Ayesha Ramachandran receives MacMillan Center Director’s Award

Ayesha Ramachandran, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale has given its Director’s Award to Ayesha Ramachandran, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature.

The MacMillan Center Director’s Award was established in 2005. The Awards are for non-tenured Yale faculty who receive certain distinguished individual grants, prizes, or fellowships for international research. In addition to recognizing these junior faculty members’ accomplishments, the Director’s Awards are intended to enable them to enhance their future research. Recipients are appointed Research Fellows at the MacMillan Center and receive research funds of $5,000 per year for two years.

Professor Ramachandran was awarded a New Directions fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is a literary critic and cultural historian of early modern Europe. Professor Ramachandran’s recent work focuses on Europe’s relations with an expanding world. Her first book, The Worldmakers (University of Chicago Press, 2015) charts transnational encounters and the early mechanisms of globalization from the late fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. In addition to literary and intellectual historical questions, Professor Ramachandran is interested in early modern maps (particularly world mapping), the history of science and technology, early modern empires, and the rich visual archive of illustrated books in the period. She has published articles on a range of topics: on Tasso’s use of Petrarch’s Canzoniere in the Gerusalemma liberata; on the importance of Lucretius in the work of Edmund Spenser; on Montaigne’s engagements with Italy and with cosmographic texts in the Essais; on Mughal miniatures from the court of Jahangir and the challenge of cross-cultural comparative studies; and on fundamentalism in early modernity, among other subjects. Professor Ramachandran is working on a new book project, Between Epic and Lyric, that examines the hybrid interconnections between the two genres from Petrarch to Spenser.

“I am so delighted and grateful to receive a MacMillan Center Director’s Award. Not only is it wonderful to feel connected to a larger community of scholars working on topics that are international and cross-cultural in scope, but the award will help me to complete the extensive preliminary research and study that I’ll need to do in order to make the most of the Mellon fellowship,” said Professor Ramachandran. “Being able to think about my own research in the wider, transnational and interdisciplinary terms that the Macmillan Center fosters is a wonderful impetus to expanding my work and gaining the intellectual support I need to move forward into new areas.”

Junior faculty members who have received one of the following awards are eligible: Carnegie Scholar; Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship; Wenner-Gren Individual Research Grant; National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award; Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship; Bradley Foundation Fellowship; Smith Richardson Junior Faculty Fellowship; Russell Sage Foundation Fellowship; Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship; Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellowship; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship; and National Humanities Center Fellowship.

For more than a half-century, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale and its precursors have served as the University’s focal point for teaching and research on cultures, languages, societies, institutions, and practices around the world. It draws its strength by tapping the interests and combining the intellectual resources of Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and of Yale’s twelve professional schools.

May 3, 2016