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]!

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Deadline: February 19th, 2018

Fellows interim report: 


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

Fiction, Material Culture, and the Creation of a Mythic American Past

Harvey Green, Department of History, Northeastern University

Home is closely entwined with a culture’s historical consciousness — how ordinary people come to know and understand their history over time.

From Material to Virtual: The Power of the Imaginary

Julie Codell, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

This project focuses on representation of Victorian material culture, its objects in their material and social signification and their representation in painting, ads, shop windows and exhibitions in Victorian culture from 1850 to 1890.

2013-2014: The Humanities and Home
Permanent Transients: Representations of Internal Migration and Community in U.S. Women’s Writing

Abigail Manzella, Department of English, University of Missouri

When Hurricane Katrina dispersed 500,000 people from the Gulf Coast region of the United States, the identity of these people — whether they were migrants, refugees, or a part of a new American diaspora — came into question.

2012-2013: The Humanities and the Imagination/Imaginary
Biology, Law, and Public Reason

J. Benjamin Hurlbut, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The project compares interactions between biology and the law in Britain, Germany, and the US. Combining expertise in biology, law, and political theory, the project clarifies how biology and the law conceptualize each others roles in regulating new biological entities that disrupt the boundaries between life and none-life, human and non-human, and persons and property.
Transforming Gender and Imagination: Butterfly Imagery in East Asian Culture

Sookja Cho, School of International Letters and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Paying attention to the deep engagement with images of the butterfly in Chinese and Korean culture, this project traces back and explores the cultural associations and meanings of butterflies in both countries at the various levels of engagement, ranging from the elite literary discourse, to popular vernacular storytelling, and to local religious texts.

Whiteness on the Border, or Mapping the U.S. Racial Imaginary in Brown and White

Lee Bebout, Department of English

This project is an in-depth investigation of the Mexican-descent peoples location within the U.S. racial imaginary. This book project will examine how popular representations of Mexicans, Chicanos, and the border have been used to construct white nationalist discourses.

Latina/o Literature and the Cross-Currents of U.S. Environmentalism

David J. Vázquez, Department of English, University of Oregon

This project aims to develop a book-length study, tentatively titled "Latina/o and the Cross-Currents of U.S. Environmentalism," that identifies parallel and countervailing traditions of environmental thought in contemporary Latina/o literature that speak powerfully to environmental justice frameworks.
2011-2012: The Humanities and Immigration, Migration, and Movement
"Shielded by the Blood of Christ:" Evangelical Migrants in Mexico and the United States

Leah M. Sarat, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

This two-part project will examine the experience of evangelical Christian migrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. In Mexico, the highest rates of evangelical conversion have occurred among impoverished populations, including indigenous communities.
From Land to Body: Reinterpretations of the Self in Jewish Narratives from the Hellenistic Diaspora

Françoise Mirguet, School of International Letters and Cultures

What happens to a society's conception of identity, for the most part defined in relation to a land, when parts of this society leave that land and establish in a world dominated by a totally different sense of self?

The Experiences of Migrants from the BRIC Countries

Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Department of English
Wei Li, Asian Pacific Studies

The BRIC acronym was coined in 2001 for countries - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - considered to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development.This project will help address the lack of comparative studies on U.S. migration by examining the histories and contemporary patterns of BRIC migration and its impact on existing theories of movement, diaspora, race/ethnicity, and trans-nationalism.