Two College Faculty Win Guggenheim Fellowships

Anna Brickhouse, Professor of English and Director, American Studies program and Thomas Klubock, Professor of History and Director, Latin American Studies Program

On April 4, two Arts & Sciences faculty members—Anna Brickhouse, professor of English, and Thomas Klubock, professor of history—were awarded Guggenheim Fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The professors were two of 173 winners, chosen from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants. The fellowships were awarded on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the foundation said.

In a happy coincidence, the winning duo knows each other well—they co-direct UVA’s new Americas Center/Centro de las Américas, which brings together faculty from across the College and the University for interdisciplinary study of the arts, cultures, histories, and societies of the Americas.

“I view this fellowship as an endorsement of my scholarship, as well as of the hard work I, and other colleagues here at UVA, have put into both Latin American Studies and the Centro de las Américas/Americas Center” said Klubock, who is also the director of UVA’s Latin American Studies Program.  “I was especially pleased that both I and Anna Brickhouse won Guggenheims this year.”

Brickhouse, who also directs UVA’s American Studies Program, was equally delighted by her colleague’s win. “I love the idea that the Centro has received a double Guggenheim, in a way,” she said.

The Americas Center was formed after Dean Ian Baucom asked faculty to propose ideas for reconfiguring old area studies models into new intellectual formations, Brickhouse said. “Ian's push to get faculty to talk to each other and think with each other across old divides has really been beneficial for us both,” she said.

Klubock will use his Guggenheim Fellowship to support a semester of leave, he said, during which he will do research in Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina for his current book project, Nation of Rivers: A History of Water and Water Wars in Modern South America.

Brickhouse said she will use the funding to take time away from teaching and to write, and also to make a short visit to the American Antiquarian Society, a national research library of pre-20th century American history and culture in Massachusetts. 

She is at work on a book, tentatively titled Earthquake Aesthetics: Catastrophe and the Forms of Critique, that “draws on a wide array of writings over several centuries and continents and across multiple languages… to consider the role of catastrophe throughout the long history of the Americas,” she said.

The Americas Center just held a Native American Studies symposium, organized by Kasey Keeler, a post-doctoral student in Native American Studies/American Studies, Klubock said, and is gearing up to host a conference on April 20-21 organized by religious studies professors Matt Hedstrom and Jalane Schmidt, titled “Religious Movement(s): Migration and Belief in the Americas.”