Faculty Garner Major National Fellowships

A 'Banner Year'

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Boston College faculty are enjoying a "banner year" in competition for prestigious fellowships, with more still under consideration for grants.

The fellowships - granted by organizations such as the Fulbright Scholars Program, American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation - will support faculty research and writing projects on topics ranging from police violence to British Romantic era culture to comparative media studies.

Among this year's fellowship winners are: back row, left to right, Asst. Prof. Matthew Restall (History), Assoc. Prof. John Rosser (History), Asst. Prof. Anne Fleche (English) and Assoc. Prof. Karen Rosen (Psychology); seated, Assoc. Prof. Lisa Cuklanz (Communication), Prof. Susan Shell (Political Science), Prof. Alan Richardson (English) and Asst. Prof. Elizabeth Graver (English).
(Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

"One way to gauge the success of a university in becoming a nationally recognized institution is when its faculty gather an increasing amount of major fellowships and other awards," said Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smyer.

"These are the kinds of honors which show the high caliber of our faculty," he said. "The fellowships represent a great achievement for them and for Boston College. While it may be hard to compare this year's level of faculty achievement with those of past years in terms of quantity, in terms of the quality of fellowships they have received this is a banner year."

Assoc. Prof. Lisa Cuklanz (Communication) has received a Fulbright award to teach at Hong Kong Baptist University while conducting research on mass media coverage. Cuklanz will compare American and Hong Kong media portrayal of issues such as Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule, which will occur this year.

Assoc. Prof. Karen Rosen (Psychology) was awarded the Marion Cabot Putnam Fellowship, one of several offered by the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, a major multidisciplinary research center for women scholars, scientists, artists and writers. Rosen, chosen from some 500 applicants, will use the fellowship to work on a book on sibling relationships in childhood. The institute also awarded a Bunting Fellowship in Residence to Asst. Prof. Anne Fleche (English), who will study gender theory's impact on various genres in film and literature.

The National Endowment for the Humanities, one of the most prominent foundations supporting academic research, awarded fellowships to History faculty Assoc. Prof. John Rosser and Asst. Prof. Matthew Restall. Rosser will use his fellowship to complete his participation in an interdisciplinary survey designed to reconstruct the environmental and cultural history of a previously unexplored region of Greece.

Restall's project is titled "Identity and Interaction: Maya, Spaniard, and African in Colonial Yucatan," and will culminate in a book on the social history and ethnohistory of Yucatan, Mexico from the 16th-19th century. The book consists of five historical case studies tied together by themes of personal identity and social-group interaction.

The Pew Charitable Trust selected Prof. Kay Schlozman (Political Science) as one of its grant recipients. Pew provides support to nonprofit organizations working in areas such as culture, education and the environment, and funds independent projects that pursue interdisciplinary approaches to broad issues of significant interest or concern. Schlozman's project is titled "Getting the Young Involved: Churches, Organizations and Civic Engagement."

Two members of the English Department, Prof. Alan Richardson and Asst. Prof. Elizabeth Graver, received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The foundation awards approximately 180-190 grants each year - from as many as 3,500 applications - to writers, scholars, or scientists with significant records of publication. Another English faculty member, Prof. Dayton Haskin, is working under a Guggenheim Fellowship this year.

As a Guggenheim Fellow, Richardson will continue work on a book project examining developments in psychology, neurology and linguistics during the British Romantic era of the 18th and 19th centuries, and how these were regarded by the period's major literary figures. Graver will use her fellowship to complete her second novel, tentatively titled The Honey Thief .

The American Council of Learned Societies, which supports post-doctoral research in the humanities and social sciences through its fellowships program, selected Prof. Susan Shell (Political Science) and Assoc. Prof. Marilynn Johnson (History) among its recipients for 1997-98.

Shell plans a book-length study of liberal theories of punishment from philosophical and historical perspectives. Johnson's study will focus on police violence in New York City from the 1860s through the 1960s, examining the urban context in which this issue emerged and the language and perceptions of police, political and legal reformers, civil rights advocates, and others who were instrumental in shaping public policy.

Assoc. Prof. Dennis Hale (Political Science) will write a book on the jury system under a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which funds projects that focus on cultivating citizenship among Americans and peoples of other nations.

Other recent awardees include: Asst. Prof. Maxim D. Shrayer (Slavic and Eastern Languages), who received a grant from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation to examine how Russian writers confronted the "Jewish Question"; Asst. Prof. Marc Snapper (Chemistry), a winner of the National Science Foundation Career Award for promising junior faculty; and Asst. Prof. John Fourkas (Chemistry), who received the Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award.

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