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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

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.   

For more about Wil Haygood’s Fellowship project, click here.

Hodson Trust - John Carter Brown Library Fellow

Cam Terwilliger is the 2018 Hodson Trust -John Carter Brown Library Fellow

Terwilliger2017–2018 Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow Cam Terwilliger s a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has been published by literary magazines such as NarrativeAmerican Short FictionGettysburg Review, Post Road, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Emerson College and his work has been supported by fellowships, scholarships, and awards from the Fulbright Program, James Jones First Novel Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Historical Novel Society, and the Bread Loaf, Tin House, and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. In 2015–2016, Cam served as the Reginald S. Tickner Fellow, a writer-in-residence position at the Gilman School in Baltimore. Currently, he teaches creative writing at Seton Hall University and serves as Associate Fiction Editor for Bucknell University’s literary magazine, West Branch.

While in residence as the Hodson-Brown Fellow, Cam will be working on his historical novel, Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart, a book set in New York and Qu├ębec during the French and Indian War (1754–1763). The plot centers on Andrew Whitlaw, a Manhattan physician who—after an ongoing struggle with syphilis—must relocate to his older brother’s estate in the Hudson Valley to recover. From this starting point, the plot follows the narrator as he grows embroiled in his brother’s obsessive pursuit of a counterfeiter—a former slave operating on nearby Mohawk Native American land, a man costing their family trading business dearly with his false bills. By working in the genre of historical fiction, Cam aims to reimagine foundational novels of colonization such as Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans from a postcolonial perspectiveEngaging a complex cast of  Euro-American, African American, and Iroquoian characters, Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart explores issues of race, religion, capitalism, disease, landscape, the psychology of power, and the dense web of cultures that gave rise to the North American continent we know today.