The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2021 Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship program.

The program offers opportunities for faculty in departments or programs which grant PhDs in fields of humanistic study to engage significant societal questions in their research, serve as ambassadors for humanities scholarship beyond the academy, and deepen their support for innovations in doctoral education on their campuses. This program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Scholars and Society Fellows conduct research projects while in residence at cultural, media, government, policy, or community organizations. The awards enable mutually beneficial collaborations between fellows and their host institutions and the communities they serve. Fellows return to their classrooms prepared to apply insights from their residencies and community engagements that enrich training for current PhD students in the humanities and related social sciences.

“ACLS is proud to support this exciting cohort of scholars who are demonstrating the value and vital impact of humanistic scholarship in society,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “Through the generous commitment of the Mellon Foundation, the Scholars and Society program has enabled talented higher education teaching faculty to contribute to urgent issues facing communities across the country and apply the important insights they’ve attained in supporting the next generation.”

The 2021 Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society fellowship recipients are:

  • Zara Anishanslin (University of Delaware), partnering with the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA, for London Patriots: Transatlantic Politics, Material Culture, and the American Revolution
  • David Sterling Brown (Binghamton University, State University of New York), partnering with The Racial Imaginary Institute in New York, NY, for Minding Whiteness: The Racial Imaginaries of Our Time
  • Sherwin Keith Bryant (Northwestern University), partnering with the African American Heritage Foundation of Southeastern North Carolina in Leland, NC, for Just Beyond the River: The African American Heritage Foundation of Southeastern North Carolina and the Cedar Hill Heritage Park, a Black Public Humanities Initiative
  • Ashley Coleman Taylor (University of Texas at Austin), partnering with the Counter Narrative Project in Atlanta, GA, for Atlanta As Black Queer Place
  • Eric Corbett (New York University), partnering with the Queens Public Library in Queens, NY, for Democratizing AI: Towards Robust Engagement in Public Sector AI Use
  • Alexander L. Fattal (University of California, San Diego), partnering with the AjA Project in San Diego, CA, for Image, Code, Context: The AjA Project and Countersurveillance Activism in City Heights, San Diego
  • Mary C. Foltz (Lehigh University), partnering with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBTQ Community Center in Allentown, PA, for Expanding and Activating LGBTQ Community Archives in Small Urban Centers
  • Elisabeth Gabrielle Kuenzli (University of South Carolina), partnering with the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum in Aiken, SC, for Jockeying Into Position: Race, Ethnicity, and the Rise of the Latino Jockey in the American South, XX-XXI Centuries
  • Stacie E. McCormick (Texas Christian University), partnering with The Afiya Center in Dallas, TX, for Notes on Creating Livable Futures: Black Motherhood, Medical Inhumanity and Reimagining Care
  • Tiara R. Na’puti (University of Colorado, Boulder), partnering with Independent Guåhan in Guam, for Sovereignty & Climate Change in Guåhan: Creating Sustainable Futures
  • Sandra Ristovska (University of Colorado, Boulder), partnering with the Science and Technology Law Section of the American Bar Association in Chicago, IL, for Through the Lens of the Law: Interpreting Video Evidence in US Courts in the Digital Age
  • Bianca C. Williams (City University of New York, The Graduate Center), partnering with Well-Read Black Girl in Brooklyn, NY, for AGENCY + CARE: Black Women’s Literature and the Power of Well-Read Black Girl(s)

Scholars and Society Fellows’ work in the post-residency year will open new realms for PhD career pathways, integrate public humanities methods and approaches into doctoral curricula, and introduce students to the variety of careers in which PhDs are creating theoretical knowledge, teaching, and communicating their research expertise.

Since its launch in 2019, this experimental program has supported 36 scholars and has enabled and strengthened important ties for colleges and universities with a wide variety of community-based organizations including the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle; KAN-WIN: Empowering Women in the Asian American Community in Chicago, IL; Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin; and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.