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Jules Feiffer Named to Arts Fellowship at Columbia
Will Develop Cartoon Narratives and Write Screenplay
As Senior Fellow in National Arts Journalism Program
Jules Feiffer, the cartoonist, author and playwright, has been named a
senior fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University.
During the semester-long fellowship this fall he will develop long-form
cartoon naratives, work on a screenplay and join the scholarly life with other
fellowship recipients, students and faculty.
The program to improve and augment arts and cultural coverage in the
national media was funded for three years by a $3.5 million grant in 1996 from the
Pew Charitable Trusts. It is headquartered in Columbia's Graduate School of
Journalism, where, in addition to the School of the Arts and Columbia Business
School, its ten mid-career journalists and three senior fellows will work and study
beginning this September.
Mr. Feiffer, who won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1986, is
the author of many cartoon collections and other books; cartoon and children's
novels; plays, including Little Murders and Grown Ups; screenplays,
including Carnal Knowledge and Popeye, and revues. His first picture
book in color for young children, Meanwhile..., will be published this fall.
"I'm very excited about the fellowship," he said this week. "I have time to
work on new forms now with my new freedom," he added, referring to a salary
dispute that last week ended his 41-year association with the Village Voice.
His weekly "Feiffer" strip will continue to appear in more than 100 other papers
here and abroad.
"I'll be experimenting with narrative forms, telling long stories with
cartoons," he said. "It will be helpful at Columbia to have an office to come to
every day, where I can sit and play with ideas. At home, where I keep my studio,
there are children, there's life, there are too many distractions."
Michael Janeway, who will leave the deanship of the Medill School of
Journalism at Northwestern University this summer to head the National Arts
Journalism Program at Columbia, said:
"When I read about the Village Voice affair, I leapt at the
opportunity. Jules taught an undergraduate writing course at Northwestern last
year, and he oversaw a production of his play, Knock Knock, by drama
students. He was terrific. At Columbia, we look forward to drawing on all his
talents and encouraging him to visit classes, give an occasional guest lecture and
meet informally with students and faculty."
Mr. Feiffer said his teaching experience was "one of the most wonderful
and rewarding episodes of my life. I loved the students and I was able to get some
good writing out of them."
Besides an office at Columbia, Mr. Feiffer will receive $10,000 a month and
the use of a research assistant. He is 68 and a resident of the Upper West Side
who attended Pratt Institute and the Art Students League. He has won a number
of awards in addition to the Pulitzer, including the Academy Award for animated
cartoon for Munro in 1961, a special George Polk Memorial Award in
1962 and an Obie Award and Outer Circle Drama Critics Award for Little
Murders in 1969. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and the
American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The other senior fellows in the National Arts Journalism Program this fall
will be Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor and former review editor of
Rolling Stone, and Carlin Romano, literary critic for The Philadelphia
Inquirer and former president of the National Book Critics Circle.