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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.

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.

Patrick Henry Fellow

Wil Haygood is the 2017-2018 Patrick Henry Fellow. 

Will Haygood PortraitWill Haygood Portrait Credit: Jeff SaboWil Haygood is a cultural historian and an award-winning author of seven nonfiction books. His latest book, Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America, was awarded the 2016 Scribe Book Award from the American Society of Legal Writers.  Showdown also received the Ohioana Book Award, the Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and was named a finalist for the Dayton International Literary Peace Prize, the NAACP Image Award, the Benjamin Hooks Book Award, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence. Haygood’s other books include King of the Cats: the Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., In Black and White: the Life of Sammy Davis Jr., Sweet Thunder: the Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson, and The Butler.

Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post story about White House butler Eugene Allen, who served under eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, won multiple journalism awards and was adapted into the prizewinning major motion picture The Butler directed by Lee Daniels. Haygood served as an associate producer. His book on Eugene Allen, “The Butler: A Witness to History,” has been translated into over a dozen foreign languages. 

While in residence at Washington College, Haygood will be at work on Tigerland: The Miracle on East Broad Street. The book tells the epic story of America in 1968-69 through the prism of a segregated all-black high school in Columbus, Ohio. Fighting for equality and freedom, two athletic teams at the school achieved moments of grandness by winning state championships amidst the turmoil following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. He will also teach a course “Film and their Cultural Stories.”

Haygood is on sabbatical from Miami University in Ohio, where he serves as Boadway Visiting Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film. He has received fellowships from John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alicia Patterson Foundation. Prior to joining the Miami faculty, he was a correspondent at the Boston Globe and a reporter at the Washington Post.