University of Rochester

Two University Scholars Win NEH Awards

November 16, 1994

Two faculty members from the University of Rochester have won National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards for 1994.

Daniel Albright, professor of English, and Philip R. Berk, professor of modern languages and cultures, are among 1,563 professors and scholars chosen from more than 8,000 applicants. Albright was awarded an $81,493 fellowship for studies in modernism in literature and music. Berk plans to use his $58,251 fellowship to study Moliere's major comedies in Paris. This year's awards total $160.25 million.

NEH fellowships provide opportunities for individuals to enhance their capabilities as teachers and scholars of the humanities and to make significant contributions to the humanities.

Albright, who teaches an undergraduate course in how literature, music, and poetry relate to one another, plans on holding a seminar at the Eastman School of Music from June 12 to July 21 for college professors from around the country. The seminar will concentrate on modernism and music and the "points where literature and music touch," while integrating dance and ballet as well, Albright said. Participants will also have a chance to pursue their own research.

Albright has held similar seminars in the past and is looking forward to doing it again. "It is hard for college professors to devote time solely for the development of their own minds. I have every reason to think that this interdisciplinary seminar will be every bit as enjoyable as in the past."

Berk will use his grant to take a group of 15 high school teachers from around the country to Paris to study the major works of Moliere. "High school teachers have far fewer opportunities to travel and keep in touch with their colleagues and also practice the language," Berk said. The participants will spend four weeks in France reading a number of plays by Moliere and analyzing what his plays reveal about class and gender. Berk and his group will travel to sites associated with Moliere's career, including Versailles and the Louvre. They will also try to relate the readings directly to French architecture and culture. "This is really a humanities course for practicing high school teachers," Berk said. "Teachers are a very tough audience. If you can teach teachers, you're doing something right."