College of Liberal Arts

History Receives Three Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships for 2014-15

Mon, Apr 28, 2014



Three doctoral students in the Department of History were awarded the prestigious Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the upcoming 2014-15 academic year.

This award encourages timely completion of doctoral degrees in the humanities and related social sciences by supporting students during their final year of dissertation writing. Only 65 fellowships are awarded annually.

Ben Breen received the award for his dissertation on “Tropical Transplantations: Drugs, Nature, and Globalization in the Portuguese and British Empires, 1640.” His project explores how the circulation of tropical drugs and pharmaceutical knowledge in Amazonia and Portuguese Africa between 1640 and 1755 contributed to Western science and global trade—a relationship that has been overlooked in previous scholarship (more information can be found on Breen’s website). Among Breen’s many other accomplishments, he is a William Powers Graduate Fellow, a Fulbright recipient, and a founding editor of the online journal The Appendix.

Isabel Huacuja Alonso’s dissertation, “Radio for the Millions: Hindi-Urdu Broadcasting at the Crossroads of Empire,” looks at how Hindu and Urdu radio in the late colonial period encouraged transnational identities built around language and listeners’ musical preferences, defying politicians’ goal to use radio as a nation-building tool. Huacuja Alonso’s research in India and Pakistan was funded through fellowships from the American Institute of Pakistani Studies (AIPS), and the American Institute for Indian Studies (AIIS). 

Brian Stauffer is completing a doctoral dissertation entitled “Victory on Earth or in Heaven: Religion, Reform, and Rebellion in Michoacán, Mexico, 1869-1877.” Stauffer’s project explores the “Religionero” Catholic rebellion that challenged the Mexican federal government’s secularization project between 1873 and 1877. Stauffer received a Fulbright Fellowship to Mexico to support his dissertation research.

Please join us in congratulating these three students and the Department of History on their accomplishments!

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