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Guide to the Brian Stonehill Papers, 1890s-2000 (bulk 1970-1997)
H1997.1  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Brian Stonehill papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1890s-2000 (bulk 1970-1997)
    Collection number: H1997.1
    Creator: Brian Stonehill
    Extent: 19.5 cubic feet (18 records cartons, 1 clamshell box, 1 card file box, and 1 flat box)
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library.
    Claremont, CA 91711
    Abstract: The Brian Stonehill Papers contain correspondence, reports, notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, graduate school materials, and teaching materials. Documents relating to Brian Stonehill's establishment of the Media Studies Program and his eighteen years as a professor in the English Department and Media Studies Program at Pomona College may be found in this collection. In addition, Stonehill's writings and professional project files detailing his dedication to continuing scholarship in the fields of modern and contemporary fiction, James Joyce, criticism, rhetoric, the culture of cyberspace, and visual literacy may also be found in the collection. The collection contains photocopies of research materials dating back to the 1890s, however the bulk of materials in this collection date from 1970 to 1997.
    Physical location: Special Collections.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Brian Stonehill Papers. Libraries of The Claremont Colleges.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Elliott and Harriett Stonehill 1997 through 2003.

    Processing History

    Processed by History Associates Incorporated, 2003.

    Biography

    Brian A. Stonehill was born on December 20, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. He spent a year at Lycee Lakanal in Sceaux, France, and a year at Varndean Grammer School for Boys in Brighton, England, and graduated from Forest Hills High School, New York. At 15 years of age he enrolled at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and spent his junior year of college at the University of Warwick in Coventry, U. K. By the conclusion of his undergraduate years, Stonehill had won the Newton Prize in English Literature, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with high honors from Haverford in 1973.
    He earned a Master of Arts degree in English with honors in 1974 and his Ph.D. in English with honors in 1978 from the University of Chicago. He wrote his dissertation "Art Displaying Art: Self-Consciousness in Novels of Joyce, Nabokov, Gaddis, and Pynchon," under the direction of Saul Bellow and Wayne Booth.
    In 1979, Stonehill worked briefly as a fiction editor at the Chicago Review before joining the Pomona College faculty as an English professor later that year. During his eighteen years of teaching at Pomona College, Stonehill taught courses in creative writing, arts of persuasion, modern American literature, self-conscious fiction, contemporary film and fiction, contemporary fiction, James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, and the principles of visual literacy. He received Pomona College's Wig Award for Distinguished Teaching three times in 1982, 1987, and 1992, and was a beloved professor as evidenced in course evaluations and student comments submitted for the 1997 Wig Award.
    Stonehill's success as a professor and scholar no doubt stemmed from his lifelong pursuit of knowledge and his visionary spirit. In a 1972 writing, "On Being a Professor," which was submitted by Stonehill for the Danforth Award Competition, he stated: "I want to teach because I want to learn more..." He also wrote, "A professor will be most successful in kindling enthusiasm if he himself feels genuinely enthusiastic about the material he has chosen to teach."
    Brian Stonehill served as Chairman of the Humanities Division from 1981-1982 and was promoted to an Associate professor in 1983. Stonehill's development of the Pomona College Media Studies Program began in 1988 and it became a formal program during the 1991-1992 school year. After his promotion to Professor of English and Media Studies in 1993, Stonehill served as Chairman of the Humanities Division again from 1993-1997.
    During the 1980s and 1990s Stonehill contributed book reviews to the Los Angeles Times and several other prominent publications, and was a member of the National Book Critics Circle. He served as a senior fiction judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes in 1992-1994. He frequently wrote opinion pieces for the Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor and their syndicates on subjects including the media's coverage of the Gulf War and other significant events, e-mail, cyberspace, video in the courtroom, and television viewing. Stonehill hosted Claremont Cubed, a weekly talk show on Claremont Colleges Television, participated as a commentator on "Antenne USA," Voice of America's French radio program, and served as a script development consultant for "French in Action," a successful language series aired by WGBH, Boston. Other media appearances include PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, KCET's Life and Times series, CBS Network News, National Public Radio, MonitoRadio, NBC radio, and various other local and national radio stations.
    Brian Stonehill's other professional projects during the 1980s and 1990s range from book publication to the production of laserdiscs and the development of interactive CD-ROMs. Brian Stonehill's book, based largely based on his dissertation, the Self-Conscious Novel: Artifice in Fiction from Joyce to Pynchon, was published in 1988. The same year he interviewed French commercial photographer Marc Garanger and recorded a translation in English that was included on the laserdisc, Regard for the Planet: 50,000 Photographs by Marc Graranger which received the Video Magazine award for Best Disc-Only release in 1989.
    In 1990, Stonehill exhibited the prototype of a visual literacy CD-ROM at the Artists and Activists CD-ROM show at USC while steadily working on another laserdisc project, Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise). Children of Paradise, based on Marcel Carne's 1945 film, was produced and directed by Stonehill and received the Laser Tribune award for Best Special Feature Disc and Best All-Around Disc of 1991.
    Brian Stonehill was a pioneer in the use of networked computers and the Internet as teaching tools at Pomona College and directed the creation of various Internet sites beginning in 1994. Project sites include the Online Visual Literacy Project and the Pomona Pynchon Page which were both awarded "CyberHound all-star fetch" prizes by Gale Publications online in 1996.
    On August 6, 1997, Brian Stonehill died in an automobile accident. At the time of his death, he was writing a novel entitled High Definition, editing a manuscript entitled Media Literacy in the Digital Age which was accepted for publication by University of Texas Press, and producing a CD-ROM entitled Understanding D. W. Griffith.
    In his last email login, Brian Stonehill left this final thought: "Language gives us ideas, including ideas of experience. Images give us experiences, including experiences of ideas."

