2012 IATH Fellows announced

April 24, 2012

IATH is pleased to announce the new IATH Fellows for 2012-2013. Each year IATH offers a two-year Resident Fellowship to a UVA Faculty member, providing office space at the Institute, design and development assistance, use of equipment and software, training, computer programming, budget resources, and development assistance to raise additional grants and gifts to support the research project. One or more Associate Fellowships are awarded each year and include consulting services on project design and technical issues, equipment loans, and grant assistance.

The IATH Resident Fellowship has been awarded to Karen Van Lengen, for her "Site Sounds" project. It will focus on the aural character of buildings through web-based demonstrations and analysis of the visual, auditory, and material aspects of architectural space. Sonic aspects of buildings, whether intentional or not, change the experience of being in a space, adding richness and depth, affecting orientation, or creating spots of isolation and silence.

While vision has dominated the development of architecture since the Renaissance, leading to a preference of how buildings look, a growing awareness of sound is leading a new generation of architects and engineers to pay more attention to acoustics. Prof. Van Lengen's project will have a pedagogical aspect, leading towards the development of analytic tools for the relationships between sound, volume, mass, and material. The project will create a web-based resource that will include exemplary architectural and natural spaces in which sound gives both temporal and experiential meaning to a built environment and will provide an analytical and perceptual learning environment that can demonstrate the potentially synthetic relation between visual, auditory, and material aspects of architectural space.

Two Associate Fellowships have also been awarded, to Professor Stephen Railton in the English Department and Professor of Studio Art Dean Dass. Prof. Railton began developing his "Digital Yoknapatawpha" project in collaboration with the UVA Library's Digital Media Center, SHANTI, and several Faulkner scholars in 2010. It creates a virtual Yoknapatawpha, made up of a series of maps of the fictional county William Faulkner created and used as a setting for fifteen novels and many short stories. This imaginary space was inhabited by hundreds of characters and was the setting for more than 150 years of U.S. history. The maps will show how Faulkner created and then repeatedly re-created Yoknaptawpha, as his stories populated different parts of the county and of U.S. history. Data on intertextual links, character biographies, family trees and histories, and events will allow scholars, students, and critics to better understand and analyze Faulkner’s complex and important works.

Prof. Dass's project looks to marry IATH’s collaborative digital environment with the artist's incarnational and symbolic mode of working, a mode that seeks to discover and foreground the process of creating new works. He will work with IATH's staff to create a digital video that comprises a number of layers. Using as a starting point 8mm film from the late '50s and early '60s, footage shot during family Christmas holidays on a farm in northern Iowa, Dass plans on developing a project tentatively entitled "Winter in America." One of the key questions underlying this collaborative project is what happens to the construction of narrative and meaning when works from different registers — drawings, paintings, archival film, video — are layered and reconstructed in the digital environment.

IATH's Fellowship program supports two distinct areas of research: (1) the development of tools, scholarly resources, or scholarly projects utilizing digital technology for analysis, investigation, modeling or other research activities; and (2) the study of the nature, ethics, history, or future of digital technology as applied to some aspect of the humanities. Fellows developing scholarly tools or projects aim at creation of a new digital product, or at least a prototype, during their tenure. Information about the Fellow application process is available on-line.