Troy University English Professor selected for fellowship program

Posted: Tuesday, 03 June 2014

MONTGOMERY - Dr. Sara A. Kosiba, assistant professor of English at Troy University's Montgomery Campus, has been selected as a Harry Ransom Center research fellow.

The Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin, is supporting more than 80 research fellows for 2014-2015, the 25th anniversary of the fellowship program. Since the program's inception, the Center has awarded fellowships to more than 900 scholars from around the world.

The fellowships support research projects in the humanities that require substantial on-site use of the Center's collections of manuscripts, rare books, film, photography, art and performing arts materials.

Through her research, Dr. Kosiba seeks to establish an accurate biographical timeline of the life and career of John Herrmann to better understand the role he played in the literary culture of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as to determine the accuracy of claims that he was a Communist spy during the 1930s. Dr. Kosiba's goal is to publish a comprehensive biographical article on Herrmann.

Born in Lansing, Mich., in 1900, Herrmann became part of the expatriate literary circle in Paris during the 1920s. During that time he became friends with Ernest Hemingway and other prominent writers and had his first novel "What Happens" published. He would go on to publish two additional novels and at least a dozen short stories.

"In literary studies, this fellowship is a huge help," Dr. Kosiba said. "For individuals like me who do a lot of archival studies, it can be incredibly costly to travel to the places in the country that maintain these materials. There is something about reading the actual letters and manuscripts of writers that allows you to sort of touch the past and know the subject a little differently."

Dr. Kosiba's research is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment. The fellowship award is a travel stipend of $1,200.

Dr. Kosiba has been a member of the TROY faculty since 2009. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and a master's degree in literature from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University.