History Professor Molly McGarry Awarded President's Research Fellowship

By Robert Bastone, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
July 15, 2004

Assistant Professor, Molly McGarry, of the History Department has been awarded a President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities from the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) for her proposed work on Ghosts of Futures Past: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America

The fellowship, which was awarded to eleven applicants including McGarry, provides sabbatical leave and funding of up to twenty-five thousand dollars for research and writing. When asked about receiving the fellowship, McGarry stated she was “thrilled and delighted.”

The work examines American Spiritualism, which according to McGarry, is “a popular religious movement practiced through communication with the spirits of the dead.” She plans to argue that excavating a historical narrative in which secularism does not simply inevitably triumph over an anti-modern or atavistic religion skews our understanding of the past and complicates the politics of the present.

Ghosts of Futures Past began as a dissertation, while McGarry was at New York University. The project won the 1999-2000 NYU Deans’ Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in the humanities and was a finalist for the Allan Nevin’s Prize for the best dissertation in U.S. history, for that year. Professor McGarry plans on utilizing the fellowship and sabbatical leave to complete the book manuscript this year and submit it for publication.

Professor McGarry is currently an Assistant Professor in the history department, and has been at UCR for 3 years. She received her B.A. in History from Cornell University, and her M.A. and PhD. from New York University. Her work has been published in several publications including the Journal of Women's History and in her own books. She has also received many awards for her work on various projects. Her areas of interest include: U.S. History, Gender and Sexuality, and Public History.

For more information on Professor Molly McGarry please visit, http://history.ucr.edu/people/mcgarry/mcgarry.html.

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