Hyde wins prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has announced the winners of its 2006 fellowships for the United States and Canada. Lewis Hyde, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon, was one of the recipients. Past honorees with ties to the College include literary giants John Crowe Ransom, Robert Lowell '40, and E.L. Doctorow '52; physicist Wilson M. Powell; and biologist and Kenyon trustee Harvey Lodish '62. Hyde may be the first active member of the Kenyon faculty to receive a Guggenheim award.
The foundation grants fellowships "to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed," according to its Web site, www.gf.org.
"I am honored to have my ongoing work recognized by the Guggenheim Fellowship, and am very grateful to those colleagues who took time to write letters in support of the project," Hyde said.
"My book will offer a model of our 'cultural commons,' that vast store of unowned ideas, inventions, and works of art left to us by the past," Hyde explained. "I am concerned to know how such common assets are valued, and concerned with how we engender them, protect them, and keep them lively." The book will combine a history of how the concept of the cultural commons originated in medieval Europe and has evolved in America, with "a parallel history of how we have imagined the creative self," he said.
Hyde, who earned his B.A. at the University of Minnesota and his M.A. at the University of Iowa, joined the Kenyon faculty in 1989 and received tenure in 2000. The author of The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property (1983) and, most recently, Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art (1998), he has also published a book of poetry, This Error Is the Sign of Love (1988), and edited numerous volumes.
The foundation was created in 1925 to honor the memory of John Simon Guggenheim, the late son of Colorado Senator Simon Guggenheim, and to assist research and artistic creation. Fellowships are granted only to individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and Canada, or of Latin America and the Caribbean, in two separate annual competitions. Organizations and institutions are not eligible. Foundation trustees award the fellowships based on the recommendation of a selection committee.
In 2006, the foundation awarded 187 fellowships in the United States and Canada competition, out of nearly 3,000 applicants. The average grant amount was $40,107. Appointments are usually for a single year, and never less than six months.