Top of page

Program The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress

Jay I. Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas

About the Chair

The Kislak Chair supports in-depth research projects in the disciplines of archaeology, history, cartography, epigraphy, linguistics, ethno-history, ethnography, bibliography, and sociology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways. With a focus on the Western Hemisphere, the Chair may consider regions from the Arctic to Patagonia, including the Caribbean; from the eras before the arrival of Europeans to about 1825; and regarding themes as diverse as the histories of indigenous peoples, colonial and post-colonial movements, the geopolitics of empire, including among others those of France, England, Spain, and Portugal, new routes of trade and modes of commerce, and issues relating to environmental history and exposure to novel flora and fauna.

By encouraging broad interdisciplinary enquiry, the Kislak Chair helps to nourish a broad conversation ranging from the technical aspects of archeological discovery to issues of interest in the current cultural conversation. The annually appointed chair also helps to convene scholars, invited by the chair for seminars, consultations, and ongoing study of the artifacts in the Kislak Collection.

Current Chair

Marcy Norton

Marcy Norton, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, is a historian of the Atlantic World after 1492. She explores the entanglements of Indigenous and settler cultures in Latin America and Europe with a particular focus on the history of food, science, and the environment. She is interested in the way that recovering forgotten and suppressed histories can generate pathways to a better future. Her prize-winning publications include "Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World" (Cornell University Press, 2008) and ground-breaking articles in the American Historical Review and Colonial Latin America Review. Her new book, "The Tame and the Wild: People and Animals after 1492" (Harvard University Press) details Indigenous and European ways of being with other animals and the consequences—some horrific, others joyful—of their colonial-era entanglement. Her research has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Her current research investigates how Indigenous ecological concepts changed European traditions of natural history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

View past chairs

Program Details

Research Areas

The disciplines of archaeology, history, cartography, epigraphy, linguistics, ethno-history, ethnography, bibliography, and sociology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways.

Appointment

By the Librarian of Congress

Stipend

$13,500 per month

For More Information

The John W. Kluge Center
Phone: (202) 707-3302
Email: scholarly@loc.gov