ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships

The ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship Program provides support to small teams of two or more scholars to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project, which leads to a tangible research product (such as joint print or web publications) for which the collaborators will take equal credit. It is hoped that projects of successful applicants will help demonstrate the range and value of collaborative research in the humanities and related social sciences, and model how such collaboration may be carried out successfully.  

2016-2017 marked the ninth year of the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship Program, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

  • Citizens of Memory: Muslim Immigrants and Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary Germany  |  Abstract

    Remembrance of the Holocaust has been central to Germany’s national self-understanding in the decades since the genocide. Yet, in the last 50 years, the population of Germany has been significantly transformed by migrations of guestworkers and refugees, many from Muslim countries. Muslim immigrants in particular are often described as unwilling to “integrate” into German society and uninterested in Germany history and the Holocaust. However, much evidence exists to complicate this picture. Drawing on the complementary scholarly expertise of its three collaborators in Holocaust studies, migration studies, and memory studies, this project assembles and analyzes examples of immigrants grappling with the history of Nazism and the Holocaust in a variety of arenas, including community activism, novels, essays, performances, and songs. While the scholars have worked together before, this is their first major collaboration. It will result in a co-authored book that explores the effects of transnational migration on cultural memory, demonstrates the ways many immigrants take on the histories of their adopted societies, and interrogates the presumption of Muslim anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Award period: July 1, 2011 - December 31, 2012

    Andrés J. Nader
    Andrés J. Nader

    Independent Scholar

    Yasemin Yildiz
    Yasemin Yildiz

    Assistant Professor, Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Michael Rothberg
    Michael Rothberg

    Professor, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Danzón: The History and Practice of a Transnational Music  |  Abstract

    Derived from European court dances of the eighteenth century and popularized in the New World thereafter through various French and Spanish colonies (including Louisiana), the danzón is a fascinating genre that ties together the entire Atlantic region and contributed in important ways to the development of North American music. Yet the genre remains poorly researched and is virtually unknown to readers in the United States. Few studies of the danzón exist at all, none in English, and none that consider the music’s international movement throughout the Caribbean or its influence on ragtime and jazz. Similarly, current studies fail to recognize the danzón’s ongoing impact on present-day Mexican and Cuban dance scenes, international classical repertoire, Latin jazz, and other repertoires. The proposed collaboration will result in a co-written manuscript that combines multi-site research, archival work, and ethnography, and frames the danzón as a dynamic element of African-influenced transnational culture. Robin Moore brings to the project a long history of work on Cuban music history, and Alejandro Madrid a specialization in Mexican music in its diverse manifestations. This is the first extended written project they have worked on jointly. Award period: August 25, 2011 - August 24, 2012

    Alejandro L. Madrid
    Alejandro L. Madrid

    Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

    Robin D. Moore
    Robin D. Moore

    Professor, Musicology/Ethnomusicology, University of Texas at Austin

  • History of Road Construction in Chinese East Himalayas: An Integrated Study  |  Abstract

    Once constructed, roads become a permanent part of the landscape and exert social and ecological impacts on both human society and the environment. The existing compartmentalized approach concerning roads is unsatisfactory in understanding the dynamic of human activities, natural environment, and cultural constitution. This project adopts an integrated approach, called “roadology,” in order to provide a comprehensive study of the multifaceted impact of mass-scale road construction on the Tibetan and other ethnic communities in the East Himalayan area since the 1950s. Jia Lu, a junior geographer and GIS specialist, and Yongming Zhou, a senior anthropologist and ethno-historian, aim to bridge traditional humanistic and social science methods with the cutting-edge technologies of GIS. Their first-time collaboration will culminate in the construction of a comprehensive online Historical GIS that will be accessible and easily disseminate findings to researchers, teachers, and the worldwide public and the publication of a monograph on the history of road construction in Tibet by Zhou and several articles on the GIS and spatial analysis by Lu. Award period: July 1, 2011 – August 31, 2013

