ACLS Awards 2015 Collaborative Research Fellowships to 10 Teams of Scholars


The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Collaborative Research Fellowships. The 10 teams of scholars selected for funding cross boundaries of discipline, methodology, and geography to undertake new research projects that will result in joint publications. The program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"Scholars in the humanities and related social sciences are connecting with each other, and with scholars outside the traditional humanities, in ever more diverse ways today, to ask big questions and tackle projects whose scope and breadth exceeds the capacities any one researcher could bring," said ACLS Director of Fellowship Programs Matthew Goldfeder. "We are proud to offer more Collaborative Fellowships in 2015 than ever before, and to offer a higher level of support that better accommodates three-member teams."

This year’s collaborative projects combine expertise in a broad array of fields such as religious studies, geography, history, literature, and visual studies. That diversity extends to the area of the world being studied, which includes Bolivia, India, and Nigeria, and to the time period, from the twelfth century to the present. Moreover, the teams involve research partnerships across a range of academic institutions, in the US and beyond.

  • Philosopher Derrick Darby (Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and education historian John L. Rury (Professor, University of Kansas) are examining the links between antebellum philosophical and popular ideologies of race and the history of unequal schooling for blacks and whites, to produce a co-authored monograph that will help illuminate why the racial achievement gap in education endures today.
  • Analyzing the lack of scientific consensus about the long terms effects of exposure to radiation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, environmental historian Kate Brown (Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and evolutionary biologist Timothy A. Mousseau (Professor, University of South Carolina) will co-author journal articles for the upcoming 30th anniversary of the accident as well as a monograph that explores the interplay between scientific knowledge and the historical contexts of its production.
  • Engaging issues of who owns traditional dance, costumes, and music in Bolivia, anthropologist Michelle Bigenho (Professor, Colgate University) and ethnomusicologist Henry F. Stobart (Reader, Royal Holloway, University of London) will collaborate on a book that addresses the paradoxes of indigenous heritage and looks at a range of people—including indigenous and non-indigenous actors, state and local authorities, and other groups—to understand the motivations for, and the repercussions of, the attempts to claim and register heritage.
  • Looking at a vast range of visual media including painting, photography, performance, and cinema, African American studies scholar Leigh Raiford (Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley), art historian Cheryl Finley (Associate Professor, Cornell University), and American studies scholar Heike Raphael-Hernandez (Professor, Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg) will complicate masculinist paradigms of the "African Diaspora" and show how African-descended women have been active participants in and creators of diasporic cultures.
  • Literature scholars Joseph Bristow (Professor, University of California, Los Angeles), Rebecca N. Mitchell (Lecturer, University of Birmingham), and Yvonne Ivory (Associate Professor, University of South Carolina) will publish a critical edition of Oscar Wilde’s epigrams, the public lectures he made in England, Ireland, Canada, and the US in the 1880s, unpublished essays and reviews, and several dramas he left unfinished, and bring to light these under-studied but vital pieces of his writing.
  • In The Country and the City: For a Poetics of Informal Economies in Contemporary India, geographer Vinay Gidwani (Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) and gender, women, and sexuality studies scholar Priti Ramamurthy (Professor, University of Washington, Seattle) document the experiences, life-making activities, and desires of poor urban migrants working in India’s cities while remaining connected to the villages from whence they came.
  • Historians David Wheat (Assistant Professor, Michigan State University) and Marc V. Eagle (Associate Professor, Western Kentucky University) trace the evolution of the sixteenth-century trans-Atlantic slave trade conducted by the Spanish and Portuguese empires, providing new insight into the interconnectedness of these two empires and the pathways by which sub-Saharan Africans became an essential part of colonial Spanish American societies.
  • Combining ethnographies of religious practices with an examination of theological and political theories of law and justice, religious studies scholars Vincent Lloyd (Assistant Professor, Syracuse University) and Joshua Dubler (Assistant Professor, University of Rochester) demonstrate the important role that a changing American religious landscape has played in the exponential prison growth over the last 40 years.
  • In Object Histories—Flotsam as Early Globalism, art historians Beate Fricke (Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley) and Finbarr Flood (Professor, New York University) draw from case studies in the medieval European and Islamic worlds to tackle the methodological and theoretical issues of writing histories of flotsam, when the only source one has is a unique surviving artifact, image, or monument divorced from other documentation of its contexts.
  • Anthropologist Elizabeth Bird (Professor, University of South Florida) and historian Fraser M. Ottanelli (Professor, University of South Florida) will work with community members in Nigeria to shed new light on the pivotal 1967 Asaba massacre, to rethink the accepted history of the civil war, and to contribute to a deeper understanding of the construction of memory in the community and the long “after-life” of traumatic conflicts.

More information on this year's 10 funded projects is available here.

Contact: Matthew Goldfeder, 212-697-1505 x124