The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers has selected its 24th class of Fellows: 15 talented academics, independent scholars, and creative writers. Selected from a pool of 356 applicants from 37 countries, the class of 2022 includes:
- Academics Daphne A. Brooks, Margaret Kelleher, Neil Maher, Sarah Maza, Maurice Samuels, and Erin L. Thompson;
- Nonfiction writers Rozina Ali, Raghu Karnad, Patrick Phillips, and Francesca Wade;
- Fiction writers Claire Luchette, Daniel Saldaña París, Brandon Taylor, and C Pam Zhang; and
- Poet Colin Channer.
“Even under extraordinary global circumstances, we continue to thrive,” said Martha Hodes, interim director of the Cullman Center. “From a pool of phenomenal applicants, our judges have chosen a brightly lit class of Fellows, each pursuing astoundingly original work by exploring the Library’s manifold research collections in distinct ways. To all of them we offer the Cullman Center as both sanctuary and community.”
During the Fellowship term, which runs from September through May, the 2022 class of Cullman Center Fellows will have access to the renowned research collections and resources of The New York Public Library, as well as the invaluable assistance of its curatorial and reference staff. The Fellows receive a stipend and the use of a private office in the Cullman Center’s quarters at The New York Public Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
The Center fosters an atmosphere of creative and scholarly collaboration both within the Library and in the larger cultural environment of New York, which includes hosting public Conversations from the Cullman Center, a series of free programs that focus on the books Fellows worked on while in residence at the Library.
Cullman Center Fellows regularly receive distinguished honors and awards for these books. Prize-winning and prominent past Fellows include: André Aciman, Annie Baker, Elif Batuman, David Bell, David Blight, Jennifer Croft, Hernan Diaz, Jennifer Egan, Álvaro Enrigue, Ada Ferrer, Nicole Fleetwood, Ruth Franklin, Rivka Galchen, Annette Gordon-Reed, Anthony Grafton, Saidiya Hartman, Hua Hsu, Mitchell S. Jackson, Patrick Radden Keefe, Nicole Krauss, Hari Kunzru, Hermione Lee, Larissa MacFarquhar, Megan Marshall, Ayana Mathis, Richard McGuire, Lynn Melnick, Pankaj Mishra, Téa Obreht, Gregory Pardlo, Caryl Phillips, Darryl Pinckney, Lauren Redniss, Sally Rooney, Karen Russell, Stacy Schiff, Danzy Senna, James Shapiro, Dash Shaw, Mark Stevens, T. J. Stiles, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Colm Tóibín, Edmund White, Colson Whitehead, and Alejandro Zambra.
For more information about the Center, its current and former Fellows, and its programs for teachers and the general public, visit www.nypl.org/csw.
Meet the 2022-2023 Fellows at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
Illusions of Terror: The Secret History of Islamophobia in the U.S.
Rozina Ali is a journalist whose work focuses on the Middle East and South Asia, the War on Terror, and Islamophobia, and who also writes about literature and poetry. She is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and a fellow at Type Media Center. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Foreign Affairs, and Harper's, among other outlets. At the Cullman Center, she will work on a book about the recent history of Islamophobia in the United States.
DAPHNE A. BROOKS
“One of These Mornings”: Porgy and Bess and the Story of America
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Daphne A. Brooks is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale University. She is the author of Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 and Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Her most recent book, Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound has won multiple prizes including the 2021 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award. She has written liner notes to accompany the recordings of Aretha Franklin, Tammi Terrell, Prince, and Nina Simone, as well as stories for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, Pitchfork, and other outlets. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a Black feminist counter-history of Porgy and Bess.
Colin Channer’s books include the poetry collection Providential and the novella The Girl with the Golden Shoes. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Poetry Review, Agni, and other venues. His forthcoming collection, Console, will be published in 2023 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Born in Jamaica, and educated there and in New York, he received the Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship from Brown University, where he teaches in the Department of Literary Arts. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on Gil, a blues-reggae reconsideration of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The Ghost in the Kimono: The Year of Japanese Captivity in the Mughal Old Fort
Raghu Karnad is a recipient of Yale's Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction. His book Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War was awarded the Young Writer's Prize from India's National Academy of Letters, and was shortlisted for the U.K. PEN Hessell-Tiltman History Prize. He is a former bureau chief at theWire.in, a news website he helped to launch in 2015, and he also writes for The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Indian Express, n+1, and The New York Times International Edition. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a narrative account of the wartime internment of Japanese civilians in Delhi's Old Fort.
Lives and the Dream: A Biography of Mary and Padraic Colum
Margaret Kelleher is Professor and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin. Her publications include The Feminization of Famine, The Cambridge History of Irish Literature, and The Maamtrasna Murders: Language, Life and Death in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, for which she was awarded the American Conference of Irish Studies Prize for Books in Language and Culture. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Museum of Literature Ireland, a collaboration between the National Library of Ireland and University College Dublin. At the Cullman Center, Kelleher will work on a joint biography of Mary Maguire Colum and Padraic Colum, Irish-born writers and activists who moved to New York in 1914.
The Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow
Claire Luchette is the author of the novel Agatha of Little Neon. A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, Luchette has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, Lighthouse Works, John Carroll University, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Luchette's work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize anthology, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Granta, and the Kenyon Review. At the Cullman Center, Luchette will work on a new novel, about the mail.
Wasted: An Environmental Justice History of Newark, New Jersey
The Janice B. and Milford D. Gerton / Arts and Letters Foundation Fellow
Neil Maher is Professor of History in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University at Newark, where he teaches environmental, political, and environmental justice history of the United States. He is the author or editor of several books, including Apollo in the Age of Aquarius, which was named a Choice Outstanding Title, a Bloomberg View Must Read Book, and a Smithsonian Best Book; and Nature’s New Deal, which received the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for the best monograph in conservation history. Maher’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yes! magazine, among other venues. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on an environmental justice history of Newark, New Jersey.
A Tale of Two Novels: How Uncle Tom's Cabin and Les Misérables Crossed the Atlantic
The John and Constance Birkelund Fellow
Sarah Maza teaches French and European history at Northwestern University where she holds the Jane Long Professorship. She is the author of several books on French social and cultural history from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. She has also published methodological articles on history and literature, interdisciplinarity, and historians’ approaches to childhood. Her most recent book is Thinking About History. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a comparative history of the reception of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in France and Les Misérables in the United States.
The Kellogg Place: American Wealth in Black and White
Patrick Phillips is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Stanford University. He is the author of Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America, named an Editor’s Choice and a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, and winner of an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Phillips is also the author of four collections of poetry, including Elegy for a Broken Machine, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Song of the Closing Doors, his most recent. Among Phillips’ other honors are Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Fulbright fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. At the Cullman Center, he will work on a book about Jim Crow-era property theft, exploring the ways in which America’s racial wealth gap is tied to the land.
DANIEL SALDAÑA PARÍS
The Worst of Fights
Daniel Saldaña París is the author of three novels—Among Strange Victims, Ramifications, and The Dance and the Wildfire—and a collection of personal essays, Planes Flying Over a Monster. His work has been translated into several languages, and he has been included in Bogota39, a list of the Best Latin American Writers Under 40. The recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Banff Center for the Arts, the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, Art Omi, and MacDowell, he has been awarded the Eccles Center & Hay Festival Writers Award in the U.K., and his latest novel was a finalist for the Herralde Prize in 2021. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a novel touching on architecture and Cold War politics in 1970s Mexico City.
Alfred Dreyfus: A Jewish Life
Maurice Samuels is the Betty Jane Anlyan Professor of French at Yale University, where he also directs the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he is the author of four books, including The Right to Difference: French Universalism and the Jews and The Betrayal of the Duchess: The Scandal that Unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and Made France Modern. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a biography of Alfred Dreyfus for the Jewish Lives series at Yale University Press.
Group Show: A Novel
The Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow
Brandon Taylor is the author of the novel Real Life, which was a finalist for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and the 2021 Young Lions Prize. His collection, Filthy Animals, was longlisted for the 2022 Dylan Thomas Prize and was a finalist for the 2022 Story Prize. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on Group Show: A Novel, which examines the role and history of cultural institutions from post-war America to the present, through a mid-sized art museum in Madison, Wisconsin.
ERIN L. THOMPSON
Our Cardboard Heaven: Making Art at Guantánamo
Erin L. Thompson, a professor of art crime at John Jay College (City University of New York), studies the damage done to cultural heritage and communities through looting, theft, and deliberate destruction of art, as well as its deliberate preservation. Her first book, Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors, was named an NPR Best Book of the Year, and her second, Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of American Monuments, was published by W. W. Norton in 2022. At the Cullman Center, she will be writing about her work curating exhibitions of art made by detainees at the United States military prison camp known as Guantánamo Bay.
Gertrude Stein: An Afterlife
The Jean Strouse Fellow
Francesca Wade is the author of Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between the Wars, which was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. A former editor of the White Review, she has received grants from the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the City University of New York and the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, and her writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Granta, and the Times Literary Supplement, among other places. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a biography of Gertrude Stein, told through her posthumous legacy.
C PAM ZHANG
Born in Beijing, C Pam Zhang is mostly an artifact of the United States. She is the author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold, winner of the Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award and the Asian/Pacific Award for Literature, nominated for the Booker Prize, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year. Zhang’s writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Cut, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. At the Cullman Center, she will work on a novel about food and the ethics of pleasure.
The Cullman Center
The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, The von der Heyden Family Foundation, John and Constance Birkelund, and The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and with additional gifts from Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Arts and Letters Foundation Inc., William W. Karatz, Merilee and Roy Bostock, and Cullman Center Fellows.