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


The ASU IHR Fellows program provides funding for tenured or tenure-track faculty, as well as to other faculty eligible for a research release. Fellows may apply as individuals or as a team to engage in a year of research related to the annual theme, to share their research with the academic community, and to produce a strong application for an external grant. 

Successful proposals for the Fellows program will outline a rich scholarly project rooted in the humanities that will benefit from interdisciplinary conversations and readings, that has clear and feasible outcomes for the fellowship year, and that has the potential to be funded by outside agencies.

Fellowships provide funds toward one course buyout (in the spring semester) for each faculty member as well as research funds of $2500 per faculty member. 


2019-2020 Theme: Borders and Boundaries

Disciplinary, spatial, ideological, virtual—the boundaries we imagine, construct, and confront are multiple and multi-faceted. Boundaries exclude and include; borders connect and separate. Borders and boundaries are created by states and communities, by institutions and individuals; they shift and change over time. What functions do borders and boundaries serve? Who makes and guards them? Who confronts and crosses them? Who do they serve and who do they limit? How does our current attention to borders and boundaries in this age of globalization reflect new worries and how does it echo old ones? The Institute for Humanities Research invites scholars to propose research projects that address these questions or any others related to the topic of “Borders and Boundaries.”



Fellows Projects

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.

Queering the Apocalypse: Survival Politics, Zombies, and Popular Culture

Andrea Wood, Associate Professor of Media Studies, English Department, Winona State University

This project examines how apocalyptic settings and themes in transnational zombie films, graphic novels, television shows, and video games conceive of futurity and survival in queer terms.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Emotion in Early Modern England: A Proposed NEH Seminar and Collection

Cora Fox, Associate Professor, Department of English
Bradley J. Irish, Assistant Professor, Department of English

This collaborative Fellows project explores the ways emotions were lived and understood in Early Modern England.

Democratization and Emotionalization of Democracy in the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949-1990

Michael Mayer, Department of History, Political Academy of the State of Bavaria, Tutzing

Affects, feelings and emotions do not simply react to historical developments but rather emboss social interactions and rendering them historically potent.

2014-2015: Affect and Reason
Across the Traumatic Divide: Affective Journeys that Restructure Reason

Xiaoqiao Ling, School of International Letters and Cultures

This research aims to illuminate how traumatic memories transmit across generations in a way that accentuates the ontology of affect to inspire moral reasoning.

The Sentimental Public: Emotion, Politics and the French Revolution

Victoria E. Thompson, School for Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

This project will explore fundamental questions concerning the role that emotions play in forging politically conscious communities able to advocate for their own interests by examining the taking of the Bastille in 1789, an event that marked the beginning of popular participation in the French R


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

2008-2009: Humanities and Political Conflict

This is the body text for the 2008-2009 Fellows Theme.

2007-2008: The Humanities and Sustainability

During the 2007-2008 academic year the IHR Fellows projects demonstrated an expansive understanding of sustainability beyond its technological challenges by involving the long-term thinking, sense of history, attention to language and human creativity.

2006-2007: Humanities in Times of Crisis

Fellows during the 2006-07 Fellows program analyzed essential humanistic topics such as values, agency, and subjectivity as they change or disappear during times of political, economic, and/or societal upheaval.