Four Yale faculty members won 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships, prestigious grants for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for scholarship or creative ability in the arts.
Senior critic at Yale School of Art Byron Kim ’83, mathematics professor Hee Oh GRD ’97, English and African American Studies professor Claudia Rankine and history professor Timothy Snyder were among the 173 scholars, artists and scientists chosen by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation from nearly 3,000 applicants. The amount of the grants vary based on the foundation’s fixed annual budget.
“It is one of the fellowships that everyone knows,” Snyder said. “But I think what is special for me about this award is its historical concern with creativity and with the humanities in the broadest sense.”
Guggenheim Fellowships award grants to recipients for a duration of time between six and 12 months in order to provide “blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible.” Fellows can spend their grants however they choose. Yale faculty interviewed told the News that they will be using their fellowship time and funding for scholarly and literary projects currently in the works.
Oh, who specializes in dynamical systems, said she was excited when she was notified of her nomination for the fellowship in an email from the selection committee at the end of February. The grant will support her current project, titled “Dynamics and Kleinian groups.”
During her fellowship year, Oh will be on leave with the combined support of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Simons Fellows Program, a grant in mathematics and theoretical physics which she also received this year. Oh added that she plans to stay in New Haven with her family and continue her research, which is on dynamics on hyperbolic manifolds.
“There are some very difficult problems that I am working on now, and it will be great to devote myself fully to this project,” Oh said.
Rankine, who teaches poetry at Yale and has won multiple awards for her 2014 book “Citizen: An American Lyric,” said she applied for the grant to support her work on a book about the cultural impact of white dominance.
Rankine said she will continue teaching and working “as always” during her fellowship year, adding that the funding will be used to pay for image rights and research for her book.
“I am with gratitude,” Rankine said. “There are so many deserving artists and scholars who make my work possible that being rewarded [with] a grant is part luck and part timing, it seems to me.”
Snyder, a historian of central and Eastern Europe, said he applied for the fellowship because he is working on a long-term project on “the family history of national identity.”
He said he will continue to teach while working on his new book.
“Now I’ll get much more done,” Snyder said.
Kim, who could not be reached for comment, is a senior critic in painting and printmaking at the Art School. He is best known for his painting “Synecdoche,” which was included in the 1993 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Three Yale faculty members won Guggenheim Fellowships last year.
Contact Rachel Treisman at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Clarification, April 14: This article has been updated to reflect Rankine’s joint appointment with both the English and African American Studies departments.