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Special Collections Research Center

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships
Previous Recipients


The Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship program provides support 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. Previous recipients are listed below. Further information on the program and current recipients is available on the Platzman Memorial Fellowships program web site.


Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship Recipients



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”


D. Trevor Burrows, PhD candidate, History, Purdue University; drawing on the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council Records, student organization records, and faculty papers for a study of “Social Reform and Religious Renewal: Religion and Student Activism in the Long 1960s”

Ben Glaser, Assistant Professor of English, Yale University; examining the Poetry Records, Harriet Monroe Papers, and William Vaughan Moody papers, for a project on “Modernism’s Metronome: Metrical Vestiges, Historical Prosody, and American Poetry, 1910-1930”

Jordan Grant, PhD Candidate, History, American University; researching the William H. English Papers, Stephen A. Douglas Papers, and Lincoln Collection for a study of “Catchers and Kidnappers: Slave-Hunting in Early America”

Camden Hutchison, PhD candidate, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison; consulting the Henry C. Simons Papers and other faculty collections for a project titled “The Efficiency Norm and U.S. Legal-Economic Policy, 1969-1992”

Karina Jannello, PhD candidate, History, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina; reviewing the International Association for Cultural Freedom Records for a study of “The Cultural Cold War in the Southern Cone: Intellectuals, Magazines, and Publishing Networks in the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, 1950-1970”

Brian Lefresne, PhD Candidate, Literary Studies, University of Guelph, Ontario; researching the Alton Abraham Collection of Sun Ra for a dissertation titled “Sun Ra at the Crossroads of Jazz and Performance”

Martin Nekola, PhD, Political Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; examining the Archive of the Czechs and Slovaks Abroad for materials on a study of “Czechs in Chicago”

Melanie Newport, PhD candidate, History, Temple University; researching the American Civil Liberties Union, Illinois Division Records and faculty papers for a project on “Cook County Jail and the Local Origins of Mass Incarceration, 1836-1995”

Daniel Royles, PhD, History, Temple University; consulting the ACT UP Chicago Records for a study titled “Don’t We Die Too? The Political Culture of African American AIDS Activism”

Adam Smith, Senior Lecturer, History, University College London; examining the Stephen A. Douglas Papers for a project titled “The Stormy Present: Conservatism in American Politics in an Age of Revolution, 1848-1876”

Leif Tornquist, PhD candidate, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; reviewing the Shailer Mathews Papers for a study titled “Evolving the Divine: Eugenics, Embodied Perfectionism, and the Evolutionary Theology of Shailer Mathews”

Tobias Warner, Assistant Professor of French, University of California-Davis; consulting the International Association for Cultural Freedom Records for a study of “The Role of the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Shaping the Politics of Language in African Literature”

Michael Woods, Assistant Professor of History, Marshall University; to research the Stephen A. Douglas Papers for a book titled “Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy”


Shuhita Bhattacharjee, doctoral candidate in English at the University of Iowa, to consult the University of Chicago Library’s Southern Asian collections of British colonial documents, for a study of “The Politics of Conversion Narratives: Religion, Secularism, and Gender in Victorian Colonial Writing, 1850-1914.”

Nancy Walbridge Collins, research fellow and lecturer in international affairs at Columbia University, to consult the Robert M. Hutchins papers, for a study titled “Wartime Gravity: The Scientific Principles of Robert M. Hutchins.”

Kevin Donnelly, assistant professor of history at Alvernia University, to consult the Earle Eubank, Luther Bernard, Ernest W. Burgess, and other collections, for a study titled “The New Intellectual Hierarchy: Mongrelist Sociology in America, 1918-1937.”

Melinda Gough, associate professor in English and cultural studies at McMaster University, to consult the Rare Books collection, for a project to compile an “Edition of Swetnam the Woman-Hater Arraigned by Women (1620).”

Jamie Kreiner, assistant professor of history at the University of Georgia, to consult the Sir Nicholas Bacon Collection of English Court and Manorial Documents, for a study titled “The Premodern Pig.”

Christopher La Casse, doctoral candidate in English and American literature at the University of Delaware, to consult the records of Poetry: A Magainze of Verse and the Harriet Monroe papers, for a study of “Modernism in the Magazines, Modernism in the Great War: Poetry, The Little Review, and Reveille.”

Joseph Martin, doctoral candidate in the history of science, technology, and medicine at the University of Minnesota, to consult the records of the University of Chicago President’s Office, Physical Sciences Division, and other archival collections, for a project titled “Solid Foundations: Structuring American Solid State Physics, 1939-1993.”

