Meet Our Long-Term Fellows
2020-21 Long-Term Fellows
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Christine Adams is professor of history at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She has published primarily in French gender and family history, including A Taste for Comfort and Status: A Bourgeois Family in Eighteenth-Century France (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000) and Poverty, Charity and Motherhood: Maternal Societies in Nineteenth-Century France (University of Illinois Press, 2010). Her most recent book, The Creation of the French Royal Mistress: From Agnès Sorel to Madame DuBarry (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2020), co-authored with Tracy Adams, examines the rise of the royal mistress as a quasi-institutionalized political position in early modern France. She also occasionally writes on current events and has a particular interest in the politics of gender and reproductive rights.
Her Newberry research project, The Merveilleuses and their Impact on the French Social Imaginary, 1794-1799 and Beyond, focuses on a group of young and stylish Parisian women who came to define the era of the Directory (1794–1799). Following the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, these chic young women set the tone in French society until Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup in 1799. This project considers the Merveilleuses as a cultural phenomenon as well as their function in the historical imaginary and illuminates how the fixation on their beauty, style, and sexuality has obscured their political and cultural significance. Adams will also be a fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies during the 2020–2021 academic year.
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Catherine Arnold is an independent researcher. She earned her PhD in early modern European history from Yale University. Her research on early modern humanitarian politics has been published in The English Historical Review (August 2018) and an essay on eighteenth-century Anglican irenicism will appear in the edited volume, Converting Europe: Protestant Missions, Propaganda, and Literature in the British Isles, 1600-1900 (Routledge, 2020). Dr. Arnold’s current book project explores the religious origins of humanitarian intervention in eighteenth-century Britain and Europe.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Jamie Bolker is a scholar of early American literature and culture and former assistant professor of English at MacMurray College before it closed. She received her Ph.D. in English from Fordham University. Her research interests include ecocriticism, race, material culture, book history, animal studies, and the history of navigation. She has published articles in Book History, J19: Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and has another article forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her book project, Lost and Found: Wayfinding in Early America, explores the experiences of people who got physically lost in early America alongside the historical developments in navigational practice. In addition to support from the Newberry, she has received fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia, American Antiquarian Society, Winterthur Museum and Library, Philips Library, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, as well as research fellowships from Fordham University. In her residence at the Newberry Library, she will research the roles and influence of navigation in seventeenth- through nineteenth-century transatlantic culture, as well as Native-settler relations, developments in surveying, and the history of slavery.
Alex E. Chávez
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow
Anthropologist-artist-composer, Dr. Alex E. Chávez is the Nancy O’Neill Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also a faculty fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies. His research explores the political efficacy Latina/o/x expressive culture, with particular interest in how sound and aurality intersect with larger social concerns surrounding migration, racialized personhood, and the intimacies that bind everyday life across physical and cultural borders. His book Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke 2017) garnered three major book awards, including the Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2018.
An accomplished musician and multi-instrumentalist, Dr. Chávez has consistently crossed the boundary between performer and ethnographer in the realms of both academic research and publicly engaged work as an artist and producer. He has recorded and toured with his own music projects, composed documentary scores (most recently Emmy Award-winning El Despertar ), and collaborated with acclaimed artists, including Grammy Award-winners Quetzaland Latin Grammy Award-nominated Sones de México. In 2016, he produced the Smithsonian Folkways album Serrano de Corazón. He currently serves as a Governor for the Chicago Chapter Board of the Recording Academy.
Dr. Chávez’s research at the Newberry Library—Audible City: Urban Cultural History, Latinx Chicago, and the Sonic Commons—builds on his previous work and lends an “ethnographic ear” to the city of Chicago. This project explores the relationship between audibility—or the condition of hearing—and place-making, centering on the ways sound mobilizes physical and cultural claims of belonging in the city of Chicago in order to understand how the racial politics of urban space are contingent on the social reproduction of valuable forms of inequality that render Latina/o/x communities disposable, deportable, moveable—or silent. His interest is in taking up sound as an analytic to understand the ways Latina/o/xs voice—literal (sonic) and figurative (social)—claims to citizenship in the city, wherein sound-making, hearing, and listening reveal themselves as loci of power for generating fields of common social recognition.
Allyson Nadia Field is Associate Professor Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Her scholarship investigates the functioning of race and representation in interdisciplinary contexts surrounding cinema. Her research focuses on African American film, both silent era cinema and more contemporary filmmaking practices, and is unified by two broad theoretical inquiries: how film and visual media shape perceptions of race and ethnicity, and how these media have been and can be mobilized to perpetuate or challenge social inequities. Her work is grounded in sustained archival research, integrating that material with concerns of film form, media theory, and broader cultural questions of representation.
