University anthropology professor awarded national ACLS Fellowship

Deborah Boehm with the College of Liberal Arts is one of 65 faculty members in the country to receive research fellowship

8/19/2013 | By: Abbie Walker  |

After spending the summer in Spain teaching for the University Studies Abroad Consortium, Deborah Boehm, University of Nevada, Reno associate professor of anthropology and women's studies in the College of Liberal Arts, is headed on another trip. Boehm will be on research leave this academic school year to work on a book manuscript about deportation thanks to a 2013-2014 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship that supports research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

The project studies north-south migration and the deportation of Mexican nationals from the United States. Guiding questions consider how to theorize return, the ways that nation-states orchestrate removals, and what it means to individuals and families when transnational subjects go back to a place after a long absence or "return" to a location where they have never been.

The ACLS Fellowship provides salary replacement for scholars who are embarking on six to 12 months of full-time research and writing.

"I will be in residence at two centers during the school year," Boehm said. "In the fall, I will be a Visiting Research Associate at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in the spring, a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, which is based at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley."

The residencies will provide Boehm with an opportunity to connect the University with scholars who have intersecting research interests.

"Receiving the ACLS fellowship enables Dr. Boehm to focus in a sustained way on research with far-reaching impacts on scholarly and non-scholarly communities alike," Jen Hill, director of the Gender, Race, and Identity Program and chair of Women's Studies, said. "Her planned residencies this year at the very prestigious School for Advanced Research and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at University of California, Berkeley should both enrich the contexts of her work and expose the very high quality of research taking place at the University."

The fellowship received 1,100 applications and 65 were awarded, making it one of the most competitive years in history.

"I am honored to receive a fellowship from the ACLS that will allow me to devote time to the book project," Boehm said. "I appreciate the recognition of my work here at the University of Nevada, Reno and the support of ACLS to further explore this important topic."

To apply for the fellowship, Boehm submitted a book proposal, a summary of her research and publication record, and letters of recommendation from scholars familiar with her work.

"ACLS employs a rigorous, multi-stage peer-review process to ensure that the selected fellows represent the very best in their fields," Nicole Stahlmann, director of fellowship programs at ACLS, said. "This year's fellows were chosen from among hundreds of excellent applications for their potential to create new knowledge that will improve our understanding of the world and its diverse cultures and societies."

Boehm says that her research studies how the deportation of migrants impacts families and communities.

"As the nation considers immigration reform, ethnographic research with those directly affected by immigration policies can help us better understand processes that shape the lives of millions of people in the United States and in countries throughout the world," she said.

Boehm learned that she received the fellowship this past spring, and she will start her new journey this month.

For information about the ACLS Fellowship, go to


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