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Announcing the 2012 Guggenheim Fellows


The 2012 class of Guggenheim Fellows was announced this week by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, inciting some exuberant responses on the part of several winners (check out Terry Teachout’s Twitter feed). The Guggenheim has long been hailed as the “mid-career award,” honoring scholars, scientists, poets, artists, and writers, who have likely published a book or three, professed a fair amount of research, and are actively engaged in projects of significant scope. The fellowship possesses some tortured origins—(John) Simon Guggenheim, who served as president of the American Smelting and Refining Company and Republican senator from Colorado, seeded the award (1925) following the death of this son John (1922) from mastoiditis (Guggenheim’s second son George later committed suicide, and more infamously his older brother Benjamin went down with the Titanic).

Among this year’s crop (we dare say more forward-leaning than previous years?) is a roster of standout “professionals who have demonstrated exceptional ability by publishing a significant body of work in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the creative arts,” affiliated with the University of Chicago Press:

Creative Arts


History of Science, Technology, and Economics




Intellectual & Cultural History


Social Sciences


And finally, congratulations to Kirin Narayan, professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov (2012) and My Family and Other Saints (2007), who joined the Guggenheim Foundation’s Standing Committee for the Educational Advisory Board (here’s to picking some winners!)