Yale News

On April 11, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced this year’s recipients of the Guggenheim fellowship, which awards fellows from different disciplines with a monetary prize. Seven of the 188 fellows serve as faculty at Yale – the highest number in at least a decade.

The Guggenheim website boasts fellows in 52 fields in the natural and social sciences, humanities and creative arts. The awardees come from 84 academic institutions and range from 28 to 89 years old. Fellows were selected through an intensive application and peer review process, according to their website.

The Yale faculty fellows include Ned Blackhawk, Marta Figlerowicz, Ben Hagari, Elizabeth Hinton, Tavia Nyong’o, Douglas Rogers and Travis Zadeh. Their areas of study include Native American history, literature, sculpture, law, performance, anthropology and religious studies respectively.

“I learned last week after returning from a trip to Maine to watch the eclipse,” Zadeh wrote. “The timing was cosmic.”

Zadeh, Hinton and Filgerowicz all wrote to the News that they plan to use the fellowship to work on books in progress.

Zadeh is a PROSE award-winning author, a professor in religious studies and Chair of the Council on Middle East Studies. His current project explores law, ritual and memory in the formation of early Islamic history.

Hinton, a professor of history, African American studies and law, is working on a book tentatively titled “Criminal Injustice: Crack Cocaine Laws and Their Legacies.” It is under contract with W.W. Norton and is expected to be published in 2026.

Comparative literature and English associate professor Figlerowicz said the fellowship will support her ongoing research for her third book, which necessitates visiting archives at the University of Lagos in Nigeria and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. She told the News that the book is an intellectual and literary history about anthropology and comparative literature at the beginning of the twentieth century told through marginalized modernist voices.

“I got the news this past Thursday morning,” Figlerowicz wrote to the News. “I felt elated and all the more honored when I saw the full list of this year’s fellows: so many people whose work I deeply admire, including our own Yale faculty.”

Rogers, another awardee, is the chair of Yale’s Department of Anthropology.

His past works, including books “The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals” and “The Depths of Russia: Oil, Power, and Culture after Socialism,” have drawn on ethnographic fieldwork and rigorous archival and manuscript research.

“There’s a ton of great work in the field of anthropology these days,” he wrote to the News. “And I’m deeply honored and grateful that folks out there think highly of mine.”

Six of the seven Yale recipients are faculty in Arts and Sciences. The seventh is Ben Hagari, who teaches at the Yale School of Art.

Hagari teaches “Principles of Animation” and “Puppet Animation” at the School of Art. He told the News that these two courses share some of the themes he explores in his current project. His current project is a multimedia installation that explores “the world of shadows” through a fable about a man “pursued by shadows of the living, the dying, and the dead.”

“The project departs from the tradition of wayang kulit, the shadow puppet theater of Western Indonesia and the modern use of this tradition and crosses geographical and chronological timelines,” Hagari wrote.

He added that the installation will include videos, puppets, sound and a dual screen.

Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife Olga established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 in memory of their son, who died at the age of 17.

Hudson Warm covers Faculty and Academics. She is a first-year in Morse College studying English.