RBS Mellon Fellows for 2013–15


In September 2012, Rare Book School received an $896,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a new three-year fellowship program at RBS, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography. The aim of the fellowship program is to reinvigorate bibliographical studies within the humanities by introducing doctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty to specialized skills, methods, and professional networks for conducting advanced research with material texts. See the RBS-Mellon Fellowship page for more information.

2013 Awardees

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  • Rhae Lynn Barnes

    • Rhae Lynn Barnes is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University. Her research and teaching focus on the U.S. and the world in the nineteenth century, with particular interests in racial formation, comparative slavery, gender, sexuality, and cultural representation in print and material culture. She received her B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in History from Harvard University. At the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, she helped develop an African American history curriculum implemented at 30 high schools across the nation. She is the CEO of U.S. History Scene, a multimedia education project.

  • Andrew Benjamin Bricker

    • Andrew Benjamin Bricker is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Stanford University. His research focuses on the intersections between literary studies, legal history, and bibliography. His dissertation, “Producing & Litigating Satire, 1670–1792,” brings together these fields, showing the ways in which law and the courts shaped how satire was both written and published during this period, and how, in turn, satiric and bibliographical practices shaped the development of court procedures, the deployment of the common law, and the enactment of legislation.

  • Ryan Cordell

    • Ryan Cordell is an assistant professor of English at Northeastern University. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia. His scholarship focuses on convergences among literary, periodical, and religious culture in antebellum American mass media. He is building a digital edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Celestial Railroad” that traces witnesses of the story across American periodicals in the 1840s and 50s (celestialrailroad.org). He is also collaborating with colleagues in English and computer science on a new project using robust data mining tools to discover borrowed texts across large-scale archives of antebellum texts. These “viral texts” help us to trace lines of influence among antebellum writers and editors, and to construct a model of viral textuality in the period.

  • Kyle Dugdale

    • Kyle Dugdale is a doctoral candidate at Yale School of Architecture. A graduate of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, he is interested both in the philosophical pretexts of architecture and in the architectural presumptions of philosophy. His dissertation examines the persistence of the Tower of Babel as a paradigm within the narratives of both disciplines, devoting particular attention to Babylon’s resurgence in the twentieth century as a figure that is tied to the peculiar anxieties of modernity. His research is centered in particular around an enigmatic book that has recently been acquired by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

  • Stephanie Ann Frampton

    • Stephanie Ann Frampton is an assistant professor in the Department of Literature at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature, with specialization in classical philology, from Harvard University. She is trained as a classicist and a comparatist; her research focuses on the material culture of writing in the ancient world, and on other intersections between literary and cultural history in Greece and Rome. She is currently finishing her first book, Alphabetic Order: The Roman Alphabet and the Material Culture of Literature in the Ancient World (under contract, Harvard UP). Before joining the Literature faculty at MIT, she taught Classics at the College of the Holy Cross and at Harvard University.

  • John Jude Garcia

    • John Jude Garcia is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Rhetoric and the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). He is completing a dissertation on early American biography. He is interested in the ways that book history can enliven literary and rhetorical criticism. His current research interests include P.T. Barnum and antebellum print culture, the British Loyalist presence in American literary and cultural history, Pierre Bourdieu, and linguistic anthropology.

  • Glenda Goodman

    • Glenda Goodman is an instructor in the Department of Music History at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. She received her Ph.D. in music from Harvard University. Her research on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American music focuses on the influence of transatlantic print culture and domestic music manuscripts. Her publications on Native American music and psalmody in England and New England have appeared in the William and Mary Quarterly and the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

  • Albertus G. A. Horsting

    • Albertus G. A. Horsting is the College Fellow of Late and Medieval Latin in the Department of the Classics at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Theology and the Program in the History of Christianity at the University of Notre Dame; he is a former fellow of the American Academy in Rome and has been a visiting researcher at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. His teaching and research concern the literary and religious interaction of Christianity and classical culture. He is interested in the transmission of classical and patristic literature, textual criticism, and the reception of the Greek theological tradition in the West. He is preparing the first critical edition of the epigrams of Prosper of Aquitaine (c.390–c.455) on the teachings of St. Augustine, for the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum.

  • Hansun Hsiung

    • Hansun Hsiung is a doctoral candidate in the Program in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard University. His research focuses on intellectual exchanges between Europe and East Asia in the early modern period. His interests include (1) the transnational book trade and the changing conditions of textual circulation linking European imprints to Asian readers; (2) the manner in which Asian readers seeking “Western knowledge” attempted to negotiate their own position vis-à-vis a foreign imagined community of learning, i.e., the Republic of Letters. His dissertation addresses these topics by examining the Institute for Barbarian Books, a government organization in Japan tasked with acquiring, censoring, and translating European imprints prior to that country’s “opening” to the West.

  • Lauren McGuire Jennings

    • Lauren McGuire Jennings is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Musicology at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, where she teaches courses on medieval music and manuscripts. She received her Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has presented papers on fourteenth-century Italian music and literature and on the early history of concert life and amateur music making in Pennsylvania at conferences in the United States and Europe. Her current book project explores scribal practices in manuscripts of song and poetry from medieval Italy, and the civic identities of the manuscripts’ compilers and early owners.

