This award supports research projects in the humanities that are based on the collections of the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. The committee awards funding for up to two projects in the amount of $2,000 each, tenable from 1 June to 31 August of the year in which the award is made. This award is made in conjunction with the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. Recipients will discuss their research at the Cushing-Glasscock Award Ceremony in the fall of the award year at Cushing Library. For information about application, contact the Cushing Library at 979.845.1951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic Year 2016-2017
Micaela Sandoval | Masters candidate, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
“Memoirs of a Deadly Love: Tracking Public Health Information and Activism Through Gay Art and Literature During the AIDS Epidemic.”
Micaela Sandoval’s project aims to trace the spread of information, both errant and factual, concerning HIV/AIDS during the 1980’s through an examination of contemporary art and literature. From an epidemiological perspective, AIDS succeeded as a pandemic because of lengthy latency periods, a community of interconnected partners and treatment-resistant mutations. From the perspective of gay communities in the eighties, the virus was aided by homophobic or indifferent politicians and abetted by growing mistrust between the community and the medical establishment. While AIDS is not solely associated with homosexual activity, gay hubs formed the epicenter of the pandemic’s impact in America. As information surrounding the disease became more concrete, patients and real or suspected homosexuals faced mounting prejudice from mainstream media and politicians. These feelings of rejection and mortality are acutely displayed in both fiction and nonfiction pieces of the times. The surfeit of gay art, literature, and journalism curated within the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, especially the Don Kelly materials, will aid in the investigation of both practical education and safety initiatives as well as popular responses to the growing threat of AIDS. The materials will create a continuous timeline of propagated public health messages and their effect on behavior during the epidemic.
Patrick Anderson | PhD candidate, Department of Philosophy
“The Phallus and the Ogre: Rethinking the Nexus of White Supremacy, Gender, and Sexuality in the Work of Eldridge Cleaver.”
Patrick Anderson’s project seeks to provide an enriched context for understanding Eldridge Cleaver and his theories on gender and sexuality. Scholars assert Cleaver to be sexist and homophobic based on his work Soul on Ice. However, a lack of suitable material has limited investigations into understanding Cleaver as both a person and his philosophical views. Through the use of the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives collection of Cleaver’s papers, including Cleaver’s unpublished novel Book of Lives, Patrick hopes to provide evidence to support an alternate view of Cleaver in which his homophobic sentiments are a reflection of his own repressed homosexuality. While an autobiographical interpretation of Book of Lives makes important contributions to a new understanding of Cleaver’s life and personality, a theoretical interpretation of Book of Lives has implication for how humanities scholars understand the connections between race, sexuality, and gender. For if Book of Lives is read as a theoretical commentary, it is necessary to understand the instability, flexibility, and fungibility of sexuality and gender for Black men who live in a white supremacist society.