Each year dozens of fellows, working on a variety of research topics, find a home at the National Museum of American History. They are selected by the Smithsonian's central Office of Fellowships which issues announcements, asks the appropriate curator to review the incoming proposals, and then refers the proposal to a special committee to make the final determination about awards. These decisions are based on the candidates' academic standing, scholarly competence, experience, and the suitability of the proposed research project of study. During their association, fellows are hosted by a curator and have access to the Museum's libraries, archives, and many other resources. Fellows are expected to give a presentation on their research as part of the weekly Tuesday colloquium series here at the Museum. At the completion of their appointment, they take their work with them. Learn more about fellowship opportunities.
The next application deadline is January 15, 2014. Applicants should consult with their Smithsonian advisors early in the application process to discuss specific research needs and collections availability.
While at the Smithsonian, Mary is researching for her dissertation which examines the relationship between border fences and the natural environment along the U.S.-Mexico border. Over the course of the twentieth century,the U.S.-Mexico border transformed from a “line in the sand” to a place of increasing physical presence. The twentieth century brought customs stations and fences to channel bodies through a federally regulated space. Over time, fences and check points transformed into walls, buildings, and a network of roads built to control the movement of dynamic nature: people, animals, and pathogens. Mary's dissertation explores this change over time.
While at the Smithsonian she plans on conducting research at the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Libraries and the National Archives as well as working with NMAH's exceptional curatorial staff.
My dissertation uses 4-H rural youth clubs as a lens for exploring the intertwined histories of development, agriculture, and modernization in the U.S. and abroad from the turn of the twentieth century through the 1970s. I am presently turning the dissertation into a book manuscript, preparing articles for publication, and taking advantage of the Smithsonian’s excellent collections as I write and revise. I am also thinking about two future projects, one relating to the broader history of the social and natural scientific study of agriculture and rural life, particularly as practiced in the land-grant colleges of the United States, and another dealing with the technological and social history of the modern office, particularly the history of stenography and clerical work.