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de Grummond
Children's Literature Collection


We would like to congratulate Sylvia Vardell, 1999 recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation/de Grummond Collection Research Fellowship. Vardell, an Associate Professor of Children's Literature and Literacy at the University of Texas at Arlington, used the extensive holdings of Keats materials to further her research on "The Role of Race in the Work of Ezra Jack Keats." A major issue in the study of multicultural literature for children is whether authorship must be culturally aligned with the content and characters of the work of literature. Vardell's research focused on the issue of cultural authenticity, with the purpose of publishing an article on the role of race and culture in authorship. Another effort is an essay on the "redemption" of Ezra Jack Keats, highlighting the comments of contemporaneous African Americans about his work. A more scholarly piece deals with Keats' portrayal of urban life in children's picture books and how this has been unfortunately overshadowed by the racial controversy.

Vardell is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters and has made more than 50 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences and meetings. A member of Phi Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, Vardell is listed in Who's Who in American Education and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Zimbabwe in Africa in 1989. Vardell is currently under contract with Allyn and Bacon for a book on literature-based teaching with ESL students.

Sylvia Vardell is the 10th recipient of the Fellowship. Past recipients include W. Nikola-Lisa, Nancy Hands, Frances Benz, Jill May, Michael Joseph, Yuko Katsura , Lucy Rollin, Eva Kushner and Donn Kushner (corecipients), and Don Hettinga.

The deadline for the 2000 Research Fellowship is January 10, 2000. Grants of up to $1,000 may be made to applicants of any discipline who engage in projects that require substantial use of the de Grummond Collection. Awards will be based upon the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the merits of the proposal submitted, and the appropriateness of the proposal to the resources of the de Grummond Collection. More information about the Ezra Jack Keats Fellowship and an application can be obtained from our website or by calling 601-266-4349.


The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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