Assistant Professor of English Megan Cook has been awarded a highly competitive Mellon Fellowship at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

In May the Rare Book School selected its third cohort of 20 early-career academics who will participate in a three-year program, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography. The fellowships aim to reinvigorate bibliographical studies within the humanities. Cook is the only scholar representing a liberal arts college; all other fellows are affiliated with major research universities.

Cook received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and joined Colby’s English Department in 2013. Her research focuses on responses to Middle English texts and books in the early modern period, especially editing and textual commentary before the advent of vernacular philology in England. Her current book project examines the scholarly reception of Chaucer’s works in the Tudor era, with special emphasis on the role of antiquarians in the production of early printed editions. She has published essays about antiquarian reading practices, Chaucer’s early modern reputation as a proto-Protestant, and the influence of Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar on Chaucerian editing.

The 2015-17 RBS-Mellon Fellows were chosen from a highly competitive field of applicants, representing outstanding institutions of higher learning in the United States, according to the program. They come from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, classics, East Asian languages and civilizations, English, French and Italian, history, and religious studies. Eight fellows, including Cook, are assistant professors; two hold postdoctoral positions; 10 are doctoral candidates.

RBS-Mellon Fellows receive advanced, intensive training in the analysis of textual artifacts. Led by a distinguished faculty drawn from the bibliographical community and professionals in allied fields, fellows attend annual research-oriented seminars at Rare Book School and at major special collections libraries nationwide. They receive stipends to support research-related travel to special collections and additional funds to host academic symposia at their home institutions.

“During the past two years, Rare Book School’s Mellon Fellows have been extraordinarily active, integrating bibliographical and book-historical methods into their research and teaching, while also sharing their new understandings with colleagues via innovative academic symposia,” said RBS Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J. “We remain deeply grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for all it has done to make their achievements possible. Our third and final Mellon-supported cohort likewise shows great promise, and we much look forward to their contributions.”

More information about the 2015–17 RBS-Mellon Fellows, and about the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography, is available online.

Founded at Columbia University in 1983, RBS moved to the University of Virginia in 1992. RBS is a nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the University of Virginia. Rare Book School provides continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and skill levels to study the history of written, printed, and born-digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the fields of bibliography, librarianship, book history, manuscript studies, and the digital humanities.