2019 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art


Fred Eversley, Untitled, cast polyester resin, 1970. In her dissertation about art and science in twentieth-century Los Angeles, Luce/ACLS Fellow Sharrissa Iqbal looks at Eversley’s sculptures, along with the work of Helen Lundeberg and Mary Corse, to explore how theories of modern physics influenced abstract painting and sculpture in this period.

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the recipients of the Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art, a program supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The 11 advanced graduate students were selected for their promising research in object- and image-based US art history.

“Since the early 1990s, this program has supported 300 exceptional emerging scholars of US art history,” said Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs at ACLS. “Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows have helped to shape the field of American art. Many former fellows give back to the program as senior scholars by participating in the program’s peer-review process and helping to select the promising new scholars who will continue to build the field in the coming generation.”

Each fellow receives a stipend of $34,000 to support one year of dissertation research and writing, as well as up to $4,000 for travel and research during the 2019-20 academic year. This year’s Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows are pursuing projects on a wide range of topics and media. The fellows and project titles are listed below; for more information about the recipients and their projects, click here.

Jessica Bardsley (Harvard University) Fluid Materialisms in Contemporary Art, 1960s-Present

Jessica M. DiTillio (University of Texas at Austin) After the Punchline: American Visual Parody since the 1970s as Generative Form

Theresa Downing (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) Traces: A Transhistorical Study of Fiber Ecologies in Contemporary Art

E. C. Feiss (University of California, Berkeley) Maximum Feasible Participation: Art in the War on Poverty, 1959-1973
Ellen Holtzman Fellow

Julia Fernandez (University of California, San Diego) Vanguardias Transnacionales: Reconciling the Local and the Global in Chicano Art

Maya Harakawa (City University of New York, The Graduate Center) After the Renaissance: Art and Harlem in the 1960s

Sharrissa Iqbal (University of California, Irvine) Alternative Abstractions: Art and Science in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles

Brian T. Leahy (Northwestern University) For Immediate Release: Public Relations and Contemporary Art in the United States, 1967–1990

Cyle M. Metzger (Stanford University) Deep Cuts: Art and Transgender History in the United States

Talia Bess Shabtay (Northwestern University) Machine-Eyed Modern: Art, Science, and Visual Experience in Early Cold War America

Jillian B. Vaum (University of Pennsylvania) Facing Freedom: Tracing African American Emancipation in Antebellum Portraiture

Contact: Matthew Goldfeder, fellowships@acls.org