The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

2019-2020 Folger Fellows

The Folger Institute is pleased to announce our 2019-2020 cohort of Fellows. This year we will welcome forty-four Fellows to the Folger, including five long-term scholars: Clarissa Chenovick, John Kuhn, Kathleen Long, Anna More, and Seth Stewart Williams.

In anticipation of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s upcoming building renovation project, the Folger Institute has awarded a unique set of fellowships for the 2019-2020 fellowship year. All Short-term Fellows will be joining us during the Summer and Fall of 2019, and Long-term Fellows have been granted semi-residential fellowships. These Long-term awards are available exclusively in this academic year and will allow for one semester of residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library and one semester of residence wherever the fellow might choose: at their home institution, or another archive, institute, library, museum, or research center, anywhere in the world. By modeling the fellowship year in this way, the Folger is proudly embarking on our commitment of continuing to support scholars through the entire renovation process.

Dr. Clarissa Chenovick is Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University. She has published articles in The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, English Literary History, and The Huntington Library Quarterly (forthcoming). At the Folger, she will work on her book project, “Reading to Weep: Penitence, Embodied Reading, and Spiritual Cure in England, 1350-1670,” by looking at sources such as Saynt Peters complaint and Meoniae. Chenovick’s project will examine penitential texts and reading practices across the divide of the English Reformation to illuminate early modern physiologies of reading and the role of the body in religious devotion. Following her period in residence at the Folger, Dr. Chenovick will conduct further archival research in the UK, most notably at the Downside Abbey Library, where she will study pre- and post-Reformation penitential works by English Catholics, as well as examples of early modern Catholic and Protestant print adaptations of the Meditations on the Life of Christ. 

John Kuhn is Assistant Professor of English at SUNY-Binghamton, where he teaches courses in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Anglophone literature and history. Kuhn is at work on a monograph tentatively entitled Making Pagans: Theatrical Practice and Comparative Religion in Early Modern England, which examines the connections between the theatrical staging of “pagan” rituals, both Amerindian and ancient, and the developing study of comparative religion in seventeenth-century England. At the Folger, Kuhn will be working with the Library’s large collection of seventeenth-century prose texts on comparative religion, as well as its unique collection of dramatic promptbooks. In the spring, he will be spending time in Annapolis at the Maryland State Archives, investigating the application of the idea of paganism in seventeenth-century colonial legal contexts.

Kathleen Long is Professor of French in the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University. She is the author of two books, Another Reality: Metamorphosis and the Imagination in the Poetry of Ovid, Petrarch, and Ronsard and Hermaphrodites in Renaissance Europe, and editor of volumes on High Anxiety: Masculinity in Crisis in Early Modern France, Religious Differences in France, and Gender and Scientific Discourse in Early Modern Europe. She has written numerous articles on the work of Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné, on gender in early modern Europe, and on monsters. As the Folger Mellon Mowat Fellow, Professor Long is preparing a translation into English of The Island of Hermaphrodites (L’isle des hermaphrodites), a book on libertine literature in the wake of the Wars of Religion, and a book-length study on the relationship between early modern discourses of monstrosity and modern discourses of disability. She is also the co-editor for a series on Monsters and Marvels: Alterity in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds (Amsterdam University Press).

Dr. Anna More is Professor of Hispanic Literatures and Literary Theory at the Universidade de Brasília. Her research focuses on Iberian empires and colonialism, early modern science and philosophy, and the literary baroque. She is the author of Baroque Sovereignty: Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora and the Creole Archive of Colonial Mexico (University of Pennyslvania Press, 2013) and editor of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Selected Works (W. W. Norton, 2016). During the fellowship period, More will work on a new book manuscript, Necroeconomics and the Early Iberian Slave Trade: Death, Value, and the Archive. While in residence at the Folger Institute she will study early travel writings to West Central Africa, such as Richard Jobson’s The Golden Trade and John Ogilby’s Africa. She will also research papers from the Royal African Company and Dutch maps of the region. These sources will allow her to assess Iberian influence on competing traders and other travelers who visited the region. After her residency, More will travel to Lisbon, where she will work on manuscripts from early Portuguese Africa in the Archivo Histórico Ultramarino, and to Seville, where she will examine Spanish contracts with early slave traders at the Archivo General de Indias.

Seth Stewart Williams, Assistant Professor of Dance at Barnard College of Columbia University, studies the interrelation of dance and literature, especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His earlier performance career included appearances with the companies of Sean Curran, Donald McKayle, and Mark Morris, and with the New York Baroque Dance Company. During his time at the Folger, Williams will complete his book project, Virtual Motion: Dance and Mobility in Early Modern English Literature, which examines the use of dance to both figuratively represent and actively embody the patterns of exchange and migration at work in major sociocultural upheavals, from the spread of new religious denominations, to colonization of the New World, to the emergence of political factions across the British Civil War. To further this project, Williams will consult Folger holdings that transmit choreographies (such as Feuillet dance notations and Playford and Purcell scores), material relating to playwrights notably invested in dance, and records that speak to the social and theatrical lives of people making dances. In Spring 2020, Williams will visit archives in London, Boston, and Los Angeles.

In addition to our five Long-term Fellows, the Folger Institute is also happy to welcome thirty-nine scholars working on a rich diversity of short-term projects. Many of these fellowships are made possible through the generous support of our partner organizations, such as the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Shakespeare Association of America, Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, and the North American Conference on British Studies—who this year is sponsoring Ruma Chopra’s (San Jose State University) work on early modern climate. Other Short-term projects include studies of indigenous enslavement in the Caribbean (Carolyn Arena, Omohundro Institute), Renaissance cunning and intelligence (Suparna Roychoudhury, Mount Holyoke College), freethinking in eighteenth-century England (Elad Carmel, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), and print errors in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors (Alice Leonard, University of Oxford). Together, the 2019-2020 Folger Fellows will study the wide-ranging modes of early modern embodiment, on everything from religious devotion, performance, and disability to the effects of sociocultural and political uncertainty on a global scale. They will advance scholarship on the creation of broader religious and political imaginaries in the Atlantic World and critically examine early modern processes of “othering” and enslavement. As the Folger moves into a new phase of renewal and opportunity, we look forward to supporting this year’s Fellows both here in D.C. and as their projects take them beyond the walls of our reading room in Spring 2020.



Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)