Prestigious fellowships for 11

Ten UC Berkeley professors and doctoral candidates and a visiting scholar are being honored with 2017 fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies.

The ACLS awards fellowships to scholars in the humanities and related social sciences, with contributions from individuals and institutions such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Berkeley faculty members among the ACLS awardees are:

Asad Q. Ahmed, an associate professor of Arabic and Islamic studies in the Near Eastern studies department, is the recipient of the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for recently tenured scholars.

He plans to study the social and intellectual history of Khayrabad, a rationalist school of India that emerged in the late 18th century in Uttar Pradesh as one of the most respected Islamic pedagogical and intellectual systems on the subcontinent.

Brian DeLay, an associate professor of history, will use his fellowship to continue work on Shoot the State: Guns, Freedom, and Domination in the Americas, 1774-1934, a book in progress.

He describes the book as the first major study of the history of the arms trade in the Americas. In it he explains how access to weapons affected struggles over freedom and domination around the hemisphere, from the American Revolution to the eve of World War II.

Samera Esmeir, an associate professor of rhetoric, will track the introduction of the word “international” into the English language and explore its global significance and the judicial, social and institutional roles it has played in Palestinian struggles.

Tania Lombrozo, an associate professor of psychology and of philosophy, will use the ACLS fellowship to explore the learning process and the nature of human understanding by linking philosophical analyses with research on human cognition.

The visiting scholar honored is:

Noa Steimatsky, a visiting scholar in Italian studies and a former associate professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Chicago. Steimatsky will use documents from archives, photographs, films and personal interviews to explore the story of a refugee camp operating from 1944-1950 on the grounds of Cinecittá, a major Italian movie studio.

She will examine displacement in postwar Europe, Rome’s housing problems, shifting circumstances of movie studios established during fascism, and reconstruction of the Italian film industry as indebted to – and constricted by – Allied and Hollywood interests.

Doctoral candidates receiving fellowships include:

Hector Beltran, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, is researching technology, startups and alternative capitalism from Mexico. He heads up the Latinos and Tech Initiative at UC Berkeley’s Center for Latino Policy Research.

Alex Hudgins Bush, a doctoral candidate in film and media studies, will explore the role of visual media in the historical conceptualization of nature.

Ethan Jerzak, a doctoral candidate in philosophy, is examining paradox in thought and natural language.

Joseph Kellner, a doctoral candidate in history, is exploring responses to the Soviet collapse.

Milad Odabaei, a doctoral candidate in anthropology and critical theory, is researching the emergence of translation in modern Iran.

Hallie Wells, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, is exploring Malagasy slam poetry.