History, English Professors Win Guggenheims

Two UC Davis faculty members, both in the College of Letters and Science, have been awarded 2019 Guggenheim Fellowships. History professor Ari Kelman and English professor Elizabeth Carolyn Miller are among 173 winners in the U.S. and Canada selected from 3,000 applicants for the prestigious awards.

"Our distinguished faculty are at the heart of the excellence that defines the College of Letters and Science,” said Elizabeth Spiller, dean of the college. “Ari Kelman and Elizabeth Miller exemplify the ongoing pursuit of creative innovation that the Guggenheim represents.”

The awards, announced Wednesday (April 10), go to a diverse group of scholars, artists and scientists. Fellows may use their awards, which average $50,000, as they wish.

Kelman and Miller join 37 other College of Letters and Science faculty members who have won Guggenheim Fellowships. UC Davis has a total Guggenheim count of 58.

The Civil War and beyond

Ari Kelman mugshot

Ari Kelman is a Chancellor’s Leadership Professor of History and associate dean of undergraduate studies and academic programs in the College of Letters and Science. 

The Guggenheim Fellowship will support his work on multiple book projects including For Liberty and Empire: How the Civil War Bled Into the Indian Wars

He is the author of Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, which won several national awards, including the Bancroft Prize, and A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, winner of the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize. His most recent book is Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War.

Kelman is editor-in-chief of the journal Reviews in American History, and his articles have appeared in The Journal of American History, The Journal of Urban History, The Nation, Slate and The Times Literary Supplement. He has contributed to outreach endeavors aimed at K-12 educators, and to public history projects, including documentary films for the History Channel and PBS’s American Experience series. 

Kelman, who came to UC Davis in 2005, has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library.

Literature and the environment

Rlizabeth Miller mugshot

Elizabeth Miller is a scholar of 19th- and early 20th-century literature of the British Empire. Her research has focused on literature’s overlapping relations with ecology, industry, media and capital.

The award will support her newest book project, Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion, 1830s-1930s. The book examines the rise of large-scale industrial mining and its social and environmental impacts as registered in literature of the early industrial era — thus using literary history as an archive of environmental disaster.

She is the author of Slow Print: Literary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print Culture, which received the best book of the year award from the North American Victorian Studies Association and an honorable mention for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize; and Framed: The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siècle. She guest-edited an issue of Victorian Studies focused on climate change, and she is editor of George Bernard Shaw: Major Political Writings and co-editor of Teaching William Morris, both forthcoming

Miller’s work has been supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, the Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Public Goods Council Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation.

She came to UC Davis in 2008 and served as chair of the English department from 2013 to 2016.

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Jeffrey Day, 530-219-8258, jaaday@ucdavis.edu

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