LSU Libraries selected three scholars to receive travel grants supporting use of the LSU Libraries Special Collections in their dissertation projects. The grant covers travel and lodging costs associated with a research trip to Hill Memorial Library. We are excited to welcome the following awardees to Baton Rouge during the 2021-2022 academic year:
Emily Yankowitz, Ph.D. candidate in Yale University’s Department of History, will conduct research for her dissertation exploring how Americans understood the concept of citizenship between the 1780s and 1840s, a period when the term’s meanings were highly contested. While existing scholarship concentrates on the legal elements of citizenship during and after the mid-nineteenth century, her project analyzes early American citizenship and how contemporaries themselves understood the concept. She will use records in the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections to inform her chapters on perceptions of citizenship in U.S. territories, the boundaries of Black citizenship, and popular debates about extending citizenship to French-speaking Catholics in Louisiana.
Madeline Lafuse, Ph.D. candidate in history at the City University New York Graduate Center, will consult sources crucial to her dissertation, “Poison in Marie Laveau’s New Orleans: A Cultural History of Slavery and Violence, 1769-1900.” Lafuse seeks to understand the relationships between the opportunity for poisoning that enslaved people’s culinary labor afforded and the constant threat of poisoning that enslavers faced. Historians have posited a straightforward connection between enslaved use of poison and enslaver panic, but an examination of New Orleanians’ cultural productions in fact reveals a range of relationships that shifted according to the local activities of communities of color as well as the national and international politics of slavery and antislavery.
Emily Wells, Ph.D. student in history at William & Mary, will conduct research for her dissertation which examines the relationship between place and identity among elite, white girls who lived in the American South during the early national and antebellum periods. Wells studies how girls engaged in practices of placemaking, a process by which they imbued material spaces with social, cultural, emotional, and political meaning. As girls crossed the boundary between girlhood and womanhood, they also crossed physical barriers, moving from the places that had defined their girlhoods to new places that would define their adult lives. By reading their letters and diaries, Wells seeks to understand how girls used placemaking to make sense of and describe their transition into adulthood.