Announcing Our Central Program’s ACLS Fellows


This map of Siberia from the late seventeenth century depicts Russia's holdings as a patchwork of distinct ethnic territories. In her research, ACLS Fellow Valerie Kivelson uses visual material such as this to explore Russian encounters with the people and places they conquered and controlled in the early modern era. Image attribution

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to name the 2017 ACLS Fellows. This competition saw the program grow to support more scholars than ever before and to provide a higher level of funding for awardees. The set of 71 fellows was selected through ACLS’s rigorous, multi-stage peer-review process from a pool of nearly 1,200 applicants—one of the largest in the history of the program. ACLS also raised the stipend level for awardees at the ranks (or rank equivalents) of assistant and associate professor to $40,000 and $50,000 respectively. The stipend for scholars at the full professor level is $70,000. The fellowships support scholars for six to twelve months of full-time research and writing.

“The 2017 ACLS Fellows represent more than 50 colleges and universities and an array of humanities disciplines and methodologies,” said Matthew Goldfeder, ACLS's director of fellowship programs. “The awardees were selected for their potential to bring new understandings of the human experience and creativity, from antiquity to the present, in contexts across the globe. We are grateful to be able to support the intellectual vitality and rigor of humanistic inquiry at this challenging moment.”

The ACLS Fellowship program, the longest-running of our current fellowship and grant programs, is funded by ACLS’s endowment, which has received contributions from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council’s Research University Consortium and college and university associates, past fellows, and individual friends of ACLS.

ACLS Fellows and project titles are listed below; for more information about the recipients and their projects, click here.

