Meet Our Long-Term Fellows | Newberry

Meet Our Long-Term Fellows

Ryan Carr
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow

Ryan Carr teaches American literature at Queens College, City University of New York. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2016, where his dissertation focused on the emergence of self-expression as an ideal of American public life in the nineteenth century. His written work has appeared in J19 and in Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas (Yale UP, 2017), and has drawn heavily on research he conducted as a short-term fellow at the Newberry’s D’Arcy McNickle Center in 2012. His research has also been supported by the American Antiquarian Society and the American Philosophical Society.

Dr. Carr’s current project, Political Theologies of Free Speech, traces the history of Americans’ efforts to legalize the unruly practice of self-expression. Since the seventeenth century, free speech has been a cornerstone of America’s legal order; but its power is widely thought to derive from an authority beyond the law, namely, that authority which individuals have over themselves and their consciences. Americans’ uniquely fervent discourse of free speech can therefore be understood as a form of political theology that-from Puritan New England to the First Amendment to Reconstruction and beyond-has turned self-expression into a legal right in order to reassure the polity that it is not a form of arbitrary power.

Catharine Franklin
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow

Catharine Rohini Dias Franklin is an assistant professor of history at Texas Tech University. A native New Yorker, Dr. Franklin earned a B.A. in English Literature and American Studies from The City College of New York (2003), and her M.A. and Ph.D. in History at the University of Oklahoma (2010). She has received short-term fellowships from the Newberry Library and Yale University, as well as long-term fellowships from the United States Army Center of Military History, the Huntington Library, and the Library of Congress. An avid equestrienne, she has been in and out of the saddle since 1985.

Dr. Franklin’s book manuscript, “The Army Stands Between”: Soldiers and Indians in the West, upends the notion of the so-called “Indian Wars.” Contrary to popular belief, soldiers and Indians did more than fight one another. Pulled into the indigenous world, army officers on the Great Plains became part of native systems of reciprocity, complemented and fueled native violence, and supported native sovereignty in surprising ways. Indigenous communities remained dynamic and powerful even when under attack; as a result, the army’s success in the West was often local, contingent, and limited. The manuscript is under contract with the University of Nebraska Press.

Olga Herrera
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow

Olga L. Herrera is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota. A native of Chicago, she received her B.A. in English from DePaul University and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Her recently published essay in MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, titled ‘Street of Ouzo, Arak, and Tequila’: Recalling the Marvelous Strangeness of Chicago’s Near West Side with Carlos Cortéz, Sandra Cisneros, and Daniel J. Martinez will offer a point of departure for her research this fall at the Newberry Library.

Dr. Herrera’s book project will investigate the literary and artistic genealogy of the multi-ethnic Near West Side of Chicago during the twentieth century. Placing overlooked texts alongside those of well-known Chicago writers Carl Sandburg and Sandra Cisneros, this work investigates the production of an artistic tradition, rooted in a working-class, immigrant ethos, that thrived in the diverse space of the Near West Side and resisted institutional and corporate erasure beginning in the 1960s. Her project aims to break apart the Chicago canon of authors to consider new narratives of the city that suggest creative mutual influence across racial and ethnic lines.

Benjamin Johnson
Lloyd Lewis Fellow in American History

Benjamin Johnson is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago and co-editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. His primary areas of research and teaching include the history of North American borders and of U.S. environmental politics. A founder of the public history project Refusing to Forget, Johnson is author of Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Uprising and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (2003); of Bordertown: Odyssey of An American Place (2008), and of Escaping the Dark, Gray City: Hope and Fear in Progressive-Era Conservation (2017).

Dr. Johnson’s Newberry project examines Latina/os as a ‘problem’ for American democracy. Despite the remarkable success of liberal aspirations for a society of legally equal citizens in U.S. history, the liberal tradition has had considerable difficulty incorporating people of Latin American descent into American society on equitable terms. This project begins in 1848 with the conquest of Mexico, and ends with contemporary debates about illegal migration. He will examine Newberry materials about the simultaneous appeal of liberal versions of U.S. nationalism to early Latino communities in the southwest and Puerto Rico and the economic dispossession that came with the incorporation of these communities into the national market.

Susan Johnson
Newberry Consortium for American Indian Studies Faculty Fellow

Susan Lee Johnson is professor of history, Chicanx and Latinx studies, and gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and author of Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush (2000), which won the Bancroft Prize. She recently completed a book manuscript entitled A Traffic in Men: The Old Maid, the Housewife, and Their Great Westerner, a critical biography of two white women, amateur but published historians, who practiced a traffic in men, in part through their fascination with famous westerner Kit Carson, who fell from grace across the 1960s and 70s even as the women did their work.

Dr. Johnson is researching how the Santa Fe Trail connected two disparate worlds of slavery in the nineteenth century, the enslavement of African-descent people, mostly by European Americans, which was rooted in the East, and the enslavement of Indigenous people and some ethnic Mexicans, mostly by other Indians and other Mexicans, a system localized in the West. When the trail connected New Mexico and Missouri starting in 1821, two kinds of enslavement and two forms of emancipation faced one another along the road: chattel slavery and its demise in the East, and, in the West, captive-taking and coerced labor, which died a different death.

