Five scholars selected for 2017 summer research travel awards

June 19, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Eberly Family Special Collections Library recently announced the winners of the 2017 research travel awards program. This annual program, now in its sixth year, offers travel awards to researchers whose work would benefit from accessing the collections at the Penn State University Libraries.

All five winners will visit the Special Collections Library at University Park and will give an informal one-hour brown bag presentation about their research projects. Members of the public are welcome to attend any or all of the “learn at lunch” sessions from noon to 1 p.m. on July 20, July 27, Aug. 2, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11 in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library.

The Albert M. Petska Eighth Air Force Archives Research Travel Award winner is Marla Okner, an independent scholar who is working on her book, “Nebraska Navigator: Understanding my Father’s WWII Story.” Okner’s father was a member of the Eighth Air Force and she seeks to contextualize his experience as a downed airman in Nazi-occupied Holland in World War II's broader conflict. She will discuss her research progress on Thursday, July 20.

Tilden Russell, a professor emeritus at Southern Connecticut State University, was selected as the recipient of the Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin Research Award. His research will supplement material for his book, “Dance Theory: Source Readings from Two Millennia of Dance.” His introductory survey of dance theory will fill the gap created by the absence of “a full-length history of dance theory as a discrete subject, from Plato to postmodernism.” Russell’s presentation on his research project will take place on Thursday, July 27.

The two Dorothy Foehr Huck Research Travel Award winners, Kinohi Nishikawa and Kristoffer Smemo, will hold their presentations during the first week of August.

An assistant professor of English and African-American studies at Princeton University, Nishikawa is conducting research for his article, “By Any Other Name: Paul Gillette and the Uses of Pseudonymity (1960-1996)." His work will show the "strategy of authorship” and complexities of pen names Gillette created as a means of anonymity and to immerse himself in those names as characters. Nishikawa’s presentation will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

The presentation for Smemo, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is set for Friday, Aug. 4, as he will investigate social movements as they brought change to the terrain of electoral politics and developed the foundation of modern liberalism. Sememo’s research will be used for his book, “A New Dealized Grand Old Party: Labor, Civil Rights, Republicans, and the Making of American Liberalism, 1935-1973."

Monica Steinberg, winner of the Through the Flower Research Travel Award, will use the art education collection of feminist artist Judy Chicago for research for her book, "Role Players: Fictional Artistic Practice in the Shadow of Cold War Hollywood." A postdoctoral research fellow in the history department at the University of Southern California, Steinberg states the case for an “alternative art history of the Cold War era.” Her research examines how artists disrupted the coercion of film industry professionals “name names” and incited unique forms of protest in the midst of the Red Scare and the Vietnam War. The final presentation of the summer, Steinberg will offer her research findings on Friday, Aug. 11.

An 8.5x11 poster with information about these "learn at lunch" research presentations is available as a downloadable PDF to print or share. For more information about these “learn at lunch” programs or for questions about accommodations or the physical access provided, contact Julie Porterfield at or 814-865-1793 in advance of the event.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 23, 2017