  • Sara L. Ahbel-Rappe (Professor of Classical Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) The Charioteer’s Circuit: Plato’s Self-Moving Myth in Late Antique Text Networks and Beyond
  • Esra Akin-Kivanc (Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, University of South Florida) Muthanna/Mirror Writing in Islamic Art: History, Aesthetics, and Meaning
  • Hannah Chadeayne Appel (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles) Oil and the Licit Life of Capitalism in Equatorial Guinea
  • Mary Bachvarova (Professor of Classical Studies, Willamette University) Calling the Gods: How Cult Practices Moved across Space and Time in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
  • Edward E. Baptist (Professor of History, Cornell University) Predators and Prey: From Fugitives to Ferguson, Missouri
  • Allison M. Bigelow (Assistant Professor of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia) Cultural Touchstones: Mining, Refining, and the Languages of Empire in the Early Americas
    ACLS/New York Public Library Fellow
  • Sarah Bridger (Associate Professor of History, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) Science in the Seventies: Battling for the Soul of a Profession, from the Vietnam War to Star Wars
    ACLS/New York Public Library Fellow
  • Mariana P. Candido (Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame) Land, Material Goods, and Slaves: African Women’s Accumulation of Wealth in West Central Africa in the Nineteenth Century
  • Jennifer E. Cazenave (Assistant Professor of World Languages, University of South Florida) An Archive of the Catastrophe: Recovering the Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah”
  • Giuliana Chamedes (Assistant Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison) The Vatican, Catholic Internationalism, and the Battle for Europe, 1918-1958
  • Amy Chazkel (Associate Professor of History, City University of New York, Queens College) Urban Chiaroscuro: Rio de Janeiro and the Politics of Nightfall
  • Matthew J. Christensen (Professor of Literatures and Cultural Studies, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) Unsovereign Bodies: The State and the Individual Subject in African Detective Fiction
  • Michael David-Fox (Professor of Foreign Service and History, Georgetown University) Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule
  • Brian DeLay (Associate Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley) Shoot the State: Guns, Freedom, and Domination in the Americas, 1774-1934
  • Laura Eichelberger (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio) Spoiling and Sustainability: Water Insecurity, Health, and Indigenous Citizenship in Northwest Alaska
  • Jeffrey M. Einboden (Professor of English, Northern Illinois University) Jefferson’s Muslim Fugitives: The Lost Story of American Slavery and Arabic Emancipation
  • Samera Esmeir (Associate Professor of Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley) The Struggle that Remains: Between the World and the International
  • Michelle Facos (Professor of Art History, Indiana University Bloomington) The Copenhagen Art Academy circa 1800: Reinventing Tradition
  • Lieba Faier (Associate Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles) The Banality of Good
  • Claire L. Fanger (Associate Professor of Religion, Rice University) Prophecy in Practice: The Everyday Life of Divine Knowledge in the Twelfth Century
  • Leah M. Feldman (Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Chicago) On the Threshold of Eurasia: Revolutionary Poetics in the Caucasus
  • Aaron A. Gerow (Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and Film and Media Studies, Yale University) The Theory Complex: A History of Japanese Film Thought
    ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow
  • Simon Gilhooley (Assistant Professor of Political Studies, Bard College) The Compact: The Proslavery Origins of the Modern US Constitution
  • Stuart H. Goldberg (Associate Professor of Russian, Georgia Institute of Technology) An Indwelling Voice: Sincerities and Authenticities in Russian Poetry, 1782-2001
  • Joshua R. Grace (Assistant Professor of History, University of South Carolina) The African Car: Technology, Mobility, and Development in Tanzania, 1870-2015
  • Sarah B.H. Hamill (Assistant Professor of Art History, Oberlin College) Surface Matters: Contemporary Photography and the Metaphor of Sculpture
  • Jill Lindsey Harrison (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder) Regulatory Culture and the Failure of Government Programs for Environmental Justice
  • William C. Hedberg (Assistant Professor of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University) Embracing the Margins: Translation, Nation, and Chinese Fiction in Early Modern Japan
  • Lauren Heidbrink (Assistant Professor of Human Development, California State University, Long Beach) Negotiated Returns: Migration and Deportation of Unaccompanied Youth
  • Geraldine Heng (Associate Professor of English, Middle Eastern Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies, University of Texas at Austin) Early Globalities: The Interconnected World, 500-1500
  • Matthew Howard Hersch (Assistant Professor of History of Science, Harvard University) Abort to Orbit
    ACLS/Oscar Handlin Fellow
  • Nancy J. Hirschmann (Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania) Freedom, Power, and Disability
  • Rosario Hubert (Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Trinity College, CT) Disorientations. Writing China in Latin America
  • Maki Isaka (Professor of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) Femmes Fatales, Honorary Men, and Muted Feminine Voices: Women's Gidayû-Music and Fandom in Modern Japan
  • Christopher F. Jones (Assistant Professor of History, Arizona State University) Immaterial Growth: Energy and Economics in the American Century
  • Samantha Kelly (Professor of History, Rutgers University-New Brunswick) Crucible of Christian Cultures: Ethiopian and European Scholars in Reformation Rome
  • Richard Kernaghan (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida) Semblance in Terrain: On the Legal Topographies of Postwar, in Peru’s Upper Huallaga Valley
