Mandel Faculty Grants 2022

The Mandel Center for the Humanities supports innovative faculty scholarship, research and writing through a number of grant opportunities. These include our new Public Humanities Grants which support Brandeis faculty working on experimental and/or publicly engaged projects in the humanities, the arts and the humanistic social sciences. These include projects that have audiences beyond the academy, projects in the experimental or digital humanities, applied humanities work, and/or collaborative projects that create and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships with community organizations, museums, libraries or other cultural spaces or media. Read more about our Public Humanities projects.

2022-2023 Recipients of the Mandel Faculty Grants in the Humanities and Public Humanities Grants

The Mandel Center for the Humanities is pleased to announce the winners of the Mandel Faculty Grants in the Humanities, made possible by a generous gift from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation.

Isaiah Wooden

Isaiah Wooden, Assistant Professor of Theater Arts, was awarded a Faculty Research Grant for his book project, “Reclaiming Time: Race, Temporality and Black Expressive Culture.” The book critically examines an array of artistic works by Black artists that reflect on and reckon with the interplay of Blackness and time. The book proposes that for many Black artists, particularly those who came of age in the aftermath of the freedom struggles of the 1960s and 1970s, a deliberate and often ludic engagement with matters of time and temporality has served as a key means by which to interrogate and explore the conditions and complexities of Black life.

Elizabeth Ferry

Elizabeth Ferry, Professor of Anthropology, was awarded a Public Humanities Grant for a collaborative project with the Bogotá-based non-profit organization OjoRojo Fábrica Visual to facilitate and document dialogue around the War of Villarrica (1954-1957) in rural areas of Colombia most affected by these events. While this war has largely been erased from the collective memory, the objective of this project is to build on and fortify efforts in Villarrica to inform the Colombian public about this censored history. The planned exhibition is designed as a “wall newspaper” that functions both as a large-format newspaper and can unfold and attach to the wall easily, creating a versatile and inexpensive exhibit that works in all sorts of public spaces, including schools, community centers and libraries. The project will involve organizing informal small-group discussions about the exhibition and the war in Villarrica and to document responses to them. These discussions will amplify the effect of the exhibitions and will aid OjoRojo in planning future events.

Émilie Diouf

Émilie Diouf, Assistant Professor of English and affiliated faculty in African and African American Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, was awarded a Public Humanities Grant for her project “Women Writing/ Écrire au féminin,” in collaboration with Amina Seck, author, screenwriter, and director of Cultur’Elles, an organization that promotes women’s rights through the arts. The project supports young Senegalese women writers by creating an intergenerational network to train and mentor them, in addition to a hybrid writing workshop that includes sessions on cultural entrepreneurship and digital publishing. It will culminate in a book fair that brings together authors, readers, publishers, literary scholars, librarians and other important figures in the literary scene, as well as the publication of the short stories stemming from the workshop.

V Varun Chaudhry

V Varun Chaudhry, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, was awarded a Faculty Research Grant for his book project, “Incorporating Transgender: Race and Resources in the Fight for Trans Justice.” The book maps how transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) communities of color and their allies identify and garner resources from nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Amidst ongoing calls from academics and activists to abandon or abolish state institutions, the book reveals how TGNC communities of color are navigating these flawed institutions to better sustain their lives.

Past Faculty Grant Winners



"Moral Fibers: Transforming Peruvian Artisanal Textiles into Ethical Fashion"

English and WGS

"The Open Corpus Project"


"Black Dwelling: Home-making and Erotic Freedom"

AAAS, Education and Sociology

"Revisiting Small Axe and the Cultural Politics of Education in Black Britain"



“Errant Voices: Traumatic Text and the Making of African Women Refugees”

History, WGS, and AAPIS

“The First Amerasians: Mixed Race Koreans from Camptowns to America”


“Shillim: Mouthpiece 32”

English and AAAS

“Silk Roads and Highways: Imagining 'China' in the Caribbean Today”

Fine Arts

“Medium of Exchange”



“The Day I Die: Assisted Dying in the Age of Medicine”


“Half of a Hundred: Autobiographical Texts on Sex Work and Aging in Contemporary India”

Fine Arts and East Asian Studies

“Viewing Landscapes in China and Japan”


Classical Studies

“The Many-Minded Man: The Odyssey, Psychology and the Therapy of Epic”

Romance Studies

“A ‘Protestant Air’ – André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roland Barthes, & The Religion of Literary Modernism”


“The Trials of Stella Goldschlag: Nazi Victim, Holocaust Survivor, and War Criminal”


“Alien Invasions and Revolutionary Contagion: The Aliens Acts, the 1790s, and the Changing Contours of Citizenship”


“Talk of Freedom: An Oral History of Cuban Participation in African Liberation Struggles”



“‘Lopsided Beings’: Literature at the Limits of Global Capitalism”


“Music, Sound and Text”


“Kazuko's Letters from Japan: Love in a Time of Upheaval”


“Kazuko's Letters from Japan: Love in a Time of Upheaval”

Theater Arts

“Marius von Mayenburg’s ‘The Ugly One’”


Jerónimo Arellano

Romance Studies

“Reading Screenplays”


“American Refugee Camps”


"Tangible Assets: Gold and Other Materials in Finance and Mining”


Jasmine Johnson


“West African Dance and the Politics of Diaspora”


East Asian Studies

“Marx Enters the Temple of Confucius: A Chinese Translation between Antiquity and Revolution”


“The Anarchist’s Advocate: War, Terror, and the Origins of America’s Surveillance State”



“Indigenous Cultures, Past and Present: Community Engaged Archaeology in Chiapas, Mexico”


“World War I in the Historical Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois”