The Gotham Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY, Awarded $250,000 for Writing Fellowships

December 11, 2018

The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has awarded $250,000 to The Gotham Center for New York City History at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, to establish a writing fellowship program.

Media Contact:  Tanya Domi,, 212-817-7283

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2018 – The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has awarded $250,000 to The Gotham Center for New York City History at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, to establish a writing fellowship program.
It is the center's first such grant. Four one-year grants of $40,000 will be conferred in 2020 and 2021 to scholars with promising book manuscripts near completion. 
"As the only university center devoted to New York City history, The Gotham Center has long been a vibrant nexus for promoting this critical field of study,” said Peter-Christian Aigner, the deputy director of The Gotham Center. “With this fellowship, we are going beyond that founding mission, directly underwriting the production of knowledge, with the goal of making the center a headquarters for not just education but research on the history of the metropolitan area." 
Recognizing a logical but excessive fixation on Manhattan in chronicling the history of New York, the fellowship hopes to encourage new topics of research, by supporting works that investigate the history of the region at large, with favor given to projects that explore the under-researched boroughs of the city, investigate the historical relationship between the urban core and Long Island, and examine the latter's history in the development of the metropolitan region.
The fellowship program hopes to not only expand the history of New York City, but integrate it with the history of Long Island, building on more than a generation of scholarship challenging the popular distinction between city and suburb, and taking up the call by leading practitioners of urban and suburban history to integrate the fields with a metropolitan approach that recognizes the deep, co-dependent relations between such areas. It also helps bring the most important suburb in America's most important city into the national conversation. Currently no museum, library or university provides support explicitly for this area of scholarly writing. 
The awards will favor independent and early-career professionals, and will provide a higher level of review than is currently available in many fellowships, with two readers assisting fellows in development of argument, and one, Pulitzer-winner and Gotham Center founder Mike Wallace, focusing on style and presentation. Fellows will be given office space at The Graduate Center and free access to CUNY's library. They will be expected to develop public programs or workshops at the end of their fellowship year, presented at institutions with overlapping interests in the greater New York area.
To further stimulate research in this area, The Gotham Center will be expanding its current directory of major historic archives and sites in New York City with an up-to-date directory of Long Island’s historic sites and archives. The updated archives will be housed on The Gotham Center’s highly trafficked, open-access website. 
"The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation's mission is to expand the regional study of the history Long Island and New York," said Kathryn M. Curran, executive director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. “We are investing in impactful projects with a focus on scholarship and outreach to our historic community. The research from The Gotham Center fellows will aid in engaging and stimulating new conversations.”


About the Gotham Center
The Gotham Center is a university-based research and education center, devoted to advancing scholarly and public understanding of New York City’s rich and living past. The organization was founded in 2000 by Mike Wallace, distinguished professor of history at John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, after his landmark work Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, co-authored with Edwin Burrows, won the Pulitzer. For nearly 20 years, it has been the one academic institution devoted exclusively to promoting this critical field of study.

About the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation
The Gardiner Foundation, established in 1987, primarily supports the study of New York State history. Its purpose is to educate and inform the general public in the State of New York, concerning the culture, art and tradition of the locality; to cultivate, foster and promote interest in, and understanding and appreciation of its societal heritage; to encourage and sponsor the creation and perpetuation by existing and future historical societies of collections and repositories for the deposit, collection and examination of documents and artifacts of various kinds relevant to such heritage and traditions; and to sponsor and encourage the restoration and exhibition of such material.
About the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the world’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.