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

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.
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.