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Brettschneider Exchange

Cornell Visitors to Oxford

Conall Cash (Romance Studies)

Title: "History and Existence: Marxism, Presentism, and the Philosophy of History in Post-War French Thought"

Abstract: Conall will be of working with Dr. Ian Maclachlan, Fellow and Tutor in French at Merton College, and other professors and graduate students in the French program. These opportunities will allow him to discuss his research with scholars in his field, participate in seminars within the program, and access the university library’s extensive bibliographical resources. His dissertation, “History and Existence: Marxism, Presentism, and the Philosophy of History in Post-War French Thought,” focuses on the critical investigations of the concepts of time and history amongst philosophers and political thinkers in France, from both existentialist and structuralist traditions. Prof. Maclachlan’s work on the philosophy of time in modern French thought, including his 2012 book 'Marking Time,' intersects significantly with the exploration of temporality and history in his project on the critical revaluation of the philosophy of history in post-war French political thought. Conall will spend three weeks in Oxford beginning late May 2019, during what will be the middle of the trimester, so as to attend the regular seminar series both at the Maison Française d’Oxford and the Philosophy department’s Post-Kantian Research Seminar, as well as taking up the opportunity to discuss his research project with Prof. Maclachlan and the other members and affiliates of the French program, and exploring the extensive collections in modern French thought at the Taylor and Bodley libraries. The connections with scholars at Oxford allows him to enrich his research, and help form international contacts, as he looks toward the academic job market and future research plans.

Grace Catherine Greiner (English)

Title: "Experimentation in the Archive: Medieval and Modern Poet-Critics and the Making of New Media"

Abstract: Grace will spend the 2019-2020 academic year at Merton College, Oxford, in order to consult undigitized medieval English manuscripts and early printed books held in the Bodleian and College libraries in support of her dissertation research. Her dissertation focuses on what she terms “archival thinking” and its effects on the poetry and Renaissance reception of two late medieval English poets, Geoffrey Chaucer and John Lydgate. The work she plans to undertake while in Oxford is pursuant mainly (but not exclusively) to the third and fourth chapters of her dissertation. These chapters both utilize techniques of manuscript study and bibliographical analysis as their principle methodologies, so consulting primary materials directly is a crucial component of the research process. She also plans to attend workshops and lectures relevant to her research interests and to participate fully in the intellectual life of Merton College and the University, assisting in the development of a new research network through The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), working collaboratively with Merton medievalist Dr Daniel Sawyer, and contributing to the Merton College History of the Book research group. Her proposed research will take place primarily in Oxford, but will also make use of her proximity to other UK institutions with relevant rare and manuscript holdings—in particular, the British Library and the libraries of the University of Cambridge—while living in Oxford.

Morton Wan (Music)

Title: "'To Satisfy the University of My Abilities to Write in Many Parts': Charles Burney’s Doctoral Exercise as Institutional Critique"

