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Release: April 12, 1999

Two UI professors win prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa professors have been awarded 1999 Guggenheim Fellowships. Leighton Pierce, professor of film and video production in comparative literature and communication studies, and Katherine Tachau, professor of history, are among 179 U.S. and Canadian scholars receiving awards to pursue their scholarship or artistic creations. The 1999 fellows were selected from among 2,785 applicants.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was established in 1925 by United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The Foundation offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts. The fellowships are awarded to men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

"It is gratifying to see our faculty members receive recognition for scholarly work that is considered among the best in the country," said Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts. "Leighton Pierce and Katherine Tachau are both very deserving of this honor, and we are proud of the distinction they bring to the University of Iowa and the College of Liberal Arts."

Pierce will use his fellowship during the 2000-01 academic year for a filmmaking project. He plans to produce a series of short experimental films exploring visual and auditory cinematic representations of domestic space. His project will also experiment with sound-image relationships.

Pierce said the fellowship is a boon to his creative work: "It will give me uninterrupted and extended time to develop some fairly subtle ideas."

Tachau will also use her fellowship during the 2000-01 academic year. She will complete the research and writing for a book titled, "Bible Lesson for Kings: Scholars and Friars in 13th-Century Paris and the Creation of the BIBLES MORALISEES," about four early-13th century illuminated manuscripts. She plans to study the roles these manuscripts may have played in shaping French royal policy towards teaching at the nascent University of Paris and toward non-believers in the French realm. During the 1999-2000 academic year, Tachau will work on this project at the Stanford Humanities Center, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Pierce and Tachau have not yet been told the exact monetary value of their awards. The amounts of the individual grants is adjusted to the needs of the fellows, considering their other resources and the purpose and scope of their plans. The foundation awarded a total of $6,062,000 this year, for an average grant of $33,866.