Dawn Odell Receives NEH Fellowship
December 19, 2016
Associate Professor of Art History Dawn Odell has received a seven month research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This NEH supported project, “Chinese Art in Early America” will result in a book by the same name. Dr. Odell’s book manuscript explores the personal history of Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest (1739-1801), Dutch East India Company employee and the first American to visit the Chinese court, through the lens of his acquisition and display of Chinese art. As Dr. Odell writes, “It explains how van Braam’s life, unusual and peripatetic as it was, stands as a model for European/American engagement with Chinese art in a period during which the newly formed United States was attempting to expand its political influence in Asia, a model that helps us to understand present day conversations about racialized identities, global art markets, trade imbalance, and diplomacy.”
This NEH program is highly competitive; the funding rate for the last five annual competitions has averaged just 7%–and Dr. Odell received the only fellowship in Oregon this year. The fellowship program supports individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Currently on sabbatical and working on this project, this fellowship will allow Dr. Odell to conduct research in Amsterdam, Philadelphia, and Salem, Massachusetts during Spring and Summer 2017; and write the final two chapters of her book. A former Fulbright scholar in China, Dr. Odell specializes in Chinese and early modern European art; more about her research and teaching is available here.