English Ph.D. candidate Christy Pottroff has been named an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow in Early American Literature and Material Texts at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Chosen as one of thirteen fellows from a highly competitive international pool, Pottroff will use her nine-month residential fellowship to complete her dissertation, “The Mail Gaze: Early American Literature, Letters, and the Post Office”and to work on a digital mapping project, "The US Goes Postal."
Established as the Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies in 1978, and renamed in honor of its benefactor Robert L. McNeil, Jr., in 1998, the McNeil Center facilitates scholarly inquiry into the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before
1850, with a particular but by no means exclusive emphasis on the mid-Atlantic region.
The Center offers pre- and post-doctoral fellowships to encourage use of the Philadelphia area’s magnificent manuscript, rare book, and museum collections, conducts a seminar series to promote intellectual community among local and visiting faculty and graduate students, and organizes occasional national conferences to foster interdisciplinary research. To disseminate the best new scholarship in the field, it publishes Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and sponsors the Early American Studies monograph series published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.