Texas Tech University

2022-2023 Faculty Fellows

The Humanities Center congratulates Fareed Ben-Youseff, Assistant Professor in Film and Media, and Sydnor Roy, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, on being named our Spring 2023 Faculty Fellows.

These fellowships will allow Professors Ben-Youseff and Roy time away from scheduled teaching to focus on major projects.  Please see the descriptions of these fellows' projects below.

Fareed Ben-Youseff, 9/11 Transformed the Whole Planet, Not Just America!': Following the War on Terror's Shadow Across Global Cinema 

Fareed Ben-YoussefAfter 9/11, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1373, requiring all member states to align their domestic laws with America's War on Terror mandate. The resolution laid the foundation for global security law. This qualitative study follows the War on Terror's shadow across global cinema by examining how international filmmakers have adopted Hollywood genres to critique the expansive legal frameworks that define the post-9/11 world. Expanding upon Ben-Youssef's recent monograph No Jurisdiction (SUNY Press, 2022) focused primarily on post-9/11 genre cinema in the U.S. context, it asks: How has the impact of 9/11 and the U.S. War on Terror been represented in global cinema? How have international filmmakers used Hollywood genres to show the ways local laws have shifted vis-à-vis the War on Terror? How have the costs of such shifts on already-marginalized populations been represented? Ben-Youssef's Spring 2023 research as a Humanities Center fellow focuses primarily on France, a nation marked by great social and legal shifts after 9/11. Since then, France has increasingly scrutinized its Arab and multi-racial populations. Ben-Youssef explores how French filmmakers have employed well-established genres (like the western) to visualize how 9/11 and subsequent states of emergency have widened existing divides between the country's White and non-White communities

Sydnor Roy, Political Relativism: Political Theories in Herodotus' Histories

Sydnor RoyIn my project, I argue for a fundamental realignment of how we talk about politics and political theorizing in Herodotus' Histories. My monograph explores the complex and mutually influential relationships between geography, culture, history, individuals, and politics in the Histories, with a goal towards positing an understanding of political thought and action in the text. I will show that Herodotus employs historical characters and speakers representative of a society to explicate competing ideas of how the relationships listed above work. Through analysis of the speakers' ideas and Herodotus' own (expressed or implied by the narrator), I provide a new understanding of how Herodotus thinks about how politics and political actors work. The result, contrary to most scholars' view of Herodotus, is a consistent, if implicit, political theory at play in the Histories that I call “political relativism” – the recognition that a society makes political choices based upon the subjective beliefs of its people, which are formed by their culture, environment, and history. Often in Herodotus, culture is destiny; but actors, both individual and societal, who are able to understand how culture shapes destiny, can shift the natural course of events in a new direction.