New-York Historical Society Accepting Applications For 2019-2020 Fellowships

New Fellows Welcomed for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

The New-York Historical Society is now accepting applications for its prestigious fellowship program for the 2019–2020 academic year. Leveraging its rich collections of documents, artifacts, and works of art detailing American history from the perspective of New York City, New-York Historical’s fellowships—open to scholars at various times during their academic careers—provide scholars with material resources and an intellectual community to develop new research and publications that illuminate complex issues of the past.

New-York Historical Society logo

New-York Historical Society logo

The available fellowships include:

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships in Women’s History
The two recipients of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship in Women’s History should have a strong interest in the fields of women’s and public history. This unusual part-time fellowship introduces young scholars to work outside the academy in public history and may not directly correspond with their dissertation research. They must be currently enrolled students in good standing in a relevant Ph.D. program in the humanities. The Predoctoral Fellows will be in residence part-time at the New-York Historical Society for one academic year, between September 5, 2019, and June 29, 2020, with a stipend of $15,000 per year. This position is not full time and will not receive full benefits.

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
One fellowship for the length of a single academic year is supported by the
National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship is available to individuals who have completed their formal professional training and have a strong record of accomplishment within their field. There is no restriction relating to age or academic status of applicants. Foreign nationals are eligible to apply if they have lived in the United States for at least three years immediately preceding the application deadline. The ten-month residency will carry a stipend of $42,000, plus benefits. This fellowship will begin September 5, 2019, and will end June 29, 2020.

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellowships
Offered jointly with the
Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School, two Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellowships are open to scholars who will have completed their Ph.D. in History or American Studies before the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. Fellows will teach one course per semester at Eugene Lang College in addition to conducting focused research in residence at the New-York Historical Society. These fellows carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits. The fellowship will begin September 5, 2019, and will end June 29, 2020.

Helen and Robert Appel Fellowship in History and Technology
The fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who has earned their Ph.D. within the last three to five years. Research projects should be based on the collections of
New-York Historical and explore the impact of technology on history. The fellowship will carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits; it begins September 5, 2019, and lasts through June 29, 2020.

Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship
This fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who has earned their Ph.D. within the last three to five years. Research projects should expand public understanding of New York State history and should include research based on the collections and resources of New-York Historical. This ten-month residency will carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits; it begins
September 5, 2019, and lasts through June 29, 2020.

Short-Term Fellowships
A variety of Short-Term Fellowships will be awarded to scholars at any academic level. Fellows will conduct research in the library collections of the
New-York Historical Society for two to four weeks at a time and will receive a stipend of $2,000. These fellowships will begin and end between July 1, 2019, and June 29, 2020.

Fellowship positions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by an endowment established by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Generous support for fellowships is provided by Bernard Schwartz, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Helen and Robert Appel, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Sid Lapidus, Michael Weisberg, the Lehrman Institute, and Patricia and John Klingenstein. All fellows receive research stipends while in residency, and the Bernard & Irene Schwartz Fellows each teach two courses at Eugene Lang College at the New School for Liberal Arts during their year as resident scholars. Visit nyhistory.org/library/fellowships for instructions and application checklists for each fellowship. The application deadline for all fellowships is December 31, 2018.

2018-2019 Fellows at the New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical is also pleased to announce fellows, now in residence during the 2018–2019 academic year. New-York Historical offers fellowships to scholars dedicated to understanding and promoting American history. This year’s fellows are:

Bernard And Irene Schwartz Fellows

With a Ph.D. from Brown University, Jonathan Lande works on African Americans in the Union Army during the Civil War. His specific focus is on black deserters and the punishments meted out to them by the military justice system. Lande sees black defections from the Union Army as a direct response to the harsh discipline and blatant racism black troops encountered there, making the army virtually no different from the slavery they thought they had escaped. “Emancipation” through the army did little to change the status of black males. Real emancipation pushed some into desertion. Military justice was unusually harsh towards black mutineers, with punishments far more severe than those meted out to white soldiers. Lande’s work reverses the triumphalist narrative about the liberating Union Army and offers a bitter foretaste of what “free labor” would be like for blacks during Reconstruction. At New-York Historical, Lande will comb through the Library’s own extensive holdings on black soldiers in the Union Army, as he prepares his manuscript, “Rebellion in the Ranks,” for publication.

