Kastor, Rosenfeld named ACLS fellows

Will pursue research on U.S. federal government formation, medieval literature

Two Washington University in St. Louis professors — Peter J. Kastor, PhD, and Jessica Rosenfeld, PhD — have been named 2012 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellows.

Kastor, professor of history and of American culture studies, both in Arts & Sciences, has received an ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship to pursue research on Creating a Federal Government, 1789-1829.

Rosenfeld, associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences, has received an ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship to work on her book Envying Thy Neighbor: Pleasure, Identity and Gender in Late Medieval Literature.

ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations, is the pre-eminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.



The ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships support digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. Projects help advance digital humanistic scholarship by broadening understanding of its nature and exemplifying the robust infrastructure necessary for creating such works.

As part of the innovation fellowship, Kastor will write a book examining the functional realities of governance within the federal system during the Early American Republic. He also will create a major digital archive that reconstructs the institutional profile of the federal government as well as the individual careers of federal appointees.

The book reflects Kastor’s interests in federal policymaking and involves decision-making among elite officials and policy implementation within the appointed ranks of the federal bureaucracy.

The fellowship includes funding to provide stipends for student research assistants who will collaborate on the website. This website will be a public resource and is being developed with support from WUSTL’s Humanities Digital Workshop.

Kastor will be on research leave beginning in January 2013. He will spend most of his time researching and writing in St. Louis.



The Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship provides advanced assistant professors and untenured associate professors in the humanities and related social sciences with time and resources to pursue their research under optimal conditions.

Rosenfeld will spend her fellowship year, 2014-15, writing a book on envy in medieval literature.

Her research focuses on the history of the seven deadly sins, and on envy as an irrational emotion. Unlike the other vices, she says, “envy isn’t fun,” and so writers spent time trying to figure out the reasons people feel envy and act enviously.

She also will research modern views about the rationality of emotion and the gendered associations of envy.

The fellowship includes support for travel. Rosenfeld plans to visit archives in England and France in summer 2014.

Since 1957, more than 9,200 scholars have held ACLS fellowships and grants. For a list of all 2012 awardees, visit acls.org/fellows/new.