Five professors named 2024 Guggenheim Fellows

Harvard faculty members to win Guggenheim Fellowships this year are Tiya Miles (clockwise from top left), Kosuke Imai, Carola Suárez-Orozco, Tracy K. Smith, and James Wood.

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Five Harvard professors were awarded Guggenheim Fellowships this year, drawing support for projects that range from the political to the literary.

Tracy K. Smith, professor of English and of African and African American Studies and the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, won a fellowship for her work examining a variety of Afro-diasporic cultures in connection to Black Lyric poetry. Smith, a former U.S. poet laureate, is the author of five poetry collections, a memoir, and most recently the memoir-manifesto “To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul.”

Tiya Miles, Michael Garvey Professor of History and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor, will study the lives and writings of Harriet Jacobs and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who authored important books in the fight against racial slavery in the 1850s and early 1860s. Miles, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow and winner of the 2021 National Book Award for “All That She Carried,” will specifically investigate how an enslaved Black woman and free white woman both came to focus on sexual predation in the context of bondage. Miles will also explore how their visions differed while tracing contemporary resonances with the #MeToo movement and more. 

For James Wood, professor of the practice of literary criticism, the fellowship will support work on his forthcoming “Show Us the Father,” a story of human oddity and class in post-war Britain. The book focuses on Wood’s late father, an enigmatic and secretive man who broke away from his family in the early 1960s and went on to join the priesthood. A New Yorker staff writer and critic, Wood is known for essays on literature as well as titles including “How Fiction Works” and “The Book Against God.”

Kosuke Imai, professor of government and of statistics, will use the fellowship to improve statistical methods for evaluating and reducing racial disparities, especially in the contexts of legislative redistricting and criminal justice systems. An expert on using algorithmic modeling to call out gerrymandering, Imai leads the ALARM project research team and has testified in several high-profile court cases concerning legislative redistricting.

Carola Suárez-Orozco, professor in residence at the Graduate School of Education and the director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, plans to write a book delving into how U.S. educators can better support the needs of immigrant students. Drawing on decades of personal research and experience as well as more recent findings, Suárez-Orozco’s book is tentatively titled “Overlooked No More: Frameworks for Reimagining Educational Flourishing for Immigrant-Origin Students.”

A total of 188 fellows from across the U.S. and Canada were chosen by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation this year. The awardees, representing 52 academic fields, were selected on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants.