LEOPOLD FELLOWS—Call for Applications for 2009-2010
The Center for Historical Studies at NU announces the second year of its undergraduate program honoring the teaching and scholarship of Professor Richard Leopold, a long-time member of Northwestern University's Department of History.
The program provides a small group of able undergraduate students with an opportunity to engage in genuine historical research. Leopold Fellows will work on current faculty research projects, learning how to interpret archival and documentary materials. Successful candidates should demonstrate an interest in learning how to interpret complex primary data. Working under the guidance of a member of the Department of History, the Leopold Fellow will learn how scholars develop arguments out of diverse research materials.
Each Leopold Fellow will receive financial support as a Research Assistant
($9 per hour for a possible average of 8 hours a week). The program should not be confused with Work-Study. Financial need will not be considered in the selection process. The program may also fund travel or other expenses incurred by the Leopold Fellows.
Students may apply to be Leopold Fellows for two or three quarters, including the summer quarter. The Leopold Fellows will meet formally as a group once a quarter to discuss their experiences.
Application process: Please look over our list of faculty projects below and if interested apply for a Fellowship. History faculty may nominate students to apply or interested students may apply in response to a specific faculty project. In either case, please provide the following information:
Please send these applications to Assistant Director Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for completed applications is Monday, MAY 18 by 12 noon. Announcement of successful candidates will occur in the second week of June (note change of date).
Questions should be directed via e-mail to email@example.com or phone (847-467-0885). Our office is currently located at 1800 Sherman Avenue, suite 404, Room 415 (mailing address: 1800 Sherman Ave., suite 106, Evanston, IL 60201).
2009-2010 Faculty research projects
1. Michael ALLEN: War Orphan Adoption
I am seeking a student with an interest in and knowledge of recent US history and/or US foreign relations to assist me in the early stages of a research project on war orphan adoption during and after the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and perhaps earlier conflicts, with an eye toward how such practices changed American engagement with the world. The student would help me to identify and make my way through relevant source materials, beginning with memoirs, reportage, and legislative records, and working out from there to identify key individuals and institutions to research in depth. Most work will involve published sources that are available in area libraries or through interlibrary loan. Archival research in local repositories and/or oral interviews may be possible depending on our progress. Fall and winter quarters.
2. Henry C. BINFORD: Small Business in Poor Urban Communities
The work to be done arises from my current research on nineteenth-century “slum” communities and bridges into work that I plan to undertake in the future. The student researcher will use statistical, library, and archival resources to study the lives of immigrant and African American small business persons in poor areas of Chicago and Cincinnati in the mid-nineteenth century. The student will begin by doing some basic reading about these communities, in both secondary works and in the manuscript I am writing. Then, using materials I have already gathered, together with information from the Northwestern and other area libraries, the student will undertake a study of one or perhaps two wards in the cities mentioned above. He or she will create collective biographical databases (prosopographies) containing basic census information from 1860 about all of the immigrant and African American individuals who own real estate and are engaged in low-level entrepreneurial work (storekeepers, saloonkeepers, coal dealers, boarding house keepers, laundry owners, etc.). The student will then look for these individuals in other kinds of records — tax lists, property deeds, directories, political and legal records -- expanding the collective biography to allow an examination of careers. The researcher may need to spend a few days in Cincinnati to access records only available at the Cincinnati Historical Society and the Hamilton County Courthouse. The overall goal will be to trace the lives of these individuals backward and forward in time, asking how they acquired property and how their situations changed, and comparing people of different backgrounds, men and women, residents of different places. I will help the student to use this information to address larger questions: What role did small stakeholders from minority backgrounds play in the larger political and social life of their cities? To what extent did property give them leverage, either formal or informal? How did they make use of the ward-based political systems then dominant in these cities? How did they engage with the powerful business and political leaders of the civic elites? To what extent did these obscure entrepreneurs shape the physical and social development of the city? The student will conclude the work by writing a report on his/her findings. I will work closely with the student at all stages of this process.
3. T.H. BREEN: Scots-Irish in New England
During the early decades of the 18th century a large number of Scots-Irish flooded into southern New Hampshire. Although they were Presbyterians, they were called Irish by the Engish settlers and subject to discrimination. Many of these people settled in communities such as Londonderry and Bedford. Over time the Scot-Irish drifted east into the present state of Maine. My project attempts to reconstruct the world of these early migrants. Of particular interest is evidence that these men and women brought specific memories of Irish politics and history to New England. The Leopold Fellow would read town histories for the region, consult with state archivists about relevant materials, and trace links between the New Hampshire and Maine settlements. The student must be able to order materials through inter-library loan, show research initiative, and contact local historical societies in the region.
4. Peter CARROLL: Chinese Modernity
I would like to request the assistance of a Leopold Fellow for the entire 2009-2010 academic year. The student would need to read Chinese fluently. The Leopold Fellow would assist me with two research projects: 1) the location and preparation of primary materials to support the translation into Chinese and publication of my 2006 Stanford University Press book, Between Heaven and Modernity: Reconstructing Suzhou, 1895-1937, by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and 2) research assistance for my ongoing book project, “’This Time of Suicide’: Modernity, Society, and Self in China, 1900-1957.” Between Heaven and Modernity examines the transformation of urban space in late 19th and early 20th c. Suzhou by analyzing the experience of various people, including the poor, elite gentry, Japanese monks, central state officials, foreign and domestic tourists, and local businessmen, as city leaders attempted to modernize the city. The book was awarded the Best Book (Non-North American) by the Urban History Association in 2007. A Leopold Fellow would help identify, copy, and collate primary sources—and perhaps help with other relevant research tasks—for the preparation of the Chinese translation.
My current book project analyzes the changing significance of suicide as a social phenomenon in China from the late Qing dynasty, through the Republican period, until the end of the initial years of stability that followed the founding of the People’s Republic. During this period, China was gripped by a series of social panics regarding the prevalence of suicide in urban society. Concern over suicide as a malady of modernity were key to the reconceptualization of the populace as “modern society,” the production of new forms of social knowledge such as sociology, vital statistics, and medicine, and the growth of governmental power. Debates on suicide also both helped precipitate and reflect shifts in overall assumptions regarding gender, the power of society, and the autonomy of the individual. The book documents the powerful influence of social science on the Chinese state and society during several decades of reformist and revolutionary ferment. A Leopold Fellow would help identify relevant materials in Republican era newspapers and journals, both of which are essential primary sources for this project.
5. Peter HAYES: The Failure of a Generation—German Elites and National Socialism
I am in need of someone to do research for me in the journals of German professional associations (lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc. for the period 1930-50), essentially looking for essays by prominent figures that show the increasing endorsement of Nazism and its ideology by leading figures. In other words, the work would be substantive, as required by the Leopold Fellows program: the student chosen would have to be able to read German, identify important lines of argument, do background work on the figures singled out for attention, etc. S/he would begin with a literature review of prominent relevant monographs in English and German (I’d supply the list), from which s/he would identify promising journals to examine and then proceed with the detailed search of those.
6. Robert LERNER: Annotated edition of letters by eminent historian Ernst Kantorowicz
I am working on an edition of the American letters of the great twentieth-century historian, Ernst Kantorowicz, and related documents. Kantorowicz wrote one of the most influential scholarly books of the mid twentieth century, The King’s Two Bodies: this has remained in print since its initial publication in 1957 and has been translated into many languages. In addition he was extraordinarily fascinating personality: he won both an Iron Cross (Western Front) and an Iron Crescent (Ottoman Empire) for his service in the First World War, fought against the “Reds” in Munich in 1919, was a prominent member of the circle around the poet-prophet Stefan George, spoke against the Nazis from the lecture platform in 1933, fled Germany under dramatic circumstances in 1938, was one of the leaders of the opposition to the Loyalty Oath imposed on faculty members at the University of California in 1950 (being fired as a last-ditch “non-signer”), and from 1951 until his death in 1963 was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was a brilliant and often very witty letter writer: among his numerous correspondents were not only scholars in his field and students but also George Kennan, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Hutchins, and J. Robert Oppenheimer.
I need a research assistant for three quarters to help annotate the letters: this involves identifying names, events, and publications that are mentioned. With the student’s help I also hope to locate more letters by means of following leads, writing to archives, and, if occasion warrants, visiting archives. Because the project is already making great progress I expect that it can be wrapped up in the academic year 2009-2010, which would necessitate other jobs: locating owners of copyright, eliminating redundancies in annotation, and organizing the many letters that will be included in the final manuscript. Knowledge of German would be a plus but not a requirement.
7. Kate MASUR: Civil rights in 19th-C. Washington, D.C.
A Leopold Fellow in the 2009-2010 year would assist me with two projects. First, I will be conducting research on an African American Lincoln scholar and his 1942 book on black Washington in the Civil War era. A Leopold Fellow could help me interpret the book itself and locate information on the author, the book, and the characters in it. If we locate new archival sources, it might be useful for the fellow to travel to investigate them. Second, I will be launching a project on African American federal government employees in the period from 1846 and 1912. Here, tasks for a Leopold Fellow could include helping me design a database to contain and sort information on what will be many hundreds of people; using published sources to identify African American federal employees and develop profiles of them; and perhaps traveling to the U.S. National Archives to examine employment records.
