About the Fellowship

The Program in Race, Law, and History at Michigan Law will award up to five 2023-2024 academic year fellowships to students enrolled in JD, PhD, and other terminal graduate programs at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

The program fosters interdisciplinary research at the intersection of three lines of intellectual inquiry: law, history, and race. Through helping law and graduate students engage in this scholarship and collaborate with scholars in the field at Michigan Law and beyond, the program provides a space for historical investigation into the ongoing salience of race in our world.

Fellows in the Program in Race, Law, and History receive financial support for independent research and present their research findings at the Program’s annual winter term fellows’ symposium. There they receive comments from scholars in the field, including an invited commentator from outside of U-M. Fellows’ research may take shape in conjunction with developing and transforming a note project or seminar paper into a dissertation chapter or a journal article, for example. 

Fellows will each receive up to $3,000 in reimbursement for pre-authorized spending, which may include authorized travel, acquisition of digital materials, and other research expenses. This funding also covers travel expenses to the annual American Society for Legal History conference.

Fellows must be enrolled as students for AY 2023-2024 and must be in residence in Ann Arbor during that time as they are expected to participate in the on-going activities of the Program and other related legal history events in the law school. Program activities include two fall-term fellows’ meetings, a winter-term fellows meeting, and the end-of-year pro-seminar. Fellows should also plan to attend (and may seek to enroll in) the weekly speaker talks offered through the Race, Law, and History course at the law school during the winter 2024 semester. Importantly, fellows must attend the American Society for Legal History conference, to be held this year on October 26-28, 2023 in Philadelphia.

How to Apply

We welcome applications from students developing independent research proposals within the scope of the Program in Race, Law, and History. The programs of recent Fellows’ symposia below provide examples of successful projects.

Applications must include a 500-word research proposal, a proposed budget itemizing expected expenses, a C.V. or resumé, and the name and contact information for one U-M faculty recommender, who will normally assist in providing area expertise and supervision for the research. Please note the acceptable budget line items include travel, print/copy expenses, and transcription and translation services. Computer hardware and books are not permissible expenses.)

Applications will be evaluated by an ad-hoc faculty committee and judged on the quality of the research proposal; the relevance of the research proposal to the thematic focus of the Program in Race, Law & History; demonstrated support from the faculty recommender; and academic distinction. (Note, the fellowship does not cover tuition or living expenses.) 

The due date for applications for 2023-2024 is Sunday, September 24, 2023.

