Dr Gerri Kimber, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Northampton, has been awarded a 2014/2015 Harry Ransom Research Fellowship in the Humanities at the University of Texas in Austin, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship.
The Fellowships are highly contested, as hundreds of scholars from across the globe apply every year to spend quality research time at one of the world’s richest manuscript libraries. Gerri will now be spending part of the summer researching in Texas for her new biography of Katherine Mansfield to be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2015.
“The Harry Ransom Research Library holds a huge archive of manuscript material pertaining to Mansfield’s life, most of it still uncatalogued. The School of the Arts at the University of Northampton was very generous in offering me a grant last year so that I could fly over and assess the material for myself, and I was completely bowled over by how much was there. A month-long funded residency will enable me to undertake the detailed archive work necessary for this biography.”
In addition, Gerri has been awarded two further grants from the New Zealand Society of Great Britain and the School of The Arts to undertake archival work for the same biography in Wellington, at the National Library of New Zealand. The Library holds the largest collection of manuscripts relating to Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand’s most famous author.
Gerri commented: “It’s going to be a hugely busy summer, as I am also in charge of putting together and chairing three panels on the modernist short story at the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies conference in Helsinki at the end of August. But it will be worth all the jet lag! My biography will offer new insights into how Mansfield developed into one of modernism’s most iconic authors. I am really grateful for the support of the University of Northampton’s School of The Arts and the Dean, Paul Middleton, and in particular English Subject Leader, Professor Richard Canning and Head of Research Professor Janet Wilson, without which this biography would simply not get written.”