Historian Awarded Franklin Research Grant
Thursday, June 12, 2014
by Katie Smith ’15
PHILADELPHIA (June 12, 2014) — Christopher W. Close, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, received a $6,000 Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society to support a summer research trip to Nuremberg and Munich, Germany. In addition to this award, Close received a matching Summer Research Grant from Saint Joseph’s for this trip.
“Receiving a Franklin Grant is a distinct honor,” says Close. “When a scholar is awarded external funding for a project, it’s a huge encouragement to continue the investigation and a nice recognition of the work that has already been completed.”
Close, who teaches European history, received the awards to research his current book project, An Empire of Alliances: Sovereignty and State Formation in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1672 (working title). The book focuses on how state formation during the Holy Roman Empire was shaped by political alliances, and how this experience can be applied to current alliances, such as the European Union. Close will spend three weeks from mid-June to July working in historical archives, specifically the Staatsarchiv in Nuremberg and the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv in Munich.
The material will shape his book manuscript, as well as provide a basis for two other articles that Close is currently writing. “I could not complete any of these manuscripts without this trip to the archives,” says Close, “since all the evidence I use to craft my arguments comes from archival sources. This trip is fundamental to the further development of my research projects.”
Located in Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society is considered the oldest learned society in the United States. Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram, the society promotes research and scholarly work in the sciences and humanities. Franklin Research Grants, which have been distributed annually since 1933, are highly competitive and awarded to scholars conducting original research in libraries in archives.