Funding for faculty members to engage in a year of research related to the annual theme.



The IHR ASU Fellows program provides funding for either individual tenured or tenure-track faculty or research teams to engage in a year of research related to the annual theme, share their research with the academic community (via lectures, a conference, or symposium), and produce a strong application for a large external grant.

The Institute for Humanities Research invites scholars from ASU to propose research projects related to the theme “Urban and Rural” for the 2018-2019 academic year. Fellows’ projects may focus on the urban, the rural, or the relationship between the two, and may approach the theme from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives in the humanities. Cross-disciplinary teams are also encouraged to apply.

The theme is purposely-broad in order to encompass multiple approaches. Read more about the topic [here]!

Applications for 2018 are now closed.

Fellows interim report: 


Jenny Brian, 2017-18 IHR Fellow

Jenny Dyck Brian is an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College and affiliate faculty of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. She previously held a position as assistant professor of bioethics at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Her work, which has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and PEO Scholars, explores the intersections of science policy and bioethics, and has been published in journals such as American Journal of Bioethics and Journal of Business Ethics. She is a 2017-18 fellow at the ASU Institute for Humanities Research, where she is working on a project called "The Life of a LARC: A Critical Analysis of LARC Promotion Practices and the Lived Experiences They Engender."


Current Theme: Health

What is health and what is disease? What institutions generate or impede health? Who has access to the healthiest environments and what makes those environments healthy? How do communities construct, maintain or discipline health in individual bodies? Humanities research often underscores the constructed and contested nature of categories surrounding health and how we define and attach value to those categories. Moving from the scale of the individual biological being outward to the community and the environment as it is shaped in the Anthropocene, health is physical, mental, spiritual, environmental, social and political. Drawing on scholarship in these areas, healthcare institutions and policymakers can benefit from a thorough humanistic questioning of the nature of health itself.


Fellows Projects

Affect, Place and Health Among Asian Immigrants

Karen Leong, Associate Professor, Asian and Pacific American Studies & Women and Gender Studies, School of Social Transformation
Kathy Nakagawa, Associate Professor, Asian and Pacific American Studies, School of Social Transformation
Aggie Noah, Associate Professor, Asian and Pacific American Studies & Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation

The World Health Organization (WHO) clearly defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being rather than as the absence of sickness or frailty (WHO 1948).

Immovable Bodies: Women Writing Health and Disease in the British Romantic Era

Annika Mann, Assistant Professor of English, School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies

My book project, Immovable Bodies: Women Writing Health and Disease in the British Romantic Era, posits that British women writers during the Romantic period (1780-1832) resist the universalizing, transdisciplinary claims of both medicine and poetics of this same perio

Integrative Health and Human Well-Being

Tyler DesRoches, Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability
Christopher Wharton, Associate Professor, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion

Philosophers have long argued over the relationship between health and human well-being.

The Barbershop Stories: Narratives of Health and Illness of African American Men in the Black Barbershop

Olga Davis, Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

The lived experience of African American men and the prominence of the Black Barbershop in African American culture, together offer a unique and compelling backdrop for examining discourses of health in Black communities.

The Life of a LARC: A Critical Analysis of LARC Promotion Practices and the Lived Experiences They Engender

Jenny Brian, Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett Honors College

There is, at present, significant enthusiasm across the political spectrum for long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), which promise an affordable, reliable, and safe means by which to reduce rates of unplanned pregnancy and abortion.

2016-17: Money
Bank Wars: The Contentious World of Money and Banking in the Early United States

Jonathan Barth, Assistant Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

The history of early American money and banking sheds light upon far more than simply economic and financial development. It illuminates the roots of America's unique brand of political and cultural populism: both the good and the ugly.
Immaterial Growth: Energy and Economics in the American Century

Chris Jones, Assistant Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

Contemporary sustainability challenges are exacerbated by a widespread belief among academics, policymakers, and the broader public that economic growth can continue indefinitely without accounting for environmental stocks and sinks.

New Directions for Economic Approaches to Renaissance Drama

Bradley Ryner, Associate Professor, Department of English

This project asks what new models of the relationship between English Renaissance drama and economic history are suggested by recent scholarship, and how might such models guide the next generation of scholarly work.
Yerba Mate: An Indigenous Stimulant, Money, and Empire Building

Julia Sarreal, Associate Professor, School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

This project broadens our understanding of what can and cannot be considered money by exploring the use of a commodity (in this case, the South American beverage, yerba mate) as a form of money in a region lacking coinage.

