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. 

Elizabeth Mary DeLoughrey
Elizabeth Mary DeLoughrey  |  Abstract
This project bridges humanistic and scientific approaches to the study of the environment by examining how radical changes in climate have been experienced in global island spaces over history and what their literary and artistic representations suggest about our current ecological crisis. It turns to the literature and history of environmental thought in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, some of the first regions to experience the devastating impact of climate change, in order to understand what a more global perspective might bring to our current environmental knowledge and mediation of ecological crisis.

Associate Professor, English, University of California, Los Angeles  -  Cultures of Climate Change: Global Island Literature and the Environment
For residence at the Huntington Library during academic year 2013-2014

Lisa M. McGirr
Lisa M. McGirr  |  Abstract
This project provides a new narrative of national prohibition. Drawing on a wide range of manuscript sources to chart the experience of ordinary Americans with this unprecedented experiment to eradicate liquor consumption, it argues that national Prohibition was both modern and partially successful—indeed, that it was at the root of modern American politics. Prohibition mobilized various groups of Americans— ranging from evangelical Protestants to ethnic workers—to act politically in new ways and to adopt new ideological perspectives. By linking an account of institutional change with a social history of popular experience, this study shows how Prohibition contributed to the growth of the administrative state, the reshaping of American liberalism, and the birth of the twentieth-century Right.

Professor, History, Harvard University  -  Prohibition and the Making of Modern America
For residence at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during academic year 2012-2013

Risa L. Goluboff
Risa L. Goluboff  |  Abstract
In 1971 and 1972, the US Supreme Court struck down vagrancy laws long used to try to control minorities, dissidents, nonconformists, and the poor. This project examines the clash over vagrancy laws in the "long 1960s," the repeal and invalidation of the laws, and, more briefly, subsequent efforts to replace them. It shows how most of the era's social movements and their legal allies joined in the vagrancy law challenge, and how understanding that challenge requires integrating the legal, social, cultural, intellectual, and political history of the decade. Perhaps more surprisingly, it shows how understanding the 1960s requires understanding vagrancy laws. Because the laws were a key way of keeping marginal people in place, their undoing was a key part of the 1960s social revolutions.

Professor, Law School, University of Virginia  -  People out of Place: The Sixties, the Supreme Court, and Vagrancy Law
For residence at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress during academic year 2012-2013

Sarah Pinto
Sarah Pinto  |  Abstract
The history of the medical disorder known as hysteria in Europe and North America is well understood. So too are hysteria’s implications for Euro-American social structures and concepts of mind. Far less examined are histories of hysteria in non-western places, the social concerns they reflect, or the ways medical conversations beyond Europe inform global understandings of science and selves. This project traces hysteria in India from early Ayurvedic texts to contemporary clinics. It asks how hysteria has taken shape as a medical diagnosis, scientific fact, gendered form of distress, and cultural idea. Proposing that hysteria never “came to” India but “grew up” there in terms specific to South Asia, it asks what these terms tell us about the movability and multiplicity of medicine.

Associate Professor, Anthropology, Tufts University  -  Hysteria in India: The Transnational History of a Medical Idea
For residence at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during academic year 2013-2014

Hsuan L. Hsu
Hsuan L. Hsu  |  Abstract
This is the first book-length study of Mark Twain’s responses to transpacific historical phenomena such as Chinese immigration, diplomatic relations with China, the annexation of Hawai’i, and the U.S. regime in the Philippines. Twain’s interest in these topics spanned his career, from early newspaper reports on arrests of “Chinamen” in San Francisco and Virginia City, Nevada, to the yellowface play he co-authored with Bret Harte; from his long-forgotten article on the 1868 Burlingame Treaty to his better-known polemics against the U.S. war of aggression in the Philippines. This project develops a broad sense of Twain's anti-imperialism and anti-racist politics by reading his fictions of slavery and the South in the context of comparative racialization.

Associate Professor, English, University of California, Davis  -  “Sitting in Darkness”: Mark Twain and America's Asia
For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2012-2013

Konstantin Pollok
Konstantin Pollok  |  Abstract
In recent years ‘normativity’ has become a research focus in the humanities and social sciences. One of the major historical positions researchers invoke here is Immanuel Kant’s philosophy. By unfolding a unified theory of normativity governing Kant’s epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, this project provides a novel contribution to this discussion. Kant replaced divine perfection as the basic norm of cognition and action with an account of judgments as the smallest intelligible units for which we can claim validity. Kant’s key to a humanistic understanding of truth and value is an idea of normativity that can be expressed in principles justifying and rationally constraining judgments about the ‘is’ and ‘ought’ of things, including human attitudes.

Associate Professor, Philosophy, University of South Carolina  -  The Space of Reason: Immanuel Kant’s Theory of Normativity
For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2012-2013

Yonglin Jiang
Yonglin Jiang  |  Abstract
Drawing on a large body of little-explored local court records, this project examines how justice was constructed in local adjudication and how justice construction and social change affected each other at times of drastic social change during the last century of Ming dynasty China (1368-1644). Using the perspectives of “encountered cultures” and “negotiated order,” it argues that as creating actors, magistrates and litigants together defined their socio-legal situations and created “situated justice”—a contingent and particularistic legal result based on concrete circumstances. In justice negotiation, while local adjudication defended the dynastic order and facilitated social change, changing society also invested the legal system with new meanings.

Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, Bryn Mawr College  -  Negotiating Justice: Local Adjudication and Social Change in Late Imperial China
For residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies during academic year 2012-2013

Yuma Totani
Yuma Totani  |  Abstract
This project explores the war crimes trials that the Allied Powers held for Japanese war crimes suspects in the wake of the Pacific War. Some 5,700 individuals were tried at various locations in the former theaters of war. This study focuses on a selection of prominent cases including the well-known command responsibility trial of Gen. Yamashita in Manila (1945); the Tokyo Trial and two successive proceedings (1946-49); and several other high-command cases by American, Australian, British, Chinese, Dutch, French, and Philippine authorities (1945-1951). Multi-disciplinary and transnational in its scope, this project sheds light on the complex historical and jurisprudential legacy of WWII Pacific-area war crimes trials in our understanding of war, war crimes, and international justice.

Associate Professor, History, University of Hawaii at Manoa  -  In the Shadow of the Tokyo Trial: The Allied War Crimes Prosecution in the Pacific Region, 1945-1951
For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2012-2013

Jennifer Wright Knust
Jennifer Wright Knust  |  Abstract
Produced for liturgical settings and employed in a range of devotional practices, Christian manuscripts are strikingly diverse. Critical editions of these books tend to obscure their dynamic character, however, and can leave the impression that the establishment of a canon was the most important Christian concern. Yet the articulation of a Christian identity necessarily involved not only the defense and promulgation of particular books, but also new ways of thinking about sacred space and time, which in turn left traces on surviving manuscripts. By investigating the multiple interactions between the emerging Christian cults and the books this cult produced, this project reconsiders both sacred books and the human commitments that informed their manufacture.

Associate Professor, Religion, Boston University  -  Artifact, Memory, and the Early Christian Textual Condition
For residence at the American Academy in Rome during academic year 2012-2013

Mark I. Vail
Mark I. Vail  |  Abstract
This project investigates how national liberal traditions have shaped economic adjustment in post-World-War-II Western Europe. It focuses on France, Germany, and Italy—three countries not normally thought of as “liberal” by Anglo-American observers. Yet in all three, national variants of economic liberalism have acted in powerful ways to shape patterns of economic adjustment to an enduring climate of austerity, punctuated by crises in the 1970s, 1990s, and late 2000s. The study investigates the relationship between liberal traditions and economic adjustment through the lens of long-term trajectories in fiscal and labor-market policy, two areas central to debates about the role of the state and its relationship to the market in modern capitalist economies.

Associate Professor, Political Science, Tulane University  -  The Comparative Politics of Liberalism: Ideas and Institutions in Post-War European Economic Adjustment
For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2012-2013