Dana Oswald, Associate Professor of English at University of Wisconsin–Parkside has been selected from a broad pool as our 2021 Fellowship Recipient. Since 2011, the Fellowship has been offered to women medievalists who are “caught in the middle.” It is designed for women at the associate professor level in academic institutions in the United States who have been “stuck” for a long period of time and who need support in order to complete scholarly work leading to promotion. While more women than men earn doctorates in the humanities, significantly more men enjoy academia employment and well-paced promotions. Furthermore, women advance more slowly and with more difficulty. Recipients of our Fellowship are pursuing a major research project that should enable them to achieve a place of major professional visibility.
Our selection committee found Professor Oswald's proposal for the completion of her monograph, Old English Maternal Bodies, very persuasive, especially because it examines the medical and legal Early English traditions to find the reproductive bodies of women in a corpus of literature that participates in the occlusions of such bodies, and indeed such lives. Dr. Oswald has completed a substantial portion of the manuscript and this fellowship aims to enable her to complete the work. She is a very impressive teacher and scholar. Distinguished Medical Historian Monica Green mentored Oswald.