The New-York Historical Society has announced eight fellowship recipients for the 2013-14 academic year. Leveraging its collections of documents, artifacts, and works of art documenting American history from the perspective of New York, New-York Historical fellowships provide scholars with material resources and an intellectual community to develop new research and publications that illuminate complex issues of the past.
“The research topics that our incoming fellows will pursue — from the historical development of urban lowlands, to the rise of New York City in twentieth-century national politics — illuminate how important historical inquiry and our collections are to the world of today,” said Valerie Paley, New-York Historical Society Historian and Vice President for Scholarly Programs.
All fellows receive research stipends while in residency; Bernard & Irene Schwartz Fellows each teach two courses at The New School during their year as resident scholars. This year’s fellows are:
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow
Nick Yablon, currently Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of Iowa, is the 2013-14 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. He received a BA in Medieval and Modern History from the University of Birmingham, England in 1994; an MA in History from the University of Chicago in 1995; and a PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 2002. His dissertation, for which he was honored with distinction, was nominated for the Allan Nevins Prize for a dissertation in American history. He is the author of Untimely Ruins: An Archaeology of American Urban Modernity, 1819-1919 (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Yablon’s proposed research project, “From the Skyscraper to the Wild Flower: Charles Gilbert Hine’s Walk Up Broadway,” will be an urban, architectural, and social history of Broadway in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, grounded in one of New York’s great neglected and unknown archives, the work of amateur photographer Charles Gilbert Hine. Yablon’s research will argue that Hine’s work represents an overlooked mode of viewing and representing New York (or any large, complex metropolis) from a “longitudinal” perspective: the technique of apprehending the totality of the city by travelling the length of a single street.
2013-14 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellows
Gergely Baics, currently Assistant Professor of History and Urban Studies at Barnard College, is one of the two 2013-14 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellows. He received a BA in History and American Studies from ELTE, Budapest, in 2002; an MA in Central European History at Central European University, Budapest, in 2003; and a PhD in History from Northwestern in 2009. During his residency at New-York Historical, Baics will complete a book manuscript, Feeding Gotham: Urban Provisioning in Early New York, 1780-1860. The work is the first systematic study based in economic, social, and geographic history of the complex interplay of urban governance, market forces, and the built environment in provisioning food to residents of a major American city at the onset of modern urbanization. Baics will consult household and business account books to document daily routines of urban provisioning, and will mine New-York Historical’s records pertaining to early-to-mid-nineteenth century public health.
Steven Moga, former Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, The City Draper Program, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at New York University, is also a 2013-14 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow. He attended Stockholms universitet in Stockholm, Sweden and graduated with a BA in Political Science from Carleton College in 1992; received an MA in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999; and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. A book based on his dissertation, Down in the Bottoms: A History of American Urban Lowlands, is currently under review with Cornell University Press. While at New-York Historical, Moga will conduct archival research in the map, manuscript, and newspaper collections on a project called “Lowlands Transformed: Natural Processes, Urban Systems, and Landscape Change Along Creeks and Streams in New York City.” His work will show how and why low-lying urban places have been defined historically as problem areas associated with floods, vice, poor housing conditions, and disease. The project pushes the boundaries between urban, environmental, and planning history, broadening the historical discussion of waterfronts and shorelines to look at how topographical variation, natural processes, socioeconomic stratification, infrastructure engineering, and city planning interrelate across the fabric of the city.
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellows
Kathryn Boodry is one of the two 2013-14 Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellows. A recent PhD in US History from Harvard University, she earned a BA in Literature and Signification Systems at the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA in 1990 and an MA in Sociology and Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research in 2004. Boodry’s work at New-York Historical will focus on the intersection of slavery and finance in the nineteenth century, and how coerced labor facilitated large-scale economic growth in the Atlantic world. Her particular focus will be on cotton, whose production and sale were reliant on the labor of slaves and the provision of credit by British merchant banks, and whose trade was centered in New York. Boodry will consult the Brown Brothers Papers as well as the papers of various important local merchants.
Mason Williams, the author of City of Ambition: FDR, LaGuardia, and the Making of Modern New York (W.W. Norton, 2013), is also a 2013-14 Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellow. He received a BA in History from Princeton in 2006 and a PhD in History from Columbia in 2012. Williams will begin work on his second book, New York City and the Making of the American Establishment while a fellow at New-York Historical. The study will examine the professional lives, social interactions, culture, and political activities of a group of New York City financiers, lawyers, businessmen, and large property owners active in public affairs from the early twentieth century to the 1960s. His sources will include the records of the American Defense Society, the Harmonie Club, and Brown Brothers Harriman, as well as broadsides, pamphlets, journals, addresses, committee reports, and club/association yearbooks.
Patricia and John Klingenstein Short-Term Fellows
Joining these outstanding academic year fellows are two exceptional Patricia and John Klingenstein short-term fellows. Lauren Daen, a PhD candidate in History at the College of William & Mary, will conduct research for her project “Civic Capacity and the Constitution of Disability in the Early American Republic, 1770-1840,” leveraging New-York Historical’s collection of medical and related texts. Max Mishler, a PhD candidate in History at New York University, will research the intertwined reform currents of penal reform and abolitionism in New York during the early-nineteenth century using New-York Historical’s records from the New York Manumission Society, the New York African Free School, and reports and correspondence pertaining to prisons, and various family records and early newspapers.
Roger Hertog Fellow
Harold Holzer, one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, will continue his residency as a Roger Hertog Fellow. In 2013, Holzer authored The Civil War in Fifty Objects (Viking), a volume that exclusively features objects from the collections of the New-York Historical Society.
Fellowship positions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by the support of Bernard & Irene Schwartz, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Roger Hertog.
The New-York Historical Society will also offer eight fellowships during the 2014-2015 academic year. Details about applications, residency, stipends and past fellows are available by visiting http://www.nyhistory.org/