Submit an Application

Current and Former Fellows

  • 2022-2023 Fellows
    • Jennifer Playstead, PhD Candidate, History "In the Streets: Contesting and Enforcing Race in Colonial New York City Courts"
    • Lopaka O’Connor, PhD Candidate, History "Proving Ground: Anthropologies of Land, Law, and Power in the Nuclear Pacific, 1946-1979"
    • Shonita Black, Ross School of Business Fellow "Old Money and The Establishment: A Structural Take on Financing the American Dream via Bankruptcy"
  • 2021-2022 Fellows
    • Meenu Deswal, Ph.D. Candidate, History
      "Uneven Terrains of Struggle: Caste, Class, Gender and the Everyday Experience of Law in Colonial South Asia, 1849-1940"
    • Alex Burnett, Ph.D. Candidate, History, Women's & Gender Studies
      "Trans of Color Organizing In The Shadow of The Service Economy: Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and Antidiscrimination Law, 1969-1973"
    • Gerson Rosales, Ph.D. Candidate, History
      "Feet People or Refugees?: Salvadorans and the Political Asylum process, 1980-1989"
    • Jasmine Simington, Ph. D. Candidate, Public Policy, Sociology
      "Negotiating Ownership: Heirs’ Property in Charleston, 1970- Present"
    • Brooke Simone, JD Candidate
      "Assessing Views of Nonwhite Citizens’ Membership in the American Polity Through the Voting Rights Act Language Provisions"
  • 2020-2021 Fellows
    • Tamar Alexanian, J.D. candidate
      "Racism & The Child Welfare System: The Impact on Families from 1900-2008"
    • Grace Argo, Ph.D. candidate, History and Women's & Gender Studies
      "Constructing the American Family: Debates on Incest in US Law, 1870-1940"
    • Marlee Goska, J.D. candidate
      "'The Fight Brought to our Cultural Doorstep': Tribal Access to and Co-Management of their Dispossessed Lands"
    • Katherine Markey, J.D. candidate
      "Policing Interracial Relationships: Morals Law as Anti-Miscegenation in Progressive Era Chicago"
    • Gianna May Sanchez, Ph.D. candidate, History
      "'No physician within 14 miles': Legislative Negotiation of Medical Practice and Traditional Healing in New Mexico, 1880-1940"
    • Jonathan Quint, Ph.D. candidate, History
      "Natives, Newcomers, and the Formation of the US-Canadian Border in the Detroit River Region, 1760-1820"
    • Reuben Riggs-Bookman, Ph.D. candidate, Anthropology and History
      "Emergency Management: Transformation in Democracy and Neoliberal Governance, 1970-Present"
  • 2019-2020 Fellows
    • Allie Goodman, PhD candidate, History
      "Possession and Promises: Institutionalization, Nativism, and "Child Saving" in Chicago, 1870-1899"
    • Nana Quarshie, PhD candidate, Anthropology & History
      "Thorazine and Terror in Early Independence Ghana, 1951-1966"
    • Chao Ren, PhD candidate, History
      "Oily Arguments: Institutional Disputes and Native Property Rights in Colonial Burma"
    • Jasmine Wang, JD candidate
      "Belonging and the Gendered Nature of Chinese Exclusion"
  • 2018-2019 Fellows
    • David Helps, PhD Candidate, History 
      “Between ‘Tough on Crime’ and the Taxpayer Revolt: Los Angeles Police Expansion and the Origins of the Predatory State”
    • Lamin Manneh, PhD Candidate, History 
      “Half Die: Conforming ‘Native’ Urban Quarters and Ecologies in Colonial Bathurst in the 19th Century” 
    • Nicole Navarro, PhD Candidate, History 
      “In a State of Exception: Latino Migrations to Washington, D.C., 1970s-1990s”  
    • Alexander Stephens, PhD Candidate, History 
      “Making ‘Criminal Aliens’ in the Magic City: Miami, the Mariel Boatlift, and U.S. Immigration Law in the 1980s” 
    • James Sunshine, JD Candidate 
      “Fairness Not Leniency: A Review of President Obama’s Clemency Initiative” 
  • 2016-2017 Fellows
    • Daniel Fryer, JD Candidate
      “Phantom Trials”
    • Jessica Garrick, PhD Candidate, Sociology
      “Puzzling Through Precedent: Immigrant Workers and the Right to Organize in the Post-Hoffman Era”
    • Sauda Nabukenya, PhD Candidate, History
      “Ethnic Balancing, Racial Bargaining, Political Exclusions and Constitutional Development in Uganda, 1950-1967”
    • Andrew Walker, PhD Candidate, History
      "Flight of the Firefly: Navigating Antislavery in the Haitian Admiralty Court”
    • Tara Weinberg, PhD Candidate, History
      “Land, Law and Apartheid’s Legacy: The Role of Communal Property Associations in South Africa”
  • 2015-2016 Fellows
    • Katherine Brausch, JD Candidate
      "Equal Protections and Guns: The Black Panther Party and Constitutional Rights"
    • Zachary Kopin, PhD Candidate, History
      "The Case of Lt. Hooe: Race, the Naval Courts and the Performance Practice of Citizenship in Antebellum America"
    • Andres Pletch, PhD Candidate, History
      "Isle of Exception: Slavery, Law, and Governance in Cuba, 1825-1856"
    • Matthew Woodbury, PhD Canidate, History
      "Humanitarian Governance, Aboriginal Protection, and New Zealand’s Native Reserves (1835 - 1872)"
  • 2014-2015 Fellows
    • Emad Ansari. JD candidate, Law, and MA candidate Ford School of Public Policy
      "Policing the Postcolony: Colonial-Era Rules for Contemporary Challenges in the Indian Subcontinent"
    • Ángela Pérez-Villa. PhD candidate, History and Women's Studies
      "Race, Law, and the Moralizing Role of Catholicism in Early 19th­Century Colombia"
    • Richard Hoffman Reinhardt. PhD pre-candidate, History and Anthropology
      "Missionary Interventions: Religious Authority and the Law in Haiti, from L'Affaire de Bizoton to the US Occupation"
    • Amanda Rowe Tillotson, MSW. PhD candidate, Political Science
      "Restrictive Racial Covenants, Racialized Constructions of Property Value, and the Legal Order"
  • 2013-2014 Fellows
    • Ananda Burra. JD candidate, Law, and PhD candidate, Global History
      "Anticolonial and Antiracist Solidarity in Early Cold War International Law: The Trusteeship/Mandates Debates of the Late 1940s and Early 1950s"
    • Garrett Felber. PhD candidate, American Culture
      "'The Trial': Performing Black Unity and Courts as Political Theater"
    • Karla Johnson. JD candidate, Law, and MPH candidate, Public Health
      "Reducing Incarceration among African American Young Men through a Mental Health and Trauma-Informed Approach"
    • Nora Krinitsky. PhD candidate, History
      "To Serve and Neglect: Street Policing and the Racialization of Crime in Interwar Chicago"
    • Ezekiel Rediker. JD candidate, Law
      "Gang Violence in Three Rust Belt Cities: A Study of Policing, the Legal System, and Community Response"
  • 2012-2013 Fellows
    • Pedro Cantisano. JPhD candidate, History
      "Is Freedom Divisible? Law and Slavery in 19th-Century Brazil"
    • Jesse Carr. PhD candidate, American Culture
      "Lynching and the Legal Order"
    • Andrew Dalack. JD candidate, Law
      "Special Administrative Measures and the War on Terror: The Consequences of Harsh Pre-Trial Detention"
    • Ashley Mitchell. JD candidate, Law
      "Disabilities, Race, and the Co-existing Fight for Educational Rights"
    • Joost Van Eynde. PhD candidate, History
      "A Slave’s Good Character: Local Justice in a Kentucky Pardon Case, 1808"

Publications and Awards