Spring 2017 Fellows

Ed Cohn headshot
Participant , Grinnell College , History
Dr. Cohn specializes in the social and political history of the Soviet Union in the decades after World War II. His first book, The High Title of a Communist, analyzes the Soviet Communist Party’s system of internal discipline in the twenty years after World War II, focusing on investigations of corruption, war-time collaboration with the Nazis, drunkenness, and sexual misconduct among Communists. During his semester at the Obermann Center, he will be at work on a book about the KGB’s efforts to fight dissent and political unrest in the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and...
Participant , University of Iowa , English
Author of Where My Heart Is Turning Ever: Civil War Stories and Constitution Reform, 1861-1876, Dr. Diffley has also edited To Live and Die: Collected Stories of the Civil War, a volume drawn from stories that first circulated in the magazines of the 1860s and 1870s. Both books have been funded by the NEH, and her continuing research has been supported as well by a Howard Foundation Fellowship. She has just edited Witness to Reconstruction, a collection of essays about Constance Fenimore Woolson’s sojourns in the mysterious and ravaged postwar South. During her...
Headshot of Manuel Vilas
Participant , Author
Manuel Vilas was born in Barbastro, in the Huesca region of Spain. Vilas has published 13 books of poetry to date. In addition to Gran Vilas, these include ResurrectionCalor, and more recently El hundimiento. He is the author of numerous novels, including España and El luminoso regalo, and has been widely published in newspapers and literary journals. During his semester at the Obermann Center, he will be working on a new book of nonfiction titled Crónicas americanas (American Chronicles), which will relate the author's...
Headshot of Matthew Hannah
Participant , University of Iowa , Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Hannah is a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Obermann Center. He earned his PhD from the University of Oregon in June 2015. He studies Anglo-American modernism, twentieth-century literature, and digital humanities. His dissertation, Networks of Modernism: Toward a Theory of Cultural Production, analyzes modernism as the product of diffuse transatlantic interactions among individuals. 
Headshot of Melissa Moreton
Participant , University of Iowa , Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Moreton is a Postdoc Fellow with the Andrew W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar, "Cultural and Textual Exchanges: The Manuscript Across Pre-Modern Eurasia," which brings scholars of history, art history, and religion, scientists, book conservators and practitioners together to chart cultural exchanges across pre-modern Asia and Europe (c. 400-1450 CE). The interdisciplinary seminar uses a study of the manuscript book, its development and movement to map these exchanges. Moreton's research examines the influence of Islamic and Byzantine book...
Headshot of Shaun Vecera
Participant , University of Iowa , Psychological and Brain Sciences
Dr. Vecera is Herman J. and Eileen S. Schmidt Chair of the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. He received his PhD from the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and his BS from the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon. During his semester at the Obermann Center, he will investigate the topic of distracted automobile driving; in particular, he aims to identify individuals prone to risky driving and examine how directing visual attention to a location in a driving environment is influenced by the driver's having previously looked at that spot.