June 20, 2011

Two Krieger School faculty members awarded ACLS fellowships

Two early-career faculty members in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences have been awarded opportunities to further their research, thanks to the American Council of Learned Societies.

Yitzhak Melamed, an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, and Juan Obarrio, an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, are among the more than 350 scholars from the United States and abroad to receive ACLS awards this year totaling nearly $15 million.

Melamed received the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, an award that supports scholars in the humanities and social sciences in the crucial years immediately following the granting of tenure, and provides potential leaders in their fields with the resources to pursue long-term, ambitious projects.

Using the $75,000 fellowship, Melamed will spend the 2013–2014 academic year at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, pursuing a study of Spinoza and German idealism, a project designed to significantly advance our understanding of German idealism and modern philosophy.

Obarrio received the $35,000 ACLS Fellowship award supporting individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences. Obarrio’s project, “‘Customary Citizenship’ in Contemporary Africa,” will explore the contemporary political status of customary law and chieftaincy in post-colonial Africa with a view to developing a comparative study of the current resurgence of tradition and its figures of authority across the continent. He will be on leave in 2012 to work on the project.

The fellowship program was highly competitive this year, with ACLS making awards to 64 out of 1,160 applications.

Additionally, the Krieger School will welcome two newly minted PhDs to Homewood in the fall through the ACLS New Faculty Fellows program, designed to help young scholars in an increasingly tight job market. The council provides $50,000 stipends to the scholars to fund two-year positions in the humanities and social sciences at universities and colleges across the country.

Joining the Department of Political Science will be Isaac Kamola, who earned his doctorate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The Department of the History of Art will appoint Jeremy Melius, who earned his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

ACLS, a private nonprofit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations, is the pre-eminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. Founded in 1919, it is dedicated to “the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies.” Awarding peer-reviewed fellowships is central to its work. Since 1957, more than 9,200 scholars have held ACLS fellowships and grants.