UC Santa Cruz Review Summer/Fall 1995
Campus Update: Alumni pair receive coveted 'genius' awards
Two alumni from UCSC were among the new fellows selected in June by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Patricia Nelson Limerick and Richard White, who received bachelor's degrees from UCSC, were among the 24 recipients of the so-called "genius" awards.
For the people honored, the fellowships provide between $150,000 and $375,000 over five years, depending on the age of the recipient. MacArthur Fellowship recipients are free to use the awards as they wish.
Limerick (American studies, 1972) is a professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has broadened perspectives on the history of the American West through her stories of women's history, ethnic histories, and environmental history. In her influential book, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (1987), Limerick presented a region whose defining experience was conquest: conquest of nature, Indians, Mexicans, and often, conquest of the human spirit. Limerick, who will receive $275,000, was the 1990 recipient of UCSC's Alumni Achievement Award.
Richard White (history, 1969), also a professor of history, is a faculty member at the University of Washington. His work has played an important role in three areas of inquiry: environmental history, Native American history, and the new Western history. His first book, Land Use, Environment, and Social Change in a Western County, Island County, Washington, 1790-1940 (1980), was one of the first small-scale studies of ecological change produced by environmental historians. White will receive $295,000.
A total of 458 fellows have been named since the program began in 1981. Limerick and White are the fourth and fifth people affiliated with UCSC to receive a MacArthur fellowship. The others are Shelly Errington, a professor of anthropology, and Ph.D. graduates Alfred Jay Cantor (history of consciousness) and Robert Shaw (physics).