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Lelièvre named Burkhardt Fellow by American Council of Learned Societies

  • Portrait photograph of Michelle Lelièvre
    A Fellow:  Michelle Lelièvre, associate professor of anthropology and American studies at William & Mary, was recently named a Frederick Burkhardt Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies.  Photo by Zahra Zaman
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Michelle Lelièvre, associate professor of anthropology and American studies at William & Mary, was recently named a Frederick Burkhardt Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies. 

The fellowship is awarded annually to 25 tenured academics, who will each receive a $95,000 stipend and a $7,500 research budget to support large-scale, multi-year humanities and social sciences research projects. The program is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Even in a time of great uncertainty, we want to take a moment to recognize the strength and value of this important scholarly community,” Joy Connolly, ACLS President, said in a news release.   

Lelièvre’s interdisciplinary research project, “Radical Reconciliation: Collaborative Research as Survivance on Nova Scotia's Chignecto Peninsula,” asks broad questions about the relevance of humanistic social sciences to contemporary conversations about reconciliation between settlers and indigenous peoples. 

Specifically, the work will reflect on the collaborative research Lelièvre has been conducting with Mi'kmaw communities in Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq. LeLievre received W&M Reves Faculty Fellowship funding for her research in 2017 and 2018.

“The project puts evidence rooted in Western disciplines into dialogue with local indigenous knowledge to document the long-term presence of Nova Scotia's indigenous Mi'kmaq on a landscape encroached upon by Europeans,” Lelièvre explained in her research abstract. 

The fellowship will support residence at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress during academic year 2022-2023. Lelièvre plans for the work to be collaborative, with team members sharing the results of their research in academic publications and through public-facing experiential learning programs developed with Mi'kmaw communities.

The fellowships are named for the late Frederick Burkhardt, president of ACLS from 1957-74, whose decades of work on "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin" constitute an example of ambitious scholarly enterprise, the release stated. This year is the final competition for fellowship, which has supported nearly 275 scholars with close to $30 million in funding since 1999. 

“The beauty of the Burkhardt program has been its ability to provide a generation of brilliant minds with the room, resources and ideal scholarly communities to ‘think big’ about ways to respond to social challenges and contribute to deeper understanding and positive change in our world,” Connolly said.