Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Special Collections and Digital Projects News

Special Collections and Digital Projects News
by John B. Straw, Director for Archives and Special Collections and Director, Digital Media Repository

Ariki and Bosse Receive First Ditsky Awards for Steinbeck Research at Ball State University

Through the generosity and support of donors, the Ball State University Libraries provide opportunities for students and scholars to advance their education and research. One outstanding example is found in the recent establishment of the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky that was established by his wife, Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky of Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Kyoko Ariki and Ms. Kay Bosse are the first two recipients of the Ditsky Award.

They will visit the University Libraries in late summer to conduct intensive research on Nobel
Prize winning author John Steinbeck, using the resources of Archives and Special Collections. Dr. Ariki is a professor of American Literature at Shujitsu University in Japan and Director of the John Steinbeck Society of Japan. Her Steinbeck-related publications include numerous articles, translations, and two recent books, Sutainbekku-wo Yominaosu (Rereading Steinbeck) and the Main Thematic Current in John Steinbeck’s Works: A Positive View of Man’s Survival.

Ariki will travel to Muncie for a week in September 2007 to study the scope of Steinbeck-related research holdings in Archives and Special Collections and collect essential data for a series of articles on “A Study of the Origin, Development, and Growth of Ball State University-Centered Steinbeck Projects.” Her research will also include the historical evolution of the Steinbeck Newsletter, Steinbeck Quarterly, Steinbeck Monograph Series, and otherpublications that have benefited students and scholars of Steinbeck in Japan.

Ms. Bosse teaches in the Department of Communications/Theatre at the University of Dayton. She has written, adapted, and directed plays by and about Steinbeck. Her most recent Steinbeck-related publication, John Steinbeck’s Global Dimensions, was based on a paper titled “Detached Participation: Steinbeck’s Theatrical Vision” thatshe presented at the Sixth International Steinbeck Congress in Kyoto, Japan.


The focus of Bosse’s research during her visit in August will be John Steinbeck and the Vietnam War. She will concentrate on Steinbeck’s response to the Vietnam War, his friendship with President Lyndon B. Johnson, and how the escalation of the war during the final years of Steinbeck’s life greatly influenced his artistic, political, and personal life and his work. Her goal is to formulate and articulate the significance of these years in relationship to
Steinbeck’s legacy.

The Steinbeck Reseach Fund is intended to assist and encourage emerging Steinbeck visiting scholars and/or doctoral candidates in conducting intensive research in Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections on an appropriate scholarly topic related to author John Steinbeck.

Dr. John Michael Ditsky (March 9, 1938 – May 15, 2006) was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He was a world-renowned Steinbeck scholar, Vice President of the International Steinbeck Society, former President of the New Steinbeck Society of America, a poet and poetry editor, a music critic, and former Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly. Dr. and Mrs. Ditsky were long-time friends and colleagues of noted
Steinbeck scholar and Ball State University professor Dr.Tetsumaro Hayashi, who was instrumental in establishing the outstanding Steinbeck Collection in the University Libraries.

For more information on the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky, contact John B. Straw, Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Archives and Special
Collections, JStraw@bsu.edu, (765) 285-5078.

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