March 11, 2002 Contact: Mary E. Horgan
PACE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AWARDED FUNDING FOR EDITING
THE HARRIET JACOBS PAPERS
NEW YORK — Pace University Professor Jean Fagan Yellin was awarded $30,000 from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for the Harriet Jacobs Papers Project.
The Harriet Jacobs Papers Project will be the first edition of papers of an African American woman. Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) is the author, abolitionist, and reformer who wrote the landmark American slave narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself (Boston 1861, London 1862). The University of North Carolina Press will produce the 2-volume Papers, an edition of approximately 600 documents by and about Jacobs.
“There is no scholarly edition of the papers of any African-American woman,” said Yellin, principal editor and distinguished professor emerita of English at the University’s Dyson College of Arts & Sciences. “Although in the last few years Jacobs has become recognized as a major 19th-century African-American author, very few of her letters and papers have been published.”
The Harriet Jacobs Papers will provide 21st-century scholars and other, more general readers with the unique angle of vision of a 19th-century African-American woman who was a slave and ex-slave. The papers project will offer unprecedented insight into the conception, production, and publication of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by offering the author’s correspondence and public commentary and her brother John’s accounts of many of the events included in his sister’s book.
“The papers will contribute to the ongoing study of how racism and slavery, and the national struggle against them, have shaped our culture and continue to shape our lives,” said Yellin.
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions which transmit our cultural heritage.
The Dyson College of Arts & Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the arts, humanities, and sciences and guides the general education of all Pace University undergraduate students. The College’s teaching philosophy stresses a combination of classroom instruction, technology, practical experience, and community service.