BackTalk: C. Wyatt Evans

Associate Professor of History | Convenor of the History and Culture Doctoral Program at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

Margaret Bartlett had attended Drew earlier in her career, earning an MA in Drew’s old International Affairs program and developing an interest in Cyprus. Then she graduated from the Doctor of Letters program in 2013. She and her husband, Marshall, made the gifts shortly after that.

They set up two funds. One is called the Bartlett Fund for History and Culture. The intent was to fund program initiatives and research in history, cultural studies and politics.

The second fund, the Bartlett Research Fellowship Fund, was expressly intended to support dissertation research by students pursuing the doctoral degree, whether in History and Culture, Arts and Letters or the Medical Humanities program.

We hit the full spectrum of programs with our initial awards. We were able to grant money to students in History and Culture, students in Arts and Letters and students in Medical Humanities.

We supported a student’s internship with the New York Historical Society, which is very exciting because we’ve been working to gain entry into this premier cultural institution. She needed support to offset the costs of commuting to Manhattan. This will open doors to the New York Historical Society for other Drew students.

We funded an Arts and Letters student’s research on Shakespeare and London spaces. This project involves him consulting 17th-century maps and other documents describing the physical construction of London during Shakespeare’s time. He had to go to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington to access the materials.

With the Bartlett Research Fellowship, we granted awards to students from three doctoral programs. We have a student working on Asger Jorn and the Situationists. Jorn was an artist and activist in the 1960s in Europe. The student had an apartment fire and lost a lot of books and research materials. The Bartlett fund helped him replace those materials.

Another student is studying “Atrocity Rhetoric in the Revolutionary Carolinas”— how both sides used various rhetorical means to demonize the other during the American Revolution. The student needs to go to the Carolinas and do research there. He also needs to go to the public records office in London.

We used this money to support real projects that benefit individual students but also the graduate school community. That’s exactly what the Caspersen School aims to do. Our mantra is “Putting the humanities to work,” and the Bartlett gifts help us do that very well.

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