Indiana University has selected eight faculty members who have been awarded the IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellowship for 2023. The program supports stellar IU faculty with an academic year fellowship that accelerates and amplifies their research and advances their professional standing as national and international leaders in their various disciplines.
The award serves multiple campuses and disciplines as well as faculty in all ranks. The program directors seek to balance junior and senior colleagues, as well as various disciplinary strengths, as a way of generating intellectual sparks between fellows and natural mentoring opportunities within the group. Their areas of research and expertise spans a variety of disciplines, from decoding medieval manuscripts to the history of the elephant ivory trade.
"Congratulations to the 2023 Presidential Arts and Humanities fellows on their groundbreaking work and steadfast dedication to the arts," IU President Pamela Whitten said. "The pursuit of transformative research and creativity is central to our IU 2030 strategic plan and this fellowship brings this pillar of our mission to life with a clear example of the incredible creative and artistic excellence of our faculty. The university is proud to recognize the experts of our arts and humanities community through this well-deserved spotlight."
Each of the eight fellows will receive $50,000 in flexible funding to support a mix of course releases, travel and other research needs. These faculty members are expected to make significant strides in the scholarly and creative advancements of their individual fields, advance IU's reputation in these areas by cultivating rich scholarly networks and promote the methods and values of the arts and humanities by sharing their work broadly with faculty, students, staff and the general public.
"We are very eager to begin working with next year’s group of fellows," said Ed Dallis-Comentale, associate vice provost of arts and humanities at IU Bloomington. "They are each engaged in exciting projects with vast field-changing potential and significant public impact. Looking at the final roster, I know that this is exactly the kind of forward-thinking research and creative activity for which IU should be known."
The 2023 IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellows are:
- W. Scott Deal, professor of music technology in the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology, musical performer and composer. Deal's expertise is in music technology, music performance (percussion), computer musical interactivity and high bandwidth Internet performance art (known as telematic art). Deal will use the funding to complete a futuristic multi-media opera, Five Paths Project, which will explore issues related to climate change such as immigration, racism and nation-less people.
- Tyrone McKinley Freeman, associate professor of philanthropic studies and director of undergraduate programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. Freeman’s areas of expertise are in African American philanthropy, philanthropy in communities of color, history of philanthropy, diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, racial and economic justice in philanthropy, fundraising and higher education and student success in undergraduate education. Freeman plans to use the funding to focus on elevating history and the humanities as integral to the multi-disciplinary foundations of Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies through his physical and digital project titled, "The Giving Syllabus: Philanthropy across the African American Experience."
- Elizabeth Hebbard, affiliated faculty in musicology in the Jacobs School of Music and assistant professor of French and Italian in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. Hebbard's interests are in medieval manuscript fragments, using digital tools to virtually reassemble books, medieval French and Occitan literature in lyric and romance, the relationship between text and music, medievalism, the reception of the Middle Ages and the history of medieval studies. Hebbard will use the funding to complete her first monograph and tenure book, "Manuscripts and the Making of the Troubadours."
- Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, assistant professor of sculpture in the IU Northwest School of the Arts. Hulsebos-Spofford's interests include using sculpture, installation, video and collaborative public works to challenge topics like monuments, museum practice and the problem with empire building. Hulsebos-Spofford plans to use the funding to work on his project "Floating Monuments: Mecca Flats," an inflatable architectural monument that conjures up themes of erasure and disinvestment on Chicago's South and West Sides while celebrating Chicago's Black Renaissance.
- Sarah Imhoff, associate professor of religious studies in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. Imhoff's interests are religion and the body, bodies' attributes like gender, race, ability, shape and how they are shaped by religion. Imhoff will use the funding for her new book, "American Judaisms," which will focus on the history of Jewish people and Judaism throughout North America.
- Jonathan Schlesinger, associate professor of history in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. Schlesinger's interests include China and Inner Asia, environmental history, early modern empires, race and ethnicity and commodities and consumption. Schlesinger plans to use the funding to continue developing his database of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy signatures of elephant ivory in order to reconstruct the history of the ivory trade as he prepares to develop a book on the subject.
- Brando Skyhorse, associate professor of English and director of writing in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. Skyhorse's work explores themes of identity through the lens of race and ethnicity. Skyhorse will be using the funding to conduct background research for his fifth book, "Last Words," by traveling to various locations in Spain to lend authenticity to his work about an English professor who, having received a terminal diagnosis, applies for an archivist position at a private library in A Ulloa in northern Spain.
- Rachel Wheeler, professor of religious studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Wheeler's interests are focused on early American religious history, specifically the encounters of Native peoples and Europeans at mission sites to understand how they navigated the structures of colonialism. Wheeler will use the funding for a biography called "Joshua's America," about an 18th century Mohican-Moravian man who appears through the archives of the Moravian Church as well as in colonial records of the time.
Information about each of the categories of funding as well as eligibility and application requirements is available online.