David Olson, doctoral candidate in history at Boston University, to consult the papers of William Benton, Richard McKeon, Louis Gottschalk, and Louis Wirth, for a study titled “Binding the Minds of Men: America, UNESCO, and the Expansion of International Society.” David Olson has been designated the Hans Lenneberg Fellow.

Hunter Price, doctoral candidate in history at Ohio State University, to consult the Church History Documents Collection, for a project titled “Circuit Riders: The Forging of Middle-Class Community and Evangelical Political Culture in the Early American West, 1780-1830.”

Melissa Renn, senior curatorial research associate at the Harvard University Museums, to consult the R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Archive, for a study titled “Life in Color: Life Magazine and the Color Reproduction of Works of Art.” Melissa Renn has been designated the Robert Rosenthal Fellow.

Andrea Scionti, doctoral candidate in history at Emory University, to consult the records of the International Association for Cultural Freedom/Congress for Cultural Freedom, for a study titled “America’s Reluctant Allies: The Congress for Cultural Freedom in France and Italy, 1950-1979.”

David A. Varel, doctoral candidate in history at the University of Colorado, to consult the Allison Davis papers, for a project titled “Race, Class, and Socialization: Allison Davis and American Social Thought, 1920-1950.”

Wil Verhoeven, professor of American culture and cultural theory at the University of Groningen, to consult the Reuben T. Durrett Collection on Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, for a study titled “Enemies of the State: Sedition and Resistance in the Trans-Appalachian West, 1776-1806.”

Saul Noam Zaritt, doctoral candidate in Jewish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, to consult the papers of Saul Bellow, for a study titled “The Jew in the World: Jewish American Writing and the Problem of World Literature.”


Simone Diender, doctoral candidate in American history at Brandeis University, to consult the Charles Merriam papers, for a study of "The Private Citizen: Expert Power and the Obligations of Work, Prayer, and Parenthood, 1923-1970"
Sarah Ehlers, doctoral candidate in English at the University of Michigan, to consult the Harriet Monroe papers and Poetry Magazine records, for a project titled "Critical Conditions: Politics and the Death of Twentieth-Century American Poetry"
Laurel Harbin, doctoral candidate in the College of Design Construction and Planning at the University of Florida, to consult the Albert Mayer papers, for a study focusing on "Capability Development in Uttar Pradesh Following Independence: Impacts of Community Development on Villager Initiative in the Etawah Pilot Project"
Matthew Johnston, Assistant Professor of Art History, Lewis and Clark College, to consult early archaeological monographs and journals, for a study of "Pre-Columbian Civilization as Cultural Patrimony in U.S. and Mexican Archaeology"
Uli Kozok, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii, to conduct an examination of the physical properties, contents, language, and script of a group of Batak manuscripts from Sumatra collected by anthropologist Frederick Starr.  Uli Kozok has been named the Hans Lenneberg Fellow.
Álvaro Morcillo Laiz, Profesor-Investigador, División de Estudios Internacionales, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City, to use the Joachim Wach papers, Melchior Palyi papers, Louis Wirth papers, and other archival collections, for a study of "Outsiders, Philanthropy, and the Development of Social Science in Mexico and in the U.S. in the Early 1940s"
Susanna Morrill, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Lewis and Clark College, to consult eighteenth- and nineteenth-century books on midwifery, for a study of "Protestant Women's Birth and Death Rituals, 1780-1920"
Kathryn Nuernberger, Instructor in Creative Writing, American Literature, and Composition at the University of Central Missouri, to examine nineteenth-century manuscripts and ephemera in pseudoscience, in support of the composition of a collection of poems to be titled "Stereopsis"
Michael Robinson, doctoral candidate in history at Louisiana State University, to consult the Stephen A. Douglas papers, for a study titled "Fulcrum of the Union: The Border South and the Secession Crisis, 1859-1861"
Asha Rogers, doctoral candidate at St. Anne's College, University of Oxford, to consult the records of the International Association for Cultural Freedom, for a study titled "The Institutions of Anglophone Literature: The Congress of Cultural Freedom and the Sponsorship of African Literary Culture, 1960-1968"
Oi Rosenboim, doctoral candidate in politics and international studies at Queen's College, University of Cambridge, to consult the Committee to Frame a World Constitution records and Robert M. Hutchins papers, for a study of "Competing Visions of International Order in the 1940s"
Dirk Sangmeister, independent scholar, Forschungszentrum Gotha, Universität Erfurt, to consult the Lincke Collection of German Popular Literature, for a study titled "Stacked by Popular Demand: Exploring the Preferences of the Reading Public in Leipzig around 1800 -- History and Profile of the Lincke Circulating Library."  Dirk Sangmeister has been named the Robert Rosenthal Fellow.
Tracy Steffes, Assistant Professor of Education and History, Brown University; to consult the Philip Hauser papers, Robert Havighurst papers, W. Alvin Pitcher papers, Commission on Race and Housing records, and other archival collections, for a study of "Educational Opportunity in Postwar America"


