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

2017-18: Health
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.

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.


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.