Skip to main content

Two faculty members named Guggenheim Fellows

April 7, 2011 By Susannah Brooks

One current and one emerita professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have received 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship Awards, recognizing artists, scholars and scientists based on distinguished past achievement and exceptional future promise.

Deborah Brandt, professor emerita of English, and Lynn K. Nyhart, professor of history of science, are among 180 individuals selected by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation of New York from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.

Brandt researches topics in literacy and composition theory. Her interests include social and economic histories of mass literacy; the status of mass writing within late 20th and early 21st century culture; and diversity, equity, and access in literacy learning. Her book “Literacy in American Lives” won the 2003 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education, one of the largest awards in the field.

Brandt’s project, “Writing Now: New Directions in Mass Literacy,” explores the ascendancy of writing as a second stage of mass literacy, focusing on the impact of writing as a means of production in the American economy since about 1960.

Nyhart is an historian of modern biology, currently researching the history of concepts of biological individuality. Her book “Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany,” won the 2009 Susan Abrams Prize of the University of Chicago Press. She will serve as president of the History of Science Society in 2012-13. Earlier this year, she also received UW–Madison’s Kellett Mid-Career Award as an outstanding faculty member five to 20 years past tenure.

Nyhart’s project, “Parts and Wholes: The Biological Individual in the Nineteenth Century,” proposes a new history of individuality as a fundamental problem underlying mid-nineteenth-century biology, exploring how science mediated questions of autonomy, interdependence, and hierarchy within a rapidly modernizing Europe.

Since 1925, the foundation has granted nearly $290 million in fellowships to over 17,000 individuals from a wide range of professions, including writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, choreographers, physical and biological scientists, social scientists and scholars in the humanities. For more information, click here.