Society of Fellows Postdoc Wins ACLS Fellowship

News subtitle

Media theorist Tory Jeffay is awarded funding to complete a book project.

Portrait of Tory Jeffay
Tory Jeffay’s research focuses on the ways visual evidence has been understood and deployed. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)

Tory Jeffay, a media historian and theorist and postdoctoral fellow with the Society of Fellows, has been named a 2024 ACLS Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies.

Jeffay is part of a group of 60 “exceptional early career scholars” selected from 1,100 applicants in a rigorous peer review process, the ACLS announced in a news release. ACLS fellowships provide up to $60,000 to support scholars for six to 12 months of sustained research and writing. Awardees who do not hold tenure-track faculty appointments receive a supplement of $7,500 for research or other personal costs incurred during their award term.

“I was delighted to receive the ACLS fellowship,” Jeffay says. “I aspire to speak across disciplines with my project, so to be recognized by an interdisciplinary group of judges is particularly exciting. The fellowship will support my book project, ‘Contested Vision: Race and the Limits of Visual Evidence.’”

Jeffay says her latest work is broadly concerned with the tension between faith and doubt in photographic images and “how this unstable conception of visual evidence has allowed for the prejudicial application of visual evidence against minoritized subjects in the American criminal justice system.”

“It is gratifying to see Tory Jeffay recognized as an innovative early stage scholar whose work holds the potential to make a significant impact on the field of media history and theory,” says Elizabeth F. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “At Dartmouth, we share the ACLS’ commitment, through programs like the Society of Fellows, to lifting up and supporting young scholars whose work is poised to make significant contributions to the humanities and the interpretive social sciences.”

John Paul Christy, ACLS senior director of U.S. programs, praised this year’s cohort of scholars as “nothing short of inspiring—a powerful reminder of the capacity of humanistic research to illuminate and deepen understanding of the workings of our world.”

The ACLS Fellowship Program supports scholars who are poised to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in any field of the humanities or interpretive social sciences, Christy says. “As scholars face increasing challenges to pursuing and disseminating their research, we remain committed to advancing their vital work,” he says.

The New York-based ACLS has served for more than a century as the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. In 2020, the ACLS redirected the funding focus of its signature fellowship program to support early-career, nontenured scholars. 

Founded in 2014 and sitting under the umbrella of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, the Society of Fellows is an interdisciplinary community of postdoctoral fellows and faculty that encourages individual and collaborative scholarship across the institution. 

Jeffay credits Dartmouth’s Grant Proposal Support Initiative, known as GrantGPS, with helping her navigate the application process for the ACLS fellowship.

Bill Platt