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.
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.
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.
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.