English professor receives NEH Grant to Study Modernism

Mary UngerMary Unger, assistant professor of English at Ripon College, will join a group of twenty-five college and university professors taking part in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars four-week institute on “Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955.” Unger will receive a $3,300 stipend to help cover the travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses.

Each summer, NEH offers faculty stipends to pursue meaningful opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. As part of the program, participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

The Making Modernism institute investigates Chicago’s cultural, economic and unique urban role in the first half of the twentieth century, with a focus on literary modernism. Morning lectures and discussions are followed by afternoons available for research in the Newberry Library and other Chicago repositories, including the Carter G. Woodson Library, and visits to the Arts Club of Chicago, the Poetry Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The theme overlaps nicely with Unger’s professional training and current focus on Midwestern Modernism. Following the institute, she will seek to incorporate her findings in the development of a new course on the subject at Ripon College.

“Having the resources to study modernism in the context of Chicago’s rich cultural history will allow me to understand better how the city shaped the aesthetic values and practices of early twentieth-century literature, and give me a richer sense of the city’s significance for modernist writers,” said Unger.

According to Gerald Seaman, vice president and dean of faculty at Ripon College: “This is an excellent opportunity for Mary and also a significant honor. I have no doubt that her work in Chicago will have enduring consequences for her career as a teacher and scholar. We are all happy for her and more than a little proud.”

The program runs from June 17-July 12.

To learn more about Professor Unger and the English Department at Ripon College, click HERE.

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