Ten faculty members earn arts and humanities fellowships

A student painting in an art studio

Ten University of Oregon faculty members have been selected as the first recipients of the Presidential Fellows in Humanistic Studies awards. Each recipient will receive $13,000 to support research and creative projects.

UO President Michael H. Schill funded the fellowships to support top scholars in the arts and humanities. The awards will be used to fund travel and research expenses, summer or sabbatical salary, or be combined with other resources to cover the cost of course releases with departmental approval.

“I am thrilled to support these outstanding faculty members and their contributions to our understanding of the world through their creative and research endeavors,” Schill said. “The humanities and arts are essential to the University of Oregon and its ability to create knowledge and prepare students to be leaders and critical thinkers. I look forward to seeing what these great scholars do with these awards.”

The idea for the fellowships came from Karen Ford, senior divisional dean for the humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. Ford talked to Schill about her idea and Schill embraced it.

Ford notes that the primary resource arts and humanities faculty need is time, as opposed to labs or equipment. These sizable awards will give them support to advance their work.

“The distinctive things about the Presidential Fellowships are their size and their flexibility,” Ford said. “Arts and humanities faculty create knowledge and contribute to our culture through myriad artistic and scholarly projects, and our students benefit from working with artists and scholars who are both analyzing and creating culture and knowledge.”

The recipients of the 2019 Presidential Fellows in Humanities Studies are:

  • Erin Beck, associate professor, political science, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Diana Garvin, assistant professor, romance languages, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Vera Keller, associate professor, history, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Sharon Luk, associate professor, ethnic studies, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Kate Mondloch, professor, art history, College of Design.
  • Jeffrey Ostler, professor, history, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Stephen Rodgers, professor, musicology, School of Music and Dance.
  • Stephen Shoemaker, professor, religious studies, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Rick Silva, associate professor, art, College of Design.
  • David Wacks, professor, romance languages, College of Arts and Sciences.

The application process was highly competitive with nearly 50 faculty members applying for the fellowships.

All applications were reviewed by a panel of tenure-track faculty members from across the arts, humanities, humanistic social sciences and the university’s professional schools. The members of the panel joining Ford were:

  • Philip Scher, divisional dean for the social sciences, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Sabrina Madison-Cannon, dean, School of Music and Dance.
  • Gabe Paquette, dean, Clark Honors College.
  • Liska Chan, associate professor of landscape architecture, College of Design.
  • Paul Peppis, director, Oregon Humanities Center.

All fellowship recipients and their proposals received final approval by Patrick Phillips, the UO’s provost and senior vice president.

“I am quite proud of the faculty who make up the first contingent of fellows to receive the arts and humanities awards,” Phillips said. “Their work is all part of the university’s foundation and mission as a liberal arts university. The arts and humanities play a unique role in making UO a strong and vibrant place to study. Everyone should applaud the recipients for the vision of transformative scholarship and artistic achievement embodied in their work.”

The awards will be administered by Ford, who will work with Scher, Peppis and other arts and humanities leaders to see the results. The fellows will be required to submit a brief report comparing their research goals and scholarly accomplishments achieved in relation to the awards.

“We are eager to see how these exciting projects come to fruition, and we are hopeful that the Presidential Fellowships in Humanistic Studies continue for many years to come,” Peppis said.

Ten awards are anticipated to be given out each year through 2021. Applications for the 2020 fellows will open during the 2019-20 academic year.

—By Jesse Summers, University Communications