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.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Director of Communications/CAS, 610-660-3240, patricia.allen@sju.edu


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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