University Libraries announces 2019 research awards

Awards support innovative research


Four scholars--with interests in polar studies, female-created cartoons, music and dance--are the 2019 recipients of research awards from The Ohio State University Libraries.

Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries Damon Jaggars said University Libraries' research awards were in keeping with the Libraries’ strategy of empowering knowledge creators.

“These awards--which support researchers in the use of the distinctive materials in our collection--enable innovative research and give scholars the ability to share their knowledge and scholarship,” Jaggars said.

The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program (BPCRCAP) winner of the 2019-2020 research award is Anneke Schwob from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Schwob’s research, supported by the $5,000 grant, will include studying the papers of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, particularly the documentation of his solitary journey and four-month stay at the Bolling Advance Weather Base in 1934. 

Schwob’s goal is to gain an understanding of how the men of Byrd’s expedition “...narrativized both their own time on the continent as well as Antarctica itself.” 

She will explore whether the explorers conceived of the expedition’s goals in nationalist terms or from the perspective of individual endeavor, seeking to learn if they had a sense of the transition from the “progress to all mankind” to the “interests of science."  

Schwob is a doctoral candidate whose research interests include American literature and science, the birth of American conservation movements, periodical studies, and natural history. Archival portions of her research have been supported by fellowships from the Science Fiction Society, the Graduate School at UNC, and the Mary and David Harrison Institute at the University of Virginia. Her dissertation, In Situ: Environmental Management and the American Literary Imagination, explores how popular, serialized narratives used the scientific project of wilderness exploration and conservation as a tool of literary nationalism in the decades immediately preceding the foundation of the National Parks Service.

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) also announced the 2019 winner of the annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, Dr. Susan Kirtley, Professor of English at Portland State University and Director of Comics Studies. The award of up to $2,500, named for BICLM founding curator Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell, supports researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the collections materials of the BICLM on site.

Dr. Kirtley holds a Ph.D. in English from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her project is entitled “A Woman’s Place: The Rhetoric of Domesticity in Female-Created Comic Strips from 1976-2012.”  Kirtley’s research will focus on feminism and feminist history through the lens of the following comic strips: Lynn Johnston’s For Better or For Worse, Lynda Barry’s strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Cathy Guisewite’s Cathy, Nicole Hollander’s Sylvia and Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For

Kirtley said “[this] group of female-created comic strips came to national attention, rendering a rhetoric of domesticity that, influenced by second-wave feminism, informed national opinion, simultaneously reinforcing and rejecting popular stereotypes of women, children, and family while positing new roles for women inside and outside the home.” Her research will focus on “defining and exploring the ramifications of this multifarious expression of women’s roles at a time of great change in history and in comic art.” Kirtley’s project requires the use of the Nicole Hollander and Lynn Johnston papers and original art, as well as numerous other resources. Her research will culminate in a book, currently under contract with The Ohio State University Press.

The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute (TRI) has awarded two Irwin and Jane Spector Research Awards for 2019-2020. Each award is for $1,500.

Dr. Bonnie S. Jacobi, who has served as director of the Colorado Kodály Institute and taught at Colorado State University, will work with the Dalcroze collections of TRI to research the early Dalcroze School in New York, correlations between early Dalcroze instruction in New York and Pennsylvania, and intersections between the professional dance world and early American musicians who studied under Émile Jaques-Dalcroze.

Holly Smith, Dalcroze Instructor at the University of Kentucky where she designs and teaches Dalcroze pedagogical approaches to music educators, dancers, musicians, and teachers, will utilize the Dalcroze collections to explore  ways in which the Dalcroze approach can be implemented to enhance music education in the elementary general music classroom, and how the Dalcroze approach evolved in the United States.

The application process for the 2020 University Libraries research awards will begin in the fall of 2019.