Scholars of Distinction

Sociologist and historian are named 2019 Fellows of the American Council of Learned Societies

Two UC Santa Barbara scholars have been named 2019 ACLS Fellows by the American Council of Learned Societies. Kevin B. Anderson, a professor of sociology, and Anthony Barbieri-Low, a professor of history, are among the distinguished scholars who will receive funding to support as much as 12 months of full-time research and writing.

Anderson, who also was an ACLS Fellow in 1996, will spend a year on his project, “Mapping the Late Marx: On Colonialism, Gender, Development, and Multilinear Concepts of Revolution.”

“Nowadays, many academics are returning to Marx in the wake of economic crises and skyrocketing economic inequality, while many others continue to work on inequalities stemming from gender, race and ethnicity, and colonialism,” said Anderson, who has studied the German philosopher-economist extensively. “My project tries to get these two strands of critical theory into conversation by showing the breadth of issues with which Marx was concerned, especially in his later years.”

Anderson, who also has appointments in the departments of political science and of feminist studies, said that his project will allow him to delve into a little-studied period of Marx’s life and works.

“Hundreds of scholars have studied alienation and humanism in the young Marx, or capital and class in ‘Das Kapital,’ but few have delved into the late Marx,” he said. “In his last decade, Marx turned away from Western Europe and toward the Global South, as he studied indigenous societies, including their gender relations. The issues that engaged him in this period speak to many of our contemporary concerns.”

Geoffrey Raymond, professor and chair of UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Sociology, called Anderson’s fellowship “a major honor, and a well-deserved recognition of Professor Anderson’s outstanding scholarship.”

Barbieri-Low, who was named the Yvette and William Kirby Centennial Fellow, will spend a year working on a book, “The Black Land and the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient Egypt and Early China.”

“The project marks my career move into comparative ancient history, a burgeoning field,” he said. “But this will be the first work to look at China and Egypt, rather than the usual comparisons of China and Greece or China and Rome.”

Erika Rappaport, professor and chair of UCSB’s Department of History, hailed Barbieri-Low’s “field-shaping scholarship” and called his ACLS Fellowship “a great and well-deserved honor.”

The ACLS, founded in 1919, is a nonprofit federation of 75 scholarly organizations dedicated to promoting the study of the humanities. It has been awarding grants since 1926, when it distributed a total of $4,500. The organization will award more than $24 million in grants to its 81 fellows of 2019.

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