Theater Arts professor Kimberly Jannarone named National Humanities Center Fellow

Theater Arts professor Kimberly Jannarone (Photo by Nolan Calisch)
Theater Arts professor Kimberly Jannarone (Photo by Nolan Calisch)

Theater Arts professor Kimberly Jannarone has received the Archie K. Davis Fellowship from the National Humanities Center (NHC).

Jannarone is one of 34 Fellows appointed this year by the NHC for the 2017-18 academic year. Chosen from more than 600 applicants, she will spend the year in the company of national and international scholars from 14 states, Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Each Fellow will work on an individual research project, as well as have the opportunity to share ideas in seminars, lectures, and conferences at the Center, located in North Carolina.  

Jannarone will use the fellowship to work on her book, Mass Performance.

"Mass Performance argues that mass performances--in which a thousand or more people are directed to perform the same movements at the same time--provide us with new insights into the literal ‘body politic’ and its evolving modern incarnations,” said Jannarone."

"When a multitude of people perform the same movements at the same time--such as 2008 Pho drummers in Olympics opening ceremonies, or thousands of young gymnasts in 1932 Prague--a particular kind of aesthetic and political bonding occurs between the individual and the mass. Mass Performance analyzes such events--including rallies, festivals, and athletic displays--providing a view of the literal ‘body politic’ from the rise of European mass politics to the mediatized 21st century."

"This will be the first study of how modern politics and mass culture harness the visceral energies of crowds through synchronization," she added.

The National Humanities Center is a privately incorporated institute for advanced study in the humanities. Since 1978, the Center has awarded fellowships to more than 1,300 scholars whose work has resulted in the publication of more than 1,500 books in all fields of humanistic study. The Center also sponsors programs to strengthen the teaching of the humanities in secondary and higher education and to promote public understanding of, and advocacy for, the humanities.

“We are pleased to welcome this group of scholars as our 40th class of Fellows,” said Robert D. Newman, president and director of the Center. “This year’s pool of applicants was the largest in memory and included a remarkably wide range of excellent scholars and fascinating projects. The success of these applicants in an especially competitive year is a testament to the quality of work they are doing, and we are delighted to provide them support in the coming year.”