Chijioke Onah, a Nigerian scholar based in the United States, has been awarded the 2023 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship.
The award, which is a sponsorship grant from the Mellon Foundation and administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), aims to support innovative approaches to dissertation research in the humanities and interpretative social sciences.
Onah’s project, entitled “Toxic Intimacies: The (Bio) Politics of Waste and Disposability in Africa and African Diaspora”, was selected from approximately 700 entries worldwide.
The fellowship carries a cash award of $50,000 to support dissertation research, including a $40,000 stipend for the fellowship year, $8,000 for project-related research, and $2,000 for external mentorship and critical expert advising.
The fellowship is a new category of a series of fellowship and grant programmes of the ACLS. Forty-four other scholars were also named as 2023 fellowship awardees, including three other Nigerians. Onah, who is currently a PhD student at Cornell University, has won 27 academic awards since 2013.
His research interests include Black Atlantic Literature, African Studies, Trauma and Memory Studies, and Environmental Humanities.
Joy Connolly, president of the Mellon Foundation, announced the award, describing it as a support for exceptional emerging scholars who were pursuing pathbreaking research.