Publication Date

October 1, 1996

The AHA is pleased to announce that Lynda M. Hill, an assistant professor of English at Temple University, received the 1995-96 J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship. Hill is using the fellowship to study narratives of ex-slaves documented by the Works Progress Administration (WPA); the WPA narratives are housed at the Library of Congress. Other scholars have studied the narratives as historical evidence; Hill, however, is making the narratives themselves the subject of study. She is looking at the documents as a specific kind of personal narrative and is analyzing the ways that they have been used by historians, novelists, folklorists, and others. She is also comparing the WPA narratives to narratives generated by the nearly contemporaneous Mass-Observation Project in the United Kingdom. The Jameson Fellowship Committee feels confident that Hill and her project are exceptionally well matched and that her work will contribute to scholarship in the field. Hill has extensive experience in working with personal narratives and is trained in literature and folklore. The 1995-96 Jameson Fellowship carried a stipend of $10,000. It is sponsored jointly by the AHA and the Library of Congress.

Karen Ward Mahar, an instructor in the history department at California State University at Northridge, received the 1996-97 J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship. Mahar will study the relationship between women filmmakers and the portrayal of gender in their movies during the early years of American cinema. Hollywood, she argues, once held promise for "marginalized" groups like women, who were struggling to gain a voice in American culture, society, and politics. The participation in filmmaking during the era of silent films of Asian Americans, African Americans, social reformers, and labor unions allowed for a much wider spectrum of on-screen perspectives than would be true at any other time in Hollywood history. Mahar will study early American films housed in the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcast, and Recorded Sound Division. The Jameson Fellowship committee believes that Mahar's project is innovative and solidly grounded in the Library of Congress collection, and the committee members are confident that Mahar will produce a significant study of women filmmakers and their relationship to presentations of gender in cinema. The 1996-97 Jameson Fellowship carries a stipend of $10,000. The fellowship is sponsored jointly by the AHA and the Library of Congress.

The AHA would like to thank Nan Woodruff (Penn State Univ.), chair, and the members of the J. Franklin Jameson Selection Committee for their participation and support of the AHA's fellowship program.

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