The Rare Book School (RBS) selected Natilee Harren, assistant professor of art history at the UH School of Art (SoA), to join the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB). She is one of only 10 junior fellows selected from applicants across the country for the 2019 – 2021 fellowship.
The Society aims to foster interdisciplinary scholarship by bringing together a community of experts working to advance the study of texts, images and artifacts as material objects. By focusing on the emerging field of critical bibliography — which is the study of the book as a material-cultural artifact and the technologies connected to bookmaking and other textual production — the Fellowship is designed to attract top scholars from the fields of art history, anthropology, archaeology, classics, digital humanities, literary studies, library science, history of the book, history of science and museum studies.
Harren, an art history scholar who specializes in experimental, interdisciplinary practices after 1960 with an emphasis on the material aesthetics of conceptual art, performance, sound, drawing and artists’ ephemera, was an ideal candidate. She’s the author of “Karl Haendel: Knight’s Heritage” and is currently working on a book about the Fluxus art movement and co-editing a forthcoming digital publication for a Getty Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies fellowship.
As a junior fellow, Harren will receive hands-on, expert instruction from distinguished RBS faculty in two weeklong seminar-style courses, and gain access to numerous seminars and symposia on critical bibliography. She will also have the option to attend a tailored, three-day “bibliographical field school” in New York City that includes visits to select special exhibitions, antiquarian bookstores, conservation labs and more, all designed around her research interests.
She’s excited to connect with scholars and experts from diverse fields of the humanities who share her love of all things book-related.
“This fellowship will connect me with researchers who share a passion for collaborative public scholarship on books and other textual artifacts as the material foundation of human knowledge and culture,” she says.
After the two-year fellowship, Harren can apply to be a senior fellow, which provides greater access to professional development opportunities and the chance for her to delve deeper into her bibliographic research.
In addition to expanding her own research, she’s also looking forward to paying it forward.
“I’m excited to bring what I learn back to UH for the benefit of my students.”