Historian awarded fellowship at Library of Congress

Dr Hannah Levis, Reader in Ophthalmic Bioengineering, Eye & Vision Sciences

A University of Liverpool historian has been awarded a prestigious fellowship to research the American Revolution using collections at the Library of Congress – the largest library in the world.

Dr Holger Hoock, a Reader at the University’s School of History, has been elected to a Kluge Fellowship, which enables international scholars to study at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.  Dr Hoock will be carrying out research for a book on violence during the American Revolution.

The Kluge Center was established through an endowment from John W. Kluge – a German-American entrepreneur – in celebration of the Library’s Bicentenary in 2000. Its mission is ‘to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energise one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington’. The Center annually hosts a number of Distinguished Chairs and Kluge Fellows and offers the Kluge Prize for life–time achievement in the Humanities.

The National Endowment for the Humanities – a federal grant-making agency – selects a shortlist of candidates from around the world, from which the Librarian of Congress appoints Fellows to study at the Library.  Dr Hoock will be joined by researchers from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, and the US to form the Kluge Class of 2009.

Dr Hoock will use the Library’s collections to investigate the practices and representations of ‘violence’ and ‘terror’ in the American Revolutionary War and their impact on American patriots and loyalists, British forces and their German auxiliaries, as well as Native Americans.  He will also study memories of revolutionary violence throughout the 19th Century.

Dr Hoock, who is the Founding Director of the University’s Eighteenth-Century Worlds Centre, said: “I am delighted to have this unique opportunity to conduct research in the world’s single best collection of manuscripts, rare books, and visual and digital resources relevant to my project.

“The Kluge Center will be an exciting setting for me to think about the historical dimensions and the contemporary resonances of my project.  It is important to understand how war-time violence related to state and nation building, and how violence was represented and remembered; these remain critical issues today.” 

Dr Hoock is also a recent recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize for internationally recognised younger scholars, with which he completed his forthcoming book, Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850.


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