Global Research Gets Boost from International Travel Grant Program

The International Research Travel Grant offers funding for Dartmouth professors to capitalize on unique opportunities for scholarship. Recently, seven Dartmouth professors returned from locations around the world after productive research trips. Their trips are summarized here:

Ada Cohen

Professor of Art History Ada Cohen traveled to the United Kingdom, where she examined and photographed works or art and other artifacts for two projects: an upcoming essay on the reception of Alexander the Great in the modern period and a book titled Beauty, Ugliness, and the Ancient Greek Woman. She spent most of her time at the National Museum and the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, as well as the British Museum in London.

Annabel Martín

Professor Martín traveled to the University of Valencia in Spain, where she is collaborating with an international group of researchers on a study tourism as depicted in the history of Spanish film, from the early days of cinema to the present. Martín will conduct analysis on depiction of tourism in 1960s Spanish film, with particular focus on the clash between “beach culture” and national-Catholicism. Martín’s work will be included in a book cataloguing the evolution of Spanish film, including reviews of over 200 productions.

Edward Miller

Associate professor of History Edward Miller traveled to Vietnam for two months in the summer of 2015. Miller, a historian of conflict in Vietnam, gathered data for a working project, “Landscapes of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Vietnam’s Ben Tre Province, 1940-1975.” Using maps of the area and reports of security operations conducted by both insurgent and counterinsurgent forces, Miller will conduct the first spatial analysis of how claims of sovereignty were laid upon people and territory in the Mekong Delta. Miller’s work in Vietnam on this trip will culminate in a forthcoming publication.

Ivan Aprahamian

Associate professor of Chemistry Ivan Aprahamian traveled to the United Arab Emirates, where he worked with researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi for one month. While in the UAE, APrahamian worked on two projects. With faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi, Aprahamian built skills for making crystal actuators that can be used in converting visible and near infrared light energy into mechanical work, with potential applications in solar energy production. APrahamian also worked with a research team to develop pH-activated capsules that can deliver medicine to cancerous cells, which are known to be surrounded by an acidic environment. APrahamian’s trip has resulted in the publication of a perspective in Nature Chemistry, as well as deepened relationships with faculty and students at NYU Abu Dhabi and other United Arab Emirates Universities.

Laura Edmondson

Laura Edmondson, Associate Professor of Theater, used Research Travel Grant support to travel to Uganda, Rwanda, and the United Kingdom to complete the research for her book, Trauma, Inc: Performing Violence in Central Africa, which explores the commodification of mass trauma related to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency in northern Uganda, and the ongoing violence in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The main purpose of her travel to Rwanda was to visit Kibeho, a town not only famous for its apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the early 1980s but also notorious as the site of massacres in 1994 and 1995, and explore how memorialization and international tourism intersect. In Kampala, Uganda, Edmondson met with former colleagues at Makerere University, where she taught as a Fulbright Fellow from 2012-2013, for feedback on her chapters concerning the LRA conflict. In the United Kingdom, Edmondson conducted archival research at Oxford on the humanitarian campaign against the brutality of the Congo Free State in the early twentieth century.  Her research in these three sites deepens the book's argument that cultural production and performance in central Africa serve a global "trauma market" and that humanitarian narratives have permeated and shaped creative expression in the region. 

Laura McPherson

Assistant professor of Linguistics Laura McPherson traveled to Germany, where she presented research on replacive tone in the world’s languages, en route to Burkina Faso. In Burkina Faso, McPherson focused her research on the Seenku language and the relationship between the spoken language and a musical surrogate language use of music in communication. McPherson acquired a balafon, a West African resonator xylophone, and began learning how native speakers communicate through tones, and how musical communication compares to Seenku spoken word. McPherson also worked with native speakers to catalogue over 1200 words in a dictionary, transcribe folk stories, and understand the grammatical structures of the language.

Solomon Diamond

In Germany, Associate professor Solomon Diamond conducted research at the Berlin Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). While in Berlin, Diamond collaborated with German scientists and was able to use their research facilities to explore magnetic nanoparticle particles (MNP). Diamond is working on two manuscripts based on breakthroughs made while in Berlin with Travel Grant Funding. First, the research team developed a new mathematical model that successfully predicts MNP responses in untested circumstances, and second, they were able to selectively amplify magnetic signals from simulated neurons. Research conducted on this trip created new techniques to measure MNP behavior, which can be used in medical imaging and neurological research. Diamond described this opportunity as “pivotal” to his academic career.

The Provost’s Office offers up to $5,000 to support international travel for active research projects. For more information about the fund and how to apply, visit the International Research Travel Grant webpage.