Allison Neal is a PhD candidate in English whose research focuses on Anglo-American speech-based poetry composed between 1900 and 1975 alongside various methods of controlling and disseminating the “American voice” in the lead up to and height of the American era. By examining how various British and American cultural and governmental institutions sought to consolidate and spread a representative English-speaking voice both domestically and abroad, this project suggests a new approach to the story of twentieth-century English language poetry.
Samuel Garrett Zeitlin
Major: Political Science
Dissertation Title: War and Peace in the Political Thought of Francis Bacon (1561-1626).
Dissertation Synopsis: The scientist, lawyer, politician, and literary author Francis Bacon was deeply involved in various trans-Atlantic colonial projects, sitting as a member of the Virginia Company of London from 1609, an incorporator of the Newfoundland Company in 1610 and of the Northwest Passage Company in 1612. Bacon’s colonial and imperial involvement was reflected and meditated upon in his theoretical and political writings. The dissertation will examine Bacon’s 1606 white papers addressed to King James I, “Certain Considerations Touching the Plantation in Ireland” in conjunction with Bacon’s later 1625 essays “Of Empire” and “Of Plantations”, as well as discussions of colonies, plantations, and empire in Bacon’s explicit writings on war.
My dissertation examines the ideological and theoretical frameworks with which Bacon contested Spanish imperial claims and asserted British claims to Atlantic empire, while advocating “just” conquest, colonies, and overseas plantations. In the writings of Bacon and his contemporaries the arguments over just war and the religious and prudential justifications of empire were at the core of the early modern articulation of the relation between the Britain and the American colonies as well as the relation between Britain and the uncolonized Americas.
The working title of my dissertation is ‘Freedom Planned: Neoliberalism and the Late Twentieth Century British City.’ My project will chart the end of Britain’s social democratic welfare state in the late 1970s and Britain’s transition to a more globalized, flexible and service orientated economy through Britain’s changing built environment. I am interested particularly in how the changing fabric of British cities reflected, normalized and helped generate new understandings of economic and social life.
By taking the built environment as an object of historical study I want to establish a new vantage point from which to view the history of late twentieth century political and economic change, one that avoids giving causal autonomy to either high politics or structural economic change. My research revolves around four key case studies: the emergence and proliferation of the ‘enterprise zone’ and other similar utopian deregulatory planning strategies, the planning of ‘National Garden Festivals’, a highly visible government sponsored strategy for reclaiming former industrial land, the growth of private enclosed shopping environments (and the privatization of state built shopping precincts) and the privatization of Britain’s public housing stock following new criminological ideas about the relationship between space and crime. Finally I want to investigate the new social and political formations that emerged in British cities to contest these processes. Was it the case that these urban changes produced their own brand of discontents?
Tehila Sasson, a UC Berkeley History Ph.D. student, is the inaugural recipient of the R. Kirk Underhill Graduate Fellowship.
Tehila's dissertation examines the emergence of humanitarian ethics for famine relief in Anglo-American history from 1880 to 1985. She argues that while this ethics was a product of global technologies for famine relief, these technologies were rooted in colonial knowledge.