With support from a Luce Foundation grant, the American Council of Learned Societies has announced the first five scholars to receive Leading Edge Fellowships, which support projects that bring humanistic skills and perspectives to community projects aimed at understanding and responding to the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Luce Foundation congratulates this first group of Leading Edge Fellows in art history and visual culture,” said Mariko Silver, President of the Luce Foundation. “They exemplify the civic commitment that the humanities inspire in students and scholars. And the work they do with and on behalf of communities demonstrates the critical contributions that humanists can make during this time of national crisis.”
Each fellow has been appointed to a non-profit organization with which they will partner on a publicly engaged project.
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has proudly named the 2020 Leading Edge Fellows.
ACLS launched the $1.6 million rapid-response fellowship, generously sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation, to galvanize the power of humanities scholarship and training in addressing critical challenges facing communities hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each fellow will partner with a non-profit organization on publicly engaged projects that document and respond to the damage the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked and that advance collective understanding of the societal fault lines that helped worsen its impact, notably inequality, increasing precarity, divisive media, and racism.
“At a time when early-career PhDs in the humanities and related social sciences have so much to offer the world, and while they face the most challenging job market in a generation, ACLS is pleased to partner with the Luce Foundation to provide opportunities to support these scholars while also making positive contributions to hard hit communities,” said Joy Connolly, ACLS President. “Look at the fields studied by suffragists and civil rights leaders: history, philosophy, the whole range of studies ACLS represents. Humanistic scholarship has always played an essential role in creating and interpreting social change. The impacts of COVID-19 will be present for years to come, and these important projects will only increase in value as new generations learn about and from this challenging moment in history.”
The five awardees represent the first cohort in this two-year public scholarship initiative. The second cycle of the program will place up to 10 scholars in religion, theology, and ethics with organizations for work starting in early 2021. ACLS will begin accepting applications for these fellowships in October 2020.