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History Professor Named Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Kevin Boyle named to inaugural class of 32 scholars in the social sciences, humanities

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University history professor Kevin Boyle is among the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows.

The 32 scholars were selected from more than 300 nominees for this honor. The fellowship includes up to $200,000 per recipient to support a research sabbatical for work that focuses on studies in the social sciences and humanities.

Boyle, William Smith Mason Professor of American History in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is an historian of the 20th-century United States, with a particular interest in modern American social movements.

“I’m so grateful to the Carnegie Corporation for its generous support,” said Boyle, who teaches undergraduate courses on modern U.S. history, the civil rights movement and racial violence. “I’ll be using my fellowship year to write an intensely intimate history of political extremism and governmental repression in the early 20th-century United States. Through that history, I hope the book will speak to the deeply troubling issues the nation faces as we live through our own age of terror.”

Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation, said what distinguishes this new fellowship initiative is its extraordinary jury.

“The selection committee includes the heads of some of the nation’s preeminent institutions dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, including five current and former university presidents,” Gregorian said. “In addition, each proposal was reviewed and rated by at least one of the 25 prominent scholars, educators and intellectuals who served as anonymous evaluators.”

The jurors were asked to consider the merits of each proposal based on its originality, promise and potential impact on a particular field of scholarship. The anticipated result of each fellowship is a book or major study.

Boyle’s publications include “The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968”; “Muddy Boots and Ragged Aprons: Images of Working-Class Detroit, 1900-1930” (with Victoria Getis); and “Organized Labor and American Politics, 1894-1994.” His book “Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age,” which received the National Book Award for nonfiction, the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize and the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Tolerance Book Award, also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Boyle has published essays and reviews in the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, the Detroit Free Press, Inc., and Cobblestone magazines. He has held fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which announced the major annual fellowship program this morning, awarding a total of $6.4 million to the inaugural class, was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

“It is my hope that the work of the Andrew Carnegie Fellows will help inform the American public as well as policymakers,” Gregorian said.  

In launching the fellowship program, the corporation sought nominations from nearly 700 leaders from a range of universities, think tanks, publishers, independent scholars and nonprofit organizations nationwide, who collectively nominated more than 300 people.