Jane Manners is a recent Ph.D. from Princeton University and received her JD from Harvard. Her work focuses on the relationship between private disaster and public relief in the 19th century. Her case study is the Great Fire of 1835, in which an estimated $20 million in property was lost. At a time when New York contributed nearly 50% of the federal budget and when a major catastrophe like the fire could disrupt commerce and trade across the nation, politicians at all levels had to take some sort of restorative action to bring relief to merchants and bankers and restart the networks of credit and commerce. Providing disaster relief was new in America and required fundamental adjustments in the ways in which Antebellum America understood the relationship between the private and public spheres. In Manners’ narrative, New York City becomes a sort of constitutional presence that challenged conventional notions of federalism and altered the ways in which federal power was understood. During her time at New-York Historical, she will focus on the Verplanck and the Gallatin Papers, as well as on selected holdings from the Museum that provide visual and material representations of the Great Fire and its aftermath. In addition, she will begin work on a new project, the genealogy of charity in America.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow

Nicholas Osborne received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is currently a lecturer in the Honors Tutorial College of Ohio University. His research project at New-York Historical is “Necessary Goods: Consumer’s Rights and the Political Economy of 19th-century America,” an inquiry into the origins and early history of public utilities. His case study is the discovery and distribution of gaslight. The increasing use of gaslight in 19th-century cities created a crisis of understanding as to what exactly it was: a service? A necessary commodity? And what was the relationship between gas and the service networks that distributed it? Gaslight, it happened, was not one simple thing but several, and it proved extremely difficult to craft regulations to control and direct it. Osborne’s project thus deals with the first time Americans had to grapple—socially, politically, and legally—with the impact of new technologies on daily life. To what extent should private, commercial deliverers of gaslight be given free rein and to what extent should their service be bent directly to serve the needs of citizens. At New-York Historical, Osborne will sample a range of printed, manuscript, and iconographic resources that will facilitate the development of his argument.

Robert David Lion Gardiner Fellow / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow

With a Ph.D. from Brown University, Heather Lee is presently an assistant professor of history at NYU Shanghai. Her project, “How Gangs Built a Culinary Empire: Organized Crime, Illegal Immigration, and Chinese Food,” is a totally original investigation of the ways in which Chinese gangs in the 19th century made Chinese cuisine into a popular, mass-market product. Out of the poverty and misery of New York’s Chinatown in the late 19th century arose a Chinese mafia bent on taking control of the community’s economic resources and transforming Chinese restaurants into a desirable and respectable venue for white clientele across the country. They appealed to all classes of society and were affordable for the majority. At New-York Historical, Prof. Lee’s work will focus on the relationship between Chinese restaurants and the changing roles of women in the 20th century. Women emerged as an important consumer market, and Chinese restaurants provided a safe and welcoming venue for them. Chinese restaurants became courtship sites, where dates ate and talked. In short, Chinese restaurants came to occupy a pivotal space in emerging American popular culture.

National Endowment For The Humanities Fellow

Shaun Ossei-Owusu is a joint Ph.D./JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and is presently a teaching fellow at the Columbia University Law School. His work focuses on the history of legal aid in the U. S. and in particular the role played by race in shaping its nature and evolution over time. Ossei-Owusu challenges the traditional narrative that ties the development of civil and criminal legal aid exclusively to poverty. Where most histories of legal begin in the Progressive Era at the end of the 19th century, Ossei-Owusu’s story begins with the emergence of abolitionism much earlier, as abolitionists provided legal aid to fugitive slaves and their abettors. From abolitionism through the Freedman’s Bureaus of Reconstruction to the array of groups that were created to service the legal needs of ethnic immigrants in the 20th century, Ossei-Owusu documents the key role that race and ethnicity have played in the creation of community-based legal aid services. There is a wealth of resources at New-York Historical which Ossei-Owusu will use to turn “The People’s Champ: How Race Shaped American Legal Aid” into a book.

