Professors Clarke and O’Neill join Professors Seidman and Shternshis as Guggenheim Fellows

April 29, 2021 by Eric Kular

Professors Clarke and O’Neill join Professors Seidman and Shternshis as Guggenheim Fellows

At the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, four professors over the last five years have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships. This prestigious honour recognizes scholars, artists, and scientists who have demonstrated a previous capacity for outstanding work and continue to show exceptional promise.

“Four Guggenheim Fellowships in five years would be a tremendous accomplishment for a top tier research university, let alone for a centre of research.” – Professor Kevin Lewis O’Neill, Director, Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies.

The Guggenheim Foundation awarded Professor Naomi Seidman a fellowship in 2016, Professor Anna Shternshis in 2020, and Professors Clarke and O’Neill in 2021.

Professor Kamari Maxine Clarke

Kamari Clarke is Distinguished Professor of Transnational Justice and Socio-legal Studies at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and the Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies.

Both a legal scholar and anthropologist, her career spans over two decades as an expert in such areas as international justice, religious nationalism, and the politics of globalization and race. Her award-winning research has explored the globalization of the rule of law and how different legal frameworks, shaped by forces such as histories of colonialism, both influence and are influenced by contemporary social movements. 

The author of three single authored monographs and editor of an additional six books, Clarke is currently completing a book describing how people engaged in social movements to find the missing are using contemporary technologies — such as mobile phones, GPS and geospatial technologies — to challenge the way justice has been traditionally accessed and delivered. 

Professor Kevin Lewis O’Neill

Kevin Lewis O’Neill is a professor in the Department for the Study of Religion, as well as Director of the Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. 

O’Neill is a scholar of clerical sexual abuse, particularly as it transcends borders. O’Neill is currently writing two books. The first considers clerical sexual abuse in Latin America, with a focus on U.S. priests who moved — or were moved — to Central America to evade suspicion. The second is an ethnography of traffic in Guatemala City that realigns conversations about security, mobility, and infrastructure in Latin America.

O’Neill’s examination of the moral dimensions of contemporary political practice in Latin America informs the trilogy he has written on the politics of Pentecostalism in Guatemala. Each book explores the “waning viability of disciplinary institutions and how new strains of Christian piety have become recognizable modes of governance in Central America.”

Professor Anna Shternshis

Anna Shternshis is a professor at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational studies, the Al and Malka Green Professor of Yiddish Studies and Director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto.

Shternshis received a Guggenheim Fellowship in April, 2020.

The author of two books and dozens of articles on Soviet Jewish experience, her award-winning work on Jewish history and popular culture is academically influential and impactful to a wide audience. In 2018, she created the Grammy-nominated Yiddish Glory project, which excavated and revived forgotten Yiddish music written during the Holocaust in the Soviet Union.

Professor Naomi Seidman

Naomi Seidman is the Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational studies at the University of Toronto.

Seidman received a Guggenheim Fellowship in April, 2016.

Professor Seidman was the Koret Professor of Jewish Culture at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Today, she is Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Arts at the University of Toronto. Her first book, A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish, appeared in 1997; her second, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation, in 2006. A third, The Marriage Plot, Or, How Jews Fell in Love with Love, and with Literature, appeared in 2016.