The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies has awarded fellowships to three faculty members, six graduate students, and one postdoctoral scholar for 2020-21. 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.

2020-21 Faculty Fellowship

  • Pamela Ballinger; Professor, History; Fred Cuny Chair in the History of Human Rights; University of Michigan
    Professor Ballinger will use her Eisenberg fellowship to develop a new project, “Materializing Empire.” Both at home and in its overseas territories, the Italian fascist regime transformed its land and seascapes through massive infrastructural projects. A favorite subject of fascist propaganda, these projects have tended to be studied more in terms of their media effects than their material consequences and enduring legacies.

  • Will Glover, Associate Professor, History, University of Michigan
    Professor Glover is currently working on a book that asks how rural change—and the expert knowledge associated with managing the countryside—shaped South Asian urbanism. Tentatively entitled Reformatting Ordinary Life, the book presents an intellectual history of what came to be called the "rural/urban continuum" in India, and a material history of the spatial forms and fantasies this concept authorized, including reformatted agrarian landscapes, remodeled villages, and comprehensively planned small towns.

  • Matthew Spooner, Assistant Professor, History, University of Michigan
    At the Eisenberg Institute, Professor Spooner will also began work on his second major project, a history of the colonization movement, the most understudied major social movement of the nineteenth century and one predicated upon the notion that black women and men had no place within the United States. For the dream of an all-white America, preachers, philanthropists, and six presidents financed the emigration of tens of thousands to Liberia in America’s first imperial endeavor while hundreds of colonizationists in state and national government passed laws that shaped the social reality of race before and after the Civil War.

2020-21 Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Stephanie Fajardo, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    As a postdoctoral fellow, Stephanie Fajardo will be developing her dissertation, “Illicit Intimacies: Interracial Relationships and US Military Empire in the Philippines,” into a book manuscript. In addition, she is at work on an article based on oral histories conducted with Filipino Amerasians in Olongapo, Philippines.

2020-21 Graduate Student Research Fellowship

  • Matthew Hershey, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    As an Eisenberg fellow, Matthew Hershey will continue work on his dissertation, presently titled “Inclination Toward Death: Suicide and Sacrifice in First World War Germany.” In addition to drafting further dissertation chapters, COVID-19 permitting, he will return to Germany to conduct follow-up archival research in Munich, Stuttgart, and Dresden.

  • Zachary Kopin, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    Zachark Kopin will use his fellowship support to conduct research for his dissertation in a handful of archives in New England and in Europe.

  • Alexander McConnell, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan 
    As an Eisenberg fellow, Alex will conduct further periodical and memoir research in U-M libraries and continue drafting chapters of his dissertation, provisionally titled “Soviet Humanism after Stalin, 1953-1991.” He also hopes to return to Moscow in 2021 to complete archival research interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Aidyn Osgood, PhD Candidate, History and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan
    Over the course of the fellowship, Aidyn Osgood will study visual art and textual representations of sexual violence in French and German contexts between 1500 and 1650. He will focus on memoirs, journals, and collections of etchings and woodcuts to understand how these media connected sexual pleasure to sexual violence.

  • Cheyenne Pettit, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    Cheyenne Pettit will use the fellowship to continue researching the history of specific venereal hospitals in Britain as well as the general policy changes that occurred in VD management during the war. She will also be doing research in London to investigate the British perception of Canadians in connection to amount of risk, likelihood of contagion, and moral character.

  • Jonathan Quint, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    As an Eisenberg fellow, Jonathan Quint will continue his dissertation research at U-M libraries, the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library, and local museums, archives, and historical societies throughout the Midwestern United States and Southern Ontario.

2020-21 Graduate Student Liaison

  • Essie Ladkau, PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan
    With the support of the Eisenberg fellowship, Essie Ladkau will work on completing chapters of her dissertation, “Moving Water: Life, Death, and the Construction of the Kamo River,” on water management and economic life along the Kamo River in fifteenth-century Japan.