Assistant Professor of Anthropology Liza Gijanto was awarded a highly-competitive Howard Foundation Fellowship in April 2017 for her project titled: Emancipation and Commerce: The Gambia Colony and American Plantations in the Age of British Abolition. The $33,000 fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year will support Dr. Gijanto’s research which examines the nature of the impact of the Atlantic trade on the Gambia River. Dr. Gijanto was one of just eight nationwide 2017-2018 fellowship recipients and the only recipient in the field of archaeology. Other 2017-2018 fellowship recipients were selected from the fields of photography and anthropology and range from professors at large institutions such as UCLA to independent artists collaborating with organizations such as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
This distinguished award will allow Dr. Gijanto to complete data-gathering for the Emancipation and Commerce project and begin writing a monograph describing the work. The project will advance understanding of the complex history of abolition in West Africa, a program that was ironically undermined by the continued consumption of goods produced by enslaved laborers in the Americas within an African colony founded to end the traffic of slaves. Dr. Gijanto will travel to two archives: the Peter Strickland Archive in Mystic, Connecticut and the British National Archives in Kew, London, during Fall 2017 and begin work on the monograph in Spring 2018.
The Howard Foundation is associated with Brown University and is one of few funders dedicated “to furthering the personal development of promising individuals at the crucial middle stages of their careers in the liberal and creative arts”. The Howard Foundation awards a limited number of fellowships each year for independent projects in selected fields, targeting its support specifically to early mid-career individuals and those who have achieved recognition for at least one major project.