ACLS Names 21 Frederick Burkhardt Fellows in Program’s Twentieth Competition


United States Works Projects Administration Federal Theatre Project poster for the production of Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. by the Marionette Theatre in New York City in 1939. Burkhardt Fellow Christopher Grobe, Associate Professor of English at Amherst College, will be in residence at Stanford University’s Theater & Performance Studies Department, where he will work on his project Imitation Games: Actors, Robots, and the Art of Seeming Human, which looks at Čapek’s play, among other sources, to present a cultural history of realist acting and artificial intelligence.

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the 2019 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellows. The Burkhardt program, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, supports residential research fellowships for recently tenured faculty members. The program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Since the program began in 1999, it has supported nearly 250 scholars at a critical stage in their careers. The program partners with 13 national and international research centers to host fellows for year-long residencies; in 2015, ACLS doubled the number of fellowships, creating additional opportunities for faculty from liberal arts colleges, and allowing them to arrange residencies at any research university-based humanities center or academic department in the United States. With both sets of awards, fellows benefit from the experience of being in residence at institutions whose resources and scholarly communities are ideally suited to facilitate their projects.

“In 20 years, this program has supported a generation of scholars, helping them advance ambitious, far-reaching research projects and setting them on a path to leadership in the humanities,” said Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs at ACLS. “Burkhardt fellows are immersed in a new milieu, which creates opportunities for them to share their work with scholars from other disciplines, institutions, and intellectual formations. These residential research experiences not only enrich and expand fellows’ current work, but also foster long-lasting scholarly networks.”

Burkhardt Fellowships carry a $95,000 stipend and a $7,500 research budget. Designed to accommodate long-term, multi-year research projects, fellows may take the award in any of the three academic years following selection.

The 2019 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellows are listed below and on the ACLS website.

Bryan Alkemeyer (Associate Professor of English, College of Wooster) Before the Primates: Metamorphoses, Miscegenation, and Speciesism, 1550-1750 - English Department at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019-2020

Michael S. Brownstein (Associate Professor of Philosophy, City University of New York, John Jay College) Detribalizing Epistemology - Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 2019-2020

Tamara T. Chin (Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies, Brown University) The Silk Road Idea - Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies in 2019-2020

Paul C. Dilley (Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Classics, University of Iowa) The Monastic Transformation of Graeco-Roman Popular Theater: A Corpus and Theory of Ancient Christian Comedy - Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies in 2019-2020

Christopher A. Grobe (Associate Professor of English, Amherst College) Imitation Games: Actors, Robots, and the Art of Seeming Human - Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University in 2019-20

Daniel Hershenzon (Associate Professor of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, University of Connecticut) Captive Objects: Religious Artifacts, Piracy, and Slavery in the Early Modern Mediterranean - Academic Year 2020-2021

Brendan Lanctot (Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, University of Puget Sound) Specters of the Popular in Nineteenth-Century Latin American Visual Culture - Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington in 2019-20

Lital Levy (Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Princeton University) Global Haskalah: Jewish Cultural Modernity, Translation, and World Literature - Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies in 2019-2020

Kristina I. Medina Vilariño (Associate Professor of Spanish, Saint Olaf College) Narratives of Life: A Post-Maria Intervention in Colonial Puerto Rico - Hispanic Studies Department and Humanities Department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2019-20

McKinley Eric Melton (Associate Professor of English, Gettysburg College) Claiming All the World as Our Stage: Contemporary Black Poetry, Performance, and Resistance - Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University in 2019-20

Gregory C. Mitchell (Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Williams College) 40,000 Missing Girls: Moral Panics, Global Sporting Events, and the Spectacle of Sex Trafficking - Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University in 2019-20

Eva Mroczek (Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Davis) Out of the Cave: The Possibility of a New Scriptural Past - Huntington Library in 2019-2020

Jennifer Christine Nash (Associate Professor of African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies, Northwestern University) Black Maternal Politics - Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2019-2020

Thuy Linh Nguyen (Associate Professor of Social Sciences, Mount Saint Mary College, NY) The Coal Mines of Vietnam: Mining, Landscape and Society (1858-1954) - Council on Southeast Asian Studies and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University in 2019-20

Ana Paulina Ochoa Espejo (Associate Professor of Political Science, Haverford College) Rights of Place: Territory, Property, and Jurisdiction in the Americas - Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of Pennsylvania in 2020-21

Abayomi Ola (Associate Professor of Art and Visual Culture, Spelman College) Lines of Dissent in Anglophone West Africa, 1950-1970 - Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2019-20

Bruno Perreau (Cynthia L. Reed Associate Professor of Global Studies and Languages, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Minority Democracy - Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 2019-2020

Julietta C. Singh (Associate Professor of English and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Richmond) On the Verge: Experiments in Extinction - Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University in 2019-20

Emily E. LB. Twarog (Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Hands Off: A History of Sexual Harassment Resistance in the Service Sector, 1935-2018 - The Newberry Library in 2019-2020

Christopher van den Berg (Associate Professor of Classics, Amherst College) Critical Matter: Performance, Identity, and Object in Greco-Roman Criticism - Department of Classics at Princeton University in 2020-21

Wendy Warren (Associate Professor of History, Princeton University) The Carceral Colony: The Role of Prisons in the Making of America - Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science in 2019-2020

The fellowships 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.

Contact: Matthew Goldfeder,