Centre College Assistant Professor of History John Harney was recently awarded the Vincentian Studies Institute grant from DePaul University, which is a $10,000 award that will fund his travel for research related to the American Vincentian missionaries in China.
“My current research project is based on significant archival work conducted at the DeAndreis-Rosati Memorial Archives at DePaul University, and I have been fortunate to receive support from the office of mission and values in the past for brief research trips and travel to academic conferences,” Harney said.
The Office of Mission and Values at DePaul University in Chicago is active in supporting research that enhances the university’s distinctive identity as a Catholic Vincentian institution. As his project gathered steam and began to transition from journal articles toward a book, he sought to apply for the grant.
Harney studies American Vincentian missionaries in China from 1923-1951. To date, he has worked specifically on the men of the Congregation of the Mission, the Vincentian order.
While the grant funds research travel, he is planning trips in two states and two international locations, including California, Pennsylvania, Japan and Italy. He plans to begin his research in the summer of 2018.
“I am hopeful I may be able to make one or two of the American trips a little earlier, as they require considerably less time commitment,” he said.
When Harney travels to Pennsylvania, he will be visiting the Ducournau Archives of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of Mission in Philadelphia, which is an area of the Vincentian history he has studied.
In California, he plans to collect resources at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, which holds a collection of materials from the Republican Period in Chinese History, he explained.
“The trips abroad focus on acquiring primary source material that will help flesh out the broader context of my project,” Harney said.
In Taiwan, he will visit the Republic of China official archives to gather materials reflecting official government policy and views on the missionaries during their time in China. When he travels to Vatican City, he will gather information on the broader structure of Catholic missionary work in China and the American Vincentian position within that framework.
“I’m excited about getting things up and running,” he said. “I have been working on this book for a few years now, but these trips will move me into a phase focused on producing sample chapters and a sophisticated book proposal.
“I’m really thrilled; this grant takes what I felt was a very promising scholarly project and has essentially put me well on the path to producing a scholarly book,” he concluded