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ACLS/Mellon Dissertaton Completion for social science?


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Hi all,

I've been gearing up to apply to the ACLS/Mellon fellowship, but looking at past successful applications I'm not sure I'm in the target field. I do bioarchaeology in an anthropology department, and I'm pretty focused on disease, ecology, diet, etc. So I'm solidly on the "science" side of "social science". By contrast, all the successful proposals for the fellowship are in parts of social science very closely allied with the humanities (sociocultural anthropology, Classical archaeology, etc., and not a single biological anthropology project that I could see).

What do you y'all think? Worth applying or should I focus my energy elsewhere?


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Hi elunia -- I strongly disagree with the poster above. If you're getting a PhD in Anthropology, I say go for it. Anything under the wide umbrella of anthropology is, by definition, related to the "humanities" in a basic sense. Do you see your work as advancing knowledge of human origins, behavior, wellbeing, etc? If so, you are engaging in humanistic research. You may use empirical or scientific methods ((all anthropologists do, even socio-culturals engaged in ethnographic work)), but empirical methods don't necessarily make your work less humanistic than folks who are interpreting texts or creating philosophical arguments. Although my department does not do bioarchaeology specifically, I've known a few anthropological archaeologists who have won the ACLS. It's a fabulous opportunity. Good luck!

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