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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 Writing Fellow

James Rice is the 2014-2015 Patrick Henry Writing Fellow.  A scholar specializing in early American history with an emphasis on Native America, he has written extensively about landscape and culture in the seventeenth century in the Chesapeake and the Atlantic world. During his yearlong fellowship at the Starr Center, he will work on completing a narrative account of the “Powhatan Uprising” of 1622. 

 A professor of history at SUNY Plattsburgh, Rice is the author of Nature and History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) and Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America (Oxford University Press, 2013). In addition to his project on the Powhatan Uprising, he is currently working on an environmental history of Native Americans in North America from the last ice age to the present day. The book is under contract with Cambridge University Press. Rice has been a scholar in residence at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and a Carson Fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.

As part of his Washington College residency, Rice will teach a spring-semester course titled “Native America, Modern America.”

To see a full press release, please click here.

To see Jim Rice’s presentation “At a Given Signal: The Powhatan ‘Uprising’ of 1622,” please click here.

To see an interview with Jim Rice, please click here.

Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow

Jeffrey Thomson has been awarded the 204-2015 Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellowship. As professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine Farmington, Thomson directs the Creative Writing Program and teaches poetry writing and contemporary literature.  Thomson’s fellowship project, “Self-Portrait in Nine Generations,” is a full-length poetry manuscript in the alternating voices of his ancestors who emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland and Ireland in the late 1700s.  His time at the John Carter Brown Library will build on his previous Fulbright research at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Thomson is the author of six collections of poems including “Birdwatching in Wartime,” winner of both the 2010 Maine Literary Award for Poetry and the 2011 ASLE Award in Environmental Creative Writing, a bilingual chapbook Disarmed / Inermes, and co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great.  His translation of “The Complete Poems of Catullus” is coming out next year from Cambridge University Press.