UConn Faculty Awarded NEH Fellowships
(Released: December 31,
By Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications
STORRS, Conn. -- Three University of Connecticut faculty
have been awarded prestigious research fellowships from the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Susan Porter Benson of Storrs, associate professor of history;
Margaret Gilbert of Ashford, professor of philosophy; and Brenda
Murphy of Windham, professor of English, were among 167 scholars
nationwide to receive fellowships to support their research.
"This is the largest national contest for humanists and is
highly competitive," says Richard Brown, director of the
University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. "To win three
fellowships in a single year is a mark of distinction."
The NEH fellowship will support Porter Benson's work on a
book about women's work ethics in the 1920s and 1930s.
Porter Benson was raised in Western Pennsylvania's
steel-mill district and became interested in labor and
working-class history. She earned a master's degree in American
Civilization at Brown University and a doctorate in history from
Boston University. Her first book was Counter Cultures:
Saleswomen, Managers and Customers in American Department Stores,
1890-1945 (University of Illinois Press, 1986).
While completing her dissertation, she worked for several years
for Threads, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers'
Union Humanities project for union members funded by NEH. Her
second book, Money Matters: Working-Class Family Economies in
the Interwar USA (Cornell University Press) will be published
Porter Benson, who came to the University in 1993 as associate
professor of history and director of women's studies, headed
the Women's Studies Program from 1993 to 1998.
Gilbert will work on a new book provisionally titled Rights
Reconsidered. Over the years, her work has focused on
philosophical social theory, which concerns the nature of central
social phenomena such as social groups, social conventions, group
beliefs and emotions, and shared or collective intention and
action. In her book On Social Facts (l989), she started to
expound upon her 'plural subject theory'. Her books
Living Together (1996) and Sociality and
Responsibility (2000) elaborate on and further develop plural
Gilbert earned a bachelor's degree in classics and
philosophy from Cambridge University and a B.Phil. and a D.Phil. in
philosophy from Oxford. She has been at UConn since 1983.
Porter Benson and Gilbert are currently fellows of the
University of Connecticut Humanities Institute.
Murphy, whose work focuses on American drama and theater, will
conduct research for a book on "The Provincetown Movement and
American Modernism." The Provincetown Players were the
"most significant and most influential American theater group
of the 20th century," Murphy says. She will study the role
they played in the invention and development of American Modernism,
and their impact on 20th-century culture. Central Provincetown
figures, including Eugene O'Neill, Susan Glaspell, John Reed,
Edna St. Vincent Millay and e.e. cummings, will be discussed.
Murphy's recent books include O'Neill: Long
Day's Journey Into Night (2002), Congressional
Theatre: Dramatizing McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and
Television (1999); Miller: Death of a Salesman
(1995), Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan: A
Collaboration in the Theatre (1992), all published by
Cambridge University Press. She has also edited books and has
written many critical and historical articles on American drama and
Murphy, who joined the UConn faculty in 1989, earned a Ph.D.
from Brown University.
December 2002 Releases
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