Campus & Community

ACLS honors students, grads, faculty

3 min read

Grants, fellowships given for excellence in research in the humanities, social sciences

Current Harvard students, recent graduates, and two professors are among those recently awarded fellowships and grants by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). ACLS fellowships and grants are awarded to individual scholars for excellence in research in the humanities and related social sciences. The peer-review process used to select ACLS fellows enables distinguished scholars to reach broad consensus on standards of excellence in humanities research. In 2011, awards totaling nearly $15 million were made to 350 scholars worldwide.

The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships assist graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of Ph.D. dissertation writing. Recipients from Harvard include:

Abigail Krasner Balbale, doctoral candidate, history; “Between Kings and Caliphs: Religion and Authority in Sharq al-Andalus, 542-640 AH/1145-1243 C.E.”

Ana Olenina, doctoral candidate, comparative literature; “Gesture, Affect, Expression: Psychophysiology and Theories of Performance in Literature and Cinema of the 1910s-1920s”

The ACLS New Faculty Fellows program allows recent Ph.D.s in the humanities to take up two-year positions at universities and colleges across the United States where their particular research and teaching expertise augment departmental offerings. This program addresses the dire situation of newly minted Ph.D.s in the humanities and related social sciences who are now confronting an increasingly “jobless market.” Recipients from Harvard include:

Cavan Concannon, Ph.D., religion, Harvard Divinity School; appointed in religion at Duke University

Melissa Haynes, Ph.D., classical philology; appointed in classics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Phoebe Putnam, Ph.D., comparative literature; appointed in English at Stanford University

Michael Saman, Ph.D., Germanic languages and literatures; appointed in Germanic languages at the University of California, Los Angeles

Eren Tasar, Ph.D., history, Harvard; appointed in history at Washington University

Luis M. Girón-Negrón, professor of Romance languages and literatures and of comparative literature, was awarded the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for “The Old Spanish Bible of Rabbi Moshe Arragel” (with Andrés Enrique-Arias, University of the Balearic Islands). The fellowship provides support to small teams of scholars to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project that results in a tangible research product.

Claire R. Grace, a doctoral candidate in the history of art and architecture, received the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art for
“Red All Over: Collectivism and Social Critique in the Art of Group Material.” The fellowship is awarded to graduate students in any stage of Ph.D. dissertation research or writing for scholarship on a topic in the history of the visual arts of the United States.

Marc R. Loustau, a doctoral candidate in religion, received the East European Studies Program Language Grant for advanced Romanian language study. The program provides fellowships and grants to American scholars pursuing humanities and social science research in Eastern Europe. Awards include dissertation and postdoctoral fellowships for research and writing, grants for organizing conferences, and funding for travel to conferences. In addition, grants are offered to individuals for intensive summer study of East European languages and to institutions for conducting summer language courses.

Eric Nelson, professor of government, received the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars for “Thinking the Revolution: American Political Thought, 1763-1789.” The fellowship supports scholars in the humanities and social sciences in the crucial years immediately following the granting of tenure, and provides potential leaders in their fields with the resources to pursue long-term, unusually ambitious projects. They are intended to support an academic year of residence at any one of the national residential research centers participating in the program.