Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellows

ACLS created the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars to support scholars in the humanities and social sciences in the crucial years immediately following the granting of tenure, and to provide emerging leaders in their fields with the resources to pursue long-term, unusually ambitious projects. The 2020 cohort is the twenty-first and final for the program, which over the past two decades has supported nearly 275 scholars as they took up year-long residencies at independent research centers and universities.
The Burkhardt Fellowships are generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. They are named for the late Frederick Burkhardt, President Emeritus of ACLS, whose decades of work on The Correspondence of Charles Darwin constitute a signal example of dedication to a demanding and ambitious scholarly enterprise.

Read more about this fellowship program.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Joy H. Calico
Joy H. Calico  |  Abstract
Musicologists have just begun to study a crucial component in the reconstruction of European cultural life after World War II: the remigration of musicians who had been in exile, returning in person or in the form of their music. This study adapts remigration models focused on the literal return of individuals and groups to better accommodate musical remigration. Because composers are most significantly present in the aural materiality of their music, and Arnold Schoenberg’s name was synonymous with modernism and its persecution across Europe, his symbolic postwar reappearance via performances of that music was a powerful form of remigration. This project examines that phenomenon via the performance and reception history of Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” in seven European contexts between 1950 and 1961.

Associate Professor, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University  -  A Musical Remigration: Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” in Postwar Europe
For residence at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during academic year 2009-2010

Samuel Moyn
Samuel Moyn  |  Abstract
In the emerging historiography of human rights as an idea and as a practice, no attention has been given to the era in which human rights burst onto the public scene and became a permanent fixture of moral consciousness and political rhetoric: the 1970s. In that decade, thanks to the percolation of the ideas of dissidents, human rights exploded—not before. This study carefully examines the first decade of the usage of human rights and investigates through a series of case studies the way Westerners began to reorient themselves to the rest of the world via this new language and thanks to a new set of practices.

Professor, History, Columbia University  -  The Last Utopia: The Recent History of Human Rights, 1970-Present
For residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies during academic year 2008-2009

Deborah Anne Cohen
Deborah Anne Cohen  |  Abstract
This book examines the interplay between families and secrecy over the course of a century and a half in which both the definition of a family and the rules about what could be discussed openly were rewritten in Britain. It makes two main arguments. First, there is no straightforward story of progressive, enlightened de-closeting; different family secrets had different trajectories, some moving towards disclosure even as others tended towards greater concealment. Second, families did not simply enforce social norms. Rather, they played a crucial role in arbitrating and even creating them. Because the closely-guarded skeletons in one era's closet hardly provoked comment in another, an investigation of family secrets makes possible an overarching history of social stigma in Britain.

Associate Professor, History, Brown University  -  Family Secrets: The Rise of Confessional Culture in Britain, 1840-1990
For residence at the Newberry Library during academic year 2009-2010

Bianca Premo
Bianca Premo  |  Abstract
This book is about the Enlightenment, but its protagonists are not European intellectuals. They are illiterate, poor or enslaved colonial subjects who sued their superiors in royal courts. Comparing four types of civil litigation in five regions of Spain’s empire, the book reveals that suits against “proximate authority figures” swelled during the late 1700s in the colonies rather than in the mother country. Close analysis of the suits women, slaves, and Indians brought against husbands, masters, and native leaders shows that colonial litigants invoked new concepts of rights, sovereignty, and equality, producing a colonial Enlightenment. Such findings encourage us to reconsider the place of the Spanish empire in traditional narratives of the West and to rethink the geography of modernity.

Associate Professor, History, Florida International University  -  Taking Tyrants to Court: Civil Litigation in the Spanish Empire during the Age of Enlightenment
For residence at the Newberry Library during academic year 2010-2011

Aaron John James
Aaron John James  |  Abstract
This project undertakes a systematic philosophical study of the questions of fairness that arise in the post-war global economy. Placing special emphasis on the multilateral system of international trade, the book-project argues for the central importance of the idea of "structural equity" and defends three substantial fairness principles for the trading system. These three principles have significant consequences for socio-economic inequality, within and across societies. They are also essential for an adequate resolution of "trade related" issues concerning intellectual property, labor, and environmental standards. Working with the social contract tradition, the project develops a "constructivist" methodology as applied to a practically urgent set of moral questions.

Associate Professor, Philosophy, University of California, Irvine  -  Fairness in the Global Economy
For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2009-2010

Marsha L. Weisiger
Marsha L. Weisiger  |  Abstract
“The River Runs Wild” explores the environmental and intellectual history of wildness, focusing on western rivers as constructed, natural, and imagined wild places. Examining eight western rivers—some highly altered by dams and other constructions, others designated “wild and scenic”—this project contemplates the multiple gendered meanings of the wild and the shifting boundaries between wildness and artifice. It argues that even in the most constructed environments, wild nature manages to assert itself, while those places we imagine as wild are often less than they seem.

Associate Professor, History, New Mexico State University  -  The River Runs Wild
For residence at the Huntington Library during academic year 2008-2009

Michael Edward Kulikowski
Michael Edward Kulikowski  |  Abstract
“The Rhetoric of Being Roman” changes the way we analyse the relationship between Romans and barbarians in late antiquity by recognizing that the political rhetoric of civilization and barbarism is not firmly linked to the real ethnic and regional distinctions also visible in contemporary sources. In consequence, we can ask new questions about when and why the rhetoric of barbarism was applied as a tool in the factional and regional disputes of the fourth century. We soon see how the basic stability of fourth-century politics was disrupted when, at the start of the fifth century, a number of Roman officers realized that to be demonized as a barbarian by one’s political enemies was not necessarily a handicap: on the contrary, it could be a formidable weapon within the Roman state.

Associate Professor, History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville  -  The Rhetoric of Being Roman: Fourth-Century Politics and the End of Empire
For residence at the National Humanities Center during academic year 2009-2010

Richard J. Will
Richard J. Will  |  Abstract
“Mozart Live” examines the reinvention of Mozart’s music by players, singers, conductors, and film and stage directors, focusing on the last hundred years when media technology has preserved thousands of Mozart performances for study. Those performances cut across media and musical genres, and across the divide between classical and popular culture. Considering representative performances, associated archival materials, and contemporaneous scholarship and criticism, the project constructs a richly contextualized history, demonstrating how Mozart performance has engaged broad debates about the value of classical music in the modern era.

Associate Professor, Music, University of Virginia  -  Mozart Live: Performance, Media, and Reinvention in Classical Music
For residence at the National Humanities Center during academic year 2009-2010

Kristina Milnor
Kristina Milnor  |  Abstract
This study concerns the fragments of textual graffiti which survive on the walls of the Roman city of Pompeii. In particular, it focuses on those writings which either quote canonical authors directly, or show the influence—in diction, style, or structure—of elite Latin literature. While previous scholarship has described these fragments as popular distortions of well-known texts, this study argues that they are important cultural products in their own right, since they are able to give us insight into how ordinary Romans responded to and sometimes rewrote works of canonical literature. Additionally, since graffiti are at once textual and material artifacts, they give us the opportunity to see how such writings gave meaning to, and were given meaning by, the ancient urban environment.

Associate Professor, Classics, Barnard College  -  Poetic Practices in Roman Pompeii: The Literary Graffiti and their Contexts
For residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies during academic year 2008-2009