No special language skills are necessary, but the fellow should have a strong background in United States history and keen interest in African American history. Willingness to use microfilm is a must. Expertise with spreadsheet and/or database software is desirable but not required. Availability for three quarters is preferred, but two would also work. (An applicant available this summer could work with me and cartography staff at the NU Library to develop maps of race, residence, and politics in 19th-century Washington, D.C., but availability this summer is not required.)
8. Nancy MacLEAN: “Marketplace Solutions”: Southern Segregationists and the Surprising Career of School Vouchers.
I am seeking assistance for my current book project, “Marketplace Solutions”: Southern Segregationists and the Surprising Career of School Vouchers. The story begins with the closure of the public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia, from 1959-64, an outgrowth of southern segregationists’ policy of “massive resistance” to Brown v. Board of Education which included the first modern tuition grants (i.e. school vouchers). Scholars of civil rights have depicted the school closures as the twilight of massive resistance, but what I’ve found in the archives is, rather, the dawn of the era of privatization, often described as “neo-liberalism.” The book examines the learning process through which southern conservatives arrived at privatization as a way to insulate privilege from the mass democratization of the era, and charts the coalition building that altered national discussion and policy. The research follows the southerners' discovery of allies in the northern- and western-based nascent conservative movement, their alliance-building with proponents of libertarian economics (above all, the founders of public choice economics and law and economics), and their contributions to the “original intent” constitutionalism that later flowed into the Federalist Society and related efforts. The book will also chart their involvement with new institutional partners such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Republican Party, and later, the Heritage Foundation. And it examines their efforts to cultivate ties between evangelical Protestants and Catholics over voucher advocacy. I would like the assistance of a Leopold Fellow for varied research tasks, but will probably the student’s core research focus will likely be the story of Milwaukee, home to both the oldest and largest voucher experiment in the country and longtime Catholic voucher advocacy. The Leopold Fellow would carry out this work, ideally, during Winter, Spring, and perhaps also Summer, or during Spring and Summer quarters. Applicants must have expertise in EndNote by the time they start work, and possess outstanding research and writing skills as well as initiative and reliability. No language ability required, although Spanish would be a plus. Time: ideally Fall, Winter, Spring, or Spring and Summer quarters.
9. Yohanan PETROVSKY-SHTERN: Ukrainian Jewish poet in Soviet newspapers of the 1930s and 1940s
I am looking for a student competent in Russian (strong readings skills would suffice) for one quarter in 2009-2010. My project is a follow-up to my recently published book "The Anti-Imperial Choice" (Yale University Press). One of the main characters of my book, the enigmatic Ukrainian Jewish avant-guard poetess Raisa Troianker (1909-1945) contributed to both Russian and Ukrainian belles lettres. Her two books of Ukrainian verse introduced Jewish themes, urban futuristic motifs, and sexual imagery into Ukrainian poetry. While her Ukrainian contribution has been covered in my chapter, her experience as a Russian cultural figure, quite significant, has not. Between 1935 and 1945, Raisa Troianker worked as an editor, columnist, and poet-in-residence for the daily "Poliatnaia pravda" (Polar Circle Truth), the Murmansk-based most important newspaper in the north-western part of the Soviet Union. This newspaper acquired special importance after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941. Troianker was known to have spent weeks in the trenches near Murmansk and to have written first-hand reports for this newspaper. Besides, she appeared in it with her short stories and poetry. I am working on a bilingual (Russian-Ukrainian) edition of Troianker's works and need a Russian-competent student to go through the microfilm reels of the "Poliarnaia pravda" newspaper, find, catalogue, and collect Troianker's texts (including dubbia). In addition to providing a candidate with solid background in the Soviet Union history in mid-twentieth century, I will train him/her in bibliography, communication and propaganda, and archives.
10. Michael SHERRY: Go Directly to Jail: The Punitive Turn in American Life
The Leopold Fellow would assist me on a book project, "Go Directly to Jail: The Punitive Turn in American Life." I envision several research tasks for a Fellow. One would be further number-crunching about shifts from the 1970s onward between the uniformed military population and the population of those working or incarcerated in the criminal justice system. A second task, probably the most time-consuming, would be to find, save, and analyze key documents in public discourse, most now available online, concerning mass imprisonment and other aspects of the punitive turn. A third--the most challenging, but my current Fellow has proved up to the task--would be to analyze the research materials located and to provide brief reports on them, reports of a sort that serve as rough drafts for sections of the book that I'm writing. The ideal student would have some grounding in recent US history and/or in the field of criminal-justice policy and history, although general skills, alertness, and curiosity are more important than field-specific knowledge.