Barbara L. Packer Fellowship

The Barbara L. Packer Fellowship is named for Barbara Lee Packer (1947-2010), who taught with great distinction for thirty years in the UCLA English department. Her publications, most notably Emerson’s Fall (1982) and her lengthy essay on the Transcendentalist movement in the Cambridge History of American Literature (1995), reprinted as The Transcendentalists by the University of Georgia Press (2007), continue to be esteemed by students of Emerson and of the American Renaissance generally. She is remembered as an inspiring teacher, a lively and learned writer, and a helpful friend to all scholars in her field—in short, as a consummate professional whose undisguised delight in literature was the secret of a long-sustained success. In naming the Fellowship for her, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society offers her as a model worthy of the attention and emulation of scholars newly entering the field. The Barbara L. Packer Fellowship is awarded to individuals engaged in scholarly research and writing related to the Transcendentalists in general, and most especially to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau. Ph.D. candidates, pre-tenure faculty, and independent scholars are eligible to apply.

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Date Name Affiliation Position
2023-24 Alice de Galzain University of Edinburgh PhD Candidate in English Literature Recounting the Lives of Women Writers: Emerson on Fuller, Godwin on Wollstonecraft, and Sand on Sand
2022-23 Keegan O'Connor Queen Mary University of London PhD Candidate in English and Drama Volatile Presences: The American Experience of Seventeenth-Century English Writing
2019-20 Ittai Orr Yale University PhD Candidate in American Studies American Intelligences: Literature and the Science of the Mind, 1780-1870
2018-19 Mark Gallagher University of California, Los Angeles PhD Candidate in English 'In the Optative Mood’: Unitarian Optimism and the Transcendental Affects of Peabody, Parker, Emerson, Fuller, and Thoreau
2017-18 Molly Reed Cornell University PhD Candidate in History Ecology of Utopia
2016-17 Reed Gochberg Boston University PhD Candidate Novel Objects: Museums and Scientific Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
2015-16 Gillian Osborne University of California, Berkeley Postdoctoral Henry David Thoreau and Antebellum Botany
2014-15 Peter Wirzbicki University of Chicago Collegiate Assistant Professor, Harper/Schmidt Society of Fellows Black Intellectuals, White Abolitionists, and Revolutionary Transcendentalists
2013-14 Derek Pacheco Purdue University Assistant Professor Transcendentalism and Children's Literature
2012-13 James Finley University of New Hampshire PhD Candidate 'Violence done to nature': Free Soil and the Environment in Antebellum Antislavery Writing