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Anthropologist Holtzman named ACLS fellow

Oct. 1, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Dr. Jon D. Holtzman is one of a select few U.S.-based scholars to be awarded a fellowship for 2006-07 from the American Council of Learned Societies, a private nonprofit federation of 69 national scholarly organizations.

The ACLS awarded more than $8.3 million to a total of 232 scholars in this year's multi-program fellowships competition.

Holtzman, an assistant professor of anthropology, was designated an International and Area Studies Fellow under the prestigious ACLS Fellowship Program, which funds postdoctoral research in the humanities and humanities-related social sciences for research periods of six months to one year.

Nearly 1,100 people applied to the program, and just 65 were selected to be fellows and share in the $2.8 million awarded. The only other Michigan scholar to be named an ACLS Fellow is from the University Michigan. Also named recipients in this fellowship category were representatives of Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale universities as well as the Universities of California, Berkeley; Chicago; Florida; Massachusetts; and Texas, Austin.

Holtzman will use his award to continue work on a project titled "Killing Your Neighbors: Friendship, Violence and Identity in Northern Kenya." The project examines violence between neighboring ethnic groups and the role collective memory plays in fostering this violence.

A cultural anthropologist, Holtzman has a regional focus on East Africa and the United States and is studying Samburu pastoralists in northern Kenya and Nuer (Sudanese) refugees in Minnesota. His research interests revolve around food, commodities and consumption, history and memory, globalization and transnational migration.

He is the author of the book "Nuer Journeys, Nuer Lives: Sudanese Refugees in Minnesota," which was published in 2000. Holtman's work also has appeared in such publications as American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Current Anthropology and the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

The ACLS mission is the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies.

As the pre-eminent representative of humanities scholarship in America, the ACLS carries out its mission in large part by awarding peer-reviewed fellowships in several program categories. Visit www.acls.org for more information about the organization.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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