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Faculty Members Awarded Dresher Center Summer Fellowships

Three UMBC professors have been chosen as summer faculty fellows by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. The fellowships support professors who are in the early stages of research.

“We’re trying to give them the chance to do some preliminary research so that they can work on their grant proposal in order to get funding,” said Rebecca Boehling, director of the Dresher Center.

The three professors chosen for this year’s awards are Gloria Chuku, associate professor of Africana studies; Nicole King, associate professor of American studies; and Piotr Gwiazda, associate professor of English.

The fellowship supports research projects that have the potential to be funded by outside organizations. The awardees will use their fellowships to complete the preliminary research needed for grant proposals.

“In some ways, the thing that people need most is time,” said Boehling, noting that the fellowship provides this time by easing the financial strain that would otherwise force faculty to teach summer classes.

Chuku will use the fellowship to work on her project, "Confronting the Silences: Gender, Ethnicity and the Biafra-Nigeria War.”

“None of the existing literature and studies has employed the dynamics of the intersection of gender and ethnicity in the narrative of the Biafra-Nigeria War,” she said. She will be applying for research fellowships and grants to continue her research, which she hopes to eventually publish as a book.

King's fellowship will go towards writing proposals to support the endeavors of the American studies department's Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture (CSPCC). The department is known for studying communities and working with community organizations. She is preparing a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Interpreting America’s Historic Places Planning Grant for the Mapping Baybrook Project, which interprets the historic arc of American industrialization in the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay neighborhoods of Baltimore.

Gwiazda is embarking on a translation of “Kopenhaga,” the “little masterpiece” of Polish poet Grzegorz Wróblewski. By translating this work and placing it with an American publisher, Gwiazda hopes to make the work of one of the major contemporary Polish poets available to a wider audience.

“The fact that the depiction of migrant sensibility in ‘Kopenhaga’ parallels, to some extent, my own experiences as an immigrant in the United States, makes me, I believe, an ideal person to convey the volume’s intellectual and emotional content,” he said. He has already received a PEN American Center Translation Fund grant to begin work on the project, and plans to apply for more grants as he continues work on the project.

Posted: July 14, 2010, 12:00 PM