Faculty members win fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies

Two Brandeis faculty have been selected as 2022 ACLS fellows by the American Council of Learned Societies: assistant professor of anthropology, Brian A. Horton and assistant professor of theater arts, Isiah Matthew Wooden.

The ACLS Fellowship program supports exceptional scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences that has the potential to make significant contributions within and beyond their fields. This year, the program will award more than $3.7 million to 60 scholars selected from nearly 1,000 applicants through a rigorous, multi-stage peer review process.

ACLS Fellowship awards provide $30,000 to $60,000 to support scholars during six to 12 months of research leave. Awardees who do not hold tenure-track faculty appointments during the fellowship year also receive an additional $5,000 stipend for research or other personal costs incurred during their award term.

Brian A. Horton’s project “Shimmers of the Fabulous: Public Sex and Intimate Touch in Queer and Trans Bombay,” is a multi-sited ethnography of queer sexpublics—spaces for queer and trans intimacies, desire, and touch—across Bombay. Drawing on over 28 months of fieldwork, each of the manuscript’s five chapters unfolds a different site— nightlife, the police station, pride, virtual worlds, and home. Through interviews, participant observation, archival research, and virtual ethnography across each of these sites, the book explores how queer and trans lives might be lived outside of and against the reaches of cultural intelligibility and legal recognition.

Isiah Matthew Wooden’s “Reclaiming Time: Race, Temporality, and Black Expressive Culture,” posits that one of the more urgent questions to emerge in the post-Civil Rights era is: What is the time of Blackness? Exploring works by playwrights Jordan E. Cooper, Eisa Davis, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Robert O'Hara; visual artists LaToya Ruby Frazier and Jefferson Pinder; and, filmmaker Tanya Hamilton, this interdisciplinary study analyzes the aesthetic strategies and practices contemporary Black artists hone and deploy to dramatize the deeply intertwined relationship of Blackness and time, thereby challenging concepts of "normative temporality" and reclaiming those aspects of Black life, history, and culture sidelined by temporal regimes structured to reinforce white supremacy.


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