ACLS Names 67 Dissertation Completion Fellows


Youth playing the  aulos, from a detail of a banquet scene on the tondo of an Attic red-figure  cup, ca. 460-450 BCE. In his dissertation about aulos performance in ancient  Greece, Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow Caleb Simone reinterprets  the performance culture surrounding this instrument, offering a fresh  perspective on the literature and art of ancient Greece and making the sounds  of this ancient culture more accessible for emerging conversations about how  music affects the body.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2019 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows. The 67 fellows, who hail from 42 US universities, comprise one of the most institutionally diverse cohorts in the history of this fellowship. They were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants through multiple stages of peer review. Now in its thirteenth year, the fellowship program offers promising graduate students a year of funding so that they can focus their attention on completing projects that form the foundations of their scholarly careers.

“The innovative research undertaken by our Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows represents the future of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences,” said ACLS program officer Valerie Popp. “The fellows’ work spans a broad range of time periods, geographic regions, and disciplines, including philosophy, literature, gender studies, music, history, and sociology. Amid such diverse research topics, several notable themes emerged this year, including the study of carceral states; the exploration of connections among culture, politics, and ecological change; and a focus on labor in communities around the world.”

The fellowship provides a $30,000 stipend and up to $8,000 in research funds and university fees to advanced graduate students in their final year of dissertation writing. The program, which is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, also includes a faculty-led academic job market seminar, hosted by ACLS, to further prepare fellows for their postgraduate careers.

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

Celia Abele (French, and Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University) Collecting Knowledge, Writing the World: An Enlightenment Project?

Kessie Alexandre (Anthropology, Princeton University) Floods and Fountains: Toxicity and Revitalization through Newark’s Waterworks

William Bamber (Near and Middle East Studies, University of Washington) Fez & Sherwani: Self-fashioning, Consumption, and Ottoman Influence in Nineteenth-Century South Asia

John Bardes (History, Tulane University) Mass Incarceration in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation: Fugitive Slaves, Poor Whites, and Prison Development in Louisiana, 1805-1898

Anita N. Bateman (Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University) Ethiopia in Focus: Photography, Nationalism, Diaspora, and Modernization

Lorenzo Bondioli (History, Princeton University) Peasants, Merchants, and Caliphs: Capital and Empire in Fatimid Egypt, 900-1200 CE

Svetlana Borodina (Anthropology, Rice University) Needed Subjects: An Ethnography of the Formation of the Inclusion Complex in Russia

Benjamin Bradlow (Sociology, Brown University) Urban Origins of Democracy and Inequality: Governing São Paulo and Johannesburg, 1985-2016

Sean Kim Butorac (Political Science, University of Washington) States of Insurrection: Race, Resistance, and the Laws of Slavery, 1690-1876

Margarita Mercedes Castroman (English, Rutgers University-New Brunswick) Collecting Race: The Archival Impulse in Twentieth-Century Black Literature and Culture

Rafael Cesar (Spanish and Portuguese, New York University) Fictions of Racelessness: The Latin American Racial Imaginaries of Angola, 1901-2002

Sandy F. Chang (History, University of Texas at Austin) Across the South Seas: Gender, Intimacy, and Chinese Migrants in British Malaya, 1870s-1930s

Meghna Chaudhuri (History, New York University) A Measure of Value: Life, Land, and Agrarian Finance in South Asia, 1830-1950

Gabrielle E. Cornish (Musicology, University of Rochester) Sounding Socialist, Sounding Modern: Music, Technology, and Everyday Life in the Soviet Union, 1956-1975

Ioanida Costache (Music, Stanford University) Sounding Romani Sonic-Subjectivity: Counterhistory, Identity Formation, and Affect in Romanian-Roma Music

Kyle Ellison David (History, University of California, Irvine) Children of the Revolution: Childhood and Conflict in Rural North China, 1937-1948

Kate Driscoll (Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley) Torquato Tasso among the Muses: Gendered Communities of Readership and Response in Early Modern Italy

David E. Dunning (History, Princeton University) Writing the Rules of Reason: Notations in Mathematical Logic, 1847-1937

Usmaan M. Farooqui (Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst) Precarious Pipes: Governance, Informality, and the Politics of Access in Karachi

Sarah E.K. Fong (American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California) Making Citizens: Racialization, Settler Colonialism, and the Logics of Social Welfare, 1865-1924

Camila A. Gavin (Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego) Chicanas in Solidarity with Chile: Transnational Feminisms, the Chicana/o Movement, and Culture

Matthew Ghazarian (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University) Famine and Sectarianism in Ottoman Anatolia, 1839-1894

David Newman Glovsky (History, Michigan State University) Belonging Beyond Boundaries: Constructing a Transnational Community in a West African Borderland since 1867

Daniel A. Grant (Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison) Fluid Geographies: Race, Boundaries, and Territory in the Colorado River Borderlands

Maricarmen Hernandez (Sociology, University of Texas at Austin) To Build a Home: Informal Settlements and Environmental Inequality in Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Rebecca H. Hogue (English, University of California, Davis) Archipelagos of Resistance: Anti-Nuclear Writing of Oceania, 1975-2018

Gerard Holmes (English, University of Maryland, College Park) Discretion in the Interval: Emily Dickinson’s Musical Performances

Poyao Huang (Communication and Science Studies, University of California, San Diego) Becoming HIV Negative on PrEP: The Material Culture of HIV Medicine and Gay Taiwanese Men’s Sexual Health

