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



The IHR Fellows program provides funding for either individual tenured or tenure-track faculty at ASU 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.

In the 2018-19 academic year, IHR Fellows will be conducting research under the theme of "Urban and Rural." 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.

Information about applying for the 2019-2020 IHR Fellowships will be available in the spring of 2019.


2018-19 Theme: 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. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s condemnation of cities as centers of female-led corruption to Karl Marx’s dismissal of the idiocy of rural life, city and countryside have been strategically defined with and against each other and have worked as complex signifiers in myriad social, cultural and political debates. Humanities research into urban and rural areas around the world has helped us understand how both urban and rural societies have functioned over time, the complex interactions between the two, the ways in which the “urban” and the “rural” have been mobilized to make larger comments about modern life, and the extent to which urban and rural geographies have generated sites of aesthetic experience and production.



Fellows Projects

2012-2013: The Humanities and the Imagination/Imaginary
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.
Traveling Moralities: Obligations, Materiality and Water in Ceará, Northeast Brazil

Andrea Ballestero, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Water is the resource that evokes fluidity, movement and circulation par excellence. With all of its intrinsic resemblance to movement it is perplexing that liberal forms of obligation that derive from the law have not been able to incorporate fluidity and circulation.This project aims to study the role of mobility and materiality in the creation of the Water Pact and explore the meaning of moral obligations when they are created through fluid and circulating mechanisms.
Central Americans in the US: The Politics of Belonging and Non-Belonging

Yajaira M. Padilla, Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, The University of Kansas

This project makes humanities-based concerns - national belonging and exclusion, questions of social justice, and the construction of ethnic and cultural identities - central to broader contemplations of immigration, migration and movement.

Of Borders and Belonging: Toward a Politics of Citizenship at the Crossroads of America

Sujey Vega, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Sam Houston State University

Dr. Vega's recent research illustrates how Mexican residents claimed an ethnic sense of belonging during contemporary immigrant antagonism in local and national contexts. This project illustrates the on-the-ground consequences of heightened politicized rhetoric through an analysis of interview accounts, historical narratives, media discourses, and religious ritual performances from 2004 to 2007.
2010-2011: The Humanities and Human Origins
The Origins of Leprosy as a Physical Disease and Social Condition in Medieval Western Europe

Monica H. Green, School of Historical, Religious and Philosophical Studies
Rachel E. Scott, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

This project aims to synthesize the paleopathological/microbiological and historical narratives to examine how understandings of leprosy were formulated in medieval Western Europe, both in terms of explaining it as a physical disease and in developing social mechanisms to deal with it. In doing so, our project will illuminate the origins of social stigma, especially in relation to disease. .
Africa, Christianity and Anthropology: The Debate over Africa’s Role in Human Origins

Andrew Barnes, Associate Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

The goal of this research project is to assess the results of the debate and its effect on both the scholarly and the popular understandings of Africa’s role in the birth of human civilization.