Publication Date

September 1, 2004

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

Amy Foster Receives AHA-NASA Fellowship in Aerospace History

Amy FosterAmy Foster, who is completing a PhD dissertation in the history department at Auburn University, has been awarded the 2004-05 fellowship in aerospace history cosponsored by the AHA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Foster holds a BS in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and an MA in the history of science and technology from the University of Minnesota. She specializes in the history of technology, American space history, women’s history, and cultural studies, and proposes to use her fellowship to take up a project on the topic, “Sex in Space: The First Class of Women Astronauts.” An elaboration of her dissertation, the study will examine “critical questions related to the engineering design of spacecraft and spacecraft systems, which, by the very requirements of female biology alone, had to evolve in order to accommodate the presence of women aboard spacecraft.” Foster’s research will thus address the U.S. decision in the 1970s and 1980s to begin sending women into space, and the technological and social issues associated with that decision. Foster will conduct her research primarily in NASA’s collections of historical documents and will supplement that by collecting oral histories from female and male astronauts and other key actors involved in the space program.

Candidates for this fellowship are selected by a committee of judges nominated by the AHA, the Economic History Association, the History of Science Society, the Society for the History of Technology, the Organization of American Historians, and the National Council on Public History. The NASA Fellowship supports advanced research in aerospace history.

Christopher Capozzola Awarded Jameson Fellowship

Christopher CapozzolaChristopher Capozzola, assistant professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been selected for the 2004—05 Franklin Jameson Fellowship Award, which supports important scholarly research into American history at the Library of Congress by historians in the early stages of their careers.

Capozzola received his PhD from the department of history at Columbia University. His dissertation, "Uncle Sam Wants You: Political Obligations in World War I America," was nominated for both the Allan Nevins Dissertation Prize and the Bancroft Dissertation Award. Capozzola received his BA from Harvard University and his MA and MPhil degrees from Columbia University.

For his Jameson Fellowship research at the Library of Congress, Capozzola proposes to expand and revise his dissertation work. He will thus further explore the relationship between citizenship and obligation in 20th-century American public life. His project is threefold; it aims (1) at highlighting "the centrality of war in shaping the contours of state power and everyday political culture"; (2) contributing "to an understanding of the origins of the modern notions of civil rights and civil liberties in American political rights"; and (3) offering "one model for combining the insights of cultural history … with careful attention to the powerful institutional force of political and legal structures." At the Library of Congress, Capozzola intends to use the Manuscript Division, the local history collections, and the Newspapers and Periodicals Division.

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