    Yongming Zhou
    Yongming Zhou

    Professor, Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Jia Lu
    Jia Lu

    Assistant Professor, Geosciences Program, Valdosta State University

  • The Civic Cycles: Artisan Identity in Premodern York and Chester  |  Abstract

    The civic religious drama of late medieval England, financed, produced and performed by craftspeople, offers one of the earliest forms of written literature by a non-elite group in Europe. “The Civic Cycles” is the first study of this dramatic tradition to understand these plays as the creative work of artisans themselves. The study traces an artisanal perspective on medieval and early modern civic relations, analyzing selected plays from the cities of York and Chester individually and from a comparative perspective, in dialogue with civic records. Positing a complex view of relations among merchants, established artisans, unenfranchised workers, and women, our research shows how artisans used the cycle plays to not only represent but also perform their interests, suggesting that the plays are the major means by which the artisans participate in civic polity. The project combines Rice’s expertise in English devotional culture with Pappano’s background in social and economic history. Other collaborative work includes a co-authored article and conference presentation, and a co-edited special issue of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Fall 2013) on premodern artisan culture. The collaborative research will culminate in a co-authored book, with sections written independently and then revised jointly. Award period: September 1, 2011 - August 31, 2012

    Margaret A. Pappano
    Margaret A. Pappano

    Associate Professor, English Literature and Language, Queen's University, Canada

    Nicole R. Rice
    Nicole R. Rice

    Associate Professor, English, Saint John's University (NY)

  • The Material Life of Roman Slaves  |  Abstract

    Slaves were everywhere in ancient Roman society, yet visitors to archaeological sites walk through a landscape that appears untouched by slavery. It is no wonder, then, that many scholars of antiquity regard slaves as irretrievable in the archaeological remains because they cannot see any distinctive marks of slaves in objects or architecture. This project confronts the paradox of slave ubiquity and invisibility: it aims to recover the physical environment and lives of Roman slaves by interweaving, and setting in dialogue, the textual record of Roman law and literature on slaves and the archaeological remains of the houses, workshops, streets, and country villas that slaves inhabited. This approach maps slave points of view on their owner’s spatial arrangements and suggests how slaves disturbed them through the manipulation of time and timing. While the collaborators share a longstanding interest in slaves and freed slaves, each brings to the project different research experience in Roman social history and Roman art history and archaeology for their first major project together. The collaboration will result in the publication of a jointly-authored book, accessible to scholars in multiple fields and in the study of slavery in general. Award period: September 1, 2011 – August 31, 2012

    Lauren Hackworth Petersen
    Lauren Hackworth Petersen

    Associate Professor, Art History, University of Delaware

    Sandra R. Joshel
    Sandra R. Joshel

    Professor, History, University of Washington

  • The Old Spanish Bible of Rabbi Moshe Arragel  |  Abstract

    The fifteenth-century Biblia de Arragel stands out among Spanish translations of the Bible as a monumental work of Hispano-Jewish scholarship, a luxurious cultural artifact of art-historical value, and one of the most important vernacular Bibles of the European Middle Ages. The Arragel codex contains a complete translation of the Hebrew Bible into Old Spanish, over a thousand exegetical glosses on its Jewish interpretations—supplemented with Christian materials—and a visual repertoire of over 300 exceedingly rare Biblical illustrations. The ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship brings together for a first-time collaboration Luis Girón-Negrón’s expertise in Old Spanish literature and Hispano-Jewish studies and Andrés Enrique-Arias’s specialization in linguistics and the history of Spanish. With two additional collaborators, Ángel Sáenz-Badillos and Francisco Javier Pueyo-Mena, the team bridges historical linguistics, comparative literature, Jewish studies, history of religions, Biblical studies, and Semitic and Romance philology in order to prepare the first annotated critical edition of Arragel’s translation and glosses and a book-length study of its content, language, and significance in the cultural and religious history of late medieval Spain. The immediate goal for the duration of the ACLS fellowship is the annotation and edition of Arragel’s commented Pentateuch. The long-term outcome is the printed edition and study of the entire Arragel codex and a web-version with supporting electronic materials, integrated into a digitalized corpus of Old Spanish Bibles for computer-assisted linguistic and textual comparative analyses. Award period: July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013

    Andrés Enrique-Arias
    Andrés Enrique-Arias

    Associate Professor, Spanish, Modern and Classical Languages, The University of the Balearic Islands

    Luis M. Girón-Negrón
    Luis M. Girón-Negrón

    Professor, Comparative Literature / Romance Lang. and Lit., Harvard University