The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2021 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows. 

These fellowships support promising doctoral students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences with a year of funding designed to help them complete projects that will form the foundations of their scholarly careers. The program, now in its fifteenth year, is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

ACLS has named 72 fellows this year, the largest and most diverse cohort in the program’s history, selected through a multi-stage peer review process from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. Each fellow receives an award of $43,000 to support the final year of dissertation research and writing. In addition, fellows participate in a career development seminar to help them prepare for postdoctoral opportunities within and beyond the academy. 

The projects pursued by the 2021 fellowship cohort represent a wide array of research topics, including the globalized ecosystem of white supremacist movements, the decolonizing role of bearing witness in Palestinian film and art, the multi-faceted activism of Black women educators in the mid-twentieth century, and Quechua theatre’s cross-cultural signification in eighteenth-century colonial Cuzco.

“ACLS is proud to support this exceptional cohort of emerging scholars, one third of whom identify as first-generation college students and two thirds of whom identify as scholars of color, as they pursue important new directions in humanistic scholarship,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “During a time of increased need for early-career scholars, this program allows us to invest in the future of the humanities, thanks to the continued commitment of the Mellon Foundation.”