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

2007-2008: The Humanities and Sustainability
Sustainability, Systems, and Ecological Art

Julie Anand, Assistant Professor, School of Art
David Birchfield, Assistant Professor, Arts, Media and Engineering
Claudia Mesch, Assistant Professor, School of Art

Aldo Leopold: The “Fierce Green Fire” of Sustainability

Dan Shilling, Independent scholar, adjunct faculty, ASU Department of English

My research interests stem from these observations: 1) the humanities are central to sustainability, both its articulation and continuation; 2) Aldo Leopold’s application of this humanistic disposition contributed to his “Land Ethic,” a seminal statement on sustainability; and 3) Leopold’s intellectual rambles reflect sustainability’s central economic, social, political, and environmental tensions.

Feminist Fronts: Invention of Gendered Traditions of War

Lorraine Dowler, Director of Women's Studies, Associate Professor of Geography, Pennsylvania State University


On the Ambiguous Religious Roots of the Environmental Crisis

Lissa McCullough, Independent scholar, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Muhlenberg College

As an independent scholar based in Rome, Italy, trained in the history of Christian thought, the IHR Visiting Fellow position in “the humanities and sustainability” would offer an attractive occasion for me to research the relation between the deep-seated religious presuppositions of Western culture and its environmental praxis, with the constructive intention of asking how our fundamental worldview can evolve toward sustainability.

2006-2007: Humanities in Times of Crisis
Refuge and Rejection: The Past and Present of Displaced Persons

Brian Gratton, History
Anna Holian, History

In this project we will build a humanistic, historical framework for consideration of persons displaced by war, natural disaster, and political upheaval. We examine the historical and contemporary circumstances of refugees, stateless persons and other migrants.
Trading Values: Money and Culture in Early Modern Europe

Juliann Vitullo, Languages and Literatures
Diane Wolfthal, School of Art

Scholars in the Humanities are searching for new directions as universities, especially public urban ones like ASU, seek to establish deeper and more direct relationships with external communities by researching issues that affect their quality of life.  One question that is of immense importance

Approaching Refugee Experiences from a Transcultural Societal Studies Perspective

Dirk Hoerder, Full Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Universitaet Bremen, Germany, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, ASU North American Center for Transborder Studies

From a state-side perspective, refugees and displaced persons have been considered in the 20th century as objects of special admission programs and as targets of support and rehabilitation measures.

The Revolutionary Museum: The French Revolution and the Foundation of the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

Paula Lee, Assistant Professor, Humanities and American Studies/Art & Art History, University of South Florida

The Revolutionary Muséum: The French Revolution and the Foundation of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, addresses the origins of the museum as a public institution, a modern type that was the unlikely product of the French Revolution.

Walter Benjamin: A Humanist in the Crisis of Interwar Years

Patrick Hutton, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, The University of Vermont

I am writing an intellectual biography of Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), a Jewish-German essayist, literary critic, and philosopher of history who came of age during the interwar years.