  • Valerie A. Kivelson (Professor of History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Icons of Eurasian Empire: Early Modern Russian Visions of Encounter, Conquest, and Rule
  • Benjamin N. Lawrance (Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and History, Rochester Institute of Technology) Nations Inside Out: An African Refugee Grammar
  • Michael G. Lee (Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia) German Landscape and the Aesthetics of Administration: Peter Joseph Lenné and His Circle, 1815-1848
  • Lisa Levenstein (Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro) When Feminism Went Viral: The American Women's Movement in the 1990s and Beyond
  • Tania Lombrozo (Associate Professor of Psychology and Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley) Learning by Thinking: Thought Experiments as a Window onto Human Understanding
  • Louis Herns Marcelin (Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Miami) Democratization Process, Violence, and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Haiti
  • Carmen Martinez Novo (Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Kentucky) The Decline of Indigenous Rights in Latin America
  • Erik S. McDuffie (Associate Professor of African American Studies and History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Garveyism in the Diasporic Midwest: The American Heartland and Global Black Freedom, 1920-1980
  • Lydia L. Moland (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Colby College) Hegel's Aesthetics: The Art of Idealism
  • Amrita Chakrabarti Myers (Associate Professor of History and Gender Studies, Indiana University Bloomington) Remembering Julia: A Tale of Sex, Race, Power, and Place
  • Luisa Nardini (Associate Professor of Music, University of Texas at Austin) Liturgical Hypertexts: Prosulas for the Proper of the Mass in Beneventan Manuscripts
  • Megan Nutzman (Assistant Professor of History, Old Dominion University) Asclepius and Elijah: Ritual Healing in Roman and Late Antique Palestine
  • Christopher J. Nygren (Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh) Matter and Similitude in Italian Painting and the Transatlantic Renaissance
  • Junaid Quadri (Assistant Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago) Transformations of Tradition: Islamic Law in Colonial Modernity
  • Evan Ragland (Assistant Professor of History, University of Notre Dame) Experimental Life: Medicine, Science, and the Emergence of a Culture of Experiment
  • Joanne Rappaport (Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University) The Dawn of Action Research in Latin America: Orlando Fals Borda and La Rosca de Investigación y Acción Social
  • Karin Sabrina Roffman (Senior Lecturer of Humanities, English, and American Studies, Yale University) The Story of Next Week: John Ashbery's Middle and Later Years
  • Charles Sanft (Associate Professor of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Literate Community in Early Imperial China
  • Suzana M. Sawyer (Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davis) Suing Chevron: Law, Science, and Contamination in Ecuador and Beyond
  • Tad B. Schmaltz (Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Early Modern Metaphysics and the Material World: Suárez, Descartes, Spinoza
  • Benjamin Robert Siegel (Assistant Professor of History, Boston University) The Nation in Pain: American Bodies and Indian Pharmaceuticals in an Age of Distress
  • Paolo Squatriti (Professor of History, Romance Languages and Literatures, and the Environment, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Pleasing Plants and Worrisome Weeds: Botanical Change in Early Medieval Europe
  • Justin Stearns (Associate Professor of Arab Crossroads Studies, New York University Abu Dhabi) Islamic Thought and the Natural World in the Early Modern Maghreb: Revealed Science in the Age of al-Hasan al-Yusi
  • Noa Steimatsky (Visiting Scholar of Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley) The Cinecittà Refugee Camp: History and Memory of a Movie Studio, 1944-1950
  • Justin Steinberg (Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago) Mimesis on Trial: Boccaccio’s Realism, Judicial Inquest, and the Rise of the Novella
  • Rian Thum (Associate Professor of History, Loyola University New Orleans) Islamic China
  • Deborah Tor (Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame) The Great Seljuq Sultanate and the Formation of Islamic Civilization, 1040-1194: A Thematic History
  • Parker VanValkenburgh (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Brown University) Building Subjects: The Archaeology of Reducción and Forced Urbanism
  • Bharat Jayram Venkat (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Oregon) India after Antibiotics: Tuberculosis at the Limits of Cure
  • Mary Weismantel (Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University) An Archaeology of Sex: The Moche Sex Pots
  • Sarah Ann Wells (Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison) The Labor of Images: Work and its Discontents in Brazilian Cinema, 1975-Present
  • Caroline Wigginton (Assistant Professor of English, University of Mississippi) Indigenuity: Native Craftwork and the Material of Early American Books
    ACLS/Carl and Betty Pforzheimer Fellow
  • Thomas A. Wilson (Professor of History, Hamilton College) Historical Constructions and Ritual Formations of the Cult of Confucius
    Supported in part by the Frederic E. Wakeman, Jr. Fund for Chinese History
  • Andrew Zimmerman (Professor of History, The George Washington University) Conjuring Freedom: A Global History of the Civil War

Contact: Matthew Goldfeder, 212-697-1505 x124

The American Council of Learned Societies, a private, nonprofit federation of 74 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. Advancing scholarship by awarding fellowships and strengthening relations among learned societies is central to ACLS’s work. This year, ACLS will award more than $18 million to over 300 scholars across a variety of humanistic disciplines.

Image: Semёn Remezov, Chertezhnaia kniga, Rossiiskaia gosudarstvennaia biblioteka [Russian State Library], Moscow, Rukopisnyi otdel [Mauscript Division], f. 256, Rumiantsev Collection, no. 346,l. 23. [Back to top]