2017 Reves Faculty Fellows

Marcus Holmes, Assistant Professor, Government, “Analyzing Dyadic Diplomatic Interactions: The Case of U.S.-Russia over Iran”

The research question of this project is under what conditions leaders and diplomats are able to cultivate personal chemistry that can translate into better understanding and cooperation with one another. The goal is to write a leading book on the topic that integrates psychology, neuroscience, and political science on the theory side with studies of cases that have yet to be systematically examined, notably US and Russian official interpersonal interactions in the lead-up to the Iran Nuclear Deal, which is the focus of this Fellowship.

Neil NormanCoordinator of Concentration in African Studies & Assistant Professor of AnthropologyArchaeological Explorations along the East African Coast

The fellowship will support a three-week excavation season on Zanzibar and three-week excavation season in Djibouti.  The Zanzibar sites contain tobacco remains and represent early Portuguese colonial efforts, and are ideally situated for comparisons with similar British efforts at Jamestown, North Carolina, and the Caribbean.  The organizing questions relate to 1) how widespread was tobacco cultivation across the island 2) how the organization of Portuguese fortified tobacco fields might relate to English ones and 3) how did local Swahili people relate socially, politically, and economically to Portuguese colonists/farmers.  Project members will also partner with the House of Wonders Museum (National Museum of Zanzibar) and director of antiquities to realize local exhibits and engagement. 

Michelle Lelievre, Assistant Professor of Anthropology/American Studies, “Reanimating the Mi’kmaw Cultural Landscape along the Minas Basin’s Northern Shore: Phase 3”

The proposed research would be the third of a multi-phase, interdisciplinary, and collaborative project to document Mi'kmaw presence on the north shore of the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, thus making visible a long-term indigenous history that has often been rendered invisible (or ignored) by the settler population. The project asks: Can oral historical, geological, and archival evidence be used to guide the identification of archaeological remains of Mi'kmaw activity - including settlement, subsistence practices, and resource harvesting - in the pre- and post-contact periods? The proposed project challenges assumptions that impermanent occupation is not conducive to common law traditions of proper land use and ownership. Research that explains the centrality of ancestral landscapes to processes of indigenous cultural survival and uplift - and especially research conducted in collaboration with indigenous communities - has the potential to shift conceptions of protests like those occurring at Standing Rock - from false dichotomies of "us" vs. "them" to understandings of the mutual benefit that can derive from responsibly managing resources for all.

Joseph Zhang, Research Associate Professor at VIMS Center for Coastal Resources Management, “Understanding Long-term Ice Dynamics in European Seas through International Collaboration in Research and Education” 

The fellowship will be used to study the long-term ice dynamics in the European seas in collaboration with scholars in Germany. The main research topic is to understand the inter-annual variability of the ice extent in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, as a first step toward forecasting and predicting their future conditions in a warming climate. SCHISM (Semi-implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model), is an innovative, open-source community-supported modeling System with approximately 35 developers in the U.S., Germany, Portugal, UK, France, New Zealand, China and Taiwan, and 190+ and rapidly growing user groups. SCHISM is designed for the effective simulation of 3D baroclinic circulation across creek-to-ocean scales. SCHISM does not have an ice component, however, which limits its application to long-term studies of high-latitude oceans such as European seas. The funding will support working on implementation of a new ice model inside the SCHISM modeling system.