2 January 2013

Tonight I have been working on my application essay for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Institute at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The topic of the institute is “Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago 1893-1955.”

“While at the Newberry Library, I would use my access to the archives to explore the papers of Malcolm Cowley. Cowley’s relationship with the Midwest has been on my mind since I put his After the Genteel Tradition on my Midwestern Studies bibliography in the early days of my project. In these early days, I had begun to suspect that one of the things that made the Midwest a distinct region and a particularly fertile place for Americans to grapple with modernity was the lack of New England and the South’s genteel tradition. Cowley’s book seemed to give credence to my speculations. Though Cowley recognized the importance of the Midwest in American literary modernity, academic and critical trends have shifted away from regional considerations generally, and, in any case, the Midwest has never been given its due. This institute at the Newberry would be an ideal time to revisit Cowley’s thoughts on the region.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s