Special Collections Research Center

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships


Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Platzman Fellowship program. Click here for further information.


The Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships, established by bequest of George W. Platzman (1920-2008), Professor Emeritus in Geophysical Sciences at the University, are named in memory of George’s brother Robert Platzman (1918-1973), who was Professor of Chemistry and Physics and worked at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago in the 1940s.

The program provides up to $3,000 for visiting researchers working on projects that require on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily archives, manuscripts or printed materials in the Special Collections Research Center. The funds can be used for travel, living and research expenses. Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program, as are projects that cannot be conducted without onsite access to the original materials and where University of Chicago collections are central to the research. Special consideration will be given to applications in the fields of late 19th or early 20th-century physics or physical chemistry, or 19th-century classical opera.

Recipients of the Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships for 2014 and their projects are listed below. For information on earlier awards, please see the listing of previous recipients of Platzman Memorial Fellowships.


Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship Recipients for 2015


Tom Arnold-Forster (PhD candidate, University of Cambridge) researching the papers of Charles Merriam, Harold Gosnell, Mortimer Adler, Henry Simons, and others, for a study of “Public Opinion in America Political Thought, 1918-1929.”


Amy Bergseth (PhD candidate, University of Oklahoma) examining a group of Native American Educational Services collections and the records of the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation, for a project titled “Lunatic Fringes & Incessant Funding Crises: D’Arcy McNickle’s Silence of the American Indian Chicago Conference”


Elizabeth Grennan Browning (PhD candidate, University of California-Davis) drawing on the Laboratory Schools records and papers of Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, Louis Wirth, Albion Small, and others, for a dissertation on “Nature’s Laboratory: Chicago and the Rise of a New Aesthetics of Labor, 1880-1930”


Jessica DeCou (Independent scholar, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) researching the papers of Mircea Eliade, Jerald Brauer, W. Barnett Blakemore, John Nuveen, and others, for a book project titled “’A Fantastic Affair’: Karl Barth in America, 1962”


Sarah Foss (PhD candidate, Indiana University) examining the papers of Robert Redfield and Sol Tax, for a dissertation titled “’Una obra revolucionaria’: Guatemalan Indigenismo, 1944-1995”


Benjamin Hellwege (PhD candidate, City University of New York) drawing on the papers of Ernest Burgess and Robert Havighurst, for his book project, “When Old Age Changed: Inventing the ‘Senior State,’ 1945-1980”


Louisa Hotson (PhD candidate, University of Oxford) researching the records of the Department of Political Science and the papers of Louis Brownlow, Leonard White, and Charles Merriam, for a thesis on “Scholarly Solutions: American Political Science and the Challenge of Democracy, 1880-1970”


Sravanthi Kollu (PhD candidate, University of Minnesota) examining the papers of A. K. Ramanujan, the Official Papers of India, and other South Asian collections, for a dissertation titled “Modernizing Language: Debates on Literature in Nineteenth Century South India, 1890-1930”


Oenone Kubie (PhD candidate, University of Oxford) consulting the papers of Ernest Burgess, Grace and Edith Abbott, Julius Rosenwald, Robert Park, and others, for a study of “Boys’ Street Culture in Chicago, 1900-1929”


Kate Ozment (PhD candidate, Texas A&M University) drawing on works in the Rare Books collection written by Aphra Behn, Delarivier Manley, and Eliza Haywood, for a dissertation titled “The Page and the Stage: Women’s Commercial Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century”


Daniel Starza Smith (Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Oxford) consulting the Sir Francis Bacon Collection of Court and Manorial Documents, for his study of “Donne and the Drurys Revisited”