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SIX RISING COLLEGE FACULTY RECEIVE SUPPORT FOR NEW WORK THROUGH MILLICENT MCINTOSH FELLOWSHIPS
PRINCETON, NJ—Many young scholars, when researching the Ph.D. dissertations that will become their first books, have relatively few family or professional responsibilities to compete for their time. For them, months of working with an archive in Europe or conducting fieldwork in Asia go with the territory. But fast-forward to the years just after tenure: Now these same scholars have children, spouses, responsibilities to their students and colleges. How can they make the time to develop their second or third books?
The Millicent C. McIntosh Fellowships for Recently Tenured Faculty, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, support outstanding humanities faculty at this critical point in their careers. The six McIntosh Fellows for 2006 are working on a range of innovative projects, including applications of 21st century meme theory to 10th-century Anglo-Saxon literature; a new mapping of intersections of Inca and Spanish cultures in earliest Peru; a look at the New Testament book of Acts as a literary text in the rhetoric-mad world of the Eastern Roman Empire; and other provocative topics. (See recipient list below.)
Ten colleges were invited to participate in the 2006 Fellowship program, the second round of Fellowships in an expanded program that builds on the success of the previous year. The award carries a stipend of $15,000, to which home institutions are expected to contribute another $5,000 in addition to full salary and faculty benefits. Three awards were made in the academic year 2002-03 and in 2003-04 during the pilot stage, and four in 2004-05. Six awards have been made in 2005-06.
Named in honor of Millicent C. McIntosh, the late President of Barnard College and a noted humanist and educator, and funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the fellowships support especially promising faculty who demonstrate a deep commitment to excellent teaching and scholarship in the humanities, and who are exceptional citizens of their academic community. They are intended specifically for recently tenured faculty whose family and other obligations make it difficult for them to be away from their homes for extended periods of time, and who would benefit from additional time and resources to continue their scholarly work. For more information, visit www.woodrow.org/mcintosh.
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Begun in 1945 as a program of doctoral fellowships to meet the nation’s need for talented college teachers, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has supported more than 21,000 intellectual leaders in fields from arts and sciences to business to public service. Over the past two decades, the Foundation has joined its legacy of excellence with its commitment to meet changing national needs at all levels of education—from promoting diversity in the academy and in selected, high-impact professions to building linkages between colleges and universities and public K-12 schools that will improve the quality of education.
Michael D.C. Drout • English, Wheaton [MA] College
Nationally known medievalist Michael Drout brings to his second book, From Tradition to Culture: The Exeter Book and the English Benedictine Reform, not only literary expertise, but also innovative uses of contemporary information theory and evolutionary biology. Dr. Drout will apply the theory of memes—“discrete, transmissible units [of culture] that can be combined and recombined”—to the Exeter Book, a major 10th-century compendium that contains the cultural “genes” of subsequent English literature. The Benedictine monks who compiled the Exeter Book sought to impose a monastic idea of literary tradition on unruly Anglo-Saxon poetry; as they did, Dr. Drout argues, they also unwittingly replicated non-monastic memes, creating the basic code of what would become a much larger British culture.
Katja Garloff • German/Humanities, Reed College
During the 19th century in Europe’s German-speaking countries, Katja Garloff observes, arranged marriages gave way to romantic love, and emancipation laws dissolved some—but not all—strictures on Jews’ participation in civil society. In this milieu, Dr. Garloff argues, both metaphors of romantic love and actual interfaith relationships become pervasive German literary tropes for the mingling of Jewish and German cultures. But these metaphoric and literal relationships, she finds, are uneasy, fraught with difficulties that “explore the space of ambivalence opened up by incomplete emancipation.” Already widely published in her field, Dr. Garloff will make three monthlong research trips to develop her manuscript of Mixed Feelings: Metaphors of Love in German-Jewish Culture, 1780-1930.
David T. Garrett • History/Humanities, Reed College
Until recently, writes David Garrett, scholars have “presupposed the colonial state” established by Spain in the former Incan empire during the 16th and 17th centuries, as if European social and political structures had been simply imposed on indigenous communities in what would become Peru. In Cusco in 1689: A Geography of Colonialism, Dr. Garrett will challenge this orthodoxy, presenting a different historical reality, much more complex and multilayered—an overlapping arrangement of creole settlements and tribal lands, of heavily Spanish parishes and purely Andean cultural and trade networks. Dr. Garrett will work with archival materials during two- to three-week visits to Seville and Cusco in order to help document who he sees as “the enormous creativity and originality of early modern Andean society.”
Robert A. LaFleur • History/Anthropology, Beloit College
Robert LaFleur is both an historian of East Asia and a cultural anthropologist—a combination paralleled by Marcel Granet, whose pioneering interdisciplinary approach to Chinese studies in the 1920s and 1930s is the subject of Dr. LaFleur’s book project. Dr. LaFleur writes that the innovative blend of ethnography and French social theory advanced by Granet—himself a student of Émile Durkheim, one of the first modern sociologists—has long “influenced…but…troubled” scholars of China who did not fully understand Granet’s model. Dr. LaFleur argues that, even today, a closer look at Granet’s approach can reveal new scholarly paradigms. In his project, La Pensée Cyclique: History, Social Theory, and the Ethnographic Imagination in Twentieth-Century French Sinology, Dr. LaFleur will seek to revive and elucidate Granet’s work.
Nigel J. Nicholson • Classics, Reed College
Having published a first book on the aristocratic culture of athletics and praise in classical Greece, Nigel Nicholson proposes now to bring new attention to two little-read poets— Pindar (Greece, 5th century B.C.E.) and Ted Hughes (Britain’s poet laureate in the late 20th century)—and to the genre of praise poetry itself. In his project, Laureate Poetry: Understanding Ted Hughes Through Pindar and Pindar Through Ted Hughes, Dr. Nicholson will analyze for a general audience the function of both classical and modern praise poems, demonstrating how laureate poetry shapes public and academic understanding of leaders’ values, power, and foibles, as well as the role of poets themselves. Oregon’s 2004 Professor of the Year, Dr. Nicholson has already adapted his work successfully for secondary school students and community audiences.
Todd C. Penner • Religious Studies, Austin College
Todd Penner examines the Acts of the Apostles, the first history of the Christian movement, as a product of its cultural milieu—the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire, where sophisticated rhetoric was both high art and popular entertainment. Dr. Penner’s project, titled Speaking With Authority: Christian and Greek Construction of Male Cultural Identity in the Second Century C.E., will juxtapose Acts with the satires of Lucian of Samosata, examining the texts’ common as well as conflicting expressions of assumptions about authority, gender, duty, virtue, and value. By reading Acts as a text written to persuade its contemporary readers, Dr. Penner’s work will also illuminate ways in which the rhetorical positioning of early colonial Christian narrative contributed to its later adoption as Roman orthodoxy.