Six Scholars of Religion Win Fellowships to Build Connections with Journalism


The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of Luce/ACLS Fellows in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs. Luce/ACLS Fellowships support scholars in the humanities and related social sciences who are pursuing research on religion in an international context and desire to connect their projects with journalists and media specialists. The program is made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. 

“Religion so often plays a significant role in the way we understand world affairs, and therefore it is critical that we encourage scholars who focus on these issues to communicate their balanced research as widely as possible,” said John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS. “This program is designed to foster new connections between scholars and journalists, and to allow each community to benefit from the insights of the other.”

A multidisciplinary panel of peer reviewers selected the fellows based on both the merit of their projects and their plans for connecting academic research and journalism. The fellowship carries a stipend of $55,000, plus additional funds for research and for fellows who elect to take up residence at one of the program’s three university partners in 2017-18: Columbia University, Indiana University Bloomington, and Northeastern University. In addition to providing a year’s leave to pursue their research, the program also offers opportunities for fellows to convene and discuss strategies for relating their findings to multiple audiences. 

The 2017 Luce/ACLS Fellows and their project titles are:

Attiya Ahmad (Assistant Professor, Anthropology, The George Washington University)
Halal Tourism: Gendered Muslim Aspirations amidst the Spoils of War in the Middle East

Anya Bernstein (Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Harvard University)
The Future of Immortality: Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia

John Corrigan (Professor, Religion, Florida State University)
Religious Violence and American Foreign Policy

Brian D. Goldstone (Visiting Scholar, African Studies, Emory University)
Diagnosing the Devil: Psychospiritual Interventions in West Africa

Simon Rabinovitch (Assistant Professor, History, Boston University)
Jewish Collective Rights: An International Comparison

Alexander Thurston (Visiting Assistant Professor, African Studies, Georgetown University)
Jihadism in Northwest Africa: Doctrines, Debates, and Local Politics  

The Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs is a two-part initiative offering programming grants for universities and fellowships for scholars in the humanities and social sciences who study religion in international contexts. Further details about the fellows’ projects and their plans for media engagement are available on ACLS’s website.

Proposals for programming grants for universities are due on March 23. Information on submitting a proposal is available here.

Read more about the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, which sponsors this program.