The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies has awarded ten fellowships for 2021-22. Recipients will join faculty and graduate students from History and other departments for a series of lectures, workshops, and symposia.

These fellows join more than 200 others who have earned Eisenberg fellowships since the institute’s inception in 2006. The institute announces its annual fellowship program in December and issues the awards in spring. The faculty and graduate student award terms are July 1 to June 30; the postdoctoral award term is September 1 to August 31. These awards have been made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.

2021-22 Faculty Fellowship

Professor Freidin will spend the year wrapping up her book manuscript on childbirth and risk in the Roman world and begin research for her second project, a history of bread, exploring the interface of the Roman state, the non-human environment, and human efforts to subsist with limited resources.

  • Matthew Lassiter
    Professor; History, Urban and Regional Planning; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; University of Michigan

Professor Lassiter will dedicate his Eisenberg Institute fellowship to completing the collaborative website exhibit Crackdown: Policing Detroit through the War on Crime, Drugs, and Youth (1974-1993) and advancing the Policing and Social Justice HistoryLab project to document police homicides in Detroit during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through a grid exhibit and maps.

2021-22 Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Xiaoyue Li
    PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan

During the postdoctoral year, Xiaoyue Li will be developing his dissertation, “Taming the Iron Horse: Austerity, Subversion, and Revolution in Colonial Egyptian Railways, 1876-1922,” into a book manuscript. Additionally, he is working on his side project on the rise and fall of the “Third World” concept in Egypt and plan to publish an article. 

2021-22 Graduate Student Research Fellowship

  • Grace Argo
    PhD Candidate, History and Women's & Gender Studies, University of Michigan

Grace Argo will use her fellowship support to conduct dissertation research at the Library of Virginia. She hopes to deepen her understanding of abolitionists' attempts to politicize incest, and to explore how the limits of the family and patriarchal authority were mapped and contested in Virginian slaveholding society. 

  • Meenu Deswal
    PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan

As a graduate fellow at the Eisenberg Institute, Meenu Deswal will be drafting the final chapter of her dissertation, provisionally titled, “Formalizing Marriages: Marriage Registration and the Punjab Crimes Bill, 1917.” The Eisenberg fellowship will allow her to complete archival research for the chapter at the British Library in London.

  • Robert Diaz
    PhD Student, History, University of Michigan

As an Eisenberg Institute fellow, Robert Diaz will study how bacteriology evolved during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the United States and the Philippines. He also hopes to conduct research at the American Philosophical Society, exploring the papers of Victor Heiser, director of health in the Philippines from 1905 to 1915.

During the fellowship period, John Finkelberg will be completing a final draft of the dissertation: re-working chapters, editing, and thinking about where the project could go next, chiefly how it will change as an academic book. 

During the fellowship, Allie Goodman plans to use legal documents to continue researching how children experienced institutionalization, how reformers theorized institutional goals, and how parents, as mediators, petitioned for relief in Chicago. The paper will foreground questions about belonging, citizenship, liberty, and national identity. 

As an Eisenberg fellow, William Soergel will continue their dissertation on the political and religious concept of sanctuary under the Roman Republic. During the fellowship year, they will draft chapters on the construction of sanctuary spaces and the communities that populated them.

2021-22 Graduate Student Liaison

As the Eisenberg Institute’s graduate student liaison, Hayley Bowman will continue research for her dissertation project, investigating the presence and influence of Sor María de Jesús in the New Mexican missions. This work will be complimented by an examination of premodern natural histories and textiles, especially liturgical embroidery. She will also embark on the major revision stage of her project, honing completed drafts of existing chapters.