Two Graduate Center Professors Awarded 2019 Guggenheim Fellowships

April 12, 2019

Helena Rosenblatt (History) and Suzanne Farrin (GC/Hunter, Music) are the only CUNY professors named as fellows in this year's class.

two professors in photo

Helena Rosenblatt and Suzanne Farrin

Graduate Center professors Suzanne Farrin (GC/Hunter, Music) and Helena Rosenblatt (History) have been awarded Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships. The prestigious fellowships are given to individuals who show exceptional capacity for scholarship or exceptional creativity in the arts.

Farrin and Rosenblatt join 168 members of the 95th class of fellows, announced this week by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

They are the only CUNY professors named as fellows in this class.

Farrin is an internationally known composer and performer whose work has been brought to the concert hall and stage by preeminent musicians in Europe and the Americas. Rosenblatt is one of the nation’s most prominent scholars of French political and religious thought.

“Suzanne Farrin and Helena Rosenblatt exemplify the highest ideals of The Graduate Center: Our faculty contribute not only to scholarship, but also to the arts and broader public understanding of the ideas that underpin civic life,” said Graduate Center Interim President Joy Connolly. “My enthusiastic congratulations to both of them on this well-deserved honor. I know they will make the most of these fellowships as they pursue projects of cultural significance both broad and deep.”

Both Farrin and Rosenblatt have received critical praise for their recent work.
Farrin’s opera Dolce La Morte debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016. In a rave review, The New York Times extolled, “Bringing out the shattering honesty of Michelangelo’s poetry, Ms. Farrin set the words to music of aching intensity.”

Farrin is also a performer of the ondes Martenot, an early electronic musical instrument. She has played at venues such as the Abrons Arts Center in NYC and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and been featured in film and on television.

“It is a privilege to receive the generous Guggenheim Fellowship, which will provide me with the support and time necessary to devote to my work as a composer, creating new momentum for the next phase of my creative life,” Farrin said in an announcement from CUNY. “This type of support enables access to new resources, not only from the organization, but from within your own self, making the next big leap in your career possible. I’m eager to return to the desk and see where this can take me as a composer.”

Rosenblatt’s latest book, The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-first Century, released last fall, received widespread praise for its clarity and timeliness and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Foreign Affairs, among other accolades.

She is also the author or editor six additional books as well as numerous articles covering the lives and influence of leading European philosophers, the progression of liberal ideas, and the politics of religion.

Rosenblatt’s Guggenheim Fellowship will support her new project, an intellectual biography of Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, known as Madame de Staël, a French intellectual during the time of the French Revolution and the reign of Napoléon.

“I am profoundly grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for its support of my work, specifically my forthcoming biography of Madame de Staël, who was crucial to the founding of modern liberalism,” Rosenblatt said. “With this book, I hope to enhance the public’s understanding of liberalism’s roots and its influence on politics and culture. It is an honor to join so many esteemed Guggenheim Fellows.”

Previous Guggenheim Fellows include professors Esther Allen (GC/Baruch; Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures; Sociology/Modern Languages) and Alison Griffiths (GC/Baruch; Theatre/Communication Studies) and alumna Nandini Sikand (Ph.D. ’10, Anthropology) in 2018; Distinguished Professor Nancy Foner (GC/Hunter, Sociology) in 2017; Ph.D. student Joshua Mehigan (English) in 2015; professors Dagmar Herzog (History) and Joan Richardson (English, Comparative Literature, Liberal Studies) in 2012;  and Joshua Brown, executive director of American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning in 2010.