The American Council of Learned Societies Announces 2020 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows


(New York) – The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2020 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows. 

Now in its fourteenth year, the program supports promising doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences with one year of funding to allow them to focus on completing projects that form the foundations of their scholarly careers. The program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This year, 64 graduate students will be awarded up to $43,000 for their final year of dissertation research and writing. In addition, fellows participate in a faculty-led job market seminar to further prepare them for postgraduate careers both within and outside of academia. 

The projects recognized in the 2020 fellowship cohort represent a wide array of timely and exciting research topics, including the relationship between biotech and contemporary art in the United States, the Black and indigenous science fiction literature scene, urbanization and environmental change in Latin American countries, and the rise of the Chinese film industry. This diverse group of awardees, from 34 universities around the United States, were selected from a pool of over 1,000 applicants through multiple stages of peer review.

Learn More About Each of the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellows and Their Projects Here.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on work and productivity, but through this program and the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, we are able to continue advancing the work of talented humanistic scholars with the potential to contribute important perspectives to the conversations shaping our world,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “Humanistic knowledge is essential to helping us better understand human experiences, past, present, and in days to come. Supporting these fellows is an investment in the future of humanities studies and ACLS will be working closely with them to ensure they have the support needed during this crucial period of their scholarly careers.”

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.