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

2010-2011: The Humanities and Human Origins
A Brief History of Evil – What we learn from the great villains of literature

Lucy Hawking, Visiting Fellow, ASU Origins Project

This seminar starts with a chronological tour of the ways in which the existence of evil has been perceived through the ages.

2009-2010: Utopias, Dystopias, and Social Transformation
Festivals of the Americas: Staging Identity, Politics, and Utopian Performance

Pegge Vissicaro, School of Dance
Tracy Fessenden, Religious Studies, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies
Rachel Bowditch, School of Theatre and Film

The aim of this project is two-fold. First, to produce a book titled Festivals of the Americas: Staging Identity, Politics, and Utopian Performance which locates the festival or “fiesta” as a site for utopian/dystopian negotiation of identity, politics and nationality in the context of the Americas. While the second goal of this project is to apply for external funding to produce an international conference at Arizona State University on Festivals of the Americas.

Mountains, Wilderness, and Transformation

Anne Feldhaus, Religious Studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
Megha Budruk, School of Community Resources and Development

This project brings together a natural resource social scientist from the Parks and Recreation Management Program, School of Community Resources & Development, with a Religious Studies scholar from the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies.

From Zoot Suits to Rapumentary: Popular Culture and the Politics of the Possible

Luis Alvarez, History Department, University of California San Diego

From Zoot Suits to Rapumentary explores the popular culture, social movements, and utopian politics of aggrieved communities in the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, and elsewhere since World War II.

Trauma, Time and Technology: Dystopian Visions

Elizabeth Ann Kaplan, The Humanities Institute, Stony Brook University

This project looks at trauma as “culture” within the frameworks of time and related imaging technologies. I theorize three cultural time-zones, but for the Fellowship I focus on trauma future-tense.

2008-2009: Humanities and Political Conflict
Dawning of Liberty

Paul Espinosa, Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies
Daniel Cutrara, Film and Media Studies
Collaborator: Daniel Ramirez, Religious Studies

The Dawning of Liberty is a documentary film project on the life and times of Padre Antonio José Martínez, a 19th century New Mexican.

Religion, Politics and Violence

Arieh Saposnik, School of International Letters and Cultures
Yoav Gortzak, Political Science

This project proposes a corrective to this by offering to stretch our understandings of religion and conflict each as individual concepts, and then by augmenting the range within which the relationships between the two are conceived. The project will combine a social science based approach of international relations and security studies with a humanistic perspective rooted in cultural history and the study of cultures broadly conceived to understand the changing relationship between sacred and profane as they shape contemporary political, social, cultural, and military conflict—and the interface between them.
Haunting Legacies: Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma

Gabriele Schwab, Comparative Literature, University of California Irvine

This is a book project on violent histories, transgenerational trauma and political conflict. Working at the intersections of literary studies, anthropology and trauma theory, the book approaches violent histories from the perspective of transgenerational trauma and explores the role of literature and writing in witnessing and mourning, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Serious Play: The Role of Performance in Contemporary Nonviolent Activism

Lawrence Bogad, Theater and Dance, University of California Davis

Can creative street theatre give voice to marginalized social movements, providing an efficacious alternative to the violence of desperation? This study will examine the advantages and limitations of absurdist, satirical, and/or solemn performance art as an activist tactic.

2007-2008: The Humanities and Sustainability
Sustainability, Sense of Place, and Cultural Preservations

Elizabeth A. Brandt, Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Steve Semken, Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration
Consultant: Christopher Boone, Associate Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change and School of Sustainability