Fellows and Their Topics for the Year 2013-2014
Las Vegas, My Village, A Novel
Uwem Akpan’s short story collection, Say You’re One of Them, has been translated into ten languages and was selected by Oprah's Book Club in 2009, and The New Yorker has published several of his stories. His awards include the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize (Africa Region), the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. A Catholic priest, Akpan divides his time between his native Nigeria and the United States. While at the Cullman Center, he will be writing a novel called Las Vegas, My Village.
The Two Lives, A Novel
Elif Batuman is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which was a finalist for a 2010 National Book Critic Circle’s Award. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Whiting Writers’ Award. For the past three years, she has been writer-in-residence at Koç University in Istanbul. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on her first novel, The Two Lives.
The Province of Senegambia: Colonial Failure on the West African Coast
The Gilder Lehrman Fellow
Christopher Brown is a Professor of History and the Director of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. His publications include Arming Slaves: From Classical Times to the Modern Age, co-edited with Philip Morgan, and Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism, which received both the James Rawley Prize in Atlantic History and the Morris D. Forkosch Prize in British History from the American Historical Association, as well as the Frederick Douglass Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition, and Resistance. At the Cullman Center, he will be writing a book on European and African relations along the Senegal and Gambia Rivers in the era of the Atlantic slave trade.
Between Liberty and Empire: Writing Constitutions, 1776-1914
The Birkelund Fellow
Linda Colley is the Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature, and the Academia Europea. She writes regularly for the London Guardian, The London Review of Books, and The New Republic. Her five books include Britons: Forging the Nation, for which she won the Wolfson Prize, Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850, and The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History, which The New York Times judged one of the ten best books of 2007. At the Cullman Center, she will be completing a new book on the connections between the making and re-making of empires after 1776 and the writing and dissemination of constitutions.
Bronislava Nijinska: A Choreographer’s Journey
Lynn Garafola is a Professor of Dance at Barnard College, Columbia University. Two of her ten books are Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Legacies of Twentieth-Century Dance. She has written extensively about dance in Europe and the United States, and she has curated major exhibitions about the New York City Ballet and Jerome Robbins. While at the Cullman Center, she will be researching and writing a book about the choreographer Bronislava Nijinska.
Sacred History in Sixteenth Century Europe: Early Modern Scholars and the Early Church
Anthony Grafton is Henry Putnam University Professor of History and the Humanities at Princeton University. His books include Defenders of the Text; The Footnote: A Curious History; and Worlds Made by Words. He writes for The American Scholar, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships in Europe and in America, including the Balzan Prize for History of the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities, Grafton is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a corresponding fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and the British Academy. At the Cullman Center, he will be writing a book on histories of Christianity in sixteenth-century Europe.
A History of the Osage Indian Murders
The David Ferriero Fellow
David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of two books: The Devil and Sherlock Holmes and The Lost City of Z, which was named one of the best books of 2009 by The New York Times and received the Indies Choice Award for best work of nonfiction that year. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and he is a recipient of a George Polk Award. At the Cullman Center, he will work on a book about the murders of Osage Indians in Oklahoma in the 1920s.
“By Right of War”: The Discipline and Practice of International Law in Imperial Russia, 1868-1917
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
An Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, Peter Holquist is the author of Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, and the founder and executive editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. He has published widely on Russia's experience in the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and questions of continuity and change from the imperial period into the Stalin era. At the Cullman Center, he will be writing a book on the codification and extension of the laws of war in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Night Ocean, A Novel
Paul La Farge is the author of three novels and a collection of fictitious dreams. His short stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, McSweeney's, Cabinet, Conjunctions, Fence, The Believer, and Bookforum. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of the Bard Fiction Prize. A web-based version of his most recent novel, Luminous Airplanes, can be found at luminousairplanes.com.
A Biography of Diane Arbus
Arthur Lubow has written about culture and artists for national magazines for over thirty-five years. He has been a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian, and other publications. He is the author of The Reporter Who Would Be King, a life of the turn-of-the-century American war correspondent Richard Harding Davis. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a biography of Diane Arbus.
Conversion: The New Jews of Latin America
Graciela Mochkofsky is the author of six books, including Tío Boris, Un héroe olvidado de la Guerra Civil Española, a narrative essay on her great uncle who fought in the Spanish Civil War, and Pecado Original: Clarín, los Kirchner y la lucha por el poder, an investigation of the Kirchner government’s war against the media group Clarín. Her book La Revelación tells the story of a Peruvian Catholic community that converted to Ultra Orthodox Judaism and emigrated to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In 2009, she was a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. During her time at the Cullman Center, she will be working on a book and a documentary film about a wave of emerging Jewish communities in Latin America.
The Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow
Téa Obreht was born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia in 1985 and has lived in the United States since the age of twelve. Her first novel, The Tiger’s Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a 2011 National Book Award Finalist. Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Vogue, Esquire, and The Guardian, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. The New Yorker named her one of its “20 Under 40” best American fiction writers in 2010, and the National Book Foundation honored her on its list of “5 Under 35.” She will be working at the Cullman Center on a novel about a desolate Balkan community in turmoil over the building of an allegedly miraculous tower.
Barren Island, A Novel
Rajesh Parameswaran is the author of the short story collection I Am an Executioner: Love Stories, which was selected as one of The Washington Post's "50 Notable Works of Fiction for 2012." His work has appeared in The Best American Magazine Writing, Fiction, Granta, McSweeney’s, and Zoetrope: All-Story. Parameswaran has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Ucross Foundation, and Yaddo. His story “The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan” was one of three that earned McSweeney's the 2007 National Magazine Award for fiction. At the Cullman Center, Parameswaran will research and write his first novel.
An independent journalist, Elizabeth Rubin has reported extensively about international conflicts from Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa, for publications including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Bidoun, Vogue, Time, and National Geographic. Recently, she has been working on Studio Kabul, a documentary about Afghan soap opera actresses. She has received numerous awards, including Columbia College’s John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional. She has been a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and an Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. At the Cullman Center she will be working on a book about three men who tried to change the world: one with guns, one with laws, and one with social media, storytelling, and faith.
Uwe Johnson, Anniversaries (translation)
Damion Searls has translated fifteen books from German, French, Norwegian, and Dutch, edited a one-volume abridgment of Henry David Thoreau’s The Journal: 1837-1861, and compiled all the passages cut from a 2007 abridgment of Moby Dick into a volume called ; or The Whale. He is the author of What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going (stories) and a forthcoming cultural history of the Rorschach Test that is also the first biography of Hermann Rorschach. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on the first complete translation of Uwe Johnson’s 1900 page novel about a German single mother and her daughter in New York City over the course of a year.