ACLS Shares 2021 Annual Meeting Video Recordings


The 2021 ACLS Annual Meeting was held on April 22 and 23 via Zoom. In attendance were members of the ACLS Board of Directors, delegates of the constituent societies, members of the Conference of Executive Officers, presidents of the constituent societies, representatives of affiliate organizations, representatives of college and university associate institutions, and other invited participants. Below, see video recordings of two sessions: Joy Connolly's Report to the Council and the Emerging Themes and Methods of Humanities Research panel with recent ACLS fellows.

President Joy Connolly's Report to the Council

President Joy Connolly’s Report to the Council emphasized a need for community and collective action to advance the humanities and interpretive social sciences, as well as reform in the academy, and the unique position ACLS is in to foster this collaboration between scholars, member societies, universities, and the public.

Her remarks highlighted new ACLS programs and initiatives from the past year, including the public programming series “Humanistic Scholarship in the 21st Century,” which launched with a year-long series of events focused on Black and Brown scholars in the United States; the development of spaces to collaborate on pressing issues in higher education through the Design Workshop for a New Academy and the Intention Foundry; and increased opportunities for early career scholars with the Emerging Voices Fellowship and Leading Edge Fellowship programs, as well as updated eligibility for the ACLS Fellowship program to focus on new PhDs and non-tenured scholars.

Emerging Themes and Methods of Humanities Research: Discussion with ACLS Fellows on Career Diversity

This annual session features presentations by and discussion with recent ACLS fellows on their projects. This year’s session was moderated by Frances D. Fergusson, president emeritus, Vassar College and member of the ACLS Board of Directors.
  • Elandre Dedrick, a 2019-2021 ACLS/Mellon Public Fellow appointed as program officer for leadership programs at the German Marshall Fund, was first to present. He discussed leading the “Tech for Inclusion” program, which works to strengthen social cohesion across the transatlantic space and encourages leaders across North America and Europe to advance inclusion in their work. Dedrick emphasized the experience he has attained in understanding the nuances of what inclusion means across Europe and America, and facilitating these imperative discussions in ways that lead to conflict resolution rather than division.
  • Marissa López, a 2019 Scholars and Society Fellow and professor of English and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, discussed her project, “Picturing Mexican America: A Digital, Visual, Networked History of the Future.” López discussed her partnership with the Los Angeles Public Library on "Picturing Mexican America," a cluster of digital humanities projects, including plans for a mobile app that will use geolocation technology to display historical images of Mexican Los Angeles. She gave a preview of her next project: designing workshops and programs with nonprofit 826LA for students in California that illuminate the often-overlooked Mexican history of Los Angeles.
  • Daniel Threet, a 2019 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow appointed as a research analyst at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), concluded the panel with a presentation focusing on the organization’s work on public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable homes. He shared his experience as the principal author of NLIHC’s two main publications, The Gap and Out of Reach, noting that each project has allowed him to bring a unique philosophical approach to statistical reports that help shape public consciousness about the housing shortage. Threet also discussed his COVID-related rapid response work, which played a role in gaining major emergency rental assistance in the federal COVID relief bill.

These three scholars and their presentations underscore the value of bringing humanistic inquiry to a variety of cultural and community-based policy organizations outside academia, utilizing the humanities PhD to contribute significantly to the public good and their communities.