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Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Three Indiana University professors are recipients of 2011 Guggenheim Fellowships

April 20, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three Indiana University professors are the recipients of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for 2011. American literature professor George Hutchinson, poet Maurice Walker Manning and neuroscientist Olaf Sporns are among the Fellows notified this month.

Maurice Manning

Maurice Manning

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Manning, already the author of four books on poetry including The Common Man and Bucolics, plans to use the award to complete his fifth, which is already underway. A Kentucky native, he will spend the next year there writing poems that will be the basis for his book, tentatively titled The Gone and the Going Away.

"It is a book, generally, responding to the diminishment of rural America, and my particular experience of it in Kentucky," said Manning, associate director of creative writing in the Department of English.

Sporns, author of the recently released Networks of the Brain, received his Fellowship for a project entitled "The Human Connectome," which refers to a project intent on creating a complete map of the connections of the human brain. Like Manning, Sporns will use the award to fund a year-long sabbatical where his focus will be to compose a scholarly book focusing on topics related to connections in the brain.

"The book is concerned with addressing the origin and purpose of connections in the brain in addition to exploring their values, limitations and future applications," said Sporns, professor and associate chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "I also am interested in significantly broadening my knowledge of brain development and evolution to better understand the forces that have shaped the human brain."

Hutchinson is the Booth Tarkington Professor of Literary Studies and is an adjunct professor of both American Studies and African American and African Diaspora Studies. He is beginning work on a book tentatively titled In a Dark Time: American literature and culture in the 1940s." The book is planned as a series of interlinked essays: Literary Institutions, Popularizing Modernism, Pragmatism and the Left, Fascism at Home, Race and Civil Rights, Dread, One World, Ecology, a Jewish Renaissance?, Avant-garde and Mass Culture.

George Hutchinson

George Hutchinson

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"I'm interested in how the 1940s, while a period of remarkable literary achievements, has been a sort of black hole in American literary history," Hutchinson said.

The purpose of the award, according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation website, is to provide recipients funding for blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. The professors, all in IU's College of Arts and Sciences, bring the number of Guggenheim Fellows from IU Bloomington to 136.

Sporns, Manning and Hutchinson are among 180 selected from a field of more than 3,000 applicants. Fellows are chosen from among a wide range of scholarly disciplines; selections are based upon prior achievement and exceptional promise, according to the Guggenheim Foundation, which was established in 1925.