The Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS) is pleased to offer the Birgit Baldwin Fellowship in Scandinavian Studies, a grant to encourage the research and writing of dissertations for the PhD in topics concerned with Scandinavian (Nordic) literature or film that can most effectively be pursued in the archives and libraries of the Nordic countries. The stipend is $25,000 payable in two installments for travel to and living expenses in the Nordic region during one academic year. The application deadline is 1 December of the preceding year.
Applicants should submit a dissertation proposal that includes research plans and evidence of competency (including linguistic competency) to carry them out, supported by letters from two scholars. The successful applicant will demonstrate the significance of the subject, the need to work in Scandinavia (the Nordic region), and the feasibility of accomplishing the objectives of the research plans. The fellowship committee encourages a realistic assessment from both applicants and referees of the applicants’ reading and oral/aural skills, taking into consideration that in many cases reading may be more important than oral facility to the efficient completion of the project at hand. Although the need for some further specialized language training will not disqualify anyone from consideration for this fellowship, applicants should not expect to spend significant amounts of time during the fellowship year on language acquisition.
Applicants must be earning their degrees in North American universities and must be members in good standing of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, both during the year in which they submit applications and in the fellowship year. After completion of the fellowship year, the Birgit Baldwin Fellow will be invited to give a short report at the next annual meeting of SASS.
The Birgit Baldwin Fellowship was established in 2004 to honor the memory of Birgit Baldwin (1960–1988). The daughter of Professors Jenny Jochens and John W. Baldwin, Birgit was nearing completion of her PhD in Comparative Literature at Yale when she was fatally injured by a drunk driver in June 1988. Though majoring in French and German literature, Birgit also followed in her mother’s footsteps, avidly pursuing a scholarly interest in Scandinavian literature. She was a member of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study from 1980–1988.
At the annual meeting of SASS in May 1988, Birgit presented a paper titled “Irony, ‘that little, invisible personage’: A Reading of Kierkegaard’s ‘Ghosts,’” for which she was posthumously awarded the Aurora Borealis Prize. “Jammersminde Remembered: A New Look at the Status of History and Literature,” an article Birgit had begun in an undergraduate seminar at Yale in 1984, was published posthumously in the Summer 1990 issue of Scandinavian Studies.
Birgit Baldwin’s family has established the Fellowship to honor her name and an incipient career that most certainly would have been a stellar one. In that spirit, the Birgit Baldwin Fellowship seeks to encourage doctoral research focusing on Scandinavian (Nordic) literature and film and conducted in the Nordic region. Responding to expressions of deep gratitude from the Society’s members for the establishment of the Fellowship, Jenny Jochens, President Emerita of SASS (1997–1999), said at the annual meeting in April 2004 that she would take comfort in knowing that every year there will be a Birgit Baldwin Fellow doing research somewhere in the Nordic countries.
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