Wendell Vernon Eckford, Ralph Bunche Associate Professor of History, Affiliate Faculty, African American Studies, The Los Angeles City College, to use the Allison Davis Papers for a work on a biography of Allison Davis.
Daniel Ellis, Assistant Professor, Department of English, St. Bonaventure University, to consult the Sir Nicholas Bacon Collection of Court and Manorial Documents for a study of “The Tudor Statesman at Home: Political Orators and the Rhetoric of Domesticity.” Daniel Ellis has been named the Hans Lenneberg Fellow.
Catherine Keyser, Assistant Professor, English Department, University of South Carolina, to consult the Benjamin Heller & Company Collection as part of an investigation of literary representations of food science and the role of artificial flavor as a literary emblem.
Andrew Meade McGee, Ph.D. candidate, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, to study the history of mainframe computing at the University of Chicago and the role of computer-assisted, systematized urban redevelopment planning in the Chicago area during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Dawn Odell, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Lewis and Clark College, to examine seventeenth- and eighteenth-century printed descriptions of the Dutch colony of Batavia (present-day Jakarta, Indonesia) for a study of relationships among the culturally diverse population of the city.
Michelle Orihel, Visiting Assistant Professor, Southern Utah University, for research on late eighteenth-century Kentucky politics and the democratic clubs that formed in Kentucky.
Laura D. Phillips, Ph.D. candidate, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, to study the Chicago-based American Fair Trade League for a dissertation on “The American Fair Trade Controversy: Law and Economics in Transition, 1890-1940.”
Edmund Ramsden, Research Fellow, Centre for medical History, University of Exeter, for a project on “the Problem of the Crowd in Nature and the City: Animal and Human Ecology in Twentieth Century Chicago.”
Evan Roberts, Assistant Professor, History, University of Minnesota, for a study of changing attitudes to married women’s work.
Ibram Rogers, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers University, for a project on the black campus movement, 1965-1972.
Adam Shapiro, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medical History and Bioethics, University Wisconsin-Madison, for a study of William Paley’s thought and writings from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Adam Shapiro has been named the Robert Rosenthal Fellow.
Joshua Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Western Ontario, to consult the papers of Sol Tax and related collections for a dissertation on Action Anthropology: An Ethnography of Anthropological Methods.”
Alex J. Taylor, Ph.D. candidate, Doctor of Philosophy (History of Art), University of Oxford, for a study of how contemporary art was absorbed into the marketing and public relations activities of many major American corporations in the 1950s and 1960s.

