Platzman Memorial Fellowships

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 $3,500 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 Hanna Holborn Gray 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.

The announcement of availability of each year's Platzman Fellowships is made in November, with a deadline for submission in February. Platzman Fellowship funds may be used for visits to the University of Chicago Library during June-September of the award year.

The 2024 Platzman Memorial Fellowship applications are now open. Information about the Fellowships and a link to the application page can be found on the news announcement page.

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships have been awarded to almost 200 visiting scholars since the program began in 2006. For further information on fellows and projects from previous years, please consult the listing of Platzman Memorial Fellowship recipients, 2006-2022.

2023 Platzman Fellowship Recipients

The University of Chicago Library is pleased to announce the recipients of Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships for 2023. A list of the 2023 Fellows appears below along with their academic affiliations and research topics.

Tucker Adkins

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Calvin University

New Birth, New World: space, sound, and the body in the early Protestant awakenings

James Cousins

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Biography of William Rainey Harper

Leo Garofalo

Associate Professor, Connecticut College

Colonial Cuzco and links between enslavement and specific libraries, books, stories, and published images

Jamie Leach

Doctoral candidate, Carnegie Mellon University

Social science research and the trainable mind

Paula López Caballero

Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Experts of the everyday life: an interconnected history of anthropological and indigenist fieldwork in North America (Mexico and the United States, 1940-1960)

Ezer R. May May

Doctoral candidate, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social

The encounters of American missionaries, Mayan converts and Mexican ministers. The missionization in Twentieth Century Mexico

Nicolas Michel

Postdoctoral researcher, Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Axioms of collaboration: The Chicago geometry seminar and the collective making of American mathematics (1900-1920)

Boyd Ruamcharoen

Doctoral candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The decomposing message: media technologies, the United States, and postcolonial tropics, 1941-1985

Nari Shelekpayev

Assistant Professor, Yale University

Identity, race, and empire: Soviet literature for children and young adults, 1920-1970

Jack Swab

Doctoral candidate, University of Kentucky

Intertwined histories? Urban geography and urban sociology at the University of Chicago

Despina Vertzagia

Doctoral candidate, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

Leo Strauss: The return to the classical tradition and the theory-praxis problem. The critique of modern political thought and social science, and the Socratic treatment of liberalism