History Professor Gregory Downs (CCNY/GC) has just won a prestigious digital innovation fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for his project “Mapping Occupation: The Union Army and the Meaning of Reconstruction.” The project will simultaneously convey new data about the presence, size, and persistence of Army outposts in the years after Appomattox, and use that data to develop interpretations about the crucial role of force in shaping emancipation, the development of new national rights, the newfound power of the federal government, and the insurgency launched by ex-Confederates against federal power. The project will also utilize newly organized data about Army outposts to develop an interactive website that will allow scholars to map federal power and emancipation in the post-war moment.
The American Council of Learned Societies, a private, nonprofit federation of 71 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 are central to ACLS’s work. This year, ACLS will award more than $15 million dollars to nearly 400 scholars across a variety of humanistic disciplines. The seven fellows, who were selected from a very competitive pool of applications, will spend a year dedicated to a major scholarly project intended to advance digital humanistic scholarship in powerful new directions.