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The Society of Fellows in the Humanities Announces its New Fellows for 2015-16

Fellows, SOF Fellows

April 27, 2015

The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University announces the election of three new Fellows for the 2015-16 academic year: Carmel Raz, Benjamin Breen, and David Gutkin. The three new Fellows were selected by the Governing Board of the Society from a pool of over 900 international applicants.

“These three scholars were selected from a broad search for the most promising emerging work in the humanities. I am thrilled they have chosen to join us,” said Christopher L. Brown, Director and Chair of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. “Their range, rigor, creativity, and erudition suit them well for inclusion in what already is a strong and diverse group of scholars.”

The new Fellows joining the Society of Fellows in the Humanities bring to the organization a variety of scholarly pursuits and experiences. Carmel Raz received her PhD in music theory from Yale. She holds a Diploma in violin from the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, and an MA in composition from the University of Chicago. Her current book project investigates early Romantic auditory cultures at the intersection of music and neuroscience. Raz’s work also looks at the interaction between experimental music, the phonograph, and phonetics in the early twentieth century.

David Gutkin is a scholar of American and European music from the early twentieth century through the present. He received his PhD in Historical Musicology from Columbia. Gutkin’s research focuses on technologies of mediating music (from notation to television), processes of canon formation, and temporal dimensions of historical memory. He has published articles on Robert Ashley’s television operas in The Opera Quarterly, graphic notation in Perspectives of New Music, and ludic theory in the edited volume Notation in Creative Processes (forthcoming). David also edited a special issue of Current Musicology featuring “Experimental Writing About Music.” As a classical guitarist, he has premiered numerous works and performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Lastly, Benjamin Breen is an historian of the early modern world with a PhD in history from The University of Texas at Austin. His research examines the origins of the global drug trade in the tropical belt, with a particular focus on the Portuguese and British empires in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His larger interests include the origins of globalization and exchanges between European, African, and indigenous American natural knowledge.

Carmel, David, and Benjamin will begin teaching courses in the Core Curriculum in fall 2015, alongside the five returning Fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities. The returning Fellows are Maggie Cao, Lecturer in Art History; Hidetaka Hirota, Lecturer in History and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Lecturer in Classics; Rebecca Woods, Lecturer in History; and Grant Wythoff, Lecturer in English. Full biographies for all of current, incoming, and alumni Fellows can be found on the Fellows Directory.

Fellows in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities are appointed for one to three years as Postdoctoral Research Scholars and as Lecturers in the Core Curriculum across a variety of humanities departments at Columbia University. In addition to teaching, conducting research, and publishing work, Fellows plan a weekly talk in the Thursday Lecture Series, which is open to the University community.

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Carmel Raz

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David Gutkin

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Benjamin Breen