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Grant number: FT-58636-11

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FT-58636-11

Shanna Benjamin
Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA 50112-2227)

In Control of Her Narrative: A Biography of Nellie Y. McKay [1930?-2006]

Shortly before passing on January 22, 2006, Nellie Y. McKay shared a secret she had previously kept hidden from even her closest friends: not only was the woman McKay spoke of as her sister actually her daughter, but the supposedly sixty-something-year-old scholar was also at least ten years older than her colleagues believed her to be. I propose to use a Summer Stipend to conduct the archival research required to write "Strategies notTruths: Nellie Y. McKay and the Art of Self-Construction." This article asks why McKay chose the public narrative of unattached and childless scholar rather than wife, mother, and scholar to detail how this choice mirrors her published position on women writing autobiography. A Summer Stipend will allow me to study the archived correspondence between McKay and friend Nell Irvin Painter held at the John Hope Franklin Research Center at Duke University. This article will become a chapter of IN CONTROL OF HER NARRATIVE: A BIOGRAPHY OF NELLIE Y. MCKAY.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
African American Studies

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 7/31/2011