- Fiction category: Lucy Corin of Creative Writing Program
- Law category: Mary Ziegler, historian of US abortion debate
- The fellowships will assist both in their new book projects
Two UC Davis professors — writer Lucy Corin and legal scholar Mary Ziegler — have been named the recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, presented annually to individuals making their mark in the social sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities and the creative arts.
The nearly 100-year-old John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced April 6 that it had awarded 171 fellowships in 48 disciplines and fields for 2023, choosing the recipients in a rigorous application and peer review process, out of almost 2,500 scholars and artists who applied..
The fellowships are intended as mid-career recognition for those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts and exhibit great promise for their future endeavors.” The awards are given with the “freest possible conditions.”
Corin, who received her Guggenheim in the fiction category, joined the faculty of the Department of English and its Creative Writing Program in 2004; she teaches fiction writing for undergraduates and Master of Fine Arts students as well as literature for M.F.A. students. She served as the director of the graduate program in creative writing from 2013 to 2018.
The Academic Senate honored her with a Distinguished Teaching Award in the graduate-professional category in 2019.
Corin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Duke University and an M.F.A. at Brown. She taught at James Madison University before coming to UC Davis.
Her last novel, The Swank Hotel (Graywolf, 2021), was among The New Yorker’s “best books” of 2022 and longlisted for the New Literary Project’s Joyce Carol Oates Prize the same year.
She said she will use her Guggenheim award for her next project, a novel with the working title Les and Rae. “It’s about a couple who respond to current cultural pressures differently — one joins an underground gun group and one sneaks away into the woods at the edge of their neighborhood,” she said.
“One of the incredible things about a fellowship like this is that I don’t have to know my timeline or publisher. I can use the funds to support the natural growth of the project as a work of art and take the rest from there.”
She is the author of another novel, Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (Fiction Collective 2, 2004), and two story collections, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (McSweeney’s, 2013) and The Entire Predicament (Tin House, 2007). Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Harper’s Magazine, Ploughshares, Bomb, Tin House Magazine and the New American Stories anthology from Vintage Contemporaries.
She is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ziegler received her Guggenheim in the law category. She is an expert on the law, history and politics of reproduction, health care and conservatism in the United States from 1945 to the present.
As one of the world’s leading historians of the U.S. abortion debate, she found herself “unimaginably busy” in her first month in the School of Law, July 2022, days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the constitutional right to abortion as established by Roe. V. Wade in 1973.
“There are an unlimited number of projects — in terms of legal briefs, scholarly works and popular pieces — and all of them matter,” said Ziegler, who is a Martin Luther King Jr. professor in the law school. “I have had to learn how to protect my time and select projects carefully — there is just not enough time to do everything I’d like to!”
She is the author of Roe: The History of a National Obsession (Yale University Press, 2023), Dollars for Life: The Antiabortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment (Yale University Press, 2022), Reproduction and the Constitution in the United States (Routledge, 2022), Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Beyond Abortion: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Privacy (Harvard University Press, 2018) and After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate (Harvard University Press, 2015), and the editor of the Research Handbook on International Abortion Law (Edgar Elgar Publishing, 2023).
She is working now on a history of the struggle over constitutional fetal personhood in the United States, from the 1960s to the present. The history, she said, “reveals the extent to which struggles over abortion have sought to change how we think of equality under the law — and not just for pregnant people — and it helps to make sense of what is coming next in struggles over abortion, as antiabortion groups focus ever more on control of the courts to achieve outcomes that would be impossible in popular politics.”
It is the project for which she will use her new fellowship. “The Guggenheim will allow me to travel to a wide variety of archives to research the book,” she said. “I am hoping to have a draft of the book ready for Yale University Press, the publisher, by the end of my fellowship year (in August 2024).”
Ziegler completed her undergraduate work at Harvard College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature, and Language and Romance Languages and Literatures; and followed up with a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law.
Prior to coming to UC Davis, she was a member of the faculty at St. Louis University School of Law (2010-13) and Florida State University College of Law (2014-21), earning two teaching awards at the latter; and a visiting professor of constitutional law at Harvard (2022).
Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, firstname.lastname@example.org; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, email@example.com.