Law professor Daniel Sharfstein named Robert Penn Warren Faculty Fellow for 2014-15

Jan 20, 2014

Professor Daniel Sharfstein

Daniel J. Sharfstein, professor of law, has been named a Robert Penn Warren Faculty Fellow at Vanderbilt University for 2014-15. As a recipient of a Warren faculty fellowship, Sharfstein will be one of 10 fellows focusing on “Public Scholarship in the Humanities” in the 2014-15 Fellows Program at Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.

Vanderbilt professors Joel Harringon, who focuses on European social history, and Holly Tucker, a professor of medicine, health and society and of French studies, are co-directors of the Warren Center’s 2014-15 Fellows program, which will explore questions related to publicly engaged scholarship. Fellows from Vanderbilt’s faculty and a visiting fellow will meet weekly to discuss the future of scholarly research in the humanities and collaborate on their own research projects.

Now in its 25th year, Vanderbilt’s Warren Center sponsors a Fellows Program with a particular thematic focus involving Vanderbilt faculty members and one year-long visiting fellow each year. Fellows meet for a weekly seminar and have access to research funds.

A legal historian, Sharfstein is the author of The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin Press, 2011), which won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for excellence in non-fiction, the Law & Society Association’s 2012 James Willard Hurst Jr. Prize for socio-legal history, the William Nelson Cromwell Book Prize from the American Society for Legal History, and Vanderbilt University’s Chancellor’s Award for Research. For his research on civil rights and the color line in the American South, Professor Sharfstein has also received an Alphonse Fletcher, Sr., fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and he was the inaugural recipient of the Raoul Berger Visiting Fellowship in Legal History at Harvard Law School.

Sharfstein received a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship to support his work on a book-length exploration of post-Reconstruction America and the Nez Perce War of 1877, “Thunder in the Mountains: The Clash of Two American Legends.”

“I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues at the Warren Center next year,” said Sharfstein.  “The seminar will help me think about issues that go to the heart of my new project: what it means for scholarly work to exist in conversation with a larger public, how new technologies and expressive outlets enable and shape these conversations, and how narrative and storytelling interact with argument and the substantive mission of scholarship.”

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