case western reserve university



Case faculty member, graduate student honored


A Case Western Reserve University associate professor of English and a doctoral student from the department of anthropology were among the researchers to receive support for their studies from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) in the 2004-2005 national competition.

Thomas Bishop, a Shakespearean scholar in the English department, received an ACLS Fellowship, while Michelle Nebergall from the anthropology department was among the individual scholars selected in the Southeast European Studies Program competition.

In the national competition, Bishop vied with 926 applicants for one of the prestigious awards given to 60 researchers and who will share almost $2.3 million. This fellowship receives endowments from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Council’s college and university Associates and friends of ACLS.

Bishop will use his fellowship for the book project, “Shakespeare’s Scriptures: Reading, Writing, and the Sacred in Shakespearean Poetry.” He plans to explore the relationship between Reformation-era practices of reading sacred text and the bard’s use of them in his poetry and dramas.

He will undertake research in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. during a yearlong sabbatical, part of which will be spent in New Zealand.

“From a review of Bible-reading habits in the 16th Century—theoretical, controversial and popular—the book manuscript moves through a series of readings of Shakespearean works in various genres, analyzing and discussing their use of sources that bear on Biblical authority,” explained Bishop.

“I'm interested in the possibility that one reason Shakespeare's dramas have become so powerful is that they borrow and rework aspects of Biblical construction and patterns of language,” added Bishop.

With support from the U.S. Department of State and Research and Training for Eastern Europe and Independent States of the Former Soviet Union Act of 1983, the ACLS can provide postdoctoral and dissertation fellowships for research in the social sciences and humanities. Projects must pertain to research related to Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia or the successor states of the former Yugoslavia.

Nebergall, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, studied the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian languages during a summer workshop at Indiana University, which has an intensive program.

“I am studying these languages because I am preparing to conduct anthropology dissertation research in Croatia and Bosnia next year,” she said.

Nebergall said her dissertation will explore ways youth are participating in community reconstruction and social change in Split, Croatia, and the surrounding area and their impact in participating in this community-building process.


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.