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Six Faculty Members Receive Whiting Fellowships

May 17, 2017


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation has awarded six fellowships to Middlebury faculty for the coming year. Whiting Fellowships typically support faculty members’ travel expenses abroad or to a location with which they are not closely associated.

Amy Morsman, associate professor of history, will work on a project titled The Worlds of Solomon Northup: Exploring African-American Life in Freedom and Slavery. Her grant will fund travel to Louisiana to research primary documents related to Northup and to all the white and black families he knew while enslaved there for 12 years. Morsman hopes to create a digital history resource for her students and the general public to better understand the impact of slavery and race on American communities before and during the Civil War.

Florence Feiereisen, associate professor of German, has received support for a project titled Digital Humanities and Foreign Language Pedagogy. The grant will fund travel to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference in Nashville, Tennessee, participation in the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, and visits to Bucknell University’s Digital Scholarship Center as well as the Five Colleges Digital Humanities Initiative. She plans to explore effective ways to bridge the gap to the information age to better develop and nurture students’ intellectual curiosity inside and outside of the classroom.

Sebnem Gumuscu, assistant professor of political science, has been awarded a fellowship for a project titled Democracy and Political Islam in Tunisia: From Islamists to Muslim Democrats. The grant will fund travel to Tunisia for two weeks in July 2017 with a goal of gaining a better understanding of the complexities of the Tunisian transition to democracy through a series of semi-structured interviews with Ennahda leaders, secular political actors, and political scientists.

Elizabeth R. Napier, professor of English and American literatures, has been awarded a fellowship for a project titled In Search of Wordsworth: Travels in the Lake District. The grant will fund travel to the Lake District in northwest England to examine sites of importance in the life and poetry of William Wordsworth. The goal of this project is to provide Professor Napier with an immersive experience that will help her teach the poetry of Wordsworth with greater attention to an aspect that he elevated above all in his poetry: the power of place.

Jeffrey Munroe, professor of geology, has been awarded a fellowship for a project titled Linking Glacial Geology and Glaciology: Field Observations of Modern Glaciers in the Alps. The grant will fund travel to France, Switzerland, and Austria to support field investigations of modern glaciers in the European Alps. The goal of this project is to provide Professor Munroe with an opportunity to visit glaciers and localities that were fundamental to the development of modern understanding of ice ages and natural climate variability.

Guntram Herb, professor of geography, has been awarded a fellowship for a project titled Border Rights and Border Rites: Indigenous Nations Astride the US-Canada Border. The grant will fund travel to the indigenous borderlands on the West Coast and in Alaska during July and August 2017. The goal of this project is to raise awareness about native nations through the development of new courses and a website.