2019-20 Eisenberg Institute Fellows: top, left to right: Farida Begum, Henry Cowles, Fusheng Luo; middle, left to right: Alexander Clayton, Alexander Stephens, Esther Ladkau, Johanna Folland; bottom, left to right: Ian Shin, Geoff Eley.

The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies has awarded fellowships to three faculty members, four graduate students, and one postdoctoral scholar for 2019-20. The institute also named its graduate student liaison for the next academic year. Recipients will join faculty and graduate students from history and other departments for a series of lectures, workshops, and symposia.

These fellows join nearly 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, graduate student, and liaison 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.

2019-20 Faculty Fellowships

  • Henry Cowles, Assistant Professor, History, University of Michigan
    • Cowles's new project asks how ideas about habit—unconscious behaviors, implicit biases, hidden obsessions—shaped views of human nature over the last two centuries. The story is both intimate and economic, from Henry Thoreau's celebration of our everyday routines to the rise of "persuasive technologies" in Silicon Valley and beyond.
  • Geoff Eley, Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History, University of Michigan
    • Eley is presently completing the first volume of a general history of twentieth-century Europe. Conceived as a genuinely European history—hence east as well as west, south as well as north; small countries as well as big; social, cultural, and intellectual, as well as political and economic—the book situates Europe inside its wider worlds, whether imperial and postcolonial, or global and transnational in our contemporary notations.
  • Ian Shin; Assistant Professor; History, American Culture; University of Michigan
    • Professor Shin will use the EIHS fellowship to conduct Chinese-language research for his book manuscript in progress. He will examine early twentieth-century Chinese newspapers to analyze public responses to the growing interest in and acquisitions of Chinese art by Americans. These sources are important because they challenge straightforward narratives of US cultural imperialism.

2019-20 Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Johanna Folland, History, University of Michigan
    • Folland will be developing her dissertation, "Globalizing Socialist Health: Africa, East Germany, and the AIDS Crisis," into a book manuscript and revising an article for Central European History about race, sexuality, and the East German state in the era of AIDS. In summer 2020, she'll conduct research in Uganda and Zimbabwe about African students and guest workers who lived in East Germany during the AIDS epidemic.

2019-20 Graduate Student Research Fellowship

  • Farida Begum, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    • During her time as a fellow, Farida will make short trips to India and Bangladesh in order to conduct follow-up research and interviews for her dissertation.
  • Essie Ladkau, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    • Essie will be using the fellowship period to continue research water management strategies used in Kyoto during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. She will be developing maps of the physical waterscape based on archaeological surveys and documented reports of river floods and writing chapters of her dissertation.
  • Fusheng Luo, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    • As an Eisenberg fellow, Luo plans to conduct further research in to the emergence of a "treaty port property regime" in Guangzhou and Shanghai from the 1840s to the 1940s. Utilizing multilingual sources, he will delineate the mechanisms through which property disputes between foreign sojourners and Chinese proprietors were resolved.
  • Alexander Stephens, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    • With support from the Eisenberg Institute, Alexander will conduct research for his dissertation at several repositories, including the US National Archives in Washington, DC.

2019-20 Graduate Student Liaison

  • Alexander Clayton, PhD Student, History, University of Michigan
    • With the support of the Eisenberg research award, Alexander plans to work on a database of exotic species in North America. Using newspaper articles, playbills, and shipping records, the database will piece together the changing owners, locations, and prices of exotic animals in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.