The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Announcing a New Folger Fellowship in Honor of Margaret Hannay

We’re proud to announce the creation of a new fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library. In partnership with the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, the Folger Institute will offer a fellowship to scholars working on studies of women, genders, and/or sexualities in the early modern world, who can demonstrate a clear need to utilize the Folger’s collections. This $2500 award will allow a scholar to spend one month in residence at the Folger.

The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW) is a network of scholars who meet annually, sponsor sessions at national and international conferences across a spectrum of disciplines, and support one another’s work in the field. SSEMW maintains a listserv and website, sponsors a blog series on topics relating to early modern women, gives awards for outstanding scholarship, and fosters intellectual exchange and collaboration. SSEMW welcomes scholars and teachers from any discipline who study women and their contributions to the cultural, political, economic, or social spheres of the early modern period and whose interest in it includes attention to gender, sexuality, and representations of women.

The women's looking glass, Pieter Nolpe printmaker, pre-1667. ART Box A265 no.2
The women’s looking glass, Pieter Nolpe printmaker, pre-1667. ART Box A265 no.2

This new fellowship commemorates and celebrates Dr. Margaret Hannay (1944-2016), a professor of English at Siena College and a pioneering scholar in the field of early modern women’s writing. Margaret’s scholarship centered on the Sidney family, with particular attention to the life and writings of Mary Sidney Herbert and Mary Wroth. Over the course of her career, she published more than fifty articles and seventeen books, including biographies of C.S. Lewis, Mary Sidney, and Mary Wroth; seven editions of works and correspondence by the Sidney family, co-edited with Noel Kinnamon and Michael Brennan; and, most recently, the two-volume Ashgate Research Companion to the Sidneys, 1500-1700, co-edited with Michael Brennan and Mary Ellen Lamb. The significance of her work is reflected in lifetime achievement awards from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and the International Sidney Society, as well as numerous other honors. A founder and former president of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, Margaret also had long-standing ties to the Folger Shakespeare Library, where she held several research fellowships. Margaret is remembered not only for the brilliance of her research, but for her generosity and wisdom to many as a teacher, as a mentor, and as a colleague.

Margaret Hannay Image courtesy of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.
Margaret Hannay
Image courtesy of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

Margaret spent a lot of time working in the Folger’s collections, in part because they offer so many opportunities to scholars of early modern women, gender, and sexuality. The manuscript collection contains large holdings of family papers where one can find information on relationships among family members, on employer-servant relationships, and on all aspects of daily life. This material is supplemented by cookery and medical receipt books, commonplace books, inventories and account books, and diaries. The collection of books printed in England and on the Continent in English from 1475 to 1700 is the largest in the U.S.; many of these were owned or annotated by early readers, including women. For those interested in Continental history and literature, the Folger offers large collections of Italian, German, Dutch and French early printed books and pamphlets, including poetry and drama by Italian women writers, and Reformation and Counter-Reformation tracts. The many early illustrated books (including a large collection of emblematic literature) depict daily life, travel, fashion, festivals and customs of the time. These supplement the collection of engravings by such artists as the van de Passe family, Wenceslaus Hollar, and Abraham Bosse. Anyone working in literature or almost any aspect of gendered political, religious or social history will find much to engage them at the Folger.

Portrait of a young African woman, Wenceslaus Hollar, 1645. ART Vol. b35 no.46
Portrait of a young African woman, Wenceslaus Hollar, 1645. ART Vol. b35 no.46

We’re now accepting applications for this new fellowship, and scholars who are interested should consult our website and then apply via our online portal. Applicants must be members of the SSEMW and should hold the terminal degree in their field. The deadline for applications is 1 March, 2017.

Note: If you’d like to contribute to the Margaret Hannay fund, gifts can be made to the Folger Shakespeare Library to support fellowships in her name. To make a gift by mail, send a check noting that the gift is in Margaret Hannay’s memory to: Office of Development, Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003. To make a gift by phone, please call Folger Development at (202) 675-0321.

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