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Residential Faculty Research Fellows

Fall 2020 Dresher Center Faculty Research Fellows


Mark Durant, Professor, Visual Arts

Project: Maya Deren, Choreographed for Camera

Maya Deren (1917-1961) is a towering figure in avant-garde film of the 20th century. In addition to the exquisite films she made in the 1940s and 50s, she created an audience for experimental film. During her short life, she worked and collaborated with some of the most vital artists, writers, and intellectuals of her generation, including Marcel Duchamp, Katherine Dunham, Anais Nin, John Cage, and Gregory Bateson. Her narrative is full of dramatic encounters, ambitious goals, a rigorous work ethic, and a stunning cinematic vision. Deren’s life is one of total immersion in virtually the entire spectrum of the humanities; she was a poet, essayist, filmmaker, film theorist, photographer, choreographer, translator, ethnographer, and social activist. Although there is substantial academic scholarship devoted to her work, there has yet to be a biography written for a general audience about this significant artist.



Fan Yang, Associate Professor, Media and Communication Studies

Project: Disorienting Politics: Rising China and Chimerica Media

Disorienting Politics examines the political implications of China’s “rise” in contemporary America from the perspective of media/cultural studies. Encompassing election campaign ads, popular films, shows, and journalistic accounts, these artifacts invite critical attention to the Chinese state as an agent in shaping global media culture. Focusing on transnational media as a site of cultural production, this project explores nationhood, citizenship, and race/ethnicity as key to the interdisciplinary study of politics in global contexts.

For a list of previous Residential Faculty Research Fellows, please visit the Archives page.