Taryn D. Jordan (Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emory University) Black Soul: A Feminist Genealogy of Feeling from the Colombian Exchange to Black Lives Matter

Hyeok Hweon Kang (East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University) A Hundred Crafts: Technology, Knowledge, and the Military in Late Chosŏn Korea, 1592-1910

Anna Karpusheva (Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Kansas) In Search of a Form for Soviet Trauma: Svetlana Alexievich’s Prose between History and Literature

Anna Kelner (English, Harvard University) Tempting Visions: Women’s Visionary Writing and Its Regulation in Late Medieval England

Matthew Kilbane (English, Cornell University) Lyric Accompaniment: Poetry, Media, Society

Liz Kinnamon (Gender and Women's Studies, University of Arizona) Attention as Method: Marxism, Feminism, and the Politics of Presence

Charles A. Kollmer (History of Science, Princeton University) From Elephant to Bacterium: Microbes, Microbiologists, and the Chemical Order of Nature

Allison Korinek (French Studies and History, New York University) Lost in Translation: Language and Colonial Rule in Nineteenth-Century French Algeria

Jesús Luzardo (Philosophy, Fordham University) Nostalgic Pasts, Ironic Futures: On the Temporal Modalities of Whiteness

Claire E. Nashar (English, University at Buffalo, State University of New York) Bad Translator: Experimental Translation in New North American Poetry

Brianna Nofil (History, Columbia University) Detention Power: Jails, Camps, and the Origins of Immigrant Incarceration, 1900-2002

Carolina Ortega (History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) De Guanajuato to Green Bay: A Generational Story of Labor, Place, and Community, 1926-2010

Yalcin Ozkan (Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst) Righting a Death on the Job: The Politics of Fatal Work Accident Lawsuits in Turkey

Andrea Pauw (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia) Verses to Live By: Aljamiado Poetry in Mudejar and Morisco Communities

Caro Pirri (Literatures in English, Rutgers University-New Brunswick) Settlement Aesthetics: Theatricality, Form, Failure

Julie M. Powell (History, The Ohio State University) The Labor Army of Tomorrow: Masculinity and the Internationalization of Veterans’ Rehabilitation, 1914-1924

Elizabeth Joy Reynolds (East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University) Economies of the High Plateau: Monasteries, Merchants, and Ulak Transportation in Tibet, 1904-1959

Emma Rodman (Political Science, University of Washington) The Idea of Equality in America

Valentina J. Rozas-Krause (Architecture, University of California, Berkeley) Memorials and the Cult of Apology

Sonia Rupcic (Anthropology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Righting Sexual Wrongs? Personhood, Intent, and Sex in a former South African Homeland

Michael L. Sabbagh (Sociology, Wayne State University) Tax Foreclosure, Racialized Dispossession, and Belonging in Post-2008 Detroit

Nicolás Sánchez (Romance Studies, Duke University) The Minted-City: Money, Value, and Crises of Representation in Nineteenth-Century Colombia, 1825-1903

Allison M. Serraes (English, University of Mississippi) Carceral Matrix: Black Women’s Writing in Response to Mass Incarceration, 1963-2017

Renee Shelby (History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology) Designing Justice: Sexual Violence, Technology, and Citizen-Activism

Chelsea Rae Silva (English, University of California, Riverside) Bedwritten: Middle English Medicine and the Ailing Author

Caleb Simone (Classics, Columbia University) Enchanted Bodies: Reframing the Culture of Greek Aulos Performance

Jesse Spafford (Philosophy, City University of New York, The Graduate Center) The Coherence of Left-Libertarianism: A New Approach to Reconciling Libertarianism and Socialism

Serena S. Stein (Anthropology, Princeton University) Farmers, Donors, Settlers, Seeds: Extractivism and Convivial Ecologies in Mozambique’s Agribusiness Frontier

Shreya Subramani (Anthropology, Princeton University) Second Chance Entrepreneur: Prisoner Reentry Governance in the American City

Randa May Tawil (American Studies, Yale University) Tracing Empire: Race, Gender, and Migration from Syria through North America

Eric H. Thomas (Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Making the Frontier: Contesting Development on the Coast of Patagonia

Kemal Onur Toker (English, Brandeis University) The Poetics of the Sharing Economy: Shakespeare and Milton in the Age of the Leviathan

Nishita Trisal (Anthropology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Banking on Uncertainty: Debt, Default, and Violence in Indian-Administered Kashmir

Niina Maria Vuolajarvi (Sociology, Rutgers University-New Brunswick) Precarious Intimacies: Commercial Sex and Migration Under the Nordic Model

Zina B. Ward (History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh) Individual Differences in Cognitive Science: Conceptual, Methodological, and Ethical Issues

Rachel Q. Welsh (History, New York University) Proof in the Body: Ordeal, Justice, and the Physical Manifestation of Proof in Medieval Iberia, ca. 1050-1300

Daniel J. Williford (History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Concrete Futures: Technologies of Urban Crisis in Colonial and Postcolonial Morocco

Rixt L. Woudstra (History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Countering Independence: Architecture, Decolonization, and the Design of Stability in British Africa, 1945-1963

Farren Yero (History, Duke University) Laboratories of Consent: Vaccine Science in the Spanish Atlantic World, 1779-1840

Contact: Valerie Popp,