UW Faculty Receive Prizes, Fellowships, Awards

Danny Hoffman, Gillian Harkins, and Yomi Braester.

The Simpson Center congratulates several UW faculty who have recently been named the recipients of notable prizes, fellowships, and awards. They include:
 
Yomi Braester (Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies) has won the 2012 Joseph Levenson Book Prize, post-1900 Category, for Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract (Duke UP, 2010). The China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies gives two Levenson Book Prizes annually—one for works focusing on China before 1900 and the other for works on post-1900 China. Works in all disciplines and in all periods of Chinese history are eligible.
 
In Painting the City Red, Braester presents an original study of the interaction between cultural producers, urban planners, and city residents in the creation of urban space. Challenging the conventional view of urban culture as a response to the physical reality of the city, he shows how Chinese filmmakers and stage performers were often directly involved in the building of that reality. He examines over a hundred Chinese films and plays, incorporating archival material related to the circumstances of their production and interviews with individuals involved. Braester’s scholarship makes an important argument about the significance of cultural production to shaping the world in which we live.
 
Danny Hoffman (Anthropology) is the recipient of a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. New Directions Fellowships assist faculty in the humanities, and in areas of fields such as anthropology and geography that bridge the humanities and social sciences, who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. 
 
Hoffman will pursue formal training in architecture and urban design. His interest in these fields stems from his ethnographic work on militarization in sub-Saharan Africa as well as his experience as a photojournalist on the continent. In previous research, Hoffman has explored how young men in Sierra Leone and Liberia were recruited by militias fighting in both countries’ recent wars and found the modern city to be crucial to the organization of violence and labor in West Africa’s warzones. He anticipates that the training offered through the New Directions Fellowship will provide the foundation of a long-term research project exploring urban warfare and security interventions in African cities. He plans to conduct his future studies at the UW’s College of Built Environments, and in South Africa at both the Department of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town.
 
Several faculty in the humanities and social sciences are being recognized by the UW this year for outstanding contributions to teaching, mentoring, and public service. These award winners will be honored during the university’s annual Awards of Excellence event, scheduled for 3:30 pm on Thursday, June 7, in Meany Hall.  They include:
 
Gillian Harkins (English) will receive the S. Sterling Munro Public Service Teaching Award. The award is given to a faculty member demonstrating exemplary leadership in community-based instruction, including service learning, public service internships and community partnership projects. Through a Simpson Center grant, Harkins initiated Transformative Education Behind Bars, a project that invites UW faculty and graduate students to collaborate with educators at community colleges, nonprofit organizations, other university programs, and correctional facilities to expand educational access and justice for incarcerated students.
 
Sarah Elwood-Faustino (Geography), Maria Elena Garcia (Comparative History of Ideas), and Leslie Ashbaugh (Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW-Bothell) are being awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, given to individuals who show "a mastery of their subject matter, intellectual rigor and a passion for teaching."
 
To see a complete list of award winners being honored this spring by the UW, click here.