Visiting scholar Brian Bockelman receives NEH fellowship

Brian Bockelman
Brian Bockelman

Brian Bockelman, a visiting scholar at NIU’s Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, has received a major fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue his research and writing on Argentine history in the late 19th century.

The generous award of $50,400 will allow him to work full-time for 12 months on his book project, “ ‘Down with the Palms of the Plaza!’: How a Tree in Buenos Aires Sparked Argentina’s First Modern Culture War, c. 1883,” which examines a political and cultural scandal that erupted when non-native palm trees were planted for the first time in the central plaza of the Argentine capital city.

Bockelman began this research at NIU in 2012, when he was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of History.

His current residence at the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies is made possible by a sabbatical leave from Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he is an associate professor of history. The leave also allowed him to return to Buenos Aires at the end of 2014 for a research trip funded by a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society.

“Dr. Bockelman’s fellowship is a well-deserved honor. His work on Argentina is excellent and has attracted a great deal of scholarly interest,” said Kristin Huffine, acting director of the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. “It has been a pleasure to have him at the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies this year.”

The prestigious NEH fellowship program, which has supported thousands of innovative and distinguished scholarly projects in history and the humanities since its inception in 1967, is highly competitive. Only 7 percent of applications are funded each year.

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