- Published on Apr 04, 2008
- Contact Jared Wadley
U-M's total is the highest by any university in the United States or Canada this year. The 10 campuses comprising the University of California system had at least 18 fellows, with the most at UC-Berkeley with six.
"The Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded through rigorous national competition and receiving them is a great honor," said U-M Provost Teresa Sullivan. "We are pleased and proud to have seven faculty members among the recipients this year. To have faculty members recognized for their scholarly work in such an array of fields is a testament to the depth and breadth of the Michigan faculty."
This year's fellowship winners include 190 artists, scholars, and scientists selected from nearly 3,000 applicants in the United States and Canada for awards totaling $8.2 million.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation offered for the first time two Fellowships in Constitutional Studies. The inaugural Fellows in this new field are U-M's Primus and Randy Barnett of the Georgetown University Law Center.
The U-M fellows and their projects are:
? Geri A. Allen, associate professor of music, School of Music, Theatre & Dance: Music compositition.
Allen's project celebrates humanity and embraces the continuity of innovation as personified by three artists. She says her composition is inspired by the individual yet connected universes of the revolutionary elements of modern music's most prolific pianist-composers, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Cecil Taylor. "Refractions" is a celebration of what is most inspiring about humanity, she said.
"Every artist dreams of the opportunity to create unhampered by the anxieties of survival and the like," she said. "As a working mother of three children, this is an amazing and most encouraging honor, and will most certainly fuel my freedom for creative intention that all artists need in order to do their best work."
? Sheldon Danziger, H. J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy: Four decades of antipoverty policies.
Danziger will write a book that will evaluate the changing views about the causes of poverty that led first to the expansion of social welfare policies after the war on poverty and later to the Reagan retrenchment and the 1996 welfare reform that cut benefits to the poor.
"Americans have implicitly selected a set of social policies, labor market policies and tax policies that result in lower market earnings and lower government benefits for less-skilled workers and a higher poverty rate than that found in most other advanced industrialized countries," Danziger said. He will point out that there are effective labor market, taxation and anti-poverty policies that could be put into place to significantly reduce poverty.
? Phoebe Gloeckner, assistant professor of art, School of Art & Design: A graphic narrative.
Gloeckner will use her fellowship to create a graphic narrative about a Mexican girl murdered at the turn of this century in Ciudad Juarez, a major U.S.-Mexico border crossing adjacent to El Paso, Texas. The project represents a radical change in her work, she said. Rather than draw images, Gloeckner developed a three-dimensional technique, teaching herself to use tools and to construct nearly everything she would normally draw.
"The fellowship will allow me to immerse myself in the final stages of this process, which will require several more trips to Juarez and long periods of focused work," she said "I'm so very happy and grateful to have received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and acknowledge that it wouldn't have been possible without the support of friends and colleagues."
? David M. Halperin, W. H. Auden Collegiate Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality, Department of English: How to be Gay.
Halperin's fellowship allows him to complete his book, "How to be Gay," with "the leisure and detachment I need in order to look at the question from a multitude of different angles," he said.
"It also affirms the judgment of the administrators and colleagues at the University of Michigan who supported my controversial class on the same topic despite strong opposition from many quarters," Halperin said.
? Paul Christopher Johnson, associate professor of history, Afroamerican and African Studies, director of the Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History: "To Be Possessed: 'Religion' and the Purification of Spirits."
Johnson said his project is an excavation of the category of "spirit possession." It considers the category's creation as an early project of civil religion.
The project also explores how the construct was implemented in colonial regulations of religion in the Americas, especially in the wake of the emancipation of slaves and the perceived dangers of their civil integration. And it evaluates the positive appropriation of the category by ethnographers and religious actors themselves in the last half-century.
? Richard Primus, law professor, Law School: Constitutional authority in the wake of civil war.
Primus will write a book about American constitutional decision-makers