Special Collections Research Fellowship Recipients


Lorenzo DiTommaso, Department of Theology, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada, to study five medieval manuscripts in the University of Chicago’s collection as part of a project to assess the textual and literary importance of manuscript copies of "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha," ancient and medieval writings which are attributed to or associated with biblical persons, events, or settings, but not part of the Old Testament.
Seth Feman, Ph.D. candidate in American Studies, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, for research on his dissertation, "Immaterial Modern: Subjectivity in Art and Its Institutions, 1939-1964." Feman will study the relationship between Container Corporation of America’s famous ad campaigns featuring modern art and its efforts to increase production, drawing on the papers of Walter Paepcke and Elizabeth Paepcke and the RR Donnelley corporate archive.
Richard O’Brien, Ph.D. candidate at Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, to use the Saul Bellow Papers for research on his dissertation topic, "The Politics of Fiction: Saul Bellow and Partisan Review, 1941-1962." Mr. O’Brien will examine Bellow’s correspondence with his peers at the Partisan Review, the magazine in which his first pieces of fiction were published.
Alexandra Puerto, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, will work on revising her dissertation into a manuscript tentatively entitled "Measuring the Maya: Race, Science and the Idea of the Indian in Mexico-U.S. Relations, 1920s-1940s," drawing on the papers of Chicago social anthropologists to study their influence on Maya research, ethnology and representation.
Rachel A. Shapiro, Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, for research on her dissertation on the influence of community life in Washington, D.C., on American political events leading up to the Civil War. Shapiro will consult the papers of Stephen A. Douglas, the William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana, and related materials.
Patrick Slaney, Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, for research on his dissertation, "Science and Freedom: The Republic of Science and the Ideal of Scientific Community in an Anti-Communist Age." Slaney will consult the papers of individual scientists and the records of atomic scientists groups and organizations formed to promote world government to understand the origins of the idea of the scientific community.
D. Clinton Williams, Ph.D. candidate in History of American Civilization, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, for research on his dissertation, "Righteous Politics in the Black Metropolis: Race, Religion, and Urban Redevelopment in Postwar Chicago." Williams will focus on archival collections relating to Hyde Park urban redevelopment to explore the role of religious institutions, leaders, and parishioners in resisting urban redevelopment policies, advocating for integration, and revitalizing the community.
Matthias A. Deuschle, Theologische Fakultät Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, for "Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg and the Religious Conservatism in Nineteenth-Century Prussia." The personal library of Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg (1802-1869) was purchased by the old University of Chicago in 1869. Dr. Deuschle will do a critical assessment of the collection and examine individual books for annotations and marginalia that provide insights into Hengstenberg's thought.
Meredith T. McMunn, Professor of English and Medieval Studies, Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island, for "Reconstructing a Rose: The Codicology and Early Ownership History of University of Chicago Library MSS 1380 and 393." Professor McMunn will examine the recently-acquired 14th-century manuscript of Le Roman de la Rose and Le Jeu des échecs moralisé, another 14th-century manuscript in the Library's collection, with which it was previously bound. The complete descriptions will form part of Professor McMunn's study of all the extant illustrated manuscripts of Le Roman de la Rose, which she is preparing for publication.
Nicole Nesberg, University of Florida, for "Gender and American Indian Urbanization in Chicago and Cleveland, 1946-1970." Ms. Nesberg's dissertation examines how American Indian families, communities, and identities were created during the post-World War II shift from rural to urban areas, using the lens of gender and focusing on two major Midwestern cities, Chicago and Cleveland. She will consult the papers of University of Chicagoanthropologists Sol Tax and Fred Eggan and other related collections for her project.
Nadine Rinck, Johann Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Germany, for "Max Rheinstein: His Life and Work." Ms. Rinck is a law student writing a doctoral thesis on Rheinstein (1899-1977), who came to the United States in 1933 and was a professor of law at the University of Chicago, 1935-1968. His generation of legal scholars was unique in achieving expertise in both the Continental-European legal system and the Anglo-American Common Law system. Ms. Rinck's project draws on the Rheinstein papers for documentation of his biography and his influence in the fields of comparative law, especially the conflict of laws; the sociology of law, and family law.
David C. Brighouse, Ph.D. candidate in African-American Studies and History at Harvard University, for "Investigating the Color Line: The Social Science Community and Talented Tenth Scholars in Chicago (ca. 1930s-1950s)." This social and intellectual history of the relationship between social science, African-American scholars, and civil rights in Chicago in this period draws on the papers of Ernest Burgess, W. Allison Davis, Louis Wirth, Robert Park, and others.
Edward J.K. Gitre, Ph.D. candidate, Rutgers University, for "America Adjusted: A cultural History of Boredom, ca. 1930-1980." Investigating the University of Chicago's highly influential role in the development of social psychology, this project examines the papers of Ernest Burgess, Everett Hughes, Edward Levi and others; and the Department of Sociology records.  
Philip Slavin, Ph.D. candidate, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, for studies related to his dissertation on food provisioning of Norwich Cathedral Priory. For research on the agrarian history of East Anglia in the late middle ages, this project includes consulting and tabulating 150 rolls from the Sir Nicholas Bacon Collection of English Court and Manorial Documents.
Katja Naumann, University of Leipzig, for "The Expansion of Historical Space: The Study of Civilizations in U. S. American Academia," a comparative study of academic programs at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and Columbia University from 1917 to 1968.
Jonathan Sachs, Ph.D. in English, University of Chicago, for "Romantic Antiquity: Rome in the Romantic Imagination, 1789-1832," a book project drawing on 18th-century rare books and popular Roman histories published in the period.  
Tasha Vorderstrasse, Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Chicago, for a study of the interaction between archaeology, art history, and texts; utilizing early manuscripts in Special Collections, this project extends previous work on the pottery and material culture of northwestern Iran, Georgia, and Armenia.