The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) recently named 21 recipients of its annual Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship. Among the list of prestigious academics is English Prof. McKinley E. Melton.
The fellowship, now in its second decade, partners with national and international research centers to host fellows for year-long residencies. The program allows faculty from liberal arts colleges to complete residencies at any research university-based humanities center or academic department in the United States. Additionally, fellows are provided with a $95,000 stipend and a $7,500 research budget.
Melton, who is a newly-tenured member of the English department, will complete his Burkhardt residence at the nation’s first academic center for black poetry, the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University.
Melton’s project is entitled Claiming All the World as Our Stage: Contemporary Black Poetry, Performance, and Resistance. It explores the cultural and political realities that link artists across boundaries, shaping a 21st century poetics of resistance. Melton sees its roots in what he calls a black diasporan tradition of writing and performance.
This project, which is centered in Melton’s primary research interest of 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, aims to challenge the restrictive boundaries in which African American poets are often situated.
Commenting on the initiative, ACLS’s Director of Fellowship Programs Matthew Goldfeder said: “In 20 years, this program has supported a generation of scholars, helping them advance in ambitious, far-reaching research projects and setting them on a path to leadership in the humanities.”
originally posted 3/29/19
By Marisa Balanda ’21