By PEGGY PEARLSTEIN
Brian P. Taves, a senior cataloger in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS), and Eniko M. Basa, a senior cataloger in the Serial Record Division, have been selected as the Library's next Kluge Staff Fellows.
Beginning on Oct. 1, Taves and Basa will begin their residency in the Library's Kluge Center for a period of up to 12 months.
Normally, the Kluge Center awards only one Kluge Staff Fellowship annually, but this year, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington concurred with the outside review committee's suggestion that more than one staff fellowship be awarded because the quality of the applicant pool was so high, said Carolyn Brown, assistant librarian for library services.
Taves will research the papers of producer, director, screenwriter and actor Thomas Harper Ince (1882-1924). The papers, which are held in the Manuscript Division, were opened for examination two years ago. The collection contains 13,000 items, spans the years 1913-1964, and documents Ince's work as a producer as well as the business and legal dealings following his death.
Supervising the production of some 800 films in 15 years, Ince played an important role in the transformation of Hollywood into an industry. He departmentalized each activity, allowing for detailed advance planning and budgeting to minimize unexpected costs. Because much of his celluloid output has been lost, the most appropriate method of chronicling Ince's importance to the creation of the industry is to use his papers to compile a business history.
Taves joined the Library staff in 1991 as a cataloger in MBRS. He received a bachelor's degree (1981), master's degree (1984), and doctorate (1988), all in cinema history and criticism, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has written extensively on the history of the studio system, and in particular, filmmaking as a business enterprise. Taves has written three books, a dozen chapters for anthologies, and 60 articles; he has also presented papers at numerous conferences.
In addition to working at the Library, Taves was the founding editor of the "Archival News" section of Cinema Journal, which is the journal of the Society of Cinema Studies, and he is a member of the Society's Archives Working Group. He is a founding member of the academia interest group of the Association of Moving Image Archivists and a member of the editorial board of the association's journal, The Moving Image.
Basa will research Hungarian literature as useful and didactic as well as entertaining, and its direction in the 21st century. She will explore the way in which "commitment literature," which she defined as literature that addresses political and social problems, has inspired writers throughout the ages, how it was applied in Hungary and in the Hungarian literature of neighboring Central European countries, and how it is changing in contemporary literature, especially during the transition from communism. The Library of Congress is the only institution outside Hungary that has a collection able to support research in Hungarian studies, specifically in Hungarian literature.
The Kluge Staff fellowship will allow Basa to examine the literatures of other Central and Eastern European countries. Ultimately, she hopes to write a book that will present commitment literature as an important thread in Hungarian literature and show how it is both similar to and different from the literature of other European traditions.
Basa joined the staff of the Library in 1977 as a serials cataloger. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. (1962), with a bachelor's degree in English. She received a master's degree (1965) and a doctorate (1972) in comparative literature, with concentrations in English, German, Hungarian and French, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Basa taught literature in area colleges and universities before she joined the Library.
As series editor of Hungarian literature for the Twayne World Authors Series published by G. K. Hall, she oversaw the publication of five books and edited seven before the series was discontinued. She has written a book for the Twayne World Authors Series, contributed essays and chapters to many anthologies, written articles and reviews for a variety of academic journals, and presented papers at meetings of several professional associations, all on different aspects of Hungarian literature.
Basa is a founding member and past president of the Southern Comparative Literature Association and the founder and executive director of the American Hungarian Educators Association, which is the only scholarly association of Hungarian academics and researchers in the United States. She organized the Hungarian Discussion Group of the Modern Language Association and served two five-year terms on its board of directors.
A subcommittee of the Kluge Center Staff Advisory Working Group selected these two research proposals from a group of highly qualified projects submitted by Library staff. The subcommittee reviewed and rated the applications for their completeness and appropriateness to the program's goals. Members of the subcommittee are Donald de Glopper, Reference Division, Law Library; Marilyn Kretsinger, assistant general counsel, Office of the Copyright General Counsel; and David Morris, German area specialist, European Division.
Because of their overall excellence and the diversity of subjects, all of the applications were forwarded to an external review committee appointed by Prosser Gifford, director for scholarly programs. Members of the external review panel, who were selected for their experience in judging research of the type proposed by Library staff, were Jaroslav Pelikan, Sterling professor emeritus of history and dean of the graduate school at Yale University and the first occupant of the Kluge Chair for Countries and Cultures of the North in the John W. Kluge Center; Catherine Rudder of George Mason University, the former executive director of the American Political Science Association; and Mary Augusta Thomas, assistant librarian at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
The next Kluge Staff Fellowship competition will be announced in mid-November. Applications will be due by close of business on Feb. 14, 2003. A briefing for interested staff will be held in December. Additional information about the Kluge Staff Fellowship may be obtained from the Office of Scholarly Programs.
An endowment grant of $60 million in 2000 from John W. Kluge, chairman of the Library's James Madison Council, provides fundingfor the Kluge Staff Fellowship.
Peggy Pearlstein is an area specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division.