FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2011
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Virginia Historical Society Awards 34 Research Fellowships
Scholars Studying Environmental History of Coca-Cola, Confederate Widows, Childrearing, Slavery Photographs, Revolutionary War POWs, and
Unlawful Killing during the Civil War
Richmond, VA—Female pastimes in the 17th and 18th centuries, religious thought in the postwar South, Bacon’s Rebellion, and the 1811 Richmond Theatre FireVA—these are just some of the topics being explored this year at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) by the 2011 fellowship recipients.
Thirty-three researchers from across the United States and one from Scotland were recently awarded a stipend to conduct research in the Virginia Historical Society’s library. These scholars benefit from access to the society’s extensive collections for up to three weeks. Seven fellowship winners reside in Virginia—in Lexington, Alexandria, Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Fairfax.
The Mellon Fellowship promotes interpretation of Virginia and American history, supporting research on political, constitutional, religious, African American, military, and social issues. Mellon Fellows are chosen based on their scholarly qualifications, the merits of their proposals, and the appropriateness of their topics to the society’s collections. The Mellon Fellowship is funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The VHS offers two additional fellowships: the Frances Lewis Fellowships in Gender and Women’s Studies and the Betty Sams Christian Fellowships in Business History. The society also presents two research awards each year: the Reese Award in American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas, and the recently created Guy Kinman Award which focuses on research in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, civil rights, and First Amendment issues.
Of the 34 fellowships granted by the VHS in 2011, 23 were Mellon Fellowships, six were Frances Lewis Fellowships, two were Betty Sams Christian Fellowships, two were Reese Awards, and one was a Guy Kinman Award. A total of 791 awards have been made by the VHS since the fellowship programs began in 1988.
“For over twenty years, researchers have taken advantage of the Virginia Historical Society’s strong and varied collections to explore areas of Virginia history as well as topics that illuminate the history of America as a whole,” said Frances Pollard, VHS Chief Librarian and Chair of the Research Fellowship Committee. “The research conducted by fellowship winners has resulted in a great number of academic and popular publications. This year’s group of talented fellows will help us fulfill our mission of interpreting Virginia and American history.”
2011 Virginia Historical Society Fellowship Recipients
Matthew Amato of the University of Southern California for research on photographic images and image-practices in the cultures of slavery, antislavery, and post-emancipation America.
Michael Bennett, Ph.D. of High Point University for research on the forces that restrained and then facilitated lawful and unlawful killing during the Civil War.
Michael Bernath, Ph.D. of the University of Miami for research on the role of northern teachers and tutors in the Old South, 1790-1860.
Charles Bodie, Ph.D. president of the Rockbridge Historical Society for research on James McDowell (1795-1851), a Virginia governor and U.S. congressman.
Michael Conlin, Ph.D. of Eastern Washington University for research on sectional identity in the political struggle over slavery in the antebellum era.
Natalie Deibel of George Washington University for research on the role sports, games, and other pastimes played in the lives of women and the formation of gender roles from 1600 to 1800.
Zachary Dresser of Rice University for research on religious thought in the postwar South.
Bartow Elmore of the University of Virginia for research on an environmental history of Coca-Cola.
Allison Fredette of the University of Florida for research on gender, regional identity, and the law in the border South, 1840-1880.
Claire Gherini of Johns Hopkins University for research on the cultures and economies of health and healing between 1730 and 1800.
Trenton (Cole) Jones of Johns Hopkins University for research on prisoners of war and American military culture during the Revolutionary War.
Lindsay Keiter of the College of William and Mary for research on changes in courtship and marriage in British North America between the 1750s and the Civil War.
Cindy Kierner, Ph.D. of George Mason University for research on the 1811 Richmond Theatre fire.
Andrew Lang of Rice University for research on garrison, occupation, and home guard military service during the Civil War.
Janet Lindman, Ph.D. of Rowan University for research on friendship in early America.
Jessica Linker of the University of Connecticut for research on female naturalists in early America between 1720 and 1860.
Allison Madar of Rice University for research on the role and importance of indentured servants in eighteenth-century Virginia.
Ashley Mays of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for research on Confederate widows and grief in the postwar South.
Matt McCook, Ph.D. of Oklahoma Christian University for research on the Second Great Awakening.
Michelle Orihel, Ph.D. of Southern Utah University for research on the Virginia democratic movement and its reception in the late eighteenth century.
Robert Owens, Ph.D. of Wichita State University for research on the role of mediators, both Indian and white, who tried to keep the peace on the Trans-Appalachian frontier in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Traci Parker of the University of Chicago research on African American saleswomen in department stores in the post-World War II era.
James Rice, Ph.D. of State University of New York, Plattsburgh, for research on Bacon’s Rebellion.
Dorothy Spencer Rivera of the University of Maryland for research on the social significance of childrearing in the British-American colonies.
Catherine Saunders, Ph.D. of George Mason University for research on the influence of Emily Clemens Pearson’s year at Mount Airy on her abolitionist fictions.
Samantha Seeley of New York University for research on mobility, citizenship, and freedom in the Early Republic.
Blair Smith of the University of Dundee for research on the social hierarchy in Kentucky from the early 1770s to 1800.
Matthew Spooner of Columbia University for research on the reconstruction of southern slavery, 1778-1808.
Colin Stephenson of Ohio State University for research on the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.
Albert Tillson, Ph.D. of the University of Tampa for research on maritime workers in Revolutionary and antebellum Virginia.
David Williard of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for research on the courses former Confederate soldiers took in attempting to reclaim control over their personal lives and sense of manhood.
Michael Woods of the University of South Carolina for research on the role of emotion in antebellum sectional politics and the coming of the Civil War.
Ben Wright of Rice University for research on early American antislavery clergy and their political inactions and actions.
Christopher Young, Ph.D. of Indiana University Northwest for research on the relationship between foreign affairs, public opinion, and the American presidency during the 1790s.
For 180 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been the steward of our state—and often national—history. The VHS features award—winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. Although designated the Official State Historical Society, the VHS is a privately funded non-profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to sustain its operations. The VHS is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond. Admission to the research library and museum galleries is free. Museum hours are Monday—Saturday 10 a.m.—5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.—5 p.m. Library hours are Monday—Saturday 10 a.m.—5 p.m. For group tour information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, call (804) 358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.