Three Sarah Lawrence Faculty Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

Three members of the Sarah Lawrence College faculty have received the distinguished Guggenheim Fellowship for 2019, an honor and opportunity that reflects their exceptional capacity for productive scholarship and creative ability in the arts.

Selected on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the 168 successful candidates were chosen from roughly 3,000 applicants. Glenn Dynner (Religion), Yevgenia Baras (Visual and Studio Arts), and Noa Steimatsky (Film History) join a lineage that now includes 23 Sarah Lawrence faculty members who have received the prestigious Fellowship.

“I am elated the Guggenheim Foundation continues to recognize the excellence of Sarah Lawrence faculty,” Sarah Lawrence President Cristle Collins Judd said. “The Fellowship, like Sarah Lawrence, provides a medium for rigorous research and artistic exploration, and reflects our core belief that growth requires the freedom to take intellectual and creative risks.”

The 2019 Fellowship provides funding for up to a year for recipients to continue to advance their expertise and build on their already-stellar body of work. Below is a look at each recipient’s endeavors and how they plan to spend their fellowship year.

Glenn Dynner: Examining an Old Mystical Movement in its Modern Context

Glenn Dynner’s scholarship explores the religious and social history of Polish Jewry. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Dynner will study how the mass mystical movement known as Hasidism became increasingly politicized in 20th-century Poland. His monograph, tentatively titled, Exile of the Spirit: Hasidism in Interwar and Nazi-occupied Poland, will chart Hasidism’s emergence as both a political force and a culture of resistance in a context of coercive assimilation, anti-semitism, and, eventually, Nazi-sponsored genocide.

“At their root, the humanities share a desire to make the world a better place,” he reflected. “The academic study of religion has obtained a special urgency in today's divided world. I want to follow the path my research creates and express it in a manner that promotes a better understanding of marginalized societies.”

Dynner is the author of “Men of Silk”: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society (Oxford, 2006), which was awarded the Koret Publication Prize, and Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor & Life in the Kingdom of Poland (Oxford, 2014). He is Co-Editor of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies.

Yevgenia Baras: Expanding a Visual Vocabulary

Yevgenia Baras is a renowned artist and a guest faculty member for Visual and Studio Arts at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work is inspired by symbols and codes and she has developed a particular visual language using the material of paint. Fueled by a sense of place, she will begin her Fellowship by teaching drawing outside of Delhi and travel in Rajasthan. Her solo exhibit, Seam, Scar, Sign, is the foundation of her Fellowship portfolio and opens April 25, 2019, at the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York City.

Baras received the Pollock-Krasner grant and the Chinati residency in 2018 and the Yaddo residency in 2017. She received the Artadia Prize and was selected for the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program and the MacDowell Colony residency in 2015. In 2014, Baras was named the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist Prize.

Noa Steimatsky: The Moving Image Through Historical Intersections

Noa Steimatsky is a 2018-19 guest faculty member in Film History at Sarah Lawrence. Her teaching and scholarship engage with questions of medium, aesthetics, and cultures of the moving image through specific historical intersections. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Steimatsky will write a book about Cinecittà’s vicissitudes through the 1940s. Her earlier essay on the use of the Fascist-built movie studio – which was to gain fame as “Hollywood on the Tiber” – as displaced-persons camp in the postwar era inspired a documentary film. Her new research uncovered the studio’s broader history, unraveling its uses as a prisoners-of-war camp and as an intelligence center.

Steimatsky is the author of Italian Locations: Reinhabiting the Past in Postwar Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2018). Her recent book, The Face on Film (Oxford University Press, 2017) won the Limina Prize for Best International Book in Film Studies, and Honorable Mention by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

 

About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.