Distinguished Senior Fellow

Julian E. Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941, Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton, where he has taught since 2007. A prolific author and media commentator, Prof. Zelizer has played a leading role in the revival of American political history. Among his many books are On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and Its Consequences, 1948-2000, Conservatives in Power: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989, and The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society. He is also the author of hundreds of articles, essays, op-eds, and commentaries. His project at New-York Historical is a biography of the noted rabbi Abraham Joseph Heschel, an iconic mid-20th-century figure who sought to make Jewish values relevant to a secular world. Heschel was many things: a teacher (Jewish Theological Seminary), a scholar, an activist, and the face of ecumenical Judaism. Heschel’s early involvement in the civil rights movement was a testimony to his deep commitment to ethics and activism, and those themes ran through his long career. Unlike previous works on Heschel, Prof. Zelizer will look at his life and career through the lens of American political history in the mid-20th century.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow In Women’s History (2017-2019)

Nick Juravich earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 2017, where his dissertation won prizes from the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the History of Education Society. His book is the first historical study of “paraprofessional” educators, analyzing the creation and development of this new category of educational work—performed today by over one million people nationwide—and the lives and labor of those who did it. In response to organizing by civil rights activists, War on Poverty scholars, and teacher unionists, school districts hired nearly half a million “paras” between 1965 and 1975. These workers, primarily working-class women of color, transformed schools, freedom struggles, and the labor movement. Nick’s project shows how paraprofessional labor has been shaped by racism, sexism, and (since the mid-1970s) urban austerity, but it also uncovers the struggles of these workers to advance emancipatory visions for public education. Their efforts offer fresh perspectives on work, schooling, and politics in U.S. cities after 1965, with a new working class—no longer white, male, or industrial—at the center of the action. At New-York Historical, Nick works on all aspects of the Center for Women’s History’s public mission and edits the Center’s blog, “Women at the Center.”

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellows In Women’s History (2018-2019)

Rachel Corbman is a doctoral candidate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University, with research interests that span feminist studies, queer studies, disability studies, the public and digital humanities, and the history of gender and sexuality. Her dissertation, “Conferencing on the Edge: A Queer History of Feminist Field Formation, 1969-89,” is a history of the acrimonious feminist conflicts that shaped women’s studies and gay and lesbian studies in the 1970s and 1980s. She is scheduled to defend her dissertation in May 2019. As an Andrew W. Mellon predoctoral fellow in women’s history at New-York Historical, Corbman is using the research time afforded to her to conduct a series of oral history interviews to supplement the archival research on which the current draft of her dissertation is based. She is also assisting with a suite of exhibitions to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Stonewall 50 at the New-York Historical Society will open in May 2019.

Madeline S. DeDe-Panken is a third-year doctoral student in U.S. history at the CUNY Graduate Center, with a focus on women and gender. Her research examines gender and botanical work at the turn of the 20th century, exploring the connections between the domestic and scientific realm in mycological study. Her work seeks to illuminate the continued contributions of “ordinary” women to the sciences. At the CUNY Graduate Center, she serves as co-chair of the CUNY Public History Collective and of the Peer Mentors Program. She has also served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Lehman College. Madeline earned her MA in American history from Clark University in 2013, and her BA from the same institution. At New-York Historical, she is currently working on a project to make women’s history archival resources readily accessible online for both scholars and students.

The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. Among the more than 1.6 million works that comprise the museum’s art collections are all 435 preparatory watercolors for John James Audubon’s Birds of America; a preeminent collection of Hudson River School landscapes; and an exceptional collection of decorative and fine arts spanning four centuries.

The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society is home to over 350,000 books, nearly 20,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, and distinctive collections of maps, photographs, and prints, as well as ephemera and family papers documenting the history of the United States from a distinctly New York perspective. The Library’s collections are particularly rich in material pertaining to the American Revolution and the early Republic, the Civil War, and the Gilded Age. Significant holdings relate to Robert Livingston and the Livingston family, Rufus King, Horatio Gates, Albert Gallatin, Cadwallader Colden, Robert Fulton, Richard Varick, and many other notable individuals. Also well documented within the Library’s collections are major social movements in American history, especially abolitionism, temperance, and social welfare. The Library’s visual archives include some of the earliest photographs of New York; a significant collection of Civil War images; and the archives of major architectural firms of the later 19th century.