  • Rachael Scarborough King

    • Rachael Scarborough King is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at New York University (NYU). She studies British literature of the long eighteenth century. Her dissertation project focuses on the role of letter writing in genre and media formation from 1660 to 1840. Bringing together ephemeral and canonical works through in-depth archival research, she argues that the period’s foremost innovations in print first arose through the incorporation of manuscript letters. Her work uses tools of the digital humanities to analyze large corpora of newspapers and periodicals, and she is a co-founder of Digital Experiments, a working group in the NYU Department of English that mounts collaborative digital projects.

  • András Kiséry

    • András Kiséry is an assistant professor in the Department of English at The City College of New York, CUNY, where he teaches Shakespeare and early modern English literature. He received his Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. He is currently finishing a book called “Hamlet’s Moment: English Renaissance Drama and the Socialization of Political Competence.” Beside the connections between drama and political culture, he is also interested in the transformations of Shakespeare’s plays in changing cultural and linguistic contexts, in how reading and interpretation are influenced by the media through which we access old texts, and in the history of scholarship on such topics. He is co-editor, with Allison Deutermann, of Formal Matters: Reading the Materials of English Renaissance Literature(Manchester UP, 2013).

  • Hannah Marcus

    • Hannah Marcus is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Stanford University. Her research focuses on early modern Europe and the history of science. Her dissertation describes the development of ecclesiastical censorship in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. She is particularly interested in the interplay between intellectual controls and the perceived utility of prohibited knowledge. She is also intrigued by the ways in which readers and Catholic authorities understood the printed book as an intellectual threat and also a physical object that could be manipulated and regulated. This interest in censored, altered objects has led her to explore these books as another (to borrow John Tedeschi’s expression) “dispersed archive of the Roman Inquisition.”

  • Megan C. McNamee

    • Megan C. McNamee is a doctoral candidate in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is interested in relations between cognition and representation. Her dissertation, “Picturing Number in the Central Middle Ages,” explores the cultivation of numeracy at the turn of the first millennium. The project is grounded in manuscripts dedicated to arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. Pictures abound in these manuscripts and served as objects of contemplation and instruments of instruction, demanding and engendering diverse habits of thought. Their study sheds light on period-specific notions about relations and tensions between word and image, the nature of knowing, qualities of intellectual sight, and pictorial strategies for representing the sensible and the incorporeal.

  • Marissa Nicosia

    • Marissa Nicosia is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work engages with the fields of early modern English literature from Shakespeare to Milton, material text studies, and political theory. Her dissertation studies the relationships between experimental literary genres, political strife, and the print market in seventeenth-century England. Archival oddities, and modern responses to them, fuel her continued engagement with early modern print culture and manuscript studies in her research and teaching.

  • Dahlia Porter

    • Dahlia Porter is an assistant professor of English at the University of North Texas. Her research and teaching focus on the intersection of literature and science in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her first book argues that the generic hybrids of Romantic period literature—poems with footnotes and novels littered with excerpts of poetry—materialize, on the printed page, the result of applying the inductive method of empiricist science to the work of literary composition. She has published articles on Charlotte Smith, Erasmus Darwin, Samuel Johnson, and Robert Southey; she is also the co-editor, with Michael Gamer, of Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, 1798 and 1800(Broadview, 2008).

  • Yael Rice

    • Yael Rice is a postdoctoral fellow in Islamic art and architecture in the Department of Art and History of Art at Amherst College. She received her Ph.D. in history of art from the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in the art and architecture of Greater Iran and South Asia, with a particular focus on manuscripts and other portable arts of the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries. Her publications include studies of European engravings and Persian calligraphic specimens in Mughal royal albums, an illustrated manuscript of the Razmnama [Book of war], and an early fifteenth-century Khamsa [Quintet] of Nizami, copied and illustrated in the region of Fars, Iran. Her current research includes a project investigating shared epistemologies among painters, calligraphers, illuminators, and other specialists of the book.

  • Sophia Rochmes

    • Sophia Rochmes is a doctoral candidate in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), with an emphasis in medieval studies. She is the co-convener of the inter-departmental History of Books and Material Texts Research Focus Group at UCSB. Her dissertation, “Color’s Absence: Medium and Materiality in Burgundian Grisaille Manuscripts,” is a study into the trend for, and period perceptions of, gray-toned manuscript images at the fifteenth-century Burgundian court. This project combines her research interests of medieval and Northern Renaissance art, the history of books and libraries, and court arts.

  • Lena Salaymeh

    • Lena Salaymeh is a postdoctoral fellow in Islamic law at the School of Law of the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). She received her Ph.D. in legal and Middle Eastern history from UC Berkeley, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Her publications include “Early Islamic Legal-historical Precedents: Prisoners of War” in Law and History Review, as well as several co-authored book sections in Ira M. Lapidus’sIslamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Her forthcoming publications include review essays, encyclopedia entries, and an article, “Every Law Tells a Story: Orthodox Divorce in Jewish and Islamic Legal Histories,” in the UC Irvine Law Review.

  • Nick Wilding

    • Nick Wilding is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. in history and civilization from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). He is a historian of early modern science, specializing in the relationship between scientific instruments and books. He has written articles on subjects as varied as the sole surviving copy of the first biography of Galileo, Robert Hooke’s mechanical model of memory, and Athanasius Kircher’s universal language. Most recently, he has exposed several modern forgeries of seventeenth-century scientific books.