The Harry Ransom Center has awarded over a dozen fellowships for 2021-2022 to The University of Texas at Austin faculty and graduate students through the Center’s new UT-Austin Fellowship program. The new fellows reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the Center’s collections and represent a wide range of departments, programs, and schools across the university.
While the Center remains temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has remained focused on its core research and teaching mission, offering modified research services as it prepares to reopen later this year. While the pandemic has presented many challenges internationally, it also has offered the chance to cultivate new ways to better serve the local research community.
This year’s research fellows will study such diverse topics as African American women intellectuals and carceral history, Latinidad in film, poetics in social work, teaching epidemics through theatre, and much more. There will be projects related to Mexican art, novel writing, environmental literary history, a collaborative faculty-graduate student project to study medieval music manuscripts, alongside other topics and approaches.
UT Fellows will be in residence for both the fall and spring semesters. They will join the Center’s national and international fellows who had to postpone their fellowships during the pandemic.
“The Ransom Center is one of the country’s finest humanities research libraries and museums and an unparalleled resource available to the students and faculty of The University of Texas at Austin,” said Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. “We welcome the deeper engagement with the UT community that this class of UT Fellows will enable, and we look forward to learning from their year-long engagement with the Center’s collections.”
Over the past 30 years, the Center’s Fellowship Program has supported around 1,300 research projects requiring extensive onsite use of its collections (read more). This research has resulted in hundreds of published books, journal articles and doctoral theses.
The Center is internationally renowned for its extraordinary collections, which include nearly 1 million rare books, more than 42 million manuscripts, 5 million photographs and 100,000 works of art. Fellowships provide an opportunity for intensive scholarly research for projects that span the Center’s collections in literature, performing arts, film, photography, art, cultural history, and humanity more broadly. The Center’s collections come alive through new researchers who bring new and renewed interpretations.
“The UT Fellows program will augment our long-standing international fellowship program,” Associate Director of Research Gretchen Henderson said. “We hope this new program might grow more support for the UT research community and build new interdisciplinary bridges across campus and beyond. In addition to individual financial support, this award hopes to foster another meaning of ‘fellowship’: building a community of interdisciplinary scholars, artists, and thinkers. In short, we hope this first year is only the beginning of good things to come.”
The new UT Fellows program was designed to support 12 UT Fellows. Recognizing the challenges of the pandemic, additional fellowships for graduate students were awarded for this year. Looking ahead to 2021-2022 after the Ransom Center safely reopens, UT Fellows will share their Works-in-Progress through a monthly series of public-facing conversations. Stay tuned for future announcements.
“We are interested in the edgework that might happen around this new program,” Henderson said. “What happens when you bring together people of different institutional ranks across disciplines, where each person is an expert, in some sense, but simultaneously may bring a newcomer’s perspective to another subject? We want to support interdisciplinarity, not as a buzzword, but rather as a practice that facilitates exchanges of different knowledges and that cultivates more opportunities for consultation and listening.”
FOR FALL 2021
Allan Cole, Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Steve Hicks School of Social Work (Melancholic Men and Poetic Paths to Healing)
Kaitlyn Farrell Rodriguez, PhD student, Department of English (“Visible Signs”: Pregnancy, Contraception, and Reproductive Anxiety in Modern Drama)
Cody Jarman, PhD student, Department of English (A Nation Once Again?: Cultural Revivalism in the Black and Green Atlantic)
Sheyda Khaymaz, PhD student, Department of Art and History (Disenchanting the Archives: Confronting Exoticism, Primitivism, and Infatuation with Blackness in Nancy Cunard’s Collection of African Artefacts)
John Pipkin, Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing, English Department – Creative Writing (The Beautiful Distance: A Novel)
Sara Simons, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Theatre and Dance (Incorporating HRC Student Research into Proposed UGS Signature Course Art & The Epidemic)
Eric Vera, PhD student, Department of Theater, Performance as Public Practice (Negotiating Latinidad in Popular Performance)
FOR SPRING 2022
Kyrie Bouressa, MA student, Department of Musicology (Indexing and Cataloguing Chant Manuscripts of the Harry Ransom Center: The Spanish Manuscripts*)
Joshua Crutchfield, PhD student, African and African Diaspora Studies Department (Imprisoned Black Women Intellectuals)
Kathleen Field, PhD student, Comparative Literature (Debt, Fugitivity, and Environment in the Circum-Caribbean)
George Flaherty, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of the Center for Latin American Visual Studies, Department of Art and Art History (Mexico to Harlem and Back: Race, Revolutionary Art, and Cross-Border Renaissance)
Noah Isenberg, Department Chair, Radio-Television-Film Professor (Billy Wilder, SOME LIKE IT HOT, and the Making of the Great American Sex Comedy)
Andrea Klassen, PhD Student, Department of Musicology (Indexing and Cataloguing Chant Manuscripts of the Harry Ransom Center Collection: The German Manuscripts*)
Caroline Straty Kraft, PhD Student, Comparative Literature (The Cry of the Southern Plains: Sanora Babb, the Dust Bowl, and Ecological Catastrophe)
Luisa Nardini, Associate Professor, Butler School of Music (Indexing and Cataloguing Chant Manuscripts of the Harry Ransom Center Collection: The Italian Manuscripts*)
(* indicates collaborative fellowship)