When geology and geophysics professor Alexey Fedorov received an email in March from the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation informing him that he was one of the 2018 Guggenheim fellowship winners, he had to reread the email several times before the news sunk in. He could not believe his name would join a list of past Guggenheim fellows that includes three scientists — Jacob Bjerknes, Julie Charney and Walter Munks — responsible for laying the foundations for his field of study, modern ocean and atmospheric sciences.

“This is a great, great honor!” Fedorov told the News. “I was really happy, excited, thrilled to receive the news.”

Three Yale faculty members — Fedorov, comparative literature and humanities professor Martin Hägglund and history professor Marci Shore — received 2018 Guggenheim Fellowships, grants awarded for a six to 12-month period during which fellows can “work with as much creative freedom as possible” and spend their grant funds in any manner that they deem necessary to their work. Fedorov, Hägglund and Shore are three of the 173 scholars, artists and scientists selected for the fellowship out of the 3,000 applicants.

Fedorov, a climate scientist whose research focuses on how to understand physical processes that control ocean and climate dynamics and predictability, is taking a sabbatical leave next year to pursue research on a project that explores climate change–driven changes in global ocean circulation, both in the past and future. As part of the project, Fedorov will “most likely” spend time at Sorbonne University in Paris.

Shore, whose work focuses on the intellectual history of Central and Eastern Europe, said she was “grateful” and “flattered” to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship. Already the author of three books and the translator of one more, Shore will spend the next academic year in Vienna working on a book tentatively titled “Phenomenological Encounters: Scenes from Central Europe.” The book will be an intellectual history of 20th-century Eastern and Central Europe, told through the stories of encounters between thinkers “connected to the continental philosophical tradition of phenomenology-turned-existentialism.”

“The idea for this book has been in my mind for a very long time,” Shore said. “In some sense it dates back to the senior essay I wrote as an undergraduate at Stanford in the 1990s, which explored the political philosophy of dissent in communist Czechoslovakia.” 

A philosopher, literary theorist and scholar of modernist literature, Hägglund will also use the fellowship to complete his upcoming book, “This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom,” which Pantheon Books will publish next year.

Born and raised in Sweden, Hägglund has written three books, one in Swedish and two in English. His work focuses on philosophers of time, theorists of desire and modern writers.

“It is particularly meaningful to win a Guggenheim fellowship for this project, which has a large scope and takes on fundamental existential questions,” Hägglund said. “Ranging across literature, religion, politics and philosophy, my book develops a new vision of what it can mean to lead a resolutely secular life, both individually and collectively.”   

Four Yale faculty members were named Guggenheim fellows in 2017.

Adelaide Feibel | adelaide.feibel@yale.edu