    Chronology

    1953 Brian A. Stonehill was born on December 20th in Brooklyn, New York.
    1968 Enrolled at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, at the age of 15.
    1971-1972 Spent his junior year of college at the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K.
    1973 Elected to Phi Beta Kappa and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with high honors from Haverford College, Pennsylvania.
    1974 Earned a Master of Arts degree in English with honors from the University of Chicago.
    1976-1979 Fiction editor at the Chicago Review.
    1978 Earned a Ph.D. in English with honors from the University of Chicago.
    1979 Joined the Pomona College faculty as an Assistant Professor of English.
    1980 Began reviewing books for the Los Angeles Times.
    1981-1982 Chairman of the Division of the Humanities.
    1982 Received Pomona College's Wig Award for Distinguished Teaching.
    1983-1984 President of Phi Beta Kappa's Gamma of California chapter.
    1985 Promoted to an Associate Professor of English.
    1987 Received Pomona College's Wig Award for Distinguished Teaching.
    1988 Published the Self-Conscious Novel: Artifice in Fiction from Joyce to Pynchon.
    1989 Paperback edition of the Self-Conscious Novel: Artifice in Fiction from Joyce to Pynchon published.
    1989 Regard for the Planet: 50,000 Photographs by Marc Graranger laserdisc project received the Video Magazine award for Best Disc-Only release.
    1991 Produced and directed the laserdisc Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise).
    1991 Les Enfants du Paradis laserdisc received the Laser Tribune award for Best Special Feature Disc and Best All-Around Disc.
    1991-1992 Media Studies program, which Stonehill established, became a formal program at Pomona College.
    1992 Received Pomona College's Wig Award for Distinguished Teaching.
    1992-1994 Senior fiction judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.
    1993 Promoted to Professor of English and Media Studies.
    1993-1997 Chairman of the Division of the Humanities.
    1994 Directed the creation of Pomona College's Online Visual Literacy Project.
    1995 Directed the creation of Pomona College's Thomas Pynchon web page project.
    1995 Directed a student-produced web page, the Pomona Joyce Page.
    1996 Both the Online Visual Literacy Project (1994) and the Pomona Pynchon page (1995) were awarded "CyberHound all-star fetch" prizes by Gale Publications online.
    1997 Brian A. Stonehill died in an automobile accident on August 6th.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Brian Stonehill Papers contain correspondence, reports, notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, graduate school materials, and teaching materials. Documents relating to Brian Stonehill's establishment of the Media Studies Program and his eighteen years as a professor in the English Department and Media Studies Program at Pomona College may be found in this collection. In addition, Stonehill's writings and professional project files detailing his dedication to continuing scholarship in the fields of modern and contemporary fiction, James Joyce, criticism, rhetoric, the culture of cyberspace, and visual literacy may also be found in the collection. The collection contains photocopies of research materials dating back to the 1890s, however the bulk of materials in this collection date from 1970 to 1997.
    This collection consists largely of textual records with the exception of the Photographs folder located in Series 1., Biographical Materials, a few photographs scattered throughout other series, and materials located in Series 8. Audio-Visual and Data Storage Materials. Textual record types primarily include handwritten notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, course handouts, correspondence, and memoranda.
    The largest series in the collection is Series 6. Writings and Professional Projects which consists of Brian Stonehill's published articles and book reviews, published and unpublished book projects, interviews by Stonehill, speeches, multimedia projects, and television and radio projects. Other large series include Series 3. College Materials, Series 4. Pomona College, and Series 5. Subject Files which contains folders pertaining to many of the authors, written works, films, and other subjects reflected in Stonehill's scholarship and teaching.
    In processing this collection, original folder titles were typically retained. However, in a few instances, documents were moved to more appropriate folders or were relocated with the intent of consolidating like information. When adhesive "Post-it" notes were encountered, a photocopy of the page with the Post-it was retained in the collection along with the original page and the Post-it was discarded for preservation purposes.
    The collection is organized into nine series:
    • Series 1. Biographical Materials, ca. 1954-2000 and undated. 1 cubic ft.
    • Series 2. Correspondence, 1970-1997 and undated. .5 cubic ft.
    • Series 3. College Materials, 1969-1998 and undated. 2.5 cubic ft.
    • Series 4. Pomona College, 1974-1997 and undated. 2.5 cubic ft.
    • Series 5. Subject Files, 1908-1997 and undated. 3.75 cubic ft.
    • Series 6. Writings and Professional Projects, 1890s-1998. 6.75 cubic ft.
    • Series 7. Ephemera, 1960-1992 and undated. .5 cubic ft.
    • Series 8. Audio-Visual and Data Storage Materials, 1988-1998 and undated. 1 cubic ft.
    • Series 9. Oversize Materials. 1 cubic ft.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Stonehill, Brian--Archives.
    Media programs (Education)--Archival resources.
    Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)--Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Audiotapes.
    CD-ROMs.
    Correspondence.
    Diaries.
    Photographs.
    Videotapes.