2018-19 Fenwick Fellows Announced

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Zenelis is pleased to announce the annual Fenwick Fellow awards for 2018-19, based on the recommendations of the Fenwick Fellow Selection Committee. For the third year in a row, two fellowships are being awarded, with one award for a project proposal that aligns with the libraries’ ever-increasing activities in the area of digital scholarship.

The Fenwick Fellows for academic year 2018-19 are Jacqueline M. Burek, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Mills Kelly, Professor of History, Department of History and Art History – both from Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Professor Burek’s research proposal, Mending a Broken Chain: Continuous History and Literary Form in England and Wales, 1125-1450, focuses on the relationship between historiographical narrative and literary form in late medieval Britain. Working with Middle English, Anglo-Norman French, Medieval Latin, and Middle Welsh historiography, she examines how authors conceptualize and write about the past. In her current work, she argues that medieval British historians develop the genre of ‘continuous history’ as a way of coming to terms with the conquest of England in 1066.

For his project, Mapping the Built Environment of the Appalachian Trail, Professor Kelly will utilize the resources of the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center to complete a digital humanities research project on the built environment of the Appalachian Trail (AT). The project’s goal is to create a digital map of all the versions of the AT (which has changed significantly over time) and offer a complete inventory of the built environment along AT routes (ranging from simple lean-to structures to elaborate hostels). In collaboration with his undergraduate students, Professor Kelly also plans to develop an analog exhibition of this work to be staged in Fall 2019.

Zenelis commented, “It is exciting each year to see the variety of proposals from Mason faculty members and how they plan to make use of the Libraries’ many resources, from more traditional types of research to new explorations in digital humanities. We look forward to the final products created by our two newest fellows.”

Professors Burek and Kelly will present the results of their work in spring 2020 at the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture hosted by the University Libraries. 

ABOUT THE FENWICK FELLOWSHIP: The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to up to two Mason tenured, tenure-track, or multi-year appointment term faculty members to pursue a research project that uses and enhances the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in their fields. The winning proposals are recommended to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian by a six-member selection committee including three instructional faculty members and three librarians, with one of the Associate University Librarians serving as administrative coordinator. The recipients are provided with a fully equipped and furnished research office in Fenwick Library and an award of $5,000 to support the recipient’s research project. The terms for this year’s Fellows begin on August 27, 2018 and will end on August 9, 2019.

New Exhibition Opens: Rethinking Lines

Fenwick Gallery is pleased to host Mel Parada’s Rethinking Lines, an exhibition of typographic prints and paintings. The exhibition opens Monday, August 27 and will close Saturday, October 6, 2018. An artist’s talk is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 at 11am in the Fenwick Main Reading Room.

About the Exhibition: Today’s communication landscape is saturated with narrative driven design. What we see and experience through our everyday communication channels are often assigned specific meaning, purpose, and intent, leaving very little room for interpretation by the viewer. Rethinking Lines examines the possibilities of meaning making and attempts to remove narrative from communication design through visual treatments that involve the deconstruction of typography, reconfigured grid systems, scale, and color theory. The work embodies theoretical approaches found in the Minimalist movement as well as abstraction movements like De Stijl and Constructivism. The printed works in Rethinking Lines provide a visual representation that shifts the inception of meaning and its making from the design phase to the experience phase while introducing a means of disrupting the reliance of narrative in all forms of visual communication to include fine art.

About the Artist: Mel Parada holds an MFA from George Mason University’s School of Art. He is a Resident Artist (2018-2019) with Discover Graphics Atelier located in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, and he also serves as a graphic design adjunct professor with Mason’s School of Art. Parada is an active member of the Chesapeake Chapter, American Printing History Association (APHA), and he was a Denker Fellow (2016). His current work involves traditional printmaking methods, specifically stone lithography and screen printing.

About Fenwick Gallery: Located in Fenwick Library, the Fenwick Gallery is designed to enhance and enrich teaching, learning, and culture at Mason. A partnership with Mason’s School of Art, the space is dedicated to exhibiting high quality works by students, faculty, staff and other emerging and experienced artists that highlight aspects of the Libraries’ collections and support Mason’s curriculum and cultural initiatives. For more information about the Gallery, contact Stephanie Grimm, Art & Art History Librarian, sgrimm@gmu.edu

SmartStart + Fenwick Open House

Get ready to research! Stop by SmartStart + Fenwick Open House on September 4 from 1-5 p.m. and discover how Mason Libraries can help you succeed. Learn about subject librarians, course reserves, checking out books, searching for articles, and more. Visit departments, too: Special Collections Research Center, Digital Scholarship Center, Music Library, and SP@RC Lab.

There will be a drawing for a prize, so be sure to come and see what’s in Mason Libraries for you!

Mason Author Series: Robin Hanson

Join us in the Fenwick Library Main Reading Room on Thursday, September 6 at 3:30pm for our first Mason Author Series event of the new academic year!

Robin Hanson, Associate Professor, Economics, will discuss his work on The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, which he co-authored with Kevin Simler. In their book, the authors aim to confront our hidden motives directly in an effort to better understand human nature – both in our personal lives and in large-scale social institutions.

Books will be available for purchase at the event, and refreshments will be provided.

About the Author: Robin Hanson is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He received his PhD in 1997 in social sciences from Caltech, and he joined Mason’s economics faculty in 1999 after completing a two-year post-doc at UC Berkeley. His major fields of interest include health policy, regulation, and formal political theory.

About the Mason Author Series: The University Libraries’ Mason Author Series features Mason faculty and alumni authors throughout the year, and is generously sponsored by the University Bookstore. For upcoming events, visit http://library.gmu.edu/masonauthorseries.