Distributed April 20, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Three faculty members win 2001 Guggenheim Fellowships

Three associate professors on the Brown faculty – Maggie Bickford, Amy Remensnyder and Joan L. Richards – have received Guggenheim Fellowships for 2001. They are among 183 scholars and artists selected from more than 2,700 applicants for this honor.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Three University faculty members have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships for 2001 for historical studies of China, Spain, Mexico and England, from the third century B.C. to Victorian and modern times.

Joel Conarroe, president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, notified Interim University President Sheila E. Blumstein that faculty members Maggie Bickford, Amy Remensnyder and Joan L. Richards have been appointed Guggenheim fellows. The three are among 183 artists, scholars and scientists selected from more than 2,700 applicants to receive awards totaling $6,588,000.

Bickford, an historian of Chinese art, joined the Brown faculty in 1987 and is an associate professor in the History of Art and Architecture and the East Asian Studies departments. She holds a B.A. in language and literature from Bennington College, an M.A. in Chinese studies from Yale University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology from Princeton University. She is author of two books – Bones of Jade, Soul of Ice, the Flowering Plum in Chinese Art and Ink Plum, The Making of a Chinese Scholar-Painting Genre. During her year as a Guggenheim fellow she will work on “Auspicious Visuality in China,” a project in which she explores visualizations of good outcomes (progeny, abundance, longevity and peace) from the third century B.C. to the 20th century.

Remensnyder received an A.B. in history and literature from Harvard in 1983 and a Ph.D. in medieval European history from the University of California–Berkeley in 1992. She came to Brown in 1993 and specializes in studies of the cultural and religious history of medieval Europe. She is the author of a book on monasteries in medieval southern France. As a Guggenheim Fellow she will write a second book, The Virgin Mary in Medieval Spain and Spanish Colonial America, in which she examines the role of the Virgin Mary as a symbol of Christian conquest and conversion in medieval Spain and colonial Mexico.

Richards has been a member of Brown’s History Department faculty since 1982. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard. She is the author of Mathematical Visions, a study of the reception of non-Euclidean geometry in Victorian England, and Angles of Reflection, a memoir of the interactions of her work and home life. As a Guggenheim fellow, she will examine different views of rationality in writing a joint biography of a Victorian mathematician, Augustus De Morgan, and his spiritualist wife, Sophia De Morgan.

This is the 77th year of the Guggenheim Foundation’s United States and Canadian competition. Appointments are based on the recommendations of expert advisors and are approved by the foundation’s Board of Trustees, which includes seven past fellows – Joyce Carol Oates, Richard A. Rifkind, Charles A. Ryskamp, Jean Strouse, Wendy Wasserstein, Ellen Taafe Zwilich and Joel Conarroe.

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment, according to the foundation. This year’s fellows range in age from 26 to 80 and include writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, film makers, choreographers, physical and biological scientists, social scientists and scholars in the humanities. Many hold appointments in colleges and universities; Brown is among 89 institutions represented by one or more fellows.

Since 1925 the foundation has granted more than $198 million in fellowships to nearly 15,000 individuals, according to Conarroe. Scores of Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and eminent scientists are listed on the roll of fellows, including Ansel Adams, Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Isamu Noguchi, Linus Pauling, Paul Samuelson, Martha Graham, Philip Roth, Derek Wolcott, James Watson and Eudora Welty.