Collaboration Grants and Fellowships

The John Carter Brown Library seeks to encourage collaboration among scholars as they explore and shed light on the Library's collections by providing support for group projects. Cluster Fellowships are meant to expand the disciplinary scope of research at the Library and support cutting-edge research methods. 

2017-18 Collaborative Cluster Fellowship Projects

  • “The Epistemology of the Copy in Early Modern Travel Narratives” – supported by the Center for New World Comparative Studies Fund
Stephanie Leitch, Associate Professor, Art History, Florida State University

Lisa Voigt, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese, The Ohio State University


  • “Early Modern Caribbean Thick-Mapping: Africans, Indians, and Europeans in Colonial Space and Autonomous Space” – supported by the Jeanette D. Black Fellowship Fund

Isaac Curtis, PhD Candidate, History, University of Pittsburgh

Angela Sutton, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Digital Humanities Center, Vanderbilt University

Charlton Yingling, Lecturer, African American Studies & History, University of South Carolina Upstate


2016-17 Interdisciplinary Cluster Projects

  • "On Cesarean Operations and Fetal Baptism: An Eighteenth-Century Guatemalan Treatise in Historical Perspective" - supported by the Ruth Ekstrom Fund

Zeb Tortorici, Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, New York University

Adam Warren, Associate Professor, History, University of Washington

Martha Few, Professor, History, The Pennsylvania State University

Nina S. Scott, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

  • "Indigenous Perspectives on the Lives of Pocahontas and Joseph Brant" - supported by the Director's New Initiatives Fund

Stephanie Pratt, Independent Scholar

Shelley Niro, Independent Visual Artist

ElizaBeth Hill, Independent Artist/Writer

  • "Cacao, the Amazonian Spices and the Atlantic (17th and 18th Centuries)" - supported by the Center for New World Comparative Studies Fund

Rafael Chambouleyron, Associate Professor, History, Universidade Federal do Pará

Karl Heinz Arenz, Associate Professor, Universidade Federal do Pará

  • "Amerindian Pathways and Spatial Relations in the Guianas and Northeastern Amazonia, 1650-1750"

Mark Harris, Reader in Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews

Silvia Espelt Bombin, Honorary Research Fellow in Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews


2015-16 New Initiative Collaboration Grants

These collaboration grants were designed to foster new directions in humanities research and catalyze innovative partnerships across disciplines and departments on campus. The grantees and their sponsors came from the following departments and centers on the Brown campus: the Department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies; Department of English; Department of History; Department of the History of Art and Architecture; Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies; the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World; and the Brown University Library.


  • "The Axial Americas"  A project that brought historians, art historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists to the Brown campus and the JCB to discuss objects that traverse geographical space, especially those that cross the Equator along a North-South axis in the Americas. Chocolate, emeralds, llamas, the Aeneid, and alcohol have crossed these imaginary lines and altered the lives of people living on either side of them.

Felipe Rojas, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology

  • "On + Off Site: Moving Tropical Environments Between Continents" A project that explored the transfer of environments from the Caribbean to Europe following the period of Contact. The wealth of nature encountered by Europeans in the Americas required new ways to conceive of man’s place in the world and refigured his notion of Paradise, which was re-created in botanical gardens throughout Europe using materials from the Americas.

William Skinner, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of the History of Art and Architecture

Faculty advisors: Itohan Osayimwese, Department of the History of Art and Architecture; Lukas Rieppel, Department of History

  • "Entangled Histories of Empire: Theory and Methods"  This project organized an international seminar at the John Carter Brown Library focused around the concept of entangled histories of empire. The seminar will explore the notion that there existed a complex web of relationships that European empires entertained with each other and with non-European societies in the early modern world, and will bring Portugal into focus as a pioneer in the process of European expansion to Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Roquinaldo Ferreira, Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Department of History

  • "Conquest and Cartography in Early New England"  This project explored the relationship between Brown University and its early founders and the Narrangansett Natives of Providence, using the process of re-naming geographic territories on early maps as a window onto the geographic erasure that directly parallels historic events of conquest by New England settlers, and especially King Philip’s War of 1676.

Phoebe Young, Brown University ’17, AB Public Policy and Race and Ethnic Studies 

Faculty advisor: Monica Muñoz Martinez, Department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies

* "The Asia-Pacific on Our Shelves" This project developed an annotated bibliography of select resources in the John Carter Brown Library’s collection related to Pacific voyaging and interactions between the Americas and Asian Pacific regions, including Hawaii, the Philippines, South Pacific islands, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and Korea.

Caroline Frank, Elli Mylonas, Evelyn Hu-DeHart, and Jim Egan
Departments of American Studies, History, English, and the Brown University Library

This pilot program of offering collaborative grants between Brown students and faculty and the Library highlighted new ways of using the Library’s world-class collection and explores the Library’s newest programming initiatives, including those in environmental history, indigenous studies, book history, visual and material culture studies, and the Americas in a global context. The JCB is grateful to the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation for supporting this research and programming initiative.

For more information, please contact the Library’s director at