She is the author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film & The Possibility of Black Modernity (Duke University Press, 2015). Field is also, with Marsha Gordon, co-editor of Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film (Duke University Press, 2019) and with Jan-Christopher Horak and Jacqueline Stewart, co-editor of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (University of California Press, 2015). Field was named a 2019 Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
As an ACLS/Burkhardt Fellow at the Newberry Library, Field will conduct research for her current book, tentatively titled Minstrelsy-Vaudeville-Cinema: American Popular Culture and Racialized Performance in Early Film. This project seeks to reframe American film history through the lens of racialized performance, tracing the development of tropes, themes, and practices from minstrelsy to the vaudeville stage and motion picture screen. In doing so, it attempts to make legible the functionings of minstrelsy’s forms within American cinema, understand its complex negotiations of race in a rapidly changing social order, and explore moments of creative resistance to its dehumanizing portrayals of African Americans. This project emerged through participation in the Newberry’s 2018 NEH Summer Institute “Art and Public Culture in Chicago.”
Lloyd Lewis Fellow in American History, Evelyn Dunbar and Ruth Dunbar Davee Fellow, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Julie Fisher holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Delaware with a focus on Early American and Native American history. Her research focuses on English-colonial politics, language acquisition, and borderland communities in seventeenth-century New England. She is the co-author of Ninigret, Sachem of the Niantics and Narragansetts: Diplomacy, War, and the Balance of Power in Seventeenth-Century New England and Indian Country, which appeared with Cornell University Press in 2014. She was a consulting editor with the Native Northeast Portal, a digital humanities project based at Yale University. From 2016-2018, she served as the primary investigator for a National Park Service grant at the Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, Rhode Island. Most recently she was a postdoctoral fellow with the Members Bibliography and Biography Project at the American Philosophical Society and co-creator of a pilot paleography escape room game with the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Her current project uncovers a previously unknown critical mass of both English and Indian bilingual (and multilingual) speakers in colonial New England, revealing that English and Indian neighbors lived in intimate proximity to one another for decades and spoke each other’s languages in ways that directed the politics, trade, and cultural development of the region. These bilinguals, who included both men and women, were from a wider array of social backgrounds than earlier imagined and ranged from enslaved children to colonial governors. This bilingual population encouraged the multipolar nature of politics that defined this region for the better part of the seventeenth century. Greater communication, however, did not lead to greater compassion between communities. The surprising extent of Indian and English bilingualism darkly accentuates the warfare between people who often knew their victims by name and understood their grievances.
Monticello College Foundation Fellow and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Kelly Fleming is a scholar of eighteenth-century British literature and culture. She recently earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia. She also has an M.A. in English from Boston College and a B.F.A in Writing, Literature, & Publishing from Emerson College. Her research explores relationships between gender, material culture, politics, law, and empire in British literature from the long eighteenth century. Her work has appeared in Eighteenth-Century Fiction and The Burney Journal.
At the Newberry, she will be working on her book project tentatively titled, Ornaments of Influence: Fashion Accessories and the Work of Politics in Eighteenth-Century British Literature. This book serves as a complement to recent scholarship in legal and political history that details women’s simultaneous exclusion from political institutions and inclusion in political culture in the British empire from 1688 to 1832. By tracking one of the material signs of difference and opposition used by the disenfranchised—accessories—she examines how this paradox is recorded in literature.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
Sharony Green is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Alabama. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a Master’s in History from the University of Chicago and a Masters and Dance and Related Studies (Film, Theatre and History) from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a Bachelor of Science in Communications/Political Science from the University of Miami.
Dr. Green’s first historical monograph Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Hidden Black-White intimacies in Antebellum America, was published by Northern Illinois University Press in 2015 as part of the Mellon-funded Early America Places series with NYU Press and University of Georgia Press. The book was awarded the 2016 Barbara “Penny” Kanner Prize by the Western Association of Women Historians (WAWH) for excellence in archival research. Her scholarship often delves into complex human interactions. Dr. Green’s next project addresses racial and spatial politics in the Caribbean Rim, which finds her investigating “black” trials and triumphs on and near the Florida peninsula since European contact. Part of that query includes looking at Zora Neale Hurston’s understudied six-month stay in Miami with the hope of continuing on to Honduras. As a Newberry Fellow, Dr. Green will study the contours of Hurston’s earlier travel there and her failed plans to return. About that country, Hurston said it had “given me back myself.”
Lloyd Lewis Fellow in American History
LaDale Winling is an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. He is the author of the book Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century, which won the Kenneth Jackson Prize for best book in North American urban history from the Urban History Association. He is also one of the co-creators of Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America, a digital history project on the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, and of Electing the House of Representatives on Congressional elections, part of the American Panorama digital atlas, which won the Roy Rosenzweig Digital History Prize from the American Historical Association. He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan and resides in Charlottesville, VA.