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C.V. Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

Current Fellows

Through its fellowship programs, the Starr Center supports innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the American past – especially by fostering the art of written history.

Patrick Henry Fellow

We welcome 2016 Patrick Henry Fellow David Carter to campus for fall semester 2016.

David Carter is a writer and a historian of the LGBT civil rights movement.  His most recent book, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, was the basis for the American Experience film “Stonewall Uprising,” which won a Peabody Award. Carter served as the film’s historical consultant. Carter has devoted much of the last two years to working closely with the National Parks Conservation Association to have the Stonewall Uprising site declared a national monument. The campaign succeeded when President Barack Obama made the Stonewall site a national monument this past June.

Carter’s volume prior to Stonewall was a work he edited for Allen Ginsberg, a selection of the poet’s interviews, which was published after Ginsberg’s death as Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews 1958–1996. Carter has served as a consultant on numerous exhibitions and documentaries and has appeared on national TV news programs on CNN, CBS, and Al-Jazeera. He has written for CNN, Time Magazine, the BBC, the Washington Blade, and the Gay and Lesbian Review.

Carter has spent the last decade researching the life of LGBT civil rights pioneer Dr. Franklin Kameny for a biography. Carter received a grant from the Arcus Foundation in 2016 to support his research on this biography. He feels deeply honored to be a Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, saying, “Frank Kameny’s arguments for lesbian and gay civil rights were founded on the basic principles of our democracy as articulated by its founders in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Moreover, Kameny was effective in large part because he wrote in the tradition of our nation’s greatest founders, combining passion, wit, and intelligence with great skill in argumentation and exposition. Kameny’s writing and rhetorical skills were matched by his courage, making him a worthy successor to men such as Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson.”

Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow

2016-2017 Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow Andrew Lawler is a journalist who writes about archaeology, history, and science for a number of magazines. His work has appeared in Best of Science and Nature Writing, and his articles twice won the Gene S. Stuart award. Over more than three decades as a reporter, Lawler has produced more than a thousand stories, including a 2015 piece funded by the Pulitzer Center on threats to isolated peoples in the Peruvian Amazon for Science Magazine.

Lawler’s curiosity led him from Washington, where he covered Congress and the White House, to the Middle East, where he wrote extensively about the impact of war on cultural heritage. More recently Simon & Schuster published his book Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, chronicling how this common bird transformed our own species as we transformed it. He is a contributing editor for Archaeology and Science, and has written for The New York Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and several other publications.

Lawler’s passion for history took him to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a National Geographic article about new archaeological finds relating to the Lost Colony of North Carolina’s Roanoke Island, the first English attempt at settling the New World. The new discoveries, coupled with recent work by historians on the role of the Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, and Native Americans in the venture, are central to his new book project, which he will pursue while in Providence and Chestertown.

For more about Andrew Lawler follow this link.

Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow

The 2016 Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow is Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky.

Miller is a composer, multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller’s award-winning book Rhythm Science (MIT Press 2004), was followed by Sound Unbound, an anthology about electronic music and digital media, The Book of Ice, an experiential visual and acoustic portrait of the Antarctic, and his most recent work The Imaginary App.

Miller has collaborated with a vast array of recording artists, ranging from Metallica to Chuck D; Steve Reich to Yoko Ono. His large scale, multimedia performance pieces include “Rebirth of a Nation,” “Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica,” and “Seoul Counterpoint.” In 2014, he was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an honor recognizing visionaries at the forefront of global problem solving. 

While at Washington College, DJ Spooky collaborated with the Starr Center and SANDBOX to present excerpts from ARCTIC RHYTHMS, Rebirth of A Nation, demonstrated The Imaginary App, and participated in an exhibition opening at SANDBOX.

For more about Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, please click here.