Abstract: While at Oxford, Morton will be working to complete a music-editorial and cultural interpretive project on the English music historian Charles Burney’s doctoral exercise. Examining Burney’s composition through the lens of institutional critique, he will seek to answer the following questions: What institutional structures were instrumental in shaping Burney’s musical and intellectual career in eighteenth-century England? How did Burney’s own self-fashioning interface with contemporaneous intuitional practices? Finally, and more broadly, how might we understand Burney’s critical impulse within the dichotomy between theory and practice, a tenacious theme in music history that can be traced back to the sometimes-derisive distinction between musicus and cantor in scholastic discourses? Known as the foremost Anglophone music historian of his day, Charles Burney has long been indispensable to scholars as a witness of eighteenth-century European musical life. His own musical and intellectual career, however, has generated but scant critical attention, despite his often-fraught standing between the humble station of a journeyman musician and the lofty realm of literary society. The conferral of the Doctor of Music degree from Oxford University in 1769—a year before he embarked on his first grand tour gathering information for the projected A General History of Music—marked a turning point in Burney’s career. In accordance with the Oxford examination statute, Burney presented a performance of his doctoral exercise—an elaborate anthem for solo voices and chorus with orchestra—at his degree ceremony. Contrary to precedent Oxford exercises, Burney’s exchanged archaic pomp for galant chic, employing a fashionable style and omitting the previously mandatory choral fugue. More than a piece d’occasion, not only was the doctoral exercise given repeated performances throughout Burney’s life, but Burney also referenced the work in his protracted critique of learned counterpoint in the first edition of the General History amid a discussion of English polyphonic music. Drawing on primary sources documenting the Oxford performance of Burney’s exercise and critical studies of the history of English musical practices, this project traces how Burney, in challenging the venerable Oxford doctoral statute in pursuit of liberating style, was making a radical claim for the status of music within and outside the academy. By making stylistic concern a polemic, the galant design in Burney’s composition, Wan argues, casts light on his confrontation with contemporaneous institutional practices. The disjunction between the scholastic establishment and the emerging marketplace of music in the public sphere plays out in Burney’s exercise, making visible both his presentist aesthetic and his philosophical preoccupation with the political and moral propriety of musical pleasure. Moreover, this critical impulse informed Burney’s revolutionary plan for a national music school in 1774, in which the provision of practical music education was pushed to the front ranks of his reformist agenda.
Previous years



Lia Turtas (Italian Studies) was awarded the Brettschneider Award for her proposal entitled “The Automaton of Italian Cinema: Towards a Reinterpretation of Humanism in the Age of Cinematic Apparatus (2017-2018).” With the aid of this fellowship, Turtas will be able to conduct on-site fieldwork at Oxford, the United Kingdom over the summer of 2018, in the hopes of rereading Italian cinema from a post human and nonhuman point of view.

Nikolaus Krachler (Industrial and Labor Relations) was awarded the Brettschneider Award for his proposal entitled “Mobilizing the Power of Workers for Positive Workplace Change: A Comparison of Care Coordination Programs in the US and the UK (2017-2018).” With the aid of this fellowship, Krachler will be able to conduct on-site fieldwork in the United Kingdom, including Oxford, over the summer of 2018, in the hopes of examining how the power of workers and the different institutional designs of health systems interact with each other to shape effective workplace change. By conducting this extensive on-site research, his project will further investigate how health systems as a sub-system of welfare state embed workplace dynamics, and how worker representatives and public policymakers can mobilize the power of workers to effectively and sustainably change work practices.

Max Ajl (Development Sociology) was awarded the Brettschneider Award for his proposal entitled “The Politics of Price-Setting: Farmers, Industrialists, the State, and Market-Making in Modern Tunisia (2017-2018).” With the aid of this fellowship, Musto will be able to conduct on-site research at Oxford over the summer of 2018, in the hopes of studying the international context, social origins, and developmental effects of the Tunisian Protectorate’s colonial development policies and their continuities and discontinuities. His project poses three fundamental questions: How did the colonial and post-colonial governments come to adopt such policies? Why did they take the form they did? What were those policies’ social, environmental, and developmental effects?

Drew Musto (Jurisprudence) was awarded the Brettschneider Award for his proposal entitled “A Bend or Break Moment for the UK’s Unwritten Constitution?” With the aid of this fellowship, Musto will be able to conduct on-site archival research in Oxford, the United Kingdom over the summer of 2018, in the hopes of studying how Brexit will impact the British constitution. In undoing the erstwhile supranational order, powers will flood from Europe back to UK institutions. How these powers will be sorted out and which portions of EU law will remain applicable in the UK remains to be seen. Either this transition will suggest the greatness of the UK’s unwritten constitution, whose flexibility may be exactly what the country needs to absorb the shock of constitutional change, or it will show that the constitution itself is in desperate need of change, unable to satisfactorily answer the questions constitutions traditionally answer—where does power reside?


Nikolaus Krachler, a Ph.D. candidate in international and comparative labor, ILR School, will be travelling to the University of Oxford for two days in early July 2017. He will be meeting with professors who are relevant for his research interests and future job search. He intends to introduce his research to these professors, get useful feedback from them in terms of how to development his research further, and seek labor market advance in terms of potential future employers and how to optimize his job search.

