Ransom Center celebrates 25 years of fellowships
The 2014–2015 academic year marks the 25th anniversary of the Ransom Center's fellowship program. Since the program's inauguration in 1990, the Center has awarded fellowships to more than 800 scholars from around the world. Fellowships provide financial support for on-site research in the Ransom Center's collections for periods of up to three months. Fellows incorporate their findings into dissertations, exhibitions, biographies, presentations, cultural histories, and critical editions. These projects and publications deepen our knowledge of the humanities and share the Center's collections with an international audience.
The fellows' wide-ranging and interdisciplinary research topics reflect the breadth of the Center's holdings. Recent publications based on fellowship research include Understanding Diane Johnson (University of South Carolina Press, 2012) by Carloyn A. Durham, who held a 2010–2011 fellowship funded by the Filmscript Acquisitions Endowment; Hidden Talent: The Emergence of Hollywood Agents (University of California Press, 2009) by Tom Kemper, who held a 2007–2008 fellowship funded by the Warren Skaaren Film Research Endowment; and The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature, and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) by Guy Ortolano, who held a 2006–2007 fellowship funded by the British Studies program at The University of Texas at Austin. Anne Wilkes Tucker's 2007–2008 fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment helped shape her landmark 2012–2013 exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The fellows also promote an environment of intellectual exchange at the Ransom Center and across the University. Throughout the year, the Center hosts events that create opportunities for fellows to discuss their work with one another and with independent researchers, Ransom Center staff, and other members of the University community. Fellows engage with Ransom Center members and with University and community groups during their visits. Most recently, Dariusz Pachcocki, recipient of a 2013–2014 fellowship funded by the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies Edwin Gale Fellowship, delivered a lecture on Polish literature for students of the University's Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies. Vincent Sherry, recipient of a 2013–2014 fellowship jointly funded by the Henriette F. and Clarence L. Cline Memorial Endowment Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment, will deliver a public lecture at the Ransom Center on February 27 in support of the exhibition The World at War, 1914–1918.
The fellowship program was established in 1989 by former Ransom Center director Thomas F. Staley, who recognized the need to create a framework to support research in fulfillment of the Center's mission. The first fellowships were offered in 1990–1991 to eight scholars, five of whom visited from abroad. Since then, the program has grown to become one of the largest of its kind. Today, the program hosts more than 50 fellows each year, sustained by the generous support of annual sponsors and endowments established by foundations, individuals, and organizations.
The program's 25th anniversary presents an opportunity to recognize the achievements of Ransom Center fellows and their importance to the intellectual life of the Center. In conjunction with the anniversary year, the Ransom Center will highlight publications and other works that have resulted from fellows' research at the Center. Past fellowship recipients are invited to contact the fellowship coordinator Bridget Ground with current contact information and updates on their research projects at firstname.lastname@example.org.