LAWRENCE – The American Council of Learned Societies has awarded John Rury, professor of educational leadership & policy studies and courtesy professor of history, the Collaborative Research Fellowship for humanities research to be undertaken in academic year 2015-16. The ACLS, one of the premier humanities-focused granting agencies, is a private, nonprofit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations that supports scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.
The Collaborative Research Fellowship offers small teams of two or more scholars the opportunity to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project.
Rury and his colleague, Derrick Darby (philosophy, University of Michigan), will use the Collaborative Research Fellowship funding to conduct research on and write collaboratively for their book project, “The Color of Mind: Why the Origins of the Achievement Gap Matter for Justice.”
Their project argues that the historically documented presumption of racial differences in intellect, or what they term the “color of mind,” was used to justify inferior, separate and unequal schooling for blacks in America during and long after slavery, and that this, in turn, reinforced beliefs that African-Americans were incapable of reasoning as well as white Americans. By situating the contemporary racial achievement gap within this broader historical and philosophical context, Rury and Darby offer novel humanistic insights about why this gap has persisted, why it is unjust, and why we have a collective responsibility for mitigating it.
ACLS fellowships are highly prestigious and competitive awards. This year, ACLS will award more than $15 million to nearly 400 scholars across a variety of humanistic disciplines.