Kendra Preston Leonard
Rudolph Ganz Fellow

Kendra Preston Leonard is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and music and screen history. She is the author of five scholarly books and numerous book chapters and articles. Her most recent book is Music for Silent Film: A Guide to North American Resources, and she has held recent fellowships at the Harry Ransom Center and the University of Colorado Boulder’s American Music Research Center for her work on music for early film. She is the Director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive.

Dr. Leonard’s project looks at the traditional narrative accorded to female musicians in America in the early twentieth century and how it suggests that professional success was limited to elite women, who received advanced training and who had the social connections to obtain performances of their works. However, research into the careers of female musicians in the silent cinema upends this account, revealing that women from all classes were successful performers, composers, and arrangers. Using Chicago as a lens through which to focus my research, the study will provide new information about the activities of women in and how they contributed to early film culture in America.

John D. Márquez
Newberry Consortium for American Indian Studies Faculty Fellow

John D. Márquez received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. He is an Associate Professor in the African American Studies Department and Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University where he is also the Director of the Comparative Race and Diaspora Cluster. His essays on Black politics, Latin@ Politics, racial/colonial/settler violence, neoliberalism, decolonial theory/methods, borders, and political culture have been published in leading ethnic studies journals and edited volumes. Dr. Márquez is the author of Black-Brown Solidarity: Racial Politics in the New Gulf South (University of Texas Press, 2013) and Genocidal Democracy: Neoliberalism, Mass Incarceration and the Politics of Urban Gun Violence (Routledge, 2017).

Inspired by the works of American Indian, Xicana, and Black feminist scholars, Dr. Márquez’s project aims to unsettle hetero-patriarchal representations of Nde (Apache) histories, narratives that tend to discount or occlude the significant roles that “women” played in Nde societies as they survived and resisted the “Apache Wars” of Mexico and the United States. By focusing on the gendered components of settler violence and especially on the forced captivity of Nde “women” as an outcome of war, this project also aims to complicate ongoing discussions regarding slavery and genocide in North America.

Sara F. Matthews-Grieco
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow

Sara F. Matthews-Grieco is Professor of History at Syracuse University in Florence. She received her Ph.D. from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, France. Her research and publications focus on two areas of historical enquiry: (i) the history of women, the family and sexuality (ii) visual literacy and early visual communications. She has also received fellowships from the European University Institute, Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti), John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, American Philosophical Society, Herzog August Bibliothek.

Dr. Matthews-Greico’s project studies the lingua franca of early modern Europe, which was neither a written nor a spoken language. It was a visual idiom, transmitted primarily by the printed picture: a means of communication that traversed language barriers and state borders with ease. While the rapid expansion of the 16th-century print market led to increased visual literacy in a large part of the population, it remains to be shown how a pan-European, visual vernacular was developed. Case studies from France and Italy provide insights into the codification of this international idiom, although the process was hardly smooth and not always successful.

Omar McRoberts
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow

Omar M. McRoberts is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. His first book, Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood is based on an ethnographic study of religious life in Four Corners: a poor, predominantly black neighborhood in Boston containing twenty-nine congregations. It explains the high concentration, wide variety, and ambiguous social impact of religious activity in the neighborhood. It won the 2005 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Professor McRoberts is completing a book on black religious responses to, and influences on, social policy formation in the United States. The project challenges the notion that government influences religious activity primarily through policies that aim directly to regulate religious expression. Policies regarding the distribution of resources and opportunities throughout society acquire religious valences as well, and historically have weighed on the political and social aspirations of religious institutions. Generations of scholarship have chronicled attempts by black religious movements to influence government, but little is known about the entanglement between those movements and existing social policies, and the consequences of this entanglement for patterns of religious activism. Black Public Religion reveals the social policy-based mechanisms of state influence on the black churches in an historical sociology spanning the New Deal, War on Poverty/Great Society, and Welfare Reform eras.

Anna K. Sagal
Monticello College Foundation and Audrey Lumsden-Kouvel Fellow

Anna K. Sagal holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Tufts University and an M.A. in English and American Literature from Georgetown University. She currently teaches at Heartland Community College. She has published essays and book chapters on a variety of topics, with a particular focus on disability studies, science studies, and women’s history. Her essays include critical work on Tristram Shandy, Charlotte Lennox’s The Lady’s Museum, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy Letters.

Dr. Sagal’s current research project is entitled Experimental Women: Women Writers & Scientific Work in the Long Eighteenth Century. This project surveys a collection of women’s writing and craftwork on botanical subjects in the period, examining ways in which a recognition of women’s distinctive participation in the botanical sciences - through unconventional genres such as periodicals, textbooks, conduct of life works, paper mosaics, and paintings - expands contemporary understandings of what scientific practice looked like in the eighteenth century. Her particular focus at the Newberry will be on women’s conduct of life manuals, and their complex endorsement of scientific study for women.