The American Council of Learned Societies Announces 2020 Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows


(New York) – The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has proudly named the Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows for 2020.

Now in its second year, this singular program recognizes and supports outstanding research projects from humanities and social science faculty teaching at two-year colleges. The program is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This year, 26 scholars have been recognized for their potential to significantly influence humanistic study and knowledge. Each fellow will receive up to $40,000 to advance their projects and will participate in a convening hosted by ACLS to connect with other fellows, share their work, and discuss broader issues related to the humanities in community colleges today.

The 2020 projects supported by the program represent a wide range of topics, reflecting the valuable experiences and perspectives of voices and communities that have historically been under-represented in humanistic scholarship. They include:
  • A study of the social world of the Texas-Mexican musical genre known as conjunto
  • A faculty-student oral history project that centers the perspectives of working-class and immigrant students at Guttman Community College in New York City, which will result in an archive of student-conducted oral histories and an edited volume on oral history pedagogy created by and for community college students
  • An exploration of African visual art and culture that will produce an open-access textbook, a website, and curated exhibitions at San Diego Mesa College and in neighboring communities
  • A research trip for faculty and students from Kingsborough Community College in New York City to civil rights sites in Mississippi, culminating in an Emmett Till symposium and film screening on campus
  • An ethnography of Pennsylvania steelworkers that explores how the decline of industry has reshaped working-class life in the United States.

Learn More About Each of the Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows and Their Projects Here.

“While there is still much uncertainty and disruption in higher education resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to share news of hope for the future of knowledge development and sharing through this latest group of Community College Faculty Fellows,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “Community college faculty teach nearly half of our nation’s higher education students. With the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, this program enables us to support their research and share its benefits with a broader community that represents the incredible diversity of learners throughout our nation, and that reflects the inclusive excellence ACLS is committed to sustaining through our programs.”

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.