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

2013-2014: The Humanities and Home
“Blessed Are the Homesick”: Home in the Imagination of Russian Religious Exiles, 1700-1917

J. Eugene Clay, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

There are three kinds of home for religious migrants who face persecution or exile. There is the old home they are compelled to leave; the new home where they settle; and the home they await in the world to come.

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.

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.

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?