Cundy Travel Grant




The Thomas C. Cundy Fund for World War II Era Research

Travel Grant Program

Honoring the memory and lasting vision of Thomas C. Cundy, Sr., the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience, Department of History, Florida State University anticipates offering at least one $500 travel grant for scholars and graduate students (ABD) to use the holdings of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience in 2018-2019.    

Applicants for this program should submit by May 30, 2018 a proposal of no more than five pages in the form of a letter, a current c.v., and the names and addresses of three references, all in a PDF document.  Graduate student applicants should also submit a letter of recommendation from their Dissertation Advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies of their program.  In the subject line, please include:  CUNDY FUND APPLICATION-2018.   Letters of recommendation for graduate student applicants should be sent directly to the Institute Director, Professor G. Kurt Piehler at by May 30, 2018.

Thomas C. Cundy Research Travel Grant Announcement (revised February 2018)

Past Recipients

2018 - Michele Curran Cornell - Kent State University

Michele Curran Cornell earned her Ph.D. in History from Kent State University in 2018. She is a historian of Modern American history specializing in Gender and Women’s History, War & Society, and Popular Culture. She is currently in the process of revising her dissertation–Romanticizing Patriarchy: Patriotic Romance and American Military Marriages During World War II–into a book manuscript. Using gender analysis, Michele’s manuscript employs cultural and social history methodologies to explore how the war triggered the highest ever recorded marriage rates to that point in U.S. history. She argues that during the war, films, magazines, servicemen, and American women, romanticized patriarchy by idealizing normative gender roles and downplaying patriarchal power dynamics in marriage. Through this process marriage promised to unite men and women for the war effort, harness sexuality through marital monogamy, and preserve husbandly authority and female subordination even as wartime challenged normative gender roles. In other words, the World War II concept of romantic patriarchy preserved the power and privileges of white men during the war and into the postwar era, which provided the foundation for the mythical family ideal of the 1950s.

As the 2017 winner of the Thomas C. Cundy Travel Grant for World War II Era Research, Michele’s work utilizes many of the Institute’s letter collections exchanged between servicemen and their wives during the war. Most notably, Romanticizing Patriarchy makes use of the Lester Weiss Collection, the Donald and Portia Ackerman Collection, Josie Kinsey Rand Lettters, Wilson Averre Koontz Collection, and The Collection of Clark Brandt. Rich with information, these collections feature thousands of letters, oral histories, diaries, personal memoirs, photographs, greeting cards, newspaper clippings and more. Together, these sources help piece together the experiences, emotions, and future plans of World War II newlyweds, which exemplify how romantic patriarchy influenced a generation of Americans.

Featuring her dissertation work, Michele’s paper “The Problem with Wolves: American Servicemen’s Sexual Entitlement during World War II,” won the Most Outstanding Graduate Paper Award at the Akron-Kent Symposium (2018–Akron, OH). In addition to the Cundy Grant, Michele also won the Mr. and Mrs. Matthew B. Ridgway Military History Research Grant from the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (2014). She has previously presented her dissertation work at conferences including: Film and History (2017–Milwaukee, WI); Comparative Home Fronts: World War II (2016–FSU’s Institute on WWII); Gender, War and Memory in the Anglo-American World (2015–University of Mississippi); and the Society for Military History (2015–Montgomery, AL). Prior to her dissertation work, Michele published anthology chapters on early twentieth century perceptions of college women in the Ladies’ Home Journal (LHJ), job advertisements in the LHJ (1890-1920), and masculinity and manhood in the Civilian Conservation Corps, along with numerous book reviews in various scholarly journals.

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