News for Monday, June 21, 2010

Mellon/ACLS Fellow Selects SAR for Fellowship Residence

SAR is pleased to announce that Dr. Lucas Bessire, an anthropologist from New York University, has selected SAR as the host institution for his 2010–2011 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation / ACLS Early Career Fellowship for Recent Doctoral Recipients. Dr. Bessire will join SAR in September 2010.

The Mellon / ACLS Early Career Fellowships for Recent Doctoral Recipient provide a year’s support for scholars to advance their research, following completion of the doctorate. The Recent Doctoral Recipient Fellows are chosen from among the pool of successful applicants to either the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships competition or other competitions of national stature for dissertation completion awards. Awardees are encouraged to select an institution at which to spend their fellowship year, and Dr. Bessire elected to join the scholarly community at SAR.

Dr. Bessire's research project draws from 37 months of fieldwork with a recently contacted indigenous group in South America’s Gran Chaco to examine the political and sentimental implications of “becoming indigenous” in the twenty-first century. It uses an intimate portrait of an Ayoreo band that made “first contact” in 2004 to track how three distinct scales of mediation—including indigenous appropriation of radio technology, transnational discourses of indigenous rights, and local understandings of evangelical Christian doctrine—change Ayoreo imaginations of themselves as people out of place in a “new world” they consider to be fundamentally out of their control. What kinds of futures are Ayoreo piecing together out of such understandings of indigeneity and modernity?

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