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Current Forum Fellows 2019-2020 ORIGINS

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Rangar Cline

Associate Professor of Religious Studies



Dr. Cline’s current book project examines the origins of Christian pilgrimage with the context of Greek, Roman, and Jewish pilgrimage traditions and considers the motivations and economic consequences of pilgrimage in the later Roman world.  Dr. Cline will be creating an on-line database for hosting open-access data related to the economics of late antique pilgrimage and he will be presenting a public forum for invited scholars, OU faculty, and students to discuss the origins of Christian pilgrimage.



Joyce Coleman

Rudolph C. Bambas Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture


Dr. Coleman will complete her monograph that focuses on how illustrations in early medieval manuscripts depicted the origins and uses of books, and on how that imagery migrated over to and was adapted for secular texts, in a process linked to the birth of lay literacy and vernacular literature.






Joshua Frydman

Assistant Professor of Japanese


Dr. Frydman explores the appearance of inscriptions of literary works (loosely defined) on objects and architectural elements across various premodern societies. Through comparing examples of graffiti and other inscriptions that quote or appear similar to literature, we can understand how people in premodern societies composed, transmitted, and enjoyed important works in their own time.




Paulo Moreira

Associate Professor of Portuguese


Dr. Moreira's project aims to investigate Latin America as an identity and as an imagined place by tracing the use of botanic tropes when writing about Latin America and the terminological disputes between competing names for the continent.





Ping Zhu

Associate Professor of Chinese Literature

Dr. Zhu's project explores the transpacific connection between the building of an interracial-democratic nation in America after the Civil War and the rise of Chinese diasporic nationalism culminating in the 1905 anti-American boycott (the first US-China trade war). By comparing the public sentiments, policies, and literature surrounding the Chinese Exclusion Act on both continents, Dr. Zhu demonstrates that the resistance of diasporic Chinese played a pivotal role in supplying the strength, ideas, material support, and even martyrdom for the rise of nationalism in their homeland. Overall, this project shows the complex picture of how the transpacific formation of racism worked as a shaping force for modern nationalisms and identities.