Center for the Humanities

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Congratulations Grant Winners!

Faculty Research Grants

Robert Widell

Professor Robert Widell of the History Department received a grant to support research for his book project “Alabama’s Attica: Johnny ‘Imani’ Harris, the Atmore-Holman Brothers, and the Origins of the ‘New Jim Crow.'” This book places the story of the twenty year effort to free Johnny “Imani” Harris from death row in Alabama at the center of a larger narrative about race and the expansion of the carceral state in the late-twentieth century South. In so doing, it explores the evolution of the black freedom struggle within the shifting context of the late twentieth century and contributes valuable historical context to an emergent wave of scholarship that explores mass incarceration and its implications for the current state of race relations in the United States.

Blaire Gagnon

Assistant Professor Blaire Gagnon of the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design, received a grant in support of the Rhode Island Sampler Statewide Survey, which is part of the a larger project, the Rhode Island Sampler Initiative. The Rhode Island Sampler Initiative is a collaborative project between the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design Department. The Sampler Archive Project is a twice funded NEH initiative to create a publicly accessible online database of documented information and high resolution images of all known samplers and related schoolgirl embroideries stitched on what is now American territory.

Subvention Grant

Naomi Mandel

mandelProfessor Naomi Mandel of the English department received a subvention grant for the indexing of her forthcoming book, Disappear Here: Violence After Generation X, which is under contract with Ohio State University Press and will be published in the Fall of 2015. This book probes the atomism and disaffection that began to be articulated in the 1980s and 1990s by young writers commonly associated with Generation X, examining the implications of GenX’s notorious apathy for violence in the 21st Century.

Graduate Research Grants

Amy FoleyAmy

Amy Foley, a PhD Candidate in English Literature, received a grant to help fund her project Falkner’s Phenomenology: “Lived” Spaces in Fictive Southern Architecture. One of Foley’s dissertation chapters will explore how space and depth are textualized and narrativized in the novels of William Faulkner. Foley plans to visit library archives and historical buildings significant to Faulkner’s milieu in Oxford, Memphis, and New Orleans, analyzing the urban public buildings central to the Southern American Literary Consciousness.


Michele Meek

Michele Meek, a PhD candidate in the Department of English, received funds for her project “A Dangerous Girl or a Girl in Danger?: Shifting Sexual Agency in Narratives about Amy Fisher.” This project is one chapter of her larger dissertation project, Consent Puzzles: Locating Girls’ Sexual Agency in Narrative Ambiguities of Literature and Film of the 1990’s. In this project, Meek examines 1990’s films and novels that present “consent puzzles,” or perplexing depictions of a girl’s sexual consent and development.


Brittany Hirth

Brittany Hirth, a PhD candidate in the English Department received funds for her project, entitled Absurdity and Artistry in Twentieth-Century American War Literature. Hirth plans to visit The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This research will inform Hirth’s dissertation, in which she compares World War II and the Vietnam War in order to explicate fiction’s commentary on war that differentiates from historical record.

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