February 28, 2011

Arts and Sciences Faculty Receive NEH Grants

Ted Steinberg
Theodore Steinberg

Two Case Western Reserve University scholars will work on book projects in 2011 with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Georgia Cowart, professor of music, will work on Watteau’s Utopias of Music and Theater: Visions of a New France; while Theodore Steinberg, Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History and professor of law, will finish Environmental History of Greater New York, 1609-2009

Steinberg and Cowart are among 99 grant recipients selected from 1,500 applicants. Both were awarded $50,400. The award enables faculty members to be released from teaching to travel to primary resource sites to find materials for their books and to write.

Georgia Cowart
Georgia Cowart

Cowart’s project, based on the paintings of Jean-Antoine Watteau and his use of iconography from operas critiquing the late reign of Louis XIV, crosses disciplines to examine the intersections of art, music, theater and politics. It evolves from the knowledge Cowart gained producing an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on “Watteau, Music & Theater,” and the principal essay for the catalogue.

Her year will include trips to Paris, London and Edinburgh to conduct research in libraries and museums, along with time for writing in Cleveland.

This is Cowart’s second NEH grant. Support from her first grant in 2001-02 allowed her to complete the book The Triumph of Pleasure: Louis XIV and the Politics of Spectacle, published byThe University of Chicago Press in 2008. 

As for Steinberg, he believes the New York metropolitan area is one of the most thoroughly engineered environments on the planet, and he hopes his latest book will change people’s understanding of how the New York landscape and waterscape came to be what it is today.

Steinberg, an environmental historian and author of numerous books on the interplay of history and the environment, expects to spend a considerable amount of research time in places such as a basement storage room in Babylon, Long Island, and a former landfill in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

His research examines how the small island of Manhattan eventually became the anchor for one of the most significant urban agglomerations ever built. Taking a new perspective on the city’s development, Steinberg will explore “how land and water, especially wetlands, bays and rivers, structured New York’s rise to power.”

Posted by: Emily Mayock, February 28, 2011 09:45 AM | News Topics: College of Arts and Sciences

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