Two Fordham faculty members have been awarded John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships to research the ethnography of maritime communities in medieval England and to translate the speeches of Greek orator Himerius. “These two professors are among the best in their discipline,” said Dean Nancy Busch of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “The number of prestigious awards the University receives speaks to the quality of the program and attracts more high-quality students who want to work with these faculty members.” Professor Maryanne Kowaleski, the director of the medieval studies department, will spend 12 months studying how medieval English mariners and fishermen dealt with the uncertainties of the marine environment and how life ashore was shaped by that environment. “It’s a wonderful honor,” Kowaleski said.
“It’s going to allow me to travel to a number of archives in England.” Kowaleski also received awards from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Professor Robert J. Penella, who teaches in the classical languages department, will spend eight months poring over volumes of Himerius’ speeches and translating them into English. Penella’s will be the first translation of Himerius, who taught ancient Greek classic literature and language in the fourth century to college-aged aristocrats in Athens. “For the past 30 years, there has been enormous interest in texts of this period, which had been neglected in the past,” he said. “The Guggenheim will give me eight months to work exclusively on this work.” Kowaleski and Penella are among 183 fellows that were selected from 2,728 applicants. Guggenheim Fellows are selected on the basis of unusually impressive achievement.