Orange Alert

Professors Franits, Fadda-Conrey earn NEH summer stipends

Award supports two months of writing, research

April 13, 2010, by Rob Enslin

Two professors from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences have been awarded summer stipends from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH). Wayne Franits, professor of art history in the Department of Art and Music Histories, will use the stipend to work on a book-length monographic study and catalogue raisonné of paintings of the 17th-century Dutch master Dirck van Baburen. Carol Fadda-Conrey, assistant professor of English, will pursue a book-length study about Arab-American literature. The award, one of the most prestigious in the humanities, supports two months of full-time writing and research.

“We are extremely proud of professors Franits and Fadda-Conrey, who are leaders in their respective fields,” says Gerald Greenberg, The College’s senior associate dean of academic affairs and the humanities, as well as associate professor of languages, literatures, and linguistics. “Having not one but two professors with NEH summer stipends speaks to the excellence of our humanities faculty and to our commitment to sharing and exchanging scholarly research.”

Franits’ project supersedes the only previous detailed study of Baburen’s oeuvre: Leonard Slatkes’s monograph from 1965. “My project will present a new critical catalogue of Baburen’s paintings and a series of essays, placing his art within the broader milieu of early 17th-century Italian and Dutch culture,” says the former department chair. Baburen was a leading member of the Utrecht School who specialized in religious works, history pieces, and genre scenes.

Franits has written or edited seven books on 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, including the forthcoming “Vermeer” (Phaidon Press Limited, 2011) and the critically acclaimed “Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting: Its Stylistic and Thematic Evolution” (Yale University Press, 2004). He has also published many book chapters and reviews, journal articles, and essays in encyclopedias and exhibition catalogs. Franits serves as field editor for the “College Art Association Exhibition Reviews,” and as an advisory board member for the Journal of the Historians of Netherlandish Art and Journal of Art Historiography. He also was editor of a former book series published by Cambridge University Press.

Fadda-Conrey is working on a book manuscript titled “Between the Transnational and the Ethnic: Arab-American Literary Renegotiations of Self and Home.” “It looks at a variety of literary texts by Arab-American writers spanning the second half of the 20th century to the present, analyzing the pivotal role that the Arab homeland plays in shaping Arab-American identities,” she explains.

Fadda-Coney is an expert in Arab-American literature and culture, ethnic and minority studies, and postcolonial and transnational studies. “My work delineates the complexity of Arab-American communal and individual identities, particularly in light of 9/11 and its aftermath,” she adds. Fadda-Conrey is also affiliated with The College’s Department of Women’s & Gender Studies and the Middle Eastern Studies Program. She has published several chapters and articles in journals including MELUS, Studies in the Humanities, and College Literature.

NEH is an independent federal agency that is one of the largest funders of humanities programs. As a taxpayer-supported federal agency, NEH endeavors to make the products of its awards available to the broadest possible audience. The goal of the summer stipend program goal is for scholars, educators, students, and the American public to have ready and easy access to a range of NEH grant products, including books, digital tools, and websites. More information is available at


Wayne Franits Distinguished Professor and Chair

Media Contact

Rob Enslin