News & Events

Recipients of Department’s Summer Funding Report Back

December 1, 2015

A number of students received summer funds this year from the Department, enabling them to visit archives, attend international conferences, and enroll at special institutes. Here are condensed versions of their dispatches back to us:

The Gutenberg Bible, Wikipedia

Jenny Boyar: “I was able to travel to Princeton University’s Scheide Collection, which has only recently been made public; my examination of a 1455 Gutenberg Bible held there, as well as a fifteenth-century manuscript of Solinus’s Collectanea rerum memorabilium, enabled me to better conceive of how early-modern technologies changed the visual experience of reading – a notion that is central to my dissertation.”

Alison Grenert: "Seeking to enrich the historical and political contexts in which I situate the avant-garde female filmmakers I'm writing about, I traveled to The Lesbian Herstory Archives -- a collection housed in a Brooklyn brownstone, overseen by volunteers, and funded solely by private donations. Once there, in addition to combing through vast amounts of fascinating ephemera (including fliers for demonstrations, financial records, personal photographs, etc.), I also met one of the founding members of the grass-roots activist group The Lesbian Avengers."

Kyle Huskin: “I attended a Rare Book School course at the University of Pennsylvania, where, working with UV light and special software, I was able to discover additional information about a thirteenth-century manuscript in Penn’s rare-books collection – confirming its Spanish origins and shedding new light on its history.”

Emily Dickinson manuscript, Amherst College

Dan Nelson: “I studied Emily Dickinson’s manuscripts at Amherst College, viewing up-close the raw materials of her singular writing process. I expect my time spent with these manuscripts to greatly enhance my dissertation, which focuses on the tension between public and private concerns in the work of Dickinson and Thoreau.”

Anastasia Nikolis: “I was able to attend Cornell’s prestigious School of Theory and Criticism, where I participated in a seminar led by Eli Friedlander; the experience very much facilitated my transition from exam-preparation to dissertation-writing, and provided invaluable networking experiences.”

Paster Reading Room, Folger Shakespeare Library

Scott O’Neil: “I spent a week at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., where I came across handwritten letters from the famous Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth – two of which spoke directly about King Lear, and in particular the role of the Fool, which is central to the second chapter of my dissertation.”

Sharon Rhodes: “I used my summer funding to attend the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists’ graduate workshop and conference in Glasgow, as well as to conduct archival research in England; seeing the manuscripts central to my dissertation answered many questions for me, but, more importantly, it inspired new ones and reignited my sense of wonder at a material culture so like and yet so unlike our own.”

Lisa Vandenbossche: “I spent four weeks looking at early-American Barbary captivity narratives at the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library; there, in addition to encountering innumerable naval documents, letters, narratives, and paintings, I met other scholars working on similar projects, got to know the library staff and collections (useful for future visits), and saw ways in which to move my dissertation in some exciting new directions.”

Laura Whitebell: “I traveled to the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, BC. This annual convention combines a weeklong seminar with a series of workshops, lectures, and other events: I participated in a course called “Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application.” The class covered the theory and practice of encoding electronic texts for the humanities, and we were also able to work on our own research with the support of the instructors. I made some useful progress on a complex encoding project that I am working on for the Blake Archive and also gained feedback on how to implement a digital project that is related to the topic of my dissertation.”