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Kluge Center Welcomes Rolena Adorno, Maya Jasanoff, and Melvin L. Rogers

The John W. Kluge Center is pleased to announce the arrival of three new scholars in residence at the Library of Congress.

Rolena Adorno was appointed as Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South.

Adorno is Sterling Professor of Spanish at Yale University and the author of Colonial Latin American LIterature: A Very Short Introduction (2011), the prize-winning The Polemics of Possession in Early Spanish American Narrative (2007), and the co-authored Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (1999), which was awarded prizes by the American Historical Association, the Western Historical Association, and the New England Council on Latin American Studies.

Adorno’s project, “Discovering America,” explores Spain’s conquests in the New World as they were given meaning by nineteenth-century U.S. writers as they founded our national literature and discovered their own Americas. As Adorno puts it, “From Thomas Jefferson’s Spanish book-collecting and hemispheric Americanist vision to Mark Twain’s mutterings about Hernando de Soto’s failure to grasp the importance of the great Mississippi River, these Anglo-American ‘discoverers’ of what was once Spain’s America help us understand the ways our globalizing national story has been told.”

The Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South focuses on the history and cultures of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania, using the foreign language collections in the specialized reading rooms of the Library of Congress.

Maya Jasanoff was appointed as Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North.

Jasanoff, Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University, is the author of New York Times Best Book of 2017 and Cundill Prize in History winner The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World (2017), as well as National Book Critics Circle Award and George Washington Book Prize winner Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (2011), which was researched at the Kluge Center, and Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750 – 1850 (2005).

At the Kluge Center, Jasanoff will research a major new project on the role of ancestry and genealogy in people’s lives, from the beginnings of human history to the present age of DNA ancestry testing.

The Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North focuses on the history and cultures of North America, Europe, Russia, and East Asia, using the immense foreign language collections in the specialized reading rooms of the Library of Congress.

Melvin L. Rogers was appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Kluge Center.

Rogers, an associate professor of political science at Brown University is the author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy (2008).
At the Kluge Center, Rogers will explore the political and philosophical thinking of African American intellectuals, activists, and artists in a book-length project titled The Darkened Light of Faith: Race, Democracy, and Freedom in African American Political Thought.

Rogers will draw from several collections at the Library including abolitionist periodicals as well as print and photographic material about anti-lynching movements found in the Prints and Photographs Division.

Watch: Elaine Weiss in Conversation on “The Woman’s Hour”

On March 7, the Library of Congress marked the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Award-winning journalist Elaine Weiss joined Colleen Shogan, Assistant Deputy Librarian and the Library of Congress’s designee on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, at the Kluge Center for a conversation on Weiss’s book, The […]

Connections in Sound: Irish traditional music at AFC

The following post was written by Meghan Ferriter and originally appeared on The Signal. Patrick Egan is a scholar and musician from Ireland, currently serving as Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies at the Kluge Center. He has recently submitted his PhD in digital humanities with ethnomusicology in at University College Cork. Patrick’s interests over the […]

Conflict, Fortresses, and Threat Environments in the Ancient Maya World

Stephen Houston is the Library of Congress Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas, as well as Dupee Family Professor of Social Science at Brown University. In the lead-up to Professor Houston’s April 25 event at the Library, titled “Flint, Shield, and Fire: Exploring Ancient Maya Warfare,” I […]

What Did Ancient Americans Find Funny?

Stephen Houston is the Library of Congress Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas, as well as Dupee Family Professor of Social Science at Brown University. In the lead-up to Professor Houston’s April 25 event at the Library, titled “Flint, Shield, and Fire: Exploring Ancient Maya Warfare,” I […]

Introducing African-American Passages: Black Lives in the 19th Century

During his time as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar here at the John W. Kluge Center, Georgetown University history professor Adam Rothman recorded an extraordinary series of podcasts. In the podcasts, Rothman examines documents from the Library of Congress’ manuscript collection relating to the lives of African-Americans in the 19th century. He found a number of […]

How to Think About Data: A Conversation with Christine Borgman

Members of the Scholars Council are appointed by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to scholarship at the Library, with special attention to the Kluge Center and the Kluge Prize. The Council includes scholars, writers, researchers, and scientists. “Insights” is featuring some of the work of this group of thinkers. Dan Turello […]

“My Dear Master”: An Enslaved Blacksmith’s Letters to a President

An unusual letter arrived in the mail for the Tennessee planter James K. Polk shortly after he won the 1844 presidential election. Written from Carrollton, Mississippi, and dated November 28, 1844, the letter began “My Dear Master” and was signed by “Blacksmith Harry.” Here’s what Harry wrote: Suffer your faithful survant Harry to say a […]

Adam Rothman on Working With the Library’s Unique Omar Ibn Said Collection

While Adam Rothman, Georgetown University history professor and former Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Kluge Center, was at the Library, he had the opportunity to work on transcribing the Library of Congress’ Omar Ibn Said Collection, which was just released online. Ibn Said was an educated, wealthy man living in West Africa until he was […]