Library and CNY Humanities Corridor announce winners of Visiting Scholars Grants

Syracuse University, along with its partner institutions in the Central New York Humanities Corridor, has awarded research grants to four scholars whose research draws upon the region’s rare book and manuscript collections. Administered jointly by the Syracuse University Library’s Special Collections Research Center and Syracuse University Humanities Center, this program will bring top scholars to central New York’s libraries and archives and to highlight connections between those collections. Each winner will receive a $2,500 grant. This year’s recipients are:

Makeda Best (University of Vermont). Dr. Best is researching the Civil War era photographer Alexander Gardner for a forthcoming book and exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. Specifically, she is interested in Gardner’s role in shaping the developing genre of photographic portraiture. During her stay in central New York, she will consult archival collections at Cornell University, Syracuse University, and the George Eastman House. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University.

Lise Jaillant (University of British Columbia). Ms. Jaillant is a doctoral student writing her dissertation on the publisher Random House. She is interested in the way that the more mainstream Random House and avant-garde Grove Press marketed material that would both challenge existing obscenity law and realize a profit in the period from 1910 to 1960. She will be conducting research in the Grove Press archive at Syracuse University and in Cornell University’s James Joyce collection.

Woody Register (Sewanee: the University of the South). Professor Register’s project, “True and Loving Friends: A History of Obligation, Ambition, and Love in American Social Reform, 1890-1930,” considers 19th century philanthropy from the perspective of those who benefitted from it. He traces the lives of four boys who were relocated from New York City’s impoverished neighborhoods to the George Junior Republic, the most important Victorian era juvenile reform program. Professor Register will conduct research in the William O. Dapping papers at Syracuse University and the William R. George Family Papers at Cornell University. His other books include The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Bridget M. Jacobs (University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Ms. Jacobs is a doctoral student writing her dissertation on Jane Leade, a prolific but under-investigated early modern English prophetic writer. Ms. Jacob is attempting to measure Leade’s influence on subsequent religious traditions, including the communal Shakers and Mary’s City of David. Her research will bring her to Hamilton College, which holds the Mary’s City of David archive, and to Syracuse University, which holds a renowned collection of Shaker publications.

The Central New York Humanities Corridor, generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a unique regional collaboration among Syracuse University, Cornell University, and University of Rochester in seven areas of research and humanistic inquiry. Each institution brings a vibrant and distinguished humanistic scholarly tradition to the collective work of the CNY Humanities Corridor. In the aggregate, the Corridor’s programs bolster the relationships, productivity, and reciprocity common to the region’s humanities community, as well as heightened visibility, enhancing public engagement in its activities. The initiative is regarded as a highly visible scholarly presence in the region, if not nationally, as a new model of collaboration and resource-sharing that can also be adapted to other regions and inter-university partnerships.

The next round of Central New York visiting scholars grants will be announced in late 2012. For more information about the visiting scholars program, please contact Barbara Brooker, Assistant to the Senior Director of Special Collections ( For more information about the CNY Humanities Corridor, please contact Kelly Pickard, Assistant to Director of the Syracuse Humanities Center (

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