ACLS Names 67 Dissertation Completion Fellows

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ACLS Names 67 Dissertation Completion Fellows

Photograph from the UK Department for International Development, Soroti, Uganda, 2012. This photograph shows a group of Ugandans with disabilities meeting with the British Development Minister and Nigerian-British Paralympian Adedoyin Adepitan in Soroti, Uganda. In his dissertation, Tyler Zoanni examines the Christian groups that have become major providers of care and advocacy for disabled Ugandans to explore the treatment and perception of disability and people with disabilities in Uganda.


The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the 2018 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows. The 67 fellows, who hail from 34 US universities, were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants through a multistage peer-review process. The program, now in its twelfth year, 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.

One of the most exciting aspects of this program is that we get to support projects that will help shape the next generation of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences,” said ACLS program officer Rachel Bernard. “The fellows’ work represents a broad range of time periods, regions of the world, and disciplines—including philosophy, geography, literature, music, archaeology, and history, among others—and yet many of their projects coalesce around particular themes. Themes that emerged this year include the study of indigenous peoples, transnational migrations of people and ideas, and connections between culture and the arts and political economy.”

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.

Nisa Ari (History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Parity and Disparity: Cultural Politics and the Formation of Palestinian Art

David Atenasio (Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago) Collective Responsibility by Agreement

Amiri Ayanna (History, Brown University) The Ethics of Everyday Life: Vernacular Devotional Literature by Women in Germany's Long Fifteenth Century

Fabio Battista (Comparative Literature, City University of New York, The Graduate Center) Cultural Translation in Early Modern Italy: Fiction and English Affairs, 1590-1690

Burcu Baykurt (Communications, Columbia University) The City as Data Machine: Local Governance in the Age of Big Data

Tania Bhattacharyya (History, Columbia University) Ocean Bombay: Space, Itinerancy, and Community in an Imperial Port City, 1839-1945

Kathryn A. Catlin (Anthropology, Northwestern University) Archaeology of Marginal Settlements and Environmental Change in Hegranes, North Iceland

Amanda R. Cheong (Sociology and Social Policy, Princeton University)

Access to Civil Registration as a Mode of Stratification

Eunsung Cho (History, Columbia University) The Thread of Juche: Vinalon, a Figuration between Science and Society in North Korea, 1948-1970

Margaret K. Clark (Classics, University of Texas at Austin) Laying the Groundwork: Agricultural Land in the Roman Agricultural Imaginary

Jonathan D. Cohen (History, University of Virginia) For a Dollar and a Dream: State Lotteries and American Inequality

Emilie Connolly (History, New York University) Indian Trust Funds and the Routes of American Capitalism, 1795-1865

Sarah Louise Cowan (History of Art, University of California, Berkeley) Mending Abstraction: Howardena Pindell’s Nonrepresentational Black Feminisms, 1967-1986

Natalie Deam (French and Italian, Stanford University) The Fantastic Natural and the Evolutionary Imagination in Nineteenth-Century France

Bakary Diaby (English, Rutgers University-New Brunswick) Sensing Meaning: Aesthetics and Vulnerability in the Romantic Age

Myisha S. Eatmon (History, Northwestern University) Public Wrongs, Private Rights: African Americans, Private Law, and White Violence during Jim Crow

Matthew J. Elia (Religious Studies, Duke University) Ethics in the Afterlife of Slavery: Race, Augustinian Politics, and the Problem of the Christian Master

Georgia C. Ennis (Anthropology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Mediating Endangerment: Local Radio and Language Vitality in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Susanna Ferguson (History, Columbia University) Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Childrearing, and Education in Egypt and Lebanon, 1850-1939

Javier Fernandez Galeano (History, Brown University) Contested Sexualities: Male Homosexuality and the State in Twentieth-Century Argentina and Spain

Robby Finley (Philosophy, Columbia University) Logic in Accounts of the Potential and Actual Infinite

Beverly Fok (Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) Land Reclamation from the Ground Up

Macario Mateo Garcia (Anthropology, University of Virginia) In Here for a Reason: Mobility, Animacy, and Becoming Human in the Correctional United States

Zoltán Glück (Anthropology, City University of New York, The Graduate Center)

Security and Social Transformation: An Anthropology of Kenya’s War on Terror, 1998-2018

Tamara Golan (History of Art, Johns Hopkins University) Hans Fries and Niklaus Manuel: Evidence, Inquiry, and Knowledge in Swiss Painting, 1430-1530

Luke Gramith (History, West Virginia University) Liberation by Emigration: Italian Communists, the Cold War, and West-East Migration from Venezia Giulia, 1945-1949

Caroline Grego (History, University of Colorado Boulder) Hurricane of the New South: Disruption, Dispossession, and the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893

Julia Jong Haines (Anthropology, University of Virginia) Archaeology at Nineteenth-Century Bras d’Eau, Mauritius: Intimate Spaces and Industrial Landscapes of Indentured Laborers

Ashlee Hart (Anthropology, University of Buffalo, State University of New York)

Convening Cultures in Thrace: Evaluating Interaction through Ceramic Technological Choices

Stephen Chase Evans Hopkins (English, Indiana University Bloomington) The Infernal Laboratory: Hell and Apocryphal Hermeneutics in the Medieval North Sea