His PhD dissertation research examines the factors that shape the quality of work practices in healthcare. He is conducting the research in the context of recent changes occurring in the US-American and British healthcare systems, in which public and corporate policymakers attempt to integrate work practices across settings that have traditionally not been integrated. These changes have major implications for the workforce, because professionals’ and unions’ traditional strongholds have been hospital-based, inpatient care.

This summer, he will be conducting two months of fieldwork in London, UK. He will interview public policymakers to understand how they have designed contracts to integrate care practices across different providers. The trip will help him in his intellectual development in terms of research and conferences but also to establish important contacts in the UK that will continue to support him in the future.

Anna Li is an interdisciplinary major at Cornell University. Her studies focus on landscape, preservation and cultural heritage. She is interested in the preservation of cultural activities within the landscape on community scale. For her research, surveying the existence of a culture and recoding cultural activities are very important in understanding the culture. The final goal of her research is to develop a sustainable future with a material understanding of the cultural roots.

In this program, she will be able to learn solid archaeological field skills, including section drawing, context reading, photography, magnetic survey. She will also have the opportunity to learn about heritage management, including understanding the meaning for evolution of community organization, social change, and architectural stratigraphy in prehistoric time.

The exchange program will help her perfect her own curriculum and gain hands-on archaeological skills with experienced field archaeologist. She will also have a chance to practice what she have learnt by teaching the newcomers on site. The combination of rigorous archaeological fieldwork, landscape archaeology, heritage management, teaching and the opportunities to work with top-notch scholars will enrich her academic experience.

Tamara Loos, Professor in History Department, was invited to Merton College, Christ Church College and several others within the Oxford University system.

Her research focuses are Southeast Asia and Thailand more specifically. She has written books on Thai history, both of which have entailed archival research about Siamese (Thai) students who studied in English in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These books and her next project reveal her continuing interest in the transnational exchanges that occurred between Asians who lived in the West and Westerners who found home in exile in Asia at the turn of the 19th century.

In her new project, she propose to contextualize the aspirations of individuals who came to British Buddhist Asia to escape various forms of perceived repression and to explore forms of spiritual and sexual emancipation. She will also consider the lives and aspirations of Asian men from British Ceylon, British Burma, and non-colonized Siam who sought emancipation of a more political sort in the West.

Derk Pereboom, Professor in Sage School of Philosophy, was invited to Kant and Freedom Workshop in Merton College, Oxford University as a lecturer.

His research is primarily on free will and moral responsibility and in philosophy of mind. He also works in early modern philosophy, especially on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and in philosophy of religion. He is the author of numerous books, including Living Without Free Will (2001), Consciousness and Prospects of Physicalism (2011), and Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life (2014).

Romin Abdolahzadi (Mathematics, Cornell University) travelled to Oxford University to conduct his project in Zariski Geometries and Anabelian Geometry. His project is aimed at investigating a major problem in Anabelian geometry, and he hopes to attempt a reduction of the problem to the concept of 'elimination of imaginaries' within model theory.


Russell Glynn (Urban and Regional Studies, Cornell University) traveled to Oxford University to learn about and understand, by way of the Transport Studies Unit, multi-regional transportation research centered on energy use and mobility. He hopes to use the information learned during his trip to relate European and American transportation policies and initiatives.

Ruth Mullett (Medieval Studies, Cornell University) traveled to Oxford University to continue conducting research for her project entitled, "The South English Legendary Prologue". Ruth was able to conduct research at libraries in Oxford and London, including the Bodleian and the British libraries. In her own words, traveling to Oxford would provide her with the, "...perfect opportunity to launch [her] dissertation research".


Jason Hecht (Government, Cornell University) was a Visiting Doctoral Student at Oxford in September 2012 as part of the Brettschneider Exchange. Jason was a recipient of the Luigi Einaudi Graduate Fellowship for 2012-13, as awarded by the Cornell Insititute for European Studies, to conduct research on his project, 'Class War or Politics as Usual? Class and Redistributive Politics in an Era of Expanding Inequality'. 

