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Mellon Foundation Grant Supports Graduate Research

USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute will receive the full award in early December.

By Pamela J. Johnson
July 10, 2009

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has approved a three-year $883,000 grant for the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute’s (EMSI) programs for 2009 to 2012. 

USC College Dean Howard Gillman said the College was proud that the Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to EMSI for the third time.

"It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in the leadership of Peter Mancall, who has made the EMSI one of the nation's most important centers of humanities scholarship,” Gillman said. “This grant ensures that the institute’s important influence on research and graduate training will continue."

“USC and the Huntington Library have been generous supporters of EMSI since its foundation,” Mancall said.  “The consistent support of Dean Gillman and the College have allowed the institute to stake out a unique place among humanities centers.”

Mancall noted that EMSI organizes programs bringing faculty together from across the university, and colleges and universities from San Diego to Santa Barbara. As a result of the Mellon Foundation support, EMSI frequently brings leading humanists to campus or to the Huntington.

Established in 2003, the institute supports advanced research and scholarship on human societies between 1450 and 1850. Unlike institutes focusing on particular regions, EMSI’s range is global.

Composed mostly of scholars based in the Los Angeles region EMSI provides a setting for nourishing intellectual achievement, advancing interdisciplinary research, and sharing path-breaking discoveries. The institute aims to promote new avenues for research in the humanities and social sciences — in particular history, art history, literature and music.

Next year, EMSI will produce its first book, a collection of essays from 12 scholars across disciplines and cultures. The book, to be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, will be co-edited by Mancall and Daniela Bleichmar, assistant professor of art history and history in the College.

The institute, a partnership between USC College and the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., sponsors 75 to 90 scholarly presentations each year, and has an annual workshop with the William and Mary Quarterly each May as well as an annual conference.

EMSI offers fellowships for faculty and Ph.D. students at USC and has hosted a number of Mellon post-doctoral fellows, at times in partnership with the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate.

The Mellon Foundation is a nonprofit corporation formed in 1969 in New York. Among its six core program areas are higher education and scholarship.