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During the fall of 2013, the Kahn Institute will be accepting applications for faculty fellowships in its two 2014-2015 long-term projects. Interested faculty may apply for either project online. The deadline to apply for either project is October 11, 2013.

The Kahn's yearlong project for 2014-2015 will be The Power of Disappearance, organized by Frazer Ward, Art, and Maria Rueda, Spanish & Portuguese. Click here to apply for The Power of Disappearance project.

The semester-long project, scheduled to take place in the spring of 2015, will be The Question of Privacy, organized by Judith Cardell, Engineering, and Alice Hearst, Government. Click here to apply for The Question of Privacy project.

The following Smith and Five College students have been awarded fellowships in connection with the Kahn Institute's two long-term projects for 2013-2014. Fellows in the project Regarding Images, organized by Nicholas Howe, Computer Science, and Fraser Stables, Art, will explore the social, aesthetic, and technological aspects of imaging, investigating images as conveyers of meaning, whether innate or contrived. (Click here for a complete description of the project.) The project Placing Space, organized by Suzan Edwards, astronomy, and Cornelia Pearsall, English Language & Literature, will exploring the place of space in the broadest range of disciplines, opening space up to inquiry, recognizing the ways that space can seem simultaneously restricted and boundless, ordered and chaotic; the way it can extend across vast reaches of the universe, or be localized to a home, a room, a grave. (Click here for a complete description of the project.)

Sonia Brown '14, Mathematics & Statistics, Linguistics
Janelle Gagnon '15, Cognitive Science
Frances Lazare '14, Art History
Shania Roberts '14, Anthropology
Aiyi Zhang '15, Studio Art

Marjorie Amon '15, Comparative Literature, Religion
Sofia Contino '14, Comparative Literature
Emma Kimata '14, Education & Child Study, Liberal Studies
Mary Jessica Lawrence '14, English Language & Literature
Christina Nelson '14, Sociology
Emma Whetsell '14, English Language & Literature

Madeline Zehnder '13, a Student Fellow in the Kahn's 2011-2012 long-term project Evil, presented a paper she developed during the project at the Seventh Annual International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College on August 1-3, 2013. Hers was one of more than 60 papers prepared by Mark Twain scholars from around the world to be presented at the conference, which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first use of Samuel Clemens' world famous pen-name, Mark Twain. The conference acknowledged the sweeping and ongoing importance of the writings and life of Twain in national and international culture.

Zehnder's paper, titled "Devil’s Advocate: Questioning as Moral Imperative in Twain’s The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger," explores how Twain grapples with the human capacity to choose between good and evil, or what he termed humanity’s "Moral Sense." In her work, Zehnder argues that Twain viewed insular thought as a dangerous moral failing and points out how he suggests that the greatest villains are the crusaders who, assured of their own purity, see evil as a malignant, external force rather than something that they must confront within themselves. 

Saving Face

On Sunday, February 26, 2012, Smith and Kahn Institute alum Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy ’02,  won an Oscar for the documentary Saving Face, a film chronicling a London-based plastic surgeon who travels to Pakistan to treat women who have been doused with acid in attacks often carried out by spurned lovers or angry husbands.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Obaid-Chinoy was the first woman in her family to receive a western education. She graduated from Smith in 2002 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and government, and completed master’s degrees in international policy studies and communication at Stanford University.

During 2001, she was a Student Fellow in the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute’s long-term project titled Anatomy of Exile, organized by Peter I. Rose (Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology), which investigated the causes and consequences of forced migration, the dependency of the dispossessed, the sociology of alienation and the politics, and the morality of refugee policies. The Kahn Institute provided funding for her first film, Terror’s Children, a report on Afghani refugee children in Pakistan, in 2002.

Obaid-Chinoy has produced numerous award-winning documentary films about the people of Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, including The Lost Generation, a film about middle-class Iraqis who have been driven from their homes by war and sectarian bloodshed, and Reinventing the Taliban, which explored the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan. She adds her Oscar to a long list of prestigious awards recognizing her work as a filmmaker, including the Overseas Press Club Award, the American Women in Radio and Television Award, and the South Asian Journalist Association Award. She was the first non-American to win the Livingston Award, and the youngest recipient of the One World Media “Broadcast Journalist of the Year” Award.

Obaid-Chinoy co-directed Saving Face with Daniel Judge.


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