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Grant number: FB-58360-15

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Jennifer Jane Marshall
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN 55455-0433)

The Life and Work of African American Folk Artist William Edmondson (ca.1874-1951)

William Edmondson: Life and Work offers the first scholarly monograph on the African-American folk artist, William Edmondson (ca. 1874-1951), a stone carver of backyard angels, preachers, seated women, animals, and birds. The book adopts the biographical form so as to explore its critical potential, given both the precedent of microhistory and recent re-theorizations of human agency in the material world. By focusing on Edmondson, the book seeks to complicate a range of social histories, including the reluctantly modernizing South in the New Deal; inter-race relations in the pre-Civil Rights era and Jewish Southerners within them; the rise of rural modernism in black and white avant-gardes; and the cultural revival of manual craftsmanship in the Machine Age. The book's social-historical concerns are complemented by engagements with the fields of critical race studies, biography studies, literary criticism, non-representational theory, the new materialisms, and phenomenology.

Project fields:
American Studies; Art History and Criticism; U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2015 – 12/31/2015