Northwestern University faculty members Shana Kelley, Jeffrey Masten and Kimberly Yuracko are among the 2022 Guggenheim Fellows recently named by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
This year, the Foundation awarded 180 artists, writers, scholars and scientists from across the United States and Canada. Selected from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants, the fellows were appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.
“Now that the past two years are hopefully behind all of us, it is a special joy to celebrate the Guggenheim Foundation’s new class of Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation and 1985 fellow in poetry. “This year marks the Foundation’s 97th annual Fellowship competition. Our long experience tells us what an impact these annual grants will have to change people’s lives. The work supported by the Foundation will aid in our collective effort to better understand the new world we’re in, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. It is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows carry out their visionary work.”
An internationally renowned researcher, Kelley develops innovative and translational methods for tracking molecular and cellular analytes with unprecedented sensitivity. Her novel approaches integrate nanoscience with bioanalytical science and engineering. She also is well-known for developing new methods to detect circulating cancer cells and delivery systems that leverage mitochondrial penetrating peptides and related materials.
With the Guggenheim Fellowship, Kelley will develop a new class of sensors for the human body that will enable continuous monitoring of biochemical markers of health and disease. This type of sensing approach will provide new ways to prevent and manage disease.
“I am deeply grateful for this recognition that reflects the highly creative and hard work of my research team as well as the resources that will enable us to continue innovating and pursuing a positive impact on human health,” Kelley said.
Rebecca Makkai is a faculty member in Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies. She teaches in the Prose and Poetry MFA program, as well as the Writing master’s program, where she works with talented writers of all stripes.
Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels “The Great Believers,” “The Hundred-Year House” and “The Borrower,” as well as the short story collection “Music for Wartime.”
“The Great Believers,” her latest novel, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. It also was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, the Clark Fiction Prize, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Award and the Chicago Review of Books Award.
One of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2018, it has been optioned for television by Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions.
“The Guggenheim is not only high-profile but high-impact,” Makkai said. “These are grants that allow people to keep working, which of course is the greatest reward there is when you love what you do.”
Jeffrey Masten is a professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Weinberg. Masten’s work focuses on book history, sexuality and early modern English literature.
Masten’s book, “Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), has been hailed as “a high-water mark in early modern sexuality studies” and won the Elizabeth Dietz Memorial Award for best book in early modern drama studies. He has written influentially about the history of collaboration and conceptions of authorship in “Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama” (Cambridge University Press, 1997). Masten was named Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence by the University in 2006.
The Guggenheim award will help support Masten’s research into early printed copies of literary texts and the changing histories of gender and sexuality registered by the readers who owned, marked up and read them across time.
“I’m very grateful to receive this recognition from the Guggenheim Foundation,” Masten said. “In these times of book-banning and don’t-say-gaying, I’m especially pleased to have Guggenheim support for work on the long history of queer texts, LGBTQ and women readers, and their physical books. Faced with extremist legislation aimed at narrowing and censoring education, our knowledge projects that find and tell these stories remain crucial. I look forward to having more time for research and writing on these topics.”
Yuracko is a nationally recognized expert in antidiscrimination law. Her scholarship explores its demands across categories and contexts, with a particular focus on what nondiscrimination requires with respect to individuals and groups that are different in relevant ways. Her research has touched on some of the most pressing policy questions of recent years, with implications beyond academia.
Her book, “Gender Nonconformity and the Law” (Yale University Press, 2016), explores courts’ expanding protection for gender nonconformists and the limitations of the current approach and was the winner of a Choice Award. Her work on Title IX explores how athletic opportunities should be allocated across sex-segregated sports teams. The Guggenheim Fellowship will support further work in this area of inquiry by examining athletic opportunities for transgender girls.
“I am deeply honored by this fellowship and grateful for the Foundation’s support,” Yuracko said. “I hope this project addressing transgender girls’ participation in girls’ sports will help shift discussion on this important issue from partisan politics to more fundamental questions of fairness, equality and human dignity.”