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Grant number like: FT-52677-04

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Robert D. Habich
Ball State University (Muncie, IN 47306-1022)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

Building Their Own Waldos: Emerson's First Biographers and the Politics of Genre

I am writing a scholarly book on the first biographers of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) as a way of exploring the construction of literary reputation and biography during the American Gilded Age. My work complements existing cultural critiques of Emerson’s image by focusing on the biographies as biographies, narrating the story of Emerson's six biographers in the 1880s, and investigating those developments in photography, mass media, and book publishing that shaped their work and Emerson’s public image. My work will thus contribute not only to our understanding of a major American writer but also to an awareness of how life-writing as a genre intersects with publishing history and the fine arts.