Fung Global Fellows to focus on the culture and politics of resentment

April 28, 2017 6:25 a.m.

Six exceptional early career scholars from around the world will come to Princeton University this fall to begin a year of research, writing and collaboration as the fifth cohort of Fung Global Fellows.

The Fung Global Fellows Program, administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, brings together international research scholars from the social sciences and humanities around a common topic. For the 2017-18 academic year, the scholars will work on "The Culture and Politics of Resentment." Gyan Prakash, the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, will direct the program.

"Resentment is a powerful emotion for expressing culture and politics," Prakash said. "Experiences and memories of humiliation, oppression and marginalization have stimulated emotions of resentment, and produced compelling demands for political inclusion and justice around the world. Alternatively, rage against what is seen as the 'tyranny of the minority,' inequality, the corruption and aloofness of elites, the 'foreign,' and the illegitimate have generated powerful populist upsurges against the perceived enemies of a homogeneous body of 'the people.'

"The goal for our new cohort will be to explore the full range of phenomena involved in the culture and politics of resentment, the conditions that produce such sentiments, and the projects they advance," he said.  

The six fellows selected for 2017-18:

  • Miranda Jakiša, a professor of South and East Slavic literatures and cultures at Humboldt University in Berlin
  • Daniel Karell, an assistant professor of sociology in the Division of Social Science at New York University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Olga Panteleeva, a lecturer in musicology in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands
  • Jürgen Schaflechner, an assistant professor of South Asian studies at Heidelberg University in Germany
  • Yunus Sözen, an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Özyeğin University in Istanbul
  • Sjoerd van Tuinen, an assistant professor in philosophy at Erasmus University in the Netherlands

The program is funded by a portion of a $10 million gift from Princeton alumnus William Fung of Hong Kong that is designed to increase substantially the University's engagement with scholars around the world and inspire ideas that transcend borders.

The first group of fellows came together around the theme of "Languages and Authority" — an examination of how languages interact with political, social, economic and cultural authority. The second cohort focused on "Global Diffusion," an examination of how certain policies, specific modes of social categorization, and cultural templates spread to nations around the globe while others never catch on. In the program's third year, fellows focused on "Ethnic Politics and Identities" — the causes, narrative modalities and consequences of the politicization of ethnic, racial and national divides from a comparative perspective. The cohort completing the current academic year is focused on "International Society — Institutions and Actors in Global Governance." The scholars are working on examining the emergence, functioning and effects of international organizations and transnational associations of all types from a cultural, historical, political, sociological or other perspective.

More about the newly appointed Fung Global Fellows: 

Jakiša received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Tübingen in Germany. Her research includes the Slavic literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries, contemporary post-dramatic theater, oral epic traditions and (post-)Yugoslav film. Recently, Jakiša has concentrated on aesthetic strategies of dissent in different arts. Her publications on the theater of intervention lay the groundwork for her research on resentment. During her time in Princeton, Jakiša will examine performative cultures of resentment in Eastern European protest art and artists' activism in public space, on the internet and in the streets. The artistic articulations she is interested in are political and step in for institutional and systemic deficits in political participation.

Karell received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington. His research focuses on understanding how social mechanisms at the micro level transform macro social patterns, such as intrastate conflict and labor migration streams. His work often adopts the frameworks of comparative historical sociology, network science and computational textual analysis, and his empirical research centers on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Karell's current project, "Roots of Radicalism: Revolution, Tradition, and the Politics of Resentment" traces the co-evolution of radicalism and insurgent networks over 30 years of conflict in Afghanistan. His research has been published in journals including Social Science Research, Nations and Nationalism, and Nationality Papers.

Panteleeva received a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of California-Berkeley. Her research focuses on the relationship between political power and the production of humanistic knowledge — dynamics of resistance and cooperation with the state. Her monograph, "The Making of Soviet Musicology," dismantles the understanding of 1917 as a "zero hour" in Soviet culture by demonstrating that the early Soviet scholarship was deeply rooted in the pre-Revolutionary positivist thought, which paved the way to the Marxist theoretical framework. Her next research project will center on musicology during the Cold War and will interrogate the notion that scholarship produced in oppressive societies is irreparably compromised by its political co-optation.

Schaflechner received a Ph.D. in South Asian literary studies and anthropology from Heidelberg University. His research and teaching focuses on cultural and postcolonial theory, the politics of religious and ethnic minorities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the role of documentary film in anthropological research. His most recent publications deal with religious stereotypes in Urdu horror fiction from Pakistan, the politics behind cases of so-called forced conversions of Hindu women to Islam in Sindh and the ritual dynamics at a Hindu temple in Baluchistan. He has also explored his research topics through the production of six independent documentary films. At Princeton, Jürgen will look at the role of feelings of "ressentiment" in populist movements initiated by "precarious communities" in South Asia.

Sözen received his Ph.D. in politics from New York University. His areas of specialty within the field of political science are comparative politics and democratic theory. His research focuses on the relationship between political ideas/ideologies, particularly populism and political regime dynamics. During his time as a Fung fellow, he will examine resistance and opposition to left- and right-wing populist rulers (in various South American cases, Hungary and Turkey) who acquired and kept power in competitive settings by organizing popular resentment.

Van Tuinen received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Ghent University in Belgium. At his home university, he coordinates the Centre for Art and Philosophy and is a co-founder of the Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge, where he is responsible for a project on European politics of debt and austerity. In his project at Princeton, titled "Ressentiment: Pedagogy of a Concept," van Tuinen plans to disentangle what he calls the "resentment-ressentiment complex," or the confusion of authentic indignation with passive aggression in current political discourse. He is the editor of numerous books, including "Deleuze and The Fold. A Critical Reader" (2010), "De nieuwe Franse filosofie" (2011), "Speculative Art Histories" (2017) and " The Polemics of Ressentiment"  (forthcoming). He is the author of "Sloterdijk. Binnenstebuiten denken" (2004).