March 10, 1999
Geneva, NY — Daniel Singal, professor of history at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The fellowship will allow him to continue his career-length project of studying and writing about Modernist culture, the dominant culture of the United States for most of the 20th century.
Singal's first book, The War Within: From Victorian to Modernist Thought in the South, 1919-1945 (1982), gave what he described as a provisional understanding of the Modernist belief system, using the South as his “laboratory.” The book received numerous awards, including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize given by Phi Beta Kappa for the best book in the humanities published that year.
His attempt to trace the process by which Modernism came into being left him with the realization that much remained to be explained. A Guggenheim Fellowship, awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, enabled him to expand his work. In 1998, his second book, William Faulkner: The Making of a Modernist, was published, also to critical acclaim.
The NEH fellowship affords Singal the opportunity to once again step away from his teaching duties at the Colleges to write a book. He plans to trace Modernism from its origins in late 19th-century figures such as Henry Adams and William James through the 1960s and '70s, when it had come to dominate not only the artistic and intellectual realms but popular culture as well. This project represents a logical extension of Singal's early works.
At the Colleges, Singal teaches courses in the history of American thought, the history of American society, and more. He received the B.A. from Harvard and the M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He will begin work on the new book in the fall.
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