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

2010-2011: The Humanities and Human Origins
The Human Alien: The Future of the Environmental Humanities

Joni Adamson, Associate Professor, School of Letters and Sciences, Affiliate, School of Sustainability

Focusing on science fiction and film, “Human Aliens” explores two questions: 1) Why are there such baffling and disastrous disconnections between the cognitive awareness of anthropogenic environmental crisis and the generally insignificant alterations in lifestyle that humans seem prepared to make? 2) Can literature and film help move us beyond these disconnections?
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.