Cultural Historian Andrew Jenks Named Aerospace Fellow

October 3, 2013

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History’s Andrew Jenks was named an Aerospace Fellow by the American Historical Association (AHA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in July when he received a $20,000 grant to fund a year of research into the topic “Stepping Back from the Brink.”

The cultural historian who joined the university in 2006 will research the role of the space program in creating a global and transnational consciousness. The grant will release Jenks for research during the fall semester. “It’s nice to get that,” he said. “Every year, the American Historical Association works with NASA to name an Aerospace Fellow,” he said. “What they want to do is promote research on the history of space exploration and, in particular, they want to promote the people who study the resources such as national archives and the voluminous materials of the NASA archive at NASA headquarters.”

Jenks already has begun his research at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda and at NASA headquarters.

The American Historical Association is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies. The AHA provides leadership for the profession, protects academic freedom, develops professional standards, aids in the pursuit and publication of scholarship and supplies various services to sustain and enhance the work of its members.

Jenks is the author of Russia in a Box: Art and Identity in An Age of Revolution in 2005 and Perils of Progress: Environmental Disasters in the 20th Century in 2010. His latest book is The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling: The Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin. He received his B.A. from Bucknell University, his M.A. from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Russian history from Stanford in 2002.

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