Fall 2021
Vol. 6, Issue 2
Greetings Fellows!

Welcome to the fall newsletter. In part, a reminder that we’re still here and the Mellon community remains strong despite our circumstances. For those of you who took a leap of faith and participated in our virtual event – a huge thank you. We hope to see many more of you in 2020. It has been wonderful “seeing” you all even via zoom screen. During these challenging times, we hope you will continue to reach out to your Mellon colleagues and to us. I can’t stress strongly enough that now, more than ever, knowledge matters.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and we look forward to hearing more from you. In addition to sharing news, please check in on the fellows portal and update your information. An important reminder -- Predoctoral grants for fellows in years 2-5 close on November 1, at 5pm, so take advantage of that opportunity if you haven’t already done so. We are looking forward to a time when we can be together in person. Until then we hope you are enjoying a fine fall semester!

Warm wishes,
The MMGIP Staff
Congratulations to MacArthur Fellowship Recipients!
Dr. Monica Martinez
(MMUF Year 2004)
Dr. Jacqueline Stewart
(MMUF Year 1989)
Dr. Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor
(Keynote Speaker, 2021 Annual Graduate Summer Conference)
Congratulations to fellows Dr. Monica Martinez (MMUF Year 2004) and Dr. Jacqueline Stewart (MMUF Year 1989), as well as Summer Conference Keynote Speaker Dr. Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor for being selected as MacArthur Fellows for the Class of 2021!

Dr. Martinez is public historian whose work brings to light cases of long-obscured racial violence in the Texas-Mexico border and documenting descendants’ efforts to commemorate and seek justice for the lives lost.

As a film scholar, archivist, and curator, Dr. Stewart fills critical gaps in American media history by illuminating the contributions of overlooked Black filmmakers and communities of spectators towards cinema.

Dr. Yamahtta-Taylor is a historian and writer who presents powerful critiques of the political and economic forces underlying racial inequality.

The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.

For more information, please visit the MacArthur Foundation site.
Predoctoral Research Grants
Visit the Fellows Portal to apply
Deadline: Nov 1, 2021

US fellows: For PhD students in their 2nd through 5th years.
South African fellows: For MA/PhD students in their 1st through 5th years.

Deadline: Nov 1, 2021

For PhD students in their 7th year and beyond.
Graduate Student Summer Conference Report
On June 23-24, SSRC-MMGIP held their virtual Annual Graduate Student Summer Conference. The Summer Conference provides a forum for skills exchange, cohort-building and the development of
professional proficiencies for fellows who are graduating seniors entering a PhD program to 3rd year graduate students.

The conference kicked off with opening remarks by Dr. Janaka Bowman-Lewis, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at The University of North Carolina. After the opening remarks, fellows participated in a virtual icebreaker with Laughter on Call.

On the second day, fellows were assigned into groups and facilitators according to their year to specific issues they face during their graduate career. The facilitators include faculty and PhDs who have attended the Summer Conference in the past and have been in the fellows' footsteps.

Afterwards, Dr. Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor delivered the keynote address. Dr. Yamahtta-Taylor is a Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and the author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. Race for Profit was a semi-finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2020.

Fellows who participated in the Summer Conference also received a copy of Race for Profit along with the expanded second edition of her book, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, which was released this year.

The Summer Conference was brought to a close with a panel session of recently graduated fellows who discussed their experiences after completing their PhD.

One fellow commented: "[I'm] constantly grateful to Mellon programs for surrounding me with people who are on similar paths that I can connect with and learn from. Also appreciate the incorporation of fellows who have been where I am and return as mentors. It is a beautiful cycle and it is just what I needed this week."

Thank you to those to participated and who helped make the Summer Conference this year possible!
Our icebreaker from Laughter on Call!
Recent Publications by Mellon Fellows
Erica R. Edwards
The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of US Empire
Jarvis R. Givens
Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching
Rosamond S. King
All the Rage
Our Dissertation Writing Retreat participants hard at work!
Social Media Survey Results
Thank you to everyone who participated in our social media survey! We created the survey with a goal of improving our social media presence to better serve our fellows. Your input is helping us develop a more effective strategy for digital outreach and engagement within the SSRC-MMGIP community. We plan to keep our Twitter active with news, updates, and content highlighting your achievements. If you haven’t already, please follow us on Twitter @ssrcmellonmays to stay updated!

As mentioned in the original survey email, we randomly selected five participants to receive a special prize. Here are the winners of a $20 Starbucks gift card:

  • Sylvia Zamora
  • Estela Diaz
  • Angela Jenks
  • Jovonna Jones
  • Shelby Sinclair
Focus Group Summary

We also want to thank our fellows who participated in a focus group discussion for their valuable insights into social media. The focus group was an opportunity for us to receive honest feedback about our current online practices and learn from fellows with experience navigating social media within the academic space. We hope to use our platform to bridge connection between fellows while elevating many of your accomplishments. We're excited to incorporate your ideas and look forward to sharing them with you soon!
Keep in Touch!
Please reach out to us if you have any questions at mellonmays@ssrc.org