Latest News

Historians receive fellowships from American Council of Learned Societies

Author: Arts and Letters


Three faculty members from the University of Notre Dame’s Department of History have been awarded post-doctoral research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for 2005-06.

Olivia Constable, Margaret Meserve and Linda Przybyszewski were among the 60 winners selected from a pool of 878 applicants.

Constable, professor of history and director of graduate studies, specializes in medieval Spanish history, Mediterranean social and economic history, and Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations. She is pursuing research on Muslims living in 13th-century Europe under four different rulers. Through a comparison of the monarchs and their relationships with Muslims and Islam, Constable reveals that “pragmatism and regional context, more than theology, determined the course of relations between Christians and Muslims in medieval Europe.”

Meserve, assistant professor of history specializing in early modern Europe and Renaissance, will continue her study titled “A Renaissance of News: The Italian Market in Printed Political Information, 1470-1527.” Examining a large sampling of Renaissance news, Meserve explores the literary strategies Renaissance authors used to interpret the news of their time, and traces the connections among authors, printers, readers and states seeking to control the flow of information.

Przybyszewski, an associate professor, U.S. legal history specialist and 19th-century U.S. historian, will pursue a study titled “The Cincinnati Bible War of 1869-1872: Law, Confessionalism, and the State in Nineteenth-Century America.”

In examining this period, beginning with the 1869 removal of the Bible from public schools and ending with an 1872 pro-Bible lawsuit defeat in the Ohio Supreme Court, Przybyszewski analyzes the history of the separation of church and state. Her research reveals the “inadequacies of this narrative by demonstrating the strength of competing theories of church and state — liberal, evangelical, Catholic — in the late 19th century, (and) the continuation of religious training in the public schools.”

The ACLS is a private non-profit federation of 68 national scholarly organizations committed to the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and social sciences. Carrying stipends of up to $60,000, the ACLS Fellowship Program helps distinguished scholars who have earned a doctoral or an equivalent degree to devote a full year to the research and writing of monographs or equally substantial forms of scholarship.

Originally published by Sara Woolf at on September 19, 2006.