Cohort 7

Duration of stay: 1 October 2023 – 31 March 2024

Fellows of the 7th Cohort. From left to right: Morgan Robinson, Evelyn Runge (Thyssen@KWI Fellow), Tom Allen, Justin Begley, Ricarda Menn (KWI International Fellowships Coordinator) and Julika Griem (KWI Director).

Dr. Tom Allen

Tom Allen completed his PhD in 2021 and has held teaching and research positions at The University of Sussex, Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle, The University of Paris Nanterre and The American University of Paris. He has published on contemporary anglophone poetry, Critical Theory and European cinema. Tom’s poetry, translations and criticism have been published most recently by the Los Angeles Review of Books and Earthbound press, as well as a number of international magazines.

He plans to use his time at KWI to work on his first monograph entitled Care for Trapped Things: Literature and the Critique of Insurance and to begin to develop a second project on radical form within the poetry of the French left.

Dr. Justin Begley

Justin is a literary and intellectual historian whose research interests lie in the relationship between poetry and natural philosophy during the early modern period, animal and plant studies, manuscript cultures, and the history of the life sciences.

Since receiving his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2017, Justin has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Helsinki and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. He is currently at the University of Basel, where he is pursuing his habilitation project. In recent years, he has received several research awards, including the Lisa Jardine Grant at the Royal Society and a Junior Fellowship at the University of Bayreuth Centre of International Excellence. He has also held research fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Gotha Research Centre, and the Herzog August Bibliothek.

Justin has published in journals including Annals of Science, Perspectives on Science, and Intellectual History Review. He has written extensively on Margaret Cavendish and her contexts, including a book titled The Medical World of Margaret Cavendish (2023), and has also published on other important seventeenth- and eighteenth-century figures, including Pierre Gassendi, Nehemiah Grew, and Stephen Hales. His current project, which he will pursue as a KWI International Fellow, explores ideas about plants and vegetality in the English and German speaking worlds in the decades c.1700.

Dr. Morgan Robinson

I am a historian of eastern Africa and the history of science, focused on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My research interests fall under the rubric of knowledge production broadly speaking, including in the areas of language, standardization, bureaucracy, research, and education. I received my B.A. from Yale University in 2008 and my Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2018 and am currently an assistant professor in the Department of History at Mississippi State University. My first book, A Language for the World: The Standardization of Swahili (November 2022, Ohio University Press) examines the long-term, interconnected processes that produced Standard Swahili as it is taught around the world today, zooming in on specific moments of conversation, translation, and codification. Adopting this dual perspective allowed me to uncover the ways in which, over the course of a century, various communities-in-construction converged upon the project of linguistic knowledge production in and about Swahili.

While at KWI I plan to continue research for my second book project, tentatively titled Making an African University: Histories of Inquiry in East Africa. The book will examine the diverse frameworks of scholarly inquiry that co-mingled in this region across two centuries, ranging from discussions on the baraza (front porches) of Zanzibar, to universities in Kampala and Dar es Salaam. My aim with this project is to explore the notion of research, demonstrating how a region like East Africa—largely ignored in the mainstream literature on the history of science and its concomitant field the history of the humanities, both of which focus fundamentally on questions pertaining to the production of knowledge—can and should be an essential part of the conversation. To do so, I examine several case studies of research and researchers who, though perhaps not hewing to our traditional understanding of the terms, were engaged in scholarly inquiry. I argue that such “frameworks of inquiry” did not disappear with the establishment of colonial institutions of higher education, but rather informed the possibilities and modes of research available to East Africans in those spaces.

Dr. Evelyn Runge

Evelyn Runge, Dr.phil., heads projects on the digital image at the Institute for Media Culture and Theatre at the University of Cologne. She was previously a BMBF research fellow at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel (2015-2019) and at the CAIS Center for Advanced Internet Studies in Bochum (2019/20). With her work Glamour of Misery. Ethics, Aesthetics and Social Criticism in Sebastião Salgado and Jeff Wall, Runge received her PhD in Political Theory from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.

She was a member of the Junge Akademie at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2011-2016). Her research focuses on photojournalism, media ethics, digital image cultures, visual ethnography, with a particular interest in the intersections of politics and society as well as theory and practice. She publishes in Rundbrief Fotografie, MEDIENwissenschaft:Rezensionen, Fotogeschichte and Visual History, among others. Evelyn Runge takes photographs for her research and foto reportage. She is a graduate of the VII Masterclass in Arles of the photo agency VII (2022/23). She trained as an editor at the German School of Journalism in Munich. Her reportages and portraits have appeared in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, ZEIT Online and Süddeutsche Zeitung, among others.