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The Impact of AAS Fellowships

At a symposium marking twenty-five years of the visiting fellowships program at AAS, the Society's President Ellen S. Dunlap observed that it is "among the signal components that have shaped the reputation of this great institution as the place to be to do research in pre-twentieth-century American history and culture." Since the first fellowships were awarded (1972-73), the writings of AAS fellows have made substantial contributions to scholarship. Many works have been honored by the prestigious prizes of the academic world and recognized by their peers as the seminal works in their fields. The 2000 SHARP Book Prize was awarded to Scott Casper (Peterson, 1990-91, 1998-99) for Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press, 1999). The 1999 Bancroft Prize was won by Jill Lepore (Peterson, 1993-94) for The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998). The 1995 Pulitzer Prize in History, the 1995 Bancroft Prize, the Beveridge Prize, and the 1996 SHEAR Book Prize were awarded to Alan Taylor (AAS-NEH, 1989-90; Mellon Senior Distinguished Scholar in Residence 2000-2001) for William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic (Knopf, 1995). Nell Irvin Painter (Peterson, 1991-92) received the 1995 Brown Memorial Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians for her article "Representing Truth: Sojourner Truth's Knowing and Becoming Known," which appeared in the Journal of American History 81 (1994). David Waldstreicher (Peterson, 1992-93) won the Jamestown Prize in 1995 for In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776-1820 (University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1997).

Through the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture, the Society has become a center for the study and dissemination of book history. The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World, edited by Hugh Amory and David D. Hall, the first of five volumes of A History of the Book in America, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2000. Other recent publications by scholars who have held AAS fellowships include Printers and Men of Capital: Philadelphia Book Publishers in the New Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) by Rosalind Remer (Peterson, 1988-89); The Transformation of Authorship in America (University of Chicago Press, 1997) by Grantland S. Rice (Botein, 1993-94); and The Unvarnished Truth: Personal Narratives in Nineteenth-Century America (University of California Press, 2000) by Ann Fabian (Botein, 1994-95).

Among the classic studies in the history of the book researched by fellows at the Society are Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700-1865 (Oxford University Press, 1989) by Richard D. Brown (AAS-NEH, 1977-78); Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (Knopf, 1989) by David D. Hall (AAS-NEH, 1981-82); Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (Oxford University Press, 1986) by Cathy N. Davidson (Peterson, 1984-85); Reading Becomes a Necessity of Life: Material and Cultural Life in Rural New England, 1730-1830 (University of Tennessee Press, 1988) by William J. Gilmore (AAS-NEH, 1979-80); Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville (Alfred A. Knopf, 1988) by David S. Reynolds (AAS-NEH, 1982-83); and The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America (Harvard University Press, 1990) by Michael Warner (AAS-NEH, 86-87).


* The Fellowship Experience

* Selected References
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