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Congratulations to Johan Elverskog, 2021-22 Berlin Prize Fellow

American Academy in Berlin

Posted: May 12, 2021

The American Academy in Berlin has granted twenty-two Berlin Prizes for fall 2021 and spring 2022. The Berlin Prize is awarded annually to American or US-based scholars, writers, composers, and artists who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields, from the humanities and social sciences to journalism, public policy, fiction, the visual arts, and music composition. Fellows spend a semester at the Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center, a historic nineteenth-century villa located in Berlin’s Wannsee district.

Chosen by an independent selection committee, the 2021-22 class of fellows will pursue a wide array of scholarly and artistic projects, including histories of the legalities of small wars among European empires, the Visigothic political order, competing conceptions of self-government in English and American political thought, Algerian Jewish life, and the Greek Revolution; two new novels and a graphic memoir; investigations into lithium extraction in the US, Chile, and Argentina; EU-China-US relations in the context of global supply chains; the relationship between declining coal-use and the rise of populism; European attitudes toward global democratic decline; and new works by a composer, translator, and two visual artists.

The Berlin Prize provides recipients the time and resources to advance important scholarly and artistic projects, free from the constraints of other professional obligations. Fellows work throughout the semester with Berlin peers and institutions in the Academy’s well-established network, forging meaningful connections that lead to lasting transatlantic relationships. During their stays, fellows engage German audiences through lectures, readings, and performances, which form the core of the American Academy’s public program.

Johan Elverskog, SMU Dedman Family Distinguished Professor and Professor of History will be working on his new project, “A History of Uighur Buddhism, 800-1800,” which explores the pivotal role Uighur Buddhists played in shaping Eurasian history while also exploring some of the key issues of our post-secular age: Why convert to a new religion? How is religion manifested and maintained? And, finally, why abandon it? READ MORE