June 14, 2005 John B. Carlson Named First Recipient of the Kislak Fellowship in American Studies at the John W. Kluge Center

Additional Short-Term Fellowships Now Available

Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

John B. Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy in College Park, Md., is the first post-doctoral Kislak Fellow to be named at the Library of Congress. He took up his post on June 1 and will be working at the Library for eight months.

The Kislak Fellowship in American Studies is part of the endowment of the Jay I. Kislak Collection, an important repository of books, manuscripts, historic documents, maps and art of the Americas that was donated to the Library of Congress in 2004 by the Jay I. Kislak Foundation of Miami Lakes, Fla. The collection contains some of the earliest records of indigenous peoples in North America, as well as superb objects from the discovery, contact and colonial periods, especially for the areas of Florida, the Caribbean and Mesoamerica.

The purpose of the fellowship is to conduct research in the culture and history of the Americas, using the materials in the Kislak Collection as a starting point and context for that research.

Short-term fellowship opportunities—for independent scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, and college and university faculty—to conduct research based on specific items in the Kislak Collection are also available. The application deadline for these fellowships is Aug. 31, 2005, and Jan. 31, 2006, with the appointments to be announced on Sept. 16, 2005, and Feb. 10, 2006. Interested applicants should contact Arthur Dunkelman, curator of the Kislak Collection, at (202) 707-6451 or ardu@loc.gov to discuss areas of interest. Additional details about these short-term fellowship opportunities can be found on the Kluge Center Web site at www.loc.gov/loc/kluge.

For more information about the Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress, visit the Library’s Web site at www.loc.gov/today/pr/2004/04-063.html. or the Kislak Foundation Web site at www.kislakfoundation.org

For his research at the Library, Carlson plans to examine the ancient Maya ceramic bottles and miniature vessels (some 180 examples) in the Kislak Collection in a project he calls “Maya Flasks and Miniature Vessels: A Comprehensive Study with Catalog/Database.” It is an interdisciplinary research project that will address a broad range of interrelated methodologies and questions in Mesoamerican archaeology (including chemical analysis and ceramic sourcing), iconography, epigraphy and ethnography, with implications for improved understanding of long-distance trade, ethnomedicine, mortuary practices, scribal arts and Maya religion in general.

Carlson has written numerous articles in his three major interest areas of extragalactic astronomy (the branch of astronomy concerned with objects outside our own Milky Way Galaxy), archaeoastronomy (the study of the anthropology of astronomy and the role of astronomy and astronomers in their cultures) and pre-Columbian American studies.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize scholarly discussion, distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. The Kluge Center houses senior Kluge Chairs, other senior-level chairs, senior distinguished scholars and nearly 25 postdoctoral fellows.

For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at www.loc.gov/loc/kluge.


PR 05-126
ISSN 0731-3527