DSHB Faculty Scholars Announced

December 9, 2016

When the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank (DSHB) at the University of Iowa announced its intention last April to fund research scholarships for UI humanities faculty, its director, Professor of Biology David Soll, said the initiative was meant to advance the broad-based education of liberal arts students, including aspiring scientists. 

"These DSHB Faculty Scholarships will be directed not to scientists, but to professors in areas that teach our future scientists how to read, write, and think," Soll said. "We look at this as an investment in the future vitality of the scientific disciplines. All scientists need the skills that the humanities teach in order to engage in forward-looking, ethical research and communicate the relevance of their work to society."

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has now announced the first class of DSHB Faculty Scholars, who are engaged in the sort of innovative humanities research envisioned by the DSHB board of advisors.

Professor Maria José Barbosa of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese will use the award to complete her research for part of a book project tentatively titled Women in/at Play in Brazilian Popular Culture. She will travel to the Reference Center of the Museum of Soccer, which is connected to the Center of Urban Anthropology of the University of São Paulo, and which holds archives unavailable online or in other libraries. The book focuses on gender, race, and nation-building in four areas of popular culture (Umbanda, a syncretic belief system; carnaval, the local expression of Mardi Gras, capoeira, a form of self-defense/dance/ritual; and soccer). The chapter on soccer will provide a detailed account of the challenges female Brazilian players have encountered, the concessions made, and the victories won.

Professor James Giblin of the Department of History will use the scholarship to fund research for a book on political activism in Tanzania during the 1950s and 1960s, tentatively titled Dissidence in Nyerere's Tanzania: A Story of Struggle for Democracy and Human Rights. The book will study several members of parliament in newly independent Tanzania who opposed the creation of a one-party state by the country's first president, Julius Nyerere, and argued instead for broader democracy and respect for human rights. These parliamentarians are nearly forgotten now, but they were responsible for debate on these issues that continues today. Because very little of their story was recorded in writing, Giblin will travel to Tanzania to collect oral histories.

Associate Professor Jennifer Sessions of the Department of History will use the funding to complete a book tentatively titled French Colonialism in an Algerian Village. She will conduct primary research in French archives into the village of Margueritte (now Aïn Torki), an unexceptional French settlement in colonial Algeria made notorious by a revolt in April 1901 by the surrounding Righa tribe. The book will examine what everyday life was like in an ordinary colonial village like Margueritte, how European settlers and Muslim Algerians interacted and coexisted before the revolt, and how those everyday interactions shaped the violence of 1901. Sessions anticipates that answering these questions will offer new understandings of settler colonialism in French Algeria, and of the relationship between daily life and colonial violence in settler colonial contexts around the world.

The DSHB Faculty Scholar program annually supports up to four rotating positions in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Each DSHB Faculty Scholar, selected by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, receives $2,500 over two years to defray research-related expenses such as travel and archiving in the service of a specific project.

The Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank is housed in the UI Department of Biology, but is independently funded solely through sales of biological samples to biomedical researchers. Created in 1986 by the National Institutes of Health as a national resource, DSHB exists to facilitate biomedical research by providing monoclonal antibody samples to researchers at a fraction of the cost of commercial markets. With the largest non-commercial collection of such samples in the world, which are used to fight cancer and other diseases, DSHB has some 110,000 customers worldwide, including about 200 at the UI. DSHB holds exclusive distribution rights with the National Cancer Institute. 


The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 67 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year. 

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