URI Center for Humanities announces
recipients of grant money
KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 16, 1999 -- This year, three University
of Rhode Island professors will exchange their place in the classroom for
opportunities to study in England, Greece, Turkey, and Italy while on sabbatical
leaves. Much of their research will be supported by URI's Center for the
Mary B. Hollinshead, associate professor of art and James Loy, professor
of anthropology and sociology have been named Humanities Fellows for the
1999-2000 academic year. While the Center usually names only two fellows
a year, a separate grant was awarded to Nedra Reynolds, associate professor
of English, based on the merits of her research goals.
Both Humanities Fellows will receive a $1,500 grant. As Fellows, they
are required to initiate an undergraduate course relating to their research,
and to present a public lecture describing and discussing their research
findings to the academic community upon their return.
Hollinshead, of Rehoboth, Mass., will study the form and development
of monumental staircases in Hellenistic architecture (which encompasses
the fourth through the first centuries B.C.E. in the Aegean basin and Italy)
for a book. She will focus on how the political and social forces in the
Hellenistic world influenced architectural traditions. Hollinshead will
return to Greece, where she has excavated and studied periodically since
1968, and travel to western Turkey and Italy where she will record, draw,
and photograph remains of ancient staircases.
Hollinshead is considering an undergraduate seminar on ancient architecture,
and another class emphasizing the political aspects of built structures
based on case histories from Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome.
For the past five years, Loy, of West Kingston, has studied both
Charles Darwin, the well-known recluse who shattered the religious world
with his theories on human evolution and Darwin's family. In the spring
of 2000, Loy will depart for England to conduct research for an upcoming
biography of Darwin's wife, Emma. While in England, Loy will have access
to the Wedgwood and Darwin collections, which are housed at Keele University
and Cambridge Museum. These collections include family documents, tens of
thousands of letters, manuscripts, and family photos. Loy hopes his research
will provide a new case study of the life of this gentry woman and wife
in Victorian England, and provide new insight into the life of her husband.
One particular point of interest, according to Loy, will be how much her
deeply religious views influenced Darwin.
Loy has proposed to teach a course called, "Emma Darwin: Gentry
Wife and the Reluctant Handmaid of Evolution," when he returns from
his leave. According to Loy, his research, public presentation, and forthcoming
biography will be of interest to historians, women's studies specialists,
and Darwin scholars.
Reynolds, of Wakefield, will travel to England's University of
Leeds' School of Geography next spring to research the influences of geography
and social factors on the act of writing. She will publish her research
on the changing conceptions of space in our culture that affect writers,
the act of writing, and the teaching of writing in a book tentatively titled,
"Geographies of Writing, Writers, and Writing Instruction." While
at the University of Leeds she will be a visiting researcher in the field
of English and will attend lectures in the School of Geography.
Reynolds notes that universities in the United Kingdom do not have writing
programs or composition studies. She sees this as an opportunity to represent
writing instruction and practices outside the United States.
URI's Center for the Humanities began in 1994 with a $10,000 grant from
the College of Arts and Sciences. The Center's aim is to enhance research
and teaching in the humanities and has supported University lectures by
major speakers representing humanistic disciplines and humanistic topics,
and provides its own annual public programs and presentations.
For More Information: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-2116