Joyce Dalsheim, a cultural anthropologist in the Department of Global Studies, has been selected as a 2018 Luce/ACLS Fellow in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs. She will use her ethnographic research in Israel/Palestine to engage in a critical examination of the relationship between sovereignty and liberation, focusing on questions of religion and religious freedom. Her work adds new perspective to a broad set of interdisciplinary conversations on secularism and citizenship in the modern world.
“Focusing on Israeli Jews, it examines the processes through which sovereign ethnonational majorities are produced,” she wrote in her abstract. “Using stories from many different communities, this research reveals how different ways of being Jewish challenge the policies and practices of the Jewish state, and how, conversely, the existence of the Jewish state constrains the range of possible ways of being Jewish.”
Dalsheim joined the UNC Charlotte faculty in 2010 as a visiting assistant professor and became an assistant professor here in 2012. She has published numerous articles and chapters, along with her books, Unsettling Gaza: Secular Liberalism, Radical Religion, and the Israeli Settlement Project, and Producing Spoilers: Peacemaking and the Production of Enmity in a Secular Age, both published by Oxford University Press.
She has also been the recipient of other prestigious fellowships, including the Rockefeller Fellowship with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Lady Davis Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The prestigious Luce/ACLS Fellowships help scholars pursuing research on global religions to connect their scholarship to journalism and media audiences. The program, which aims to increase public understanding of the role of religion in international affairs, is made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
In addition to providing fellows with a year’s leave to pursue their research and outreach efforts, the Luce/ACLS Fellowships also offer media training opportunities and hosts a spring symposium that brings journalists into dialogue with scholars to discuss key issues in international affairs. Dalsheim will be in residence at Northwestern University for the 2018-2019 academic year where she will work with colleagues at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, including Elizabeth Shakman Hurd and Brannon Ingram.
Dalsheim’s work demonstrates how scholarship in the humanities helps provide insight into contentious struggles and allows people to develop alternative conceptualizations of their histories, their lived experiences, and their futures. An important goal of this fellowship is to bring this work to wider audiences, engaging with journalists and publishing in venues accessible to the broader public.
“Political and public discourse too often suffers from a lack of understanding of our world’s complex religious traditions,” said John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS. “By fostering new connections between scholars and journalists and offering sites for training and knowledge sharing, ACLS seeks to promote richer, more balanced insights about the political, social, and cultural roles of religion in international affairs.”
The American Council of Learned Societies, a private, nonprofit federation of 75 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. Advancing scholarship by awarding fellowships and strengthening relations among learned societies is central to ACLS’s work.