NASA and Jameson Fellowships for 2007-08 Announced

Andrew Bell, September 2007

Slava GerovitchFellowship in Aerospace History

The 2007–08 Fellowship in Aerospace history, which is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and administered by the AHA, was awarded to Slava Gerovitch, a lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The NASA Fellowship honors advanced historical research in aerospace, throughout all fields (scientific, cultural, technical, and so on) and periods of history. Gerovitch, who is interested in the history of astronautics, cybernetics, and Soviet science, is working on a book entitled "Designing a Cosmonaut: The Technopolitics of Automation in the Soviet Human Space Program," which details the differences between the Soviet and American space programs (American engineers gave their pilots greater leeway with the control panel, for example) and sheds light on the complex cultural ties and political relationships that developed between Soviet engineers, cosmonauts, and military officials. Professor Gerovitch has already received grants from the National Science Foundation, holds two PhDs in history, and speaks Russian fluently, a skill which has come in handy during his fact-finding trips to Moscow. He plans to spend fall 2007 conducting research at the space history division of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Jameson Fellowship

Rachel Bohlmann, director of public programs at the Newberry Library in Chicago, has been awarded the 2007–08 J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in U.S. history. This award, offered by the AHA in partnership with the Library of Congress, helps junior scholars conduct research that can make extensive use of the general and special collections of the Library of Congress. Bohlmann obtained her PhD in history from the University of Iowa in 2001.

Bohlmann's research at the Library of Congress will help her complete her first book, which is based on her dissertation, "Drunken Husbands, Drunken State: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union's Challenge to American Families and Public Communities in Chicago, 1874–1920." The dissertation explains why the Chicago WCTU came into being in 1874, how it grew exponentially throughout the 1880s, and how the organization's members used their new-found political clout to push for legislation aimed at protecting women and children from drunken, loutish husbands.

—Andrew Bell