The American Council of Learned Societies Announces Recipients of the 2020 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


(New York, NY) – The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2020 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art. This year, eight doctoral candidates have been recognized for their promising research in object- and image-based American art history. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

“As we continue to make our way through the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is heartening to share the happy announcement of our 2020 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art,” said Joy Connolly, President of ACLS. “This diverse group of young scholars at work, investigating some of the most distinctive aspects of our cultural heritage, gives us hope for the future.” 

Each fellow will receive $40,000 to support one year of research and writing, as well as fellowship-related travel during the 2020-21 academic year. The 2020 fellowship recipients are:

  • Anne Strachan Cross, University of Delaware, “Features of Cruelty Which Could Not Well be Described by the Pen”: The Media of Atrocity in Harper's Weekly, 1862-1866
  • Caroline M. Culp, Stanford University, The Memory of Copley: Afterlives of the American Portrait, 1765-1925
  • Miriam Grotte-Jacobs, Johns Hopkins University, Capital Art: Rethinking the Washington Color School
  • Laurel Vera McLaughlin, Bryn Mawr College, (Un)Bound: Towards a Contemporary Migratory Aesthetics of Performance in the United States by Womxn-Identifying Practitioners, 1970-2016
  • Dina Murokh, University of Southern California, “A Sort of Picture Gallery”: The Visual Culture of Antebellum America
  • Mallory Nanny, Florida State University, Framing Absence: Photographic Narratives of the Vietnam War, Ellen Holtzman Fellow
  • Molly Superfine, Columbia University, Radical Touch: Performative Sculpture and Assemblage in the 1970s
  • Isabel Frampton Wade, University of Southern California, Glossy Buildings, Planned Images: Architectural Photography across Contested Spaces in Los Angeles, 1940-1980

Learn more about the fellows and their projects here

Since 1992, this prestigious program has supported hundreds of historians of American art in researching and writing PhD dissertations with great potential to advance scholarship on the history of the visual arts of the United States, including all facets of Native American art. The 2020 fellows join more than 300 previous recipients who have emerged as some of the nation’s most distinguished museum curators, professors, and thought leaders.

About the American Council of Learned Societies

Formed in 1919, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 75 scholarly organizations.  As the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, ACLS holds a core belief that knowledge is a public good. As such, ACLS strives to promote the circulation of humanistic knowledge throughout society. In addition to stewarding and representing its member organizations, ACLS employs its $140 million endowment and $35 million annual operating budget to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and to advocate for the centrality of the humanities in the modern world.