April Hovav (Sociology, University of Southern California) The Global Market for Wombs: A Study of the Transnational Surrogacy Industry in Mexico

Caitlin Keliiaa (Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley) Unsettling Domesticity: Native Women and US Indian Policy in the San Francisco Bay Area

Ian Kretzler (Anthropology, University of Washington) Landscapes of Survivance: Archaeology of Reservation Lifeways at Grand Ronde

Emily Laskin (Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley) Geopoetics and Geopolitics: Landscape, Empire, and the Literary Imagination in the Great Game

Julia Mavis Lewandoski (History, University of California, Berkeley) Indigenous Proprietors Across Empires in North America, 1763-1891

Kerry Manzo (English, Texas Tech University) When We See It, We Shall Be Happy: The Mbari Movement, Queer Emergence, and Counterpublics in the Production of African Literature

Andrea Marston (Geography, University of California, Berkeley) Thieves of Patria: Vertical Politics in Plurinational Bolivia

Hiroaki Matsusaka (History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) Transpacific Anti-Imperialism: Social Movements and Race-Making in Migrant and Minority Cultures in the United States and East Asia, 1919-1951

James McNally (Music, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) São Paulo Underground: Creativity, Collaboration, and Cultural Production in a Multi-Stylistic Experimental Music Scene

Adeana McNicholl (Religious Studies, Stanford University) Hungry Ghosts and Celestial Seductresses: Preta Narratives in Early South Asian Buddhism

Lucas M. Mueller (History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Toxic Relationships: Poisons, Health, and the Politics of Science and Trade in the Postcolonial World

Elizabeth Newton (Music, City University of New York, The Graduate Center)

Lo-fi Recordings and the Reproduction of Affect, 1988-1996

Elsa A. Noterman (Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison) Vacant Geographies: Dispossession, Resistance, and Speculative Futures in Philadelphia’s Abandoned Properties

Elizabeth O'Brien (History, University of Texas at Austin) Intimate Interventions: The Cultural Politics of Reproductive Surgery in Mexico, 1790-1940

Benjamin Ogrodnik (History of Art, University of Pittsburgh) The Rise of Ruin Cinema: Working-Class Filmmaking in the US Rust Belt

Jesse J. Olsavsky (History, University of Pittsburgh) “Fire and Sword Will Do More Good”: Fugitives, Vigilance Committees, and the Making of Revolutionary Abolitionism, 1835-1859

Sean O'Neil (History, Columbia University) The Art of Signs: Symbolic Notation and Visual Thinking in Early Modern Europe, 1550-1750

Helen Panagiotopoulos (Anthropology, City University of New York, The Graduate Center)

The Question of Money: State, Protest, and Informal Currencies in the Wake of Greece’s Economic Crisis

Amanda Perry (Comparative Literature, New York University) The Cuban Revolution, Race, and Pan-Caribbean Futures

John Phillips (Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Cognitive Agency and the Possibility of Rational Evaluation

Danya Pilgrim (American Studies and African American Studies, Yale University)

Gastronomic Alchemy: How Black Philadelphia Caterers Transformed Taste into Capital, 1790-1925

Elizabeth Polcha (English, Northeastern University) Redacting Desire: The Sexual Politics of Colonial Science in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

Jawan Shir Rasikh (South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania)

The Rural in Medieval Afghanistan: Islamization of the Region of Ghur in Tenth through Twelfth Centuries

Melissa Reynolds (History, Rutgers University-New Brunswick) “Gentyll Reader Ye Shall Understande”: Practical Books and the Making of an English Reading Public, 1400-1560

Rachel N. Schine (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago) On Blackness in Arabic Popular Literature: The Black Heroes of the Siyar Sha‘biyya, Their Conception, Contests, and Contexts

John B. Seitz (History, Iowa State University) Science and the Steppe: Agronomists, Nomads, and the Settler Colony on the Kazakh Steppe, 1881-1917

Matthew B. Shutzer (History, New York University) Extractive Ecologies: Fossil Fuels, Global Capital, and Postcolonial Development in India, 1870-1975

Haeden E. Stewart (Anthropology, University of Chicago) In the Shadow of Industry: Toxic Legacies of Mill Creek Ravine

Tomonori Sugimoto (Anthropology, Stanford University) Rearticulated Sovereignty: Indigenous Claim-Making in Urban Taiwan

Peter Tan (Philosophy, University of Virginia) Counternomics

Joseph M. Thompson (History, University of Virginia) Sounding Southern: Music, Militarism, and the Making of the Sunbelt

Sonia Tycko (History, Harvard University) Captured Consent: Bound Service and Freedom of Contract in Early Modern England and English America

Emily Vasquez (Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University) (Pre)diabetic Nation: Diagnosing Risk and Remaking Medicine in Mexico

Alex-Thai Dinh Vo (History, Cornell University) From Anticolonialism to Mobilizing Socialist Transformation in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1945-1960

Jennifer Walker (Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Sounding the Ralliement: Republican Reconfigurations of Catholicism in the Music of Third Republic Paris, 1880–1905

Alex Werth (Geography, University of California, Berkeley) Disturbing the Gentrified City: The Racial/Spatial Politics of Nuisance and Joy in Oakland

Tyler Zoanni (Anthropology, New York University) In the Image of God: Disability and Christianity in Uganda

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