Economies of Scale: Capitalism and Containment in 21st Century North America

Ann Keniston, Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of English, University of Nevada, Reno

The first book-length study of its topic, “Economies of Scale: Capitalism and Containment in Contemporary North American Poetry,” argues that economic language and imagery in diverse 21st century poems enables poets to comment on the relation between the arts and contemporary finance-based capitalism.
2015-2016 Fellows Theme: Monsters and Monstrosity
Bioethics, Human Monsters, and Frankenfoods: Global Monster Narratives and Emerging Technologies

Joan McGregor, Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Rebecca Tsosie, Regents' Professor and Willard H Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Executive Director, Indian Legal Program

This project is intended to examine the legal and ethical implications of emerging technologies, including human enhancement technologies and bioengineering of food resources. The baseline methodology for this inquiry will involve an exploration of traditional “Monster” narratives from various cultures, including Indigenous cultures, and a comparison of these narratives with western Monster narratives.

Monstrous Youth: Murder and Modernity in Fin-de-Sicle France

Stephen Toth, Associate Professor of Modern European History, School of Humanities, Arts & Cultural Studies

While recent murders in the United States have brought to prominent public attention the child or adolescent who kills, this is certainly not a new phenomenon nor is it limited to the American experience. Through a microhistorical reconstruction of three notorious cases of murder committed by boys in fin-de-siècle France, this project roots our current dialogue surrounding such acts in a longstanding gothic sensibility that was experiencing a popular resurgence in the late nineteenth century.

Science and Its Monsters

Jason Robert, Vice Provost for Ethics, Director, Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics (IHR Fellows Associate)

My project explores the diverse monsters of contemporary science.

Biotechnical Monstrosity: Technoscientific Imaginaries and the Moral Boundaries of Innovation

Gaymon Bennett, Assistant Professor of Religon, Science and Technology, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
Ben Hurlbut, Assistant Professor of History, School of Life Sciences

Using historical and ethnographic methods, we will explore three contemporary sites where this interplay of technical and ethical ordering is particularly consequential: emerging regimes of governance around biosecurity; visions of the socially transformative potential of the bioeconomy; and the role of bioethics in disciplining public reasoning.

The Monstrous as a Counter-Monument: Body and Memory in South Korean Cinema and Literature

Jiwon Shin, Assistant Professor, Korean, School of International Letters and Cultures

This project explores how the literary cultural construct of the monstrous from the Korean narrative tradition participates in shaping the social understanding of the body in relation to postcolonial memory by examining the body genres developed in so-called “extreme” cinema (horror, crime-thriller, and spy-action) and the poetic grotesque in feminist literature.


2018-19: Urban and Rural

As long as there have been cities, they have existed in complex relationship to the countryside; bound together in networks of trade and migration, politics and warfare, they have also been pitted against each other.

2017-18: Health

What is health and what is disease? What institutions generate or impede health? Who has access to the healthiest environments and what makes those environments healthy? How do communities construct, maintain or discipline health in individual bodies?

2016-17: Money

Money--what it is, how it works, who has it and who doesn’t--has concerned thinkers and researchers both inside and outside academia, and across a wide range of disciplines.

2015-2016 Fellows Theme: Monsters and Monstrosity

The word ‘monster’ derives from the Latin monstrum, meaning “something marvelous;” and ultimately from the verb monere, “to show and to warn.” In coordination with the multi-year celebration of the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the IHR fellows program for the 2015-2016 academic yea

2014-2015: Affect and Reason

Humanists have been central to reconsidering the active role that emotions play in the constructions of reason, truth, subjectivity and narrative.

2013-2014: The Humanities and Home

When Dorothy Gale utters the last line of The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home,” there seems little doubt that she speaks out of her joy at being safely ensconced on her family’s farm in America’s Heartland.

2012-2013: The Humanities and the Imagination/Imaginary

Now that the Enlightenment dream of generating perfectly rational human persons and utterly transparent social relations has crumbled, the humanities’ focus on human imaginary processes has become increasingly important. But the human imagination is a double-edged sword.

2011-2012: The Humanities and Immigration, Migration, and Movement

The purpose of the 2011-12 Institute for Humanities Research Fellowship is to engage humanities scholars from various disciplines in addressing and analyzing the role of the humanities in illuminating the interrelated concepts of immigration, migration, and movement, broadly conceived.

2010-2011: The Humanities and Human Origins

The purpose of the 2010-11 Institute for Humanities Research fellows theme is to engage humanities scholars from various disciplines in addressing and analyzing the role of the humanities in illuminating—and possibly enriching scientific inquiry into—human origins.

2009-2010: Utopias, Dystopias, and Social Transformation

The 2009-2010 theme, “Utopias/Dystopias and Social Transformation,” is designed to attract scholars whose work addresses the nature, value, and meaning of utopias/dystopias (or utopian/dystopian thought) for social transformation by utilizing the perspectives and methodologies, and preferably cro