Fellow: Awarded 2008
Field of Study: Fine Arts Research
Competition: US & Canada
Sarah Watts is a Professor of History at Wake Forest University. She earned a B.A. in history from the Oklahoma College for Women, and four years into her tenure at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, Oklahoma (1964-79), she began graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma; she received an M.A. in German history in 1972, and a Ph.D. in U.S. history in 1984. She then was an instructor in history at the University of Memphis for three years before joining the history department at Wake Forest in 1987. Her outstanding abilities in the classroom have earned her an award from Wake Forest alumni and the national Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award from the Sears Roebuck Foundation.
Throughout her academic and professional career, Ms. Watts’ principal focus has been the interplay of social, cultural, and political history. Among her publications are “The New Scholarship on African-American Women,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, 16 (1988), which she coauthored with Elizabeth Higginbotham; Order Against Chaos: Business Culture and Labor Ideology in America, 1880-1920 (Greenwood Press, 1991); “Robert Means Thompson,” in American National Biography (Oxford UP, 1999); Rough Rider in the White House: Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Desire (University of Chicago Press, 2006); and “Built Languages of Class: Skyscrapers and Labor Protest in Victorian Public Space,” in The American Skyscraper: Cultural Histories, ed. Roberta Moudry (Cambridge UP, 2005).
During her Guggenheim Fellowship term, she travelled to Berlin’s Staatsbibliothek and the Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Art in Los Angeles to research her study of Lyonel Feininger’s political satire as embodied in 257 previously unknown political cartoons by the Bauhaus artist, and what effect they had on and what they reveal about Wilhelmine Germany.