George Eliot Dissertation Research Fellowship
Named for the nineteenth-century author of Middlemarch and made possible by the generosity of Barbara “Penny” Kanner, Ph.D., this fellowship funds an exceptional graduate student dissertation research project pertaining to women or gender that utilizes a historical perspective in literature or the arts. The criteria for the award changed 2012. Formerly titled the "George Eliot Dissertation Award," it honored an outstanding completed doctoral dissertation. In 2013, this award and the Mary Wollstonecraft Award were replaced by a single award titled the Penny Kanner Dissertation Research Fellowship.
Barbara “Penny” Kanner received a Ph.D. in the Department of History at UCLA. Kanner (shown above with Ed Kanner) has taught at UCLA Extension, Mount St. Mary’s College, Occidental College, and held a faculty appointment at UCLA. She has been a Research Scholar at the Center for the Study of Women since 1990. She authored a number of works on British women's autobiographies including Women in Context: Two Hundred Years of British Women Autobiographers, a Reference Guide and Reader (Prentice Hall, 1997). Her research interests also include bibliomethodology as an analytical tool. In her essay, “Growing into History” in the book Voices of Women Historians (Indiana UP, 1999), she noted that she endowed the Mary Wollstonecraft Award at the Center for the Study of Women in 1983 after “seeing that professional encouragement for women graduate students was pitifully inadequate in all disciplines.” More recently, she generously endowed the George Eliot Dissertation Award and the Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D., Awards. She has served as President of the West Coast Association of Women Historians and the Conference Group on Women’s History.