Two Wellesley Professors Named 2018 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellows

A woman sits at a desk, writing.
Photo provided by “The letter,” Haynes King
March 26, 2018

Two Wellesley professors were awarded 2018 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars last month. Katherine Grandjean, associate professor of history, and Helena de Bres, associate professor of philosophy, will complete year-long residencies pursuing individual research projects.

The Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship program is administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It awards 20 residential fellowships yearly to recently tenured faculty pursuing scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. Fellows are awarded a $95,000 stipend and a $7,500 budget to pursue research projects. Wellesley is one of only two institutions to have two professors awarded the fellowship this year.

Headshot of Kate GrandjeankKatherine Grandjean, a scholar of American history, teaches about the American Revolution and is developing a new course focusing on crime and punishment in early America. She is currently working on a book about the violent legacies of the American Revolution and their effects on brothers Micajah and Wiley Harpe, two of the most notorious killers in American history. “My project revisits their story in order to explain how the United States’ founding moment left behind so many violent, alienated men,” Grandjean said.

During her Burkhardt fellowship year at the University of Connecticut, Grandjean hopes to look more closely at America’s history of violence in order to speak to a broad audience.

Helena de Bres studies ethics, political theory, and philosophy of literature. Her project for the Burkhardt Headshot of Helena de Bresfellowship, “The Story of My Life: Personal Narration, Meaning in Life, and Literary Nonfiction,” examines the human habit of self-life narration in its everyday and literary forms, and its connection to a meaningful life.

De Bres will spend her fellowship year at Stanford, drawing on the university’s many interdisciplinary resources at the intersection of philosophy and literature. She intends to bring her studies of creative writing and philosophy to her courses at Wellesley.

“This fellowship will allow me a very generous amount of time to really immerse myself in the literature in each of these areas, without the distraction and pressure of other commitments,” de Bres said.

With reporting from Lucy Norton ’21.

Photo: A woman sits at a desk, writing. (“The letter,” Haynes King)