Mellon/ACLS Fellowships Go to Professors Leah Anderst and Prithi Kanakamedala for Projects on #MeToo and Brooklyn Abolitionism

Prithi Kanakamedala and Leah Anderst

Professors Leah Anderst, who is also a Graduate Center alumna, and Prithi Kanakamedala are among 28 faculty members nationwide to be named Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows for 2021. Both Anderst and Kanakamedala teach in The Graduate Center’s Liberal Studies master’s program.
The prestigious program awards faculty teaching at two-year colleges grants of up to $40,000 to support research, teaching, and community engagement projects in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
This year, 12 of the 28 fellowships were awarded to CUNY professors.
“These honors manifest the excellence of our community college educators in a vast array of fields,” CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said in a statement.
Anderst (Ph.D.’ 10, Comparative Literature) is an associate professor of English at Queensborough Community College. Her research and teaching interests include autobiography; film studies, with a focus on French film and nonfiction films; narrative theory in French and American psychological novels; and writing pedagogy. Her Mellon/ACLS project is titled “#MeToo: A Testimonial Imperative and A Collective Autobiography.”
“This project suggests that #MeToo has created a distinctive narrative community where individuals take part in a larger cultural story comprised of and amplified by many voices,” Anderst writes in the abstract.

Kanakamedala is an associate professor of history at Bronx Community College. She has published on 19th-century material culture of the Black Atlantic, racial fluidity and citizenship in 19th-century New York; and print activism in Brooklyn’s early free Black communities. As a public historian, she has worked with a range of cultural organizations in New York City. Her Mellon/ACLS project is titled “Brooklyn Abolitionists.”
Kanakamedala writes in the abstract that she aims to tell the 19th century history of New York City’s second largest borough and the people, including “a small but growing free Black community,” that were central to its development. She describes the project as “part mapping project, part historical storytelling.”
This year’s Community College Faculty Fellows “bring mission-driven pedagogy and critical humanistic research to diverse student bodies and communities across the country,” ACLS President Joy Connolly, former interim president of The Graduate Center, said in announcing the 2021 awardees.


Submitted on: MAY 4, 2021

Category: Comparative Literature | Faculty Awards | GCstories | General GC News | Liberal Studies