ASU faculty members engage in a year of research related to the annual theme.



The IHR Fellows program provides funding for either individual tenured or tenure-track faculty at ASU 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.

In the 2018-19 academic year, IHR Fellows will be conducting research under the theme of "Urban and Rural." 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.

Information about applying for the 2019-2020 IHR Fellowships will be available in the spring of 2019.


2018-19 Theme: Urban and Rural

As long as there have been cities, they have existed in complex relationship to the countryside; bound together in networks of trade and migration, politics and warfare, they have also been pitted against each other. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s condemnation of cities as centers of female-led corruption to Karl Marx’s dismissal of the idiocy of rural life, city and countryside have been strategically defined with and against each other and have worked as complex signifiers in myriad social, cultural and political debates. Humanities research into urban and rural areas around the world has helped us understand how both urban and rural societies have functioned over time, the complex interactions between the two, the ways in which the “urban” and the “rural” have been mobilized to make larger comments about modern life, and the extent to which urban and rural geographies have generated sites of aesthetic experience and production.



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.