2011 (2008)

Susan Christopherson (deceased) was a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise at Cornell University. She was an economic geographer (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley), whose research and teaching focused on economic development, urban labor markets and location patterns in service industries, particularly the media industries. Her research included both international and U.S. policy-oriented projects.

Her book, Remaking Regional Economies: Labor, Power and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (2007) focuses on barriers to regional economic development in the U.S. economy.

She had written numerous articles for academic journals on subjects ranging from labor standards to the competition between US and Canadian regions for film and TV production.

Christopherson presented a lecture in the faculty of geography and environmental sciences at Oxford, focusing on her work on the Marcellus shale gas drilling, beginning to take off in Europe.



Stephen L. Morgan is the Director of the Center for the Study of Inequality and Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University, an M.Phil. in Comparative Social Research from Oxford University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University.

Morgan visited Oxford from May 16-20, 2010 during which time he gave the lecture, "Primary and Secondary Effects of Stratification on College Entry in the United States."

Professor Morgan's other current areas of research include poverty, race, education, and methodology. In addition to journal articles and book chapters on these topics, he has published two books: On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States (2005) and, co-written with Christopher Winship,Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research (2007). He is also the lead editor (along with David Grusky and Gary Fields) of the collection Mobility and Inequality: Frontiers of Research from Sociology and Economics(2006) and a co-editor (along with Arne Kalleberg, John Myles, and Rachel Rosenfeld) of Inequality: Structures, Dynamics and Mechanisms (2004).


María Antonia Garcés, Professor Emerita of Hispanic Studies, was invited to Oxford in November 2007 by Professor Edwin Williamson, King Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish, Fellow of Exeter College.

She participated in the International Colloquium "Autoridad y poder en la literatura del Siglo de Oro” (Structures of Power in the Literature of the Spanish Golden Age), hosted by Professor Williamson at Exeter College, where she gave a keynote lecture in Spanish entitled, “Poder y saber en Cervantes: De la 'Epístola a Mateo Vázquez' a Los tratos de Argel.”

The visit gave her a chance to conduct research at the Bodleian Library, working at the Oriental Collection with manuscripts and drawings depicting early modern life in Istanbul. The findings were used in her book on early modern relations between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries. She delivered a keynote paper on "Captives, Dissidents, and Renegades: New Signs of Identity in Cervantes” at the Oxford Hispanic Research Seminar.

Robert S. Summers (deceased) was the William G. McRoberts Professor of Research in the Administration of the Law at the Cornell Law School of 2005. Summers, who received his LL.B. from Harvard in 1959, is the author of numerous books, including The Uniform Commercial Code (with James J. White, 1995). The four-volume treatise is considered the most influential treatment of the largest body of private law ever adopted by American state legislatures.

Other significant books by Summers include Law: Its Nature, Function and Limits (1986), Form and Substance in Anglo American Law (1991), Instrumentalism in American Legal Theory (1982) and Lon L. Fuller (1984). Summers had been a member of the Cornell law faculty since 1969, assuming his endowed professorship in 1976. He visited Oxford in 2007.


Gail Holst-Warhaft At the invitation of Dr. Dimitris Papanikolao, Director of the Modern Greek program in the Department of Modern Languages, Oxford University, Gail Holst-Warhaft visited Oxford in May 2006.

She gave two public seminars, with one focusing on the Rembetika Music of Greece and the other on the relationship between the music of Mikis Theodorakis and Modern Greek poetry. Holst-Warhaft published her translations of the collected poems of Mikis Theodorakis, "I Had Three Lives: Selected Poems and Songs of Theodorakais" and her revised edition of her book Road to Rembetika.

She was the director of the Mediterranean Initiative in the Cornell Institute for European Studies, and an adjunct professor in the departments of Near Eastern Studies, Classics, and Comparative Literature.