The Syracuse University Humanities Center has announced recipients of its inaugural fellowship program. Kelly Rawson and Jonathan Singleton, both Ph.D. students in The College of Arts and Sciences, and Aaron Blum, a master’s student in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), are receiving stipends and benefits as a result of their academic achievement and potential as scholars and researchers. They will present their work, lead colloquia, and collaborate with other students and faculty members in the SU Humanities Center during the 2009–10 academic year.
“These fellowships reward graduate students for their outstanding research and for their potential to play a leadership role in the humanities at SU,” says Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, as well as founding director of the SU Humanities Center and principal investigator of the Andrew W. Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor. “The program is part of a larger effort to support engaged research and a public dialogue about the possibilities of humanistic inquiry at SU, coupled with innovative thinking about real-world problems.”
Lambert adds that the fellowship program, generously supported by both college deans, is an extension of the SU Humanities Center’s mission to stimulate student and faculty scholarship. “Our fellows will have ample opportunity to complete their academic projects and to engage in conversations around their work with faculty and graduate students from across the University. Both the students and the University will benefit from the program.”
Rawson, a Ph.D. candidate in composition and cultural rhetoric, is completing a dissertation titled “Archiving Transgender.” She is investigating practices involved in archiving transgender materials from various sources, including the Sexual Minorities Archive in Northhampton, Mass.; the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco; and the National Transgender Library and Archive in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Singleton, a Ph.D. candidate in English, is working on a dissertation titled “The Suspension of (Dis)Belief: Novel and Bible in Victorian Society.” He is drawing upon diverse archival materials, including religious pamphlets, sermons, radical tracts and personal letters, to better understand the lives and works of 19th-century writers Anne Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy.
Blum, a master’s candidate in art photography, is working on the thesis project “Between Worlds,” which interprets various stereotypes (e.g., social, cultural and racial) about the Appalachian region of West Virginia. “The fictional representation of West Virginia is unrealistic, but, like most stereotypes, there is some truth behind the generalizations,” writes Blum, whose narrative draws on personal memory and experience.”
Located in the historic Tolley Humanities Building, the SU Humanities Center supports disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship and research in culture, languages, literature, philosophy, religion, the arts and other fields within the SU community. The center also fosters connections and collaborative research opportunities with scholars and community-based cultural organizations at the local, regional, national and global levels. The center is home to the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor, an interdisciplinary partnership with Cornell University and the University of Rochester; Syracuse Symposium; The Leonard and Ruth Sainsbury Library; the Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities; and various scholarly initiatives. More information is available at http://syracusehumanities.org.