Congratulations to Emily Cornish and Dylan Volk, who have been awarded the 2022 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art. From the ACLS website:

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2022 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art. This year, the fellowships recognize seven outstanding doctoral candidates for their promising research in American art history. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Since 1992, the Luce/ACLS program has supported more than 300 early-career scholars as they pursue dissertations on the history of the visual arts of the United States, including all facets of Native American art. The awards are designed to promote emerging leaders and advance cutting-edge scholarship in American art history, welcoming research approaches that elevate voices, narratives, and subjects that have been historically underrepresented and under-studied in the academy. The 2022 fellows join previous recipients who are now some of the country’s most distinguished college and university faculty, museum professionals, and leaders in the cultural sector.

The winning research projects explore timely and engaging topics that advance and expand the field of art history, including an examination of four contemporary Latinx artists and their relationship to maps, geography, and space; self-representation in Hawaiian royal photography; and artistic responses to the legacies of nuclear weapons testing and the global inheritances of the Cold War.

“ACLS is proud of our continued partnership with the Luce Foundation in supporting the exciting work of these emerging scholars,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “Their research can amplify voices and perspectives of indigenous populations, communities of color, and on complex historical narratives that have often been muted in retellings of our American history.”

Each fellow will receive $42,000 to support one year of research and writing as well as fellowship-related travel during any nine-to-twelve-month period between July 2022 and May 2024.

Emily Cornish, "Indigenous Women and Photography in the Kingdom of Hawaii: Tradition and Modernity through Self-representation and Patronage" whose dissertation "examines how Royal Hawaiian women engaged with photography, making use of that media as an innovative tool for self-expression, transforming and maintaining Hawaiian cultural traditions in the face of United States’ colonialism. Over the course of the 19th century, U.S. settler colonial interest in controlling Hawaiian land and resources grew exponentially. A multi-valent approach to photography became a key component in the sociocultural safeguarding that royal Hawaiian women undertook to maintain Kanaka Maoli sovereignty and lifeways. This analysis attends to the linguistic, material, and political dimensions of royal Hawaiian women’s engagement with this media and not only considers the creation and deployment of these images in the past, but also attends to the ways in which these photographs are affective and effective touchstones for Kanaka Maoli in present."

Dylan Volk, "Lips Touch: Lesbian Aesthetic Strategies and the Body Impolitic, 1990-1999" whose dissertation examines a critical moment in American history when the relations between “feminist” and “queer” art were actively being negotiated. In contrast to prevailing narratives that characterize lesbian-feminist art as either a brief and transitionary movement soon to be subsumed under the banner of queer aesthetics or a regressive and essentializing relic of Second Wave Feminism, this dissertation argues that lesbian-identified artists in the 1990s took radical and diverse approaches to identity, community, and representation (both visual and political). "Lips Touch" brings together the visual analysis of rarely considered works and rich oral histories of lesbian life at the end of the 20th century to construct the first substantive theory of lesbian aesthetic strategies in American art."