments – New Faculty for OSI 2015!

While we are currently focusing on preparing the individual events of the Summer Institute in detail and thus fine-tuning the schedule, we also had to face some significant short term developments. In effect, the 2015 OSI faculty had to be changed … and we are very happy with the result!

On the one hand, unfortunately Stephen Best had to cancel his participation in the OSI at the last moment, due to some medical complications which make it impossible for him to travel at this moment. Stephen regrets this very much, and so do we, but we also agreed that we would definitely continue to work together in the future.  For now, the OSI sends its best wishes for a speedy recovery!

On the other hand, we have been extremely lucky in finding Hoang G. Phan as a new convener, and we are tremendously grateful that he has accepted to join the OSI 2015 faculty at such short notice. hoang_0Hoang G. Phan is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, studying literature and law from the Constitutional founding through the Civil War. In his work, Phan demonstrates how American citizenship and civic culture were profoundly transformed by the racialized material histories of free, enslaved, and indentured labor. His latest book Bonds of Citizenship: Law and the Labors of Emancipation (New York UP, 2013) illuminates the historical tensions between the legal paradigms of citizenship and contract, and in the emergence of free labor ideology in American culture.

Situated at the nexus of literary criticism, legal studies, and labor history, Phan’s research challenges the founding fiction of a pro-slavery Constitution central to American letters and legal culture. His next project, Imagined Territories, is a study of realism in law, sociology, and the novel from Reconstruction through the Second World War. Tracing legal and literary imaginings of the new states and territories of the Americas, the manuscript examines modern U.S. immigrant cultures in relation to the history of global labor migrations. His work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Center for the Study of Law and Culture (Columbia University), and the Townsend Center for the Humanities (University of California).

At the 2015 OSI, Hoang Phan will convene a workshop on “Culture and the Constitution of Citizenship”, focusing on questions of sovereignty, constitutional law, and narrative form in legal and literary history. Hoang Phan’s work at the intersection of literary, legal and social studies is of particular interest for the OSI, and we are very much looking forward to his participation in this year’s institute!


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