Indian-American professor receives ACLS 2020 fellowship

indica News Bureau-

Indian American professor at Pitzer College, Brinda Sarathy, has received The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship for her project on Laid to Waste: The Stringfellow Acid Pits and Making of Place in Southern California. Sarathy is a Professor of Environmental Analysis and the Director of the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College.

According to the fellowship website, Sarathy’s project examines the history of the first Superfund site in California, the Stringfellow Acid Pits, to better understand how places are produced in the context of invisible flows: of toxics, of groundwater, and less told stories of social mobilization. Drawing on archival material and interviews with community activists and government officials, this research explores how hazardous wastes are understood, rationalized, and managed by scientific experts to justify dumping; why policy makers overlooked groundwater contamination in spite of prevailing scientific knowledge; and how to make sense of the often heterogeneous and contradictory nature of local resistance to, and mobilization against, contamination by industrial waste. Significantly, this work considers how institutions of expertise often exclude the experiences of those most exposed to harm and, despite deep and persistent uncertainties, authority figures have been called on to minimize concerns about hazardous substances, thus facilitating industrial, military, and economic expansion.

About the fellowship

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites research applications from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant, which can take the form of a monograph, articles, digital publication(s), critical edition, or other scholarly resources. The ACLS Fellowship program does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.

ACLS Fellowships are intended as salary replacement to help scholars devote six to twelve continuous months to full-time research and writing. The awards are portable and are tenable at the fellow’s home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site for research. An ACLS Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships and grants and any sabbatical pay, up to an amount equal to the candidate’s current academic year salary.

The fellowship stipend is set at three levels based on academic rank (or rank equivalency based on scholarly attainment): up to $40,000 for Assistant Professor and career equivalent, up to $50,000 for Associate Professor and career equivalent; and up to $75,000 for full Professor and career equivalent. ACLS determines the level based on the candidate’s rank or equivalent rank as of the application deadline.

ACLS invites applications from scholars pursuing research in any discipline of the humanities and related social science on topics grounded in any time period, world region, or humanistic methodology. ACLS continues to welcome applications from scholars proposing disciplinary or interdisciplinary work in international and area studies, as it has since, in the years after World War II, ACLS worked with the Social Science Research Council to develop and sustain scholarly expertise focused on particular areas or cultural regions of the world.

In addition to these awards, the program offers ACLS Project Development Grants that support projects from faculty at teaching-intensive institutions. Applicants from these institutions who are not selected for fellowships but present particularly promising proposals may be awarded a grant of $5,000 to help advance their projects. (See FAQ for more information.)

Institutions and individuals contribute to the ACLS Fellowship program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Arcadia Charitable Trust, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council’s Research University Consortium and college and university Associates, former fellows, and individual friends of ACLS.