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April 27, 2004

Four faculty members chosen as Guggenheim fellows

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Four University of Michigan faculty members have been awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for distinguished service and their "exceptional promise" for future accomplishments in research.

The recipients are Peter Ho Davies, director of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing; James Lee, professor of history and sociology; Rebecca Scott, Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Law; and Katherine Verdery, the Eric R. Wolf Collegiate Professorship and acting chair in the Anthropology Department.

"The Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded only after a national competition across all fields; thus they are among the most prestigious in the country," said Terrence McDonald, dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and a former Guggenheim fellow. "We are fortunate to have many former Guggenheim fellows on the LSA faculty and just delighted that these four outstanding colleagues are joining that distinguished group."

Davies plans to finish his novel, "The Bad Shepherd," during the fellowship. "The fellowship, and the leave it allows me to take from teaching and administrative service, will be invaluable in giving me uninterrupted time to work on the book," he said.

Lee will use his fellowship to study "Social and Family Change in Liaoning, 1850-2000" with a collaborator. "I am acutely aware that many U-M faculty have shared this honor, including many from the history department, and am tickled pink to join their numbers," said Lee, director of the Center for Chinese Studies.

Scott's project, "The Law in Slavery and Freedom," builds on a seminar she co-teaches with Martha Jones, an assistant professor of history and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies. "A grant like this provides the freedom to explore new sources and new ideas," Scott said, "and enables me to make the most of the resources of both the U-M Law School and the Department of History. It is a real privilege."

Verdery's project, "Transforming Property, State, and Self: Collectivization in Romania, 1948-1962," is a collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research and National Endowment for the Humanities. She and her co-principal investigator will spend the year at the Russell Sage Foundation to write a collective book from data provided by their colleagues. "There's something magical about the Guggenheim," Verdery said. "Even though other awards may carry more money, this is the one that counts."

They are among 185 artists, scholars and scientists selected from more than 3,200 applicants. Awards for all winners totaled $6.9 million, with individual fellowships averaging $37,000.

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. Since 1925, the foundation has granted more than $230 million in fellowships to more than 15,500 individuals.

Related links:

The complete list of 2004 fellows: http://www.gf.org.

Davies: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/faculty/fibDetail.asp?ID=242

Lee: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/history/facstaff/facultydetail.asp?ID=167

Scott: http://cgi2.www.law.umich.edu/_FacultyBioPage/facultybiopagenew.asp?ID=156

Verdery: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/anthro/faculty_staff/verdery.html

 

Contact: Jared Wadley
Phone: (734) 936-7819
E-mail: jwadley@umich.edu