Monday, August 20, 2012

my sabbatical

this year i am on sabbatical - my first! no teaching, no service at 3/4 salary. it lasts a whole year.

i will spend it researching and writing the history of the farm at black mountain college, a small, liberal arts college that existed in north carolina from 1933-1956. my sabbatical will include research trips to a number of archives, building my bibliography, and writing the first few chapters of what i hope becomes a book.

for the last year and a half, i have been studying the history of this highly experimental and influential college. i read and re-read martin duberman's black mountain: an exploration in community and mary emma harris's the arts at black mountain college. i poured through mervin lane's black mountain college: sprouted seeds: an anthology of personal accounts, fielding dawson's the black mountain book, and, my favorite, michael rumaker's black mountain days. i also visited, with help from USF's faculty development fund (or FDF), the black mountain college museum + arts center collection at ramsey library at the university of north carolina asheville (blog post; flickr set).

this summer, again with FDF support, i visited the BMC motherlode, the black mountain college collection at the western regional archives in asheville, north carolina (flickr set; carolina public press article about the collection and my research visit). also this summer, i visited the mc richards papers at the getty research institute, in los angeles (flickr set).

during my sabbatical, i will expand my archival research with four more research trips.

in late september and early october, i will travel to asheville, NC, to visit again the black mountain college collection at the western regional archives. while in asheville, i'll attend and give a talk at the reviewing black mountain college 4 conference.

later in fall, i'll travel to the a. lawrence kocher collection at the john d. rockefeller, jr library, in williamsburg, virginia. kocher was a professor of architecture at black mountain college from 1940 - 1943, and was responsible for designing not only the now-famous studies building but also a barn, two silos, a milkhouse, and a tool shed/corn crib

in early spring, i'll return to north carolina, this time to boone, to visit the john a. rice papers in the belk library and information commons at appalachian state university. rice was one of the founders of black mountain college and was responsible for much of its early pedagogical and community principles.

in late spring, i'll travel to the east coast, first to bethany, connecticut, to visit the josef & anni albers foundation, and then to storrs, CT, to visit the charles olson research collection.

i look forward to my sabbatical project and hope to use this blog to share my findings and research. comments are, as always, highly encourage and much appreciated.