University of California, Santa Barbara, professors Richard Ross and David White have received prestigious Guggenheim fellowships for 2007. They are among 189 artists, scholars, and scientists from the United States and Canada so honored by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Guggenheim Fellows are selected on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.
Ross, professor of art, will use his fellowship award to continue a photography project he began five years ago, titled "Architecture of Authority." It features a series of photographs depicting architecture as a representation of authority. While the completed portion of the project focuses on empty rooms, his new work will include similar spaces occupied by actual and perceived figures of authority.
An exhibition of "Architecture of Authority" will take place in June at Acme Arts in Los Angeles and travel to Aperture Gallery in New York City in 2008.
Ross, who has taught at UCSB since 1977, was the principal photographer of the J. Paul Getty Museum's Getty Villa restoration project, which was completed last year. He also is the principal photographer documenting the Getty Conservation Institute's research work in various countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, Tunisia, and China. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Europe, and has photographed for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, San Francisco Examiner, Discover, and Vogue.
White, a professor of religious studies, will use his fellowship award to complete his book "Sinister Yogis," in which he reconstructs the ancient and medieval narrative of yogis and argues that the most perennial and pervasive form of yogic practice in South Asia has comprised techniques for exiting one's body, either to fuse with a supreme power or to take over the bodies of other creatures. The book will be published by University of Chicago Press in 2008.
White, who earned his Ph.D. in history of religions at the University of Chicago, specializes in religion in South Asia; Hindu tantra; Sanskrit; Yoga traditions of India; history of Indian science and medicine; comparative Indo-European studies; and comparative mythology. He also is the author of "Kiss of the Yogini: ‘Tantric Sex' in its South Asian Contexts" (University of Chicago Press, 2003).