University Libraries announces recipients of research awards

First-time awards from University Libraries

The Ohio State University Libraries has announced the winners of newly-established research awards.

Three scholars have been awarded the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s (BICLM) first annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, while an international researcher will receive the first Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program (BPCRCAP) research award.

The BICLM Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, named for the founding curator of the Cartoon Library, provides up to $2,500 to support researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the collections and materials of the BICLM on site. Ongoing support of this award was made possible by a generous gift from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, which was matched by many additional donors to create an endowment.  A panel of ten reviewers from a variety of disciplines at Ohio State was appointed to assess the proposals.

The recipients for 2018 are:

  • Dr. Daniel Worden, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology’ School of Individualized Study.  He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University.  His project is entitled “Oil Comics: Iconographies of Energy, Environment and Motion.” Worden’s research aims to chronicle the imbrication of comics with the oil industry and the normalized use of petroleum as a fuel source, from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Xavier Dapena, Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  His project is called “’They do not represent us’: Radical Imageries of Contemporary Spanish Graphic Narratives (1973-2011).” Dapena’s project centers on the intersection of graphic narratives and political imagination and seeks to understand how the political repertoire of images, symbols, and metaphors express three processes: memorialization, precarization, and legitimation.
  • Frank Santoro, creator of Pompeii, Storeyville and other comics.  He is also an educator who runs ComicsWorkbook, a training and residency program for cartoonists.  His research on “The Ohio School of Naturalist Cartooning” will look at how Billy Ireland’s influence on Edwina Dumm, Noel Sickles, Milton Caniff, and C.N. Landon informed a language of 20th century cartooning that has carried on into the 21st century.

Support from the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation made the awarding of three gifts possible for the first year of the prize.  Subsequent years will see one award presented annually from the established endowment.

Worden, Dapena, and Santoro will complete their research at the BICLM by June 30, 2019, and will share their work with the Ohio State community.  Applications for the 2019 award will open in November 2018. 

Dr. Jean de Pomereu, of France, was selected as the first BPCRCAP Research Award winner. The award is for $5,000. 

Dr. de Pomereu’s research focuses on the history of ice sheets, and how “it focuses on the introduction of satellite observation and computer modeling, and how the latter turned ice sheets into virtual objects of the digital imagination, as well as into emblems of human coexistence with the physical world.  It also considers the scientific and cultural processes by which, from the late 1960’s, computer models contributed a new temporal dimension to ice sheet knowledge and extended ice sheet science from a regional to an Earth System scale, as well as from a historical to a predictive approach imbued with profound political implications.”

His research will require the use of a number of collections held by the Polar Archives, including the papers of John H. Mercer, Robert W. Gerdel, Ned A. Ostenso, Ian M. Whillans, and Mortimer Turner.  Time permitting, Dr. de Pomereu also plans to consult the Charles Bentley and Amory Waite Papers. 

Dr. de Pomereu’s ultimate goal is to publish a monograph on the cultural and scientific history of ice sheets.  Dr. Pomereu said, “This book will address a considerable gap in the literature and will connect with a broad range of disciplines that include Environmental History, the History of Science, Historical and Cultural Geography. It will draw extensively on visual archives to demonstrate how cultural imaginings and visual representations and narratives of ice sheets have transformed through time.”

The BPCRCAP Research Award will be given annually, with the next call for proposals scheduled for October 2018.


Contact:  Larry Allen, Communications Manager
Ohio State University Libraries, 614/292-8999