Trapp receives competitive summer research grant

Dr. Joonna Trapp, associate professor of English, has been selected to receive Northwestern College’s $10,000 Competitive Summer Research Grant. She was chosen by the Faculty Development Committee after an external review process.

The Competitive Summer Research Grant is intended to fund substantive summer research that contributes meaningfully to the faculty member’s discipline. The $10,000 award is provided through the generosity of an anonymous donor and may be used for stipend, travel, equipment, books, supplies and student assistants.

Trapp will use the grant as she travels to state historical societies and university archives in Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana as part of her research on the 19th-century lyceum movement, a self-education movement that featured public lectures, concerts and entertainment. An extension of her doctoral dissertation, Trapp’s research seeks to examine the role of popular oratory in the South before the Civil War and its impact on the region’s ideas and culture. She already has conducted research on the topic in several states. Trapp will be on sabbatical during the 2005–06 academic year and will use that time to compile data and begin writing chapters for a book.

The Competitive Summer Research Grant is open to tenure-track faculty who have earned their terminal degree, completed two years of teaching at Northwestern, and will continue to teach for at least another year. A faculty member may receive the grant only once in a six-year period.

Dr. Carl Vandermeulen
, professor of English and communication studies, was the award’s first recipient last year. He used the grant to conduct in-depth interviews with poetry workshop teachers to determine how they build healthy relationships with students. He plans to write a book or set of articles with a working title of “Negotiating the Personal in the Creative Writing Workshop.”