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

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

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.