Fellows and Their Topics for the Year 2001-2002

Jeffery Renard Allen
Director’s Fellow
An associate professor in the English Department at Queens College of the City University of New York and an instructor in the graduate writing program at the New School for Social Research, Allen is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Rails Under My Back, the forthcoming short story collection, Shadowboxing, and two collections of poetry. He will use his time at the center to research his second novel, Hour of the Seeds, an intergenerational story that follows an African-American family 100 years into the past and 100 years into the future.
The author of five novels and a collection of stories, Ship Fever, which received the 1996 National Book Award, Barrett’s historical fiction often focuses on natural history, medicine and cross-cultural exploration. For a new novel, she will research public health policy and other issues that affected the treatment of New York City’s Lower East Side immigrants with tuberculosis during the first years of World War I. She is the recipient of a 1997 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 1992 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.
Carmen Boullosa
Narrative Approaches to Latin American Poetry
Boullosa is the author of the novel, Leaving Tabasco, among other books including plays, collections of poetry and essays. She plans to research classic Latin American poets for a book that will explain the significance of their art to non-Hispanic readers. The book will examine the work of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Césár Vallejo, Ramón López Velarde, Delmira Agustini, Rubén Darío and others. A resident of Mexico, her work has been translated into English, French, Italian, German and Dutch. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1992.
Maarten Brands
Director’s Fellow
Brands, a Dutch historian and expert on international relations, writes extensively on modern history. At the Center he will do research for a collection of essays on continuity in periods of rapid change. A professor at the University of Amsterdam, he is on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation and the Hague Academy of International Law.
Claudine Cohen
The Dawn of Womankind
An associate professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Cohen’s areas of research include the history of paleontology, prehistoric archaeology and evolutionary biology. She has written several books and numerous papers in those subject areas. She will use her time at the Center to research a book on the representations of prehistoric women. Her fellowships include the Fulbright Foundation, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University and the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology.
Thadious Davis
Moving Pictures and Narrative Acts – Modernist Fiction and Film
Davis, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, is the author of several books including Nella Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance: A Woman’s Life Unveiled and Faulkner’s ‘Negro’: Art and the Southern Context. Davis received the Anna Julia Cooper Award for Feminist Scholarship from Spelman College and was a DuBois Institute Fellow at Harvard University among many other honors. Her research at the Center will focus on how early film techniques influenced the storytelling styles of certain fiction writers in the 1920s and 1930s.
Mark Doty
The Poetics of Animal Life
Doty, a professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, has published seven collections of poetry and three nonfiction works. His Center research will focus on "animals...as exemplars of otherness and as vessels of human feeling" for a collection "centering on animals as sources of instruction, metaphor and mystery." He will also work on a series of essays that examines humans relationships with animals. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry in 1987 and 1995; a 1994 Guggenheim Fellowship; and a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Writers Award in 2000.
Laura Engelstein
Director’s Fellow
Engelstein, a professor of history at Princeton University, writes extensively on Russian culture and politics. Her research at the Center will focus on a new project, Modernity By Design: Old and New in Russian Cultural Politics, 1905 -1917. Other awards and fellowships from 1993 through 1998 include the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the Wayne S. Vucinich Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for her book, Keys to Happiness: Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siecle Russia; the National Humanities Center; and the Guggenheim Foundation.
A.M. Homes
The Mistress’ Daughter, a memoir, and The Big Idea, a novel
Homes is the author of the novels Music for TorchingThe End of AliceIn the Country of MothersJack, and the short story collection The Safety of Objects, along with the artist book Appendix A. Her work has been translated into 10 languages and is much anthologized. Her fiction and non-fiction appear frequently in magazines including Art ForumThe New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. She is contributing editor to Vanity FairBomb, and Blind Spot. Her Center research will focus on two projects: a memoir about adoption and its shifting role in the United States during the past 50 years; and a novel, The Big Idea, a multigenerational portrait of American life that explores the damage from a culture based on consumption and competition. She lives in New York City.
Susan Jacoby
Infidels – The Stigmatization of Antireligious Dissent in America
The author of seven books, Jacoby began her career in 1965 as a reporter for The Washington Post. Since 1972, she has been a freelance writer, contributing articles, essays, and book reviews to numeous newspapers and periodicals, including The New York TimesHarper's Magazine, and Modern Maturity. Her research, for a nonfiction book, will focus on the ways in which antireligious dissent has been marginalized in American political and social discourse from the early 1900s until the present. Other books by Jacoby include Half-Jew: A Daughter's Search for her Family's Buried Past, and Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge, which was shortlisted for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. Jacoby lives in New York City.
Douglas Morris
Politics, Law and Miscarriages of Justice in Weimar Germany – Max Hirschberg (1883-1964), the Life of a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Morris, an associate attorney in the Federal Defender Division of the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, will use his time at the Center to research the life and work of Max Hirschberg, who defied conservatives, reactionaries, and Nazis in court. As Hirschberg litigated these politically charged cases, he also fought to reverse criminal convictions of innocent defendants. Morris plans to use the biography as a means of exploring the problem of miscarriages of justice in Western democracies.
Josip Novakovich
Before Yugoslavia, a novel
Novakovich, an associate professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, will focus on a historical novel about Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian factory workers in New York City and Cleveland in the early 20th Century. Born in Croatia, he moved to the United States at the age of 20 and has published several short story collections including Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters and a collection of narrative essays,Apricots From Chernobyl. His work was anthologized in the 1997 edition of Best American Poetry and the 1998 edition of The O. Henry Awards. He has received the Whiting Writer’s Award, a 1999 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 1999 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
Carla Peterson
Family History of Public Places – The Whites, Petersons, and Black Communities in New York City (1830-1930)
Peterson is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature Program at the University of Maryland with an expertise in 19th Century African-American literary culture. During the fellowship term, she will use the library’s collections to research New York City’s social history and the institutions that affected the lives of the city’s African-American elite from 1830 to 1930. Peterson will use her findings to write a narrative work in which her own "family stories serve as a window onto a broader social panorama." Peterson is the author of two books, including Doers of the Word: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) which she developed while a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and numerous articles on African-Americans, women, history and literature.
David Waldstreicher
Runaway America – Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution
Waldstreicher is an associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. His research topic is a re-examination of Benjamin Franklin’s life, thought and politics in the context of Franklin’s behavior, attitudes and writings with regard to slavery. The professor has written extensively on various aspects of American history including two books and numerous articles on nationalism, slavery and the American Revolution.
Mike Wallace
Gotham II – A History of New York City Since 1898
In 1998, Wallace, a history professor at City University’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Edwin G. Burrows, published a 1,383-page comprehensive and critically acclaimed account of New York City. The book, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, won the Pulitzer, Brendan Gill and New York Society Library prizes. Wallace’s Center research will focus on Gotham II, which will take the story through the 20th century, synthesizing the work of recent scholars, supplemented with original research and "presented in a clear, narrative form." He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation.