The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded two Hunter College faculty and two alumni 2021 Guggenheim Fellowships, one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for scholarly and artistic achievement. Selected from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants, Hunter Professor Victoria Johnson, Distinguished Lecturer A.K. Burns, alumna Kaitlyn Greenidge (MFA ‘10), and alumna Tracie Morris (MFA ‘01) were among the 184 artists, writers, scholars and scientists awarded Fellowships from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants.
Greenidge and Morris are both graduates of Hunter’s MFA Creative Writing Program, and Johnson and Burns, Hunter’s two faculty-affiliated awardees, helped vault CUNY (which had a total of three) into the top 10 of universities with the most Guggenheim winners in the nation.
Victoria Johnson, a professor in Hunter’s Department of Urban Policy and Planning, received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Biography for her project on the American painter Frederic Edwin Church. Johnson’s previous book, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
A.K. Burns, a professor in Hunter’s Department of Art & Art History, received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Art for “Negative Space,” a four-part epic that takes form as a series of multi-channel video installations and related works using science fiction as a point of departure. Burns’ past solo exhibitions have appeared at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and the Harvard Art Museums.
Author and alumna Kaityn Greenidge (MFA ’10) received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction. Her second novel, Libertie, was named “One of the Most-Anticipated Books of 2021” by O, The Oprah Magazine, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “both epic and intimate” and “a feat of monumental thematic imagination.” Greenidge’s debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, received a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction.
Multi-faceted artist and alumna Tracie Morris (MFA ‘01) received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry. The author of several volumes, Morris’ work has been widely anthologized in volumes of contemporary American poetry and her sound installations have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Biennial.
The Guggenheim Fellowships were established in 1925 by the late philanthropist and United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and Olga Guggenheim to support exceptional individuals in pursuit of scholarship in any field of knowledge and creation in any art form, under the freest possible conditions.
Other Hunter professors to be awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in recent years include Carrie Moyer (2013), Department of Art and Art History; Nancy Foner (2017), Department of Sociology; and Suzanne Farrin (2019), the Frayda B. Lindemann Chair of Music.