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Nancy Tomes Selected for National Humanities Center Fellowship

Nancy Tomes’ 2016 book, Remaking the American Patient, examines the complexities of healthcare.
Nancy Tomes
Nancy Tomes, distinguished professor, Department of History

Nancy Tomes, distinguished professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named one of 33 Fellows for 2022-23 by the National Humanities Center.

This is Tomes’ second fellowship at the Center; she was previously a Fellow in 1999-2000. She joins the Center’s intellectual community as she pursues work on her project, “A History of the Modern Infodemic.”

Each Fellow will work on an individual research project and will have the opportunity to share ideas in seminars, lectures and conferences at the Center. This is the 45th class of resident scholars to be admitted since the Center opened in 1978.

“The National Humanities Center Fellowship won by Professor Nancy Tomes is perhaps the single most prestigious national recognition of research excellence in the humanities,” said Paul Gootenberg, distinguished professor and chair, Department of History. “Nancy’s project, ‘A History of the Modern Infodemic,’ like her previous books, directly engages urgent questions of public health policy with deep historical insight.”

“We are delighted to support the exciting work of these outstanding scholars,” said Robert D. Newman, president and director of the National Humanities Center. “They are a remarkably diverse group whose scholarly expertise spans humanities disciplines. We look forward to welcoming them in the fall as they work on their individual projects and form a dynamic intellectual community.”

Tomes’ research has focused on the intersection between expert knowledge and popular understandings of the body and disease. She won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy in 2017 for her book, Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (UNC, 2016) that challenged the notion that healthcare should be bought and sold. She was also named a SUNY Distinguished Professor in 2015.

The National Humanities Center will award over $1.8M in fellowship grants to enable the selected scholars to take leave from their normal academic duties and pursue research at the Center. This funding is provided from the Center’s endowment and by grants from the Duke Endowment, the Henry Luce Foundation, the UNCF/Mellon Programs, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as contributions from alumni and friends of the Center.

The National Humanities Center is the world’s only independent institute dedicated exclusively to advanced study in all areas of the humanities. Through its residential fellowship program, the Center provides scholars with the resources necessary to generate new knowledge and to further understanding of all forms of cultural expression, social interaction and human thought.


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