Three English professors—Susan Harlan, Judith Madera, and Gillian Overing—have been given Archie award funding for their research projects in 2018. The Archie award provides support for primary research and research travel domestically and internationally in the Arts and Humanities. Archie funding is typically used to support extensive research to be conducted either over the summer or during a paid Reynolds or Junior research leave.
Susan Harlan will travel to Paris’ Catacombs to research one chapter of book entitled Alas, Poor Yorick!: Forays Into the Human Skull. These ossuaries form a complex tunnel system under the city and house the remains of millions of people. Although the book will draw on her academic writing on early modern death culture, it will be a work of public scholarship that traces a history of the human skull from medieval relic to mass-market commodity.
Judith Madera is writing a cultural history, On Edge Effects: Tension Ecologies of North America, which examines wetland narratives outside of official histories. She will be using Archie funds to conduct archival research and interviews at the University of British Columbia and at the Vancouver Historical Society, including the First Nation Oral History Archives and the First Peoples Archives of Vancouver. During her stay she is looking forward to meeting with a number of key watershed community partners in order to discuss a shared environmental vulnerability that is changing the stakes of humanist scholarship.
Gillian Overing has been awarded Archie funding to travel to Iceland and Greenland to work on two co-authored books. Her chapter for The Contemporary Medieval in Practice focuses on sculptor Abraham Anghik Ruben, whose work addresses the interplay of Viking, Norse, and Inuit cultures, and themes of migration and displacement both medieval and modern. The second project, Saga Quest: An Introduction to the Saga Heroes of Iceland in Their Landscape, is a travel guide with a creative critical approach to saga scholarship. Both projects are profoundly linked to place and to “being there”—and, most likely, to being very cold.