The Fraser Barron Memorial Scholarship in Renaissance & Western History

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars is now welcoming applications for the 2020 Fraser Barron Memorial Scholarship in Renaissance & Western History. The scholarship supports scholarly research in these fields, especially by subsidizing travel funds. The Scholarship may go to professors, graduate students, or, in exceptional circumstances, undergraduates. We especially encourage graduate students and recent Ph.D. recipients (2015 and later) to apply.

The purpose of the Fraser Barron Memorial Scholarship is to further the serious study of the Renaissance within the context of Western History as a whole. Many threshold questions deserve new exploration—what exactly was the “Renaissance” and where did it occur? When and how did it begin and end? Who were the most influential artists, and what accounted for their leadership? What were the variations in Renaissance experience as between countries or regions and art forms? Did the Renaissance create a prism through which the West has viewed art for 600 – 700 years? How did the Renaissance affect the development of cultural traditions – as well as social, religious, economic and political institutions – in the West? What are the chief priorities for preservation and conservation efforts? How is Renaissance art related to truth? What is the status of the Renaissance within the contemporary educational system?

Eligibility is restricted to U.S. citizens – without regard to race, sex, religion, or ethnic background – who have achieved strong undergraduate degrees (as determined by the NAS), or, in exceptional cases, to undergraduate upperclassmen whose academic achievement is consistent with high standards of graduate study.

In 2020, the Scholarship will be $2,500. It should be used no later than Fall 2020. We generally disburse funds after receiving receipts for major expenses, such as airline tickets or hotels.

NAS usually arranges for recipients to give a talk on their research during the 2020-2021 school year; although this depends on our own funding. Applicants should express their willingness to write and give such a talk; if it occurs, travel expenses will be paid by the NAS.

Please submit by January 15, 2020 a one-page description of how you would use the funds; a curriculum vita, including contact information; and three scholarly references. Send your application to David Randall, [email protected]. Final decisions will be made by February 15, 2020.

Fraser Barron Memorial Scholars

2018: Eleanor Schneider, Liberty Fund

Research: English humanist education during the Reformation

Dr. Schneider received her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2015, and was a Fellow at the Liberty Fund when she received the Scholarship. She used the scholarship to follow up on her dissertation research by exploring precisely how institutions of Catholic humanist education in England survived—or failed to survive—the financial, institutional, and religious stresses of the Protestant Reformation. She examined why parents sent their children to humanist schools; how teachers appealed to the broader society that funded schools and scholarships through a variety of funding mechanisms; how humanist schools were transformed by the double conversion from Catholic to Protestant and from local support to state support; and how the student population changed during the Reformation.

Dr. Schneider used the Scholarship to visit the archives of Durham Cathedral, Sedbergh School, and Christ Hospital of Horsham. These three institutions allowed her to include archival material from a monastic school (Durham Cathedral), a school that went through the process of losing its endowment (Sedbergh School), and an entirely new Reformation-era foundation (Christ Hospital).

2019: Janice Gunther Martin, University of Notre Dame

Research: early modern Spanish science and medicine

Ms. Martin was a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame when she received the Scholarship. She used the scholarship to extend her dissertation research by investigating the reception of Renaissance Italian equestrian culture in the Spanish royal milieu, in order to examine the relationship between the Italian and the Spanish Renaissance. In the sixteenth century, the influential Neapolitan riding academy developed the precursor of dressage, and a groundbreaking treatise on equine anatomy was published in Venice in 1598. Vigorous Iberian equestrian and equine medical traditions tempered Italian influence in Spain, however: Spanish elites exercised a distinctive style of riding, and Spanish equine doctors published their own genre of medical treatises. She examined how Spaniards in such a context responded to Italian developments.

Ms. Martin used the Scholarship to visit the Real Biblioteca in Madrid, located in the Royal Palace. There she examined the marginalia of key Italian texts of horsemanship and anatomy for clues about what the readers found most interesting and useful, what they found objectionable, and why. She also consulted seventeenth-century manuscripts containing equine anatomical drawings in order to evaluate the influence of Italian equine anatomy in noble Spanish households.

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