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Humanities graduate students receive travel, internship opportunities from the Hall Center

Thursday, October 23, 2014

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center for the Humanities provides many internship, research and travel opportunities for graduate students within the humanities, arts and humanistic social sciences. During the summer of 2014, six graduate students wrote, traveled and researched extensively to further their own studies within the humanities and to bring their work to the surrounding community.

Four students received Humanities Summer Graduate Internships, which pair promising graduate students interested in the public humanities with local nonprofit organizations. Students are able to gain valuable hands-on work experience while providing their local communities with much-needed services and support.

Meredith Wiggins, English, worked for the Kansas Humanities Council, supporting the Smithsonian Institute Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, which will be touring Kansas in 2015. While there, she wrote feature stories for the project’s blog and developed a Hometown Sports trading card initiative, which allowed participating areas to submit up to three local sports heroes, artifacts or landmarks.

James Baker, African & African American Studies, interned with Kansas City Public Library, where he worked closely with previous Hall Center Simons Public Humanities Fellow Henry Fortunato. Baker was tasked with researching and writing an exhibit script that highlighted Lucile Bluford, longtime editor for the Kansas City Call newspaper, and her legal case against the University of Missouri and its discriminatory admission policies during the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Angela Murphy, English, also worked with Fortunato, in partnership with the Watkins Community Museum of History in Lawrence. Murphy conducted research on several historical sites along the Burroughs Creek Trail and Haskell Rail-Trail in Lawrence, in order to create interpretive signage for these historical points. Murphy intends to continue to work on this project after the completion of her internship.

Taylor Hersh, history, interned with the Mid-America Arts Alliance, primarily working on programming guides for NEH On the Road traveling exhibits in the Arts and Humanities Programming division. The guides, "The Power of Children: Making a Difference" and "Bandits and Heroes, Poets and Saints: Popular Art of Northeast Brazil," allowed Hersh to develop tools for educating others, engaging communities and conducting effective research.

The Debicki International Travel Award is given to one graduate student to travel abroad to conduct dissertation research. George Klaeren, history, traveled to Madrid, Spain, to conduct archival research on Inquisition trials dealing with witchcraft and superstition in relation to medical knowledge for his dissertation, "Encountering the Enlightenment: Catholic Epistemologies of the Iberian Atlantic, 1680-1815.” Over the course of the month, Klaeren was able to examine more than 500 pages of documents and manuscripts from the 18th century, originating from regions throughout the Spanish Empire.

The Jim Martin Travel Award is awarded to one graduate student to travel within the United States to complete necessary dissertation research. Amber Roberts, history, traveled to San Marino, California’s Huntington Library to conduct research for her dissertation, “‘Graced with Being Good Horse-men’: The Discourse of Horsemanship and the Elite Ideal in Early Modern England.”

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