Kasson named first Mellon Distinguished Scholar

Joy Kasson is the first Mellon Distinguished Scholar at UNC.

Joy Kasson, professor of American studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the first Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar at UNC.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York recently awarded a five-year, $800,000 grant to Carolina Performing Arts for the creation of Arts@TheCore, a multifaceted program to strengthen the bonds between academics and the performing arts at UNC.

The Mellon grant will support the creation of the Mellon Distinguished Scholar for Carolina Performing Arts, who will help curate future performance seasons, plan programs and identify connections with UNC faculty from across disciplines and research interests.

“Professor Kasson is highly regarded by her peers and University administrators as a leader and for her expertise and intellectual rigor,” said Emil Kang, executive director of Carolina Performing Arts. “We’re delighted to have attracted such an outstanding faculty member and distinguished scholar to this project. I look forward to increasing the ties between the performing arts and UNC faculty.”

As the Mellon Distinguished Scholar, Kasson will develop an Arts@TheCore faculty seminar to explore the connections between Memorial Hall performances and current research and teaching of UNC faculty. The seminar will promote discussions about how teaching, research and curriculum development can be influenced by greater integration of the performing arts.

Additional activities funded by the Arts@TheCore grant will include a new postdoctoral fellow position to conduct research and teach a course around one or more performances, and the creation of curatorial fellowships for newly tenured faculty. The fellows will curate two or three performances in Carolina Performing Arts season, and design interdisciplinary courses or classes using the performances as inspiration.

More on Carolina Performing Arts at www.carolinaperformingarts.org.