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The ABF Announces New 2018-19 Doctoral Fellows

May 18, 2018, Press releases

CHICAGO, May 18, 2018 — The American Bar Foundation (ABF) has awarded its 2018-19 doctoral fellowships to four emerging scholars who will be in residence at the ABF beginning September 2018. 

The ABF offers several fellowship opportunities intended to foster the next generation of scholars engaged in original and significant research in the field of law, social science and higher education. Fellowships offered this year include: the ABF/NSF Doctoral Fellowship in Law and Inequality, which is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to encourage original and significant empirical and interdisciplinary research on the study of law and inequality; the ABF/AccessLex Institute Doctoral Fellowship in Legal and Higher Education, which is co-sponsored by AccessLex Institute to assist emerging scholars who research issues of access, affordability or value in legal and higher education; and the ABF/NU Doctoral Fellowship, co-sponsored by Northwestern University (NU) to encourage original and innovative research on law, the legal profession and legal institutions. 

Among a highly competitive applicant pool, Evelyn Atkinson and Mary Ellen Stitt were selected as ABF/NSF Doctoral Fellows in Law and Inequality, Paul Baumgardner as ABF/AccessLex Doctoral Fellow in Legal and Higher Education, and Hye Yun Kang as ABF/NU Doctoral Fellow. 

"We are delighted to welcome a new cohort of doctoral fellows to the ABF this fall,” said ABF Executive Directory Ajay Mehrotra. “These highly talented junior scholars will be continuing the ABF’s storied tradition of producing the next generation of leading interdisciplinary and empirical legal scholars.”

Doctoral and postdoctoral fellows engage in the intellectual life of the ABF, which includes participating in a weekly seminar series and working closely with mentors. Past fellows have moved on to promising careers as tenure-track professors, legal professionals, and social science researchers. Qualified doctoral students interested in ABF fellowships can learn more about application requirements here.

About the ABF's 2018-19 Doctoral Fellows:

Evelyn Atkinson is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, "American Frankenstein: Creating the Constitutional Corporate Person," combines legal and social history to trace the development of constitutional law of corporate personhood in the nineteenth century United States. Atkinson reveals how farmers, merchants, and others who dealt with business corporations in their daily lives attempted to publicly regulate these corporations, which resulted in seminal legal cases that granted corporations constitutional rights and shaped ongoing conflicts over the nature of democracy, economic justice and the relationship of corporations to the state. She received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Paul Baumgardner is a doctoral candidate seeking a joint Ph.D. in the Department of Politics and the Humanities Council at Princeton University. His research is focused on American politics and law. Baumgardner's dissertation, “Rethinking the Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: Professors, Activists, and the Legal Academy of the 1980s,” explores the important battles waged over American legal development in educational institutions in the 1980s. He relies on primary sources, such as interviews and archival materials, to show the types of movement mobilizations and intellectual competitions that many top law schools witnessed in the 1980s. These phenomena relate to and differ from the movement actors, agendas, and legal actions of other American legal institutions in the period. Paul holds a B.A. from Baylor University and a M.A. from Princeton University.  

Hye Yun Kang is a doctoral candidate in political science at Northwestern University and in philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris. Her research interests are in the politics of law and security and international relations theory with a focus on critical theory. Her current research project focuses on the unintended consequences of the legal interpretation of security laws and investigates how the practices of legal institutions in interpreting security laws generates an unexpected possibility of extra-judicial security measures. Hye Yun’s dissertation, “The Politics of Security as Performance: The Korean War, the McCarthy Era, and Schengen,” shows how the script of security is enacted, disseminated, and revised. She received an M.A. in international relations from Seoul National University and a B.A. in political science from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. 

Mary Ellen Stitt is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research investigates state punishment and reform across a range of institutional domains. Her dissertation, “Therapeutic Alternatives in the Criminal Courts,” examines the growing use of therapy and drug testing as an alternative to criminal prosecution in the United States. She draws on qualitative and quantitative data to analyze the impacts of pretrial diversion programs on defendants, the processes shaping their administration, and their implications for decarceration and mental healthcare provision. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and a B.A. in Spanish from Carleton College. Prior to returning to graduate school, she worked as a community organizer, literary translator, and participatory action research coordinator. 

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world's leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions.  To further this mission, the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.


Please find a PDF of this press release here

Posted by Danielle Gensburg.

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