Wallace Stegner Fellows: Will Bagley and Steve Trimble
The Wallace Stegner Center and Tanner Humanities Center Fellowship was created for the 20082009 academic year in celebration of the centennial of Wallace Stegner’s birth. The purpose of the fellowship is to enable scholars to spend a year of research focused on Wallace Stegner’s life and legacy. Two fellows, historian Will Bagley and author/ photographer Stephen Trimble, were selected and will be in residence at the University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center and Wallace Stegner Center. Bagley and Trimble will receive an annual stipend,
providing them time to focus on their research and engage in ongoing community and academic discussions about Wallace Stegner’s life and legacy and their research projects.
A native of Utah, independent historian Will Bagley attended Brigham Young University and was a President's Scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His column, "History Matters," appears in The Salt Lake
Tribune and he has written and edited more than a dozen books, including Frontiersman: Abner Blackburn's Narrative, which won the 1991 Evans Manuscript Prize. His most recent work is Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows (2003).
“The chance to participate in the celebration of the Wallace Stegner Centennial is a singular opportunity
for any scholar who cares about the literature and history of the American West,” said Bagley. “I feel very lucky and hope to contribute a great deal to our understanding of Wallace Stegner and his works.”
Bagley will study three topics he has titled “No Boundary Between History and Literature: The Legacy of Bernard Devoto and Wallace Stegner,” “Mormon Country: Wallace Stegner’s Record of a Lost World,” and “Land Grab in the Plundered Province: Bernard Devoto, Wallace Stegner, and the Geography of Hope.”
Stephen Trimble is a naturalist who received his degrees from Colorado College and the University of Arizona. In 1990 he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters by Colorado College "for his efforts to make Western landscapes and people understandable and accessible to the public." He is the author of more than a dozen books with The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin (1989) now in its eleventh edition. In 1996, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold read Trimble's essay "Our Gardens, Our Canyons," on the floor of the United States Senate in his plea to save Utah wilderness.
“The centennial celebration of Stegner’s birth gives us a chance to return to his strong words that mirror our home landscape and community,” said Trimble. “I feel deeply honored to be chosen for the Stegner Fellowship, and I feel like I have been preparing for it my whole life.” For his research, Trimble will take Stegner’s writing on
the road across Utah, bringing his words home to the places where they started. In school and community programs, he’ll offer excerpts from Stegner to the people who live in the locations he memorialized in print.
Trimble will ask citizens to respond in their own words, hoping to reintroduce Wallace Stegner’s work to readers and stimulate community dialogue. The Wallace Stegner Fellowship Program is made possible by a generous grant from Chevron.