Helbig and Heller Named ACLS Fellows

Faculty members Adriana Helbig (Ethnomusicology) and Michael Heller (Jazz Studies) are among 78 recipients selected nationally as 2018 American Council of Learned Society Fellows. Peer reviewers selected the fellows from a pool of nearly 1,150 applicants. Awards range from $40,000 to $70,000, depending on the scholar’s career stage, and support scholars for six to twelve months of full-time research and writing.

“The 2018 ACLS Fellows hail from more than 50 colleges and universities, including several for which this is the first time a member of their faculty has received an ACLS Fellowship,” said Matthew Goldfeder, director of fellowship programs at ACLS. “Fellows were selected for their potential to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge, resulting from research on cultures, texts, and artifacts from antiquity to the present, in contexts around the world.”

Helbig’s project, “Romani Music and Development Aid in Post-Soviet Ukraine,”

“… theorizes the sonic worlds of impoverished Roma whose pictures fill development reports. It vocalizes their modes of being and elucidates the lived experiences of the silenced poor. Specifically, this project addresses the processes through which Roma communities engage with discourses of civil society as promoted via networks of development aid. It analyzes the repercussions of employing ethnicity as the main criteria for the distribution of development aid and shows that the “minorization” of specific segments of the population within development discourse encourages stratification within minority groups. This project contributes to broader understandings of class formation in formerly classless societies and analyzes the ways neoliberal processes shape minority identities in emerging democracies.”

Heller’s project, “Just Beyond Listening: Sound and Affect Outside of the Ear,”

“…explores multisensory sonic encounters that register as more than simple collisions between sound waves and eardrums. Instead, it looks at how sound functions in dialogue with a range of sensory and affective modalities, including physical co-presence, cultural memory, and spectral haunting. A series of case studies examines instances where sound is experienced in other parts of the body; where sound is altered by cross-wirings across the senses; where sound has been weaponized by military powers; or where sound is mediated and changed by cultural practices, individual memories, or sensations of place. The work expands upon recent scholarship in sound studies, musicology, affect theory, and media studies by asking not only how sound functions acoustically, but how sonic presences temper our total experience of the world around us.”

Congratulations to Professors Helbig and Heller on being named 2018 ACLS Fellows!