Stephanie M. Strauss has been awarded a 2023 ACLS Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The ACLS Fellowship Program supports exceptional scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences that has the potential to make significant contributions within and beyond the awardees’ fields.
For 2023, the program will award more than $3.8 million in research support to 60 scholars selected through a multi-stage peer review of a pool of nearly 1,200 applicants. Strauss was further recognized with one of only ten named fellowships, as the 2023 – 2024 H. and T. King Fellow in Ancient American Art and Culture. The fellowship provides $60,000 to support 12 months of sustained research and writing on her project “Inscribing Power: The Materiality of Script in Early Mesoamerican Art.” Awardees who do not hold tenure-track faculty appointments also receive an additional $7,500 stipend for costs incurred during their award term.
Strauss’s research explores the invention, display, and design of hieroglyphic texts and narrative art in early Mesoamerica. While most epigraphic studies center discussions of writing in the Americas from the perspective of the Maya or the Mexica (“Aztec”), this project takes Formative Gulf Coast visual culture as a center from which to survey the topic. This endeavor combines the author’s experience in Mesoamerican epigraphy with her subject-area expertise in Formative era visual culture. Through an exploration of the indexical fields of text, image, and material practice, “Inscribing Power: The Materiality of Script in Early Mesoamerican Art” follows the roots of indigenous American writing as they stretch deep into the past.
Stephanie Strauss is currently an Adjunct Professor of Art History at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin as a Harrington Doctoral Fellow (2013-2018) and was advised by Dr. Julia Guernsey and Dr. David Stuart. She earned her M.A. in Anthropology from George Washington University, and her B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from Yale University. She previously taught Art History at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was a Fellow of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks from 2019 – 2020.