Professors Whitmer and Dragojević awarded ACA fellowships


Two Sewanee faculty members have been awarded Faculty Fellowships by the Appalachian College Association (ACA). Kelly Whitmer, assistant professor of history, and Mila Dragojević, assistant professor of political science, each were awarded fellowship support for 2013-14.

Kelly Whitmer, a scholar of historical topics related to German culture during the Enlightenment, will pursue two research projects that concern the education of young people. Whitmer’s book-in-progress, The Science of Philanthropy: Pietist Model Communities and the Making of Enlightenment, tells the story of an educational commune founded in the German city of Halle around 1700 by a group of evangelical Lutherans known as Pietists. The commune was part of an ambitious program of social reform. Whitmer will explore how and why the Pietist theologians involved in the founding of the Halle commune imagined philanthropy as an “affective epistemology.”

Whitmer’s next research project, entitled Childhood, Science and Emotion(s) in the Early Modern Realschule, explores the space of the German Realschule or “School of the Real” as a key site of knowledge production and transmission in which young people actively participated. It will offer a new and practical way of connecting conversations currently transpiring among historians of science about the role of emotion(s) in knowledge production. Course development and revitalization will result from Whitmer’s research, including more substantial undergraduate research components in several courses.

Mila Dragojević, a native of Croatia, proposed a research project seeking to explain under what conditions mass violence against civilians occurs. She will examine the local variation of violence in the 1991-95 war in Croatia. What accounts for high levels of violence against civilians in some regions, towns, and villages, including some that were almost ethnically homogeneous, and low levels or even absence of such violence in other places that were ethnically heterogeneous? Dragojević will conduct in-depth interviews with residents in each of eight cities. Her research will also be useful in developing a new course entitled “Civil wars and insurgencies.”

Eighteen awards were made by ACA this year to 12 different member institutions.

The Appalachian College Association is a non-profit consortium of 36 private four-year liberal arts colleges and universities spread across the central Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Appalachian College Association's Faculty Fellowship Program is the longest running program of the ACA. The fellowships provide from $3,000 to $30,000 for pre- or post-doctoral study. Fellowships are awarded for a short term (generally summer), one semester, or an academic year.

The Fellowship Endowment is supported by foundations, member schools, and individual contributions. Since 1993, the Appalachian College Association and the Faculty Fellowship Endowment have supported more than 350 requests totaling over $6 million.

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