UMass Amherst Classics Professor Melissa Mueller Awarded Year-Long Research Fellowship by American Council of Learned Societies

Melissa Mueller
Melissa Mueller

AMHERST, Mass.—Melissa Mueller, associate professor of classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been named a 2018 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies.

With the support of the fellowship, Mueller, a specialist in archaic and classical Greek poetry, will be in residence for the 2019-20 academic year at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. There she will be pursuing work on her project “Sappho and Homer: A Reparative Reading,” which investigates the complex emotional and aesthetic terrain of the oral-poetic song culture within which Sappho responded to Homer.

In the words of the review committee, “The project takes advantage of a new corpus of works in the field and at the same time addresses central debates in literary and classical studies. The feminist impulse—both in subject (Sappho’s reading of Homer) and interpretive method (via Sedgwick, Marcus, and Felski theories of reading)—makes for a novel work taking ‘classics’ texts out of obscurity and into the mainstream.”

The Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships program supports recently tenured faculty as they pursue ambitious scholarship at a consequential stage of their careers and is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “Burkhardt Fellowships carry a $95,000 stipend and a $7,500 research budget and allow awardees to take up year-long residencies at institutions whose resources and scholarly communities are ideally suited to facilitate the proposed research project.”

“A central tenet of the program is that the residential fellowship experience fosters multidisciplinary conversations and encourages connections among faculty from different backgrounds and different types of institutions,” said Matthew Goldfeder, ACLS’s director of fellowship programs. “This experience enriches fellows’ individual projects and fosters long-lasting scholarly networks, preparing the fellows for careers of far-reaching research and leadership in the humanities.”

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